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Yes, Virginia, There Is An NFL Season

I’m sure you have been exposed today to articles that describe the recently extinct NFL lockout in hyperbolic terms, as if the media just survived the Black Death. I got an e-mail today with a story about the lockout from a former college professor of mine. The first line is: “Today was Day 129 of America Held Hostage.”

Yeah, what had become of the NFL over the past four-plus months sucked. I can’t put it more eloquently. It sucked, it bit, it blew.

But all I have is three words for ya: Are you ready?

No, I don’t mean that in the honky-tonk Hank Williams style. More like D-Generation X:

Are you rrrrrrrrrrrrready?!

Are you ready for actually meaningful fantasy football drafts?

Are you ready for the most hyperactive week in NFL history?

Are you ready to no longer care that Susan Nelson, David Doty, Jeff Pash, Bob Batterman, Jeff Kessler and Arthur Boylan actually exist?

Are you ready for an alarming amount of muscle pulls, strains, tweaks and sprains after some of the world’s greatest athletes aren’t even close to being in condition to do their job, which will really matter 48 days from now?

Specifically, Arizona Cardinals fans, are you ready to see whom your new quarterback is going to be? It shouldn’t matter; he’s not named Derek Anderson or Max Hall. You’ve already won.

Seattle Seahawks fans, are you ready to see whom your new quarterback is going to be? That is, if it’s actually new at all.

San Francisco 49ers fans, are you ready for this face some more?

St. Louis Rams fans, are you ready to wrestle with the conflicting emotions of watching a generally young team blossom under Sam Bradford while Steven Jackson starts to crumble under the tremendous punishment his body has sustained over the past five-plus seasons?

Green Bay Packers fans, are you ready to see your team defend its 2010 championship?

Detroit Lions fans, are you ready to see your team defend its 2011 championship? By October, Vegas may just cancel the season and give it to you.

Chicago Bears fans, are you ready to find something really sexy about Jay Cutler’s double chin/stupid haircut? Door’s open, ladies!

Minnesota Vikings fans, are you ready to watch a brand-new defensive concept?: Eleven defenders in the box to stop Adrian Peterson?

Carolina Panthers fans, are you ready for the start of the Cam Newton era? At best, I think he’ll be a poor man’s Josh Freeman with less passing yards and touchdowns, but more rushing yards this year.

Atlanta Falcons fans, are you ready to see a huge year out of Matt Ryan? It’ll be necessary since Michael Turner’s legs looked like they were stuck in cement down the stretch last season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, are you ready a disappointing season? I say that because I am absolutely in love this team this year, and I can never be right.

Philadelphia Eagles fans, are you ready to buy this jersey?

Washington Redskins fans, are you ready to let John Beck lead the way? That is not a joke.

Dallas Cowboys fans, are you ready for your team to spend, spend, spend?! How about you make it count this time?

New York Giants fans, are you ready for yet another early season launch that disintegrates into pieces during the later months?

San Diego Chargers fans, are you ready for the exact opposite of the Giants? Again.

Oakland Raiders fans, are you ready to see who takes Nnamdi Asomugha away from you? Also, on the day that departure becomes official, I want this picture blown up and flown around as an enormous banner over the city of Oakland for a day.

Denver Broncos fans, are you ready to give yourself completely to God?

Kansas City Chiefs fans, are you ready to see what happens when Jamaal Charles gets 300 or more touches? Because I think it’s going to happen this season. Hint: Lots of good things.

Baltimore Ravens fans, are you ready to see what your team is going to do with all of this newly recovered cash? Good golly.

Cleveland Browns fans, are you ready to ride on Peyton Hillis’ Atlas-sized biceps to another sub-.500 season? It would be Cleveland’s 17th in the past 20 years.

Cincinnati Bengals fans, are you ready for your offense to take on the look of a 75-year-old comedy routine?

Pittsburgh Steelers fans, are you ready for the season to start just so your players can stop making fools of themselves?

Indianapolis Colts fans, are you ready for the football world to now concentrate on/overreact to news about Peyton Manning’s neck?

Jacksonville Jaguars fans, are you ready for the football world to now skim over/underestimate news about Maurice Jones-Drew’s knee?

Houston Texans fans, are you ready to see a better defensive secondary take the field this year? The word “better” is relative, of course. Like scoring a double bogey one hole after shooting a 19.

Tennessee Titans fans, are you ready for a Chris Johnson holdout to go along with a worn-down QB/Jake Locker? Actually, that lockout doesn’t look so bad now.

New England Patriots fans, are you ready to see your team succeed for the memory of Myra Kraft? Got nothing bad to say here.

New York Jets fans, are you ready to end up one game shy of the Super Bowl? I mean, your team is so good at it, why mess with it?

Miami Dolphins fans, are you ready for another quarterback not named Dan Marino? Hell, he might not even be as good as Ken Marino.

Buffalo Bills fans, for the thousands who will be in attendance and the millions who will be watching at home, are you ready to suck?

Not “suck it.” C’mon, get your head out of the gutter.

In any case, every fan should feel tremendous joy that the NFL has reopened for business. The best news for us fans is that it’ll be here without interruption for a full 10 years.

At which point we’ll probably have to go through this again. But hey, I don’t want to stress the negatives.

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