The television series Hard Knocks that airs on HBO every August isn’t the most popular program among NFL coaches. The show allows camera crews – and by extension the American public – access to an NFL team’s headquarters during training camp. It’s understandable why some teams might not want to invite such a presence into their centers of operation.
That’s why it’s curious as to why the NFL passed a rule on Tuesday that would allow the league to choose a team to appear on Hard Knocks every season if no one volunteers.
“The NFL is trippin’. I’m serious,” said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. “How are they going to pass a rule to force you to be on Hard Knocks? Wouldn’t that tell you if they have no volunteers that Hard Knocks might be something that the teams don’t feel it’s going to help their team be a better football team?”
In recent years, teams have hesitated to step into the limelight for several reasons. The lack of privacy is a concern for coaches who want to try out new formations and plays. The presence of a camera crew could also become a distraction for players who are trying to go about their business.
Tuck assured reporters on Tuesday that Giants coach Tom Coughlin would not be a fan of appearing on the show.
“I know coach Coughlin, he really doesn’t approve of things like that,” noted Tuck. “But if the NFL makes it mandatory, I guess we have to abide by the rules of our employers.”
The NFL forcing an all-access television program onto its teams is only going to grow the conversation about the league valuing revenue over the welfare of its players.