It appears “Hard Knocks” avoidance season has officially begun. Our first contestant: the Detroit Lions.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn made no small effort to indicate that their team wants no part of the popular HBO show in comments to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. They even went so far as to find another team to pass the buck onto: the Oakland Raiders.
The Lions really, really don’t want to be on ‘Hard Knocks’
Patricia’s thoughts on “Hard Knocks,” via ESPN:
“I think Jon Gruden is an excellent choice for that show,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said. “I think the Oakland Raiders and everything they’ve got going on right now would be fantastic viewing for everybody to watch.”
Patricia, then asked if appearing on the show would be like a weeks-long dentist visits for root canals, briefly sighed before saying: “Yeah,” and that “I definitely think I would get a lot of phone calls from my mom at night if that show was on.”
The Lions noted that they have actually had a member of their scouting department watch the show and try to pick up schemes and formations when an opponent was featured. While that’s a good point and one of the obvious reasons to avoid “Hard Knocks,” you could wonder if they’re just hanging a big sign that says “what goes around comes around” as the NFL makes its decision.
And, again, they really think that “Hard Knocks” should feature the Raiders.
“So, it’s real. Is it going to be a matter of a win and loss, I’m not sure,” Quinn said. “But we take the stuff that we do behind our doors pretty privately and pretty securely so that’s something that is definitely a factor.”
Quinn later said “nobody wants to do it. Except Oakland.”
The 5 teams eligible for ‘Hard Knocks’
As a refresher, any team that meets one of the following criteria can’t be forced onto “Hard Knocks”:
A first-year head coach
A playoff berth in the past two seasons
Appearing on “Hard Knocks” in the past 10 years
The Lions and Raiders are two of the five teams that don’t meet any of those criteria, the others being the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants.
All five of those teams present intriguing possibilities. There’s a good chance the Giants take a quarterback in the 2019 NFL draft and begin the process of passing the torch from Eli Manning. The 49ers are very popular, figure to be competitive next season and have an intriguing young head coach in Kyle Shanahan. The Redskins organization is a tire fire of incompetence that you can’t really look away from, though you imagine HBO might not think the rampant bilking of season-ticket holders will make for good television.
The Lions could be fun, if only to watch Patricia get progressively more irate with the production crew. And then, of course, there’s the Raiders. You’d think an organization run by Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock would be almost designed for television.
We can only wait and see which option is deemed the most interesting.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Costas confirms reason he got pulled from Super Bowl
• Former NFL first-rounder’s mixed debut with AAF
• New football league wins the night, tops NBA in ratings
• Bushnell: The ‘miracle’ reincarnation of the Bucks