Review of HBO’s 2017 Hard Knocks

Written by :
Published on : September 20, 2017

 

HBO’s Hard Knocks is the best lead into the NFL regular season there is. It’s leaps and bounds better than any preseason action. This year, the spotlight turned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their young star QB, Jameis Winston. The season may be only five episodes but it’s a legit look behind the curtain of the intense drama of NFL training camp. All the cuts, all the fights and all the jokes. Get ready for a lot of cursing and more dancing than you’d expect.

 

The first and last takeaway is that DT Gerald McCoy is hilarious. Like Shaq level comedy. His jokes and personalty jump off the screen. Give this guy a movie already. Plus, he is obsessed with Game of Thrones and hearing his recaps of the episodes are brilliant. The cherry on top is that he helps carry his teammates’ pads at training camp. A chore normally reserved for the hazing of rookies. McCoy just believes in helping out. I’m swooning over here.

 

One of the training camp stories is Riley Bullough, a linebacker from Michigan State. Riley is tough as nails and never shuts up. His heart and leadership is clear. The team honors him with the nickname “Joe Dirt”, mostly because of his long hair and overall WWE style. Riley has the perfect on-the-bubble story of trying to make the team. It’s dramatic and very satisfying.

 

 

Another roster hopeful is WR Bobo Wilson. Bobo has the advantage being former teammates with Jameis Winston back at Florida State. But he is no lock to win the job. Need to watch to fully enjoy the whole arc. Then there’s defense linemen, Chris Baker, who dances with the palm tree. And yes, it’s sexual.

 

Oh and then this one time, Gerald McCoy danced with this tiny little girl who was in the stands at one of the preseason games. It’s in episode four and it’s just the god damn best. Speaking of the best, the rookie show. Which is a part of training camp where all the rookies sing a song for the rest of the team. It’s like a sporting talent show. But if you stink, then they will boo you off stage. Doug Martin danced onto stage and swept the dude away with a broom.

 

Get to the stars already. It’s all about the wide receivers. Most notably, Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson (or D-Jax). They are so cute together. Like the Rock and Kevin Hart. One is real tall and charming, the other is short and charming. A classic comedy duo. Beyond the jokes, this tandem is going to kick ass this season. Jameis should rack up the yards with these two weapons. At the very least, you know some fantasy owners think so. I also drafted D-Jax.

 

 

Hard Knocks ends with the last cuts. AKA the big heartbreak. Head coach Dirk Koetter and his staff handle this meetings with class. A total change from last year with Jeff Fischer and the Rams, where Jeff treated the players like staff of a fast food restaurant.

 

HBO and NFL Films have done it again. They are straight Midas with this football stuff. I hope they make a video about me someday. Maybe when I run my own football team. Getting back on topic, the Bucs look good. Especially in slow mo. Unfortunately, the hurricane in Florida postponed Tampa Bay’s week 1 matchup against the Dolphins. Let’s see if all this hype pays off during the regular season.

 

Buc yeah.

 

 


Get to know the LA Rams in the new show ‘Hollywood and Football’

Written by :
Published on : November 12, 2016

 

 

The E! Network is going all-in on the NFL. First, they launched their dating reality show Catching Kelce and now we are getting a behind the scenes look at the personal lives of the LA Rams players and their families in the new show Hollywood and Football. Think Real Housewives meets Hard Knocks.

 

The show centers on couples Kenny and Sabrina Britt, Cory and Bianca Harkey, Rodger and Asia Saffold, Lance and Danielle Kendricks, Chase and Kila Reynolds, Bradley Marquez and Melissa Hernandez. Looks like the most of the drama of the series is about the transition of moving to Los Angeles from St. Louis and the constant juggling of work and home.

 

 

The promo video uses the term “ramily” as in the Ram family. I hate that. But it’s pretty fucking clever. And speaking of clever, let’s talk about the show’s name. Hollywood and Football is okay but there has to be something better out there. Maybe The Ram Housewives of Los Angeles or Which of these Couples will Divorce First? Ooohhh, here’s another one The Real Hard Knockoffs of LA.

 

The first season is six episodes that will start airing November 30th on E!. I hope this isn’t just another show about catty rich ladies with nothing better to do than judge each other. Because if that’s the case, I’ll just go back and watch the last season of Hard Knocks with featured the Rams. There, you got a close view of home life that was honest and endearing.

 

hollywood and football - wives

 

I’ll watch anything NFL related at least once. Hell, I still watch Ballers and that show isn’t good. But my stupid love of football keeps bringing me back. It’s a strong force. Let’s all hope that Hollywood and Football will be great. The complex lives of athletes is interesting and it doesn’t need to be turned into a soap opera to be watchable.

 

Keep your eyes out for the show starting November 30th. Can’t wait to see what the E! Network and the NFL cook up next.

 

Stars.

 

 


Review of HBO’s 2016 Hard Knocks

Written by :
Published on : September 7, 2016

 

 

The Los Angeles Rams are the subject of this season of HBO’s Hard Knocks. A superiorly produced documentary series partnered with NFL Films that shows an exclusive behind the scenes look at training camp. All the highs and lows. It’s excellent and helps get me get pumped for the new NFL year. The Rams were a solid choice to focus on because this is their first season back to L.A. after relocating from St Louis. A team coming back to it’s old town is just a great story. Just like Alex said.

 

After watching all five episodes, there are some clear trends that shine through. Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way now. There’s tons of swearing. Like fucking tons. This is why Hard Knocks is on HBO, they are the only ones that can air what these guys actually say. And it’s a lot of not-safe-for-work shit but that’s how pro football is. It can be a little shocking, even for me, who curses like a mother fucking sailor. So be warned. Earmuffs.

 

 

After the crazy swearing, the next standout is that Jeff Fisher and his staff are total dicks. But especially Jeff. Every time he talks I just hate him more. He speaks down to everyone and acts like such hot shit. I hate his hair cut but begrudgingly respect his mustache. For a coach with a career record of 170-156-1 who hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2008, he sure walks around training camp with some Hall of Fame swagger. Fake it till you make it, I guess. To be fair, he seems to be genuine when he cuts players from the team but everything else still applies.

 

In episode three, Mike Singletary makes a visit. He is awesome. Super intense but completely purposeful. You can tell why he was a great player. His tenacity is clear as day. That’s how you are supposed to coach.

 

Rookie QB and first overall pick in the 2016 draft, Jared Goff, looks to have a solid arm but the Cal product is kind of a dummy. In one episode, it is revealed that Goff doesn’t know what direction the sun rises and sets. That’s insane. It’s not like the sun is some regional thing. Goff is currently second in the depth chart behind Case Keenum. Maybe the rook will take over at some point but it will be because of his play making, not his brains.

 

Speaking of smarts. Defensive End, Will Hayes, doesn’t believe dinosaurs existed. Even when confronted with fossils and dinosaur bones. It all goes down in episode four when Hayes visits super fun looking museum called Dino Quest.

 

 

Todd Gurley likes to talk. The running back phenom is entering his sophomore season and is looking to build off his breakout performance last year. I knew the dude can ball but man, does he like to talk trash. It’s awesome. His mouth has a motor just like his legs. Gurley doesn’t even need to be on the field. He is easily the most exciting character the franchise has. As both a player and a personality.

 

Other great highlights include the big brawl in practice that HBO captures in beautiful slow-mo. Some of guys drive a golf cart to the In-N-Out drive thru. The spelling bee. And the heart break of the last round of cuts in episode five.

 

Hard Knocks kicked butt like it always does. It did its job. It got me all amped for the start of real NFL games. As a team, Los Angeles, possess some nice pieces. Beyond Gurley, they have offensive weapons in Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt, plus the defense is loaded with studs like Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree. The NFC West is a pretty tough division so I don’t expect the Rams to surpass either Seattle or Arizona but who knows. HBO makes me think anything is possible.

 

Sorry St. Louis.

 

 


LA Rams are just the kind of exciting story ‘Hard Knocks’ needs

Written by :
Published on : March 28, 2016

 

The newest season of HBO’s Hard Knocks will feature the LA Rams, and if you ask me, it’s just the kind of exciting storyline that the show desperately needs. Since its debut in 2001, the award winning series has given fans an inside look at NFL training camp. By following a different team every season, Hard Knocks gives those on the outside a chance to see what the life in the big leagues is like for players, coaches and their families.

 

While I personally enjoyed last season’s show, which covered the Houston Texans, I think it was more driven by some of the stronger personalities in the organization. The format of the show itself has gotten somewhat tired and with the absence of particularly compelling characters, it can be hard to watch (see Falcons in 2014). That’s why the Rams moving to LA this offseason is one of the best things that could happen.

 

 

The last time a NFL team moved cities was when the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee (they later changed the name to the Titans) in 1997. We, as fans, have never had a chance to see what such a colossal undertaking entails. From all the players and coaching relocating their families, to the team needing to find new facilities, there’s an endless amount of fresh ideas for the new season of Hard Knocks that should prove for some very interesting television. Hopefully the stress and tension of the move leads to some exciting training camp fights. I can just see Nick Foles angrily tackling Case Keenum to the ground as he begins to fear for his job.

 

I’m not sure Jeff Fisher will be as entertaining as Bill O’Brien was last year but there will be a battle for the starting QB position which is always exciting. Fans will have a chance to get to know some absolutely electric players who they might not yet be that familiar with. Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald are the young, rising stars to keep your eyes on.

 

 

Hard Knocks can be kind of a crap shoot. I’ve seen some great seasons and some utterly boring ones. But this year should be a big hit no matter what. With the dynamic of a team moving to a new city there is something seriously wrong if this year isn’t entertaining from start to finish. If this one sucks then maybe it’s time to stop doing the show altogether.

 

I’ll always be a die hard Lions fan but being an LA resident means that I probably have some sort of stake in how the Rams do. This will be my first chance to meet the new team in town, they better not disappoint.

 

 

 


Alex Jag’s NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1

Written by :
Published on : September 8, 2015

 

Who doesn’t love gambling? I know I do. Whenever you get frisky enough to place a wager on the game, it always helps to get some outside opinions. Especially from someone as gifted as me. So check out these NFL Picks Against the Spread for week 1 of the 2015 Regular Season, and make sure to check back every week if you need help picking a winner.

 

 

Winning picks in italics.

 

Pittsburgh at New England (-7): Pittsburgh

New England is going to be very hard to beat in Foxsborough, especially with a freshly vindicated Tom Brady playing with a chip on his shoulder. I see New England winning straight up, but it’s hard not to take the 7 points. The Steelers keep it close enough to cover the spread, with a little help from a couple Antonio Brown touchdowns.

 

Green Bay (-7) at Chicago: Green Bay

I know that the Packers lost Jordy Nelson for the season. And I know that this is a divisional game on the road. But the Bears are going to be very bad this year, and Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers. This spread could be twice as large and I would still pick Green Bay.

 

Kansas City at Houston (-1): Houston

Maybe I’m all hyped up on the Texans defense from watching HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, but I feel like this group is going to be good. Add that with DeAndre Hopkins covering up for the quarterback deficiencies, and I think it’s enough to overcome the 1-point spread and win this one at home.

 

Cleveland at New York Jets (-3): Jets

This is a choice of which of these two bad teams is worse. The Browns are worse. Much worse. Jets win at home.

 

Indianapolis (-3) at Buffalo: Indianapolis

Buffalo is probably going to be pretty strong this year, but I think there will be some growing pains with the new system. As for Andrew Luck, he is fully grown. He is going to put up a ton of points this year and I don’t think a good Buffalo defense will be good enough to keep up with that offense.

 

Miami (-4) at Washington: Miami

Washington is a mess. And they’re going to continue down that road until a lot of things change. Miami on the other hand has the makings of a fierce defense and a potent offense. They will win this game and probably win big. Washington might only win 4 or 5 games this year, and this won’t be one of them.

 

Carolina (-3.5) at Jacksonville: Jacksonville

Blake Bortles has looked pretty good this offseason and on the other side, the Panthers don’t have anyone to throw the ball to. Now that I think of it they don’t really have anyone to run the ball either. The Carolina defense is good and the loss of Julius Thomas hurts the Jags, but getting 3.5 at home, I have to pick Jacksonville here.

 

Seattle (-4) at St Louis: St Louis

St Louis won against the Seahawks at home last year. They have a fierce defense and a potentially good running game. The QB position is still a question mark though, and even if they don’t win outright, they keep it close enough to cover the spread.

 

New Orleans at Arizona (-2.5): New Orleans

This is a tough one because I don’t really know what these two teams are made of this season. That said, I think Drew Brees wins it.

 

Detroit at San Diego (-3): Detroit

The Lions offense has looked explosive this offseason. With a healthy Calvin Johnson and another year studying the system for Matthew Stafford, this team could put up a ton of points. I don’t see the loss of Ndamukong Suh as a death blow to the defense as some analysts have suggested, either. I think San Diego will be good this year, but not as good as Detroit. Getting 3 points, I think the Lions pull this one out.

 

Tennessee at Tampa Bay (-3): Tampa Bay

Both of these quarterbacks are going to have very successful careers, but I think Winston is in a better situation for his rookie season. He has three legit weapons to throw the ball to, and I’m not sure Mariota even has one. Add in the fact that it’s at home for the Bucs and I think they cover the spread and win this one.

 

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Oakland: Cincinnati

I don’t care if this game is played on Mars, the Bengals are a much better team right now. The addition of Amari Cooper to the offense means that this game might be interesting for a little bit, but Cincy will pull away in the second half.

 

Baltimore at Denver (-4.5): Denver

A lot of the talk revolving around Peyton Manning this offseason had to do with the fact that everyone thinks he is washed up. I’m sure Peyton has been hearing those things just like the rest of us, and that is bad news for the Ravens. He will come out with something to prove. Combine that with a home game at Mile High Stadium, and that spells doom for Baltimore.

 

New York Giants at Dallas (-6): Giants

I’m not convinced that the Cowboys will be as good this year as they were last year. In a division matchup where the Giants are getting 6 points, that means the Giants are the pick here.

 

Philadelphia (-3) at Atlanta: Philadelphia

Chip Kelly’s Eagles, with Sam Bradford under center, have had a pretty good preseason. The offense is going to be strong and will wear teams down with the hurry up. The Falcons d-line on the other hand, isn’t going to be very good. I see the Eagles easily covering the spread and taking this one in Atlanta.

 

Minnesota (-2.5) at San Francisco: Minnesota

I can’t remember any team having as bad of an offseason as the 49ers have had this year. They lost player after player to retirement, injury or arrests. You kind of have to feel bad for them. The Vikings, however, have been every talking head’s darling of the offseason, with some picking them to go to the playoffs. It’s also Adrian Peterson’s first game back. This is all bad news for the 49ers, and I see the Vikings winning this one big.

 

 


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