A great problem is plaguing our New England Patriots these days. No, it's not the pass rush, or the questionable offensive line depth. And it has nothing to do with Tom Brady's haircut. Instead, it's television. You see, it seems the Patriots are woefully lacking in HBO subscriptions, keeping them from the valuable insight into a division opponent that can be found in the Hard Knocks series.
Yes, indeed, even the most important members of the team are left out in the cold, as both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have admitted that they have completely missed out on this year's series, and all the information therein.
"I haven’t seen it," [Belichick] added. "I’m sure I’ll probably see some of it. I don’t even know when it’s on."
"Honestly, I haven't turned [Hard Knocks] on. I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show," [Brady] told WEEI on Monday morning.
While Brady and Belichick may try to disguise their failure to follow on disinterest and dislike, that's hard to believe when you consider how significant an advantage they're passing up. How will Bill Belichick coach against a slimmer Rex Ryan if he doesn't know the man has lost weight? How can they intercept Mark Sanchez' passes if they don't know he's throwing picks? And do they even realize that Darrelle Revis isn't there? When week two rolls around, and the Patriots head into the (new) Meadowlands, they'll have only their own closed wallets to blame for being so unprepared.
Really, though, are we surprised that the Patriots are turning a blind eye to the antics of New York? After all, could anything be less Patriot-like than Hard Knocks?
It's no coincidence that the Patriots haven't been featured on the program yet, and probably no great loss either. While Belichick has apparently been approached, it's hard to believe that he'd be interested in granting the film crew the access they'd want, much less willing to take on the distraction they'd provide. And how much will they even get out of a team built around quietly doing their job. This is not a team of rock stars (Brady's "Bieber Hair" aside), and there's only so much screentime to devote to Logan Mankins.
No, it's probably best that HBO stick to the Jets and the motley crew of egos and attitudes they have assembled there that the Patriots are hoping will spell their undoing. Maybe the Patriots just aren't interesting enough, but that's just the way we like them.