If you watched Hard Knocks on Wednesday night, you learned a new word. Pissitivity, which includes five levels of being pissed off, through the eyes of Chad Ochocinco Johnson. As a side note, we learned that level four is "losing your keys mad." You also learned that if you drop a pass, that Carson Palmer will kick you in the balls.
The first episode of Hard Knocks was fun. Through the first ten minutes, the show put things into gear, focusing on the team's OTAs where players were separated into two teams competing through a variety of competitions; such as bench press, three-point contest, punt catch, football toss, the sledge-push relay and tug of war. Fast forward to the day before training camp, which shows, what Marvin Lewis called a "tail gate" party of Bengals personnel (front office, coaches, etc) playing cornhole, eating and drinking. We saw Andrew Whitworth eating (healthy foods?) with his wife, packing and getting ready. Chris Pressley walked with his son on the field of Georgetown College. Carson Palmer and Chad were seen driving into Georgetown, stopped by the attendant asking for ID. Both were shocked. It was funny.
The second quarter of the show focused hard on the team's first week of Training Camp. Much of it was about the Tight Ends and Fullbacks. Reggie Kelly's injury was shown, as was his upsetting reaction when he learned that he would be out for the season. Mostly everyone shown after the injury shows a lot of levity; knowing that what he brought to the lockerroom can't be replicated. Kelly said he would stick with the team, mentoring the young guys. You expected anything differently from the guy that Jordan Palmer called the "spiritual leader of the team"? Chase Coffman was hounded by tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes, forced to do pushups during films for one of many screw ups. However, he received the best compliment of the night when one of the coaches said he was making significant improvements everyday. Ben Utecht's injury was shown soon after Kelly's, in which you saw the team completely collapse, worrying about him. This was minutes after it showed Utecht, Coffman, Daniel Coats and Darius Hill together, working together after practice.
Several fights broke out. Mostly scrums that lasted until separated by teammates and all was Pleasantville again. Tank Johnson struck up a conversation with a young water boy (or ball boy) asking the kid if he would fight if his team finished 4-11. After the kid said no, Tank told the kid that there's big kids in the fourth grade, so they're going to eat dinner together and talk.
The show shifted to fullbacks, detailing Jeremi Johnson's history of weight issues and returning from an injury that wiped out his entire 2008 season. J.D. Runnels, who running backs coach Jim Anderson called "bull dog", was showed being waived by the team towards the end of the show. Interestingly, he was waived at 5:30 AM by Director of Football Operations, Jim Lippincott, who immediately went into the process of a waiver -- while Runnels was still removing sleep from his eye. Lippincott took Runnel's playbook with him and set it outside a door. It was outside. Unsecured. A quick note. When we read that players are waived, you never see the emotion human factor. I started feeling bad for a guy that we rarely talked about. Chris Pressley was an interesting feature, talking about his childhood, growing up poor in New Jersey with a single mother. His son was born while he was still in high school and the opening feature of him walking with his kid, talking football, was neat. Another side note on Pressley, that dude is built like a train. Actually, trains say that they want to be built like that guy.
We learned that Roy Williams hates Oklahoma Drills and was buried by Maurice Purify -- it was kind of embarrassing. I would have liked if HBO expanded the feature on the Oklahoma Drills.
Chad Ochocinco Johnson had some moments -- if you didn't know that Chad can actually be a very funny person, you do now. Head coach Marvin Lewis grins that Chad's always on that computer, twittering and doing ustream. Carson Palmer was shown at one point talking Chad up, saying they can't take plays off. We also learned about "child, please", which is a nice way of saying "fuck you." Rey Maualuga points out that Gus Parrish looks like American Idol's Randy Jackson with his glasses. He does. It's freaking scary. They momentarily featured Andre Smith working out and losing weight in Alabama. Smith talks about wanting to move on about perceptions of him.
Oh, and did you see how much Chris Crocker got underneath Chad Ochocinco's skin? Classic.
You saw Mike Brown and Katie Blackburn in several pieces. Katie was shown, looking bewildered at why they offer so much money ($33 million) and don't think that's enough. This is the person that has significant involvement with player negotiations. Brown made the suggestion that maybe they should give defensive end Chris Harrington a look at Tight End while the team was going through their rough patch of injuries. Jonathan Hayes shot that down, calling Harrington "stiff". Thank you Jon.
All in all, if you're a Bengals fan, it was everything we expected it to be. A look behind the scenes on the team. Did you guys see it? What did you think?