Saturday, August 04, 2007

It begins again

The intensity of the NFL season builds throughout the regular season, becomes white hot in the playoffs, and peaks with the Super Bowl. However, the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday begins a period of emptiness.

In most sports the season ends at different times for different people. Typically in baseball, Kansas City's fans stop caring about the season well before the season ends for Yankee fans. In football, everyone watches the championship game, as opposed to sports such as baseball and basketball where only the fans of the teams involved and a percentage of casual fans watch. Columnists talk about certain World Series match-ups being good for ratings. Nobody worries about the Super Bowl ratings being low because it involves small market teams.

In football, the season ends the same day for everyone. Once the playoffs are over, the long drought begins. Sure, there's the Pro Bowl, but nobody cares about that. Within a few months though, signs of the dawn of the new season begin to appear. Teams start talking to free agents. Players are drafted. Draft picks start signing(or don't). Mini-camps begin. Training camp begins. All these events happen at the back of the collective sports consciousness, but one event is the trumpet call that signals the football drought is almost over, today's Hall of Fame Induction.

Tomorrow is the Hall of Fame Game. The New Orleans Saints play the Pittsburgh Steelers on a high school field in Canton Ohio. Sure, the starters might only play a quarter, but this signals the beginning of preseason, and therefore the beginning of Football Season. Sundays begin their transition from the least important day of the week to Gameday.

Next week, all the other teams(including the Unstoppable Miami Dolphins) play their first preseason game. Early favorite teams and players will emerge. Starters will start to play more and more of the games, and soon enough it'll be September 6th and the regular season will begin once more.

Football season is here.

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