Each offseason, one of the questions that comes up is which NFL team is going to be put in the public eye of HBO's reality show "Hard Knocks". The show follows an NFL team along with its players and coaches throughout training camp.
In the past the Cowboys and Jets have been the team featured on the show. A logical choice, and probably HBO's number one choice, would be the Raiders. With Al Davis around, there was no way this was going to happen. He and the Raiders organization have long held the media at bay. It is part of the shroud of secrecy under which the Raiders have functioned and part of their mystique.
But with Al Davis having passed on and the organization being turned over the Reggie McKenzie and co., there was some thinking (and hoping) that HBO might just get in. But in a press conference Wednesday, McKenzie shot down that notion.
"If you ask me, I say no." McKenzie said with a chuckle. "I wouldn't want to have HBO here. But I'm sure some of the players and I don't know if coach would want to have those guys here but don't ask me because my answer's ‘stay away'."
McKenzie views camp and practice as a sacred place where players and coaches can feel safe to be themselves. He believes having a camera crew around would disrupt that sanctuary.
"Just (for the cameras) to be around. I think training camp is a long time with your team and not to be publicized throughout the country. I like Raider business to stay Raider business. That's all. You know, you want people to be comfortable, let their guard down. And I think by having that group here, I think it'd be a little different because coaches and players act a little different when TV cameras are on."
While this may be disappointing to fans who would like nothing more than to get an inside look at their favorite team, it is nice to know some things haven't changed within the organization.
Word at this moment is that HBO could cover the New York Jets again this training camp. Largely due to a lack of other options.
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