With the Oakland Raiders on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, any and everything associated with the team and its players generates buzz amongst sports media. The mishaps reported between episode 1 and 2 have Raiders Fans excited for more.
This season Hard Knocks is the perfect hype leading up to the season opener on Monday, Sept. 9th against the Denver Broncos at the Black Hole in Oakland.
This week’s episode began with a team meeting, in which head coach Jon Gruden immediately captured the attention of his players (and the audience) by dropping a couple of F-bombs. He also exclaimed that he wants ‘better execution and etiquette in practice’. He then hypes up the players by telling them to “Pick it up!” and stick their foot up somebodies [expletive].
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.
After watching the Chiefs and Redskins duel, I decided against what I wanted to write because we’re in a bye now and some changes are needed. Needed quickly. The above match-up felt like what we should’ve seen in Denver. Two bitter rivals ripping each other to shreds, with the quarterbacks leading the charge.
Instead, we saw a lackluster game that was barren of heat or passion. No fights. Only a couple really hard hits (one by safety Jamal Carter). Knock on wood, but our total injuries were a couple sprains. No broken noses, bloody jerseys or pants. This was no WWE Smack Down or Cage Match. It mostly felt like a pillow fight.
I take that back. The Broncos did break quarterback Derek Carr. He joins a growing list of top QBs we have sidelined. Some have yet to completely bounce back. That intensity needs to hit every position group. Not to knock players out, but to be as focused as Von Miller and Derek Wolfe–heat seeking QB misslies.
Believe it or not, I’m super nice to most people and try to do the right thing, which is why I’m glad the Raiders are kind of good again. They let me release my inner she-devil. It’s like The Purge, only twice a year. So what are you hoping happens to Oakland? I’m hoping cornerback Aqib Talib completely neutralizes wide receiver Michael Crabtree so he doesn’t get a single carry.
This is an AFC West division game between two long-time rivals, and both teams are 2-1 with losses last week against teams many thought they should have beaten. This game could have serious implications on any playoff run either franchise hopes to see. I expect it to be nasty and dirty, and reffing could be a factor.