Well, LARams.net supposes, as long as the HBO series “Hard Knocks” continued, the Rams were bound to be the focus at some point. Today, that eventuality was made reality, with officials from the team and the network announcing that the 2016 series will focus on the new/old team in Los Angeles.
Excerpts from the team’s official press release follow. Exclusive hot take(s) follow that.
With anticipation building as the NFL returns to Los Angeles for the first time in 22 years, HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Los Angeles Rams team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League on the new season of the league’s signature documentary TV program. Debuting this summer, “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams” will be there every step of the way as NFL Films cameras follow the organization’s return to Southern California.
The first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – kicks off its five-episode 11th season Tuesday, August 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO…
“We are thrilled that the 11th edition of ‘Hard Knocks’ will spotlight a team from the NFC West Division for the first time,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “It’s exciting to chronicle a franchise with so many compelling storylines, highlighted by the team’s return to the Los Angeles market and the enormously warm reception the Rams are experiencing. The series has become a summertime destination for TV viewers, and we can’t wait for the premiere on August 9.”
“From the moment it was announced the Rams would be returning to the Los Angeles market, this franchise felt like a natural for the next season of ‘Hard Knocks,’” says Ken Rodgers, coordinating producer, NFL Films. “We look forward to capturing the move to Southern California, training camp and everything in-between.” …
“This is an exciting time for our franchise,” says Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “‘Hard Knocks’ will be an outstanding way to bring our fans into our training camp and preseason, and give a glimpse of the hard work and dedication of our players, coaches and staff as we prepare for the 2016 season.”
Immediate reactions? Sure!
• Outside of the Los Angeles/Orange County and St. Louis areas, does any follower of the NFL really care where the Rams are actually physically playing next season? If the stadium were really the star, wouldn’t we have seen a Jets/Giants season of “Hard Knocks” featuring (wow) their $1 billion new digs?
• So Peter Nelson is “thrilled” to be featuring an NFC West team. What he failed to mention is that the HBO brain trust most likely would have preferred say, the possibly declining former Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, unpredictable Arizona Cardinals or drama-ridden San Francisco 49ers.
• Both of the above reasons has LARams.net guessing that the Rams were chosen for the sake of proximity, convenience and, naturally, cost-saving for Los Angeles studios.
• Meanwhile, Mr. Rodgers (couldn’t resist) can’t wait to capture the excitement of Rams training camp. But of course: Imagine the potential quarterback controversy! Case Keenum vs. Nick Foles! That’s money in the bank, baby! (Hey, at least the CBS guys see through this aspect of the series...)
• And finally, there’s Fisher’s quote. Yes, an exciting time for the franchise it is as fans breathlessly await the annual struggle to reach 7-9. Perhaps after his inevitable canning before the 2017 NFL Draft, Fisher can be moved into a media relations job with the team…
– written by Os Davis