“Hard Knocks ’16: Ep2” – The 5th Down UK review


Already I’m asking myself whether NFL Films & HBO have turned over this season of Hard Knocks to the funny folks at Saturday Night Live? As the Rams kick off their pre-season, we see Coach Fisher tackling the big issues; where to stand for the National Anthem, and how to safely get to and from the dorm rooms. We get to meet mermaid fan and dinosaur nay-sayer William Hayes, some robot blockers, and the whole team take remedial swimming lessons complete with bright pink floats.

In seasons gone-by there was always one thing wasn’t lost on the viewers – training camp is hard, tackling is fierce, and roster cuts are brutal. The newly re-located Rams however seem to be having a great time, laughing in the sun and soaking up the fan attention that had eluded them in St. Louis.

I may have only been young when the Rams last played in LA, but the reputation of warriors like the Fearsome Foursome and the legendary back Eric Dickerson mean that there are big shoes to fill now that the team has returned to the Coliseum. Outside of the physically imposing Aaron Donald, it’s not clear whether this current roster has the intensity of their Hall of Fame brethren.


On a lighter note, centers are never big name tickets on any team, but already our favourite Ram is the tank loving Eric Kush, who backs up his Fat-Arm-Friday promise from Episode 1, this time with a little help from his O-line. This is a glimpse of the Hard Knocks we love, but unfortunately it’s a bit lost within an episode that gravitates towards Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin gooning around for the cameras, and the opening pre-season game against the Cowboys.

So far, it seems, that the LA fan base are backing their Rams – the Coliseum was full for the opening night, in stark contrast to their final season there in ’94. This season of Hard Knocks may not have had the greatest starts (neither did the Rams against the Cowboys for that matter!), but we’re hoping it only gets better from here on.

This season of Hard Knocks starts on Sky Sports 2 tonight at 10:30pm. Episode 1 and 2 are available on the NFL Game Pass right now. New episodes go up every Friday.

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