NFL Films announced on Thursday that both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers will be the focus of their 2020 version of Hard Knocks. The first episode will air on HBO, August 11th. This will be the first time two teams will split time and of course, the first time teams will go through training camp under the black cloud of a pandemic.
The Chargers are a team in limbo right now, as they don’t have many fans in the L.A. area and their games are often filled with the fans of opponents and empty seats. They need some good public relations as they try to fill SoFi Stadium, which holds 70,000 people. Last season they had trouble filling Dignity Health Sports Park which holds just 27,000 fans.
They will likely focus on their first round pick Justin Herbert and if there is any chance that Colin Kaepernick ends up L.A., he would bring a huge number of viewers, but the odds are still long for that to happen. We will also be in on all of the health protocols that Covid-19 will bring and likely the frustrations that stem from those protocols. We’ll also get insight into how two different coaching staffs handle these unprecedented times
Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn said about their participation,
“Having been part of Hard Knocks before when I was with the New York Jets, my biggest takeaway from that whole experience was that you get out of it what you put into it. There’s a reason that season was probably the most popular Hard Knocks ever. If you’re going to do a show, do it right. You can’t fake it. We didn’t have a problem providing access because we built a relationship with the crew. There was a mutual trust that exists to this day with those people, and many of them will actually be working on this year’s show. Broadcasting your internal business all over the world isn’t something you regularly want to do, but in a year with as many challenges as this one has had, I’m glad we can be part of bringing football back to the fans this summer.”
We also should get more underdog stories, as teams will likely have extra roster or practice squad spots due to Covid-19. We’ve fallen in love with bubble players in the past and if done well, there should be plenty of stories to choose from this year.