Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/19/13
If you are like me, and love football, one of your guilty pleasures is the soap opera “Hard Knocks” on HBO.I promise you, for those who have not seen it, this is not the Kardashians on display or True Blood or Mad Men. This is REALITY television at its best.For those not in the “know,” the series “Shows the personal and professional lives of the players, coaches and staff, including their family life, position battles, and even inside jokes and pranks. It particularly focuses on rookies' adjustments to playing in the NFL, usually with emphasis on the team's most recent top draft pick. It usually also chooses to focus on undrafted and journeyman players who are attempting to make the team,” stated on the shows Wikipedia page.And that is just half of it.Personally, I love the program because it shows football is not just and pass catching and returning punts.And after seven seasons, the following just proves to all of us, the inner workings of the NFL franchise is just as intriguing as a conversation with Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder.This season, the Cincinnati Bengals are the “chosen ones” of the 32-team NFL fraternity. And what happens on the practice fields does not always stay on the practice fields.Here are 10 reasons why you should watch HBO Hard Knocks, 2013: Cincinnati Bengals.1. Giovani Bernard.  Bernard will be the best running back of this draft class. Whether it is running the ball between tackles or catching passes in play action, Bernard will be a true star.2. AJ Green. Grace like Steve Largent and skills like Terrell Owens. Green will be the best wide receiver in the NFL in three years.3. It’s Cincinnati. Seriously, there has not been a series or show about this part of Ohio since “WKRP in Cincinnati.”4. Pranks. You know there will be plenty practical jokes going around. You know the rookies will be hazed and there will be some really outrageous stuff that goes on.5.  Mike Zimmer. As far as assistant coaches go, Mike Zimmer, the team’s defensive coordinator may be the most underrated assistant coach in the NFL. He gets the most out of this talented group.6. James Harrison. Known for his hard hitting and his demeanor, Harrison was a Steeler last year. This season he plays within the division and against his former team twice.7. Vontaze Burfict. He was an undrafted rookie last season and was one of the best players on the team. This year his intensity could land him in the Pro Bowl.8. Marvin Lewis. As odd as this seems, I am going to make a prediction about Lewis. The Bengals could make the playoffs and lose in the first round and the team could cut ties with him. There has to be more than a one and done situation here.9. Reggie Nelson. If he is ever implicated in anything having to do with Aaron Hernandez, this could get interesting. Even if it is discussion about his days at Florida.10. Andy Dalton. Seriously, how often do you get to see a red-headed quarterback throw a pass in the NFL?
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