Do you feel that? It’s FOOTBALL! The pre-season officially kicks off tonight and you are pumped. You’ve read all the training camp stories and you know that your team is going to be competing for a shot at the Super Bowl in January. If you have a rookie quarterback, you can’t believe how quickly he’s picking up the pro game and looks way ahead of schedule. If you have a younger quarterback, you’re excited for him to take the next step and be a leader and MVP candidate. If you have a veteran quarterback, you’re not surprised that he’s in shape and hasn’t lost a step. You first round pick is already headed for the Hall of Fame. Your late round pick is the steal of the draft. Your running back is exploding through the hole on every carry and your receivers have caught every ball thrown their way. Your cornerbacks are sticking to guys like glue and your linebackers are snuffing out every play. Your offensive and defensive lines are so good that every snap is a stalemate. Your rookie coach is some kind of genius who has designed the perfect play for every situation and is so futuristic that he’s already thinking about the rule changes the league will have to make in order to slow down his ideas. Your veteran coached has learned from his mistakes during the offseason and definitely won’t repeat them.
In two months, you’ll be cursing at the screen and breaking things, feeling stupid for believing that anything had changed. But right now, go ahead and hand your team the Lombardi trophy because there is nothing stopping your team from hoisting it in February.
Baseball season is almost over. Either your team sucks and you stopped watching months ago or you’re just waiting for the playoffs to start. Either way, you’re pretty sick of watching America’s slowest team sport six nights a week. Basketball and hockey season don’t start for another couple of months. The Olympics are on, but you haven’t heard of half the sports, don’t know 97% of the athletes, and already know the outcome of the one sport you sort of care about. You could watch golf or soccer or tennis, but that would require you to know exactly when those sports are on.
With only 16 regular season games, every game is important. You don’t want your team to get off to a bad start, but you don’t want them to peak too early either. That’s why football is your favorite sport. Even if you think that you like another sport better, you know that if your favorite football team and your favorite team from another sport are playing a middle of the season game, you’re watching football.
There’s something special about that Sunday schedule. Everyone knows that Sunday is the day of pigskin observation. Your significant other knows it, respects it, and even gets mad when your team plays on Thursday or Monday.
It’s balls and blood, it’s grass and mud, it’s the roar of a Sunday crowd. It’s the white in their knuckles, their pads and their buckles, they’ll win the next go round. It’s cleats and pads, visors and hats, it’s catches and margin calls. It’s the hits and the chains, the joy and the pain, and they call the thing FOOTBALL!