Why Lynch ‘never’ wants 49ers to appear on ‘Hard Knocks’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
“Hard Knocks” has become a staple in the NFL world, but 49ers general manager John Lynch doesn’t want his team anywhere near HBO’s hit program.
During an interview with KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” show on Friday, Lynch shared how he feels about the possibility of the 49ers being the show’s focus one season.
“Never. They tried to go down that road,” Lynch said. “The best way to take care of it, you get to the playoffs, and then you don’t have to worry about it. We plan on doing that every year so that we don’t ever have to. We had some interesting meetings with folks from HBO because we’ve got colorful, interesting characters in our locker room.
“I think Kyle’s [Kyle Shanahan] a big draw, and so people kind of wanted it. We had some interesting meetings with league officials and people from HBO, and we were very clear with where our intentions were. Fortunately, we got out of it when we were eligible for it. Like I said, hopefully, we never have to go there again.”
Per the league’s criteria, teams with a first-year head coach, teams who have qualified for the playoffs in the last two seasons, or teams that have been on the show in the previous decade are exempt from being selected for the program.
The last season the 49ers would have been eligible under these rules was in 2019 when the Oakland Raiders were the team that was selected to be showcased.
Lynch then explained that as much as he enjoys the program, there is a level of privacy that cannot be maintained with camera crews around.
“Every season is a journey where you become a team,” Lynch explained. “And the way the rosters turn over, it’s a new group every year. I think you go through things, I think it’s what’s so great, and it does make for great TV. Believe me, I’m a fan of it I just don’t want my team on it. I’m gutted every time I have to cut a player, and I talk to everyone that leaves this building. That guts me. I know, for instance, ‘Hard Knocks’ didn’t do that, but there’s things that are very personal, and these guys are trying to live their dreams. There’s the great stories, but there’s also a lot of heartbreak in this, and it happens on a weekly basis. I just think some of those things deserve to stay private.”
Lynch also shared that despite his desire to keep the 49ers away from “Hard Knocks,” a family tradition between him and his daughter led to his eventual appreciation for the program.
“I feel a little hypocritical,” Lynch added. “Because, as I said, I enjoy [“Hard Knocks”], I never was a fan of it but my daughter was off of school and a little homesick so I said, ‘Alright, let’s do this, let’s watch “Hard Knocks” together’ last year with the Detroit Lions. That became our thing, so this year, we kept it going.”
As long as San Francisco continues to rack up playoff appearances, Lynch and the 49ers won’t have to worry about headlining the show anytime soon.