The NFL has already devised a scheme to keep the public interested during the months when no football at all is being played. Many of us roll out of bed early on Saturday mornings just to watching streaming video of collegiate players running drills in their Federlines, yo.
Oh yes. It’s official. We’re a football starved public that will do anything for a fix even if it means resorting to Bob Saget Half Baked tactics.
That’s why it’s so shocking that the NFL doesn’t make more of a spectacle of the preseason. Sure, we get our daily roundtable discussions of the hot button topics like Peyton Manning’s neck, Tim Tebow’s water balloon tosses and Rex Ryan’s boasting. But where is the human interest? Where is the inherent drama of training camp? Where is all the over hyped coverage that makes us beg for the regular season to begin?
Roger Goodell can’t rely on NFL Films alone to trump up a few storylines. What we need is round-the-clock, Olympic style coverage of the preseason.
So often all we focus on are the injuries, quarterback controversies and those boring preseason games that feature less action than a eunuch’s bachelor party. The real drama is lurking in those hotly contested practices where jobs are won and lost, career paths are defined and champions are made.
Forget the Hard Knocks approach of focusing on one team at a time. We need hourly updates from around the league as camps unfold. If an undrafted rookie from some DIII school just made a circus catch over a veteran corner I want to hear about it…ad nauseam. Plus the league could do the real Olympic thing by cranking out background pieces on players you’ll likely never see again.
Get us invested in this entire process. Imagine seeing Arian Foster’s career literally blossom right before your very eyes as a draft after thought becomes an NFL superstar.
Be there when the next Ryan Leaf has a meltdown in the middle of practice. Let’s make the NFL preseason a more overblown spectacle than red carpet arrivals at the Oscars.
While we’re on the subject of arrivals, why not turn the start of the preseason into an Olympic style opening ceremony?
Think of the controversy that would unfold when Tebow is chosen as the Jets’ flag bearer for the opening ceremony. Imagine the chills when Eric LeGrand leads the Buccaneers into the start of the 2012 season.
So I issue this challenge to the NFL. Open the flood gates on preseason coverage. Let’s take the training wheels off this thing and put it on a stage deserving of the sport of Kings. We’ve been waiting for months to get our next hit and all we get are token training camp updates where injuries and holdouts are the only drama.
I know what you’re thinking. This would be too much. Too Stallone arm wrestling. Too contrived. To which I would say, really? Have you seen a Super Bowl halftime show in the last 15 years or so? The NFL is already there and now is the time to fully embrace it.