SPORTS TALK: Ready for Some Football

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While I remain fully focused on the conclusion of the baseball season and all that entails, I was still excited to see the return of college football last weekend and even more excited for the return of the professional version of the game this week. I will be the first to admit that baseball is now and always will be my favorite sport. But there is something great about the spectacle that is the once-a-week football game and the two months where we get both baseball and football are always two of my favorite months of the year.

It seemed like the entire world tuned in Sunday to watch Notre Dame take on Texas. At least that’s how it was in my neck of the woods. I am married to a Notre Dame alum, so you know I was watching. (Whether I wanted to or not.) The game was a pretty marvelous college football experience, a matchup of two of the most storied teams in the history of the game. Decided on two overtime possessions, the Longhorns eventually prevailed, much to my wife’s chagrin.

I found it amusing what a big deal they made about the two school’s combined 15 National Titles. You know how many they have combined to win since 1980? Two. That’s one a piece. Which is just as many as Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State have won in the past three years.

It seems to me that no sport revels in past glory the way college football does. I mean, really, how many times prior to 2004 did you hear the Boston Red Sox referred to as the five-time world champion? Because, they had won five World Series prior to winning another one in 2004. That’s not the case for college football teams who still celebrate championships won before all of their players and the majority of their fans were even born. I am not sure why they do this, because it certainly is not indicative of anything relevant to the current program.

While I enjoyed the football appetizer, so to speak, I am even more excited for the Super Bowl rematch which will kick off the NFL season. It should be interesting to see how far the defending champion Denver Broncos can get without Peyton Manning. Okay, to be fair, I guess I should say how far they can get with Trevor Siemian under center. Manning was obviously not that great last year, but even a broken down version of Manning has to be better than a second-year, seventh-round draft pick, right? I mean, I wish the guy all the luck in the world, but how many seventh-round picks succeed in the NFL? Even better, how many succeed at quarterback, which is arguably the hardest position in all of professional sports to play well? I can’t think of any, but perhaps Siemian bucks the trend. The Panthers have their quarterback back and I am sure Cam Newton is looking for payback. It will be interesting to see how much he can get Thursday night.