Well, the Miami Dolphins are about to make me spend a little more money this football season. On Tuesday, news broke that the Miami Dolphins will be the team featured on this season’s training camp documentary for HBO’s Hard Knocks. Joe Philbin made the announcement following today’s OTA practice and the announcement set twitter ablaze. This announcement is another example of how far the Dolphins have come since the Bill Parcells Era…..yes, I know Ireland is still here. Bill Parcells didn’t want Jason Taylor on the Dolphins because he was off ‘Dancing with the Stars’. He also kept the media shut out, during his reign in Miami.
Coach Philbin had said previously that Hard Knocks wasn’t for him because (he joked), he was made for radio, not TV. MANY believe that Stephen Ross and the Dolphins business side pushed for the Dolphins to accept HBO’s offer. However, Philbin said that this was a football decision. Philbin continued: “It’s going to showcase our players as they go through training camp. It’s a great opportunity for us to connect with our fans. And it’s a chance for us to show the new direction, identity of this football team.”
This opportunity may never come around again for Dolphins fans. We are about to see more of Dolphins training camp than they have EVER seen before. As coach Philbin mentioned, this is also an opportunity for the Dolphins to show their new direction to the world. The franchise is starting over and retooling this season. This is an opportunity for the Dolphins to show their new brand to the rest of the football world. Ultimately, their play on the field will determine if they can shed the laughing stock status they’ve been relegated to lately.
As Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post mentioned earlier Tuesday, the Dolphins are a good fit for Hard Knocks. The Dolphins have some star power and publicly, should only benefit from the increased exposure. The Dolphins have some interesting characters on their roster and a behind the scenes will be cool for them. Players like Reggie Bush, Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Jared Odrick, and Richie Incognito will probably shine when the cameras are on. In fact, some previous ‘Hard Knocks’ coaches have said that some of their best practices came when the cameras were on.
However, there are potentially, some cons to the Dolphins doing Hard Knocks. First, will Hard Knocks add unnecessary pressure to players to perform in front of the cameras? Or worse, will a player push himself too much to stand out and risk an injury? Second, will the Dolphins new, high-tempo offense be scouted more easily because of Hard Knocks coverage? Third, and perhaps the biggest concern: What if the Dolphins of old resurface? You know, the Dolphins that have made the news (in a bad way, time and time again of late)…..It would be a shame if Jeff Ireland or Stephen Ross said or did something on Hard Knocks that got them in the news again…for the wrong reasons!
Hopefully the Dolphins practice well and concentrate on football, ignoring the cameras. If they do that and the football team is not handicapped by the coverage, we are all in for a special training camp. Personally, I plan on going to camp a few times this summer. I’m looking forward to it because it will be my first time. However, when I’m not there, at least I know I can tune into HBO to see what’s going on….on and off the field. I’ve never seen a Hard Knocks episode….primarily because the Dolphins haven’t been featured, but also because I don’t have HBO. I have the Sunday Ticket for DirecTV, but not HBO. After today’s events, I’ll be subscribing to HBO, because for Dolphins fans like us, this will be MUST SEE TV.