Several summers ago, just before Hard Knocks was getting ready to air detailing the New York Jets training camp, the NFL Network was re-airing old seasons of Hard Knocks. I fell in love with the show. It wasn’t the big name players that appealed to me, it was the battles of the less heralded players just trying to make the team. Within weeks they could be unemployed and they had to give it their all day-in and day-out. I also enjoyed having a peek into meeting rooms and all that goes on in there. Since that summer I have been an avid fan of Hard Knocks and rarely miss an episode.
Enter, ESPNU All-Access Ohio State. I remember where I was when I first found out that Ohio State was going to be featured on a reality show. Immediately, I had a disdain for such an event. I feel that Ohio State is above a show like this, especially on the four-letter network. Ohio State has the largest alumni association in the country, every major city you go to in this great nation has a “Buckeye Bar” where fans meet every Saturday. We don’t need the publicity. Personally, I felt like Ohio State was above this. Smaller schools on the up and up could use this type of publicity, but not a school like THE Ohio State University.
Then the first episode of Hard Knocks aired this season. Immediately I thought, “what if?” No, not “what if” the Indians can somehow win a division title with a team devoid of talent. But what if this show can remotely resemble Hard Knocks? What if it gives me a look at some pressing camp battles? What if it gives us a true look into the development of Braxton Miller?
Well within the first two episodes I had my answer. A big fat NO WAY. This show could not be more different than hard knocks. It does an unbelievable job of giving you a look into camp without actually telling you a single thing. The show has no substance. You can’t build a relationship with any of the characters (players). The entire show is about Urban Meyer (to be expected), his coaching style and the style of his coaches. You get to see small little details about what has made him so successful over the years. You don’t really get a feel for the grind that training camp is on the players or the relationships, whether it is friends or enemies, that the players are building.
If you want a happy go lucky all smiles show about your team, then this show is all you. If you want a raw look into the true grind of training camp, stick with Hard Knocks.
The most unfortunate thing is that this show has not made me any more excited for the upcoming football season. And I believe that is a massive failure on ESPN’s part. I should watch this show and just not be able to wait until September 1. Unfortunately, that has not happened. I can already not wait for September 1, because I understand what the addition of Urban Meyer means to this program. But I am very surprised that that excitement hasn’t been built upon by this show.
If it was up to me, I would take the Jim Tressel approach. Keep ESPN as far away as a perennial Top-10 program possibly can.
Do you enjoy the show? Is it a relief to actually see positive media coverage on tOSU? Let me know by commenting here of finding me on Twitter @kylecedwards713
Stay tuned next week, as I will be detailing what should reasonably be expected of this years OSU team as we will be within a week of kickoff.