Rams 'unlikely' to be on 'Hard Knocks' this year

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Fans wanting to see a little further inside the St. Louis Rams will have to go about it without any reality television cameras.

It doesn't sound like there's going to be any reality television show cameras at Rams Park in the near future. First, the OWN network pumped the brakes on Michael Sam's "docuseries," and now Jeff Fisher is waving off a potential appearance for his team on the HBO show "Hard Knocks."

Here's what Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday:

"We are eligible, but I think it's highly unlikely they'd ask us to do it. I think this organization has a right to go through training camp with some normalcy."

Fisher's referring to Sam, who the Rams made the NFL's first openly gay player when they selected him in the seventh round of the draft this month. As the PD suggests, sending the "Hard Knocks" film crews to a team facility that's already going to be crawling with national media might create too much of a distraction.

I'm sure many of the Rams players feel the same way about having more cameras filming their work.

Would Cleveland be exempt for similar reasons since they have Johnny Manziel? I might have said it was different with Sam and Manziel a week ago, but that was before the stuff about his OWN reality show was known. And it's to the Rams' credit that they were willing to work with them, publicly anyway, despite not knowing about it prior to the draft.

A reality show, regardless of which network is doing it, would undoubtedly be a distraction for the players and coaches on a team that really needs to focus on getting above .500 again. So on the one hand, it's probably good that "Hard Knocks" won't likely feature the Rams.

On the other hand, the NFL is in essence just a television program, a massive, multi-billion dollar business built around broadcasting the sport of football on the small screen. It's whole purpose is to make money by providing entertainment. And it probably wouldn't hurt the Rams to get a little more national attention that the show would bring.

Yes, turning training camp into a reality show would be a distraction for players and coaches, but they are paid to provide the rest of us with a distraction of our own. I don't have much sympathy for players and coaches complaining about "Hard Knocks." If you don't want to work in front of a camera, being an actor in the most profitable television show of all might not be the right career move.

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