The second season of Amazon’s All or Nothing includes the inherently compelling aftermath of the firing of a head coach, but it doesn’t go far enough.
Yes, the video and audio from Rams coach Jeff Fisher’s last meeting with his staff and from his last meeting with his players is fascinating, and the aftermath in the meeting room after Fisher left is arguably even better. But the best stuff was left on the cutting room floor, if it was even captured.
The show includes nothing about the deliberations among upper management regarding the decision to fire Fisher, or about the procedure that resulted in the termination. With cameras and microphones everywhere, All or Nothing ended up giving the audience nothing regarding the decision-making process.
Making that omission more glaring is the fact that the episode after Fisher’s firing includes a whispered heart-to-heart between interim coach John Fassel and executive V.P. of football operations Kevin Demoff regarding Fassel’s appointment to run the team in Fisher’s absence. During the meeting, Demoff mentions that he has talked to owner Stan Kroenke about their shared faith in Fassel.
That’s fine. So why isn’t the meeting between Kroenke and Demoff included in the show?
More importantly, why isn’t the termination meeting between Kroenke and/or Demoff and Fisher in the show? Over the years, countless players have learned their fate during Hard Knocks while on camera, from Chad Johnson being cut by the Dolphins after an arrest to Vontae Davis being so stunned by the news of a trade that he asked to call his grandmother to every other form and fashion of involuntary separation of NFL players from NFL teams.
If it’s fair game for players, it should be fair game for coaches. And it’s unfair that the NFL, through its in-house production company, is willing to broadcast sensitive moments involving players but unwilling to do the same involving coaches and General Managers.
Speaking of General Managers, Rams G.M. Les Snead is conspicuously absent throughout the process of Fisher’s firing, with Snead’s face never shown, his voice never heard, his name never mentioned.
Was Snead consulted? Did he approve? Did he object? Did they consider firing him, too?
So while we got a lot more of the story than we ever do when a head coach is fired, All or Nothing falls short of the same kind of “all” that we get every August, when players are cut with NFL Films taping and, eventually, an HBO audience watching.