The Cincinnati Bengals are not quite the trainwreck they once were, but everyone is still hoping for some kind of entertainment value out of this year's edition of HBO's "Hard Knocks" docudrama. Don't get your hopes up.
If this had been filmed back in say ... 2006, then you might have had something special. Right now, the most interesting subplot is a wide receiver with an idiotic name who is addicted to Twitter. Riveting stuff.
Plus, because the Bengals are on TV, they are going to be on their best behavior. This a teachable moment, and what management wants to teach the world is that Cincinnati is not Crazy Town.
"For the fans around the country who know us only by reports," the Cincinnati Bengals' owner said Tuesday, "it's a chance to set the record straight."
There are quite a few fans who would like the record to reflect that Mike Brown is a terrible owner, but that's another show. Oh, there might be some "Perfect Strangers" level hijinks if Chad "Johnson" decides to make good on his threat to move in with Carson Palmer, but that's harmless stuff. The NFL is not going to let HBO embarrass anyone, so unless Shayne Graham decides to murder a hobo the fireworks will likely be kept to a minimum.
Plus, it's all fake anyway.
Brown hopes 'Hard Knocks' changes minds [Lexington Herald Leader]
A.J. Smith calls 'Hard Knocks' fake [USA Today]
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp on Hard Knocks [Esquire]
‘Hard Knocks' puts Bengals under a microscope [Cincy Inquirer]