I don't need to tell you this if you watched it all, but HBO is calling their "24/7" series on the Winter Classic a success. Just like it was with Hard Knocks and the other "24/7" series before it, fans have really enjoyed getting this rare, exclusive and unfettered access to their favorite teams and players, especially leading up to such an important game.
So where do we go from here? The New York Times is reporting that HBO is already looking for the next event for intrusive documentation, and I mean that in the most positive way possible. Next year's Winter Classic is an obvious choice that's mentioned in the article, but it might lack the sizzle of this year's if the two teams don't hate each other like the Pens and Caps. I have some suggestions for them after the jump.
The article mentions that the NBA has turned down HBO on a number of occasions for a similar opportunity (cue the LeBron protection conspiracy theories!). Which is too bad, because it would be a great opportunity to for the fans to get that kind of access to players who have started to become larger than life. It would have been great leading up to the Celtics/Heat opening day game or LeBron's first trip back to Cleveland. Or even some other non-LeBron stuff, if the NBA would allow it.
- The article also mentions the Ryder Cup, which would be a dream come true for me. I always forget how much I love that tournament until it gets underway. Then I remember the passion of the players defending their country/continent, and the gravity of the whole thing just kind of hits me. A series like this that showed what the players were going through in preparation, both mentally and physically, would be a great thing for the tournament and its fans.
- The Super Bowl is an obvious choice because HBO already has ties to the NFL. But letting the cameras into the locker room while you prepare for a regular season game is very different than allowing that type of distraction while you get ready for a Championship game, so I would be surprised to see this kind of thing happen.
- The World Cup would be perfect if it weren't another four years away.
- A Hard Knocks type series on an MLB team during spring training seems logical, but I'm not sure that there is the same type of drama as there is with the NFL equivalent. If a guy gets cut here he still has a job in the organization, not as much on the line.
- I doubt that college teams are in play, but the BCS Championship, March Madness and even the Heisman presentation would be excellent. But with all the rules that the NCAA has, I doubt it would be a possibility.
- Another golf thing, but let's get this thing going on the Masters. The scene and the importance of the tournament, as well as the ever-present drama surrounding Tiger Woods would be incredible television. But I don't think Tiger wants to let anyone in his inner circle right now.
Any other ideas?