If you’re a diehard football fan like me, then you know that this is one of those weirdly exciting days every year: the first promo put out by HBO for its venerable summer training camp series Hard Knocks.
It’s a gritty, true-to-form, no holds barred look at a NFL franchise as it prepares its coaches, players, and young hopefuls for the upcoming season. Every year, a different team is chosen by the league for the Emmy Award winning series, and cameras have access to just about everything you could imagine: the weight room, film sessions, fights, families, and most notably, the heartbreaking scenes when an assistant coach phones up your favorite rookie with the dreaded words, “Coach would like to see you, and bring your playbook.”
This year, the biggest off-season storyline for the National Football League comes front and center for the HBO docu series: the Los Angeles Rams, who are returning to LA for the first time since leaving for St. Louis in 1995. It’s a move that the league heralded for many years, hoping to return a team to one of biggest media markets in the nation, and it was a no-brainer that the Jeff Fisher-led Rams would land the Hard Knocks nod for 2016.
The excitement for the Rams franchise is doubled with the arrival of the first overall draft pick this year, the young man who will likely be the newest face of the Rams for what team management hopes will be many seasons: Jared Goff, quarterback out of Cal.
“We’re gonna go win a bunch of games with this kid,” a coach can be heard saying of their new draft pick. Running back Todd Gurley, entering his second year, is also prominently featured in the HBO promo.
The Hard Knocks franchise has consistently been one of the biggest winners for HBO’s summer programming since it debuted in 2001, with the lion’s share of the seasons narrated by Liev Schreiber. In 2007, Paul Rudd narrated the series when it focused on his hometown Kansas City Chiefs.
The Rams begin the season on September 12 when they travel upstate to the Bay area to take on the 49ers, and the inaugural home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is scheduled for Week 2 against the Seahawks. The 12th season of Hard Knocks debuts on August 9. Watch the above promo from NFL Films and HBO.
J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]
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