If Episode 1 of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ with the Oakland Raiders was like a slow build towards the freeway, Episode 2 was the life-in-the-fast-lane type of experience we were all hoping for.
You wanted more Jon Gruden? You got it.
You wanted less Jonathan Abram? You got it!
You wanted an Antonio Brown update? You got it.
And last but not least, you wanted some actual football? You got it.
The show set the tone immediately with a Jon Gruden rant for the ages. While he started quietly and slowly, things kicked into gear (both volume-wise and content-wise), culminating with this:
“Not a lot of people expect very much from us. Do they? You been reading about us? Not a lot of people expect enough from us. I’m tired, man. I’m tired of reading about it. It’s time for you to stick your foot up somebody’s a–, man.”
And, Episode 2 was off and running.
Show MVP: Brent Musberger’s shirt
I’m sure the Musberger sighting was a pleasant surprise to most folks who had forgotten his new role as the Raider radio guy, but it was his shirt that stole the show. In what seemed to be a pre-broadcast meeting, Musberger showed up wearing THIS:
— Sean O'Connell (@realOCsports) August 14, 2019
What a freaking legend.
Quotes of the week:
Antonio Brown describing his feet as “circumcised”
It was a rare television moment where I had to do a double-take and ask myself, did he really just say what I think he did? And, well, yes — yes he did. I guess that’s one way to describe what happened? (To be fair, it seemed weirdly accurate and appropriate)
Jon Gruden: “I’m more excited to see you play Doss than I am to see my wife, and I haven’t seen her in two weeks”
This one didn’t go over well with my wife, but it got a good chuckle out of me. This is what we all really want when we tune into Hard Knocks.
Jon Gruden: “Sorry for being a dick, but I am a dick”
Uncomfortable moment of the week: Richie Incognito
I’m guessing this guy is going to lead this category most weeks, but this week was particularly uncomfortable. As a fight broke out between Rams’ and Raiders’ players at their joint practice, it was Incognito joking on the sidelines about how people need to calm down.
He joked about his own coping mechanisms, needing to count to ten, etc. — none of which is all that funny when you consider how much more serious his situations have been than some pushing and shoving in pads.
Anytime I’m reminded of Incognito’s past, I’m uncomfortable remembering he’s a Raider.
All in all, Episode 2 was a great one — and we still haven’t touched many of the storylines we came to expect (Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, etc.). More good things to come.