Billick confirms teams have final say over Hard Knocks content
In conjunction with this season’s Hard Knocks series on HBO, we’ve heard more than a few times that the team that is the subject of the show has the ability to veto anything that is scheduled to be aired.
On Thursday, former Ravens coach Brian Billick, whose team served as the guinea pigs for the first year of the show, confirmed that the team controls the content. “We had the latitude that anything we weren’t comfortable with, we had the right to pull that,” Billick said, via SportsBusiness Daily. “You have to kind of agree that maybe this doesn’t put you in the best light, but you can’t be pulling something out simply because, ‘Geez, that doesn’t make me look good. That’s got to go.’”
So, this year, the Jets presumably green-lighted the use of rampant profanity, the characterization of Antonio Cromartie as a guy who’s too dumb to know the names of his own kids, the publication of a depth chart that may or may not have shown the names of players in danger of being cut, the contrived effort to cajole defensive end Vernon Gholston into mixing it up during practice in the hopes that his “nuts would drop,” and anything else that paints players or coaches or employees in less-than-flattering terms. To the team’s credit, however, the Jets allowed the first episode to include G.M. Mike Tannenbaum’s ungainly attempt at fielding a punt, which included an unintentional reverse somersault.
Moving forward, keep in mind when watching the show that, for better or worse, we’re only seeing what the team wants us to see.