Hard Knocks is impulsive viewing as new NFL season draws near

Jay Asser 13:55 13/08/2015
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Over the top: J.J. Watt.

Football is back. No, not the ‘football’ the rest of the world recognises – though that has returned as well – but the good ol’ American kind. And not a moment too soon, sparing us from more baseball as the only in-season sport on the US landscape.

You know meaningful pigskin is right around the corner when Hard Knocks, HBO’s reality documentary series following a single NFL team during the preseason, comes back.

Here are some thoughts on Hard Knocks, which features the Houston Texans this year, as well as on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ sexist attempt to draw more female fans:

Must-see TV

If you’ve never seen Hard Knocks and you’re a football fan, you’re missing out. Even if you don’t follow football, it makes for great television.

Star players and big personalities are the ones who draw you in, but the most captivating aspect is the journey of the highlighted rookies and young players. They’re the ones fighting for a job in the league and their ups and downs during preseason will have you invested.

The show also provides an indepth look at an NFL franchise and the day-to-day going ons that you don’t ever get to see on gameday. If only there were versions of Hard Knocks for other sports…

Too much Watt-age

Texans defensive end/machine/ beast J.J. Watt is unsurprisingly going to be a big part of Hard Knocks this season. He’s definitely one of the best players in the league, but not exactly someone I want to be overexposed to.

Watt’s problem is he seems like he tries too hard. You know the macho saying ‘pain is just weakness leaving the body’? Watt is basically the human embodiment of that phrase. He’s incredibly intense and takes things very seriously – qualities that likely help make him the player he is, but also make him appear to be a one-dimensional person off the field.

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That said, please don’t send this to Watt. I’d like to keep my head.

Seeing RED

I get trying to engage all parts of your fanbase, but what the Buccaneers are attempting to do with RED – an imitative to target women by using stereotypical interests like fashion and culinary skills – is embarrassing.

It shouldn’t even need to be said, but instead of encouraging equal footing for men and women to follow sport, a programme like RED is condescending in its attempt to simplify the game for a group of people that are perfectly capable of being normal fans.

Even if Tampa Bay had the right intentions, they should rightly be blasted for their sexist execution.

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