|Developed by||HBO Sports|
|Starring||Baltimore Ravens (2001)|
Dallas Cowboys (2002)
Kansas City Chiefs (2007)
Dallas Cowboys (2008)
Cincinnati Bengals (2009)
New York Jets (2010)
Miami Dolphins (2012)
|Narrated by||Liev Schreiber (2001-2002 & 2008-present)|
Paul Rudd (2007)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||37|
(6 in 2001, 6 in 2002, and 5 in each season from 2007 on)
|Executive producer(s)||Steve Sabol|
|Running time||~55 minutes (commercial-free)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
Dolby Digital 5.1
|Original run||2001– present|
Hard Knocks is a reality sports documentary television series produced by NFL Films and HBO. First shown in 2001, there have been seven seasons, with the most recent airing in 2012. Each season has followed a single National Football League (NFL) team through its training camp and covered the team's preparation for the upcoming football season.
The series has shown the personal and family lives of the players, coaches and staff, as well as competition for places on the roster, and inside jokes and pranks. It has particularly focused on rookies' adjustments to playing in the NFL, usually with emphasis on the team's most recent top draft pick, and on undrafted or journeyman players trying to secure a job.
The series has been narrated by Liev Schreiber since 2001, with the exception of the 2007 season, which was narrated by Paul Rudd. The NFL and HBO have called Hard Knocks "the first sports-based reality series".
Baltimore Ravens (2001)Edit
Some of the issues covered in the 2001 Ravens season include:
- The team looking to repeat as Super Bowl winners.
- Rookies Todd Heap and Dwayne Missouri's adjustment to professional football.
- The team's adjustment after a season-ending injury to Jamal Lewis.
- The veterans on the team in the final years of their careers (Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson, Qadry Ismail, and Tony Siragusa).
- The quarterback competition between Elvis Grbac and Randall Cunningham.
- Ozzie Newsome and Brian Billick's management of the team.
Dallas Cowboys (2002)Edit
Some of the issues covered in the 2002 Cowboys season include:
- Quincy Carter's pressure to stay the consistent starting quarterback and the acquisition of Chad Hutchinson as a backup quarterback.
- Rookie Roy Williams' adjustment to professional football.
- Emmitt Smith beginning his final season in Dallas, and his pursuit to become the NFL's all-time rushing yards leader.
- Dave Campo heading into his third (and eventually, final) season as Dallas' head coach.
Kansas City Chiefs (2007)Edit
Some of the issues covered in the 2007 Chiefs season include:
- The battle for the starting quarterback job between veteran Damon Huard and second-year player Brodie Croyle following the trade of Trent Green.
- Star running back Larry Johnson's contract holdout.
- Priest Holmes' attempted return to football after missing all of 2006 after a career-threatening neck injury.
- The contract holdout and later development of rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs' only first-round draft pick of 2007.
- Boomer Grigsby's switch from linebacker to fullback.
- The development of rookie defensive linemen Tank Tyler and Turk McBride.
- The competition between two undrafted cornerbacks - Tyron Brackenridge and Dimitri Patterson.
- Arena Football League star Bobby Sippio's attempt to catch on with an outdoor team.
Dallas Cowboys (2008)Edit
The Dallas Cowboys were chronicled for the second time on the television series' fourth season, which premiered on August 6, 2008.
Some of the issues covered in the 2008 Cowboys season include:
- Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones' reinstatement into the NFL.
- Keon Lattimore, a younger brother of Ray Lewis, competing for a job.
- Todd Lowber, a very athletic wide receiver new to the game of football, trying to make the team.
- Undersized wide receiver Danny Amendola competing for a job.
- Rookies Felix Jones and Martellus Bennett adjusting to NFL camp for the first time.
Cincinnati Bengals (2009)Edit
The Cincinnati Bengals season premiered on August 12, 2009. Its ratings were higher than any previous season of Hard Knocks, and it won two Sports Emmy Awards: one for Outstanding Edited Sports Series or Anthology, and one for Outstanding Post Produced Audio / Sound.
Some of the issues covered in the 2009 Bengals season include:
- The battle for the starting fullback position between Jeremi Johnson, Chris Pressley, Fui Vakapuna, and J.D. Runnels.
- The injuries of tight ends Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht, and the adjustment of rookie tight end Chase Coffman to the NFL.
- The contract holdout of offensive tackle Andre Smith, the Bengals' only first-round draft pick of 2009.
- The battle for the starting strong safety position between veteran Roy Williams and Chinedum Ndukwe.
- Starting quarterback Carson Palmer trying to recover from an injury-plagued 2008 season.
- Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco's antics and catchphrases.
- Wide receiver Chris Henry's development and maturation.
New York Jets (2010)Edit
The New York Jets were chronicled in the series' sixth season. An official announcement was made on March 25, 2010, and HBO began airing it on August 11, 2010. It won the series' second consecutive Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Edited Sports Series or Anthology. The Jets declined another opportunity to appear in the series in 2011.
Some of the issues covered in the 2010 Jets season include:
- The vocal coaching style of head coach Rex Ryan, highlighted by several sound bites that became popular after the season, such as "That's being a jackass!" and "Let's go eat a goddamned snack!"
- Cornerback Darrelle Revis' contract holdout.
- The battle for the starting fullback position between veteran Tony Richardson, journeyman Jason Davis and rookie John Conner.
- Second-year starting quarterback Mark Sanchez's development as the "face" of the franchise.
- Kris Jenkins' return after ACL surgery.
- Running back Danny Woodhead's attempt to make the team.
- Cornerback Antonio Cromartie attempting (and failing) to name all 9 of his children.
At the end of July 2011, NFL Films announced it would not be producing Hard Knocks for the 2011 season. No team wanted to commit to the series due to uncertainty with the NFL's labor situation. A retrospective on the series titled Hard Knocks: A Decade Of NFL Training Camps was made featuring clips from every episode made to that point, and including comments looking back on the series from Brian Billick, Shannon Sharpe, Mike Westhoff, and others.
Miami Dolphins (2012)Edit
Some of the issues covered in the 2012 Dolphins season include:
- Ryan Tannehill's contract negotiation, followed by his development as a rookie quarterback in the NFL.
- The quarterback position battle between Matt Moore, David Garrard and Ryan Tannehill, with Tannehill winning the starting job after week 2 of the pre-season.
- David Garrard's health issues, especially after undergoing knee surgery during training camp. He was released from the team the same day this season's final episode aired.
- Les Brown's difficulty in adjusting from former college basketball player to NFL tight end, and his subsequent release from the team.
- The meeting in which Philbin notifies Chad Johnson (formerly Chad Ochocinco) of his release from the team following his arrest for allegedly headbutting his wife of 41 days.
- The trade of cornerback Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts for two future draft picks.
Inside Training Camp: Jaguars SummerEdit
In 2004, NFL Films produced a series similar to Hard Knocks that featured the Jacksonville Jaguars. Called "Inside Training Camp: Jaguars Summer", It covered the Jaguars' training camp in preparation for their 2004 season. It aired only on the NFL Network and was narrated by frequent NFL Films narrator Robb Webb.
Some of the issues covered in this series include:
- Jack Del Rio's second season as a head coach following a disappointing debut in 2003.
- The development of rookie wide receiver Reggie Williams, the Jaguars' only first-round draft pick of 2004.
- ↑ HBO Sports, NFL Films and Miami Dolphins join forces for “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Miami Dolphins” debuting August 7 - NFL Communications
- ↑ HBO: Hard Knocks: About the Show
- ↑ Chiefs to be featured in HBO's "Hard Knocks" this summer KCChiefs.com, June 2, 2007.
- ↑ Bengals home on HBO
- ↑ Sabol: Best "Hard Knocks" Ever by Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com, September 9, 2009.
- ↑ "Hard Knocks" earns two Emmys
- ↑ Jets Sign On to Star in HBO's "Hard Knocks"
- ↑ The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Announces Winners of 32nd Annual Sports Emmy Awards
- ↑ Bigger Threat to the New England Patriots in the AFC East: New York Jets or Buffalo Bills?
- ↑ HBO Hard Knocks: Full Rex Ryan Snack Speech
- ↑ No NFL team taking "Hard Knocks" - ESPN.com
- ↑ Miami Dolphins will be on HBO's "Hard Knocks"
- ↑ Ryan Tannehill named Dolphins' starting quarterback
- ↑ David Garrard's absence clears up Dolphins' QB race
- ↑ David Garrard released by Miami Dolphins
- ↑ Farrar, Doug. "Chad Johnson’s Dolphins release makes for tough, emotional “Hard Knocks”". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/post/chad-johnson-dolphins-release-makes-for-tough-emotional-hard-knocks/2012/08/14/ffdca49c-e6cc-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_blog.html. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- ↑ Dolphins trade Vontae Davis to Colts for draft picks
- ↑ Jacksonville Jaguars 2004 Season Preview by Mike Cowan, September 4, 2004.
- ↑ "NFL Canada > NFL Network: On-air talent". http://www.canoe.ca/NFLCanada/TheGame/nflnetwork_onairtalent.html. Retrieved August 29, 2012. "Inside Training Camp: Jaguars Summer > Rob [sic] Webb: Narrator"
- HBO's Official "Hard Knocks" Website
- Hard Knocks at TV.com
- Hard Knocks at the Internet Movie Database