The prospect of the Bears being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks has been lingering all off-season, and now it is official.

The criteria to be chosen for Hard Knocks has two simple prerequisites:

  1. No teams with a first-year head coach
  2. No teams have been featured on Hard Knocks in the last 8 years

They used to include if the team had made the playoffs over the past two seasons, but that rule was thrown out this off-season.

Only three teams this year could not be denied being on Hard Knocks because they met the requirements: the Bears, Denver Broncos, and New Orleans Saints.

Choosing the Bears was the biggest no-brainer of all time. Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze, Keenan Allen, D’Andre Swift, Montez Sweat (technically his first off-season with the team), and a new offensive staff headed by Shane Waldron to a 7-10 team going into its third season under head coach Matt Eberflus. Objectively speaking, it was an easy call by the NFL and HBO to want the Bears over Sean Payton and Bo Nix or Dennis Allen and Derek Carr.

Matt Eberflus has some experience with Hard Knocks, as he was the defensive coordinator for the Colts when they were featured in the in-season portion of the show in 2021.

When asked about Hard Knocks, Eberflus said:

“We had a real positive attitude about it; we know we had really good people in the building, and our message was going to be who we are and how we operate. No one changes how they act, no one changes what they do, we just focus on our job, and they’re going to have special-interest stories that they do, which I think some of them are really good. And we have a lot of them here in our building, so I’m excited to see that.”

There’s the general concern with Hard Knocks that it brings “distractions.” Personally, as someone who grew up just 10 minutes from Bourbonnais and misses the days of going to Training Camps in the summer – I couldn’t be more excited to get closer to the team than was ever possible.

The idea that the Bears are not having a successful season could be blamed on the “distraction” of Hard Knocks and not because they are simply the Bears. This is the hilarious type of optimism I love about this fanbase.

The first episode of Hard Knocks with the Bears is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6th.

PHOTO: Chicago Bears

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