Since 2001, the best sports reality television show (and frankly best reality show period) has been the HBO Sports/NFL Films collaboration “Hard Knocks.”
The show will return in the summer of 2013 for an eighth season featuring the Cincinnati Bengals.
For the Bengals, it will be their second stint on the critically-acclaimed program, making the Bengals along with the Dallas Cowboys the only two NFL franchises to be the focus of the show multiple times.
After 2012’s Miami Dolphins‘ “Hard Knocks” fiasco of Chad Johnson, and teams, the league, and some viewers becoming more empathetic of players being cut; many, including myself, thought that the series might be in some serious trouble. Unlike most reality television shows that are controlled by the network and feature people that want to be in the limelight, “Hard Knocks” is at the mercy of the 32 NFL franchises that can either opt to do the show or decline to let the cameras probe into their facilities.
Most NFL franchises don’t want the attention and stigmatism that hosting “Hard Knocks” could potentially bring.
Also, most teams like to stay as discreet as possible, so publicly showcasing all of the happenings of their organization isn’t too high on the priority list of many teams around the league.
Thus, finding suitors for the show can prove difficult at times, and after the Chad Johnson arrest and subsequent release, the veteran leaders’ address of the head coach (Jake Long, Karlos Dansby, and Reggie Bush going into head coach Joe Philbin‘s office to discuss their displeasure of the “perceived” mishandling of some the team’s offseason situations) and the sudden sensitivity to players being cut (the intimate nature of finding out that your lifelong dream may be over), it seemed that Hard Knocks might find it increasingly tough to get a team to sign up for that type of exposure. But in true Cincinnati Bengals form, they went against the grain and threw their name in hat once again and the end result will be the 8th season of the Hard Knocks series.
So, what should we look for in this season’s program? Of course as always, the crew will latch on to a couple of longshots and their journey to try and make the roster. Also, look for some the rookies to be spotlighted (the transition, a little hazing of some sort), and an in-depth look at a coach or two, but what I will be fascinated to see is what Adriel Jeremiah Green or as most refer to him, A.J. Green really is like.
He intrigues me, and him being a top-flight receiver in this league, we know how this league has been filled with “diva-like” premier receivers and it “seems” that Green is cut from a different cloth. So it will be interesting to see if the producers of the show decide to focus in on Green and possibly his relationship with his young quarterback “The Red Rifle” Andy Dalton, as they came into the league together and have put the league on notice in just two years time.
Whatever the case may be, “Hard Knocks” will be coming to a television near you and for football fans everywhere that is icing on the very delectable and often times addictive cake that is known as the NFL. I can’t speak for you, but I’ll definitely have another slice.
Bengals, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, NFL, football, HBO, Hard Knocks, sports, Lou Testamark, NFL films, Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Miami, Dolphins, Miami Dolphins, Chad Johnson, show, season, 2013