(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?