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NY Giants may be forced  
By nugent01 on Jan 03, 2014 06:43 AM
NY Giants may be forced to take part in 'Hard Knocks'

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News Tom Coughlin and the Giants have never appeared on HBO's 'Hard Knocks.'

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John Mara once said the Giants would appear on HBO's Hard Rey Maualuga Jersey Knocks only over his dead body. Now the network, which produces the reality series with NFL Films, might not have to wait that long.

NFL owners passed a resolution Tuesday forcing teams to appear on the popular and intrusive series when there are no other volunteers. The final vote tally wasn't immediately known, but Mara did not change his position.

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"I voted against the resolution," he said Tuesday. "I have nothing against the show. It may not be for us, but I understand why teams would want to appear on it. I just think that participation should be voluntary, not compulsory."

Mara once used a more descriptive phrase to calculate the distance between the Giants and a "Hard Knocks" appearance. In 2010, he said: "The announcement will come when I'm next to my father in Gates of Heaven cemetery."

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Justin Tuck put it another way. "The NFL is trippin'," Tuck said Tuesday. "How are they going to pass a rule to force you to be on Hard Knocks?"

What apparently had some NFL owners "trippin' " or flippin', depending on what side of the decision you're on, was how long it took to get the Bengals in the fold to appear on the 2013 edition of Hard Knocks. Cincy's selection wasn't announced until June 17, barely a month before training camp opened.

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"They (HBO/NFL Films) would like to have a team selected around the draft," a TV industry source said. "The Bengals were announced so late it made it harder for them (HBO/NFL Films) to develop story lines, meet with the team and do other things associated with shooting the series."

HBO declined comment on the Rey Maualuga Authentic Jersey owners' decision.

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Hard Knocks, which chronicles the inner workings of a training camp, debuted in 2001. Since then six teams the Ravens, Cowboys (twice), Bengals (twice), Chiefs, Jets and Dolphins have appeared.

When the show was first envisioned, NFL Films' boss the late Steve Sabol was put in charge of team selection. His guiding principle was to try to get the Super Bowl champ. Getting that team to agree was difficult. The selection process has always been challenging, to say the least.

Yet there is no denying the show has a history of generating preseason buzz for the NFL. The Bengals' latest edition of Hard Knocks averaged 3.5 million viewers per episode, the third best audience performance in the show's history. In July, HBO and NFL Films reached an agreement on a long term contract extension to keep Hard Knocks on the pay cable network.

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