Series takes fans behind the scenes of Cardinals' season
PHOENIX (AP) NFL Films was embedded with the Arizona Cardinals for the 2015 season, granted unprecedented access to just about anything.
The result is ''All or Nothing: A Season With the Arizona Cardinals,'' an eight-part series available for streaming on Amazon on Friday.
Coach Bruce Arians, one of the NFL's best coaches and certainly among its most colorful, is at the center of everything Cardinal and he didn't alter his style for the cameras and microphones.
That means an avalanche of `f-bombs.' He dropped 13 in the first episode alone.
''I`ll get a few Bibles in the mail,'' Arians said, ''and rightfully so.''
The cameras and microphones went to places mere reporters never are allowed to go.
Cardinals fans will love it. Football fans in general should be entertained by this behind-the-scenes look at a team of highly interesting individuals in a run to the Super Bowl that fell one win short, all of it captured with the trademark quality of NFL Films.
NFL Films producers promised they would not be an intrusion, and Arians said they weren't. After a time, he said, he forgot he was wearing a microphone.
Narrated by actor John Hamm (Mad Men), it starts in the Cardinals draft room, where general manager Steve Keim thought they were in line to select running back Amir Abdullah in the second round. But Detroit jumped just ahead and nabbed him. Still, the Cardinals got the running back they sorely needed, David Johnson, in the third round. Johnson, who emerged as one of the stars of the team, is shown at home as his fiancee plans their wedding and wears a lucky jersey every game.
We see one of Carson Palmer's sons work out in the weight room with him. We visit general manager Steve Keim's home, where we learn his three sons are named Brady, Warner and Carson. Wonder where he thought of that? Patrick Peterson is shown changing the diapers of his new baby. We watch team President Michael Bidwill care for his terminally ill dog. There's the great comeback story of Tyrann Mathieu, showing how his constant energy electrifies the defense. Then his season ends prematurely, again, with his second devastating knee injury.
Mathieu sits with Bidwill and Keim to watch Arizona's amazing 26-20 overtime win over Green Bay.
That's when Arians' wife Christine takes over the episode.
She shushes nearby fans.
''You don't cheer when we're on offense,'' she says.
Twice she says ''I think I'm going to throw up.''
She tells another woman that after Bruce finally does retire, she doesn't know if she will ever go to another football game.
In the jubilant locker room, Larry Fitzgerald, the game's hero, hears his teammates chanting ''Lar-ry, Lar-ry, Lar-ry!'' Just like the fans do.
The final episode is a sad one, with Arizona beaten badly at Carolina in the NFC championship game.
''Never in a million years did I see this coming,'' Arians mutters from the sideline.
Afterward, Fitzgerald buries his face in his locker for a long time, his voice choking when he finally talks to reporters.
The last scenes are players, some of whom won't be back, loading their gear in black garbage bags and carrying them away.
Then Arians collects some things from his office, gives the photo of Bear Bryant on his wall a salute, and turns out the light as he leaves.
NFL Films said it turned 1,000 hours of footage into the eight one-hour episodes.
Amazon, for a limited time, is offering the series for free. An edited version deleting the plentiful obscenities is also available. A Spanish-dubbed version will be available July 8.
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