'Hard Knocks 2012': Top 5 Remaining Front-Runners for HBO Reality Show
HBO never thought it would be so difficult to find a suitor for its hit NFL reality show "Hard Knocks," but the clock is ticking and a decision needs to be made.
The network must make a splash since its famed series was cancelled in 2011 due to the NFL lockout.
Whether it's a team that is trying to repair their image or create an identity, "Hard Knocks" is the place to do it.
With the New York Jets recently declining, HBO now has to turn elsewhere to feed hungry NFL fans in the offseason.
Regardless of which team takes the spotlight, NFL fans will devour the coverage as the following teams should strongly consider being showcased.
The Extra Point: Indianapolis and Washington Should Politely Decline
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With so much ballyhoo surrounding the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins this offseason because of their highly-touted draft picks, both teams should avoid "Hard Knocks" for now.
The Colts' Andrew Luck and the Redskins' Robert Griffin III need to get acclimated to their new franchises and the speed of the NFL game before HBO steps in to document their every move.
Besides, their every move will be broadcast to the world anyway. Every NFL fan will be well aware of every huddle, pass, run and sneeze these two men make this offseason.
Not to say that these teams aren't strong contenders for the show in a few years, but let's give them time to grow.
The Houston Texans Want to Prove They Are the Biggest Thing in the State
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The Houston Texans got over the hump in 2011 by making their first playoff appearance in franchise history.
In 2012, they should want to be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
This is a team that will have to prove that they belong in the NFL's elite this upcoming season, and there's no better way to gain momentum than taking in the reality show.
The Texans have a dangerous defense and potent offense, which is the exact recipe for success in the NFL.
The franchise would show its aggressiveness by convincing HBO that it's what the fans want and the network needs.
Tampa Bay Would Continue Their Monster Offseason by Capturing 'Hard Knocks'
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had the best offseason of any NFL team this year.
With the hiring of new head coach Greg Schiano, the key signings of free agents Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright and two first-round draft picks in safety Mark Barron and running back Doug Martin, the Bucs made a statement to the league that they mean business.
Schiano's best move was signing Eric LeGrand, his former player while coaching at Rutgers University who was paralyzed while playing. This classy move gained Schiano and the Bucs instant respect in the NFL community.
Now the team could continue to make a great image for themselves by becoming the focus of the league on "Hard Knocks."
The Cincinnati Bengals Would Create a New Identity for Themselves
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The Cincinnati Bengals surprised all with their winning 2011 season.
A 9-7 record and a playoff appearance left the NFL world wondering, Who dey?
The Bengals had a great 2012 NFL draft as the future looks bright in the Queen City, but the expectations are massive for this young team.
Once known as the team most likely to get into trouble with the law, the Bengals would greatly benefit from a season on "Hard Knocks" because they need the positive press.
The excitement for the Bengals in 2012 would be through the roof if they landed the show. The fans would bask in the limelight.
The organization looks to take a stronghold in the tough AFC North and would send a message to their foes.
The San Francisco 49ers Exude the Toughness HBO Desires
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There is no defense feared more in the NFL than the San Francisco 49ers.
Thanks to head coach Jim Harbaugh and the new attitude he brought to the 49ers in 2011, this team is meant to be on "Hard Knocks."
Falling just shy of the Super Bowl last season, the Niners are on a mission in 2012, and the rest of the NFL has been sent a warning that the Niners are coming.
A go-round on the HBO reality show would only strike fear into opponents as the Niners continue to create a winning culture.
An added bonus: The always entertaining Randy Moss will be there.
Somehow Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys Will Steal the Show
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Love them or hate them, there's something attractive about the Dallas Cowboys.
It's their owner Jerry Jones, who will stop at nothing to ensure that his team is the focal point for all the attention.
By making strong moves in the offseason, Jones set his 'Boys up for success in the near future.
The Cowboys already get gobs of media attention, but fans just can't seem to get enough.
A highly criticized quarterback in Tony Romo, two new shutdown cornerbacks and cheerleaders, what more do fans need?
What is exactly is HBO waiting for? The Cowboys should be the leading candidate for the latest version of "Hard Knocks."