After several teams declined, HBO finally found a club willing to open its doors to the annual "Hard Knocks" television show. The Miami Dolphins announced Tuesday that they have agreed to do the popular series, which starts on Aug. 7.
Miami deserves kudos for accepting the challenge and doing the show. Here are some initial thoughts on "Hard Knocks" and the Dolphins:
The only downside I see is the Dolphins' lack star power. But they will try to make up for it in storylines. There are not a lot of big names on Miami's roster for HBO to publicize. Maybe tailback Reggie Bush is known to the casual football fan and casual HBO audience. Moderate fans should know left tackle Jake Long, because he's a Pro Bowl player. But that's about it, unless you're a big fan of the NFL and the Dolphins. That is a big reason why HBO wanted the New York Jets this year. Backup quarterback Tim Tebow would have brought in a huge audience. Miami has no player close to that kind of following who could draw the average football fan.
But, as we mentioned, I do like the stories in Miami. The Dolphins have a legitimate quarterback competition going between Matt Moore and David Garrard. They have a top-eight pick in Ryan Tannehill, who is the quarterback of the future. Rookie head coach Joe Philbin has a tall task in his first year, and owner Stephen Ross likes to talk. This very much reminds of the Cincinnati Bengals doing the show a few years ago. Cincinnati wasn't a popular team with big names. But the Bengals had interesting stories to tell, and I think HBO should do a good job with Miami's stories, as well.
Finally, the Dolphins said they want to be more open since the days of former president Bill Parcells. This is a huge step in that direction. The Dolphins would have never done "Hard Knocks" with Parcells still in the building. This is further proof Miami is entering a new era. The Dolphins are struggling with ticket sales and their national perception isn't very good. So this gives the Dolphins a chance to open their doors and let people see them close up. Overall, I think it's a good move for Miami.