In a lot of ways, “Hard Knocks” can be self-serving for the featured team. It’s a way to put your team into the spotlight and fall in love with coaches and players from your own team.
But there is always a danger when opening that to a national audience. After all, the public has become extremely snarky these days, especially when it comes to online personas. So a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite franchise opens up the opportunity for criticism, scorn, or even worse, mockery. Just look at the season of the Cleveland Browns’ “Hard Knocks.” Remember Hue Jackson having a very public power struggle?
So when the Detroit Lions—a team that has been endlessly mocked—took on “Hard Knocks” there was a risk that some fans were worried about. Coach Dan Campbell has a loud personality, but that can go both ways.
So now that we’re three episodes into the season of “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions” how is the national audience reacting? It doesn’t appear TV ratings are out now, so there’s no objective measure of how the Lions are faring in terms of popularity. So, instead, we’re going to take a very unofficial approach to this. Social media can be a horribly negative place, but when you look at the comment section of a “Hard Knocks” post on Instagram, the responses are overwhelmingly positive—especially if it’s a video of Dan Campbell being Dan Campbell. Take this post, for example:
Here’s a sampling of the comments on this post:
“Shit he makes me wanna win for him ”
Dan Campbell is the kinda guy makes you wanna run through a wall
I really hope he keeps his job seems like such a likable guy and someone who’s always gonna be there really hope he has a winning season in Detroit
Of course, there are the typical criticisms you see with both the Lions and any NFL coach:
Great coach. But he will never win on that organization. Always been a lost cause
This guy is a walking cliché, good lord
Let’s move to another speech. This one, after the Lions’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts in preseason game 2:
This one was far more positive. Check out some of these comments:
Lions better win a couple because I wanna see him stay
This is best hard knocks season ever
One hell of a coach!!
That’s a coach I wanna play for
As a packers fan, he scares me more than any other player in the north
Gosh I wish we had him
Whole NFL fan base rooting for the lions this year
Crazy.. I feel like no matter what our fav teams are, we all are rooting for the lions to do good this year
Im not even a Lions fan but I really really like this dude! Seems like a heck of a coach! Hope they have some success this year.
This dude just might make Detroit a real deal team
No team is going to be universally loved by the “Hard Knocks” audience, but it sure seems like a lot of people will be rooting for Campbell and the Lions this season.