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‘Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Oakland Raiders’ Episode 2 Superlatives

Best moment: Ending scene

Last week, the opening was the best moment with the “August Wind” introduction, and this week’s ending was more proof that—despite focusing more on football than in previous years—Hard Knocks is almost being “scripted” as a great television series instead of reality TV. The final scene of Episode 2 was following Keelan Doss as he returned to UC Davis after catching a touchdown in his career debut (which came in his hometown), but just as the voiceover talked about the undrafted rookie potentially making the team, they showed Antonio Brown returning to camp before quickly cutting to black.


Worst moment: Rookie show

We can usually lock the rookie show into being one of the funniest moments every year, but that definitely was not the case last night. Perhaps this is the downside of Jon Gruden banning rookie hazing, but it probably would have been more entertaining (and perhaps less embarrassing) to have an orchestrated skit like we’ve seen in previous years. Instead, we had a really poor vocal performance by Hunter Renfrow and an average rendition of T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank” from Maxx Crosby. Overall, it was just a big missed opportunity to have someone impersonate Gruden.


Funniest moment: Jon Gruden calls Nathan Peterman “my guy”

The backup quarterback battle between Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman was featured in Episode 2, and Gruden hilariously alternated between ripping them and fawning over them during the preseason game. The funniest part was easily when after Peterman kept the offense in a bad look, Gruden asked if he was a “blockhead” when he got to the sideline—only to smile and call him “my guy” after a 51-yard run shortly afterwards.


Underrated moment: Antonio Brown’s son tells him to wear helmet

Viewers may have wanted to see more of Brown’s helmet dispute play out in real time, but we had plenty of scenes about the superstar receiver, including a clever one where—with all due respect—his very young son seemed to have more sense than he did by telling him to put on the helmet.


Best quote: Jon Gruden

“Let’s start chewing these fat f***s up, let’s go!” (moments after saying he needs to stop “cussin’”)


MVP: Jon Gruden

Antonio Brown (now that he’s back), Derek Carr, or someone else may have a chance to “win” a week, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Gruden gets a clean sweep of all five episodes. Not only did he eat up scenery (I think that’s supposed to be a compliment in show business) during the game, but he also defended Brown when he was away from the team, and you have to love how he prepared his guys for the joint practices by pointing out the Rams stars. Based on his ability to go from seemingly calm to very angry in the opening scene, Gruden could probably play Two-Face in the next Batman movie.


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