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.
Let’s just all admit it. The minute we saw that John Gruden had been paid an insane amount of money to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, we knew we were in for a wild ride. While his first season didn’t live up to the hype, it has been nothing but Must See TV ever since the season ended.
Let us quickly recap.
First, the disaster that was the 2018 season. With a record of 4-12, Gruden’s first season as head coach was underwhelming to say the least. In a year where the AFC West was a stand out division, the Raiders were the bottom dwellers. The tone of the season was set very early with the trade of linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago, then later in the season the trade of wide receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas. Gruden didn’t hide the fact he was completely overhauling the team and managed to get some great draft capital in the process. While fans weren’t happy, the value received was fantastic.