Ah yes, it’s that time of year again where we separate the men from the mice and the Pit’s from the poodles. Yes ladies and gentleman, football season is upon us after what seems like such an agonizing, prolonged wait. The NFL is back, and with it comes our favorite pastime as we gather every Sunday and Monday night with family, friends or sometimes complete strangers to watch our favorite gladiators go to war over a finite amount of space to truly find out who is the better man. Yes, football is the modern day gladiator sport, as we stream into to modern day coliseums to watch the controlled carnage. The finest athletic specimens of our time hurdling toward each other at the speed of light, trying to take each other’s heads off. The NFL and college football, to some extent, have become “quarterback driven”, but the essence of football is can a grown man move another grown man a few feet in order to open up holes and create time for their quarterback. The NFL likes to market the royal elegance of the regal Tom Brady, the machine like precision of Peyton Manning, and the athletic grace of Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson, but if you take in an episode of “Hard Knocks” you can still see that the game is won and lost in the trenches. Football is a man’s game, its physical, it’s nasty, it’s carnal, and most players have to go to a deep dark place in order to summon up the necessary rage in order to compete against some of the world’s best athletes in such a physically demanding arena.
Football on Sunday is just as American as apple pie and has become engrained as part of our culture, with regular season game posting higher television ratings than a World Series game and NBA Finals game combined. Why has this sea change occurred? It seems like football has become an event every weekend and the Super Bowl has become almost a national holiday. Is it the carnage taking place on the field? Is it the gambling and fantasy football, which has become a cottage industry? Is it the fact that the sport is mostly played on one day, save for Monday night football and the occasional Thursday telecast? Maybe it’s a confluence of all those things, but whatever the reason, it seems as though we cannot get enough football, nothing seems to be able to placate our appetite for the sport. Football is the “Soap Opera” for the male species, we want every single snap is dissected, coaches decisions are constantly being second and triple guessed, and we tune in to sports talk radio, NFL Network and the seemingly endless amount of NFL shows on ESPN. We are all under the NFL’s spell like swooning teenagers ogling the pretty girl in our chemistry class. Our love affair with the NFL has even made college football the number 2 watched sport in America, as we watch pseudo professional kids compete every Thursday and Saturday.
The pads clashing, the smell of freshly manicured grass, the fans tailgating in the parking lot, prognosticators prognosticating, millions of fans in front of their flat screens with a beer in their hand and their mobile device in their other hand checking their fantasy stats. Ah yes, football is here, God is so good. Hope springs eternal in 32 different cities for 32 different fan bases as they dream of their team making it to the Super Bowl, this is what dreams are made of. There are too many storylines to even delve into, but even with the NFL and former players battling it out in court and the court of public opinion over head injuries, we the public still can’t get enough of this vicious blood sport. We thirst for football, we hunger for it, we wish the season would last 12 months instead of 5, we even watch that God awful shit show the NFL calls the Pro Bowl. I can’t wait for the bone rattling hits, the spectacular plays, and yes even the soap opera’ish daily coverage on several sports networks. Everyone fighting, from players on the field, coaches on the sideline, to fans in the stands. I’m ready for some football, are you?