HBO's Hard Knocks In Season: Arizona Cardinals debuted Wednesday night and it was JUICY. Here were some highlights and a review of what we saw:
- Tough look for Kliff Kingsbury right off the bat. We see Kliff addressing the team a few days after losing to the Vikings and his inspirational speech is to show the standings, tell the team if they win their next two they'd play for first place on Monday Night Football and that there is no leeway left in the season. Of course, as we'd see later in the episode, we know the Cardinals lost. Kliff commits the cardinal coaching sin of overselling his team the importance of winning one game.
- Also, early on we see Kyler Murray prominently featured. We see Kyler stalking the bowels of the stadium after losing to the Vikings and sitting at his locker angrily slamming his helmet in disgust. Kyler seems to win alone and lose alone.
- Next we get a tour of Kliff's mansion. Its decorated like someone went to the 2022 version of Spencer's Gifts and bought wall art for a single 43 year old man. Kliff is asked if he listens to sports radio. He says absolutely not. We get a tour of his vacant mansion and get the back story on Kliff, which conveniently goes from coaching Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech to coaching the Cardinals, skipping the whole he got fired at Texas Tech and hired to be OC at USC.
- Then we head to Cardinals practice, we took place in a rare rain storm in Tempe. The Cardinals 1000% cancel this practice if the Hard Knocks cameras weren't around or at least move into their practice bubble. Most revealing during this segment is Kyler Murray and several coaches seem to think water and cold can make you sick and not actual germs.
- We get to see DeAndre Hopkins, who is worried about making the Hall of Fame returning from a PED suspension. This ain't baseball DHop, you should be fine!
- We then get to see Budda Baker and his family sharing a sweet moment. His younger sister is hoping to get into ASU (pretttty sure she will) and his mom and her are there to spend time with Budda. We also see the clip of Budda's impassion post game speech to his team from earlier in the season. Big Budda episode, he's finally getting some of his flowers.
- Raise your hand if you had owner Michael Bidwill being shown flying a plane!
- Finally, we get the Seahawks rematch. We get a front row seat to the DHop/Kyler's sideline exchange, watch Kliff pretend coaching is just yelling "Go!" over and over and the delicious awkwardness of Steve Keim sitting next to Michael Bidwill just hoping his good buddy isn't going to blame him for the mess on the field. We also see Kyler tweak his hammy and Budda sprain his ankle.
Breakout star: Budda Baker and his sister who keeps it real at home after the second Seattle loss.
Overall: 10/10 for any NFL or Cardinals fan. This was a very revealing episode and a great introduction to the current state and future stakes of the Arizona Cardinals season.