SNIDER: It’s hard for Redskins to knock HBO series

Rick Snider
June 03, 2019 - 10:41 am
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The “Hard Knocks” life would be good for the Redskins.

The team needs to excite its fan base. Washington wants to promote its rookie quarterback as a franchise saver. It seeks a chance to return to the national narrative. And, ticket sales could certainly use a boost.

The HBO series does all of that as essentially a weekly infomercial during the preseason. Feared as exposing “insider” secrets, the series merely showcases several hopefuls trying to make the team, the brutal business of releasing players, and the profanity too often found in locker rooms.

But a real look at playbooks or chalkboards that can cost the team a game? Not in the least. And that’s why president Bruce Allen shouldn’t fear the program, but embrace the marketing opportunity. This team badly needs feel-good narratives after rampant season ticket loss in recent years that left FedEx Field too often vulnerable to visiting fan takeovers.

Even coach Jay Gruden doesn’t fear “Hard Knocks,” though he has been pushing his brother Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders as the best bet for the show. Detroit, San Francisco, and the New York Giants are also eligible.

“If we’re forced to do it, then obviously we’ll have to make it work,” Jay Gruden said. “You know, it’s a process that can be distracting at times, but, really they do an excellent job as far as keeping out of your business. So, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I think our guys would probably have fun with it at the end of the day.”

Oh, who doesn’t want to hear Redskins inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan barking at players? Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins learning plays in the classroom before trying them on the field? Seventh-rounder cornerback Jimmy Moreland showing he deserves to make the team?

It’s just storytelling, and not much more insightful than daily information on the internet. The Redskins should embrace the chance to show they’re just a bunch of guys trying to have fun, make money and win games.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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