They say time flies when you are having fun.
In the case of the Houston Texans, a year has seen many changes. There is a new quarterback (Brock Osweiler), running back (Lamar Miller) and a slew of rookie offensive players (Will Fuller V, Nick Martin, Braxton Miller). The nature of the National Football League is that of a quick and never ending cycle, where the clock keeps turning whether teams are on the field or not. The 2016 version of OTAs and phase three began earlier this week, and believe it or not, we are nearly two months away from Texans training camp.
The date of May 27th doesn't feel like it should hold significance for a team that plays its game in the fall. That said, on May 27th last year, the Texans made a huge announcement.
Hard Knocks! Remember that?
On this date last year what was rumored became official, with the Texans being named as the featured squad for the 10th season of the popular HBO show. Among the quotes from Ken Hershman, the president of HBO Sports, this one really stood out for me. "We are grateful to Texans chairman Bob McNair, general manager Rick Smith, coach Bill O'Brien and the entire organization for agreeing to participate and look forward to what we expect to be one of the most compelling and interesting seasons in HARD KNOCKS history."
Compelling. Interesting. That's a perfect way to say it.
For me, and others that work here for the Texans, the experience was surreal. Seeing the HBO Hard Knocks crew start to embed themselves here at the stadium leading up to camp, and then watching what you see every day (for the most part) be featured on national television is something I'll never forget. The beginning of that first episode, to see Coach O'Brien addressing his coaching staff, made it real, and from there, the next five episodes artfully told the story as the Texans got ready for the start of the 2015 season.
So much happened during the course of that month the Texans were featured on Hard Knocks. The world got to know Charles 'Happy Socks' James II, they learned about Coach O'Brien's love for Rick Ross and we saw the moment the Texans starting quarterback was named. Oh yeah, we also saw Vince Wilfork in overalls.
Critics agreed that it was a compelling season, as just a few weeks back Hard Knocks and HBO were awarded two sports Emmys for last year's show. Fittingly, James II was on hand to represent the Texans.
It was recently announced that the Los Angeles Rams will be featured this season, so the cameras will turn to LA as the Rams make the move out West. It will be different watching someone else be on television this year, but still fun none the less.