The 2013 season of “Hard Knocks” is here. Once again, it’s the Bengals. Unlike 2009, they’re kind of a respectable team now. Instead of hapless but entertaining characters, it’s the hopeful beginnings of the Bengals’ dramatic quest to once again qualify as a Wild Card and – what the heck – maybe actually win a playoff game this year.
Nearly every write-up about this season I’ve seen has contained a wearied tone that practically screams “aw man, the Bengals again!?” but I fail to see how a team with both Pacman Jones and James Harrison on the roster will be unable to produce memorable moments. Also, they have Jay Gruden, who I’m not sure if I’m ever heard speak, but I assume must contain at least a shred of the insanity of his brother. Here’s hoping, anyway.
It’s the first episode of the season, so there will be the usual business of player arrivals, shots of people pulling suitcases out of Domata Peko’s hair and the show setting up the inspiring narratives for the undrafted longshots who are bound to get cut by the third episode.
All in all, I will consider this season a success if there is footage of Mike Brown stealing from NFL Films’ craft services to restock the team facilities.