Saturday, July 4, 2015

10 observations: HBO's Hard Knocks episode 2

Before we get to my thoughts on Wednesday night's episode of Hard Knocks, a programming note. Like last week, I'll be blogging live off TV while the Eagles host the Panthers in preseason action so check back Thursday night for updates.

10 observations: HBO's Hard Knocks episode 2

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Before we get to my thoughts on Wednesday night's episode of Hard Knocks, a programming note. Like last week, I'll be blogging live off TV while the Eagles host the Panthers in preseason action so check back Thursday night for updates.

Now, my 10 observations from the second episode...

1. Pretty funny opening sequence with Jerry Jones' grandkids running around training camp. At one point, Wade Phillips asks, "Who's that kid stealing helmets?" Another coach quickly reminds Phillips that the kid is Jones' grandchild and he can steal whatever he wants. What would be the best and worst part of being Jones' grandkid? The worst part might be when Terrell Owens hazes you by taping your arms and legs together and dumping you in a pool of ice. Or maybe that'd be the best part. I really can't decide. By the way, earlier in the episode, Jason Witten made his kid cry by putting a helmet on him and knocking the kid over. Kind of messed up. Kind of funny.

2. Phillips gives a speech to the team about trust and family. I guess the following part got cut out:

"Trust is telling the owner you want the offensive coordinator to come back even though you know the whole franchise already has plans set for the coordinator to take your job as soon as you screw up. Now that's trust."

3. Really enjoyed the back-and-forth between T.O. and the defensive backs. At one point Owens says "Look at this lame stuff" as the DBs huddle at the end of a practice. Later, Roy Williams makes fun of T.O. for the montages of him running on the beach shirtless from the first episode. Williams also sneaks into T.O.'s hotel room without Owens knowing. Then when T.O. leaves, Williams knocks on the door from the inside. I'm telling you -- this might be the best show on TV right now.

4. When I was at Eagles training camp, I saw Peter King, Sal Paolantonio and Merrill Reese, and I thought that was pretty big. At Cowboys camp, Dennis Miller, Jamie Foxx and Rob Lowe all make appearances. I thought T.O. did a pretty good fake laugh when Foxx was cracking jokes to a crowd of reporters.

5. One more celebrity I forgot to mention: Magic Johnson. "We gotta prepare right now," Magic says in a speech to the team. Did I miss something? Did he buy a part of the Cowboys recently? And more importantly, did Cowboys players all get a copy of Magic Fundamentals? Hey, to be the best, you have to learn from the best.

6. A Cowboys coach says he thinks Dallas really got a steal by drafting Arkansas running back Felix Jones with the 22nd pick last year. I guess this would be a bad time to mention that the Eagles haven't made a first-round pick since 2006.

7. Great scene where Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett, who has been riding Martellus Bennett all camp, gets in the rookie's face to motivate him. "Never give in! Never give up!" he says. Bennett appears to be focused while his coach is speaking. Then as Garrett walks away, Bennett looks at the camera and starts cracking up. This might have been my favorite part of the show.

8. I don't know want to risk losing my blogging privileges so I won't describe the scene with the Cowboys players getting out of the tubs of ice, but I predict at least 75 percent of viewers thought of George Costanza's great moment when he screamed "I was in the pool!"

9. A couple great new characters were introduced during this episode. One was insane Cowboys fan Miss Price, who is a middle-aged woman that screams like a lunatic during practice. And the other is Jason Garrett's dad, a 78-year-old man who has run every day for the last 28 years. Every single day. "Let's see T.O. match this stride," he says as he runs slowly around the track. If there was a show that focused only on these two characters, everyone would watch. Make it happen HBO.

10. And finally, we get to know Phillips' family. His son Wes has the title of "offensive assistant, quality control" and even Wes seems unsure of what that means. And then there's Wade's daughter Tracy, who performed as a belly dancer in Charlie Wilson's War. Just when you think they can't possibly introduce us to any more characters that have Cowboys ties, they go and do this.

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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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