HBO had a particular NFL team in mind to be the focus of the pay-cable net’s football reality series “Hard Knocks” in 2011, but the team turned down the offer, SportsNewser.com reported.
The team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who issued a statement Monday saying: “After discussing the idea and carefully considering the opportunity, we have respectfully declined. It was certainly an honor to be considered, and we think it is a good indication of the excitement and national interest that is forming around our team. This year, however, we believe it is in the best interests of the team to keep the focus on the field and what we hope to accomplish in 2011. As we told the league, we would be honored to be considered again in the future; it is always an entertaining and informative show and we look forward to watching whomever takes our spot this year."
Last season’s installment of the show focused on the New York Jets, who made it to the AFC Championship Game in the NFL playoffs. Past seasons have revolved around the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys (twice).
The 2011 installment will be the show’s seventh season.