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New York Giants May Be Forced to Appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2014

January 19th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants co-owner John Mara is not, nor ever has been a fan of the HBO reality series "Hard Knocks" which features NFL teams during training camp. In fact, back in 2010, Mara went as far as to say the Giants would appear on the show over his dead body.

"That announcement [to appear on Hard Knocks] will come when I'm next to my father in Gates of Heaven cemetery," Mara said.

At the time, appearing on Hard Knocks was entirely optional, so Mara was able to choose whether or not the Giants ever appeared. However, that all changed in October of 2013 when NFL owners passed a resolution forcing teams to appear on the show if and when there are no volunteers.

“I voted against the resolution,” Mara said at the time. “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.”

In addition to passing the aforementioned resolution, NFL owners also set a series of guidelines that would help determine which team appears in the event there are no volunteers. And it's those very guidelines that may doom Mara and the New York Giants in 2014.

The rules/guidelines that dictate which teams are eligible to be selected are as follows:

  • The team doesn’t have a new head coach.
  • The team didn’t make the playoffs in either of the previous 2 seasons.
  • The team didn’t appear on Hard Knocks in the last 10 years.

Based on those guidelines/rules, it narrows the field down to eight eligible teams for 2014. Those teams include:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Chicago Bears
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • New York Giants
  • Oakland Raiders
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • St. Louis Rams

Potentially narrowing the field down even further, the Jaguars did appear on an HBO special entitled "Inside the Training Camp: Jaguars Summer" that aired in 2004. Although not Hard Knocks, it was a very similar brand of show within the 10-year window and one that may eliminate Jacksonville from consideration.

Meanwhile, teams that have previously appeared on Hard Knocks include the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys (twice), Cincinnati Bengals (twice), Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

In the event the Giants are selected (and that would be a foolish decision by NFL owners), you can expect John Mara to fight it. He views the show — and perhaps rightfully so — as nothing more than a distraction. It adds no value to the product put on the field each Sunday and does little more than sidetrack young players.

Even defensive end Justin Tuck was not happy with the owners' decision to force a team to appear in the event there were no volunteers.

“The NFL is trippin’,” Tuck said in October. “How are they going to pass a rule to force you to be on Hard Knocks?”

Photo credit: Darryl Kenyon / / CC BY-NC-ND


Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Football, John Mara, Justin Tuck, Miami, Miami Dolphins, New York, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL

2 Responses to “New York Giants May Be Forced to Appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2014”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Dan – My point about TT is his comeback was extremely unlikely. Maybe it’s more mental than physical but for whatever reason only TT and thomas Davis have returned for 3 ACLs. And for that he definitely deserved comeback layer of the year he just wasn’t high profile enough to win. That doesn’t in anyway change just how great his comeback was. I’m happy he proved me and many others wrong.

    The NFL network just did a segment saying it was unlikely Nicks returns. This most of us already figured. But what they added is that Nicks had been fined several times for things like being late to meetings and missing treatments. They were basically saying Nicks was a Giant distraction this year. Our discussion about Nicks has always centered on his play, healthy and just how important he is to keep. But this if true adds a different view to the whole situations and if true makes it nearly impossible to keep him no matter his numbers or health. Not being professional is a deal breaker. I hope it’s not true because I like Nicks but it makes sense with his performance on the field.

    Being on Hard Knocks might be a good thing. It will put proper scrutiny on some roster decisions we might question. I think at this juncture it might be the right time just as we are trying to rebuild on the fly and no longer have so many positions and starting slots locked in.

    •  rlhjr says:

      Hard knocks can poetically jack up the popularity of any team appearing.
      It’s an unprecedented into NFL life. Many think of the Giants as the “Big Blue Conservative Crew” I.E. Boring as hell. It wouldn’t hurt to hype this team just a bit.
      Perhaps Eli does curse???? LOL. Bring it on, couldn’t hurt.

      I knew there had to be some explanation for Nicks. A big fast athletic tight end who can play inside and outside (Graham like) is the answer for Nicks. Cruz, Jernigan and Randle will be just fine. With more of a west coast flair, a premium will be placed on getting playmakers the ball in space.

      A hybrid TE will more than take the place of Nicks. The only caveat is the guy must be strong enough to me more than an after thought to DE’s and LB’s in pass and run blocking. He has to be able and willing to get in the way. That said, all the Giants skill position players must be thrilled (ESP Jernigan) at the prospect of having opportunities to get the ball in position to do damage. Cruz can be particularly dangerous in such an environment because his is both quick and fast.

      That goes for Brown and if healthy Wilson too. If Eli can be trained to deliver the crisp short throw with the same aplomb he does deep balls this offense might be hot to the touch. However, the pink elephant is the offensive line which is composed of PINK and not much else outside of Pugh.

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