Would You Watch the Pittsburgh Steelers on HBO’s Hard Knocks?


Tuesday morning reports started circulating that the field for possible teams to be compelled to participate in HBO’s Hard Knocks was narrowed to three teams, one of them being the Pittsburgh Steelers. By afternoon, an NFL spokesperson claimed that those reports were false. Still, we know that the Steelers are one of the “eligible” teams who the NFL can force to participate in the HBO reality show so the announcement is sure to come soon one way or the other. How does Steeler Nation feel about letting the nation in on Steelers Training Camp in Latrobe and, more importantly, would you watch?

Sports are the ultimate reality show. No matter what’s talked about beforehand you can’t ever truly predict what will happen on the field. It’s compelling, it’s dramatic, and it’s exciting. Reality shows, on the other hand, are none of those things. What is billed to be “reality” is almost always staged and people who were once normal, everyday people become television characters who get paid to behave their worst. While it sounds like I’m passing judgment on reality shows, I’m not, just merely pointing out the differences. HBO’s Hard Knocks tries to bridge the gap between reality shows and sports reality by going behind the scenes with a team during training camp to bring the fans a side they quite possibly haven’t seen before.

When it comes to the Steelers training camp, it’s one of if not the best experiences in the NFL from a fan’s perspective. Whether it’s the no cost to attend, the beautiful scenery, or the access to the players, visiting Latrobe in July/August is something every Steeler fan should treat themselves to at some point in their lives. That being said I don’t want the Steelers to have to participate in Hard Knocks. I think it’s wrong for the league to have made this deal with HBO where it can force a team to participate in something that should be volunteer-based. I think it should be up to the team to decide if they want that kind of publicity and coverage and it shouldn’t be forced on them.

Would I watch the Steelers in Hard Knocks? You bet your sweet ass I will. I’ll host watching parties if it comes to that. The Hard Knocks show usually has a team without a national following featured in order to help them boost a national fallowing. I’d suspect if the Steelers were the participants, the ratings would be through the roof. I don’t have to like it, but if the Steelers are on, I’ll eat up every bit of it and ask for more. And so will you, you know it.

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  • ApexSteel

    Hell yeah. The fact that some people don’t want to know what Lawrence Timmons or Ben Roethlisberger are like behind the scenes or even give some context to those training camp updates is crazy. They want to look on Twitter and see “nice catch by Markus Wheaton over William Gay”, but they don’t want to see it.

  • Carl Eagan

    Maybe it will be a good thing. The Rooney’s will; make Tomlin read coaching for dummies and every coaching book there is because he won’t have time to rehearse his sound bites and he could learn something about football.

  • tpalya

    Don’t need the distraction!

  • jayman419

    It would be like looking up pictures where actresses suffer unplanned, actual wardrobe malfunctions or have private pictures stolen and released. Sure, on the one hand a lot of people are naturally kind of curious about what’s what. But at the same time, you know that the people involved don’t want to participate, they don’t want private details revealed, and they have said as much through every available venue that would air their remarks.

    Honestly, no. I wouldn’t watch it. As you said, there is already a simply incredible and totally irreplaceable pre-season Steelers experience. While I understand that people all over the country would find HBO cheaper than travel to Latrobe, it’s still too tasteless for me, all things considered.

    To the league this is a larger issue than “The Steelers are crazy popular”. The “Rooney Way” has been a given for a long time, and I think Goodell is starting to look into breaking that down a little bit. Refusing to negotiate during hold-outs, refusing to negotiate during the season, their willingness (and occasional eagerness) to drop big money players and go back to the draft, their willingness (and occasional eagerness) to use the organization’s clout to buck trends or make comments about league decisions… I think a lot of these things are going to factor into this decision.

    Goodell’s take is going to be “that stiff back *will* bend”.

  • Rikki Giaro

    ABSOLUTELY NO, this will only handicap a team that is fighting to rebuild. Once again Goodell and the NFL are trying to hold certain teams down while helping whomever is their golden boys at the moment. Why else would the rule have been set the way it is?