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The only quote in the press release . . .
About “Hard Knocks” wasn’t from the New York Jets, whose football side doesn’t want to do it, but from an NFL Films executive.
“NFL Films has a long and storied relationship with the Jets, from the early days of the AFL and Joe Namath’s “#1″ salute after Super Bowl III, to The Sack Exchange, and the team’s first appearance on Hard Knocks in the midst of back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances,” said Patrick Kelleher, Executive Producer, NFL Films. “The 2010 Jets changed the profile and the success of Hard Knocks forever. That Jets team made football fun for fans. And now we are excited for a new partnership with this iconic organization and HBO to create another chapter in both NFL and television history filled with great personalities and a roster striving to reach new heights of success.”
If the Jets’ football operation was into this, there would likely be a quote from somebody with the team.
But crickets from the Jets in this press release.
But the one line that I think was most noteworthy in this quote from Kelleher was, “The team’s first appearance on Hard Knocks in the midst of back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances.”
Why is that quote significant?
Because to me, it’s somebody from the NFL going out of his way to make the point that the Jets went to the AFC Championship the year they appeared on “Hard Knocks.”
In other words, it’s not a distraction that takes away from preparation.
“Hay, look at the season they had the last time they were on.”
That is why I think that line is so significant in a press release that seemingly took five days to craft.
“NFL and NFL Films have selected the New York Jets to serve as this year’s team on Hard Knocks, per sources. Jets report to training camp one week from today, July 19, and the cameras will be rolling in full force.”
Then on Thursday, NFL.com’s Kevin Patra reported the official announcement was expected on Friday. Didn’t happen.
It didn’t happen, Saturday or Sunday either.
The parties involved were clearly attempting to figure out a way to spin the announcement of a team appearing on “Hard Knocks” after their head coach said he didn’t want to do it, and their starting QB said it was “forced down their throats.”
So this artisan-crafted press release finally came out on Monday morning.
The fact that the Jets had no quote in this release says a lot.
And the fact that the NFL Films executive quoted in the press release emphasized how successful the Jets were the season before and after “Hard Knocks” had to be something that the crafters of the press release wanted to focus on.
The point is that the team was really good the year before, and “Hard Knocks” did nothing to derail their culture or hurt the momentum going from 2009 to 2010.
So the talking point here is, the show isn’t a distraction.
Well tell that to Lions assistant Duce Staley and RB D’Andre Swift of Detroit, who had a recorded dispute during practice broadcast on “Hard Knocks,” where the coach questioned the player’s toughness, and neither guy is with the Lions anymore.
Can a team have success after appearing on “Hard Knocks?” Yes.
Is it a distraction? Yes.
Both things can be true.
July 18, 2023
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