There have been reports coming out today stating that the Chicago Bears are on the list of finalists to appear on HBO’s hit documentary show, Hard Knocks. The NFL has since refuted these reports, though it is no secret that they want the Bears on the show. Unfortunately the Bears will be unable to turn down the show since the NFL instituted new rule that said a team can only decline the show if they had hired a new head coach that season, made the playoffs in one of the two previous seasons or had been on the show recently.
Hard Knocks is a documentary style show that follows an NFL team through their training camp days as they prepare for the start of the season. The show rotates each season to showcase a different team, and the Bears have never appeared on the show. This season the Bears, along with the Steelers, Giants, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams are all eligible to be on the show.
The Bears are not in favor of appearing on the show, and rightfully so. There is no need to bring in any more distractions for a team that is still turning around after the Lovie Smith era. The team wouldn’t stand to gain much from appearing on the show except that a few players would get more face-time in front of the camera. This could only lead to a rift between players as some of them ham it up for the cameras and could lose focus on what the team is in training camp for: getting ready to make a deep playoff push.
Though there may not be much they can do to avoid the show, the Bears should make a push to the NFL to get them out of it. The Bears are a flagship franchise in the league and need to attempt to throw any weight they may have around. It may not make a difference in the end because the NFL has a track record of doing what they want anyways, though if they can avoid the show the team needs to do all they can.