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We’re getting ready for the watching/review of the 2018 Amazon ‘All or Nothing’ Dallas Cowboys documentary. Episode #1 review of the Dallas version is planned to be published May 17. Until we get there, please to enjoy my groundbreaking study of the 2017 Rams’ doc…groundbreaking by me as that show is where we built Rams’ fantasy theories that crushed it and cashed in on them over and over in our handicapping…as it took about 10+ weeks into the 2017 season for the public and Vegas to get figure out/on board. What will I discover with the Dallas series? We’ll find out soon. Until then…
Rams 'All or Nothing' on Amazon…Episode 7/8 Review
Episode seven in the series, one more to go, was a bit of a drag. All the episodes have been well done, shot, never eat it…but this was probably my least favorite one.
It was an unproductive episode for me from a fantasy and amateur handicapping perspective. I'm not going to learn a whole lot about key players, etc., with special teams coach John Fassel now at the helm. Most of this episode was about Fassel's transition to taking over on an interim basis. Spoiler alert – the team loses the rest of its games for the season (3) under Fassel.
John Fassel seems like the nicest guy in the world. You'd love to have him as a neighbor or a best friend. You don't want him as the face, the driving force of your billion dollar business.
What captivated me about this change is how wholly unprepared Fassel is to take over. Everything is golly, gosh, gee whiz this is tough. When Fassel wasn't talking about how difficult being the head coach was, he was wasting time trying to rally the troops for what Jeff Fisher would've wanted. There's a reason Jeff Fisher isn't there anymore. Fassel spent the entire time trying to emulate and to honor the memory of Fisher. You get one chance to impress the world -- don't spend most of the opportunity honoring your failed predecessor.
Fassel clearly wasn't ready, he was just the most likable coach remaining. Assigning the most likable coach the interim job, I assume means that management perceived a problem with the overall coaching connection to the players and general leadership/likability. The Rams executives went with Barney Fife to run their police department. How can we get any read on Gurley, Goff, etc., with overwhelmed Fassel trying to mimic Fisher?
Fassel did exactly what I would expect a coach's son, to do – spew out a bunch of clichés to try to rally the troops. Fassel is likable and genuine. He talks a lot about the team as a 'family' and 'coming together to do their job'…among all the other clichés coaches speak of. When you have no real experience you just mimic what you think the coach is supposed to sound like. Honestly, it's pretty sad to watch someone so far over their head be given such a great opportunity. There are only 32 of these jobs in the world. Think of all the great people that could be coaches that will never get the chance because their DNA is not linked to past coaches or former players.
The 'family' approach doesn't work as the Rams lose every one of the final three games. Getting totally humiliated and two of them and blowing late in the fourth quarter. It was a fitting end to a disastrous season.
One of the reasons why I did not like this episode as much was because I was so looking forward to the next episode – they teased the Sean McVay arrival. I did not realize they were going to do a whole episode on him, filming into the off-season…including the NFL draft. So we get a whole behind the scenes look at McVay operating in the next episode. I'm sure the difference between McVay and Fassel is going to be breathtaking. I can't wait.
Other Notes from this game…
-- Jeff Fisher is fired. John Fassel is promoted. I'm not sure I saw GM Les Snead's face, even for a moment, during any of the big transition or discussions.
The two most unimpressive persons from this documentary after seven episodes:
#2 Todd Gurley
#1 Les Snead
I never see the guy (Snead) talking to coaches, players, on the sidelines. I'm sure he's there, but Amazon doesn’t deem it worthy enough for viewing. How Fisher is noted as such a joke and is fired…and Snead stays employed is one of the great mysteries of the current NFL.
We'll see if Snead redeems himself in Episode 8 (wink-wink).
-- The episode ends showing the lead into the final game of the season and then the post game of the season finale. We get to see the first real/genuine emotion from the team towards a coach. I absolutely believe the players love John Fassel. Love him like a lovable younger brother or mascot. Fassel genuinely cared for them and many of the players cared for him. But that's not enough…
The contrast in the way the players react to Fassel versus the way they do for Fisher and Gregg Williams is palpable.
I only wish they would show Gregg Williams telling his defensive players that he's been let go and how that meeting went. You've probably never seen a group of people so happy…on the inside. On the outside, I'm sure they had their stone faces on.
Next episode is the documentary finale…the one I'm looking forward to the most. We'll get to see most of the offseason with a behind-the-scenes look at Sean McVay. I can't wait. Rams fans can't either…