The Vikings became the sixth team to turn down HBO's offer to allow the all-access cable show Hard Knocks to film them. Zygi Wilf was succinct in his decision, telling the Pioneer Press the Vikings have other issues – the stadium debate and the current lockout – to contend with before they would consider allowing the HBO crew to hang around during training camp and beyond.
The Jets were immensely popular as the Hard Knocks team of choice last year, following in the footsteps of Dallas and Cincinnati as the teams featured on the show, which goes behind the scenes and provides an unvarnished look at life in the NFL. Jets head coach Rex Ryan came under fire by some family-based groups for his course language and, as a result, when the Jets were offered another year of the popular HBO show, they said "no" in February.
That decision has sparked a chain reaction. Since then, Atlanta, Detroit, Denver and Tampa Bay have all turned down HBO's advances. The Vikings became the sixth team to decline.
HBO officials said Saturday that they continue to look for a team to focus on, but, with the current lockout threatening training camps, they may find the going difficult even if a team agrees to be the focus of the 2011 version of the show.
The residual effects of the lockout are beginning to be felt and Hard Knocks may end up being the next casualty in this ongoing battle, as more and more people are starting to believe that the 2011 season is going to get shortened somehow, with training camp and the preseason being the first potential casualties.
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