The NFL lockout ended July 25, 2011 without the work stoppage having a major impact on much of the NFL season. With the exception of the Hall of Fame Game on August 7th, even the NFL preseason has gone on without missing a beat.
Oh, except for one thing...we missed this season's installment of Hard Knocks. I don't watch reality television but Hard Knocks is absolute must-see TV.
Here are the five teams I would have wanted to see on Hard Knocks this season.
The Dallas Cowboys would make for another interesting series. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, owner Jerry Jones and new head coach Jason Garrett would make this watchable. However, the Cowboys have already been featured on Hard Knocks in both 2002 and 2008.
And since this is my wish list, I want something new.
As previously stated, the 2010 preseason with the New York Jets was must-see television. From the speeches and commentary of Rex Ryan, to watching the development of quarterback Mark Sanchez, to the drama of watching running back Danny Woodhead trying to earn a spot on the team, this series had it all.
But once again, I don’t want repeat performances. So thanks, but no thanks.
The Chicago Bears would make for a very interesting series.
I would like to see how the team really feels about Jay Cutler. Reserve quarterback Caleb Hanie came on in relief of Jay Cutler in last year's playoffs and played very well. Is he developing this season? Getting to watch Brian Urlacher and how he prepares for the season would have me glued to my television every week.
Add to the mix the brief holdout of running back Matt Forte and this is a series I would not miss.
I know, I know...who wants to see a series about a 4-12 team? But the constant coverage of the whole Kyle Orton/Tim Tebow quarterback controversy would make for good viewing.
John Fox is a quote-worthy coach who would be good for a few good lines and don't forget John Elway is now executive vice president of football operations. Elway's insight on the quarterback competition would be fun to watch. We wouldn't be guessing how the quarterbacks are playing; we would be watching it firsthand.
Veteran defensive backs Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins might also provide solid moments.
The Broncos would definitely be on my wish list.
The New England Patriots Hard Knocks would be an instant classic.
You have Bill Belichick, you have Albert Haynesworth, you have Chad Ochocinco—come on...how can you top this?
Adding Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen to this would make it quite possibly the greatest installment of Hard Knocks of all time.
The Philadelphia Eagles would be another series that would have it all. After going 10-6 in 2010, and losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, the Eagles have done anything but stand pat.
First they traded Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, establishing that Michael Vick is now unquestionably the No. 1 quarterback. They have also signed wide receiver Steve Smith from the Giants and running back Ronnie Brown from the Dolphins.
The Eagles went on to sign cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year contract. They even signed quarterback Vince Young to a one-year contract.
Everything about the Philadelphia Eagles would make for a great series.
Watching the Hard Knocks Oakland Raiders installment would make for absolute must-see TV.
How do the Raiders respond to the loss of their All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha?
Don't forget this team went undefeated in its own division and yet failed to make the playoffs.
Head coach Tom Cable is gone. Is this team now under solid coaching? Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is now the head coach. Steve Wisniewski is now the offensive line coach and Rod Woodson is the new defensive backs coach.
How much involvement does owner Al Davis have in the day-to-day operations?
We might be watching the Hard Knocks Oakland Raiders in sheer horror through our hands.
But we'd definitely be watching.