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So is 'Hard Knocks' Just Going to Ignore Antonio Brown's Frostbite and Richie Incognito's Craziness?

In case you haven’t watched Episode 1 of “Hard Knocks: The Oakland Raiders” yet or can’t and need a good recap, KenJac has one here. For my two cents, it was your typical opening installment. They introduce you to the major players and strongest personalities. Which, if you ranked them in order, about eight of the Top 10 would be Jon Gruden, who’s clearly trying to win that Emmy that eluded him for 10 years of “Monday Night Football.” Plus you get the obligatory washout, in this case “Last Chance U” star Ronald Ollie

… who was cut after tapping out of practice and skipping out on a session with the trainer.

So they’ve established enough plot threads to build on in the weeks ahead and it looks like we’re in for a solid season. Better at least than the Atlanta Falcons snoozefest from a couple of years ago. But there are two glaring omissions so far. So egregious that I can only conclude that the Raiders or the NFL itself has handed NFL Films marching orders that the subjects are off limits. And those are Antonio Brown’s foot injuries and Richie Incognito’s mental health.

We got lots of Antonio Brown. A year’s worth, already. He got more face time in this one show than Bran Stark got in all of Season 8, and they made him ruler of the Seven Six Kingdoms. We got lots of talk about his feet. Minutes of film on him testing out his feet. Conversation after conversation about him needed to not push his feet too hard. Everything except what caused his foot injury.



Source – On Monday, PFT Live co-host Chris Simms said that the photos posted by Brown don’t reveal blisters but the peeling of layers of of skins from the bottom of his feet. …

After Monday’s show, Simms got word from someone with knowledge of the situation that Brown burned his feet by entering a cryotherapy machine without the proper footwear, and his feet were frostbitten.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not respond to a request for comment.

Then with regards to Incognito, we got some vague references to his “history, some of it ugly” and “long journey to get here,” and a mention that he’s suspended for two games. But with no mention of what for. Which is this:

Source – Richie Incognito was violent, incoherent and emotional before he was arrested at a funeral home in Arizona — with one witness saying the NFL lineman asked the staff to “cut his dad’s head off for research purposes.” …

When staff confronted Richie, he began “punching caskets and throwing things.”

So what gives? With all due respect to Derek Carr and how cute every player’s kids are, they are not why America demanded the Raiders get the nod for this year’s “Hard Knocks.” We want the crazy. Bring us those sweet, sweet entertaining, emotional trainwrecks. Which Brown and Incognito, for their part, are trying to give us. But they’re being ignored. Right under the noses of the NFL Films cameras. Which, for a series that prides itself on giving you every aspect of a team, from a power struggle between Hue Jackson and his coaching staff last year to the mandatory “heroic longshot who falls short of seeing his dream come true” camp cut, it’s a huge missed opportunity.

Therefore I can only conclude that the price of paying poker for these producers was to gloss over some critical stuff. Including the highest profile wideout in the league fucking his feet up in a cryogenic chamber right before camp and one of the most notorious and controversial figures in the game a few years ago having a mental breakdown. I’m hoping I’m wrong. NFL Films traditionally has left no stone unturned to make great content. And maybe they’ll correct this next week. But for now, as my sainted mom use to say, I’m not so much angry as I am, well … disappointed.