The Chances That The Giants Will Appear On “Hard Knocks” Next Year Just Skyrocketed
Word has come down from Emperor Goodell that if no team volunteers to invite HBO's "Hard Knocks" into their training camps/living rooms next year, the NFL will simply assign the honor to a team of their choosing. You might remember Goodell was disappointed that only the Cincinnati Bengals were willing to be filmed this year and said that the show should be a "shared obligation."
There are a few exceptions to this new rule. You can say no to "Hard Knocks" in 2014 if:
-If you've been on the show in the last 10 years (removing the Bengals, Dolphins, Jets, Cowboys and Chiefs).
-You have a new coach -- though don't tell Joe Philbin that (likely removing the Bucs and possibly the Panthers).
-You've made the playoffs in the last two years (removing the Broncos, Ravens, Vikings, Texans, Packers, Colts, Washingtons, Seahawks, Falcons, Patriots and 49ers -- and, depending on how this year plays out, possibly the Chiefs, Saints and either the Cowboys or Eagles).
So the NFL wants a team that kind of sucks, but doesn't suck bad enough as to need a new coach. What will the options be for 2014? Only a few teams will fit the bill that we can say, with some certainty, won't fire the head coach if they miss the playoffs: the Giants, Steelers, Bears, Cardinals and Chargers.
While any of these teams would be fun to watch (how is Marc Trestman dealing with Jay Cutler? Does Mike McCoy want to murder Philip Rivers? Also, Carson Palmer is responsible for the best "Hard Knocks" moment ever), our money is on the Giants, purely for the fact that it would drive Tom Coughlin absolutely insane. Also, they'll have a pretty compelling story.
If there's anything the 2014 Giants don't need, it's distractions, or the possibility that a cameraman will show up on time to a team meeting only to be told that on time in five minutes late in Tom Coughlin's world. The team will likely be undergoing a massive overhaul since they suck so horribly this year, but you can count on a few winning personalities staying put, such as Antrel Rolle and, um, Eli Manning, I guess. Fingers crossed that Brandon Jacobs sticks around as well.
In any case, 2014 should provide the best year of "Hard Knocks" yet, as a team that likely does not want or need to be recorded will be, in fact, recorded and broadcast to millions. Unless somebody volunteers. Then this is all moot.
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