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Hard Knock Russ

That’s the ultimatum the Packers have this season. Either make the playoffs or risk being required to appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks next year. The requirements to be featured on Hard Knocks are that your team hasn’t made the playoffs in the past two years or that you don’t have a first year head coach. The Packers have indeed missed the playoffs the past two years but luckily they have their new head coach Matt LaFleur to save them from reality television, at least for now.

The Packers are a storied franchise and I can only assume that the NFL and HBO would love to have them on a weekly soap opera. The fan base Green Bay has worldwide would make for highly successful viewer ratings. Then you have the TV junkie Packer haters who would tune in as well, aka Cowboy fans. That makes for a lot of attention, and attention breeds cash which is the NFL’s only concern. If Green Bay was one of the candidates for Hard Knocks I have no doubt that they would be a top choice.

The Packers haven’t had to worry about Hard Knocks as of late because of their consecutive playoff appearances, whether they deserved to be there or not doesn’t matter. The last time Green Bay missed the playoffs two seasons in a row was the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In 2007 Hard Knocks featured the Kansas City Chiefs. At the time, it wasn’t mandatory for teams to participate if there wasn’t a volunteer. That’s why we didn’t get to watch Brett Favre pull training camp pranks in what was his last season as a Packer.

In 2013 however, after having several teams decline and Cincinnati volunteer to be on the show for a second time, Roger Goodell made it so that the NFL could force a team to participate after the league signed a multi-year deal with HBO. Since then, of the five teams that declined in 2013, two of them, the Falcons and Texans, have had to appear on Hard Knocks. Another requirement that has spawned up is that a team cannot be on the show twice in ten years, something both Cincinnati and Dallas have done.

I’ve never watched Hard Knocks but I can’t imagine many teams want cameras following them around all training camp long, airing their issues, strategies, etc. Currently, the Lions and the Raiders are in a media spat over who they think should be on Hard Knocks because neither team wants to be featured. Before he knew his Browns would be on the show, John Dorsey made a comment saying “I don’t think there’s anything good that comes out of Hard Knocks.” Clearly, teams don’t like the idea of having everything they do being broadcast on television, and if no teams volunteer then it’s up to the NFL to decide. If the Packers are one of those options, who do you think the NFL is going to pick?

Can the Packers new regime save them from Hollywood? If not, a new coaching staff might be an intriguing aspect to watch on next years show. At this point who cares? Maybe it would be fun to watch how this secretive and dysfunctional front office works. We could get a closer look at Russ Ball’s scowl, possibly find out what it is Ted Thompson actually does from his couch in Texas, and listen to Mark Murphy spew empty rhetoric about championships and tradition, granted he’s still around next season.

One would assume that all the attention garnered from Hard Knocks would bring a good amount of tourism and money to the Green Bay area. It would also highlight Murphy’s pride and joy, the Titletown district. Maybe Murphy would be the first in line to volunteer for the show and we wouldn’t need to wait for the NFL to force the Packers into the role.

Missing the playoffs this year would make three years in a row for the Packers, and unless LaFleur gets fired after his first season as head coach that means the Packers are a prime candidate for HBO’s Hard Knocks. We’ll have to see what LaFleur and his crew can cook up this season, otherwise, it very well could be time for lights, camera, action!



  1. Howard March 26, 2019

    May I suggest that Russ start negotiating with Goodell. If Goodell takes Murphy the Packers will be on Hard Knocks. I could live with that trade.

    I have never seen the show either, but Dorsey is correct nothing good can be accomplished from being on Hard Knocks, unless the Packers receive fair compensation by dealing Murphy to New York.

    Has anyone watched the show? A lot of staged drama?

    Good job Cheese. We need a full and complete bio about this author. ;-)

    1. PF4L March 26, 2019

      Hard Knocks is the least of this teams worry. If a team didn’t want to do it, what’s stopping them from being completely boring, or just plain refusing? If they refused is Goodell going to kick the Packers out of the league? Personally, i’d tell Goodell to go get bent. But Murphy would probably see this as a business opportunity to advertise his sledding hill, taking that thing National. Maybe a vacation destination?

      But then again “The Murphy Slide” is exactly why they would be a candidate for the show in the first place. So if the Packers were indeed forced to be on Hard Knocks, the Packers would only have themselves to blame, or more accurately, Murphy to blame.

      When will this Circus in Green Bay wrap up it’s tent and leave town, haven’t we seen enough? We aren’t talking Super Bowl these days, we’re talking trying to make the playoffs to avoid being on Hard Knocks. Does anyone beside’s me view that as a problem?

      Years and years ago, maybe back in 2012-13. I warned about the power players ignoring problems and doing nothing. Saying, before you know it, in ten years we’ll have squandered the perfect opportunity. I said that in jest, half serious. But we are by far…BYE FAR, worse now, than we were then. So that 10 years in jest? Doing the math……we’re well on the way.

      As time passes by, and we move on from this era. Packer fans will look back at the post 2010 decade, and see this time for what it was. A golden opportunity blown by….epic dysfunction and mismanagement.

      I’m getting damn tired of it and i bide my time until it’s over and the horrid after taste is hopefully gone some day. But i’m not sure it will ever be

      But hey!!…Good news Packer fans!!….maybe the draft picks and free agency can turn this thing around……isn’t that the feeling every year?. I’ll say this for i don’t know how many times i’ve said it. If you’re a team… relying on Free agency and the draft to determine your success every season, you’ve already lost.

      1. Ferris March 26, 2019

        I like sledding. I really like those saucers, just spray them with Pam.

        1. PF4L March 26, 2019

          They don’t allow saucers, i tried. I got mad and threw my $6 hot chocolate at the guys face. So then he called the cops and it turned out to be a thing…..

          The Packers put a restraining order on me, i’m not allowed within 250 feet of the slide for 5 years.

          NO SLIDE FOR ME….5 YEARS!!

        2. Jason Parker March 26, 2019

          Shitter was full

  2. Cheese March 27, 2019

    Thanks Howard. We’ll see if I get bit by the article bug again, then maybe I’ll think of a bio. All I need is a random idea and some down time at work.

    PF4L, good to see you referring to “Murphy’s Slide” as a concept rather than just a hill. I feel the same as you when it comes to the potential this team has wasted over the years. I’m sure I’ll go off on some tangents about it again in the future but for the most part I’m just trying to keep a sense of humor about it all. Whether we like it or not, the Packers are already where we feared them to be. There’s no need to wait and see. They haven’t been above 8-8 since 2016 and this past year’s record could have been even worse than what it was. I don’t know what this new staff has in store but if they manage to get to a Super Bowl before Rodgers retires I’d be thoroughly surprised.

  3. Stiggy March 27, 2019

    I never understand why fans signed up to shovel the stadium for free after big snow storms.

    Do they at least get sledding hill tickets now?

    My guess is 1 dollar off coupons or buy one get one free hot chocolates.

    1. PF4L March 27, 2019

      I think they get paid like $10/hour

      1. Cheese March 27, 2019

        I showed up to shovel one time. Got there like an hour early. The line was still pretty long. I stood there for about 2-3 hours and right before I got to the entrance door they told everyone remaining to go home because they didn’t need anymore shovelers. That’s the first and last time I ever tried to shovel out Lambeau.

  4. KILLER March 27, 2019

    Good accurate comments in this string, even by Piffle.

    If they are on Hard Knocks I’ll get HBO just to watch it. Ah, the awkwardness. I gotta tell you, Hard Knocks and Packers… I would giggle a little.

    Just being on it is like a scarlet letter of shame based on the requirements. Confirmed two-year at least loser without even a new HC to hide behind…..

    1. PF4L March 27, 2019

      If the Packers are on Hard Knocks, i’ll come and visit you again. But this time, don’t forget my extra ketchup. Extra ketchup, it isn’t that hard man.

      I don’t know where you people get off thinking you should be making $15/hour.