Hard Knocks And The BucsFebruary 17th, 2017
We should know by the end of March if the Bucs will be on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this summer.
The Bucs, once again, are eligible to be the featured team. To be ineligible, a team must have appeared once in the past decade or have a first-year head coach, or have been in the playoffs once in the past two seasons.
For the few who don’t know, Hard Knocks is an NFL reality show produced by NFL Films that takes viewers behind the scenes during a training camp.
Of course, the constipated scaredy-cats and paranoid crowd will scream “distractions!” as if Hard Knocks is some sort of plague.
It would take one helluva sales job to convince Joe any “distraction” in August is going to hurt a team in December.
Joe has spoken to NFL coaches whose teams were featured on “Hard Knocks.” Joe was told after the second day, no one notices the NFL Films cameras. The second day!
Nearly half the teams featured on “Hard Knocks” made the playoffs that season. Here is the history:
2001: Baltimore (10-6) lost in divisional round.
2002: Dallas (5-11).
2004: Jacksonville (9-7).
2007: Kansas City (4-12).
2008: Dallas (9-7).
2009: Cincinnati (10-6) lost in wild card round.
2010: New York Jets (11-5) lost in AFC title game.
2012: Miami (7-9).
2013: Cincinnati (11-5) lost in wild card round.
2014: Atlanta (6-10).
2015: Houston (9-7) lost in wild card round.
2016: Los Angeles (4-12).
Given hose results, Team Glazer ought to be willing to cut HBO a check to get on “Hard Knocks.”
Anyway, Amy Parlapiano of SI.com listed her favorite teams for “Hard Knocks” this summer and at No. 2 she has the Bucs.
It is safe to say we will likely never have a Hard Knocks coach who will live up to Rex Ryan’s standout performance from a few years ago, and it is perhaps even safer to say that second-year coach Dirk Koetter will not be telling his team to “go eat a goddamn snack.” Still, last season’s Rams had Jeff Fisher at the helm, and he’s not exactly someone who brings words like “entertaining” and “hilarious” to mind, so Koetter would probably be fine. Like the Titans, the Bucs fell just short of the playoffs this year and appear to be a team on the rise. They have plenty of characters to hone in on, from their charismatic and polarizing star-in-the-making at QB to a major weapon in Mike Evans to a second-year pass rusher with his own troubled past in Noah Spence, to an under-the-radar but solid offensive guard Ali Marpet who breaks the mold in his own way. Plus—and yes, I realize what I’m about to do is make the case for a compelling storyline involving a kicker—they could devote a good amount of time to the trials and tribulations of second-round pick Roberto Aguayo, who will be seeking redemption after an awful rookie year.
Joe believes Parlapiano is overlooking a key storyline here and that is ageless Brent Grimes and his colorful, entertaining and engaging wife Miko. That’s almost a show in and of itself, if Miko were willing to participate.
Joe is almost convinced the team chosen will be the bungling Bears.
Why? The Bears have a massive audience. There’s a reason they are always on Monday Night Football. In TV, it isn’t about what’s right, it’s about eyeballs. There is nothing remotely compelling about the Bears but it doesn’t matter because their fanbase is so massive.
But Joe is still of the mind drama and personality sell, and that’s why the Bucs have a real shot at “Hard Knocks.”
Bring it on!