This morning when I woke up I saw an article by Pat Yasinskas on espn.com http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6244302 that the Bucs are the front runners to score the HBO series Hard Knocks for the upcoming season. (Supposing of course that the CBA gets worked out) When I read it I was initially excited because it would mean more exposure for our Bucs however the more I think about it the more I really don't like the idea.
Don't get me wrong. I know the positive things it could potentially do for our franchise. As a Bucs fan living in Orlando I'm well aware that the exposure that would come along with the show could help us sell more tickets thus potentially helping us sell out more home games and getting those annoying blackouts lifted. I wasn't able to make it out to the stadium last season so I was reduced to listening to Gene Deckerhoff call the game on the radio. Now I take nothing away from Gene as he does a great job calling the games but it's a little different when you get to actually watch the action taking place. In either case I realize that the exposure could make people more aware of what we're doing in Tampa and that type thing however I worry about the effect it would have on the mindset of our players. We do really well playing the role of the underdog. When Raheem made the claim that we were the best team in the NFC last year almost everyone who heard it scoffed at the idea. That motivated us to go on the road to Atlanta and come within 1 yard of upsetting the eventual number 1 seed in the NFC. All year no one gave us the time of day because we hadn't won against a team with a winning record however we kept at it all year with everyone telling us we were a byproduct of a weak schedule and got to 10 wins and were a tie breaker away from the playoffs. We play the underdog role to perfection however I'm concerned that the additional exposure this team would get through Hard Knocks might be detrimental to the development of our young players. I would hate it if a big deal were made about Mike Williams explosive rookie year or Josh Freeman's outstanding campaign and as a result those players or others on our roster began thinking more of themselves than they actually are. Perhaps that could lead to the thought that they wouldn't need to work quite as hard in practice, or that maybe they could take a play off during a game (Yeah Mo Stovall I'm talking to you here) when the reality is that we need to give every bit of everything that we have on every play. I'm not saying that we're not talented. Far from it. However we are young and without much experience. That being the case I think that we have to work twice as hard as everyone else to make up for our shortcomings. Perhaps I'm worrying about nothing and the experience would only be positive but what do all my Bucs Nation brethren think?