INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts will appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks" for the first time Wednesday night. Typically, the show follows an NFL team through the preseason, but this year, they will feature a team in-season for the first time in its 20 years on air.
"We're producing the show in real time so what is shot is going back to NFL Films at our headquarters," said NFL Films feature producer and director Courtland Bragg. "We have a team back there, and they're going through the footage. It's a huge, monumental task for us, but we've done this a couple times, so we've got the blueprint down."
HBO chose the Colts before the start of the regular season to feature on the first ever regular season "Hard Knocks."
"They're a forward-thinking organization with a forward-thinking owner and with Carson Wentz coming in and coach Reich and what he's been able to build here, it was just a perfect match," Bragg said. "How can we tell this story the best way each week, I would say, is the creative challenge for us. It helps when the Colts are 5-5 at .500, have a big game this week. When the team gets a win, that's awesome, but when they get a loss, we're still going to tell it the best way we can."
"Hard Knocks" traditionally takes fans behind the scenes and shows players away from the practice or game field, something Bragg said will continue this season.
"Beyond anything, what I love, is the humanizing factor," he said. "These players, they catch touchdowns, they throw touchdowns, they sack quarterbacks, but they're humans just like us, just like you and I. It's cool to humanize and really show these guys as fathers, as husbands, as guys that may like toys. They're just like us, and the cool part is to really bring it out of them."
The first episode airs Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. on HBO. It will air each Wednesday throughout the rest of the Colts season.