The Oakland Raiders broke the propaganda machine that is the NFL training camp reality show. Hard Knocks used to have some entertaining aspects, even though its footage has to be approved by the NFL and participating teams. Hard Knocks "wants you to think it’s raw and real," says Nick Greene. "That’s what all the swearing is for. But apart from a few f*cks and sh*ts, the show is lighter than a fairy tale." Greene adds: "It’s not surprising that Hard Knocks, which purports to give a behind-the-scenes view of training camp, doesn’t actually go behind the scenes. That’s unavoidable given that the NFL, which co-produces the series with HBO, is obsessed with protecting its own image. But even by Hard Knocks’ well-established standards, the focus has been embarrassingly soft during the show’s 14th season. The Raiders and their enigmatic wide receiver Antonio Brown are the best story of this or any other NFL preseason. But rather than adapt the series to highlight the Raiders’ peculiarities, Hard Knocks has intentionally obscured what makes the team fascinating. The league’s training camp reality series has always been propaganda. This year, it’s boring propaganda. Hard Knocks circa 2019, it quickly became clear, would be a frustrating exercise in making the only interesting training camp of modern times seem exactly the same as every other camp." ALSO: Without Jon Gruden, would Hard Knocks even have a show?