Posts Tagged ‘NFL season’

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.

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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.