The Best and Worst of Amazon’s “All or Nothing” Carolina Panthers (Episode #3/8)
Well, now it’s Amazon’s turn to show us what they got. The past week or so, we looked at the BEST and WORST of HBOs’ Hard Knocks (2018 Cleveland). We have the 2018 (season) Carolina ‘All or Nothing’ (2019 release) to review – eight episodes. I’ll watch and review each episode over the next week or so.
Typically, I like the Amazon production better than the HBO…but I like them both. A look behind the scenes that I still cannot believe the NFL allows to happen because it exposes how silly these people (coaches and GMs) look in real life/real time. And I’ve watched/reviewed them all…and they’re all the same nonsense management – except Sean McVay…you could tell right away he was different.
Let’s see what we have with the BEST and WORST of Amazon’s Carolina Panthers’ 2018 season!
Through two episodes we’ve learned that Greg Olsen is the NFL’s #1 player on their recent top 100 reveal. I don’t know that for a fact, I’m just assuming it’s true based upon the focus on him in this documentary through two episodes. What we are really learning that Ron Rivera is a normal human being/not a cartoon head coach…a steady hand in a world of deranged coaching characters running around the NFL. We’re also on the lookout for Luke Kuechly…the best player on the team/in franchise history and sure-fire Hall of Famer – he may warrant more than 5-10 seconds of coverage in an episode soon.
Here’s the BEST and WORST of episode #3…
WORST: This storyline again…
This episode opens up with a focus on the newly signed anthem-kneeler Eric Reid. I’m not a fan of the anthem protests, but (in my book) they can if they want to…I also think teams can not want him for that same reason. It’s a fair thing to not want to embrace for your mostly pro-America public consumption product.
It strikes me odd that Eric Reid is seen as ‘terrible’ for protesting something, but Jets tight end Chris Herndon recently got drunk, hit someone going over 100+ MPH and nearly killed them…and that’s mostly fine with everyone. The team (NYJ) and its fans can’t wait for Herndon to return to action (because what if Chris Herndon is the next Greg Olsen?), but those same people are highly offended by having Eric Reid on the team? I don’t get the logic. I’d rather live next to an anthem protester than an irresponsible DUI guy.
You think it’s dumb of NFL teams to ignore DUI guy and ice out anthem-protester, but it’s us fans that drive the teams to react how they do…kissing our squeaky wheel asses. We have our blind eye/shoulder shrug turned to Herndon who could’ve accidentally murdered someone…but Eric Reid kneeling makes people quit watching football for a year/for forever. We need to work on the direction outrage.
Unfortunately, people are currently spending it outraged at an innocent Tyreek Hill out of their own ignorance of the facts.
All that stuff is not the reason for ‘the worst’ here.
The WORST is…we cut from a little Eric Reid story straight to the real focus of all things – the Greg Olsen Variety Hour. The lovable scamp Greg Olsen, what will he do next? Well, we cut from the Reid story to Olsen laying on a trainer’s bed having a rehab device hooked to his foot…studying tape of the last game intently with everyone around soaking up his wisdom from his tape analysis!!! Oh, wait…my bad. He was laying there playing Candy Crush on his phone and yelling to anyone in the room, who would listen, that he hit a new high score.
No one was really listening or cared about what Olsen was blathering on about…like anyone trying to watch this insufferable series by Amazon with so much focus on Olsen it’s gonna make me puke.
Do you think we’ll make it all episode without any more screen time from Olsen, despite the fact he cannot play in the next game? Place your bets…
BEST: Ron Rivera…’winning’ this documentary
Three episodes in, and I like Ron more and more each show. I don’t know if he’s a good or bad or great coach…I just know he seems like a very normal human being. A powerful, recognizable person who is very comfortable in his own skin and who is not looking for the adulation of others. He’s just doing his job the best he can.
Bruce Arians, Hue Jackson, Jeff Fisher, Dirk Koetter, Gregg Williams, Jason Garrett – all certifiable and/or detestable within about two minutes into watching the Amazon or HBO series covering their team the past few years. I’m sure Jon Gruden is nuts/an egomaniac politician-type…I know he is…I don’t need to watch the 2019 Oakland HBO Hard Knocks series to figure that out. Every head coach and most coordinators shown in these documentaries…you cannot believe they exist/wonder deeply how they got their jobs. Ron Rivera seems much more settled in his life than all these other characters.
You can tell Sean McVay is 10x the teacher and understander of the modern game compared to Rivera, but Rivera is at least not forcing himself onto the players, or constantly swearing like a fool, and/or is not desiring media pats on the back, etc. When Rivera talks, people listen. A rarity in these shows.
WORST: No one listens to Cam…
Three episodes in and this series has shown a fair amount of Cam Newton…and most all of it is Cam alone. Alone walking to practice, leaving or going to the stadium. When it isn’t Cam alone, he’s talking to himself (literally) or he’s talking AT players (something nonsensical) who never acknowledge he’s speaking. He’s a mini version of Jason Garrett…they’re both Bruce Willis from The Sixth Sense.
Only Dak seems to be able to communicate with Garrett/acknowledges Garrett is speaking…everyone looks past Garrett like he’s an actual, invisible ghost.
Only Ron Rivera seems to be able to communicate with Cam…Rivera and Greg Olsen, of course Olsen can…what can’t that guy do? So great at Candy Crush, you don’t even know bro!
BEST: Luke Kuechly lives!!!
We got a nice couple of minutes of seeing Luke Kuechly in action behind-the-scenes. Smart, studious, and doesn’t play Candy Crush at all I bet. He’s the guy I expected to see.
WORST times 100: The Curtis Samuel touchdown…
In Week 5, game #4 for Carolina (Week 4 BYE)…Curtis Samuel gets a screen pass and makes arguably the play of the year in the NFL and scores a touchdown.
You don’t believe me? Watch: https://youtu.be/yV47fYxz_Lg
This play happened during this episode, covering Week 5. What did Amazon show? A ground level shot in the face of Samuel where you miss 85% of the brilliance of the play, and then they don’t replay it. They focus on the TD celebration afterwards. One of the great highlights of the Carolina season…and they used the worst camera shot/angle of it…nor did they even give any Samuel story.
Who in the world is directing and editing this show?
They have bad video of great plays. They are clueless about Christian McCaffrey (barely mentioned again). They are spending WAY too much time on whatever dull thing Greg Olsen is doing.
Later, in the same game…Carolina down needing to drive a long distance to get into FG range without a lot of time – and Samuel is nowhere to be found, but Jarius Wright is on the field. Hats off to Norv and Ron for great offensive weapon planning…
BEST: Graham Gano game winning FG…
Carolina does get downfield in a hurry with seconds remaining -- but not as far as they wanted. Now they need a Gano 63-yard FG to win it. He hits it. Panthers survive a terrible NYG team.
The BEST is…Ron Rivera is talking to Gano before the game and is asking him about why kickers don’t back further up and kick FGs like they do kickoffs so they can hit from longer range. It’s a GREAT question I’ve always wondered. Gano offers up some kind of ‘because’ answer.
But credit Gano, his short step process won a game on a 60+ boot.
BEST/WORST: David Tepper, nice guy…
I like the new owner. He’s like a fun, lovable, harmless uncle…and uncle who is a billionaire.
BEST is Tepper seems down to earth and low key like Ron Rivera. Not an attention-whore like Jerry Jones.
WORST is Amazon…Amazon, please let me know more about this owner and less about Greg Olsen’s latest Pokémon Go capture or Ms. Pac Man high score.
WORST: They had to do it…
Usually, I stop the video of the episode when the I see the credits pop up/it’s over. However, I left it running this time and I saw the ‘on the next episode…’ promo run. First thing shown, oh my beating heart…thank goodness, the veil was torn, the ground quaked, the stone was rolled back from the tomb and Greg Olsen is setting aside his quest for a high score in Donkey Kong and returning to action next week.
It’s monumental to have him back!!! Spoiler Alert: Olsen plays 98% of the snaps and Carolina loses to the Redskins the next game.
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