This might be a pipe dream but I'm all for the Carolina Panthers being the next team featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. You might recall the Bucs recently turned down the offer from HBO. I'm thinking this would be a good year for the Panthers to be the feature team. Yes, there are potential negatives which I will discuss but there is plenty that should attract HBO.
We of course have the Cam Newton Experience which I'm sure will draw viewership. Hard Knocks has never had a #1 overall pick on the feature team. The rookie is super popular at the moment and given his charisma and charm, etc...that will certainly be good TV. How will the rookie fair in the NFL spotlight at his first training camp? This part of the show will write itself.
Another good story line is how will second year QB Jimmy Clausen react to the threat Newton brings to his job? Will he step up, sulk or completely implode?
We've got mercurial WR Steve Smith who is always good for a sound bite. Though most people outside Carolina think of Smith as a hot head I'm betting he comes across just the opposite. Imagine 'Rules & Regulations' types of interviews, sound bites like I used in my old radio show intro (link after the jump) and his overall fire he shows on the sideline. Trust me Smitty will be a star and getting on Hard Knocks might just be the the thing to keep him in Carolina.
More Hard Knocks postulation after the jump...
The fact bland-as-butter John Fox has now left is a positive. Though new Panthers HC Ron Rivera would not provide the same spice as a Rex Ryan his intellectual slant would be a refreshing change I imagine.
I admit this is purely selfish on my part. The show would give us an unprecedented look inside the Panthers organization and the players we have grown to love. We would get a sense of flavor for our new draft class and coaching staff.
I think it would also provide owner Jerry Richardson a chance to show his lighter, grandfatherly side. He often talks about the Panthers organization being a 'family' so what better way to do it? This could be a real positive in the Panthers quest to land top free agents, who might be tainted towards Carolina from the Kris Jenkins and Peppers exits.
The obvious negatives are the show is bound to be a distraction on some level. Rivera and his new staff may not want that added pressure as they try to reshape the Panthers locker room culture. I'm not saying the Panthers locker room was a problem last season; I think Fox did a good job of keeping things from imploding during a 2-14 season. But I'm sure there are lingering doubts about the offense and Clausen and having a spotlight on that might be disastrous. But it would be good TV! Besides, we're coming off a 2-14 season so no one expects us to make the playoffs so if the Panthers tank again you could hardly blame the show, which ends before the seasons starts by the way.
So what do you think, agree or disagree?
Oh, almost forgot, here's the intro I used to use for my Cat Scratch Radio provided by Southtunnel. I just love it and most of the sound bites are from 89!
I hope it works