While we, the viewer, enjoy watching the in’s and out’s of an NFL training camp, teams (especially front offices) aren’t as happy to parade around in front of television cameras.
The HBO reality sports documentary ‘Hard Knocks’, which debuted in 2001 has become somewhat of a staple on the network though it hasn’t been without its share of problems, namely finding an interested team to participate.
The Baltimore Ravens were the initial guinea pig in 2001 who were followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002. However, the reality program took a five year hiatus before returning to the airwaves in 2007. That lasted until 2011 when the production team couldn’t find a willing participant, though the series returned in 2012 thanks to the Miami Dolphins.
In 2013, the Cincinnati Bengals partook (for the second time), though, that was after HBO was declined by the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.
That apparently didn’t sit well with NFL commissioner Roger Godell, who according to Ian Rapoport may all but force a team to take part:
Proposal to compel teams to do Hard Knocks passed (if no volunteers), source said. Wouldn’t apply to teams with new coaches or in playoffs