Is The ‘Hard Knocks Curse’ Real?

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez directed his team to the AFC Title Game for a second consecutive year after appearing on Hard Knocks in 2010.

I’d never heard of the supposed “Hard Knocks Curse” until today, when Grantland’s Bill Barnwell thoroughly eviscerated the notion. Barnwell analyzed the pre/post-Hard Knocks records for each team that has appeared in the series. The results were fascinating to say the least.

2001: Baltimore Ravens
Previous season:
12-4, won Super Bowl
Hard Knocks season:
10-6, lost in divisional round of playoffs

2002: Dallas Cowboys
Previous season:
5-11
Hard Knocks season:
5-11

2004: Jacksonville Jaguars
Previous season:
5-11
Hard Knocks season:
9-7

2007: Kansas City Chiefs
Previous season:
9-7
Hard Knocks season:
4-12

2008: Dallas Cowboys
Previous season:
13-3, lost in divisional round of playoffs
Hard Knocks season:
9-7

2009: Cincinnati Bengals
Previous season:
4-12
Hard Knocks season:
9-7, lost in wild-card round

2010: New York Jets
Previous season:
9-7, lost in AFC championship game
Hard Knocks season:
11-5, lost in AFC championship game

Combined record of the team’s Pre-Hard Knocks season: 57-55
Combined record of the team’s Post-Hard Knocks season:
57-55

Suffice it to say that the Miami Dolphins have nothing to fear as they gear up for this upcoming season’s version of Hard Knocks … or do they?

There’s no such thing as a Hard Knocks curse. If anything, the show itself has exhibited a curse of picking teams with awful quarterbacks in their recent past or immediate future. Fortunately, the Dolphins don’t have to worry — oh.

Bill Barnwell (Grantland): The Myth of the Hard Knocks Curse

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