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Hard Knocks Episode 2: Roberto Aguayo, we hardly knew ye

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The former Florida State star’s Tampa Bay tenure came to an end after missed preseason kicks

NFL: Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

“You see how the flag is? That means it’s gonna be a bad day.”

“You do shit right, nobody is gonna say anything. You do shit wrong, somebody gonna correct you.”

And with the first few lines of the show, the Roberto Aguayo subtweet sesh began.

The second episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks featured a few different storylines, but the one that loomed over it was the inevitable cutting of Aguayo, statistically the greatest kicker in college football history and subjectively the most frustrating part of Tampa Bay’s season last year.

Before we get into the gut-punch that comes with seeing somebody lose their job on a nationally syndicated series, let’s run through some of the highlights.

  • JAMEIS WINSTON DANCE SESH.

We saw Winston’s energetic entrance to a Bucs’ practice a few weeks ago via fan video, but getting an HD version of it was a nice little touch. As a result of the Stick Carriers campaign, Bucs fans were out in full droves and Winston took the time to comment on it.

At one point the crowd starting chanting his name, and in response, Winston grabbed third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin’s arm and held it up, prompting a “RY-AN GRIFF-IN” chant and a hilarious “they wouldn’t be able to chant Fitz’s name” comment from Winston.

  • We head back into the Aguayo drama, with him missing four kicks during that day’s practice. Defensive tackle Chris Baker was harassing both him and Nick Folk to add a little pressure, and his Aguayo jabs were pretty hilarious.

“He’s got to miss the next one, cause he missed the last one and he’s still thinking about it.”

“I’m calling it wide left! Never mind it’s wide right, but I’ll take it!”

Aguayo’s disapointed face is equally hilarious, because it’s the face that you make when you know you messed up and everybody is watching and you have to look really upset with yourself. You can tell somebody is doing this when they scrunch up their face like McKayla Maroney and take a lot of sighs. It’s a very effective way to inspire pity, I employ it on the regular because I’m an idiot boy who messes up pretty often and I thank Aguayo for normalizing it.

  • There’s a Bucs’ rap song playing in the background at some point and despite HBO naming the artists that made it (two gentlemen by the names of Supreem and Eddie Drawn), I can’t find it. I could only find this really, really, really, really, really, really, really bad song.
  • We got another glimpse at Jameis Winston the LEADER this episode, playing ping pong with his fellow quarterbacks (and getting hilariously annoyed at losing) and hyping up the team before its preseason debut against the Cincinnati Bengals.

He walked around the locker room, fist-bumping everybody and repeating, “I’ve got you.”

Some other notable quotables:

“I don’t know what it is but I feel it, I feel it in the atmosphere.”

(Is he saying he doesn’t know why he’s feeling it, or he doesn’t know what it is that he’s feeling? A lot to ponder.)

“What’s today? Game time.”

(I feel like maybe should’ve said game day, but who am I to judge?)

“I know there’s a lot of people that’s been waiting on that moment. I ain’t gonna sleep tonight if I don’t seize the opportunity tonight against the Cincinnati bengals at 7:30 p.m.”

(As somebody who can’t pick up on the slightest of ambiguity, I’m grateful for this specificity.)

  • OH NO AGUAYO JUST MISSED THE EXTRA POINT OFF THE UPRIGHT NOOOOOO
  • Another brief pause in the Aguayo heartbreak to appreciate Winston’s passive aggresive guilt trip.

During the game, Griffin hurt his shoulder while taking a pretty nasty hit. After he gets walked off the field, Winston goes over to a pair of lineman and hits them with:

“I’m happy y’all are having fun, but Ryan just hurt his shoulder. I’m happy y’all are having fun, though.”

Ethered, bodied, roasted and destroyed. I felt the shame radiating through my illegal live stream.

  • OH NO AGUAYO JUST MISSED A ROUTINE FIELD GOAL WIDE RIGHT NOOOOOOO
  • And with the dramatic music kicking in, Aguayo’s fate becomes inevitable. We, of course, knew that the episode would end with him being cut, but that doesn’t soften the blow.

We see Tampa’s GM Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter sitting in the latter’s office, coming to terms with cutting loose their second round pick from just a year ago. They lament on the fact that even if Aguayo hits 20 out of 20 kicks in practice, they, along with “everybody else,” is nervous when he steps up.

They call him in, and Licht goes right into it, saying “I’m gonna go right into it.”

To his credit, Aguayo takes things very well. He acknowledges his mistakes, says that he let himself and the two sitting before him down and, most impressively, doesn’t shed a tear. Never let them see you cry, ‘Berto, never let them see you cry.

“This isn’t about you, the man,” Koetter says. “It’s about somebody who isn’t consistent enough as a kicker right now. I’ve been fired, Jason’s been fired. Even though it hurts today, you gotta keep your head up and go back to the basics and do what got you here.”

Both Licht and Koetter emphasize that he’ll get another chance and at the end of the episode, Koetter is shown watching a report that Aguayo has been picked up by the Chicago Bears.

Goodbye, Roberto Aguayo. May you find peace in your journey.

***

The second episode of Hard Knocks was just as entertaining as the first, with the continued greatness of Gerald McCoy’s personality on display and a sit-down with Brent and Miko Grimes. The Bucs seem to have been the perfect choice for this go-round, and having them is a nice replacement for not having Florida State on A Season With this year.

The episode is available to stream on HBOGo/HBONow, and like last week, if you hit me up on Twitter, I’ll probably maybe be nice enough to bestow the blessing of a login to you.