When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what an important day that today was. That was until I saw this tweet from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
50 days! I couldn't believe the season was that close. As a football junkie, I wish that the football season went all year long, but alas, it doesn't. So the football shaped hole in my heart has been filling itself with anticipation for the upcoming season. The more I thought about the season that is oh so close, I started thinking about all the things I'm looking forward to this football season. The list was getting long, so I said let's do 50 reasons to look forward to the 2014 season. Here we go:
1. Johnny Football
2. Fantasy Football
3. NFL Red Zone
4. Because 'Merica
5. Bad Lip Reading Videos
6. Finally back to REAL football after watching too much soccer
7. Super Bowl
8. Touchdown Celebrations
9. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning
10. Excuse to eat more buffalo wings
Over the weekend, Johnny Manziel set off a media frenzy when he showed up and partied in Las Vegas, including attending UFC 173 (see above) as well as a pool party with fellow NFL-er Rob Gronkowski. What was everyone so worked up about? Well, it made people start to wonder whether or not Johnny Football had the focus to be a great quarterback in the NFL or whether partying would cause his downfall.
I decided to debate the only person who is able to match wits with me — and that person is me.
Red = Big Deal; Blue = Not a Big Deal
Me: Thanks for taking time to talk about this.
Me: No problem, happy to do it.
Me: Okay, let's get started. Anyone who thinks that this is not a big deal is blind to the past of Johnny Manziel. One of the questions coming into the draft was Manziel's focus and whether or not he was more wrapped-up in his own celebrity persona than actually playing football. This just is another confirmation that he is not going to cha...
Me: Let me stop you right there. After winning the Heisman Trophy following his 2012 season at Texas A&M, the media scrutiny on him grew exponentially. Yes, he partied. Yes, he had fun. Which is not much different than 99% of other college students. If partying was a big deal that would distract Manziel, than you would have guessed that he would have struggled in his following season. But he didn't. In fact, he put up BETTER statistics. Who's to say he can't succeed in the NFL?
When it comes to the football, there never seems to be a true offseason. Every event that happens in the NFL makes headlines, including last week's regular season schedule release. The schedule was officially announced last Wednesday at 8 p.m., and immediately following the release, there was an influx of customers visiting TicketNetwork.com looking for tickets to the upcoming season.
Within 24 hours of the announcement, tickets to home games for all 32 teams were sold through our marketplace. So far, the top-selling team has been the Dallas Cowboys, who have accounted for nearly 10% of all the football tickets sold this past week. Dallas has a tough schedule of home games this season, including their opening week game against San Francisco.
While Dallas had the highest volume of tickets sold, it was the Denver Broncos which had the highest average selling price (see table below). Fresh off losing in the big game, Denver is among the favorites to win the championship this season. Their home schedule includes games against Indianapolis, San Francisco, as well as divisional rivalry games against San Diego and Kansas City.
Although the season is still months away, the NFL will continue to be in headlines nearly every week (the draft is only about a week away) and before you know it, the season will be ready to kick-off.
There are only three games left in this NFL season, which on the surface is a sad thing (how did this season go by so fast??!?), but luckily for football fans, the two games this weekend are setting up to be a couple fantastic match-ups. The four remaining teams in the postseason – the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers – each finished with 12 or more wins and are considered by football experts to truly be the four best teams in the NFL this season.
While being the best team is obviously important to having a awesome conference championship weekend, it's all the additional story-lines and rivalries that are setting this weekend up to be one of the greatest weekends of football in memory.
Brady vs. Manning
For the past decade, the debate has raged on across the NFL – who is better: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Whichever side you choose, there are plenty of good reasons why you are right. Manning has the huge numbers and more MVP awards; Brady has more championship rings and the most playoff wins in league history. I fall on the side of Tom Brady, although I am extremely biased due to the fact that I am a Patriots fan. However, for many people, this weekend's game between the Broncos and Patriots is the line drawn in the sand; whoever wins the game is the better quarterback and perhaps the greatest of all-time. Of course, that may be going a little overboard, but it has thrown gasoline on the fire of this QB rivalry, which is only adding to the anticipation of the game.