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NY Jets season of ‘Hard Knocks’ just made history

NY Jets, Aaron Rodgers, Hard Knocks, HBO, Ratings
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets are breaking records on Hard Knocks

For a team that openly admitted it did not want to be featured on the show (and is even limiting access in some ways), the New York Jets have been quite entertaining to watch on “Hard Knocks” over the past four weeks. And it’s translated to historic viewership.

With one episode remaining, premiering tonight at 10 p.m. ET, the 2023 season of Hard Knocks is already breaking records. According to NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, the first episode of Hard Knocks is the most-watched episode in the show’s 20-season history.

Schrager adds that Hard Knocks was the No. 1 show on Max last week.

With the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders being the other options for Hard Knocks in 2023, the Jets were always the no-brainer top choice for HBO. Aaron Rodgers’ arrival gave the Jets wide-ranging appeal. The hope was that even non-Jets fans and casual sports fans would find interest in the four-time MVP’s transition to the nation’s media capital. So far, that appears to be the case.

While Rodgers is a complex three-dimensional main character who finds himself at a fascinating juncture in his character arc, he is far from the only reason for Hard Knocks’ smashing success. The entire cast has shined. Plenty of entertaining side characters have stolen the show, ranging from Tanzel Smart to Jerome Kapp.

In some ways, the Jets have been hamming it up for HBO, which is surprising considering the team’s public defiance prior to being selected for the show. Saleh, one of the Jets’ most vocal opposers to Hard Knocks, even allowed the camera crew into his car to film a homage to the intro from “The Sopranos”.

Ultimately, despite all of the debate surrounding how the show might negatively affect the Jets, it seems like everyone can come away happy from this experience. HBO got tremendous ratings, the Jets seemed like they had more fun than they expected, and fans were treated to riveting television.

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