University of Wisconsin-River Falls

UW-RF Home > University Communications Home > This Month's News Releases

University Communications

For more information contact or

HBO's "Hard Knocks" Coming To Chiefs Summer Camp

JUNE 8, 2007--One of the most popular shows broadcast on HBO, "Hard Knocks," will be produced again this year and it will have a local flavor with the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp at UW-River Falls taking center stage.

"Hard Knocks" chronicles the trials and tribulations at an NFL training camp complete with behind-the-scene details of coaches and players interacting in meeting rooms, resting after long days of practices, and even witnessing young and old being released and dreams ending. It will follow the Chiefs at summer training camp in River Falls and back to Kansas City as the team prepares for the 2007 season.

In an introductory press conference at the Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium offices, HBO vice president Dave Harmon said that the series - which has been done three times before - is the network's most popular sports broadcast.

Folks at UWRF are excited as well. "This is another great opportunity to show off UW-River Falls, our community and the St. Croix River valley," said UWRF Chancellor Don Betz. "Working with the Chiefs has given us many benefits, and this is another one that will be in front of millions of viewers."

The first segment will be broadcast on HBO on Aug. 8.

The league's NFL Films, a multi-Emmy award winning company, will do the production and the editing. In layman's terms, NFL Films will be the storyteller and it's work that president Steve Sabol, who has been the face of NFL Films since his father Ed handed him the reins, has long enjoyed.

"It makes for entertaining film-making," Sabol said. He is quick to note that what viewers see will not mirror "60 Minutes" and its popular news magazine format. "We're not investigative journalists. We're not looking for breaking stories. We don't analyze; we don't criticize; we don't prophesize; we don't speculate," said Sabol. "NFL Films for 45 years has celebrated the game of football and the men who coach it and the men who play it.

"We're looking for stories, but they might be a rookie that's struggling to realize his dream, or an old veteran who wants to hold onto his. It might be an assistant coach building his unit. It could be someone on the administrative staff. We also plan to latch onto some of Kansas City's legendary fans who get into their Silver Stream trailers and go to River Falls. It's a whole composite of all these different stories."

Four NFL Films crews will be on campus from the start of camp and will stay on campus for every day of the camp.

With a team likely to be composed of so many young players this year, some watchers speculate that a production of this size could prove to be a distraction. Not to worry, said Sabol, who noted that it takes about four days before the TV cameras become "just part of the scenery and nobody pays much attention." Besides, he added, "the players in today's National Football League are accustomed to that kind of cat-scan [CT scan] media scrutiny."

Chiefs Coach Herm Edwards, whose association with Sabol dates back to his days when he was a player with the Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Films was headquartered nearby, said that for the most part, he likes distractions.

"I like anxiety. It makes you concentrate and stay more focused," Edwards says. "If players can't handle that then they probably won't make this football team because you have to handle that. It's part of being a football player. You have to understand what your priorities are and be a focused player when you come to camp."

Sabol made clear that he and his crew come with no pre-disposition towards happy endings. "This is a tough, unforgiving demanding sport and not every story has a happy ending," he emphasized. "People get cut, they get hurt, they get waived, and we'll be there to tell that story. But it'll be told with the respect and good judgment and the sensitivity that it deserves.

At a visit to UWRF on Sunday, June 3, six members of NFL Films were talking, measuring, asking questions and getting answers about the University and the training camp. The group, included a producer, director, audio technician and cameramen, and staff showed them the campus venues that the Chiefs use throughout the three-week training camp. The crew toured several sites including residence halls, the University Center, meeting rooms, practice fields, Hunt Arena and the Knowles Building.

The Chiefs arrive at UWRF on July 26 and the first practice will be the afternoon of July 27. This is the 17 th year the Chiefs have called UWRF their Summer Training Camp home.

Highlights of this year's camp include; the Punt Pass & Kick competition (July 28); two Kids' Days (July 31 and Aug. 7); Seniors' Day (Aug. 1); two practices with the Minnesota Vikings - at MSU-Mankato (Aug. 3) and at UWRF (Aug. 4); and Family Fun Night (Aug. 8). For more information on the Chiefs training camp at UWRF visit: . For up to date information on practices and special events call 1-800-4KCC KCC.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:21 Central Daylight Time


University of Wisconsin - River Falls
410 South Third Street River Falls, WI USA 54022-5001 (715)425-3911
Copyright © 1995-2009 University of Wisconsin-River Falls