The New York Giants have long avoided being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. This could come to an abrupt end in 2019.
The NFL established guidelines for appearing on the reality sports documentary series. Teams are exempt from appearing if they have a first-year head coach, if they have made the postseason in each of the previous two seasons, or if they have appeared in any of the previous 10 seasons.
Unfortunately for the Giants, they find themselves in a position where they may appear be featured in the 14th edition premiering later this summer. Head coach Pat Shurmur is entering his second season on the sideline. The Giants have not made the postseason since 2016 and have never appeared on Hard Knocks.
There would be no shortage of storylines should the Giants be featured.
Quarterback Eli Manning is entering his 16th, and potentially final, season with the team. The Giants could also draft a quarterback to succeed Manning or bring in a free agent to create a position battle. Saquon Barkley, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, would also make great television. There’s also a certain wide receiver who wears No. 13.
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To say Giants ownership is against appearing on Hard Knocks is an understatement. John Mara said in 2010 the team would be on the show “when I’m next to my father in Gates of Heaven Cemetery”.
Steve Tisch made his opinion of Hard Knocks known in a 2013 TMZ interview.
“I don’t think it brings anything to the team,” Tisch said. “It’s a bit of a distraction, and I think it’s sort of misleading for the players.”
Besides the Giants, there are four other teams who fit the NFL’s criteria for being on Hard Knocks: the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, and Washington Redskins. One of these teams could volunteer. If that’s not the case, the NFL can unilaterally force the issue and pick a franchise to be featured.