Ten Teams ‘Hard Knocks’ Was Made For

hard knocksHBO’s Hard Knocks, a reality show for preseason pro football teams, hasn’t reached its full potential. Why? Because they need cameras in every locker room of every team, every season, all season, edited and packaged for our viewing pleasure.

Rex Ryan cursing his way through the New York Jets’ camp this season is entertaining, and Chad Ochocinco raving about McDonald’s in Cincinnati last year was hilarious (and how funny would it have been to watch Terrel Owens jaw with Pacman Jones this season?). But think about every team that we haven’t seen that would’ve been worth it. That list would be huge, so here are ten memorable teams that likely would’ve made Hard Knocks even more popular than the games themselves.

Missing any? I’m certain we are. Write the team you would’ve loved to have seen on Hard Knocks in the comments.


2010 Washington Redskins

Every year at Redskins training camp is worthy of a reality show, but the filming of Albert Haynesworth’s multiple conditioning test failures would have sent ratings through the roof. Under no circumstance would the team allow something like that to be shot, but THAT is what reality television was made for.

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2005 New Orleans Saints

After two preseason games, Hurricane Katrina forced the Saints out of the city. The whole season would’ve been worth chronicling.

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2005 Minnesota Vikings

An alleged sex party occurred in Oct., 2005 on Lake Minnetonka with 17 members of the Vikings. Prostitutes were flown in for the party, and some of the players performed sexual acts in front of crew members. Forget HBO, this could have aired on the Playboy Channel.

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1995 Cowboys

Just imagine, Jerry Jones wandering around and Jimmy Johnson Barry Switzer barking instructions at Deon Sanders, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Nate Newton and Michael Irvin in the preseason before winning their third Super Bowl in four years.

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1986 New York Giants

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one year of Bill Parcells, and with Lawrence Taylor running wild and the Giants winning the Super Bowl, this would be a memorable Hard Knocks for sure.



1985 Chicago Bears

Mike Ditka. Mike Singletary. Walter Payton. William Perry. This team is often said to be the best ever. Not because of those guys, but because of the dude in the sunglasses, quarterback Jim McMahon.

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(Wiki Commons)


1982 Washington Redskins

The only thing that would make this boring is head coach Joe Gibbs, who wasn’t known for cursing or throwing temper tantrums. Watching a football team pray together isn’t must-see television. The Hogs, perhaps the best offensive line in history, could have had their own reality TV show, but this team also had John Riggins, Dexter Manley, and others who would’ve been a blast to watch (Art Monk not so much).

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1976 Oakland Raiders

Any year the Raiders would be worthy of Hard Knocks. But there was something special about them in the 1970s, special enough for HBO to make a documentary in 2003 called Rebels of Oakland: The A’s, the Raiders, the ’70s. We’ll pick 1976 for Hard Knocks because John Madden and company won the Super Bowl.


1974 Pittsburgh Steelers

Already stacked with “Mean” Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Coach Chuck Noll selected four Hall of Famers in 1974: Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster. Needless to say, this team won the Super Bowl, then three more.



1968 New York Jets

Joe Namath and company embark on a journey that leads them past Johnny Unitas in the Super Bowl.

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