Football season starts in week one

Will Curitore and Will Curitore

The NFL is back, or is it?

The preseason began as Denver faced off against former running back Clinton Portis and the Washington Redskins at the Hall-of-Fame Game in Canton, August 9th. As ABC’s Al Michaels said during the opening segment of the broadcast, “Football is back!”

It may be back, but that will start the debate that has been going on ever since the preseason became so commercialized. For all you young fans out there, there was actually a time not too long ago that preseason NFL games were not even televised, period. You’d be lucky to find them on the radio, if you actually wanted to.

With the aforementioned commercialization of games before the real season even begins, the majority of the nation has interpreted August as another form of the regular season that, by the way, doesn’t actually start until the first game is played between the last two teams left standing in the AFC last year the Indianapolis Colts and the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. This game is known as a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game, which it is. Then you have this Saturday’s match-up between the NFC champion Carolina Panthers and the aforementioned Patriots. Sports television personalities and newspaper writers are labeling this as a “rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII”. I suppose that you could think of it that way, but the hype will definitely not produce the results that NFL fans who are depressed when their team loses a preseason game are looking for. The same goes for fans with a wife and three kids that bet their houses on a preseason game (it actually happens!).

Since I’m such an objective person, I can admit that there is a purpose to the NFL’s preseason being this long. An NFL team will start the preseason with over 90 players and only 53 spots for the regular season. I do believe that four or five games are needed to almost cut the roster in half by Opening Weekend. However, the overexposure of players and coaches is, in my opinion, ridiculous. There is only one purpose for preseason football in the NFL and fan entertainment is not it, no matter how much the networks want it to be.