FLOWERY BRANCH – I couldn’t wait to get home last night to watch HBO’s Hard Knocks. It’s usually a highlight of the exhibition season after a long day at the Branch.
After leaving the Branch, I had to swing by the youth football field to fulfill my volunteer duties as the Smyrna Spartans Division II/Instructional coordinator. (I’ve got all three of my coaches hired, got background checks rolling on the assistants and I need to get all of the kids birth certificates collected for certification on Sunday). I got home with three minutes to spare.
Last night’s episode was tough. They had to follow up the Chad Johnson show, which was a ratings bonanza. Unfortunately, they didn’t have enough shots of Ryan Tannehill’s wife, Mrs. Lauren.
The show featured Reggie Bush, Karlos Dansby and Jake Long leading a meek protest of Johnson’s release. It stopped short of “We want Chad Back! We want Chad Back!”
Also, John Jerry, the brother of Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry, was seen throwing up in practice after they increased his reps. He’s 360 pounds and is trying to get down to 330. (And, I thought I was getting big enough to enter the Rick Ross look-a-like contest?)
The Dolphins staff is hoping John Jerry will fulfill his promise in the NFL. The Falcons are hoping the same for Peria Jerry. John Jerry turned in a good game against Carolina as he’s battling to get his weight down.
Missouri tight end Michael Egnew is having a tough camp after being selected in the third round. He did answer the coaches’ challenge after he was seen wandering
around on the field with no place to go. He was supposed to be looking for someone to block.
But this morning I got to thinking, what if the Falcons had accepted the invitation to appear on the show.
Looking back at training camp, here are some of the story lines that would have been featured.
1. They have successfully hidden the true nature and scope of Corey Peters’ “foot” injury and ordered his representatives not to speak to the media about it. Peters did something to his foot this offseason and was placed on the non-football injury list. We don’t know if he was jet-skiing, dropped some weights on his foot or if he kicked the refrigerator too hard celebrating Kentucky’s basketball national championship. I told him, “I can’t wait to find out what you did to this foot.” He smiled and threw his arms up in the air. Now, if HBO was crawling around the facilities, we’d have MRIs and a blow-by-blow of this injury. Because the Falcons like to do some things in secrecy has to be why they turned down the invitation. When asked about what happened, his agent – a super guy who’s been very helpful to the media in the past — mentioned something about Nick Polk (the team’s chief negotiator) and how the team likes to release its own injury information. He noted that Peters’ contract is coming up and he couldn’t tick the Falcons off.
2. HBO would have had a good time with defensive end Kroy Biermann and his reality star wife Kim Zolciak, who recently gave birth to their second child.
3. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, wide receiver Roddy White and tight end Tony Gonzalez would have been featured for sure.
4. Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud’s dance moves would have made the show. During warmups DeCoud really gets into the flow of the pregame music. He’s got some moves like Jagger. His agents need to get him a spot on Dancing with the Stars.
5. The Rodgers’ Brothers – James and Jacquizz — would have gotten some air time. It doesn’t look like James is going to make the team, especially after he dropped a pass in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati. HBO could have talked to them about their father’s recent release from prison in Texas.
6. Defensive end John Abraham is raising three of his nephews. They could have shown Abraham checking some homework.
7. The Bradie Ewing knee injury would have provided a sad element. HBO could have shown how the team scrambled to get Lousaka Polite signed.
Oh well, maybe next year.
With owner Arthur Blank wanting the Falcons to become a national team, it’s just a matter of time before the Falcons are on the show. The business and marketing side of the team will prevail in the future over the football purists who frown upon seeing a player being cut on national television.
I’ll be back in my chair for next Tuesday’s show and the Falcons will likely be on it by default because they play the Dolphins on Friday night.
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