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Horse Tracks: HBO has to be salivating over potential to feature Broncos on ‘Hard Knocks’

This team can’t keep itself out of drama - which is sadly perfect for the NFL’s “reality TV” show.

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Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

If there’s anything that 100% proves your NFL franchise has fallen on hard times, it’s not that the team isn’t playing in the postseason for the umpteenth year in a row.

It’s that the franchise qualifies for HBO’s reality-TV series, “Hard Knocks.”

And with all the drama this team has featured in the past seven years, I have to think the Broncos are the likely choice by producers.

Unless another team steps up to volunteer as the subject of the invasive reality TV show that follows one NFL franchise through training camp and preseason, one of three teams will likely get the nod - the Broncos, the Saints or the Bears.

The criteria for being considered include teams that don’t have first-year head coaches, teams that have not qualified for the playoffs the past two seasons and teams that have not appeared on the show in the past 10 seasons.

Having escaped eligibility so often because of having a new head coach, the Broncos are no longer exempt.

And at least one person in the Denver media believes head coach Sean Payton may actually “secretly” want to be on Hard Knocks.

But more interesting is the fact that head coach Sean Payton doesn’t seem totally against the idea.

While Payton - who clamped down on media access practically his first day in Denver - seems like the least likely head coach to put up with HBO cameras in the locker room, he did admit recently that there could be a benefit.

“I think it’s part of the deal, and I understand it. I get it,” Payton said about the common perception he’s kind of an old-school hardass. “It’s the only thing that makes me once in a while want to do ‘Hard Knocks,’” Payton said last month. “Shoot, you don’t do this (for) this long if you’re not adjusting, funny, creative—all of those things. I think that I am all of those things.”

I am not a fan of “Hard Knocks” - mostly because I hate reality TV and also because the contrived drama it inevitably creates for featured teams is just so obvious and dumb.

But I would love to get a peek at the Broncos behind-the-scenes...on one condition:

Only if Russell Wilson is not the Broncos’ quarterback.

While that would be exactly the reason HBO would feature the Broncos (Wilson = more drama, more clicks after all), I would hate to watch that.

Wilson is one of the most vilified players in the NFL (mostly undeserved), and if he’s back in Denver in 2024, the Hard Knocks narratives will be insufferable and only make things worse for Wilson, the locker room, the 2024 season and mostly for Broncos Country.

But if Wilson is on another team and the Broncos have a young rookie quarterback and/or a veteran holding down the fort, I would relish an inside look.

Poll

Whatdoyathink, Broncos Country - yay or nay on Broncos being featured on Hard Knocks?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Oh hell yeah.
    (195 votes)
  • 51%
    Please, no.
    (209 votes)
404 votes total Vote Now

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