Welcome To The Occupation: HBO’s Hard Knocks 2014 Week 1

Justin August 5, 2014 0

It’s time once again for us to talk about the greatest reality show in sports television history, HBO’s Hard Knocks. And as we have done over the past four years, we will match each weeks episode with a song title from a classic rock group.  Since this year’s Hard Knocks follows the Atlanta Falcons, we’ll be matching episodes with the work of Athens, Georgia’s own REM.



-Before we start, it’s important for me to share everything I know about the Atlanta Falcons roster going in. I know Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White. Do they still have Michael Turner? I feel like they signed Steven Jackson before last season. Is that correct? What about Osi Umenyora? Is he still there?  I guess I have a lot to learn in the next five weeks.

-Let’s meet some Falcons before they get to training camp. Former New York Giant Bear Pascoe  is a cowboy. Steven Jackson (I knew it!) is an artist. I’m no critic, but his stuff looks pretty good. Rookie Tyler Starr looks like either Thor or a nihilist porn star.  And Harry Douglas is married to a beauty queen.

-Oh fuck. One of the real housewives is going to be on this show. Kim Zolciak (who is made of plastic) is married to some guy I’ve never heard of named Kroy. KROY!  I hope that’s the last we see of her.

-Mike Smith looks like the owner of a medium sized contracting firm. He’s done very well for himself, belongs to a country club and is usually very nice and generous with his 15-20 employees. But, if you cross him, WATCH OUT! He’s a yeller.

-Harry Douglas’s secret is Secret. He uses ladies’ deodorant.

-I’m underwhelmed by Mike Smith’s initial speech. Very little emotion. It’s supposed to make you want to run through a wall.

-Steven Jackson, however, delivers a great speech to the running backs. “We’re all competing with each other, but we’re all still brothers.”  I’m hoping he develops into my favorite guy in the series.

-KROY will be my least favorite.  Luckily, he appears to suck. And he punched an O-Lineman in the helmet with his hand, so he’s clearly a fucking moron.   Oh good, his terrible wife is back. This is like a few years back, when the Dolphins signed OchoCinco just for Hard Knocks and then his shitty wife showed up every week.

-Mike Tice and Bryan Cox are on the Falcons coaching staff, because the Falcons aren’t tough enough. Mike Tice once got in trouble for scalping his Super Bowl Tickets. Bryan Cox is famous for being a bad guy.  Now we watch them give lessons on “toughness” – an esoteric concept. I can see this going badly.

-There are a ton of fist fights between offense and defense breaking out. And they’re all punching each other in the helmets. Why don’t the coaches teach them not to do that?  I have a feeling this team will be turn out to a remarkably stupid group of men.

-NFL player real estate! Veteran William Moore shows off his ridiculously huge and garish home, complete with indoor pool and palm trees. Rookie Davonte Freeman is looking at an apartment with a bathtub he thinks is large.

-Rookie Donte Rumph’s nickname is cupcake.  Why isn’t it Rumph roast? See? This is a team of dummies.

-Peria Jerry, the Falcons 2009 first round pick, surprises everyone by retiring. Mike Smith is quite kind to him, asking him plenty of questions to make sure he’s sure he wants to do this. Jerry doesn’t sound like he’s sure.

-And now all the rookies have to sing in front of the team.

-Osi and Roddy White have a cool private little conversation during practice. Each one tries pumping up the other.

-Another cool chat is Steven Jackson telling Davonte Freeman about his first ever carry in the NFL (a fumble,) then later listening when Freeman complains that he got hit while running a route during the team’s scrimmage.

-Matt Ryan was almost completely absent from this episode. I trust we’ll see more of him next week.

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