You really have to give the Buccaneers credit. They’re doing a great job, at least on the public eye, of embracing the fact they were chosen as the featured team for the new season of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
And make no mistake, this was indeed someone else’s choice. It certainly wasn’t the Bucs. You don’t even have to read between the lines of what the Bucs continue to say about the opportunity to know that.
For example, Bucs general manager Jason Licht was a guest on an ESPN podcast with Michael Clayton this weekend in which he made it rather clear that emotions on the matter are mixed at best.
“We definitely don’t feel like we won some sort of a prize,’’ Licht said.
This comes in the wake of Bucs coach Dirk Koetter admitting during the press conference in which the Bucs were officially named as the featured team that he likes watching the show but “wishes he weren’t on it.’’
The bottom line here is that no matter how professional the HBO crews are, they are still intruding on a team during what most consider to be the most important time of the year.
That of course is the part that makes the show so special, but it’s still an occupational hazard for all involved, which is why Licht also admitted that in essence the team is really just OK with being on it.
“We got to the point where we were all on the same page and we were – okay with it,’’ Licht said in a manner that suggests the team has decided to make the best of an awkward situation it would rather avoid.
“I mean, we know that they have a very professional outfit. And it may not look like it from the perception of the fans, but at some point, early on the process, I was told that it’s not as intrusive as it looks.’’
Perhaps, but it’s hard to imagine how 10 players and coaches being mic’d up and followed around by cameras each day and night is not intrusive. Still, Licht is excited about one aspect of the situation.
“I’m very excited for our fans, because they will get a behind the curtain look at a lot of colorful charismatic guys,’’ he said. “We have guys on this (that) they’ll get to know a little bit more on a more personal, intimate level just from watching the show and that’s good.’’