Honestly, this season of “Hard Knocks” was a no-brainer for HBO. This team, this year, with these players, could have come right out of “Central Casting.” As a matter of fact, which came first… the story-line and casting… or the draft?
Yeah, hello Casting? Yeah listen, we are doing a “reality” … if you know what I mean, wink wink… show, on pre-season training camp with a Pro NFL team. So, listen, this is what I’m looking for…
The coach has to be a character. Someone “Maddenesque,” whose personality is an “in your face,” smashmouth philosophy, combined with being a natural leader with a killer wit. He’s a motivator who is very comfortable in front of the camera. You know… like Madden… A coach, a broadcaster… a coach… someone like that. Who? Gruden? Yeah great, let’s check him out.
OK next I need a guy who hangs out with a-list celebs and who routinely arrives at training camp in transportation ranging from a Helicopter to a Rolls Royce. He needs to have had previous experience in front of the camera. Maybe someone whose been on Dancing With the Stars, or something. I need him to be ultra-flashy. Oh, and can you make him the best wide receiver in football? Who? Antonio Brown? Yeah sure, send him over.
The Bad Ass Mega-Man
Next, we need the prototypical bad ass mega man. Maybe a 6’ 8” 380 lb Super Bowl Champion tackle or something like that. A big bad Trash Talker, who can back up his words with action. We need someone with leadership, confidence, a sense of humor and he must love the camera. Who ya’ got? Trent Brown? Yeah cool, we’ll check him out.
The Trash Talker/Practical Joker
I need a guy with a likeable personality. A natural leader who can get away with ribbing his teammates and doing practical jokes in the locker room. I need one of the biggest trash-talkers in the league. But he needs to deliver on the field. Jonathon Abram? Yeah great, he’s on the list.
Next, I need some scene stealers. I need players in critical junctures in their life. I need interesting back-stories. I also need characters with quirky, unexpected personalities.
Possible Scene Stealers:
Derek Carr – Edgy QB, with flashes of brilliance but never surrounded by a real cast, till now. Longing for the love, acceptance and approval of Coach Gruden
Keelan Doss – Undrafted free agent who grew up 10 minutes from The Raiders practice facility.
Chris Warren – Steller 2018 pre-season as a rookie, then sidelined the entire year with injury.
Maxx Crosby – The Rapper. He has legit rapping skills, and will no doubt be dropping lines here and there.
Josh Jacobs – Back Story of the Year. Grew up hard, living out of his father’s car, but became a collegiate star, despite his surroundings. He already has offers for his life story. I sure hope he can play, or that happy ending goes away.
Richie Incognito – Could be great. Call me skeptical.
What a cast! Can’t wait for the premier.