Here are my “slants” on Week 1 of the NFL:
· If I’m a Colts fan, I am pissed off. Peyton Manning looked pretty damn good to me on Sunday night. I understand Indianapolis was in a unique situation to draft Andrew Luck, and maybe that decision works out in the long run. But it was quite clear how much Manning meant to his team last year when they went from a legitimate Super Bowl contender to falling apart without him. Ask Chicago Bulls fans if they would have preferred to hold on to the Michael Jordan era as long as possible.
· None of the tough guy football fans out there will admit it, but the fact that there’s another game in two days just doesn’t work for me. It’s too much. The Thursday night game was a cool thing that would pop-up in the second half the season when it first started. Now, they’re just ramming it down our throats.
· People talk about baseball games going too long, but the NFL seems to be the league with that problem. The league quietly moved “4 o’clock” games, which were moved to 4:15 not that long ago, to 4:25 in the afternoon – and at least the Eagles game still wasn’t over in time. Worse, the RedZone channel, which went up 5 bucks this season, must go off by 8 PM due to the Sunday Night Football exclusive broadcast rights. So there will likely be plenty of games paying customers won’t see the end of so NBC can satisfy its paying advertisers.
· Robert Griffith III completed his first 8 passes in the NFL, threw 19 of 26 for 320 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, his team scored 40 points, and Washington beat New Orleans on the road. Wow. I get it, the Saints defense sucks and Roger Goodell screwed that team for the season (at least). But, wow.
· It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but the attempt to make Art Modell into a hero now that he’s dead was a joke. I don’t want to speak ill of the deceased, but this guy’s legacy is taking the Browns away from a rabid fan base in Cleveland for a better deal in Baltimore. The fact he helped make the deals that made the NFL a television sport was good business, but it doesn’t make him a good guy.
· I’m shocked that it seemed like every broadcast I watched was looking for problems with the replacement officials. First of all, I thought the NFL would have put their foot down on the networks for complaining/criticizing officials. Besides that, while there were some really dumb mistakes like giving teams extra timeouts, I didn’t notice any horrendous calls that are never seen with the regular officials.
· Preseason might suck, but the NFL better figure out something to get their teams more prepared for Week 1. I didn’t see every game, but the Eagles-Browns was hard to watch, as was Giants-Cowboys. In fact, watching RedZone, there wasn’t a single game I was dying for them to go to.