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If the Steelers miss the playoffs, they could be on 'Hard Knocks' in 2014

NFL owners approved a measure that allows the league to select the team featured on HBO's documentary "Hard Knocks"

The Steelers were the only team to vote against the collective bargaining agreement that was put into action in 2011. Part of their reasoning was their disagreement with the overall authority the league would take over the actions on the field without a very strong appeals process.

From one perspective, that may have been made worse.

Owners approved a measure Tuesday that would allow the league to choose the focus of HBO's award-winning series Hard Knocks, with a few exceptions:

- Teams with new coaches (assuming it means new head coaches)

- Those that reached the playoffs in one of the previous two seasons

- Those that appeared on "Hard Knocks" within the preceding 10 years.

The Steelers missed the playoffs in 2012, and assuming they are committed to head coach Mike Tomlin, a second straight season without January football would put them in the show's crosshairs - something that fits the traditional franchise as naturally as Warren Sapp promoting weight loss.

It's almost like a natural way to ensure teams don't tank the season for draft picks. Making the playoffs ensures you a two-year break from being featured in the yearly circus of cameras and added opportunity for players to look like jackasses in front of a captivated audience.

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