It’s that time of year again: the weather’s changing, kids are back in school, sunsets are sneaking up on us earlier and earlier, and I go into denial as I increase the number that represents my physical age.
Yes, my friends fall is nigh, and football is back!
I should mention that by “football”, I mean professional, NFL football. I’m not a fan of college football, because the matchups are generally something like Notre Dame hosting Northampton Country Community College with a resultant score of 72-3. Not very interesting to watch. I don’t watch the bowl games, which allegedly feature the best teams, because all of the corporate sponsorships have killed the fun for me. The Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl were OK, but the Hooters Fiesta Bowl and the Walmart Fabreze Bowl just seem like three hour product plugs to me. I’m surprised they’re not throwing around bags of Tostitos instead of footballs.
(As a tangent: hey, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and the rest of you. How about taking those millions and millions of dollars you spend to get your name on a football stadium and instead lower the interest rates and fees I have to pay?)
Anyway, back to professional football. Did I say professional? I may be stretching the definition a bit, as I am, have been, and will always be loyal to my team, the hapless Cleveland Browns.
It is not my intent, nor do I have the time, to go into the history of my Brownies, or to analyze the various problems that have in the past, and continue, to plague my team. This post is just a small celebration of the return of the only sport I follow closely (I’m not a baseball or basketball kind of guy, I don’t understand hockey, and golf isn’t really a sport, is it?).
That being said, I had guarded high hopes during the preseason: our quarterback, Jake Delhomme, who many had written off as washed up, looked decent, our draft picks looked like they were ready to play at the pro level, and we had Mike Holmgren running the show. Could this finally be the year?
My enthusiasm took a hit in the last preseason game, when rookie RB Montario Hardesty was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Still, I’m a diehard fan, and I was psyched for the season opener against Tampa Bay.
Well, that didn’t turn out too well. After building a 14-3 lead, we ended up losing 17-14. Delhomme threw a couple of picks, there were lost fumbles, the defense looked lost in the second half…it was ugly.
Today many “loyal” Browns fans are moaning and groaning and talking about dumping the QB and coach and making plans for what we need to do to have a winning team next year.
After one freakin’ game.
Me? I’m willing to give my team a 623rd chance.
I’m just happy they’re back.