So here we go, everyone! The circus that is HBO's 'Hard Knocks' is coming to Cleveland this summer to showcase the Browns during training camp.
It's no secret that the NFL and HBO have wanted to have the Browns featured on Hard Knocks for a long time. There's been interest going back to 2014, after Cleveland drafted Johnny Manziel. The Browns have been able to sidestep being on the show because of a league-rule that allows teams to refuse when they have a first-year head coach.
Coaches and general managers are usually sour on the idea of giving total access to the cameras and microphones for such a long period of time. It's a distraction. A big distraction. Things that are normally said behind closed doors in team meetings, locker rooms, or in one-on-ones between coaches and players, suddenly become catchphrases.
So it's not a surprise that Browns GM John Dorsey was frosty when the subject came up in an interview with ESPN Cleveland earlier this month. "I don't think there's anything good that comes out of Hard Knocks, but we'll see," Dorsey said at the time.
Well, buddy boy, it's happening.
The man you hear on those play-by-play calls, 'The Voice of the Browns,' Jim Donovan, weighed in on 'Hard Knocks' on Thursday's Donovan Live.
While Jimmy understands why many coaches and GMs want nothing to do with the show, he thinks this is a unique opportunity for the Browns and their fans.
The Browns have stories to tell. Lots of them. You'd need 15 episodes to properly go through all of the storylines contained in this franchise.
- They are a team dusting itself off from an 0-16 season. The Browns have a core of young, compelling players on the rise.
- You, as the fans, will become the stars of 'Hard Knocks.' Why do you continue to come back for more with this team, despite the fact that they've won just 1 game over the last two years? That is a great story to tell.
"I'm tired of the Browns being a punchline to some late-night talk show host's monologue," Jimmy says at the end of his take. "I'm tired of this team getting nailed nationally, with people saying, 'well if there's a way to foul it up, the Cleveland Browns will find it.' Because suddenly, I think things are turning around."
That's the opportunity the Browns need to embrace.
Hard Knocks can be a true documentary of how a team is dusting itself off and starting to show signs of improvement.
And it will be must-see TV.
Watch Jimmy's Take in the player above. You can see Jimmy and Dave "Dino" DeNatale talk more about this topic on the Donovan Live Postgame Show below