Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hard Knocks Rocks!

While I am a huge fan of good TV drama (and some smart comedy as well), there’s only one reality show that I watch. And it wraps up its short season tonight. The Bengals story is all the more inspirational when you see the level of commitment from these professionals, even while working for the least dynamic boss in the history of team sports. Mike Brown seems more equipped to be some middle-manager from the Dilbert comic strip than run an NFL franchise. Fortunately Head Coach Marvin Lewis is a strong leader, and he has the team’s attention.

The individual storylines are riveting as well.

Carson Palmer. Clearly one of the NFL’s top QBs, must be getting frustrated with more injuries. His good health is the only way the Bengals will make the playoffs for the first time since winning the AFC North in 2005.

Andre Smith. The mammoth rookie 1st Round OT out of Alabama held out, showed up out of shape, and suffered a stress fracture in his foot. It will likely take a long time for him to win over his teammates.

Chad Ochocinco (nee Johnson). I know my perception of him has completely changed. Despite being a loudmouth, he’s not in trouble off the field like so many of his Cincinnati cohorts. And he clearly works his ass off. He’s very impressive in the swimming pool and the boxing gym. And he showed off his versatility earlier this preseason by kicking an extra point, and then launching a high, sailing kickoff to the 8-yard line.

Now Ochocinco is very much a poster boy for this generation of Wide Receiver, as a me-first attention seeker. But make no mistake, he is a player. And as for the name change, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before.

Marvin Philip Aufrichtig = Marv Albert

Reginald Kenneth Dwight = Elton John

Prince Rogers Nelson =

Obviously the position battles and who gets cut is where the real drama lies. Director of Football Operations Jim Lippincott is the ultimate badass "Turk." Completely unemotional in his overweight frame stuffed into coaches' shorts, "We're putting you on waivers today." What an awesome character. I had a similar job with my fraternity during rush week, but I was nowhere near that level of efficiency.

But Hard Knocks still has plenty of levity. Like DT Tank Johnson mixing up Bill Walsh (the late football legend) and Donnie Walsh (the NBA GM).

My favorite moment was from Jordan Palmer, Carson’s younger bro, who’s fighting for the backup QB job. Jordan Palmer’s side job is as a website creator and manager. Except he’s a little more innovative than I am. His site tracks first-run movies, and when it’s a good time to relieve yourself without missing anything or disturbing those around you. God bless the internet.

So while tonight is the season finale’ of Hard Knocks, the Bengals season opens this Sunday. When they finally take the field in anger, it will be hard not to root for them.

1 comment:

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