Friday, August 13, 2010


Doris Ryan should stick to basic cable. The mother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan telephoned her son to admonish him for his salty language on this week's season premiere of HBO's Hard Knocks - an uncensored, inside look at the Jets training camp. No one should swear in front of their mother, but there's a big difference between NFL training camp and the Tuesday night Blue Rinse Bridge Club. F-bombs are dropped on the football field as liberally as they're tossed around in a military barracks or aboard a marauding man o' war crewed exclusively by pirates with Turret's syndrome. Hard Knocks isn't even the filthiest show on HBO. This is the same network that gave us The Sopranos and Deadwood, among other profanity-laced but critically-acclaimed series, and most or all of its hit shows use socially incorrect repartee to one extent or another. HBO is a critical and commercial success for a reason. Its writers don't employ obscenities because they're stuck for dialogue. Even the gratuitous swearing has a calculated gratuity, and that's on the scripted shows. Hard Knocks is a reality show, and what viewers saw Wednesday is how Rex Ryan really talks, whether his mother likes it or not.

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