The NFL has not yet made a decision as to which team will appear on the 2014 version of HBO's Hard Knocks, but the New York Giants remain one of eight possible teams that could be forced to do it despite fierce protest from co-owner John Mara.
"That announcement [to appear on Hard Knocks] will come when I'm next to my father in Gates of Heaven cemetery," Mara said in 2010.
However, Mara may not have much say in the matter as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell helped push forward a resolution — as voted on by all teams owners — in 2013 that stipulates a team could be "forced" to appear on the show if there are no volunteers. It was a resolution that came with several guidelines, but none of which preclude the Giants from appearing in 2014.
The rules/guidelines that dictate which teams are eligible to be selected are as follows:
- The team doesn’t have a new head coach.
- The team didn’t make the playoffs in either of the previous 2 seasons.
- The team didn’t appear on Hard Knocks in the last 10 years.
“There were a lot of discussions with clubs at the March meeting [in Orlando, Fla.],” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Thursday. "There are several clubs that are interested in doing this. I just don’t have an update on which club, whether it’s going to be a volunteer or if it’s somebody who is going to have to fulfill the obligation. But I’m sure that decision will be made pretty soon.”
Still, Goodell says he's faced heavy resistance from a few teams other than the Giants and that's exactly why he felt the 2013 resolution was necessary.
“That’s one of the reasons why we passed the policy that we did is to get every team the opportunity to do this. We understand that it’s an additional responsibility, that it’s an additional thing to film out around your [training] camp and some clubs prefer not to have it," Goodell said. “But it’s important for all clubs to contribute to it in some fashion. I think we designed a very interesting concept that allows teams if you have a coaching change not to have that be an issue, but also have some kind of rotation to it.”
Whether the Giants' time comes in 2014 or at a later date, rest assured, John Mara will fight it tooth and nail.
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