YES. It is finally here. There was definitely a moment back in May watching Ochocinco bull-riding where it definately looked like there may not be an NFL season. Even our commander-in-chief (a Chicago Bears fan, ha!) almost stepped in to fix the fight between millionaires and billionaires.
However, when push came to shove and the chips were on the table (by chips, I mean prospect of no season at all) both sides cooled and came to a compromise (remember that word Federal government?).
Football is here, and it starts this Thursday with the last two Super Bowl winners facing off: Saints vs. Packers. I hope that you all did well in your one or many fantasy football drafts, and are ready to dominate your leagues with good research and biting insults to your opponents.
This looks to be another good season with lots of fun, bizarre and illegal story lines. One of the things I have always respected while living in DC is how fierce and loyal Redskins fans are, despite its recent poorly run front office. This was and always will be (sorry Caps/Nats) a football town, and you can feel it around the city.
With that said, here are some things to look for as America’s greatest sport (baseball, you know you still own October) kicks off and we begin the 46th season of the National Football League.
The Redskins: how bad can/will they be? The star quarterback they brought in last year (McNabb) and the 100 million dollar headache (Haynesworth) are gone. They passed on QBs in the draft and are putting their eggs in either untested rookie John Beck or sorta decent veteran Rex Grossman. Coach Shanahan says Grossman is the starter, for now.
If this team wins eight games, I will be shocked. (That said, I hope that running back Tim Hightower scores lots of touchdowns for my fantasy team). The ‘Skins play a tough schedule, including the stacked AFC East, with home games against the New York Jets and New England Patriots. At least the defense will be fun to watch.
Boring Kickoffs. A new rule was made for this year that kickoffs are at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 to prevent some of the more vicious hits that occur in this phase of the game. Yes, player safety should be a high priority, but in the pre-season so far, there are too many touchbacks and less exciting returns. I will miss these plays.
10 Years Later. The first Sunday of the season is September 11 and the league was smart to have the New York Football Giants play the Washington Redskins at 4:15. This weekend will have lots of touching memorials, speeches and stories, especially at games. While we all will be enjoying a full slate of Week 1 games, please take some time to reflect on that day.
So… Are you ready for some football?
Thought of the Week. How are you preparing for Week 1? Any big party plans? I am fan of starting the season at home with friends and lots of guacamole…
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- Are the new University of Maryland football jerseys cool or just plain weird? I haven’t decided….
- Even pro athletes get pulled over for driving 147 mph. This is a good thing.
- GWU just announced its 2011-12 Men’s Basketball schedule. DC is a better town when it’s not just Gtown playing good ball.
- Forget Andy Roddick. Say Hello to the new face of American tennis: Donald Young.
If you happen to hear or see planes directly overhead tonight, it will be a training flight exercise being conducted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). According to Alert DC (see complete message below), the exercise will take place in the DC region between midnight and 2 a.m.
I still remember seeing the Air Force fighters on patrol over Washington in the weeks after the September 11 attacks eight years ago. And since Borderstan is close to The White House, we sometimes awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of large military helicopters in the neighborhood flying close to the ground. It was always a thrill to wake up at about 3 a.m. with a helicopter hovering over our house.