We are two weeks out from the premiere of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” This year, the critically acclaimed TV show follows the Cincinnati Bengals for five weeks, from the start of training camp until the team is cut down to its final 52-man roster. It’s the second time the Bengals will be on the series; their first appearance was in 2009.
HBO just released a teaser to prepare you for the premiere:
For football fans, “Hard Knocks” is best way to get an inside look into how an NFL training camp is run. For many NFL franchises, letting an NFL films camera crew into their facilities doesn’t factor into a winning formula.
Last year, J.J.Watt told media that watching the Miami Dolphins on “Hard Knocks” allowed him to pick up quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s snapcount. This only reinforced the views of many paranoid coaches that a camera crew not only distracts players, but also gives opponents extra game film to study.
The Bengals don’t see the series in this negative light at all. Owner Mike Brown sees the show as powerful public relations tool:
“We sometimes are portrayed as almost villainous,” Brown said. “The players are sometimes thought to be selfish or even criminal. I’m going to the far end of the spectrum there, but we get some very difficult criticism.”
“I’d like to think we aren’t that way. It isn’t that we’re anything so special, but we’re just ordinary folks, if you will. If people would come and look, I think that’s what they would see. I think for the most part that’s what they did see. We surprised people a little bit.”
Hard Knocks isn’t really about football, it’s about the interactions between people on an NFL team. You don’t even have to understand football to enjoy it, and that’s why the show is so valuable to a team like the Bengals. Anybody from a teenage boy to an elderly grandmother can be hooked in by the storylines of training camp and become a Bengals fan.
Here’s another teaser, this time with more Bengal tiger: