In it’s fifth NFL season, the always binge-worthy All Or Nothing series follows the rather inconsistent 9-7 2019 Philadelphia Eagles which results in a good but not great show…It is still very much binge-worthy for an NFL fan, but this one is probably not the best in this wonderful series.
What is All or Nothing?
All or Nothing is a docu-series from Amazon Prime and their cameras follow a team’s whole season. It is aired some months after the end of the season. When it first aired in 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals, it kick started my subscription to Amazon Prime. Since then it has ventured into teams from other sports; The All Blacks and Manchester City F.C, to name but two.
As NFL fans we know the 2019 Eagles squeezed into the playoffs, but how they got there; the stories, the hurdles, the little bits of luck, as well as the wider picture of the Philadelphia community is all covered in amazing detail.
The show is narrated by the deep sultry tones of Jon Hamm. The cameras cut to many players and fans talking to the camera in a very candid and sincere way. Although Hamm is the objective narrator, the voice we hear the most, is not his, or Doug Pedersen, the Super Bowl winning Eagle’s Head Coach, but the colourful and passionate voices of 94 WIP sports radio, which set up the story lines for every episode.
Unlike the other teams to have been on this show; the Cardinals in 2016, the Rams in 2017, the Cowboys in 2018, and the Panthers in 2019, none of them had won a Superbowl in the previous two seasons. This Eagles series continually reflects back on that Super Bowl year, and many commentators claim that now the fervent Eagles fans demand another win, which has resulted in added pressure on this 2019 team and perhaps this series as well.
It’s all about the characters it unearths
Head coach, Doug Pedersen, who is an offensive wizard, is sadly rather bland and we are sadly not really taken much into his coaches “war room”. Likewise, his star quarterback, Carson Wentz, while honest and frank, isn’t as exciting or as vibrant as say Cam Newton was in the Carolina Panther’s show. In terms of defense, the series follows defensive end, Brandon Graham for most of the episodes. While we get up close and personal with him and his family, and he comes across as a lovely guy, he is not quite as enthralling as Sean Lee was in the Cowboys series, who we saw go to alarming lengths in the film room.
Towards the end of the season, Wentz is injured (his third time in three seasons) and this time we finally see the great Qb veteran, Cade McNown, who wears his heart on his sleeve. Watching him work hard is nothing short of inspiring. His final scene is heart wrenching to watch and it is a shame he was not in the series much earlier.
Likewise Brandon Brooks, the offensive lineman, who comes into the show in the later episodes. Brooks is a keen martial artist , which helps him physically, but also mentally as he suffers from acute anxiety. How he deals with it and the support he gets from the franchise is very interesting, but like McNown he should have way more air time.
One thing is really clear; just how hard it is for the athletes to stay professional when the cameras and journalists are hungry for answers all the time, especially when a player might be frail after a tough loss. I wanted to scream at the journalists on their behalf.
How does it compare to other All or Nothings?
Although this is not the best in the series, it is still must-see T.V for any NFL fan- well maybe not for Cowboy fans. The hate towards that team is clear across the whole Eagle’s organisation.
Overall it is a good show, but the cameras can only film what they see. When the team has an inconsistent season, and when the city and famous Eagle’s “boo boy” fans now demand another championship, the show then has to then rely on colourful characters and interesting story lines-and sadly the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles team were not that good on the field and not that interesting as individuals off it resulting in a decent but not one of the best from the All Or Nothing series.
Written by Adam Goldstein @Tailgate Knight