Another month on the calendar turned over during the NFL off-season, and the last full month without live NFL on our screens until next March; yay! But if you’re still struggling to fill the football shaped void in your life, Amazon’s new release of All or Nothing which follows the Arizona Cardinals during the 2015 season, will definitely whet your appetite for the new season.
After 10 successful seasons and an 11th incoming of Hard Knocks on HBO, Amazon has gone one step further by tracking a team’s trials and tribulations during the regular season and post-season, and as someone who has watched all 8 episodes, I would highly recommend it to any NFL fan.
Thanks to a day off from work last Thursday and assigned bed rest by the doctor (his words not mine, honestly!), I decided to make a start at watching the highly anticipated series having already got Amazon Prime. For anyone who has watched Hark Knocks before, you instantly get exactly the same feel with Bruce Arians giving a typically hard-nosed speech to gee up his team ahead of a very successful season for the Cardinals, going 13-3 before a devastating loss to the Panthers in the NFC Championship game.
After a quick glaze through some of the off-season transactions that Steve Keim and the rest of the Front Office had been through, including their critical additions of Chris Johnson and David Johnson at the Running Back position, it was into the regular season action with Week 1 against the Saints and the show never looks back from there.
Throughout the series there are several stories worth following, including my personal favourite being the weekly competition between the three quarterbacks and Patrick Peterson, where they attempt to pass a football into a bin from afar and the loser of the competition must travel to the next game in an outfit of the other players’ choosing; the results are brilliant at times.
Peterson, or Patty P as he’s referred to, really shines out amongst everyone else during the show with his infectious personality and upbeat attitude in a locker room with a mix of veterans reborn under the new coaching staff and younger players just beginning to find their way in the league. He leads the Cardinals defence by example, making rousing speeches in the film room, and at one point demanding that they come back and study the tape on their game against the 49ers on Monday, after surrendering 368 yards, when they would usually have a rest day; that’s how committed he is to a successful defence, and team as a whole.
Another one of the stories worth following is the way the Cardinals Front Office works as a unit to build the best roster possible for Arians and his coaches; such as reacting to players going down injured for extended periods of time and how the demands they have from the players they do sign. The previously mentioned Chris Johnson is one of these, but add that to the long list that includes Dwight Freeney and Red Bryant who became key contributors on the team, despite not signing until after the season had started. Freeney, like Peterson, became an influential figure in the meeting rooms as well, and in one episode shows a particular flair for cooking; there really is no better way to endear yourself to work colleagues in football or us regular citizens.
There’s so much more that I could say about this series, and how much I would recommend you watching it as soon as humanly possible, but I’ll leave you to decide for yourselves. All 8 episodes are on Amazon Prime in the UK (as well as the US), free for Amazon Prime users. If you don’t have Prime, then you could start a free trial with them in order to watch this highly rated series. On a scale of All or Nothing, this show is definitely All!