As other NFL teams’ fans gear up for the playoffs this week, Ravens Nation is sitting around wondering what’s going to give for their franchise in the offseason. Perhaps it’ll be more exposure, courtesy of HBO?
If you want to see the Ravens get some more of the limelight heading in the 2017 season, you’ll be happy to know the team is one of only eight that are eligible to appear on the the premium network’s intense “Hard Knocks” docu-series this summer. As of 2013, to be eligible for a “Hard Knocks” appearance, a franchise has to have a returning head coach (✓), failed to have made the playoffs for two straight seasons (✓) and have not appeared on the show for 10 years (✓). Unless ownership suddenly decides to change course and cut Harbaugh loose, the Ravens could be next in line.
“Hard Knocks” follows a bad or rebuilding NFL team through their training camp and other preparations for the season ahead. It also gets into some players’ personal lives and chronicles the struggle for those just trying to make the team. The Ravens were actually the guinea pig squad for the show when it debuted in 2001, before the NFL made the above rules for who could appear.
This would be their first time being eligible to return since 2005, per CBS Sports. Given the Ravens’ fall from grace since their 2013 Super Bowl win and 2014 playoff run, they would make a compelling case for reality TV as they attempt to return to a stronger form.
The other teams that could appear (assuming they don’t change coaches, which some of them might) are the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite the disappointing outcome of the 2016 season, the Ravens did break the plane of teams selected to play in London for the NFL International Series by being selected last month. Perhaps HBO could further boost their TV exposure in 2017. We’ll find out after the network’s announcement this spring.
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