Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Football is Here to Get Us Through the Dog Days

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

The most asked question of the week will be “are they really starting football season already? How is that possible?” 

Yep, it's here, and with all the trappings of fantasy leagues, bookies and all that good stuff. The growth of fantasy league football is astonishing. It just taps into anyone that ever had a fantasy. Guilty as charged! 

I do not play fantasy football, however, for the same reason I don’t bet on the games. It’s a very simple reason for not getting involved in either fantasy or gambling, and that is… I'm not smart enough.  

I don’t have a problem with that, and yet, I still watch and  pay attention to all that’s going on. I hear you can watch all 65 preseason games on a TVpackage  for short money. Imagine that, all 65 preseason games, even if   most of the starters don’t really get on the field until the third game. 

To me, four preseason games is still four too many. Those of us who remember when there were 6 preseason games now scratch our heads wondering how the NFL pulled that off. Actually, it’s the same way they are pulling off the 65 preseason games on the NFL network. Marketing, marketing, marketing. 

Think about it. Those 65 games mean nothing, of course, unless you consider the horrible possibility that  a key player suffers an unnecessary injury.  The 65 preseason games you can watch is much less about football than it is the marketing of the NFL network. It’s a brilliant way to advance yet another opportunity to make a buck. Nobody does it better than the NFL. 

They are just beginning to define the future the way they want it defined. The biggest challenges they face, you would think, are steroid abuse, or drugs, or violence of some sort.

But no! The commish can handle that and has. The biggest challenge down the road from now is getting people to come watch the games in person, especially when all the technology is geared toward make your home watching a much better experience than giving up 10 hours of your life on any given Sunday. The NFL has a plan for that and they are just beginning to roll it out. 

Technology will rule the day in the stadiums. Things you can't even dream about will become part of the fan experience, starting this year in a stadium near you. Electrodes or something like that supposedly will make the fan feel like he or she is something he or she is not.  Don’t make me explain. Just go and report back. 

What happened to all the concussion talk and the statistics about how pro players are dying at an alarming rate? That can wait, right? Of course, because this is the week it all begins again. 

Oh yes, there was one other most asked question of the week, and fans of the defending world champions are the ones asking.

It’s a two parter. 

One: Who is that in (name the position)? And why are they wearing such large numbers (size doesn’t matter here)?

Of course, we have all heard of the dog days of August.  This is the week we start living them.  

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