Posts Tagged ‘NFL Preseason’

The NFL Version of American Idol

August 12, 2013

For those of you whose main gripe about the game of football is being ignored for the many months that comprise the NFL season, you have no doubt noticed that there is a definite progression in your Beloved Football Fan’s obsession with the game.  Of course, there is a certain luminous joy in September for the season opener, leveling off thereafter to a sort of base-level fanaticism that begins to escalate during the playoffs, then culminates in what may seem to you like over-heated fervor for the February Super Bowl.

But if you’ve been tuned in to the first couple of preseason games, you may have noticed that your Beloved Fan is – well, perhaps a bit less enthusiastic than you might have expected.  And you may have wondered why.  Could it be that he (or she) is finally getting tired of this silly game?

Probably not.

The more likely cause is that preseason games simply have less meaning.  If you lose, it won’t go on your record, so there’s nothing actually on the line with preseason football.  For the teams, that is.

But there’s plenty on the line for a whole lot of individual players.  NFL preseason football is the sports version of American Idol.  You won’t see the Big Names play a lot during preseason.  They’re too valuable to risk getting them hurt.

But the rookies – and even some veterans – not so much.  The thing is, there’s a whole bunch of guys who you’ll see playing their hearts out in preseason, but who haven’t actually made the team yet. Because NFL preseason is, just as with American Idol, audition time.

So while it may not mean a lot for the team itself, for those guys who are auditioning, after all the years of blood, sweat and tears it’s taken to get to this moment, the grit and determination to have gotten this close to realizing their dream, preseason football could well determine their entire futures.

That’s drama.  If you’re a fan of those overcoming-the-odds TV movies, this should be right up your alley.  Only this is the real thing.  Not that hokey ‘reality TV’ stuff.  But real reality.

Pressure, pressure, pressure: if you fumble or drop a pass . . . if you make a spectacular catch, or shoot through a hole and sprint twenty yards for a touchdown . . . Quite literally, your life – or at least the only life you’ve ever wanted since you were six years old – is now on the line.

Now, that makes watching preseason football a bit more interesting, yes?  So go ahead: put some skin in the game.  Pick an auditioner.  A rookie.  A vet trying for a comeback.  A guy who’s almost made it before, and who’s trying again . . . maybe for the last time.

Don’t worry: the announcers will let you know who these guys are.  “Butch is looking to fill the last slot at middle linebacker.”  Stuff like that.

Or ask your Beloved Fan.

We picked a guy in the August 4th Hall of Fame Game.  He’s been around since 2011, but he’s looking to hold on as a Dallas Cowboys running back behind starter DeMarco Murray.  The competition is stiff: Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle have their eyes on the same position.  The rap on Tanner is that he’s not initially explosive.  Still, he rushed ten times for 59 yards and scored a touchdown.

Good, yes.  But – good enough?  Will he be there in September when the NFL season kicks off for real?

That is, will his dream come true.

Or not.

You only get to see how the drama plays out if you watch the games.

Oh, and to give you a step up in the understanding-the-game category, we’ve just finished digitizing our paperback, Football is for Lovers, which, as the name implies, gives you the basics of American football along with some helpful relationship tips.  It’s trés cheap, so if you have a kindle, you might want to check it out on Amazon.

What?! You’re Not Ready For Some Football?!

July 29, 2013

It’s b-a-a-a-c-k!!!  Yes.  On Sunday, August 4, NFL preseason begins.  And maybe you’re not ready for some football.

 Well, we’re still working on getting Football is for Lovers, our paperback guide to American football (complete with helpful tips so all you lovers, young and old, can add a little spice to the football-watching experience) ready for Amazon’s Kindle.  In fact, if we can figure out the tech stuff, we plan to have it up pretty close to the beginning of preseason. 

 But meanwhile, if you’re still in the ‘I-hate-that-stupid-game’ frame of mind (which often translates into: I hate being ignored during football season, and I hate that a stupid game like football makes me feel stupid), you can visit our website for some useful information and tips.

 Remember, though: NFL football season lasts a l-o-o-o-n-g time.  And it will be back again next year.  And the year after that.  And . . . well, you get the drift.

 So yes: learn what you can about the basics of the game (at our website, in our book, ask a friend, or google around for what suits).  But for now, don’t put any pressure on yourself.  Maybe plan a little party with your favorite comestibles and your favorite family and friends to kick off the preseason. 

 When the Big Day comes, sit back, nosh, and sip on your beverage of choice, be it chamomile tea, Bud Light, Dr. Pepper, or Kettle One on the rocks.  Whatever it takes, get that ‘ol dopamine flowing!

 Be sure, though, if you’re doing the hosting thing, not to slip into martyr mode.  Stay out of the kitchen; plop yourself down in front of the TV with your guests.  Let the guy at the pizzeria do the cooking.   Use paper plates.  Uh . . . but not ones with a flower motif.   A team logo would be nice.  Or just bright colors.

 Then – observe.  That’s right: just sit back and watch.

 We were at a wedding once where all the kids were doing some kind of complicated line dance.  We’re not kids, by the way, and the kids were moving mighty quick.

 So we just observed for a while until Bob (who is far lighter on his feet than Kaye) tried a step here, a step there . . . In fact, he was almost up to speed by the time the music ended.

 Kaye may possibly be ready by the next wedding.

 Point is, proceed at your own pace.  Understanding the game will certainly make it more fun to watch, but don’t ignore the good stuff that can be had just by the camaraderie of watching.  Make yourself comfortable, enjoy whatever you can of the experience (like maybe the vodka).  For the time being, just focus on the party aspect of the game.

 Then, as preseason progresses, watch, learn, imbibe, maybe do some shouting as you start to figure out what’s going on.

 Who knows?  Maybe by the official start of the NFL season on September 5, the game will start making sense.

 Or maybe by the time the Super Bowl rolls around.

 Or maybe next season.



NFL Preseason, Luddites, Lovers, and Pizza . . .

July 22, 2013

Be still, our hearts! It’s that time again. NFL Preseason Football kicks off with the Dallas Cowboys vs the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, August 4, at 8:00PM on NBC.

Actually, that’s sort of pre-preseason football, since it’s technically the annual Hall of Fame Game, played in Canton Ohio.

The Official First NFL Preseason Football Game is on Thursday, August 8, at 7:30, between Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

We’re giving you all these details about preseason football out of a sense of guilt. We realize we haven’t been there for you for a while now. Oh, it’s not that we haven’t been thinking about you. Much of our time has been taken up with writing a novel that, although it has nothing to do with football, does expand on the ‘lovers’ aspect of our paperback guide to the game, Football is for Lovers. Also, we’ve been creating a website that gives you more details about football plays and football positions and football trivia and football history and just more good ol’ football stuff then we could ever fit in our blog.

But there’s one time-consuming activity we’ve been soldiering on with (with which we’ve been soldiering on?) that really pushed our empathy button. We’ve been trying to digitalize (or . . . er . . . is that ‘digitize?) Football is for Lovers so that it would be available on Amazon’s Kindle Program. Given that we’re not even sure of the correct terminology, you might guess (and rightly so!) that we’re in deep trouble.

The thing is, we’re hopeless luddites. Cyber tech stuff like this digit-whatever that would take your average ten year old about five minutes to master takes us more like a year. Still, we’re hoping to have it ready at the beginning of NFL preseason. And we do mean 2013 NFL preseason. Then again, as Kaye’s Mom always said, “Live in hope, die in despair.” Anyway, we’re working on it.

But here’s the ‘empathy’ part. It’s been a reminder (as if we needed one!) of just how frustrating it is to try to learn something new. Especially something for which you might have little aptitude. And even less desire.

For us, writing (in case you’re wondering, the novel we’re working on now is about lovers and pizza) is always a joy. Hey, we’ve been writing stuff forever, and we’d keep on doing it even if nobody ever paid us . . . which is probably a good thing, since, mostly, nobody ever does.

But tech stuff?! Sheesh. Like we said: luddites through and through. But after Bob’s stroke, a lot of stuff we did before, we couldn’t do anymore. So Internet, here we came! Maybe we lacked desire, but certainly not motivation: the survival instinct is a great catalyst.

Heck, we even taught ourselves how to create webpages with HTML. Not great webpages, mind you. But adequate. And definitely not easily.

What’s that got to do with you? Well, it occurred to us that, for many of you, our conquering HTML might be sort of like your understanding football.

Which brings us back to the catalyst requirement. Why do what you don’t want to do if you don’t have a good reason? Well, learning football may not rank too high on the list of needful things for survival.

But not being estranged from your beloved from August NFL preseason through the February Super Bowl might at least provide some incentive.

And then, there are all those lovely little romantic perks we talk about in Football is for Lovers. And that we will continue to talk about here all through football season. And beyond.

So do stay tuned.

We’ll try to make it worth your while.