By Teverly Lazenby // @TeverlyL
This week’s Hard Knocks episode started with a Gruden pep talk. And then…
— 4 – 12 (@Raider4life70) August 3, 2019
As a Raiders fan for over 25 years, the pirate theme is one that resonates with all of us. Much like pirates, Raiders fans have often attempted to justify a horrible ending season with a curse of some kind, or misfortune.
From quarterback curses to tuck-rules, you can imagine my reaction when I learned The Oakland Raiders were chosen to be featured on season 14 of Hard Knocks.
What immediately came to mind were the ‘Hard Knocks’ curses. For the last several weeks, anytime I hear “Hard Knocks” I want to swipe myself three times with my hands, then turn around 360 degrees. If you didn’t understand that, check out Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. You’re welcome.
What are the ‘Hard Knocks’ curses? One curse that’s been debunked, claims that appearing on the show is a “season killer”. But if you check, only 5 of 13 teams had a losing season following the appearance on the show. The other, which does carry some validity, is that that team’s coach is fired after their appearance on the show. I’m glad Gruden has that 10-year contract.
-But just in case… swipe, swipe, swipe, turn-
Some notable things this episode…
Newly acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown. Although the star wide receivers’ grand arrival to training camp in a hot air balloon was not unusual or disconcerting for Brown, the fact that he has not been able to practice with the team due to the condition of his feet. Rumor has it that he may not have worn adequate protection in a cryotherapy session causing frostbite. However, camera crews captured him working out on his own. And that looked awesome.
Rookie safety Johnathan Abram definitely is one to watch this season. He’s silly, animated, and interestingly enough, was having a ball showing off his horseback riding skills. I’m hearing a lot of displeasure from sports commentators on the segment where Abrams gets a little snippy with Gruden while he is explaining he’s being a little overzealous with contact to fellow teammates.
Speaking of one to watch, we will not be watching former offensive lineman Ronald Ollie. Somewhere along the way, the proverbial chip on his shoulder fell off. Despite his claims to want to prove himself, Ollie’s absence at training sessions and his inability to participate in practice led to Gruden’s decisions to cut the rookie.
Is Ronald Ollie the earliest Hard Knocks cut ever?
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) August 7, 2019
Overall, Raiders fans on twitter were excited about the debut episode and were left wanting more. I sure was! In the days leading up to it, I was like a kid right before Christmas. I watched sitting in front of the big screen with snacks and drinks as if I were about to watch a game. I’m looking forward to seeing more of quarterback Derek Carr, and other veteran players. Keep watching #RaiderNation!
I leave you with a quote from Gruden’s “I’m Into Nightmares” speech:
“We’re trying to go to the Superbowl, and to do that, you gotta really try to end somebody’s dream.”
Talk Raiders with Teverly on Twitter // @TeverlyL