NFL season preview: Manning returns, replacement referees?
Published: Monday, August 20, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 17:08
As of Sunday, August 19, there are three divisions in Major League Baseball that are in the midst of exciting pennant races. The world spent the first two weeks of August glued to their televisions, watching another exciting summer Olympics. (Authors note: It should be noted that USA was the best country at the Olympics, and really just in general.) But why sit here and discuss that when IT”S FOOTBALL SEASON BABY!!! The time has come to once again spend our Sundays watching physically superior men dish out punishing hits on one another while we dish out punishing hits on a plate of hot wings. Since early February, my Sundays have consisted of foolish activities such as exercising (just kidding) and studying and probably other things that are just entirely too mundane to remember. No longer, though. As the new NFL season approaches, here are some storylines to keep an eye on, if only to avoid hearing about Tim Tebow.
1. The Giants try to repeat as Super Bowl champs. The last team to repeat championship seasons were the ’03-’04 New England Patriots, so the Giants have quite a bit of work to do. They retain most of their team’s core, which bodes well for Big Blue. Their defense is pretty darn good, and Eli Manning is coming off an offseason in which he did those Direct TV ads where he dressed up as a fairy, so he’s probably ready for some football. The only problem the G-Men could face is that they play in the NFC and are division rivals with the Washington Redskins. And the Redskins are winning the Super Bowl this year. This is the year, guys.
2. Peyton Manning returns. He’s back! Apparently doing TV adds for literally every company on Earth (those Manning brothers are just so damn marketable!) wasn’t enough for Peyton, so he signed a mega-contract to play for the Denver Broncos. This should make the Broncos a formidable opponent, especially in a weaker AFC West division. The only reason I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and crown them NFL champs is because they would have to play the Redskins in the Super Bowl, and the Redskins are going all the way this year.
3. Andrew Luck vs. RGIII. The top 2 picks of this year’s NFL draft start off their promising careers. Andrew Luck starts a new chapter in Indianapolis and, through two preseason games, looks like the real deal. Most in Indy are happy, while some are already clamoring for him to lose his job, purely because of his absolutely horrendous neck beard. (Google it, seriously.) RGIII eats at Subway, so you know he’s good. Plus, you already know my thoughts on the Redskins.
4. The Saints come off a tumultuous offseason. Can we please take a moment to recognize that a team that gets caught paying players to injure opposing players is named the Saints? These jokes basically write themselves. Coach Sean Peyton is out for the year, as well a few key defensive players. Look for this to be a developmental year for the Saints, as they’ll probably spend the season molding new players that would be willing to take money to hurt players.
5. Possible replacement referees, due to a contract dispute between the NFL and the NFL Referee Association (apparently it exists). This is actually good news for the average fan. Now, at any point during the game, when the ref makes a call you don’t agree with, you might actually be right! Your dreams of pretending to know as much about the rules of football as a paid, taught NFL referee are inching closer to reality!
These are just some of the fascinating subplots to what should be another great NFL season. And if your team isn’t doing so hot, you can always just jump on the Giants’ bandwagon. Ask Jets fans, they do it all the time.