The Arizona Cardinals should be on the HBO series 'Hard Knocks'
Published: May 26, 2011 @ 10:22am
Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald, left, talks to injured wide reciever Steve Breaston, right, on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, in Seattle. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 22-10.
It was reported last week the Tampa Bay Bucs turned down the opportunity to appear on the popular HBO series "Hard Knocks." The Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons have also already said thanks, but no thanks.
It got me thinking … why not the Arizona Cardinals?
I went to thinking and started going over the pros and cons from a general NFL fan's perspective, coming to the conclusion that the Cardinals would be great for the show and it would be great for the Cardinals.
Here is a list of things I came up with that would benefit the Cardinals being the featured team on "Hard Knocks."
This is the easiest pro of them all. The team would be seen by a completely different audience. Obviously it would be football fans, but it would be fans of other teams or fans that just like the game in general and don't have a team to follow. Sports are and have been the best reality television there has ever been. Taking it one step further and turning your training camp into a show gives the general public access unseen before.
A camera crew making their way to Flagstaff, Ariz. would turn a couple of unknown Cardinals into stars. Their personalities would be highlighted. Guys on the team that are very entertaining in everyday life, we just never get to see it because we only see them on a football field. The first name that comes to mind is Steve Breaston. The soft-spoken, never in the bright lights wide receiver is a very interesting and unique individual when he takes the shoulder pads off. "Hard Knocks" would expose that in a good way.
Seeing players as humans
"Hard Knocks" makes players look human. There are two things I remember the most about the New York Jets from last season's episodes.
First, Mark Sanchez being a class clown. I don't care if he's the quarterback. The guy is a jokester/prankster and has a good time. He also takes his job seriously. HBO was fair and showed both sides of him.
Second, their special teams coach, Mike Westhoff. The guy was built for reality TV. He held people accountable, said what was on his mind and always explained why he was doing something. Hilarious. (For the Cardinals this would be strength and conditioning coach John Lott. He would probably become a fan favorite throughout the league.)
Your own fanbase would have a connection with your team they never had before. Leading into the season "Hard Knocks" shows them what's going on, gets them talking more and has them excited about the possibility of "what if" as they try to get the miserable taste of a 5-11 record out of their mouth.
Coming off the lockout
This year, more than any other year, will be quite interesting as teams break for training camp. There were no organized team activities or rookie minicamps. The new quarterback will be basically blind as he walks into training camp. I don't see that as a bad thing. I think it would be fascinating to watch the progression through an entire training camp.
The rookies and new free agents won't have had the luxury of being around their teammates and coaches from the late spring and early summer.
From a fan's perspective though, this will be what they are looking for. Fans are -- and have been -- over the lockout. They are begging for football being seen and talked about on an actual football field.
There you have it.
Those are five reasons why the Cardinals organization should agree to be on "Hard Knocks" and tell the HBO producers, "we'll see you in the pines of Arizona. Hopefully it's by August 1."
What I learned this week…
I learned I'm not quite ready for a PGA golf course. Over the weekend I played Terra Lago North in Palm Springs, Calif. (home of the PGA Tour Skins game from 1999-2002) and I might be exaggerating a little, but not by much, when I say I went through a dozen golf balls on 18 holes. ... Who am I kidding, did I really need to go to Palm Springs to tell me I'm not ready for a PGA golf course? No. One of these days though, I'll be ready.
Tweet of the week…
Coach Spagnuolo & his staff led the Rams' front office staff through a "mock OTA" Wednesday
NFL teams are blowing their whistles at green grass these days. I think this should be SI's Sign of the Apocalypse for this week.
Suggestion of the week…
This made me laugh.