Hard Knock Life Goals

Reasons I was crestfallen when news broke Wednesday that the Jets wouldn’t be returning to Hard Knocks*, HBO’s behind-the-scenes look at an NFL training camp:

  1. Hayden Smith.
  2. Antonio Cromartie’s chance at redemption.
  3. Goddamn snacks.
  4. Tim Tebow lecturing Mark Sanchez on the moral/legal hazards of sexual assault.

*This sentence from the article absolutely slays me: The Jacksonville Jaguars, ranked last in the latest Harris Interactive Poll for league popularity, have told HBO they would love to do the show.

Mostly, I wanted to see Tebow.  When No. 15 was relegated to the trading block last month, I prayed for the Browns to swoop in and acquire him, if only because it made them that much more compelling—and compelling teams ended up on Hard Knocks.  Can you imagine the storylines?  Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy argue about who’s more Christian.  Montario Hardesty seeks Tim Tebow’s healing touch to revive chronically injured body.  Tim Tebow addresses Mike Holmgren about a closeted drinking problem.  It’d be the funnest [sic] 5-11 season of all-time.

Which begs the question: What would it take for HBO to broadcast this group’s summer practices on national television?  The answer: Quite a bit!  Hard Knocks is attainable, though, if the following steps are taken.

Hire Bobby Petrino

Petrino’s reclamation project would be fascinating TV, and where better for it to play out than Cleveland?  For the sake of the narrative, he’ll be divorced by the time training camp rolls around.  The adjustment from Arkansas head coach to Browns assistant (in all seriousness, I wouldn’t mind seeing him replace Mark Whipple) will have taken its toll, and cause Petrino to habitually break down for the cameras, tearfully citing “the emotional burden” his transgressions begot.  Add in something cheesy about the culture shock of relocating from the bucolic South to the industrious Midwest and you have yourself an Emmy award.

If the producers are hard-pressed for material, they can include a poignant scene or two of Petrino keeping a journal complete with an overdubbed narration.  Eventually, the entries can be compiled into a memoir—think an X’s and O’s version of Bill Clinton’s My Life.

Start Promoting Dan Gronkowski

Did you know the Browns employ one of Rob Gronkowski’s brothers?  Wouldn’t you like to see a camera crew tailing him after curfew as he gallivants around Cleveland?  “Late Nights With Dan Gronkowski” would be a hit with the viewers, and no creativity would be necessary—just show Dan doing things that his brother has already done.  Things like raging to LMFAO’s “Shots” in a walking boot, posing for a photo with adult film luminary Bibi Jones, and getting cozy with cats.  In the penultimate episode, “Late Nights” would culminate in a heart-to-heart exchange between Dan and a fretful Pat Shurmur, who empathizes with the tight end by recounting a cautionary tale from his hard-partying youth.

Play up the Frostee Rucker-Kourtney Kardashian Connection

An excerpt from Kourtney Kardashian’s blog, circa May 2009:

My friend Frostee Rucker plays football for the Cincinnati Bengals, so of course he showed us around his city. He’s the one who taught me about “Nasty Nati”.  He took us to a club called Blackfin Suite! This is where we got a little crazy! After that, we opened up a bar that was closed! Frostee knows the owners, so we were the only ones inside. Now this is where things get extra fun…Courtney and I went to White Castle for the first time ever! We absolutely loved it…ate two cheeseburgers each while sitting in bed talking!

Cincinnati we love you, we will be back…football20season maybe?

They got a little crazy!

How gentlemanly of Frostee to educate Ms. Kardashian on the finer points of the “Nasty ‘Nati”.  Since the Snowman plays in Cleveland now, it’d only be right of him to summon Kourtney to training camp for a nuanced look at the “Naughty North Coast”.  This would only be the most captivating fifteen minutes of TV ever—definitely more exciting than any quarter the Browns will play in 2012.


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