Should An NFC East Team Be On This Year’s Hard Knocks?

(Editor’s note): This is a guest post from my buddy Lars at Blogging the Boys. He’s new to Twitter, but should be a mandatory follow for any Cowboys fan, so follow away.

Every offseason HBO’s search for a team to feature on its popular “Hard Knocks” reality show generates countless headlines, as one team after another fills its PR void by announcing that it has declined to be part of HBO’s show.  Suspicious minds might wonder whether this is all part of a grand strategy to drum up interest for the show, with a carefully choreographed series of public rejections that ultimately result in a surprise pick for the show.

Michael Shain from the New York Post wrote earlier this week that HBO plans to wrap up a team by June 1. By now, the list of teams that have ruled out an appearance on the show looks a lot longer than any remaining candidates:

The series […] has reportedly been turned down by most of the league’s A-list clubs.

The Jets [have] said no to a second appearance. The Broncos, Falcons, Texans, 49ers and Redskins have also turned down the show, according to reports.

I laughed, hard, at some of the teams Shain apparently thinks are A-list teams,  but after I caught my breath I wondered why nobody is talking about the NFC BEast teams.

The Redskins have taken themselves out of the running, or at least Mike Shanahan has taken the Redskins out of contention – not that he was ever asked by HBO in the first place. The Redskins’ website writes that Shanahan said “the show’s producers have not approached him about filming the Redskins this season”.

That leaves the three other teams in the NFC East.

Just as a brief reminder, the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles ranked first, second and fourth respectively in total attendance last year. In terms of local media market size, the same three teams are also all in the top five in the nation (1. New York, 4. Philadelphia, 5. Dallas-Ft. Worth). Any of these three teams would bring a larger captive audience to HBO than most of the previously discussed teams would, and each have a storyline that could be mined without much effort:

  • The Giants are fresh off their Super Bowl run, and face long odds as they try to become the first team since the 03/04 Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl winners. Add a little drama with Herzlich’s story, Umenyiora’s never-ending contract story or a cross-division Twitter feud and you should be ready to roll.
  • The Eagles, one year and a backup QB removed from the “Dream Team” moniker, are poised to make a push all the way to the top this year. They’ve got the still very polarizing Michael Vick (in TV, polarizing is always good) as a good story,  and we’d get a chance to see Jimmy on TV lurking somewhere in the background in shorts.
  • The Cowboys were featured on the show twice before, in 2002 and 2008. The Cowboys would draw a large audience simply based on who they are, and despite Garrett’s effort to establish a very business-like environment, if Jerry Jones shows up it’s bound to be entertaining, for fans and others alike.

Of the three teams, which would you prefer to be featured on Hard Knocks?


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  5. NYG_slater says:

    John Mara on the Giants possibly doing Hard Knocks:

    ““That announcement will come,” he said, “when I’m next to my father in Gates of Heaven cemetery.””

  6. No Salsa says:

    Votes are in on ESPN ,Cowboys still the most popular team & u guys complain about who should be America”s Team?

    1. deg0ey says:

      I think most people complain because there isn’t just one “America’s Team”. It’s a ridiculous designation for a team to have, especially since they just decided to claim it for themselves.

    2. I look at “America’s Team” the same way I look at “America’s Choice” cookies, which are the generic cookie brand that Wal Mart sells. Here are their crappy “Awesome O’s” knockoff of Oreos:

      WalMart can call their brand “America’s Choice” all they want, the same way Dallas can call themselves “America’s Team.” For all I know, “America’s Choice” cookies may even sell pretty well, but it doesn’t make them good.

  7. Tracer Bullet says:

    I’d like to follow the ongoing exploits of Howard Mudd: Pussy Monster, but it would be fascinating to watch Washington as their shiny new star QB learns to play in the NFL.

  8. Imp says:

    Teams who appear on Hard Knocks tend to have bad/disappointing seasons. So, Giants.

    1. Trueblue63 says:

      It’s funny thinking about Tom Coughlin doing it. I think he’d start fining the film crew.

  9. whiskey Bill says:

    Wait I thought the Falcons were doing it, when did they turn Hard Knocks down? I would love to see the Eagles do it if nothing more than to see the way they run things a little more in depth but I don’t see Andy ever letting the cameras in. It would be worth it just to see how many times that have to bleep out Washburn.

  10. Uda says:

    I really dont see any of those three teams saying yes to it though, maybe the Cowboys.

  11. Anders says:

    I want to see the Eagles because of Jim Washburn and his endless use of slurs.

  12. Keith Petres says:

    Please not the Eagles. After Vince Young’s otherwise harmless attempt at optimism got turned into a cheap and painful byline for the entire year, a quiet year would be a good year.

    In terms of good shows though, probably the Cowboys, but since they’ve done it twice maybe the Redskins. It would be fun to learn more about Dan Snyder’s influence on how the team is run. My sense, and even “the” sense, is that he micromanages to a painful extent, but maybe he only gets over-involved on the big free agent signings? Dunno, don’t follow the Skins.

    1. D3Keith says:

      Yeah I think the Eagles would be good for the show, but they can’t afford to have any sideshow this year. Nope, or as Darryl Tapp might say, Hell Naw!

      Giants, surprisingly for a champion, just aren’t that interesting. Eli leading them back in the fourth quarter is, but besides their players suffering injuries and Osi bitching about his contract, nothing actually happens with the Giants until the games start.

      I voted for them, of course, because I think the show is no help at all, and they need all the problems we can give them.

      The Cowboys would be a circus, but I think they’re in the Eagles’ boat. Too much at stake this year to have the sideshow.

      So sorry, we’ll pass.

      I wish the Redskins would do it.

  13. Trueblue63 says:

    Hard Knocks seems antithetical to Coughlin/Reese.

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