The NFL announced Thursday that the Cleveland Browns will be featured on the next season of HBO’s Hard Knocks. They were one of six teams that couldn’t decline being the subject of this upcoming season, as per the NFL’s rules.
How your grandpa thinks bets are currently placed: Bettors sneak into a seedy bar under a railroad trestle, filled with people with guys like Walter White, Nicely-Nicely and Tony Bagabocceballs. There, scofflaws hand wads of twenties over to scar-faced men in fedoras and mumble things like “Let it ride on the Cleveland Browns. Papa needs a new pair of Air Monarchs!” If the bets pays off, they squander the money on wanton women and bathtub gin (which is probably a real thing in Brooklyn bars). If they lose, a guy who looks like Danny Trejo breaks their fingers in the parking lot.
Browns general manager John Dorsey, who kept his decision to select Mayfield secret until the day before the draft, admitted reluctance that his team will be forced to open its facility and practices to HBO’s cameras. But the Browns couldn’t opt out. NFL rules only exempt teams that have a first-year head coach, have made the playoffs in the past two seasons or have been on Hard Knocks in the last 10 years from participating. The Browns were one of six teams (along with the Broncos, 49ers, Ravens, Chargers, Redskins) who could not say no this year.
There will probably be breakout stars, like 2017 No. 1 pick Myles Garrett, a defensive end who is as quirky off the field — he loves dinosaurs — as he is menacing on it. There’s wide receiver Josh Gordon, who returned last year after a drug-related suspension that lasted more than two seasons. There’s Taylor, underappreciated during his tenure in Buffalo (a team he took to the playoffs in 2017) and likely to be overshadowed in Cleveland. And then there’s Mayfield, the charismatic 2017 Heisman Trophy winner who was the most polarizing player in college football — and possibly in this draft class — because of his brash personality.