Hard Knocks and the NFL PR Machine

By Noah Davis 

Tom Brady might be the only person not watching HBO’s Hard Knocks.

The New York Daily News loves the Darrelle Revis storyline. Sports Business Daily reports that “the show is averaging a double-digit ratings increase so far this season and has made a star out of coach Rex Ryan.” Even the Boston Globe, which one thinks might have some allegiance to the New England Patriots, can’t get enough.

It’s another coup for NFL PR.


The show has just two more episodes, but it’s already served its purpose, at least in the eye’s of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. See, there’s a constant war going on between football, basketball, and, to a lesser extent, baseball and other sports for headlines. The goal is to keep your sport in the public eye for as long as possible without fans realizing this is the case.

Enter Hard Knocks. Everyone is talking about the show – and, by extension, the coming football season – without Goodell et al lifting a finger. Just let the Jets be themselves and provide a couple “leaked” quotes (according to SBD, “An NFL source claims HBO and NFL Films execs are ‘amazed how visible and top-of-mind the show has become” this season.”) Viola, instant attention.

It’s certainly better than more Brett Favre.