Chicago Bears involvement on “Hard Knocks” a win for NFL, Max

Comes over Bears’ Chairman’s objections

While former President Donald Trump’s 34 felony indictments were being handled down Thursday afternoon, the NFL snuck through this piece of news –  the Chicago Bears will finally be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks for a five-week run beginning August 6 and streaming on Max. 

“We are honored to feature such an iconic NFL franchise on Hard Knocks,” said NFL Films senior director and supervising producer Shannon Furman. “The Chicago Bears have a talented roster, coaching staff, and front office all determined to match the expectations of a hungry fan base. We are thankful to the entire organization for opening their doors to us for what is sure to be an exciting training camp this summer.”

This came despite the objections of Bears Chairman George McCaskey, who is not a fan of the show and is busy trying to extort billions of taxpayer money to build a new stadium on the Lakefront. The Bears have a rookie QB in Caleb Williams, acquired several key players in the last two seasons, and possess compelling storylines that made following the team too good for the NFL to pass up. Sharing McCaskey’s concerns, several other teams have turned down Hard Knocks; five teams did that in 2013, leading the NFL to force eligible teams to participate. 

“Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Chicago Bears will provide our passionate fans across the world the ability to experience this unique and critical time in the history of our franchise”, said Bears President Kevin Warren. 

“The 2024 training camp will be big for us in preparation for achieving our season goals and we look forward to bringing the fans at home along for the journey,” said General Manager Ryan Poles.

For the last 23 years, Hard Knocks featured teams as they prepare for training camp as they prepare for the upcoming NFL season, often depicting the teams’ players, coaches, and staff. The criteria to be on Hard Knocks have to be met for the team to appear on the show: not appearing in the last decade; no rookie head coach; and not reaching the playoffs in either of the two preceding seasons. 

A similar offseason edition of Hard Knocks was announced recently; the New York Giants will be featured on the show starting July 2. 

Several Bears players and coaches have been featured on Hard Knocks before; head coach Matt Eberflus was on the show three years ago when he was a defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts and described the experience as positive. 

Including the Bears in HBO’s Hard Knocks is a win-win for the NFL and Warner Bros. Discovery, the owner of HBO and Max. It gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the NFL’s most storied franchises and a chance to see rookie QB Caleb Williams prepare for his first season in the pros. It should also drive more subscribers to Max, given the high demand for the Bears’ version of Hard Knocks – not to mention the majority of viewers are now cord-cutters and no longer have a traditional cable subscription.  


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