Bruce Arians Has a Potty Mouth and He Might be Making Me a Cards Fan

Amazon Prime Video and NFL Films have collaborated to create the exclusive documentary series All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals. The documentary film crew tagged along for practices, team meetings, draft day, and even rode along with coaches’ or players’ daily commute into work.

It’s well done, filled with good storytelling and is easy to follow.  There is plenty of football highlight footage for fans, but not so much that the human drama loses traction. Not released until after the 2015-16 season concluded, everyone already knows how the games came out, and you might call the NFL season a spoiler for the Amazon TV series.

The middle schooler and I have watched the first few episodes. The series is available for viewing on Amazon Prime in two editions: the first is labeled “Unrated” and the description categorizes it as MA - Mature Audiences and the other version is labeled “Rated” and is categorized as TV-14. The latter, edited, version leaves intact a significant number of words that would be unfit for use in Sunday School and is littered with frequent bleeping that belies the true content of the coaches’ speech. The former, unedited, version contains enough profanity to peel paint.

I am ill-equipped to offer any more of a review, but I’ll share the questions I’m left with as we approach football season.

  • Our middle schooler has decided to try out for his football team. Did the TV show precipitate that?
  • Having become acquainted with the players through this series, I find myself more sympathetic to the Arizona Cardinals.Am I becoming a Cards’ fan?
  • What makes someone care about the outcome of a football game? Is it the win/loss record or the behind-the-facemask personalities?
  • How is it better to watch the profanity bleeped-out edition, when even the 12 year old knows the vocabulary that’s being used, and still hears the frequency with which Coach gets bleeped out?
  • How many different parts of speech can the F-bomb be?
  • Is football truly a game of virtues like perseverance, courage and discipline? Or is it a modern day gladiatorium*?

Amazon says it’s producing season two, but won’t say whether it features the Arizona Cardinals or another NFL team. I’m pretty sure I’m watching it when it comes out.

*Not, as far as I know, an actual word.

Mike Hamann