The hit HBO show ‘Hard Knocks’ is back, and is here for the long haul:
Good news — 'HARD KNOCKS' has been renewed!
Which team would you like to see featured on the new season? pic.twitter.com/0U0lBbbT2n
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 3, 2017
HBO Sports, NFL Media, and NFL Films announced a long-term agreement for the television program that splices reality TV into a documentary style film tied together by a behind-the-scenes look at the trials and tribulations of a professional football team. The show debuted in 2001 and has been a hit since.
The five-episode season returns on Tuesday, August 8 … but what team will be featured in 2017?
Remember, teams that have hired a new coach for the 2017 season, have made the playoffs in the last two seasons, or have appeared on the show within the last 10 years are excluded from forced inclusion. And as we discussed earlier this offseason, the Bears are one of eight teams that can be forced into participating. The other seven are the Buccaneers, Browns, Colts, Eagles, Ravens, Saints, and Titans.
There are some interesting teams in that group. The Buccaneers, Eagles, and Titans have young quarterbacks on the rise, while the Saints, Colts, and Ravens resume their hunt for postseason glory with established signal callers. The Browns will feature a bunch of new faces, including the No. 1 overall pic, but which team has more intrigue than the NFL’s charter franchise?
You couldn’t write the script for the 2017 Bears if you were a lead writer at HBO. We’re talking about the league’s charter franchise with a coach who is in win-now mode in the third year of a four year deal and a general manager with eyes for the future, but has a contract that lines up with his head coach. Sounds like made-for-TV drama to me.
Chairman George McCaskey has already made it clear in recent comments that he would prefer the Bears not be featured on Hard Knocks. But it might not be up to him in the end.
Meanwhile, Bears fans will be featured in their own documentary series, coming soon to ESPN.