The 12th season of *Hard Knocks premieres Tuesday night on HBO with the first of five episodes taking us behind the scenes at Tampa Bay Buccaneers camp. There are plenty of fun storylines to follow this season, but in the meantime let's take a walk down memory lane and look back at some of the series' finest moments.*
There's J.J. Watt: Solitary in the darkness, alone with his thoughts, grinding for his craft long after teammates have retired to the locker room. Was this a peek into the ceaseless work ethic of a transcendent talent -- or a shameless play to the cameras? You decide.
The Baltimore Ravens' rookies set the bar extremely high in Season 1 for the annual rookie talent competition. We think of this every time we hear the word "restitution."
Chad Ochocinco's awkward, post-arrest release by the Dolphins was one of the realest moments in Hard Knocks history. In what other "reality" show do you see a highly successful, high-profile career essentially end on camera?
In retrospect, it's amazing that Jets players were loose enough at training camp to think it was OK to pig out on McDonald's cheeseburgers during an NFL practice. Rex Ryan re-wrote the book on being a "player's coach." But even Rex had to put his foot down in front of the golden arches. The result was Hard Knocks history.
Bernard Pollard, the not-so-tiny dancer. You almost have to blur his midsection for NFL Network reruns.
Ryan Tannehill may have football smarts, but that does not include basic knowledge of the NFL's division structure.