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.

 

 

 


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