NFL To Force Steelers To Do Reality Show?


The Pittsburgh Steelers may end up on an HBO reality show, but nobody on the team seems all too thrilled about it:

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) — Fans could get a bit more personal with their hometown Steelers as players could now be forced to be featured on HBO’s show “Hard Knocks.”

However, it seems as if no one in the organization is willing to participate in the show.

In the NFL Owners’ meeting in Orlando, owners could say that the Steelers must be a part of the reality TV show, “Hard Knocks.” The show is one that shows a team’s day-to-day activities on and off the field. Because the team has absolutely no say in the matter, the Steelers may have to bow down and do the show.

There are also two key qualifications that the Steelers need to have in order to be featured on the show. One qualification is that the Steelers have to have missed the playoffs in the last two consecutive years and they also have to have had the same coach for the same amount of time, both of which the Steelers have.

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin is not a fan of the show or any reality show for that manner and does not want to participate at all.

“It is a joke and just because it happens to be popular, doesn’t mean I have to participate,” said Tomlin.

Neither Tomlin nor the players could have a choice, though, since it appears that participation could be something required by their contracts with the team and the NFL. The combination of a reality show on HBO and an NFL team where neither the players nor the coach actually want to be part of the show could make things quite interesting.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    I cannot imagine the production team wants an unwilling participant.
    On the other hand having friction aired out in the press will most likely only increase the ratings.

  2. CB says:

    Gotta say, these are excellent shows, as far as fan experience goes. The NHL editions they have been running for the last few seasons are, for the most part, incredibly well done.

    These guys make millions of dollars playing a game for a living. They can suck it up and do the show.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    I’m only mildly surprised that the NFL doesn’t force a star player to date a Kardashian/Jenner. One of these days, perhaps sooner than we think, the NFL’s long run of ‘everything-it-does-is-golden’ is going to come to an end.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Um…I think Reggie Bush wishes he hadn’t slept with that ho-bag…

  5. Very bad idea. The best way to keep a losing team in the loss column is through mindless distractions such as this. Steelers ought to sue for hostile workplace.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:


    These guys make millions of dollars playing a game for a living.

    For starters, 90% of them don’t. Secondly, the avg, NFL career is less than 3 yrs IIRC. 3rdly, most of them are plagued by health problems of various sorts the rest of their lives. 4thly, how would you like a camera following you around for 8-16 hrs a day? Lastly, whatever happened to freedom of choice? Yeah sure, they signed on the bottom line, but how many of them actually read or even knew there was a “Hard Knocks” clause?

  7. CB says:


    I didn’t really mean to denigrate what they do, or seem petulant there. I’ve always viewed professional athletes, rather obviously, as the key commodities in multi billion dollar industries, and don’t begrudge them their earnings. I’m not one of those people.

    Point taken about the pay, too. I’m a hockey fan with only passing interest in the NFL, so maybe I erred in using the NHL as my baseline. I definitely recognize the unique strain football puts on its players, and that a 10 year journeyman hockey player (league minimum: $525,000) could come out of a nice career with millions earned, while a comparable player in the NFL could earn a couple hundred K for three years, and then be forced into retirement, with CTE ten years down the road. I get that.

    But at the end of the day, oodles of professions lead to maimings and deaths, every single day. Rarely are those positions paid anywhere near what even the lowest paid pro athlete would be, and that’s without getting into healthcare and other benefits of being a pro athlete.

    These guys are professionals, and I would expect them to accept that this sort of thing, in the world of commercialized sport, comes with the territory. Especially when you have an agent to read your contract and tell you what’s in it.