The Ups And Downs Of “Fabio”

August 29th, 2017

Third nickname offered.

Drama. You may think you don’t like it, football fans, but you do.

The NFL knows you like drama. It builds drama. That’s why it is the most popular sport in America. And NFL Films knows how to deliver drama.

Producers of the HBO series “Hard Knocks” (NFL Films) are setting the table for a gripping season finale next week by building drama in the fourth of the five-episode series tonight. And the drama sorrounded middle linebacker Riley Bullough.

NFL Films sure knows how to pick a camp meat player, hook the audience with his personal story, and keep the audience engaged through the series.

As “Hard Knocks” is famous for doing, tonight, they featured the ups and downs with Bullough. And at the end of the show, Bullough was shown walking off the field of the Den of Depression into the tunnel. The narrator spoke saying only a select 53 players will earn the right to use the new Bucs locker room in a regular season game.

Early in Tuesday night’s show, Bucs stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was shown boosting Bullough’s spirit with a new nickname, “Bully.” That might be better than this “Joe Dirt” or what Bullough’s mom wants him to be called, “Fabio.”

In a coaches meeting, Bullough received high marks from his position coach Mark Duffner, who sort of made his “Hard Knocks” debut tonight. Duffner highly praised Bullough with one catch: He can’t move well. In the NFL, that is usually a damning trait and it did haunt Bullough against the Browns.

In tonight’s episode, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht not only praised Bullough’s practicing, but his humble ways, noting Bullough’s father once sold his company that developed shopping complexes for $30 million.

“He doesn’t act like a trust fund kid,” Licht said.

But just like last week when “Hard Knocks” built up former Bucs cornerback Maurice Fleming, “Hard Knocks” tore down Bullough, highlighting his no-so great plays in a preseason loss to the Browns. Two pass plays — one where Bullough had position and lunged for the pass and missed, another where he got turned around — sort of brought back Duffner’s words about Bullough not being able to move well.

After the second pass he allowed, the scene cut to defensive coordinator Mike Smith in the coaches’ box who said, “We can see why Riley is not going to, you know… ” And the scene abruptly cut away to play on the field.

No, we don’t know, Mr. Smith! We don’t know what you were about to say.

Were you about to say you know why Bullough won’t make the team? Won’t buy you a beer? Won’t wash his hands after using the men’s room? What, Mike? What?

Was this another example of creative editing?


Tune in next week for the season finale of “Hard Knocks.”

21 Responses to “The Ups And Downs Of “Fabio””

  1. Scott99 Says:

    Hey Joe, Do us all a freaking favor and stop calling RayJ the den of depression!!!!

  2. Joe Says:

    Hey Joe, Do us all a freaking favor and stop calling RayJ the den of depression!!!!

    Will be happy to. When the Bucs win five home games in one season. Is that really too much to ask????

  3. Lamarcus Says:

    This was bad display of rookies. Especially mcflurry

  4. Scott99 Says:

    It’s preseason!!

  5. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard thinks Joe should make a special event of the RJS name change on JBF when the Bucs win their 5th home game….(which they will this season).

    Don’t really care about drama.
    Not a chick or an emo dude.
    However Howard does like the drama that infects teams after the Bucs beat them handedly.

  6. DB55 Says:

    Statistically bully has outplayed lynch thru the preseason. Tape wise I’m pretty sure I’ve seen bully around the ball more. I don’t see lynch doing anything Reilly couldn’t do and Reilly will be cheaper long term. Plus I like his attitude above all. We filling the team up with real people. It won’t be long till we rid the softness off this squad.

  7. Jeffbuc Says:


    I walk out of ray j more times than not pissed and walking briskly so I don’t confront an opposing teams fans chants how they won the game. It is the den of depression until we win some games. Hearing other teams walk out chanting is getting old so for you liberal fans we will call it Raymond James Stadium the home of the victoriously challenged!! Even that may be to harsh for you guys so we will call it the hard for us to have more points on the score board than the opposing team den of equality challenged depression.

  8. Jeffbuc Says:

    Joe please do not speak negatively on a negative situation it is no longer allowed in America. You might offend someone or even worse hurt there feelings

  9. TampaTown Says:

    Listen up. There is no better nickname than Joe Dirt.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Bravo Jeffbuc.

  11. TampaTown Says:

    There’s no doubt we’re being set up for heart break. You can just feel it. I really hope he can clear waivers and make the practice squad but I think he will be picked up by another team. So many cool things about this guy, even his parents. Good Luck Riley. You have captured the hearts of Tampa Bay ❤️

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    This is one instance where having Hard Knocks feature the Bucs this year will likely result in a negative for the team.

    Joe Dirt’s chances of clearing waivers and being added to the Bucs practice squad so he can perhaps be developed properly – like a normal UDFA – have dropped substantially now that HK has featured him and shown clearly how strong Bullough’s heart and will to succeed are.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    I didn’t know Joe Dirt was a trustfund kid – makes me feel better however knowing he’ll be OK when he’s cut. I really hope he makes it to the practice squad because with more experience in the defense I wonder if he can get so good at it that he overcomes the lack of speed he has. I will say, and this is a strech, John Lynch early in his career was very limited by his talent – and yet he worked his tail off to overcome those limitations and become a HOFer. I’m not at all saying Joe Dirt can do that, but I’m just pointing to someone that, with work, did overcome physical limitations. However I will also say Lynch was a 3rd round pick for a reason and Dirt was an UDFA for a reason. Still on the plays down the middle where he was getting beat he wasn’t getting beaten by a couple of steps, he was like a half-step behind, and I think you can teach a half-step. I hope he sticks around on the practice squad because I’d love to see what he can do when he knows everything inside and out and has some time to work on technique.

    Also I guess the trust fund explains why he’s been so against the Joe Dirt name – because that Joe Dirt endorsement money could have been huge. I don’t get how we can have a team with two of the best nicknames in the game, Muscle Hamster and Joe Dirt, and have both players reject the names- it makes no sense.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    @DB55 … “Plus I like his attitude above all. We filling the team up with real people. It won’t be long till we rid the softness off this squad.” What exactly does that mean DB? We’re filling the team with ‘real people’? How about instead ‘We’re filling the team with players who make plays’ … Does that work for you? Past allusions to GMC & ‘softness’ is a bunch of horsepuckey. You & several others probably would’ve said the same about Lee Roy Selmon. And you would’ve been just as wrong.

  15. MadMax Says:

    I think he’ll make the cut as long as he doesnt mess up again. Final chance coming up. Wish he could slim down and be a DB, he’s got some straight on speed.

  16. ME13 Says:

    I know he is an undrafted player!! But there is a big jump from college to pros !! So send the draft pick or picks for a proven player that’s a position of need !!! Draft picks 50/50 at best !! Trade the picks for the proven goods an. Let’s fill a hole!! Go Bucs

  17. Rich's Picks Says:

    My pick is for Riley not to waste his brain to CTE, but eventually use it in Michigan to become politically active and rid his state of toxic water and Wolverines, which I’m sure he’s all for. With his money and motivation he can make a difference. Unless, of course, he makes the team and becomes a great player. What’s the best deal for Riley?

  18. Buc50 Says:

    Fabio/Joe Dirt/Bully is about to meet the Turk…count on it

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Bully apparently has trouble covering in space. Maybe he’s better suited for a Sam than MLB.

  20. Batman Wood Says:

    Riley is tough with good instincts. He’s also slow and not that strong. He only had 1 more bench press rep than Chris Godwin at the combine. His lack of athleticism will hold him back from ever being a starter and I don’t see him beating out Cameron Lynch. Depends on how many LB’s they keep and how long Bond is out. Has he really shown enough for another team to steal him from our practice squad? I don’t think the Bucs would be too worried about it. Teams aren’t going to take him just because of his attitude. If anything, last night’s episode probably hurt his chances of being picked up from the PS.

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    Am Joe..One of the dew things I agree with you on. Start winning many consecutive games at home. Start making opponents fear playing in Ray J like they did when Brooks/Sapp/ Lynch and Co were here. Opponents knew they were in for big pain and brusing back then. Now, they just waltz in confident and leave with a victory. Lets make Ray J our commando post! No better time to start than now! I still want Joe D to make this team. He’s a long shot though.