Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com passes on the news (as reported locally) that the Bears have no interest in being on HBO‘s Hard Knocks. Which really isn’t news since it’s no different from the stand that they’ve consistently taken over the years:
“[Bears chairman George] McCaskey’s position generally about the show isn’t new or surprising. The Bears have become one of the most secretive organizations in football, routinely declining interview requests and at times alienating local reporters with a seemingly gratuitous lack of honesty and candor (e.g., the Kevin White injury). Part of the attitude comes for the ill-advised, Belichickian ‘anything we say can and will be used against us’ mindset. But the Bears also have developed a strong desire to funnel news and access through their own website, via EXCLUSIVE! sit-downs between, as a practical matter, coworkers.
“So maybe the real message is that the Bears would do Hard Knocks, but only if they had full control over the content — and if the episodes would appear solely the team’s official, in-house website.”
Florio is, of course, quite correct in that the Bears have become more secretive under the influence of head coach John Fox. But he’s wrong in his conclusion.
The Bears aren’t refusing to be on the show because they want control over the content. Every team wants that and, to an extent, has been given it.
The Bears concerns are more genuine and require nothing more than common sense to see. They’re afraid the show will be a distraction which, despite politically correct protestations to the contrary, it certainly has to be.
In any case, the Bears will never volunteer to be on the show as long as the McCaskey’s own the team and as long as they are hiring like-minded executives to run it. Despite that, it is possible that they will be on. But the guess here is that it will happen only if the league can’t find a volunteer and asks them to do it for the good of the collective business and not with any extra-ordinary strings attached.