It’s no secret that the HBO reality series Hard Knocks is one of my favorite shows on TV, and after going a full year without it due to the lockout last season, I was greatly looking forward to the newest edition for the upcoming season. According to sources, however, it looks like the show is having trouble finding a team willing to participate. Pro Football Talk is reporting that HBO has set a deadline of June 1 for finding a team, and that some teams may be hesitant to participate after the bounty scandal in New Orleans and, more specifically, the leaked audio tape of Gregg Williams that ignited the whole investigation.
Teams are concerned that they will find themselves in the same situation if a group is there recording them every step of the way throughout the preseason, and I can’t say I blame them. As much as I love the show, I certainly wouldn’t let an outside film crew to have an all-access pass to my team knowing that Williams and the Saints are in their precarious position for the exact same reason. The article at PFT talks about the partnership between HBO and NFL Films, and how teams have had the option of reviewing episodes before they go an air, but I don’t think that’s the issue. As a coach or executive of a franchise, I would be more concerned about a crew member recording something they shouldn’t and either selling it to the highest bidder or using it to further their career through notoriety. In this media age, it seems almost foolish to give a group of people access to you regardless of whether you have something to hide or not.
I’m not saying that I don’t want the show to come back, but I will say that if HBO can’t find a team I will understand why. The deadline is a week away, so we will know something for sure very soon.