‘Hard Knocks’ Tried (And Failed) To Take An Unconventional Approach To New Season

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In 2001, HBO offered NFL fans an unprecedented glimpse behind the curtain when the inaugural season of Hard Knocks chronicled the trials and tribulations the Baltimore Ravens dealt with over the course of training camp prior to the start of the regular season.

Since then, Hard Knocks has become a bit of a preseason tradition among fans who’ve understandably been drawn to the drama that stems from seeing franchises that are typically coming off of a rough year trying to firm up their roster and right the course before the action officially gets underway.

Of course, there are plenty of NFL teams that view being featured on Hard Knocks as a somewhat unnecessary distraction, and as things currently stand, there are three ways you can ensure you can avoid that unwanted attention, as teams are exempt if they have:

  • Been the subject of the show at some point in the past ten years
  • A first-year head coach
  • Reached the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons

This year, four franchises—the Jets, Bears, Saints, and Commanders—are eligible for Hard Knocks, and while HBO has apparently had trouble finding a team to agree to participate, it seems safe to assume their production crew will be heading to New York (or, more accurately, New Jersey) to cover the arrival of Aaron Rodgers (teams have no ability to veto the final decision).

However, according to The Detriot News, HBO and NFL Films apparently considered an alternative approach, as the outlet reports it reached out to the Lions in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to convince the team to return for a second consecutive season.

Dan Campbell and his equally loveable crew of misfits provided viewers with plenty of entertainment after Hard Knocks descended upon their training camp in 2022, but they apparently decided having the show return would be more trouble than it’s worth.

At least we (unofficially) have Rodgers and the Jets to look forward to.

Connor Toole avatar and headshot for BroBible
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.