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Ten years ago, the Ravens fascinated nationwide audiences as the first team ever featured on HBO’s series “Hard Knocks.”
After being turned down by the Broncos, Lions and Buccaneers, the network is still searching for a new team to focus on for the 2011 version of the show. The question is, should the Ravens do it again if they were approached?
In 2001, the Ravens were coming off their Super Bowl XXXV victory under Brian Billick. Baltimore’s “Hard Knocks” was peppered with characters such as Ray Lewis, Tony Siragusa and Shannon Sharpe. The Ravens dealt with a season-ending injury to record-setting running back Jamal Lewis during training camp.
In addition, the show highlighted the NFL transition of a rookie Todd Heap.
“Hard Knocks” has a storied history, following the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys, as well.
Last year, the New York Jets were HBO’s darling, and Head Coach Rex Ryan was a hit with his spicy language and Super Bowl predictions.
This year’s Ravens squad could provide some interesting story lines. Will the Ravens be a Super Bowl contender, can quarterback Joe Flacco take the next step, how will the defense perform under the direction of new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano? Of course Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and other dynamic personalities could provide plenty of entertainment.
But, like the Bucs, Broncos and Lions, the Ravens may prefer to keep the focus on the field.
So if approached, do you think it would be a good idea for the Ravens to reprise their role as America’s featured football team?