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Steelers Reportedly 1 Of 3 Finalists For HBO’s Hard Knocks

According to Fox Sports anchor Tomm Looney, the NFL and HBO have narrowed down the pool of finalists for HBO’s Hard Knocks to the Pittsburgh Steelers, NY Giants, and Chicago Bears.

While this may be true, it doesn’t pass the sniff test to me at first pass. Those three teams are all eligible to be ‘forced’ to participate under the NFL’s recent rule change which allows the league to select participants if they meet certain criteria. The Steelers, Bears, Giants, Bills, Cardinals, Jaguars, Raiders, and Rams all fall under that umbrella. Teams that meet the following specifications cannot be forced to be on the program:

  • Have made the playoffs in one of the previous two seasons
  • Have acquired a new head coach
  • Have appeared on Hard Knocks within the last 10 years

Obviously the Steelers are not protected by any of those parameters. What raises suspicion though is the fact that the league was reportedly only going to implement the rule if there were no volunteers. According to the commissioner himself last Thursday, there are many teams who are interested.

“There are several clubs that are interested in doing this. I just don’t have an update on which club, whether it’s going to be a volunteer or if it’s somebody who is going to have to fulfill the obligation. But I’m sure that decision will be made pretty soon”, said Goodell last Thursday. He added, “…it’s important for all clubs to contribute to it in some fashion. I think we designed a very interesting concept that allows teams if you have a coaching change not to have that be an issue, but also have some kind of rotation to it.”

I think it’s no secret at this point that the Steelers organization as a whole is not interested in being on HBO. In fact, Mike Tomlin went as far as to say that it was “a joke” when asked about it a month ago. Either way, we’ll know for certain who will be the focus of the show in the not too distant future. Last year, the Bengals were announced as the participants in early June if that has any bearing on this year’s announcement.

About Steve Alan

Steve, known by most as TTF, is owner of TheSteelersFans and administrator of the best Steelers message board on the net. Big fan of strong coffee and hardcore Steelers fan from womb to tomb.