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How HBO's Hard Knocks Affects NFL Team Records Historically

How Hard Knocks Impacts An NFL Team

2014 NFL Off-Season

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The 2014 season of HBO’s Hard Knocks will debut August 5 and will feature the Atlanta Falcons. There’s always a big debate every year whether or not a team should be willing to have the television show film them during training camp and the preseason, because it causes distractions to the task at hand. A lot of coaches don’t want their players caught up in the glitz and glamour, and instead want them focused 100 percent on football.

But does Hard Knocks really impact the product on the field in a negative way?

How HBO's Hard Knocks Affects NFL Team Records Historically

USA TODAY Sports

The team’s records say not really.

This will be the ninth version of Hard Knocks, and right now the show is batting .500 when it comes to making the playoffs. Four of the eight teams featured on the show have made the playoffs that season, while the other four fell short. You can view those teams below:

2013 Cincinnati Bengals – 11-5 Lost Wild Card Game

2012 Miami Dolphins – 7-9 Missed Playoffs

2010 New York Jets – 11-5 Lost AFC Championship Game

2009 Cincinnati Bengals – 10-6 Lost Wild Card Game

2008 Dallas Cowboys – 9-7 Missed Playoffs

2007 Kansas City Chiefs – 4-12 Missed Playoffs

2002 Dallas Cowboys – 5-11 Missed Playoffs

2001 Baltimore Ravens – 10-6 Lost Divisional Game

Notice that a lot of teams that were supposed to make the playoffs did, and the teams that did not weren’t favored to make the playoffs that year and were picked for the show mainly for TV ratings. The Dolphins were picked due to many teams turning down the offer before, which is the case most years. HBO has to settle for teams sometimes due to coaches being afraid of the media.

At the end of the day, these are grown men and professionals who get paid to play at the highest level. If they can’t focus on the game with a few cameras around, well, they shouldn’t be in the league to begin with. Even without Hard Knocks, players still have to speak to the media and are still going to clown around to lighten things up once in a while.

HBO being around doesn’t really change much and really has no impact on the teams, according to the records.

It’s all a myth. 

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