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.

 

 


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.

 

 

 


HBO’s Ballers is Bad

Written by :
Published on : August 3, 2015

 

HBO’s Ballers is a look into the glamorous lives of NFL players as told through the eyes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character, Spencer Strasmore, a retired star Linebacker turned money manager who uses his connections to current players to help build his financial empire.  Each episode we follow Spence as he tires to sign new clients and keep his existing ones out of trouble. Kinda like a less-gritty Ray Donovan.

 

This show is bad.  I really wanted to like it. I love the NFL and normally find The Rock charming, but there is something wrong here. The obvious connection is that the show is just Entourage with football. That seems like a winning combination but even with the NFL license, everything still feels off. Entourage works because Vinny and his boys were average Joes who became rich and famous. Ballers focuses on these privileged athletes inside this isolated bubble of Miami. There is nothing to relate to. After airing only 3 episodes, HBO picked up the program for a second season.  So Ballers is here to stay.

 

ballers

 

Sure, there is a certain level of wish-fulfillment. I mean, who doesn’t want to do cocaine off some woman’s breasts while partying on a mega-yacht, but that can’t be the whole series. The NFL has tons of real-life drama to pull from but maybe HBO is scared to really push the envelope. The two companies have a long standing relationship, so maybe it’s an issue of not rocking the boat. Either way, this show needs to find some balls if it wants to hold my attention. There aren’t enough jokes and the drama isn’t deep enough. Hell, not even Denzel’s son, John David Washington, can save this show. It’s that perfect storm of soft performance. It makes sense they air this in the offseason because if real Football was on then NOBODY would care about this shit.

 

ricky-jarret-1024

 

Ballers, at best, is Methadone for a much deeper addiction.  Honestly, the worst part about the show is that I’m probably still going to watch it. I know it’s bad but the show is like the NFL’s girlfriend and you got to be nice to the NFL’s girlfriend if you want to hang with the NFL.

 

 


An Open Letter to Bill Simmons

Written by :
Published on : July 23, 2015

 

Dear Bill,

 

It bums us out that you haven’t returned our calls or texts but that’s ok, we know you’re a busy man. We could have made such beautiful music together if you had just given us a chance. We could have built something special. You had the chance to get in on the ground floor here at ScoreBoredSports, and you acted like we didn’t even exist.

 

Sure, we couldn’t offer you the money or exposure or infrastructure that HBO did. Not yet at least. But we could have built it together; you could have been running this place. Any artistic license you wanted, you would have had. Just name it. Say whatever you want about whomever you want. Hell, we do.

 

Instead you took the easy road; the road with all of the money and the cable TV network. Of course you would go with the big boys because you’ve got big things to say and you need an even bigger stage to get that message out there. ESPN better watch their back, because Billy is coming for ‘em.

 

Anyways, we just wanted to say that we’re sorry that you didn’t take our twitter offer to come work here seriously but we still got your back, and hope you come to your senses eventually and join us here at SBS. But until then, give ‘em hell and keep fighting the good fight. Don’t let Goodell and the NFL back you down like they do to ESPN.

 

Tell that shit like it is and don’t apologize for speaking the truth. That’s what we love about you and it’s the reason that 30 for 30 and Grantland were so damned good. Those two institutions will surely suffer in your absence, but we look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve at HBO in the coming years. If you ever want to talk we’re here.

 

Sincerely,

ScoreBoredSports

 

 

This letter is satire. Mostly…


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