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Chicago Bears 1 of 3 teams the NFL can force to do HBO’s Hard Knocks

This might finally be the year that HBO gets the Chicago market ratings bump.

NFL: JUL 28 Browns Training Camp Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey has no one to blame but himself.

Had he coerced Team President Kevin Warren and General Manager Ryan Poles into firing head coach Matt Eberflus, then the Bears would not be eligible to appear on HBO's hit reality series, Hard Knocks.

All teams with a first-year head coach are exempt from being picked for the show.

Teams that have been in the playoffs in either of the last two previous years are also exempt, but that's not really something the Bears know much about.

Teams also can't be forced to do the show if they've been featured on it in the last ten years, and since the Bears have never been featured, they don't get off on this rule either.

This year, there are only three teams that are eligible for the league to force on the show: the Bears, the Denver Broncos, and the New Orleans Saints.

Another franchise could always volunteer, but that's not likely.

No amount of George McCaskey bellyaching will get his franchise out of this one; because of these three teams, the Bears provide the most compelling offseason storylines, so if the NFL wants its third-largest market and oldest franchise on HBO, then the Bears will be on HBO.

The three rules above will get teams out of the preseason version of Hard Knocks, but for the in-season version, which the Dolphins just did, the only two things that will prevent a club from being selected are (1) a new head coach and (2) if they've done it in the past ten years. So the in-season pool of teams is larger, but the Bears are still eligible for that one, too.

I've been ready to watch my favorite team on Hard Knocks since the show was created, so I'm hoping this is the year.