HBO Hard Knocks: The Jaguars by Default?
By Daniel Lago
After being turned down by the Atlanta Falcons, HBO focused its efforts on acquiring the New York Jets for their popular series, “Hard Knocks.” News broke today however that the Jets have declined to be on the show, leaving the Jaguars as the only team (publicly) expressing interest to be on the program. It’s been fairly clear that if HBO had their way, the Jaguars would be pretty far down the list. Nonetheless, as their options dwindle, HBO is likely going to end up with the Jacksonville Jaguars as their 2012 subject.
Presumably, the reason HBO has such little interest in the Jaguars is because of the lack of national interest in the team and the lack of compelling storylines. The prior reason is quite frankly irrelevant. HBO previously featured both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals, with the Bengals season providing some of the highest ratings and glowing reviews. Regardless, HBO seems to steer towards more nationally prominent teams like the Cowboys (twice) and the Jets.
HBO likes fat guys with big mouths.
But let’s focus on the perceived lack of storylines for the Jaguars this offseason. The premise that any NFL team doesn’t have something interesting going on in the locker room is hard to believe. More so, the Jaguars have a multitude of compelling plotlines this offseason that should carry into the preseason and the regular season.
- A new owner getting his feet wet and learning the ins-and-outs of the NFL.
- A new coaching staff, led by Mike Mularkey trying to make the most of his second chance, integrating a new scheme with old players and some old coaches.
- A young quarterback, who’s been written off by 99% of the national media, trying to prove to the country that he can be successful and hold off a newly signed veteran QB.
- Unfortunately for Jaguar fans, a possible holdout/contract dispute between the team and the star running back – Maurice Jones-Drew.
- Also unfortunate for Jaguar fans, a contract dispute with the Jaguars’ designated franchise player, Josh Scobee.
- Two veterans near the end of their careers trying to come back from significant injuries in Rashean Mathis and Aaron Kampman.
- A former high draft pick who has been hampered by injuries trying to make the most of what might be his last chance to entrench himself as a starter in Eben Britton.
- A wide receivers coach who came out of retirement, Jerry Sullivan, trying to turn around easily the worst wide receiving corps in the league in 2011.
- A star defensive tackle, Terrance Knighton, trying to come back from a devastating eye injury while trying to keep his weight in check in his contract year.
- The obligatory undrafted rookie or two who pushes to make a roster spot.
Those are all the storylines I could concoct in ten minutes, so I find it hard to fathom that HBO couldn’t come up with numerous ideas.
The other question that has been raised is whether or not Jaguar fans should want the team on the HBO show. To be honest, why the hell not? As a Jaguar fan, I want to see as much as I can of the team. The idea that this would be a distraction and would tear the locker room apart is downright comical. It might hurt a mentally unstable team lacking leadership like the Jets, but the Jaguars’ locker room is full of high-character, team-first players.
Look at Paul Posluszny’s jawline. So much damn character.
Nonetheless, we at B&T love to know what the fans think, so cast your vote in the poll below.