The year is 2010. Head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez are entering their second year with the New York Jets. The team is coming off an appearance in the AFC Championship Game. A few veterans such as Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson were added to the mix to help get the Jets over the hump and into the Super Bowl after coming so close the year before. Darrelle Revis begins his contract holdout. And HBO was there to capture all the moments in training camp.
“Let’s go eat a (expletive) snack!” you hear Ryan shout as the team prepares for the upcoming season. And let’s not forget Antonio Cromartie failing to name all nine of his children.
The 2010 season of Hard Knocks sure was an interesting one for fans of the show and the Jets. Could an encore be coming in 2023?
It’s actually a better chance than you might think. Mathematically, the Jets have a 25% chance of being featured on what will be the 20th season of the hit HBO presentation and the 18th training camp edition.
Four teams are eligible to appear this summer. The NFL has three sets of criteria to determine which teams can be chosen to appear on the show: 1) if a team has appeared on the show in the past ten years, 2) if a team has a first-year head coach and 3) if a team has reached the playoffs within the previous two seasons.
In regards to the Jets, they check all three boxes to become eligible to be selected.
No appearance in past ten seasons – Check (last appearance was 13 years ago)
Coach not in first year – Check (Robert Saleh entering Year 3)
No playoff appearance in previous two seasons – Check (last playoff appearance in 2010)
The other three teams that are eligible to be selected are the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Washington Commanders. Of the four, only the Jets have appeared on the show before.
If the Jets land a veteran quarterback and create a camp competition for Zach Wilson, maybe HBO will look to follow that this summer. The show would also get a look at a team that just seems desperate to make the playoffs for the first time since, ironically enough, their previous Hard Knocks appearance. Maybe being selected will bring them good luck.