As the NFL turns into more and more of a corporate octopus, the league office can begin to impose more and more edicts on teams in the name of generating additional interest (and revenue) in the league. One such edict is forcing teams to participate in the HBO and NFL Films series "Hard Knocks."
Back in October, the league passed a rule that could force teams to participate in the future. Teams can opt out of participation if they:
- Have a new head coach
- Have made the playoffs in the last two seasons
- Or, have been featured on "Hard Knocks" already within the last 10 years.
As Will Brinson of CBS Sports aptly states, if the NFL wants to force a perennial franchise like New York or Pittsburgh to appear on "Hard Knocks," this is their opportunity. The sentiment around the league is only dysfunctional franchises allow "Hard Knocks" cameras into their facilities.
Personally, I think this mindset is silly.
"Hard Knocks" is a great show and fans want to get more access to their favorite teams. All the secretive nonsense that front office executives and coaches bluster about is more about them being control freaks than anything else. They often claim the show puts their teams at a competitive disadvantage.
The Bengals were on "Hard Knocks" this past year, and they won the AFC North.
I'd LOVE to see the Colts featured on the show, and I think it would be a great chance for the organization to open its doors to the fans. However, since it seems they can wiggle out of it, seeing the inner workings of the Steelers or Giants would be just as intriguing.