The NFL Preseason officially kicks-off its full schedule tonight (if you don't count the Hall of Fame Game from last Sunday) and I could not be any more excited. Sure, preseason games don't really count, but there are still plenty of great reasons to be invested in the preseason this year. Here are my top five reasons why you should be watching:
Cures Your NFL Football Withdrawal
When the clock hit zero in the Super Bowl on February 2nd, football fans everywhere immediately went into football withdrawal. Sundays were not the same. Monday nights were not the same. Food stopped having flavor. Colors were not as bright. The last two may be a stretch, but not by much. While the preseason is just exhibition games, getting to see your favorite players suit up and hit the field still gives you that dose of football that you were longing for.
Scouting for your Fantasy Football Team
I am one of the estimated 33 million people who play fantasy football every year and for the millions of us who play, the preseason gives us the chance prepare for our respective upcoming fantasy drafts. It's the time to find those sleepers nobody knows about, figure out which players are ready to take over the league and which players are going to be a bust. It's truly the best time to get a leg up on the other players in your fantasy league.
No rookie has been as hyped as much as Cleveland Browns' quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Football. The Browns recently named Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback on the team's depth chart with Manziel as his backup. That means Cleveland's preseason games will be must-see football if you want to watch Johnny Football in action. Who knows? Maybe Johnny plays his way into the starting position. Either way, ESPN will be all over it.
Same Faces, New Places
This offseason a slew of Pro Bowl caliber players changed teams and the preseason gives fans of those teams their first glimpse at the new players in uniform. Personally, I cannot wait to see Darrelle Revis suit up for the Patriots in their first preseason game against the Redskins. Other players to watch (new team in parenthesis): DeMarcus Ware (Broncos), Aqib Talib (Broncos), DeSean Jackson (Redskins), Eric Decker (Jets), and Jairus Byrd (Saints), among others.
Something New to Watch
For sports fans, summer can get kind of long. Yes, there is baseball, but by mid-July when you know your team sucks, watching baseball becomes a lot more boring. The preseason finally gives you the chance to watch something new, something exciting. My weekend got a whole lot more exciting with all the preseason games that will be on.
Even though these games don't count, it sure feels good to know that football is back.