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Hard Knocks Is Back, And Here's What To Expect

Against the best wishes of Aaron Rodgers and the Jets, they'll be the subject of this year's HBO documentary.

Hard Knocks airs its inside look at the Jets training camp on Tuesday night. And we can expect either the best season ever or the absolute worst — with little room for an in-between.

The series is known for offering an in-depth and cinematic look at preseason NFL, chronicling a team from the start of training camp to the cusp of regular season. Hard Knocks hones in on the unique personalities comprising a team, from unconventional traditions to the bonds between teammates and coaches to the battle among rising players to make the cut.

However, teams aren't always keen on being the subject of Hard Knocks. It's sometimes seen as a badge of shame, since teams that have made the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons are ineligible to appear on the show, as are teams with a first-year head coach and teams that have appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 seasons. Second, having the microscope of a documentary film crew held up to a team doesn't necessarily bode well for PR. The 2018 Browns, for example, had a petty and passive-aggressive rivalry between the head coach and offensive coordinator that saw both of them undermining each other constantly.

The Jets are reportedly irate about being on Hard Knocks this year. Especially the team's new quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who has a notoriously shaky relationship with the media.

"Look, I understand the appeal with us. Obviously, there's a lot of eyes on me, a lot of eyes on our team, a lot of expectations for our squad," he told San Francisco television station KPIX. "They forced it down our throats and we have to deal with it."

The team's reluctance to appear on Hard Knocks could go one of two ways. We could either have one of the most boring seasons ever, where access is so restricted that there's hardly anything interesting being covered. Or, fans could have one of the most entertaining seasons ever filmed, where players' anger toward the camera crew is palpable. Here's how to watch the upcoming season and what to expect.

How and when to watch Hard Knocks in 2023

New York Jets fans paint their backs to celebrate the return of Hard Knocks

Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Hard Knocks is exclusive to HBO. You can either watch it live on the HBO cable channel or stream it live on Max.

The series premiere is on Tuesday, August 8 at 10 p.m. ET. Subsequent episodes will air the following four Tuesdays at the same time until the series finale on September 5.

Is the Hard Knocks Curse real?

Like the infamous Madden Curse, there's a circulating belief that if your team appears on Hard Knocks, like if a player appears on the cover of Madden, then the team is destined to have a losing season.

However, the Hard Knocks curse has been largely debunked. Seven of the 18 teams to be featured on the show since its 2001 debut has gone on to at least make the playoffs, including the 2010 Jets under head coach Rex Ryan. Othftentimes the best teams avoid appearing on Hard Knocks, but this is largely due to the rule that any team to make at least one playoff in the past two years is ineligible.

Storylines to watch

The story that will have the most attention in 2023 is the Jets acquiring four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers in the offseason.

But there will also be plenty of young talent to keep an eye on, including running back Breece Hall and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner.

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