The NFL kicks off today. Well, Denver and Baltimore played Thursday nite. But most of the teams start their season today. Despite the concussive nature of the sport, I am still a fan. I’ve quit chewing tobacco. I’ve quit drinking to excess. But I haven’t quit the internet and I haven’t quit football. I have stopped watching boxing, but that is more of a function of who I hang out with. My wife never had a thing for combat sports, but she does like football.
I grew up a Giants fan. My dad was one. When he was a kid, there was no Boston team and he never switched over to the Patriots. I started following the team around the time that Herm Edwards scooped up a fumble when an exchange between Joe Pisarcik and Larry Csonka went awry. I stayed with them for 30 years. Saw some terrible ones, but I also saw three Super Bowl champs. Well, the middle one was when I was out of the country fighting Saddam and the Iraqis.
But when I got married, I switched over to the Patriots. It wasn’t so much a switch as it was a change in emphasis. I always sort of liked the Patriots. It was easy to root for them while rooting for the Giants. Then, this millenium, I came to admire Bill Bellichek’s coaching. He’s supplanted Bill Walsh as the premier NFL coach in my lifetime. The fact that he and my wife are both Wesleyan grads didn’t hurt.
Anyways, I’ve already been up for over an hour. I’m like a kid on Christmas day. Only the fat guy I am waiting for isn’t Santa. It is Vince Willfork.