The recent brilliant (read: moronic) idea from the NFL to potentially force a team to appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” moving forward if there are no willing volunteers is ridiculous. In this era of mandates and over-aggressive government, sports are supposed to be a safe haven from such tyrannical tactics. Unfortunately it seems not even our country’s favorite game is protected from this reign of terror, but Commissioner Roger Goodell could find a squad unwilling to submit to his beck and call.
Around the league, St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is known as an edgy, no-nonsense type of coach. What he is known as above all else, however, is a player-friendly coach who wants what is best for the guys on his roster. And with the league’s youngest roster two years running, it seems pretty easy to assume that having cameras following every move players make would not be what’s best for the players.
Clearly that type of attention would bring a circus atmosphere along with it as guys attempt to make an impression on viewers rather than focusing on the task at hand. This type of potential calamity is exactly what Fisher and company need to avoid moving forward, and he seems like the perfect coach to rebel against the system.
What makes this discussion pertinent is that under the league’s standards for becoming potential TV stars, the Rams are one of five teams along with the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, and Tennessee Titans that met the criteria coming into this season. Those three checkpoints that the NFL has established stipulate that a team doesn’t have a new coach, has been to the playoffs in one of the past two seasons and/or has appeared on the show within the past 10 years.
Unless the Rams turn things around drastically this season, the playoffs seem doubtful. Fisher seems entrenched for the long haul as the man in charge unless a full collapse occurs. And obviously the team hasn’t appeared on the show yet, so this remains a very real possibility for St. Louis looking ahead to 2014.
While he may look like movie star material, don’t expect Fisher to just tow the company line and accept an appearance on the show if that’s how things shake out heading into next season. As a former player himself, Fisher will appreciate the concerns of his locker room and not just give in to the wills of the powers that be.
Consider this your fair warning, NFL. Don’t try to pin the “Hard Knocks” show on the Rams or else.