The Arizona Cardinals are a dumpster fire this season; 3-6 and last place in the NFC West. Which makes the hidden cameras, stylized confessionals and audible sound bytes all the more intriguing with HBO in tow filming the latest rendition of Hard Knocks.
Last night's premiere episode, documenting a heartbreaking loss to Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks, brought more laughs per minute than any George Lopez sitcom ever has. Let's break down the hits!
Early in the episode, we see the Cardinals head coach talking to the camera, explaining how he doesn't listen to talk radio or watch sports media during the season. We notice he isn't in the office nor is he wearing the normal business casual garb of a professional head coach. Instead, we seem to be in his comfort zone, his home, and he is opening up to us to give a glimpse of life during the season.
As the conversation is going, the GENIUS producers of Hard Knocks cut to a second camera, showing us the world's most majestic art decoration in what's frankly a cinematic achievement deserving of an Emmy Award.
That is a real picture. Hung on a real wall. In an adult male's real home. #Roar
The episode also focused on Arizona's defensive leader, safety Budda Baker, who sadly suffered an ankle injury near the end of the game and could miss some time. In a recap of the rough road that has led the Cardinals to their miserable record, HBO played a locker room speech Budda gave to the team following a loss.
The speech is fiery, passionate and from the heart. But what I can't get over is the finish. As soon as Budda lets out what seems to be his seventh, "Let's go," he takes a knee and grabs his teammates' hands. Immediately they all begin a muted chorus of "Our Father," reciting what must be a postgame ritual and more proof that comedy is all in the....
Kyler Murray is an athletic marvel. Skirting around defenders and chucking a football farther than a prepubescent boy ever should. During the Seahawks game he was meandering about and after sliding to the turf came up a bit foul. His personal water boy comes jogging over to him and Kyler says, "Felt my shit."
"Hamstring?" the perceptive professional liquid provider responds
"Yeah," Kyler answers, this could be problematic.
After a pregnant pause that would make even the boldest Harold Pinter fan pink with glee, the bottle holder offers up a moment of clarity.
"Stretch it out..."
"Huh?" Kyler questions.
End scene. Marvelous. The NFL truly employs the best medical professionals.
Can we go back to Kliff for a second?
During the house tour, HBO follows Kliff around his mansion which was made social media famous during the 2020 House Arrest NFL Draft. It's fun to see the lavish and luxurious lifestyle of the Arizona leading man until you start to notice the decor. Or should we say lack thereof?
Throughout the living room, kitchen, entertainment room, bedroom and back yard, THERE'S NOTHING. IT'S AS BARREN AS A CAVE. No knick-knacks, no throw pillows, no rugs, no chairs, no photos, no vibes, no life, no emotion.
Just white walls and black counters. It's as if he just bought the place. HE'S BEEN LIVING THERE FOR FOUR YEARS!!!
Guys, I'm starting to worry about Kliff Kingsbury
Ah yes, the football team.
During the end of the Seahawks game, Geno Smith runs a bootleg to his right and finds tight end Noah Fant for a backbreaking 55-yard gain that was the nail in Arizona's coffin.
Earlier in the episode, defensive coordinator Vance Joesph had warned his defense about this very bootleg being a problem. As this play is happening HBO shows Joesph helplessly calling out the boot from the sideline. His defense falling apart in front of his eyes.
Vance spends the next few minutes after Fant has run up and down the field exclaiming "We talked about the boot!" to no one in particular.
He repeats this phrase over and over again. Each one getting quieter and quieter. Leaving one to think he's still muttering it in his sleep this very day.
Did we mention this team stinks?