Announcement: I’m going to start not only linking my articles to Awful Announcing, but only posting an excerpt here and sending you to Awful Announcing to read the rest of it, like Down Goes Brown does with Grantland. AA actually pays me so they deserve the real article. But back to the story.
As the summer turns into fall and football draws closer, the annual behind-the-scenes look into an NFL training camp has returned for HBO’s Hard Knocks. After appearing in 2009, this is the second appearance for the Cincinnati Bengals on Hard Knocks, the first repeat subject since the Dallas Cowboys appeared in 2002 and 2008.
Marvin Lewis is the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, behind New England’s Bill Belichick, but this year is a year of change: a new set of players, schemes and another year in the development of his young stars. But Hard Knocks has never been a show about stars. The stars in the NFL are over-covered already. The weekly HBO show focuses on a few unheard of players to whom the audience can become attached: veterans trying to stay in the game, rookies who are wide-eyed and ready to play and no-name longshots whose only air time this season will be on HBO, not on Fox, CBS, NBC or ESPN.