NFL Rumors: Why a New York Jets Appearance on 'Hard Knocks' Must Happen
The New York Jets are reportedly among the finalists for this year's edition of the HBO documentary series "Hard Knocks", according to The New York Daily News. The show tracks the trials and tribulations of an NFL team as they make their way through training camp and the preseason.
There is apparently some dissent among Jets' brass as to whether appearing on the show, as they did in 2010, would be in the best interests of the team, but it would certainly be in the best interests of television viewers everywhere.
However, The New York Daily News reports that HBO is considering asking the Jets to participate, and while Jets owner Woody Johnson has expressed some interest in reprising the team's role on the show head coach Rex Ryan has reservations about a re-do.
“At that time (2010), I thought ‘Hard Knocks’ was good for us. We had nothing to hide,” said Ryan. “We were going to be ourselves, and I think it portrayed us pretty good. I don't know about all that right now.”
It's understandable that Ryan may have misgivings about the Jets once again going under the spotlight. The team struggled through an 8-8 season in 2011 that was filled with distraction and dissension in the locker room, and the recent acquisition of quarterback Tim Tebow by Gang Green has created a firestorm of controversy in the Big Apple.
With that said, Ryan needs to look at the big picture, and for the sake of the greater good put aside his concerns and get behind the Jets appearing on the show. There are a number of reasons why the New York Jets being featured on Hard Knocks in 2012 could make for the greatest few hours of television in the history of the NFL.
The first reason is of course Tim Tebow. The wildly popular and equally inaccurate quarterback would undoubtedly be a huge ratings draw due both to his legions of adoring fans, and the equally large and boisterous horde of his detractors.
Imagine this if you will. Tebow, as the Jets backup quarterback, will almost certainly see more action in preseason games than starter Mark Sanchez. Suppose Tebow plays well in those games and his passing skills appear to improve.
A front row seat for a burgeoning quarterback controversy for the Jets would be fascinating. How would Ryan handle increased pressure from the media and fans to name Tebow the starter? Would Mark Sanchez crumble under the pressure? Who shot J.R.?
Sorry, I got carried away for a second.
The interaction between Ryan and his newest signal-caller would undoubtedly be intriguing as well. One of the more interesting aspects of the Jets' first appearance on the show was Ryan's rather colorful use of the English language, and the notion of watching Ryan hurl f-bombs in a team meeting as the straight-laced Tebow winces uncomfortably is morbidly hilarious.
Never mind that cornerback Antonio Cromartie now has another kid whose name he must remember, or that Jets legend Joe Namath would inevitably make a cameo appearance to say something controversial if for no other reason than to stay relevant.
That's just icing on the cake.
As I said, it's possible that an appearance on the show could bring out the worst in some players as it has with approximately 100 percent of reality TV stars, and the last thing the Jets need is more controversy and distraction off the field.
Should the New York Jets Appear on "Hard Knocks"?
However, it's also possible that the bright lights of HBO could keep the players in line and unify the team. The last time the Jets appeared on "Hard Knocks," they did advance to the AFC Championship game.
OK, probably not, but I'm thinking like a television executive here. We have to spin this people!
HBO reportedly wants to have a team in place for this year's edition of "Hard Knocks" by the end of May, and for the sake of both the network and cable subscribers everywhere that team should be the New York Jets.
If it is, you can bet my DVR will be set. Yours should be too, because we could be in store for television history.
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