Like you, Arizona Cardinals are excited for ‘All or Nothing’
TEMPE, Ariz. — Thursday night in Los Angeles, members of the Arizona Cardinals organization will attend a world premier for “All or Nothing,” an Amazon series that documents their 2015 season.
The show will feature eight one-hour episodes, and be available to Amazon subscribers starting July 1. As Cardinals president Michael Bidwill explained it, the goal is to help grow the Cardinals’ brand.
“What we want is to really tell our story to a much bigger audience than we previously had,” he told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “I think it gives us a tremendous, tremendous opportunity to go out there and pick up fans from all around the country.”
It will not be the first time a television series went inside an NFL organization, as HBO’s “Hard Knocks” has been a staple for NFL fans since it debuted on HBO in 2001. However, what separates the two series, besides the teams involved, is that while “Hard Knocks” almost gives a realtime look at a team during training camp, showing roster battles and cuts, whereas “All or Nothing” will give an inside look at a team months after its season ended.
That’s part of why Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was on board with the idea.
“That it wouldn’t be a distraction and it was not going to be ‘Hard Knocks,'” he said of what convinced him to be a part of it. “Where that I was talking about players or they were in meetings with us talking about players.
“They presented it in a way, and they did a very, very professional job of not intruding our space. We had very small cameras — everybody got used to them after a while — I got used to having a microphone on every day. After a while, you’ll be able to tell I didn’t change any.”
Arians is known for his colorful language, and it sounds like viewers will not miss out on that part of his personality.
“I’ll get a few Bibles in the mail, I’m sure, and rightfully so,” he quipped.
The Cardinals went 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game, which no doubt helped raise their profile among casual NFL fans. However, the type of access that has been promised in this series, with cameras following players and coaches everywhere from meetings and games to their time at home, is the kind that should allow people to feel a different kind of connection with a team that has rarely been among the NFL’s most popular.
And whether they like the Cardinals or not, chances are there will be many who feel the excitement of the good times as well as the disappointment in the bad.
“I’m extremely excited,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “We had a lot to be proud of last year, the things we accomplished as a team. It didn’t end how we wanted it to end, but it was a great season for us.”
Now, will that season turn into a great show?
That remains to be seen, but based on the reception similar series have received — and the trailer that was released earlier in the week — it appears likely that this will be a worthwhile watch.
“I can’t wait until that comes out,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “That’s going to be fun seeing that. I know they made a stop at my house — my son gets some camera time and all that, start him early.”
That’s not to say there isn’t some trepidation, as Patrick Peterson said he’s been anxious to see the show.
“I’ve been dreading to watch,” he noted, adding he was told the team will watch the seventh episode in Los Angeles. “Which was around the Green Bay game, so I can’t wait to watch it Thursday.”
Peterson laughed as he said that.
For most of the players, this will be their first time on TV doing something other than playing football. For QB Carson Palmer, though, this is a little bit of old hat.
The veteran was on the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009 when “Hard Knocks” came to town. He, along with Evan Mathis (Bengals, ’09), Jermaine Gresham (Bengals, ’09) Corey Peters (Falcons, 2014) and Chris Clemons (Dolphins, 2012) all have experience with that series, though Palmer noted how different this experience was.
“I think there’s similarities, and when you do ‘Hard Knocks,’ after a while, the cameras are just part of the environment, and they just kind of blend in,” he said. “And that’s only when they’re with you for three weeks.
“When they’re with you from now (offseason) until the end of the season, they really become just a piece of furniture in the room. You don’t really think anything of them, and I think that’s what ‘Hard Knocks’ is trying to get and what we achieved is you just don’t realize when you’re on, who’s mic’d up; you’re being yourself, you’re just going about your business the way you normally do.”
Palmer noted he’s sure there will not be any video of their gameplans or anything like that, but instead he expects footage of interaction between players and coaches as well as their families.
“It should be shared with our fans,” he said.
And yes, you can count Palmer among those who cannot wait to see what the show has in store.
“You’re around guys all day long but when guys leave, who knows what goes on,” he said. “You don’t really know how many kids some guys have or how many people are living with him from back home, whatever the situation is.
“It will just be cool to get a different perspective on your own teammates.”