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Owners pass 'Hard Knocks' rule at NFL Fall Meeting

The greatest football-related program in television history just received assurance from the NFL that it will continue to air the show even if no team is interested in subjecting itself to the national spotlight.

A source in the room told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport the league passed a rule Tuesday during the NFL Fall Meeting that will compel one team per year to participate in the HBO/NFL Films joint venture, "Hard Knocks."

The league still will ask for volunteers. If one is not forthcoming, a team will be appointed. All organizations will be eligible with the exception of those that have a first-year head coach; teams that have made the playoffs in at least one of the last two seasons; and teams that have participated in the previous 10 seasons

This is a tacit acknowledgment from the NFL that the show's range and power are an invaluable asset to professional football, regardless of any perceived invasion of privacy.

Fans will continue to revel in the now classic training-camp story lines, including the lovable underdog, coach tantrums, position battles and rookie hazing.

I'm already looking forward to another rendition of Dan Hanzus' entertaining and all-encompassing "Hard Knocks" recaps.

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