Three of the four potential Hard Knocks teams don’t want to do it; what’s next?
Under the NFL’s three-factor formula for determining the universe of teams that can be forced to do Hard Knocks, this year there are four. And three of them have said they don’t want to do it.
The Bears (via chairman George McCaskey), the Saints (via coach Dennis Allen), and the Jets (via coach Robert Saleh) have made clear their lack of interest in the assignment. That leaves the Commanders as the only team that has not publicly said no.
The NFL could tell the Bears, Saints, or Jets “tough crap.” That extra layer of intrigue could actually make the show better. Reality shows typically feature people who want to do it. The inherent tension from having a team forced against its will to do it could be spicy.
The easiest course would be to give the gig to the Commanders. But how could the league (which ultimately runs the show) properly fashion the story of the team without fully delving into the Daniel Snyder angle? If NFL Films tells the truth about the sale of the team, it makes the league bad. If NFL Films brushes any of it under the rug, folks like us will call the league out.
The best option would be the Jets. The Jets would generate the highest ratings, and perhaps win the most Emmys for HBO and NFL Films. Maybe there’s something the Jets would want in exchange for doing it. Maybe another year or two of hosting the Black Friday game, or something else.
Deals like that are how the sausage gets made -- the kind of raw reality that would never make it into a reality show.