In the 15 years of its existence, the New York Giants have never been the subject of the HBO docuseries Hard Knocks. Could that change in 2021?
Last year, the Giants were exempt from the NFL’s qualifications for Hard Knocks teams as head coach Joe Judge was in his first season with the team. However, the Giants have not had a playoff berth in the last two years (the last of which came in 2016), and have never appeared on the show before. This all now makes the Giants a team eligible to volunteer, or to be forced, to be on the show.
NFL.com writer Dan Hanzus gave his opinion on the possibility that the G-Men end up on the show:
2: New York Giants
As an extension to the above point, don’t expect to see the Giants on Hard Knocks unless the Mara family chooses to be involved. Given that hasn’t happened in the first 15 seasons of the show’s existence, it seems unlikely at this time. Then again, maybe Big Blue management will jump at the opportunity to showcase a new era of Giants football now that the Eli Manning era has receded further into memory. The organization seems quite happy with second-year coach Joe Judge, and the return of Saquon Barkley from reconstructive knee surgery is a compelling subplot, as is the story around third-year passer Daniel Jones, who may have competition in the quarterback room come training camp. The Giants will always feel like a Hard Knocks longshot — perhaps that’s part of the reason I find them to be a compelling subject.
Ranked second only behind the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys, the Giants would make for a potentially interesting team to focus on for the show. The Giants are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in the NFL, occupying a massive media market with a bevy of players and personnel who might make for a quality Hard Knocks Season 16.
The decision for the Giants to appear on the show would be up to the Mara’s and the Tisch’s to volunteer for. However, Giants co-owner John Mara has previously expressed his opposition to the Giants ever appearing on the show, stating in 2010 to the New York Daily News “that announcement [of the Giants being on Hard Knocks] will come when I’m next to my father in Gates of Heaven cemetery.” If the NFL were to have no volunteers, the league office could force the team’s hand.
What do you think, Giants fans? Would you want to see the Giants on Hard Knocks?