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Browns to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks?

Hard Knocks and the Cleveland Browns go hand-in-hand.

From the outside looking in, the Cleveland Browns seem to be the perfect franchise to become the centerpiece of the NFL Films popular sports reality series that appears on HBO every year.

Is there a team that epitomizes drama more than the Browns have over the past 40 years?

Red Right 88.

The Drive.

The Fumble.

Art Modell bolting Cleveland.

While those infamous moments in Browns' history are 27+ years old, the current team has made their own ridiculous headlines over the past three years, that unfortunately have little to do with the team on the field.

You can start with Jimmy Haslam, who came roaring into town as the brother of the Governor of Tennessee, a massive Tennessee Volunteer supporter and former part-owner of the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. Almost immediately, Haslam was under scrutiny facing fraud charges as the CEO of his company, Pilot Flying J.

Oh joy.

Just over the past four months, the team has gone through more off-and-on-the field turmoil than most face over a decade, and that's on top of an on-the-field collapse. Take a deep breath before you read this next part, because it's going to take awhile.

The Browns have a cocky-for-no-reason GM who is facing sanctions for texting from the press box to the sidelines regarding playcalls during the game, an Offensive Coordinator that bailed because of it, a wide receiver that got suspended, then suspended again, and then suspended again...for the year, and a rookie #1 draft pick QB who ended up missing, and has spent the better part of two months in rehab.

Then, on the eve of finding out that team might be forced to be the focus of the HBO reality show, rumors that the idiot owner may be considering "trading" the franchise for a shot at his home state Tennessee Titans surface...which Haslam immediately "nixed," stating that the reports of the team swap were '100% false.'

Did I mention the fraud yet?

In today's reality-based television, the Browns certainly fit the bill. Think about it. What would you rather watch, NBA Housewives, or the Browns likely televised implosion?

It seems like a match made in heaven, right?

Here's my question though: while the Browns would certainly provide a high level of football-tragedy, is this really what the NFL wants to promote after a season filled with domestic violence, beatings, rehab and murder? Cleveland, clearly one of the most volatile franchises from the outside looking in, might provide ratings, but are they the kind of ratings that they really want?

Now, there are multiple ways to look at this. NFL films could certainly edit this any way they want. If the NFL doesn't want to watch a Manziel breakdown, they can 'make it disappear.' Or, the NFL could be hoping for that story of redemption that Cleveland fans have been hunting for over the past 50 years. Imagine the PR if the Browns can turn it around.

Quit smirking...I'm just sayin'.

The Browns are one of only nine teams that are available to appear on the show thanks to the quirky rules that the NFL put in place to allow protection to certain teams. The three rules are simple:

  1. They haven't been on the show in the last ten years...check.
  2. They haven't made the playoffs in the last two years...bwahahahaha...check.
  3. They don't have a new head coach...check (and I made sure to do double check to see if Pettine was still indeed the head coach...he is).
According to SB Nation, the Browns, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and the Washington Redskins all have a chance to appear this season. While I could walk through the potential and lack thereof for some of these teams (pretty sure the NFL will stay away from the potential Adrian Peterson-drama in Minnesota, and the 'Redskin' issues that Washington will face yearly), you can make your own assumptions on who the real favorite is.

I just don't buy that it's the Browns.

While there are teams that are likely worse choices than Cleveland, there aren't many. The wildcard is a team volunteering, which Ray Farmer was actually considering.

Go figure.

A superior egotist in Farmer knocking on the NFL's door so that his team could show up on Hard Knocks.

Seriously.

Would there be any better television?

House of Cards?

Better Caul Saul?

Mad Men?

The Browns on Hard Knocks?

Perhaps Zac Jackson said it best:
Let the train wreck continue...but c'mon...you and I both know this has to happen.

Must-See-TV-Indeed...
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