The 2016 NFL season begins on September 8, 2016 with a Super Bowl revenge match-up between the defending Super Bowl 50 champions, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, who no doubt, are looking for some pay-back. If you love football, and we know you do, you have had enough of the off-season and the preseason and are now ready to get down to business.
Game 1 is a Super Bowl rematch and it’s fantastic that the NFL has seen the benefit to scheduling game 1 to be a Super Bowl rematch. We have all seen our team lose and know the feeling of waiting to get some revenge. The waiting will be over on September 8th for all you Carolina Panther fans. Now the question for this game will be, Can Cam Newton do what it takes to beat the defending world champions?
As for the world champions, will Trevor Siemian, if he actually is the starter, be able to fill the shoes of the retired quarterback and legend, Payton Manning? These are some very big shoes for any athlete to attempt to fill and we are all filled with anxiety and anticipation to see how this huge change in the way this team runs it’s prolific offense that with the help of what may have been the best defense in the NFL last year, can win its season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
And so it begins. This is what we all love about the NFL. The anticipation, the speculations, the hopes, the controversies, the big plays and the final play of the biggest game of the year that allows one team out of 32 to hoist the Super Bowl trophy over their heads. All of this begins once again on September 8, 2016, and I just can’t wait. If this game was scheduled to be played on Monday at 10:00 am, I would call in sick. Yes, I love this game that much.
At this point, we have no idea what to expect. A horde of NFL analyst have speculated as they do every year and we can do the same, but because of injuries, coaches getting fired and other things like footballs losing PSI, we really have no clue what will happen this year. Will some unknown receiver make a spectacular one handed TD catch like Odell Beckham Jr. did against the Dallas Cowboys? We just don’t know, but the idea of seeing one of these amazing athletes do something that we just can’t do, makes us want to watch every second of every game.
The one thing we can count on is the fact that your team will play 17 regular season games and if they can meet the weekly challenge and win as many as possible, you could be one of those fortunate fans watching your team in the big game come January. Now really, isn’t that what we all really want right now at the beginning of the season. We could all watch our favorite team losing as many as say 8 games and then come week 17, still have a shot at the Lombardy trophy. No matter what happens this year, baring a season ending strike, we will all have many Monday mornings at the office where we hang our heads low because our team lost a crucial game, or walk around with a huge chip on our shoulders because our team won yet again.
Come this time next year, you could be sitting around like I was in 2007 after the New England Patriots lost to the NY Giants in the Super Bowl. That one still hurts. But, that was one of the best seasons I can remember and not because the NE Patriots were so good and dominated every regular season game. Prior to the 2007 season beginning, the New England Patriots signed Randy Moss. This is what began my 2007 NFL season.
When this happened, one of my associates at work walks into my office with the biggest shit-eating-grins on his face and tells me my New England Patriots are going to lose every game that year. Why? Because they signed the biggest trouble maker in the NFL. Not my words Mr. Moss. I told him right then and there how wrong he was and because the NE Patriots finally put a great receiver on the field for Tom Brady to throw to, I predicted right then that the Pats would go undefeated.
This co-worker then began laughing in my face and dancing around in my office telling me that he was going to come into my office the day after every game the Patriots lost and do a little soft shoe dance. Well thankfully, I only had to see one of these soft shoe dances of his, but it was the most painful thing to watch as the only game the New England Patriots lost that whole year was the Super Bowl. Ouch and yes, it still hurts to think about today. I wanted that win more than I think Tom Brady did.
There is a reason for traveling down this memory lane. This is exactly the hope every fan of every team in the NFL has right now. Watching their team win every game. One week at a time, we will see the list of undefeated teams dwindle, watching cautiously to see how long our team will last as one of the undefeated teams. Week by week the anxiety will grow as our team gets closer and closer to the perfect season that the Miami Dolphins had in 1972.
That is why we watch. Yes, we all want our team to win every game they play. And we don’t want them to win by a field goal. We want every game to be a blow-out statement, letting every team that they have not yet played but will in the weeks ahead, know that we are coming for them. But going into the season like we are right now, we know the chances of that happening are slim to none, but, just the hope of that perfect season keeps us watching. The nail biting games that no one likes to watch while they are being played, but we will watch over and over again after our team wins. That’s why we love football.
There is only one things missing from the NFL and I don’t think this one thing can ever be replaced. John Madden! I still remember a game from 20 years ago that he was one of the announcers in and he made one of the funniest comments I have ever heard anyone make. Madden and his co-host were making comments about the players on the field and how they looked in their jerseys.
Madden made an analogy of how all the numbers on all the jerseys were all the exact same size, except for Bubba Smith’s. Madden explained that Bubba was so big, he needed a custom shirt made for him and while his number looks smaller than everyone else’s, it was actually the same size. It just looked smaller on his jersey because his jersey was so huge. Okay, I guess you had to be watching and listening, but, that is just one more memory Madden and the NFL has given me over the past 50 years.
Those are the reason’s I love to watch football and I am sure, while you may have different memories than I do, I am willing to bet that those memories are why you too love to watch football. Maybe it’s memories of wearing a jersey and being on the field or something someone said or a play that you can’t forget even if you wanted to, like that catch that David Tyree made, trapping the ball that Eli Manning threw him against his helmet to propel the NY Giants to beat the undefeated New England Patriots and win the Super Bowl in 2007.
Regardless of why you love football, we are about to get a brand new season of crushed hopes and dreams along with fulfilled wishes against unsurmountable odds. That is why we all watch football and that is why I, even after swearing off football for ever in 2003, when the New England Patriots lost the 1st pick in the 2003 NFL draft, QB Drew Bledsoe to a season ending injury. Yes, I am still watching today with great anticipation, like I am sure you are right now.