Last August, via the HBO series Hard Knocks, the world was introduced to a sailor-mouthed head coach, a special teamer with nothing but the clothes on his back and a satchel of dreams, and a superhero
Gatorade-drinkin', Reebok-wearin' cyborg...and 88 of their teammates...a few dozen of whom were painfully fired on air...and the series was good.
Its goodness was validated on Tuesday night when the tenth season of Hard Knocks was awarded two Sports Emmy awards, including the coveted Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary award. It also received the award for Outstanding Post-Produced Audio/Sound. The series was nominated for three other Emmy Awards (Outstanding Camera Work, Outstanding Music Interpretation, Outstanding Editing – Long Form).
I've said this since the series ended with last year's preseason — with the camera crews and, more important, the show's weekly Texans content gone, there will be a massive void in covering the Texans this summer, a void that will be painful for fans and media and likely welcomed by Bill O'Brien and his staff. No longer will every decision behind the scenes, nor every screw-up by players 1 through 90, be available for public consumption each week and in perpetuity through the magic of YouTube. That stinks!
So, for now, let's congratulate the Texans and, more so, NFL Films Supervising Producer Ken Rodgers and his crew by doing just that — reliving the magic of the 2015 Houston Texans, preseason edition, through the magic of YouTube and embedded video...
J.J. Watt works out by himself!
This is the video that launched all sorts of fake outrage about J.J. Watt being a "phony." While it's true that this video would be more appropriate with "Lunatic Fringe" playing underneath it as an homage to the great '80s masterpiece Vision Quest, it's not out of character for Watt to spend time after practice working on these swim moves and getting extra sled work in. Suck it, critics!
Brian Cushing bullies Alfred Blue
Coming off a disappointing 2014, there was probably a big part of Brian Cushing that felt like he needed to prove he was all the way back physically. It would appear that Alfred Blue was a grease spot in this effort... (NOTE: Where are Toro and Whitney Mercilus to help Cushing say "NO!" to bullying!!)
Kari Lee impersonates Bill O'Brien
Vince Wilfork is hilarious, Part I
Because fat guys wearing clothes you normally see "on a baby" (thank you, Kareem) is ALWAYS funny...
Vince Wilfork is hilarious, Part II
Because fat guys performing athletic feats normally reserved for small foreigners and soccer players is also ALWAYS funny...
Ryan Mallett checks into a QB sneak on 3rd and 4
Yeah, I miss this guy...
Brian Hoyer wins the starting QB job
This was one of the most highly anticipated scenes of the series, and in retrospect, EASILY the funniest part is O'Brien saying that Hoyer won't have a short leash. "I mean I won't let it go eight games or something..." Yes, or three quarters. Having a named starter heading into camp is a welcome change.
Charles James gets cut
The saddest scene on HBO since Jon Snow was killed to end Season 5 of Game of Thrones...however...
Much like Jon Snow, Charles James's life as a Texan was revived! Granted, O'Brien doesn't have nearly the breast game of Melisandre, but still! HE IS ALIVE! CHARLES JAMES IS ALIVE!
Now, if Charles James walks off the practice field this summer and says his "watch is over," then I will mark out like every dork at Comic-con combined.
This year's Hard Knocks will cover the recently relocated Los Angeles Rams. Good luck topping the Texans, Case Keenum!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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