The Raiders have long been the most intriguing organization in all of sports, therefore HBO has wanted to get their hooks in them for quite some time to feature them on a season of Hard Knocks. But in the six years the popular show has been running, the Raiders have yet to accept the prying camera lens inside their doors. That could all change this season.
The Raiders aren't the only team that has given a staunch "No way" to Hard Knocks. And because the increasing disinclination of teams to acquiesce, the NFL owner has passed a new rule which will go into affect this coming season.
The rule according to a Deadspin report is as follows:
Now the league can force a team to admit HBO cameras into their training camp unless that team a) has a new head coach, b) made the playoffs in one of the previous two seasons, or c) already appeared on the show in the last 10 years.
The Raiders fall squarely among the handful of teams who are NOT exempt from the NFL's forced hand. There are only eight teams on the list. The others are the Bears, Bills, Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Rams, and Steelers.
This could be a double edged sword for the Raiders, as well as any of these teams. On one hand, Hard Knocks brings more publicity to the team. On the other hand, it brings a media circus with it. The Raiders are squarely in a transition phase with Dennis Allen and his staff on a one-year leash to bring the Raiders back to respectability. Having a camera crew around and everyone in the world up in their business would be quite a distraction from the task at hand.
Hopefully, for the Raiders' sake, HBO doesn't simply get to choose between those eight teams because you can bet their finger would land squarely on Oakland.