Five weeks ago, just before the first episode of the Jets edition of "Hard Knocks" premiered, there were rather ridiculous rumblings that HBO had orchestrated the whole Darrelle Revis holdout simply because it would help build drama — and ratings — for the season. This was of course ridiculous. NFL Films and "Hard Knocks" chief Steve Sabol had about as much say in the Revis negotiations as a line cook at Roscoe's Diner. And yet, it does make you wonder what this season of "Hard Knocks" might have been had Revis shown up, ready to go, on the first day of camp. He may be the best cornerback in the league, but that doesn't mean he'd bring the same level of interest or excitement off the field as, say, Chad Ochocinco.
Thankfully for us, the viewers at home, Revis was a no-show until the final moments of not only the pre-season but also the fifth and final episode of "Hard Knocks," creating the perfect ending to one of the best seasons ever of the show.
We'd heard previously that Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson had traveled to Florida to try to speak to Revis one on one, but it turns out we didn't quite get the whole story. Leading up to that visit, GM Mike Tennenbaum made another trip to Rocoe's, and 5 hours and 20 minutes later still emerged deal-less. Then Rex and Defensive Backs Coach Dennis Thurman make their first sojourn to try to meet with Revis — in his New York suburbs house, not Florida. Nobody answers and they later learn he's about a thousand miles south in Fort Lauderdale. Cut back to Tennenbaum's office where Jets owner Woody Johnson, in his weird white dress shirt, tie, and hat, explains that Revis & Co. "don't know me very well" if they think he won't be willing to wait Revis out for the year. "Why would I be any more fed up with it?" he wonders, and later adds: "We're in New York. You can't hustle us."
And then Woody and Rex hop on a plane and make that secretive trip to Florida… and still don't come back with a deal. The fiery conversation that we all heard about — in which Rex basically tells Revis's agents to go f*ck themselves and he's going to win a Super Bowl without their client — happens post-Florida. Of course, late the next night, Tennenbaum finally strikes a deal, Revis hops on the first plane out of Florida, and in the final moments of the episode, a "Rudy"-esque slow clap welcomes back the star defender. The final words of the season? Revis: "Jets on 3, 1-2-3-Jets!" Love it.
Other highlights from the episode:
- Mike Westhoff's railing against "that f*cking bicycle group, they stink," i.e. the guys who are injured so must ride a stationary bike all day, was hilarious. "It's like the tour de france."
- How about Westhoff's Australian Sheep Dog story, by the way? Wasn't quite expecting the "destroy" part at the end.
- Jason Davis might have some talent, but which NFL GM watches him in those interviews and sees all that selfishness and attitude and wants that type of personality on his team?
- Stink bombs and packing peanuts aside, I liked seeing Sanchez calling plays. Could definitely see him as a coach one day. "He's still a fruitcake, but he's our fruitcake.
- Danny Woodhead's nickname from now on is "that little f*cker." Or is it "white chocolate." Or maybe "Eagle killer."
- That "Good Job Daddy" sign and cake was the last thing that Chauncey Washington wanted to see from his wife and baby, and sure enough, he only made the practice squad.
- Nice moment from Brian Schottenheimer talking about how he wants to win the Super Bowl and give the ring to his father, who never won one. He'd "force" him to take it.
- There is indeed nothing worse than a fumbler.
- God it's tough to watch some of these guys get cut.
- The Jets motto this season is this: "Let's run it up their ass." We'll see how well they do it.
Hat tip to Kissing Suzy Kolberg for the videos. Check out more over there.