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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Emery still uninterested in 'Hard Knocks'

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery remained steadfast in his reluctance for the cameras of HBO's reality series "Hard Knocks" to feature his team during its annual trip to Bourbonnais for training camp.

The Bears are one of eight teams that could be forced to appear on the series in 2014 as the league's owners passed a rule last October that could force teams to appear on the show if no one volunteers.

The Bears were reported Tuesday to be one of three finalists in the running for selection for the show, along with the Steelers and Giants, but an NFL spokesman called the report inaccurate.

There's no timeline for when the NFL will make a decision on which team to feature on the show.

"Have they asked us? I think they've asked everybody, to my knowledge," Emery said Tuesday at Halas Hall. "I think we have a great camp. We have great media. We have fan interest unlike any other city. I think this is the best NFL city in the league, bar none. I think our media is the best in the league, bar none. I think our coverage is outstanding. I think our fans love going to camp to find out more about our players. I think there are a number of teams that don't have as much attraction, have as big a base for whatever reasons: their population or their history, obviously. This is a tremendous, historic franchise. I think there will probably be other places that could benefit from it other than the Chicago Bears. How's that for an answer?"

Teams exempt from the rule forcing clubs to appear on the series would be those that have advanced to the postseason in one of the last two years, teams with new head coaches or those appearing on the show within the last 10 years.

Obviously, the Bears fit none of the categories for exemption.

The NFL's owners passed the rule because in 2012 multiple teams declined offers to appear on the show.

Asked if he expected the NFL to push the Bears to be on "Hard Knocks," Emery said "Ultimately, it's the commissioner's decision, and whatever the commissioner decides, we'll abide by."