In case you didn’t know, the return of the fifth best show of all time is tonight.

For what it’s worth…the top four, in no order:

The Wire

Breaking Bad


Curb Your Enthusiasm


Anyway, NFL Hard Knocks comes back tonight featuring the Atlanta Falcons. Not even the Falcons could make this show uninteresting.

On a related note, how in the world do women watch scripted reality shows over one like Hard Knocks. The drama is real; there are real people with real careers at stake, AND the storylines aren’t cooked like, say, Love and Hip Hop.

Actually, that’s not entirely true.

Here are the best parts of every Hard Knocks season, including the ones that HBO completely creates out of thin air:

The White Skill Position Player Who Ends Up Getting Cut


The Dolphins actually had two a couple years ago.

Les Brown was a former college basketball player trying to convert to a Tight End. Chris Hogan was a poor man’s Wes Welker. The other players even called him “7-11” because he was always open.

Brown was generally terrible, but I was on the edge of my seat when the coaches were deciding his fate. Hogan was, apparently, not always open.

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Both guys were cut, and I was legitimately interested.

Before Brown and Hogan, there was Danny Woodhead. He was an accomplished college player, albeit at a small school, but he was eventually cut by the New York Jets. He’s actually become a decent pro, and one of those guys you pick up in fantasy football when your best RB gets hurt.

Last year, the Bengals went against type, choosing instead to focus on Aaron Maybin. See, HBO keeps us on our toes!

The Rookie Show –

Every year, the rookies put on a talent show where they make up skits about their fellow players and coaches. Every year, it is entertaining:


I mean, how can you not enjoy that? Even James Harrison enjoyed it, and he seems like the kind of guy to hate everything. Candy, sunsets, kittens, EVERYTHING.

While this is probably hazing and borderline illegal, everybody seems to be having a good time…so I’ll allow it. This is like the hazing the university board encourages. Not like the, uh, other kind.

Position Battles –

This one is team-specific.

Usually, the featured team has a weak group at one position or another. It was Running Back for the Cincinnati Bengals last year, and rookie Gio Bernard pushed the incumbent Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis through the entire season. Before that, the Dolphins had poor Wide Receivers and Tight Ends (which is why Brown and Hogan even had a shot).

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The Falcons went 4-12 last year, so they would seem to have gaping holes everywhere except Quarterback and Receiver (I’m a lifetime member of the Julio Jones bandwagon). So this one could go a bunch of directions. I’ll predict Line Backer to be the position of interest this season. It’s a glamorous enough position to warrant airtime, I can’t name any of the Falcons’ LBs off the top of my head, and it’s a position a rookie could come in and impact right away.

That’s what I’m looking forward to during this season of Hard Knocks, what about you? Do you care what team they feature? Because, let’s be honest, you don’t care about the Falcons.

Let me know in the comments below!