Hard Knocks off to a good bleeping start
Two things immediately came to mind when watching the 2010 debut of HBO's Hard Knocks, which is following the New York Jets through training camp. One, the show, as always, is fascinating television. And, two, Jets coach Rex Ryan sure does swear A LOT. In fact, so much that it jars your ears for the first 10 minutes of the show. It's kind of like jumping into a cold swimming pool and taking a few minutes before the water feels comfortable. Once you're used to it then it becomes fun.
You can't help but like Ryan's bravado and command over the team and it's obvious that his players enjoy playing for him.
There were two major themes in the first episode: the Jets' confidence that they have a Super Bowl-caliber team and the contract holdout of all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis. Some NFL coaches like to say things like, "We're not concerned about who's NOT here, we're only concerned about who IS here.'' But it was refreshing to see Ryan acknowledge that Revis' absence was a big deal. In the team's opening training camp meeting, Ryan told the players, "(Dang), he's a pretty good (expletive) player.'' Later, Ryan was seen doing curfew checks and singing, "Revis? Revis? Where are you?''
The opening episode also, unexpectedly, had two of those uncomfortable yet can't-look-away moments of players being cut. And there is always one of those did-you-see-that scenes and this week's was watching quarterback Mark Sanchez making spectacular one-handed catches on bullet passes.
It was another strong start for Hard Knocks and it's proof, once again, that it's one of the most interesting sports show on television.