And there was MUCH rejoicing.
Many men do feel the aforementioned tingling this time of year, that's the beauty of it. It's a brutha-hood, a special club of schweaty, frustrated wannabe superstars who celebrate their loyalty, their passion and their love of pure, un-spoiled competition.
Each year as I enter the month of September two things occur. I dread the knowledge that I am turning one year older and I get as giddy as a schoolgirl at the fact that there is that ONE thing that, no matter what happens from one year to the next, remains the same...NFL football becomes the primary focus of my free time for the next several months.
THE SEASON IS HERE. TODAY.
Tonight (and I like to let this roll on my tongue slowly because it really still does feel very sweet to say it) the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings and the Waffle-King, um, I mean Brett Faaaahhhvreh. The Saints are 4-point favorites over the Vikings. I don't actually BET on games, I am way too smart for that because I know that it would be SO easy to get sucked into that world, but I do like to check the odds and the lines.
One interesting thing to note. I am not participating in any Fantasy Football Leagues this year. The one I participated in the most over the past several years (the free one) couldn't seem to get off the ground and I don't think it will in the next few hours and we never did get enough people. The other league, the one that costs money, I left because I don't have the extra scratch this year to play.
It's the first year since I 'officially' became an NFL fan in 1999 that I have not played in an FFL, so it feels...weird somehow. I'll try to make up for it somehow with some extra Madden on the X-Box. I am supposed to be getting a copy of Madden '11 at some point, not sure when it is supposed to arrive though. Maybe I'll set up a franchise in there and have some fun with it as a substitute for the absence of any participation in an FFL.
I'll still miss the FFL though. Weird not having it.
I was a wee bit worried over this summer, that I might not be very excited about the NFL this year. Lemme explain.
Last December, I had a GREAT job, working on NFL merchandise, but I got laid off a couple of days before Christmas, during the height of the season, and it really took the wind out of me when it came to football. I hung on to my NFL passions through the rest of the season because I thought the layoff was only going to be temporary. When I realized in the Spring it wasn't, I kind of had a hard time with it and was concerned it would affect my feelings about the sport when the time came.
It hasn't, and I'm thrilled. I'm just as excited today about the 2010-2011 season as I was about the 2009-2010 season. Well, OK...not AS excited, since last year I was working on NFL stuff and therefore was even more pumped about all things NFL'ly, but still, it's safe to say, NFL job aside, I am as excited as I ever was. I can't wait to get my popcorn ready and sit down tonight to watch the first game, and my team isn't even playing.
That won't be until Monday Night, when the Baltimore Ravens take on the New York Jerks. Can't wait to have Haloti Ngata serve Mark Sanchez a little Turf Taco. My new Ravens Flag, courtesy of my Mommy, flies proudly outside. I had to replace the old one, it was getting too ragged. I'm THRILLED she got me one, but man...I loved the simplicity of the old logo design better (sorry Mom, not your fault, I know it was no longer available, not trying to sound unappreciative, just loved that old flag).
On Sunday, I think the weirdest thing will be watching the evening game (Football Night in America - Cowboys/Redskins). To see Donovan McNabb (since my second favorite team USED to be the Eagles) in a Redskins uniform is going to be super creepy...and I loved that guy, but hated the 'Skins, so how in the world do I even know who to root for in that game, because I can't stand Romo and the Cowboys but do I dare root for the fucking REDSKINS?
These are the dilemma's a fan of THE GAME faces. And that's the truth of it. I don't just love my team, I love the sport. Every aspect of it. And it's here.