Players of the Cincinnati Bengals are not concerned with being selected for HBO’s Hard Knocks series. In fact, they believe being a smaller market team, it will actually work in their favor. After all, it happened once before when the 2009 Cincinnati Bengals swept the AFC North on their way to the playoffs.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com there are a variety of veterans such as cornerback Leon Hall and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth who are not worried about the presence of extra cameras. Said Whitworth:
“I don’t think anybody on this team is real worried about it,” Whitworth says. “That team handled it well and this team doesn’t have anybody that worried about the camera at all, even though we might have had a couple then. I don’t think many guys are affected by it. I think our ultimate goal is way more important than being on camera and I think that’s what guys are focused on.”
“Sometimes with shows like that they can spin things and put things in perspective maybe a little differently than you want,” Whitworth says. “So you just have to make sure you get out the message you want people to know about your team. We live in a smaller market, so I don’t think we worry about things as much as the big markets do.
“Maybe some of your bigger market teams, it can have a worse effect on because they’re kind of used to those things and they’re used to being on TV and they’re making sure they worry about their image. But in Cincinnati it’s very rare that we have a marketing deal or those kinds of things. I don’t think we’re all that concerned being on TV and being on camera and all that good stuff.”
Many believe Hard Knocks to be nothing but a disturbance, but for smaller market teams it gives them an opportunity to be seen. It gives players lesser-known players a chance to be known. Even if you gain one Bengals fan, sell one extra seat, or one extra jersey the publicity was worth it.