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HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ to feature Falcons, not Bears

CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 09:  Jeremiah Ratliff #96 Chicago Bears pursues Dallas Cowboy runner Soldier Field December 9 2013

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 09: Jeremiah Ratliff #96 of the Chicago Bears pursues a Dallas Cowboy runner at Soldier Field on December 9, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Cowboys 45-28. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jeremiah Ratliff

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The Bears got their wish Thursday: HBO’s documentary series “Hard Knocks” will steer clear of Bourbonnais.

The show will head to Atlanta, the Falcons announced.

Though the NFL could have forced the Bears to appear, the team was public in its desire not to, viewing a 30-person production crew at training camp as a distraction.

“I think our fans love going to camp to find out more about our players,” general manager Phil Emery said last month.

“I think there’s 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.”

The Browns reportedly turned down the show. The league could have forced eight teams, including the Bears, to appear because they fit the three requirements: They do not have a new coach, they did not make the playoffs in two years and they had not appeared on the show in the last 10.

The first of five one-hour episodes airs Aug. 5.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



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