‘Hard Knocks’ or Hard Luck: Is HBO NFL Reality Show a Jinx?

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
‘Hard Knocks’ or Hard Luck:  Is HBO NFL Reality Show a Jinx?

Sports Illustrated.

Madden football video games.

The latest season of "Hard Knocks."

The latest season of "Hard Knocks?"

Yup, it looks like HBO's NFL-themed reality TV show "Hard Knocks," which premiered its seventh season last week, has become the latest form of sports media to jinx the athletes it embraces.

The Sports Illustrated cover jinx is well-known: for years, athletes who have appeared on the sports magazine's iconic cover have shortly thereafter encountered various degrees of bad luck, including arrests, trades and injuries.

The Madden jinx hasn't been around as long, since video games came on the scene long after S.I. did, but it's just as virulent.

Most of the NFL stars who have appeared on the cover of the box for the annually-updated, Madden-voiced, NFL-themed video game have ended up getting seriously injured the same season they've appeared--oftentimes it has been a season-ending injury.


Now it looks like "Hard Knocks," which is following the Miami Dolphins through training camp this season, has joined the fold.

On the first episode of "Hard Knocks," which aired last Tuesday, numerous Dolphins were shown but two in particular were featured prominently: quarterback David Garrard and wide receiver Chad Johnson.

Garrard was shown in the episode relaxing at his lakeside summer vacation home with his wife and two children and then water-skiing on the lake.

Johnson's appearance in the show was less benign.

First, the man who once legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco before changing it back to Chad Johnson this year was shown at his introductory press conference with Miami.

He used the opportunity to utter more curse words in five minutes than an x-rated nightclub comic would in a week, so many in fact that he is later shown getting admonished by the Dolphins head coach for embarassing the organization and being warned not to let anything embarrassing happen again.

Then, in a later scene in the show, Johnson barges into a coaches-only meeting and demands a chair, even though he sees no other players are in the room.

When told the nature of the meeting, Johnson insists on staying, saying he has nowhere else to go because he can't go home--his wife has banned him from the family house for the duration of training camp.

Johnson then begins to complain to the coaches about the lack of sex in his marriage, and at one point confesses that his wife gave him sex only one time all last football season, and that was after he scored a touchdown.

Finally, the coaches convince him to exit the meeting, saying it's a meeting where coaches talk "bad" about the players.

Three days after the premiere episode aired on HBO, Garrard, who had just been named the team's starting QB for the season, seriously injured his knee in the team's opening preseason game against Tampa Bay.

He had to undergo surgery and he will be out of action for at least a month, perhaps longer, and of course his knee will never be the same.

The day after Garrard was injured, Johnson was arrested for domestic battery, after allegedly head-butting his wife during a domestic dispute.

Johnson's wife was reportedly upset with Johnson after discovering a box of condoms in his possession.

Shortly after being arrested, Johnson, who was to earn $1 million this season, was cut by the Dolphins.

Johnson and his wife also had their own reality TV show on VH1, but after the arrest that show was pulled from the airwaves.

So is "Hard Knocks" the latest incarnation of the jinx-filled Sports Illustrated cover or Madden video game box?

It's too early to tell for sure although it's looking mighty good.

Looking ever better though will be the expected ratings for this week's episode of "Hard Knocks."

Or should it be called "Hard Luck?"

By Tom Somach

Gambling911.com Staff Writer


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