"Hard Knocks" Episode Featuring Johnson's Exit Marks Show's Second Best Audience
HBO announced that Tuesday's episode of "Hard Knocks," was the “second-most watched edition of the series ever” with 984,000 viewers, up 34% from last week's episode, according to Dave Hyde of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The only "Hard Knocks" episode that “had more viewers was the finale of the 2010 series” involving the Jets , which “had just more than 1 million viewers” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 8/15). HBO Sports President Ken Hershman said that there “wasn’t much discussion as to whether they should air the conversation between” coach Joe Philbin and former WR Chad Johnson when he was released Sunday night. Hershman said, “It was obvious for us. That was a delicate one, but it played out well” (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 8/15). ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley said cutting Johnson on-camera was a “good call because when you do ‘Hard Knocks’ you sign on for the good, the bad and the ugly and we saw it be kind of ugly” on Tuesday night (“SportsNation,” ESPN2, 8/15). The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein said of Johnson, “He'll be a broadcaster though if he can keep most of the cuss words out” (“Chicago Tribune Live,” Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 8/15).
TOUGH LOVE: The SUN-SENTINEL's Hyde writes rookie TE Michael Egnew became “one of the unintentional stars of the second episode” of "Hard Knocks." Egnew was “ripped loudly by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.” Hyde: “It was great TV for viewers. It was raw and real TV for us in the media.” It also explained, once again, why when Philbin “announced a few months ago the Dolphins would do the show, most veterans groaned.” They “didn't want cameras and microphones in places where cameras and microphones don't belong.” Hyde wrote, “This is why most players don’t enjoy ‘Hard Knocks.’ Sure, who cares about the players. If they can't take the criticism, they're not tough enough anyhow. Criticism is one thing. Embarrassment, another.” But one has to wonder if Philbin “grasped the invasive nature of this show in allowing it.” The Dolphins “benefit as an organization” because the Bengals went “from bottom of the league in merchandise sales to middle of the pack after” their appearance on the series. Hyde: “The show won't get in the way of winning, as the last two participating teams made the playoffs. But will it help it?” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/16). Lions DE Cliff Avril said "Hard Knocks" is “probably one of the more real shows on TV” because it shows “how cutthroat the NFL is.” He added, “Some of this stuff we learn for the first time, too, just by watching” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/16). Dolphins WR Roberto Wallace said, “At the end of the day it's a show. That's what they'll do. Obviously they pointed out all of the negatives which is part of the show. People like drama more than anything. They did it to Vontae (Davis) last week.” And Egnew yesterday was asked “if he got any texts from friends or family after the show [Tuesday] night, either offering support or perhaps some good-natured ribbing.” Egnew said, “I shut my phone off” (MIAMIHERALD.com, 8/15).