Why I actually like the preseason
I thoroughly enjoy preseason football and I am not afraid to admit it. How can you not be enthralled by the real life drama and personal stories that unfold in August? The breakout rookie. The veteran trying to squeeze out one more year in the game he has played nearly his entire life. Or even the former Super Bowl hero trying to hold on to a roster spot. It's a Hollywood movie every week.
To be clear, I am not saying I prefer preseason football over the regular season. Not by a long shot. In fact, I don't think four preseason games is necessary in the NFL today because of the proliferation of Organized Team Activities and offseason minicamps. On average, about 45 of the 53 spots on the opening-day roster are pretty much decided before the first day of training camp. Injuries and holdouts and all the like can change those plans to some extent, but for the most part the salary-cap era dictates that you have a pretty good feel for who will play the key roles for your team before training camp begins.
That said, I still find the preseason to be extremely compelling. Maybe it's because it is actual football with helmets, pads and score-keeping after so many months of idle talk and projections. Or maybe I like to see guys battling for playing time because I lived that for so many years and can relate to what they are going through.
A lot of these guys are trying to avoid having to go back to their hometowns and figuring out what they want to do with the rest of their life. That is why it always makes me laugh when I hear about how much pressure is on guys like
Here are just some of the intriguing stories that caught my attention over the first two weeks of the preseason:
I had never heard of Lions running back
In the same Lions-Falcons game, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I saw my former teammate
This one has to be tough for everyone involved. Giants wide receiver
The preseason can also be a time for second chances, and perhaps no player embodies that more than Eagles defensive end
So yeah, I like the preseason and I am not going to apologize for it. I enjoy the stories and the real life situations that get lost in the shuffle during the regular season.