HBO's Hard Knocks series returned in 2007 after a five year hiatus to chronicle the Kansas City Chiefs' 2007 training camp in River Falls, WI. Since '07, HBO has filmed Cowboys, Bengals and Jets' training camps but the 2011 edition is turning out to be a tough casting call.
The Detroit Lions are reportedly the third team to have turned down HBO's offer of being on the reality TV show. Earlier this spring, the Broncos and Bucs also turned down HBO's offer to film their teams. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said, "It's one thing to have cameras on the practice field. These guys are used to that and every day there's cameras, fans watching them practice and things like that. But when you start getting into meeting rooms, when you start getting into the cafeteria, into the dorms, into the locker room and things like that, it changes the vibe."
I can't blame Schwartz for his reasoning. Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, who was the coach of the Chiefs when they were on Hard Knocks, said the cameras were definitely a distraction:
"The downside is the players ... get so hung up on wanting to be part of the show, and not all of them are going to be," Edwards said. "So half the time they're asking, 'Why wasn't I on the show last night?' Then they're almost overacting to become a part of it."
PFT mentions that the Atlanta Falcons may be interested in being on the show, if HBO's next choices fall through.
Hulu.com actually has quite a bit of the 2007 edition of the show featuring the Chiefs. Check out the first full episode here.