When the news broke that the Atlanta Falcons would be featured on season 9 of HBO’s Hard Knocks, I thought it was a distraction the team didn’t need. Considering how last season played out, can you really blame me? But now that we are more than halfway through the season, the tune has changed. I actually find myself looking forward to Tuesdays at 10:00 PM. Hard Knocks has given us all a good behind-the-scenes look at what our Dirty Birds have to go through at training camp, as well as a glimpse into their personal lives. While several Falcons have been entertaining these past few weeks, there are a few who stand out as viewer favorites.
As soon as Douglas’ beauty queen wife Kierra was shown, he quickly became a show favorite. Then his personality showed and people loved him even more. Sure, he got plenty of flak for confessing his use of women’s deodorant in episode one, but his down-to-earth demeanor could be what’s winning everyone over. He also has a great brotherly relationship with fellow wideouts Julio Jones and Roddy White. Douglas is just a goofy guy with a heart of gold who obviously doesn’t care what others think about him.
Much like defensive line coach Bryan Cox, Tice keeps it real. Not only is he helping the offensive line get their act together, but he provides a little bit of comic relief. Making a lineman stand up in front of the rest of the group and sing “I Believe I Can Fly” because he had strange wing-like blocking form was priceless. Tice along with Cox makes the show so much more entertaining.
Save the best for last. From the very first episode when he was instructing his players on how to place their hands by using an…um…not-so-conventional analogy to the recent “man without a vice has skeletons” proverb , Cox has been a hit with Hard Knocks watchers. There is nothing that comes out of his mouth that doesn’t make people laugh. The best part? He is just being himself. Cox is probably the realest person on the show. He tells it like it is. Just know whenever you see him light that cigar, something profound is on its way.
This is the year of redemption for the Falcons. With only a few more episodes left and preseason almost over, I know I am ready to see what the season holds. Are you?