Hard Knocks had always set a bit uneasy with the football community. The HBO training camp documentary series gives an inside look at one team's pre-season. But the organization involved may see it as an unwanted distraction and makes them an open book to 31 other NFL teams.

The general manager of the Cleveland Browns, the 2018 subject of Hard Knocks, said this before the team was announced as the show's participant,

"I don't believe we're on Hard Knocks, I don't think there's anything good that comes out of Hard Knocks, but we'll see.''

What kind of team does Hard Knocks look to profile? Teams with compelling stories, big personalities and haven't been featured on the show in years, if ever.

Heading into the 2019 Hard Knocks selection season (because everything is a season for the Shield, right?) there appear to be three top contenders out of five eligible teams, The Raiders, the Giants and the Lions.

The Giants are in rebuilding mode, in the nation's largest media market and with a huge fan base would be hard to ignore. Questions about Eli Manning will make for a compelling story.

The Raiders are heading into a chaotic season where the may be homeless before their projected move to Las Vegas. This year will be Jon Gruden's second season after a disastrous (or laying the groundwork, if you're being positive) first season.

The Lions are the third of five teams that are eligible to appear on Hard Knocks. Head Coach Matt Patricia got in front of the issue by all but begging the producers and the league to select the Raiders.

In a move that Yahoo Sports calls shameless, Patrica said

"I think Jon Gruden is an excellent choice for that show. I think the Oakland Raiders and everything they’ve got going on right now would be fantastic viewing for everybody to watch."

Patricia, then asked if appearing on the show would be like a weeks-long dentist visits for root canals, briefly sighed before saying: “Yeah,” and that “I definitely think I would get a lot of phone calls from my mom at night if that show was on.”

Here are the three rules in place for selecting Hard Knocks participants,

  • No first-year head coach
  • No playoff berth in the past two seasons
  • Not appearing on “Hard Knocks” in the past 10 years

Beyond the Lions, Giants and Raiders, Washington and the 49ers are eligible to be selected for the 2019 season.

So what do you say, Lions fans, do you want to see the team like never before on Hard Knocks or respect the leadership's request to stay off the HBO radar.

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