Editor’s note: This post is brought to you by Josh Boeke, of ColtFollowing.net. Josh will be joining our team this year, contributing on a weekly basis, and graciously decided to kickoff the year with an ode to football, something all of us can appreciate as the year kicks off. Be sure to look forward to more pieces from Josh as the year goes on, and check out ColtFollowing.net for more from him, and follow him on Twitter @Colt_Following. -KR
As the sun rises on the first Sunday of this new NFL season, football nation is gripped in the throes of that giddy anticipation which can only signal opening day for the greatest sport on earth.
Across the country, and around the world, fans are channeling their NFL chi with elaborate feng shui furniture formations and fervently praying at the altars of their sacred memorabilia shrines. Lucky sweaters and ancient sweat stained ball caps make their first weekly appearances, finally able to breathe the fresh smells of football after a long summer spent locked away in the backs of stuffy closets and dank attics. From New York to San Francisco, Seattle to Miami, there’s a palpable electricity in the crisp fall air as the hour of consummation draws ever nearer.
It’s football season people, our national obsession is back.
The NFL is never short on storylines, but 2012 brings with it a veritable profusion of captivating narratives and tantalizing possibilities. Down on the Bayou a shamed organization seeks vindication and redemption even as their players fight the league that employs them, while in the sun soaked California Bay Area a storied franchise looks to return to championship form and another hopes a faded quarterback can regain his.
Up in the thin air of the Mile High City an injured legend begins a new chapter in his iconic career, history on the line as he sets out to prove there’s plenty left in his battle worn body, while across the country his younger brother looks to prove himself once again, a title defense playing second fiddle to a bloviating head coach and a pair of New York media darlings.
Here in Indianapolis, a decorated freshman with impossible poise faces unimaginable pressure as he takes over for a local hero and attempts to lead a patchwork team of aging pro-bowlers, cast-offs, and rookies back from the football abyss and a return to national relevancy.
Can the kid with the auspicious name and megawatt smile do what no other #1 pick has ever done and make the playoffs in his first season?
Can a rebuilt offensive line effectively protect the franchise and win the battle in the trenches?
Can a defense with new players and a new scheme shake off a tepid reputation and attain some degree of reasonable success?
And can a new coaching staff win over the players and reignite the tempered flames of a fanbase mired in doubt and shackled by memories of faded glory?
As many of us deal with serious real life problems, nine-to-five frustrations, financial uncertainties, and familial obligations, we can take comfort in the fact that football is back, and that for at least one day of our week there’s nowhere else we’d rather be. I won’t pretend to hold any of the answers to the many riddles of this 2012 NFL Season, but isn’t it, after all, in the discovery and surprise of that wonderful unknown that true football Nirvana is achieved?
Happy opening day everybody! And Go Colts!