The Atlanta Falcons announced today that the team will be featured on HBO and NFL Film’s documentary series, “Hard Knocks,” this summer. The show is set to premiere on August 5, 2014 at 10 p.m. Eastern. The team will be featured in five hour-long episodes every Tuesday night.
Rumors surrounding the team’s interest in being featured on the show have persisted for years. Prior to the 2012 season, the team was considered the favorite in league circles to be featured. Instead, the Miami Dolphins were the featured team. The Cincinnati Bengals hosted the series last summer. During the lockout in 2011, GM Thomas Dimitroff indicated that the team was open to the idea, but again had no immediate plans to be featured on the show.
The NFL instituted new rules this past October, nicknamed the “Hard Knocks Rules,” which would require one team per year to be featured on the documentary series. One rule was that it would still allow for volunteers, but one would be ultimately appointed if one wasn’t found. Another that would have seemingly eliminated the Falcons was the reprieve teams would get if they’ve made the playoffs in either of the past two seasons. Presumably that indicates the Falcons volunteered.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank had the following to say about the news:
“We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind the scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond. This marks the first time that our franchise will be featured on HARD KNOCKS and we look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America.”