The NFL is king of sports in the U. S. of A.
Who’s your squad? Who’s the group of people with whom you share suffering and elation from September until hopefully February? Do you talk about them as if you’re a member of the 53-man roster? Damn straight I do! And I get irritated when people suggest, “You’re not on the team, dude.”
Allow me to pose one question: would the NFL have been able to make the release of the schedule into a major event if they had no fans? Exactly.
When the new NFL schedule is released, all chatter about the early baseball season and the NBA playoffs just has to be put on hold.
The 2013 schedule was released last night (you can see the full schedule here) and it is highlighted with several early, important match-ups — many centered around big divisional rivalries. I almost wet myself when I hopped over to the New Orleans Saints’ website to see that the season opener would be in the Superdome vs. hated division rival Atlanta.
Oh, Roger Goodell, how I loathe him. Still, within his madness, I see enough strokes of genius to relax my stink-eye until the next stupid thing he does.
So, let’s have a look at some key match-ups that are in Week 1 alone:
The NFL is really pushing the Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos as the top Week 1 match-up. Hmmm… I knew I couldn’t stay in love with Goodell for very long. The NFL is wrong on this one. The Broncos will annihilate the Ravens in the Sunday Night Football on NBC (on Thursday, per tradition) season opener. Don’t be surprised to see Manning go for five touchdowns.
The Falcons vs. Saints, Giants vs. Cowboys, Packers vs. 49ers and Eagles vs. Redskins all seem to hold more potential in terms of being exciting games. Another divisional match-up in Week 1 that no one will really care about, but I believe will ultimately affect the playoff at the end of the season? Cardinals v. Rams.
So, whattaya say football fans? Let’s draft some rookies, get done with training camp and get this season underway.