Here comes two!
ONE DAY. We make it through today, people, and we are THERE. We survived the off-season.
We did it. We fuckin’ did it. We sustained seven months of Brett Favre’s bullshit, of Peter King’s bullshit, of Roger Goodell’s bullshit, of Donte Stallworth killing pedestrians, of false sexual assault charges (HARF HARF HARF), of draft analysis from Mel Kiper, of Sexy Fridays and commenter drafts and book whoring and This Week in Fuck Yous and fantasy sex/football mailbags, and all that frivolous off-season shit ends tomorrow night. Well, not the Sexy Fridays or mailbags or bullshit from Favre and PK and et cetera, but you get the point: FUCKING PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL IS GONNA HAPPEN. AND IT MATTERS.
Thank. Fucking. God.
I’m almost certain we said this last year, but it bears repeating: every year, I’m more and more excited about the beginning of the NFL season. Every year the off-season is more intolerable. Every year, baseball season is less of a Band-Aid. Every year I devote more time to fantasy football and more time to watching as many of the games as possible. The NFL is crack. That’s why people don’t give a shit if someone dies on the field, Carson Palmer and Peter King. Because this shit is my lifeblood. You go out there and DIE, motherfuckers! Dance for your meal! DANCE!
About a hundred years ago, I wrote a column for Fanhouse called The Prelude. This is what I wrote about the start of the NFL season:
Sunday marks the true beginning of America’s favorite sports season, the 21 weeks that perennially revive historic rivalries, give rise to upstart playoff teams, fuel our fantasy addictions, and shatter the dreams of thousands as injuries and regression topple what we thought were sure things.
But before all that, there is this moment. This moment: the precipice of the season, the result of 31 long weeks of painful waiting between the lifeless bookends of February and August. This is the only time where hope runs unbridled.
Which is to say: I fucking love this moment. I’m a Seahawks fan. A fan of a 4-12 team with no good running backs and a crappy new coach and a lousy offensive line and an aging injury-prone quarterback and a new defensive scheme that doesn’t necessarily fit the talent… and yet I have an honest, genuine belief that they have a real shot at winning the division. Browns fans think Brady Quinn is going to break out this year. Unsilent Majority is pissed that no ESPN experts are picking the Redskins to win the NFC East. Bears fans are thrilled to have the first non-shitty quarterback in team history. Chargers fans are looking past the fact that Norv Turner is their coach. Jets fans believe Mark Sanchez is the second coming of Namath. Fuck, even Tampa fans think the Bucs will make the playoffs. Probably. I don’t actually know any Bucs fans.
It’s fucking beautiful, all of us with these completely unrealistic hopes blooming at once. It’s like the Cherry Blossom Festival without the traffic or tourists. We are all completely delusional, and yet someone’s actually right.
So go forth, NFL fans. Share this joy. Smile at strangers. Buy a lottery ticket. Demand a raise. Quit your job. Grab a cute girl’s ass.
Anything is possible today; nothing unravels until tomorrow.