HBO’s “Hard Knocks” Becoming “Hard Up”

HBO’s television series that candidly covers an NFL teams preseason, has been getting turned down by more NFL teams than Donovan McNabb.

In 2011 with the player lock out (those three words still cause NFL fans to break out in a cold sweat like a drug fein) there was no “Hard Knocks” show because of the shortened season. None of that this year so let’s have our “Hard Knocks” right?

However HBOs search in 2012 isn’t going well. It’s like the pimple faced nerd in H.S. looking for a prom date as it’s becoming awkward and rather desperate.  HBO starts off asking the sexy picks like the Jets, and now they are actually thinking about settling for the boring, homely, but very eager, Jaguars.

And like the nerd, once word gets out that you have been turned down a whole bunch of times, then you are really screwed bro. Accepting your invitation now would appear completely desperate, not to mention uncool and that is where HBO finds themselves.

The list of teams not showing HBO any love by saying “no” include the Falcons, 49ers, Jets, Texans, Vikings, Seahawks, and recently the Redskins.

Coach Shanahan explained why he and the Redskins wanted no part of “Hard Knocks” this year,

“I just didn’t feel comfortable with being in that situation,” Shanahan said.  “You know, I can’t be myself.  I don’t think coaches can be their self and I’d like players to concentrate on their job.  I don’t know if it’s old school or what.  You know, for me I just didn’t feel comfortable with that atmosphere.”

(Don’t feel bad HBO, many of us guys have had chicks tell us the exact same thing. “Just not comfortable”, blah blah blah)

Some coaches fear bringing in “Hard Knocks” will have a negative impact on their season. Seriously? Blaming HBO for your lousy season, is like blaming Ronald McDonald for a bad cheeseburger. Teams have had good seasons after appearing on “Hard Knocks” like the Jets in 2010 (11-5).

Come on NFL teams, someone step up and take one for the league. I’ve enjoyed past episodes of Hard Knocks and have memories from several of the years. The Dallas Cowboys appeared in 2002 and 2008.

I remember Head Coach Wade Phillips’ “Club Med” version of training camp. With T.O. looking for a ride to practice, Martellus Bennett showing us his too ‘laid back’ side, and coach Campo chilling in the jacuzzi which actually, come to think of it, is a memory I would rather forget.

Child please. Ocho Cinco in Target.

The Bengals appeared in 2009 and what a circus that became. Ocho Cinco provided entertainment that I found myself addicted to viewing and worthy of his own reality show. “Child Please”.  The Bengals rookie talent show had a player performing a spot on imitation of rookie OT hold out Andre Smith, doing his drills while missing camp. Laughed myself to tears watching that one.

And the hilarious Jets Coach Rex Ryan “let’s go eat a ___ snack!” speech. VIDEO (R-rated language)

“Hard Knocks” provides laughs and a lighter side of the sport that only makes the NFL more appealing.

It also successfully delivers a dramatic side as well of guys who are chasing their life long dream to play in the NFL.  Watching that road end for some of them, provided moving and touching moments as their raw emotion was captured by HBO and it was real and quite authentic.

I want my “Hard Knocks” (what else am I going to watch on HBO, that vampire crap?) and have some suggestions to avoid not having it again this year while mercifully relieving HBO of this embarrassment in the future.  

Come on HBO, dude have some pride.   


Since no team evidently wants it (other than Jags), Commissioner Goodell should assign it to the team that has misbehaved the most. For example, the Saints in 2012 for Bounty Gate. Or consider making Dallas and Washington do it back to back years for bending the salary cap rules in 2010.  Forget fines, that will teach them.


HBO should sign a contract with the NFL to get which ever team wins the previous super bowl. That way you get a coach in a good mood (just won it all) and not cranky about it, like Shanahan. Plus it will serve like an equalizer to reduce the chance of some arrogant team developing a dynasty. Kind of like the best team drafts last. Ratings pretty much a lock to be very high to see the champs training camp.


Or sign a contract to get the team that has the very first draft pick. Usually that will be the last place team like the Colts this year. A last place team probably could use the publicity after stinking up the league, and interest will always be high to see the top NFL draft pick. Usually good story lines can be found in this scenario. Like, the lousy team down on their luck brings in their rookie saviour.

Hopefully HBO can find a team that fans will like but if not, there is always the Jags. Better than nothing I guess. Do the Jaguars have a sister?…..

UPDATE 5/29: Dolphins Selected for Hard Knocks


2 thoughts on “HBO’s “Hard Knocks” Becoming “Hard Up”

  1. Great blog–your funniest yet, friend! Comparing HBO, in its desparate search for a team for “Hard Knocks” to the pimple-faced nerd in HS looking for a prom date–and after being turned down by several NFL teams, having to settle for “the boring, homely, but very eager Jaguars”…now that’s funny–I don’t care who you are!

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