The same network that has brought you shows like Man vs Food, Bizarre Foods, No Reservations, and Ghost Adventures is now entering the NFL world. The Travel Channel is partnering with NFL Films to follow one NFL team on their travels throughout the regular season.
And that team is… the Cleveland Browns.
The 2-7 Cleveland Browns.
NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns will debut Tuesday December 4th and take viewers on the road with the Browns through the process of preparing for various games during the NFL season including interviews, meals, stadium preparations, and frustrating losses…
"NFL Films will provide unprecedented access to Travel Channel to unveil never-before-seen footage of what it takes to travel an entire professional football team from city to city, game to game, during the regular season. Every road trip requires a massive amount of coordination to haul the 150-person squad 20,000 miles a season. From feeding an entire team, to clothing and housing them, to how a stadium prepares and deals with more than 70,000 rabid fans, Travel Channel’s cameras are there to capture this massive undertaking.
In addition, viewers will see how the Cleveland Browns prepare each week through the eyes of the players and team management, including new owner Jimmy Haslam. They can expect to learn more about the history behind deeply-rooted team rivalries and other notable insights not typically covered in game-coverage news. Episodes will focus around the weeks leading up to games played against the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers. The announcement was jointly made today by Andy Singer, General Manager, Travel Channel, and Howard Katz, Chief Operating Officer, NFL Films.
“This series is a first-of-its-kind program providing an exclusive pass to NFL fans during the season. This is an emotionally-charged world. Now, viewers will get a never-before-seen opportunity to see what it’s like for players to live on the road, often away from their families. We’ll hear from the players themselves, coaches and scores of support staff in multiple cities,” said Singer. “Working with the Emmy award-winning storytellers from NFL Films, ‘NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns’ will take viewers beyond the gridiron and inside the action that happens between games as the storied franchise attempts to return to football greatness.”
This seems like a novel concept, and it'd be interesting to get a behind the scenes look at how an NFL team travels every week… I'm just not sure the Cleveland Browns are the most interesting subject matter to be profiled. The prospects of following such a depressing, struggling, uninteresting team are pretty grim. The Browns have been terrible this year, even by their recent standards. Unless we find new owner Jimmy Haslam alone in his new office curled up into a ball on the floor shaking over the fact that he inherited a team with one playoff appearance since 1999 and a 29 year old rookie quarterback who has the lowest QB Rating in the league, this series is going to lack a sense of realism.
From a pure travel perspective, a trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh or Cleveland to Oakland isn't one that jumps out of the television and excites you about travel, it should give viewers an idea of just what football players do when they travel though, and all the different things to do depending on how you are available in different cities. Things to do in San Antonio TX, or things to do in Tampa Florida vary greatly depending on how much money and time you have and just who you are. I would imagine being a football player only there for a few days is a very different experience than the average person is used to. I can't wait to see Greg Little drop his luggage, too. In all seriousness though, it will be engaging to have a different angle going inside an NFL team and another fly-on-the-wall documentary style program to provide more behind the scenes footage for sports fans. Plus, with NFL Films involved, you know the quality will be top drawer.
When I think of great travel destinations and the Travel Channel, the city of Cleveland doesn't exactly come to mind. But maybe, just maybe, this is the program Cleveland needs to change that reputation. It's a great next step forward from "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video"…