According to everything I’ve seen, the premiere of “Hard Knocks” featuring the Detroit Lions was a smashing success.
Viewers were taken with Dan Campbell, everything from his *very* memorable quotes to the way he participated in up-downs with his team. Typically a silly jokester, Jamaal Williams’ impassioned speech was enough to bring many to tears. Tack on the jabs and quibs between competitive coaches Aaron Glenn and Duce Staley, and there was so much to love about this opening episode of Hard Knocks.
On my Twitter timeline, I repeatedly saw national reporters or media from other states watching Tuesday night and asking themselves and the Twitter-verse: “Wait, do I love the Detroit Lions?”
The goal of the show, according to the directors, is to make you fall in love with the team. One episode in and it seems like they’re well on the way to achieving that goal. In the sports betting world, folks are already betting on the Lions to win. But will they?
On The Ringer NFL Show, hosts Sheil Kapadia and Steven Ruiz pose the question: Are people too high on the Lions?
“I feel weird coming into it being like I have to throw cold water on the Lions hype, which is something that I’ve never had to do in my life because I’ve never dealt with Lions hype. But I think we’ve gone a little too far,” Ruiz said.
He goes on to explain he loves Dan Campbell, the coaching staff, and hopes the Lions do well, but: “Jared Goff is still the quarterback and I have that in all caps. If Jared Goff wasn’t good enough to get those post-Super Bowl (Los Angeles) Rams to a spot where we could pin them in for 11 wins every year, I don’t know how he’s going to do it with this Lions roster.”
His co-host agreed.
“I think they’re going to be a cute, fun team, but if we’re talking about 8 wins? 9 wins? I cannot get there. Sometimes you just gotta zoom out and say: what are the chances that this offense is going to be in the top half of the league?” Kapadia said.
They provide a lot more detail on their takes off the top of the show, you can listen here.
Meanwhile, I searched the internets for similar sentiments and found a great article to support this.
A writer/host named Meatball over at WRKR 107.7 FM in Kalamazoo weighs in from personal experience that you shouldn’t buy into the Hard Knocks hype. Despite working at a Michigan radio station, his fandom lies with the Dallas Cowboys — the subject of last year’s Hard Knocks.
“It was our year,” he writes. “We’d been mediocre since the 90s, and struggled to do anything of significance ... Watching “Hard Knocks” brought back the excitement! New Head Coach, new players, an inside look at the “fun” they were having... it seemed, again, like it was our year. And we all know how that ended... 12-5, Division Champions (arguably in a dumpster fire of a division), and bumped out of the playoffs in a Wildcard Game against the 49ers.”
This type of scorn sounds familiar, no? I read this as a humor piece, so if you read the whole thing I suggest you do the same. Or get super mad and rage in the comments below.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- A heads up if you’re heading to the game Friday, there’s some stuff to do before you head into Ford Field.
As you’re headed in for game day remember Pride Plaza will be on Brush and Adams Street starting at 3:30 p.m. with ziplining and much much more. pic.twitter.com/yvTDIYecD9— Ford Field (@fordfield) August 11, 2022
- These personalized videos they keep doing for fans are so freakin’ sweet to me.
We thank you, we love you, we appreciate you #OnePride https://t.co/AudW5zsBX6 pic.twitter.com/bR6v0A79WA— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 11, 2022
- “He finally found his rhythm in a Detroit offense full of flaws and there’s little reason to believe he won’t elevate his game more in 2022.” Amon-Ra St. Brown made The 33rd Team’s list of four wide receivers about to have a breakout season.
- Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez made PFF’s list of top 10 Day 3 rookies to watch. “He plays a hard-nosed brand of football, not backing down from anyone despite his size disadvantage.”
- I think Pat McAfee is a gem and can totally see why he vibes with Dan Campbell so hard. He has nothing but good things to say about what’s in store this season on Hard Knocks:
- The NFL plans to make fewer of those roughing the passer calls that makes one say: “what was the defender supposed to do?!”