HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ Makes Its Debut Tuesday Night With Oakland Raiders The Subject Of Its Cameras

This season, the NFL’s 100th, marks the end of the Oakland Raiders Yes, they’ve been in Oakland, Los Angeles and Oakland again. But when play in 2020 begins, the...

(Photo Credit: HBO)

This season, the NFL’s 100th, marks the end of the Oakland Raiders

Yes, they’ve been in Oakland, Los Angeles and Oakland again. But when play in 2020 begins, the Silver and Black will belong to Las Vegas and there they will stay (well, you never know with the Raiders but …)

The start of the final run in Oakland is being memorialized in the HBO series “Hard Knocks,'” which chronicles training camp from every angle and with open access to every mistake, every discussion, every obscenity (and with Jon Gruden coaching, be prepared).

Don’t expect much otherwise. Not as much as in the earlier days of the series, which began in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens as the subjects of scrutiny. That team had no idea what constant surveillance meant; today’s players, having seen the show since childhood, are prepared to make themselves personalities as they bask in perpetual coverage.

That is almost certainly the reason wide receiver Antonio Brown arrived for the start of training camp in a hot-air balloon. What other reason could there be? Let’s just guess that landing gets a generous treatment here. Maybe there will be some discussion as well as to why he has hardly practiced and has problems with both feet.

Gruden, who spent nine years with ESPN after leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, knows a little about television. He’ll know what to give away and what not to – he’s in on the editing process.

Hard Knocks was fascinating when it began, going behind the scenes to capture raw moments neither the public nor the press can see. At some point, however, nearly everything becomes a parody of itself. And here the time may have come.

HBO debuts the first of this season’s series on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET. You’ve been both alerted and warned.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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