Are the New York Giants a target for HBO's Hard Knocks? The NFL has made a commitment to HBO's preseason show Hard Knocks guaranteeing future seasons and episodes.
The end of the 2011 season HBO and the NFL could not find any team that was willing to commit to recording. That year HBO put together a best of season that was not well received.
The NFL stated If no team volunteers one will be chosen. Here are the excluding criteria.
1. Teams that have appeared on Hard Knocks in the last 10 years.
2. Teams with new head coaches.
3. Teams that have made the playoffs in either of the last two years.
Based on that criteria 2014 season leaves us with the following 8 potential teams. Giants, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams.
Giants co-owner John Mara previously had a strong opinion if the Giants will participate Hard Knocks when asked by Mike Lupica.
"That announcement will come," he said, "when I'm next to my father in Gates of Heaven cemetery."
Mara re-addressed the issue this past October after the NFL's vote and final statement.
"I voted against the resolution," he said Tuesday. "I have nothing against the show. It may not be for us, but I understand why teams would want to appear on it. I just think that participation should be voluntary, not compulsory."
So the question is why the Giants? Heading into camp this year there are many questions and lots of drama surrounding our boys in Blue, and television loves the drama.
We start off with Kevin Gilbride's retirement/firing however you want to call it. And enter new offensive coach Ben Mcado and his explosive Green Bay Packers offense.
Manning is coming off a second season which he played poorly. During his last game he suffered a minor injury. This injury forced surgery late in the off-season causing him to miss valuable time and possibly the whole preseason.
Manning's injury led the Giants to pick up quarterback Josh Freeman. And it looks like the Giants will hold four QBs for a bit, unless Nassib gets traded Thursday.
There are the story lines about Tom Coughlin and whether this will be his last season stalking the sidelines. About Jerry Reese and how his back is against the wall heading into this season, and seeing his draft picks and free agent acquisitions under the HBO microscope may make for good TV as well. There is the turnover the roster has undergone this off season, and considering the Giants recent Super Bowls and more recent struggles, seeing how a future Hall of Famer like Coughlin goes about bringing this new group together through the dog days of camp would be captivating TV as well.
And then there is the reason why the Giants will probably get the nod from the NFL to appear on Hard Knocks. They don't want to be on it. The Giants have voiced loud for all to hear they want nothing to do with Hard Knocks, not that there is anything wrong with being on it, just not for us. Well, the ball is in the NFL's hands now and I got a funny feeling, the NFL will find a way to get one of the NFL's most storied and successful franchises under the spotlight of a scolding hot sun all summer long.