This is the third training camp that the Bears won’t allow media to take photos or video of anything from practices outside of stretching and working through individual drills.
Finley said he started tweeting out the drawings during a walk-through and fans really loved his approach to the team’s policy.
“I thought it was silly and subversive — trying to prove a point about the media policy, but with humor,” Finley said. “People seemed to like it on Twitter, so I did it again the next practice.”
Punt return drill: Tarik Cohen catches 3 balls without putting others down. Drops #4. We can't take pictures, so artist rendering: pic.twitter.com/3wufRDxEis
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) July 29, 2017
There’s something that seems hypocritical about these policies.
“Most training camp practices are open to the public; fans can take videos or pictures throughout practice, but we can’t,” Finley said. “Yes, this is an odd policy. We’ve argued against it, to no avail.”
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 2, 2017
Now, it’s understandable that teams won’t ban cell phones from open camp practices because it alienates the fans and their experiences.
It’s even conceivable that the organizations don’t want formations and anything else that’s playbook-specific getting out.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 4, 2017
Most members of the media who cover the NFL wouldn’t do such a thing regardless because of journalistic ethics.
It should be noted that most of the 32 teams have the same policy in place; this isn’t exclusive to the Bears.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 7, 2017
Also, many NFL reporters are members of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), which is a writers’ union that has media contracts with the NFL.
There are rules these reporters have to follow anyway.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 8, 2017
Apparently, there’s no rule against drawing what reporters see at training camp – for now.