Every NFL fan knows the Oakland Raiders are the best choice for the upcoming season of the HBO series “Hard Knocks.” Between Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, the fan base and the whole ethos surrounding the Raiders, it would be a no-brainer.
That might explain why conspiracy theorists were quick to jump all over some curious quotes from Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
He brought up the program at least twice Tuesday at minicamp with reporters, and you can be the judge as to how he feels about potentially appearing on the program.
Gruden said “being on Hard Knocks sure would be fun, wouldn’t it?” No smile.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) June 11, 2019
Jon Gruden, unsolicited: “Maybe Hard Knocks will come and cover that.”
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) June 11, 2019
The first quote can be interpreted one of two ways. Either Gruden really would enjoy being on “Hard Knocks,” or he’s being sarcastic. That could explain why he didn’t smile at the thought.
Gruden’s broadcasting background makes it even more difficult to parse that quote. While most other NFL coaches despise the idea of being on “Hard Knocks,” Gruden might seriously be excited about the possibility considering he worked on TV for years.
The second quote has some people thinking Gruden may have let something slip. Was Gruden speaking hypothetically? Or did he accidentally confirm “Hard Knocks” was covering the team?
His new star receiver Antonio Brown may have offered another hint on his Instagram page Monday.
If it’s not going to be the Raiders, there aren’t many other options. Oakland was one of five teams that can’t refuse to be on the show in 2019. The San Francisco 49ers were one of them, but at least one report suggests they will not be selected for the show. That leaves the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Raiders and Washington.
Of all those choices, the Raiders would be the most entertaining. We won’t know if Gruden feels the same way unless the Raiders are actually picked.
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