The Sopranos boasts one of the most iconic television intros of all time in the form of the sequence of shots chronicling Tony Soprano’s commute from New York City to his home in New Jersey, and it only makes sense that Hard Knocks paid tribute to that opening with the help of Robert Saleh.
The Jets may not have wanted to appear on Hard Knocks this year (along with every other team that was eligible), but they seemed like a fairly obvious choice thanks in no small part to the intrigue surrounding New York’s decision to trade for Aaron Rodgers in the offseason.
The QB has been responsible for a number of entertaining moments that have transpired over the course of the preseason, but longtime fans of Hard Knocks know the program usually does a great job of going above and beyond to create some compelling television that doesn’t necessarily rely on the most obvious storylines.
That was the case with the penultimate episode of the show that aired on Tuesday night, as HBO treated us to some objectively great corporate synergy with a perfectly executed nod to one of its most iconic shows with a montage featuring some footage that was captured in the leadup to the preseason matchup between the Jets and the Giants at MetLife Stadium on August 26th.
I still can’t believe Hard Knocks gave us a Soprano’s tribute tonight with Robert Saleh. So awesome. Bravo, @NFLFilms…
— Jake Asman (@JakeAsman) August 30, 2023
Saleh may not have lit a cigar before hopping into his car to head to The Meadowlands, but we still got plenty of nods to The Sopranos intro with a recreation of the commute through the Lincoln Tunnel, some shots of the New York City skyline (including One World Trade reflected in the mirror of his car), and shaky handheld footage of the Jets’ turf.
I’m honestly surprised it took them four episodes to go this route, but Hard Knocks absolutely nailed it.