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Why Did The Cleveland Browns Turn Down The Opportunity To Appear On HBO’s “Hard Knocks”?

Submitted by on June 13, 2014 – 9:00 amOne Comment
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Every year, a different NFL team agrees to be a subject on HBO‘s reality TV show, Hard Knocks. The show, which has been around for about a decade now, shines a light on what it’s like to be in training camp with a particular team and does a lot to promote lesser-known guys within NFL organizations and show NFL fans how things work during training camps. So this year, we were really, really, really hoping that the Cleveland Browns would agree to appear on the show. They just drafted Johnny Manziel, who would probably love the idea of appearing on an HBO show, and they’re a team that could potentially be on the up-and-up next season. So it would have been great to see them shine this summer.

Unfortunately, though, we’re not going to get to see them on Hard Knocks because the Browns turned down the opportunity to be on the show. Because they have a first-year head coach in Mike Pettine this season, they were allowed to turn HBO down (it’s part of an agreement that the NFL has with teams) and they took full advantage of that by telling HBO to take a hike. But was that really a good idea? Shouldn’t they have used this summer to show people what the Browns are really all about?

We think it would have been great for them to appear on Hard Knocks. For starters, the Browns training camp is going to be a circus this summer anyway, due to the presence of Manziel, and there are going to be 101 distractions that come up during their camp. So what’s one more? Additionally, now is the time to capitalize off of having Manziel on the Browns’ roster. Appearing on Hard Knocks would get more people interested in the Browns and, as a result, get more people to buy Browns merchandise, specifically Manziel jerseys. There’s no guarantee that that will be the case again next summer if Manziel struggles in his first season. And finally, Hard Knocks would give the Browns a chance to show that they are legit contenders in the AFC this season. Whether they are or not, the show would make people pay attention to them and demonstrate what they are going to be able to do on the football field.

So with all of that in mind, we think the Browns made a mistake here. They should have said yes to HBO and they should have allowed the Hard Knocks crew to set up shop at their training camp this summer. Oh well. Maybe next summer?

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