Hard Knocks, the original HBO series that profiles a NFL team during the offseason could feature the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.
According to deadspin the NFL has passed a rule that forces teams to grant HBO access into their practices with cameras for the series. However, HBO is not permitted to film a team’s training camp if any of the follow restrictions apply: A team has a new head coach, a team has made the playoffs within the past two seasons or already appeared on Hard Knocks within the past 10 years.
With that said, Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin’s not going anywhere, the team’s missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season and the Steelers have never been on the show, so the black and gold certainly meet the criteria.
The other teams that fit the boot are: The Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders. Of all the team’s eligible to appear on Hard Knocks you have to believe the Steelers are one of the front-runners in terms of an interesting and popular team to watch.
The Steelers have a tremendous fan base across the nation and always seem to snag respectable TV ratings and ticket sales over the course of seasons (especially when they’re playing well). It wouldn’t be surprising if there was a large demand from fans wanting to see the Steelers featured on the program. I could also see the Giants, Bears and maybe the Raiders getting attention but I believe the Steelers will be high on the list.
So why not go for it? It would bring some excitement back to the steel city after a lousy season and show a side of the Steelers that no one really gets to see. But that’s exactly the case. It will show a side of the Steelers that no one really sees.
The Steelers’ organization takes a lot of pride on being a respectable organization. They’ve had their fair share of scandals that have left some sour tastes in some of the general public’s mouth but for the most part the Steelers are one of the organizations that has built a reputation on being one of the league’s best teams (most Super Bowls by any team) and most respectful.
I can’t see the Steelers having or wanting HBO poking their noses around during the offseason, especially after the team missed the playoffs yet again. Steeler fans are harsh, passionate and want their team back in the hunt for a record seventh Super Bowl title and the ownership knows this.
It’s not to say the Steelers don’t like being in the limelight or want to deprive their fans from seeing them on the show, it’s just something that the Steelers don’t need heading into an important offseason. The organization isn’t flashy and that’s just how it is.
I’m not sure how “forced” a team is into partaking in the filming of this show but if the Steelers have any say you have to bet that they’ll be against it. Crazier things have happened and who knows maybe the Steelers will let it happen or be forced to let the cameras roll, regardless it’s not a good idea. Any team can choose to be on the show but I highly doubt the Steelers will choose to be on it. This offseason and 2014 season is too important for the Steelers to be the NFL’s Kardashians.