By: Dan Abramson
‘Hard Knocks’ Recap, Episode 1: The Comedic Stylings of Chad Johnson
Hey eight people on Funny or Die who will read this! Really glad you stopped by a sketch comedy site to read the recap of a television show about the training camp of a professional football team AKA obviously something that belongs here!
Honestly, I'm just antsy for the season start, upon which I will continue my NFL Recaps much to the delight of dozens. So until then ‘Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins.
If the last NFL season felt lackluster, it wasn't just the dearth of domestic violence arrests among the NFL elite and pictures of middle-aged men's penises. It was the absence of HBO's flagship program (crazy how it gets better ratings than Game of Thrones, right?) and Chad Johnson. HBO chose not to run the mini-series due to the lockout and Chad Johnson chose to cower under the tyranny of Lord Belichick in New England.
And that's a shame, as I had no idea how much we really missed Chad. (By the way, he's officially changed his name back from Ochocinco because he's an adult and adults don't legally change their names to self-anointed nicknames. Can you imagine if one day Kobe's jersey actually said “Black Mamba” or Greg Oden's said “Unfortunate Disaster?” It's just not done.) One of the beauties of Hard Knocks is that we're reminded that Chad is legitimately funny; he's not just an eccentric athlete, but someone who makes solid jokes. See below, in which he talked about how much he loves his wife:
Later in the episode Chad held a press conference, in which he performed a tight-five for the media. As you can imagine, it didn't go over too well with the Dolphins brass.
Here's what we saw:
Here's what the coaches saw:
This then led to a heart-to-heart between Johnson and head coach Joe Philbin who eschewed eye contact with his star receiver in favor of some feet shuffling and deep breaths. He was like a bullied ten year-old standing up to his tormentor.
Listen, the Dolphins coaches and front office cannot act shocked when they get exactly what they signed on for. Hey guys, remember when Johnson showed up to the coach's meeting and sat down and completely disrespected you all on day one of camp? You guys all had a good laugh as he left the room, his power and control over all of you completely on display. That is your life now. Enjoy. Or at least let us enjoy because it's hilarious.
While we're at it with Chad, a couple other highlights:
- He met his wife on Twitter and their first date was at McDonald's.
- His wife withheld sex from him last year due to his performance on the field. Chad dubbed it “Cobweb Mode.”
- He promised coaches he wouldn't get arrested on his day off.
“What is this, the Chad Johnson hour?” HAHA good joke. High-five. I get it, there were other story lines for the episode — like the quarterback competition between incumbent Matt Moore, David Garrard, and rookie, Ryan Tannehill. The show began introducing us to all three, which was well-intended, but ultimately became a promo for “The Stepford Wives of the Miami Dolphins.” I have no doubt that they all have depth and their own unique stories, but they each came off as interchangeable southern, blonde arm candy.
As I am not equipped to rank the QBs on the depth chart, I will stick to judging their wives in a purely superficial manner.
Quaterback Wives, Ranked Arbitrarily:
- Mrs. David Gerrard – seemed like she was really in control of that household
- Mrs. Ryan Tannehill – most will say she should be #1, but I feel like she's got a lot of growing up to do.
- Mrs. Matt Moore – all we know about her is she's an avid fan of The Bachelorette. Also:
Other gems from the episode:
- Vontae Davis “acting” like he's in shape when he's clearly winded seems like a great idea that will fool professional coaches and scouts. Very curious to how this thespian pulls it off.
- Opening the show by cutting a rookie who hadn't even had the chance to practice. Pretty fucked up. Really set the tone for a dramatic episode. You could tell by the gratuitous montage of the Dolphins cheerleaders (Do they have a name? The Dolphin Dolls? The Marino Maids?)
- Joe Philbin may or may not have a prostate problem.
- Center Mike Pouncey trimming his nose hairs in preparation for the season. I imagine players at Lombardi's old training camps did the same.
- Joe Philbin making a timely George Costanza reference.