Opener: I’m watching last year’s Hard Knocks (HBO) this year because I don’t have/want/need HBO, and not getting it just for Hard Knocks. So, I watch it for free and review it for fun the following year and have done so for years. We’re watching/reviewing Hard Knocks Cleveland this week…which should be a ‘trip’, now knowing what really transpired in the 2018 regular season.
Enjoy this review daily (five episodes over 5 days), and I’m doing it in my favorite format for such things (a rip-off of what someone else created) – the ‘Best and Worst’ format. Next week, we’ll be doing a subscription show on a platform I do subscribe to – Amazon prime’s ‘All or Nothing’ Carolina Panthers. Same deal for that starting next week.
The Best and Worst of Episode #3 Hard Knocks 2018 Cleveland Browns
Last episode, we saw the Browns win a preseason game and Baker Mayfield started his Hall of Fame career with a terrific debut against the Giants (and his future BFF WR Odell Beckham). This week the undefeated (1-0) preseason is on the line in Week 2 to face the Bills at home (Spoiler Alert: the undefeated streak ends)…
BEST: Terrance Mitchell v. Jarvis Landry
The highlight of the practice week is Jarvis Landry getting chippy with CB Terrance Mitchell and eventually they come to blows on the field after Landry gets made post-Mitchell tackle and gets up and throws the ball at Mitchell, followed by fists.
The ‘best’ is…Mitchell never backs down the entire time, jaws at Landry all the time and after the fight, and was the judge’s card winner of the brief slap fight. Kudos to Mitchell for not backing down because Landry is running around like he owns the place all Hard Knocks series…he needed someone to slap him down. Good on Mitchell, a lower man on the totem pole going after the Browns’ prized possession and never backing down and yapping about it all the way.
BEST: Dez Bryant comes to Cleveland
I forgot about all this…
Remember, last year, when Dez Bryant was this big free agent taking various meetings in the preseason (after scorched earthing his former employer)? Several teams, and their fans, were panting to get in on the Dez sweepstakes. In this episode, we see him come to the Browns headquarters to meet with the team to see if a deal could get done (he ended up signing with New Orleans).
I want to dislike Dez, but between watching him in the Amazon ‘All or Nothing’ (Dallas) last year and then this few moments…I can’t help but smile.
Three things about this meeting:
1) Dez comes in and greets almost everyone he sees like they’re a long-lost friend/relative…all the way down to the team barber. You’d figure Dez would be above it all and go straight to his meeting, but he toured the facility with all the charm of like he was running for mayor of the Cleveland Browns.
2) Dez comes to Cleveland for his meeting…wearing shorts, a cutoff t-shirt, a ballcap on backwards, and a pair of giant headphones around his neck. All I could think was…it has to be great to have all that sway. To be in a position in life to not give a $#&% what people think and you wear what’s comfortable. We should all be so lucky someday.
3) We see part of his meeting with Hue, the master salesman (insert eyeroll here).
Dez is just wanting to work for someone ‘real’ (whatever that means…and you have to know Dez to know no one knows).
Hue promises him ‘real’ and wanting Dez to be a part of “The Greatest turnaround in NFL history!”
Hue wasn’t ‘real’ with Dez…because, while Hue was there in 2018, it was the same old losing Browns.
Dez was smart enough not to sign here.
WORST: The Browns lose preseason Week 2…
Notes from this contest:
-- It’s billed, by the coaches, as this important thing for Tyrod facing his old team. Who the hell cares? I don’t think Tyrod even did? It’s the preseason!!
-- Watching Carlos Hyde work reminded me of – it was just a year ago that Hyde was a respected, lead RB for an NFL team. He looked darn good. He’s still a good NFL RB. His crime was choosing to play for Hue Jackson and then getting traded to the Jaguars at the worst time.
-- Devin Cajuste continues his path to being my favorite ‘character’ (aside from Baker) on this show. His teammates adore him as well. Spoiler Alert: He gets cut before the 53-man roster is announced.
-- More Baker Mayfield outshines Tyrod Taylor and shows more leadership by mistake than Tyrod on purpose. Taylor is a shy, soft-spoken, likeable, overrated QB…he shouldn’t have been named starter over Baker at all – but ‘Hue gotta be Hue’.
SUPER-WORST: Josh Gordon is back
This episode ends with Josh Gordon returning back to the team facilities -- and it’s completely pathetic. The guy who has let the franchise down every year since 2014 is now suddenly going to walk in and save the day? What’s all the concern/big deal about training camp if Gordon can just walk in and get his job back…after year after of year of B.S.? The NFL is run with inconsistent, illogical bias…just like most American Corporations.
Just so you know I’m not anti-capitalist or Corporation…we’re still the world’s superpower and we have the best run businesses in human history. I’ll wear sneakers with American Flags on them with pride. I’m just always looking to point out the NFL’s flaws because so many people think they’re like holy oracles…non-human/above us mere mortals. I’ve been behind the scenes. Believe me, it’s not flawless. They are not above us.
Neither is Josh Gordon among football players…but don’t tell Hue that. Hue Jackson is almost brought to orgasm when he’s told Gordon is back at the team facility. Hue? Did you expect him to save your job?
FYI, Hue…two weeks into the season the GM will trade him to New England for a 5th-round pick – that’s how valuable he was. I can’t wait for the next episode to watch Hue gush over Gordon for an hour of TV…
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