Is the NFL really back? If the various talking heads are to be believed, it certainly looks that way. That means the world is no longer being held hostage with thoughts of lost football dancing in the heads of NFL fans everywhere. Instead, it's time to start planning for upcoming fantasy football drafts, and an absolute deluge of free agency business. Which player will your team sign? Is Nmandi Asomugha coming to a team near you? Will the Jets re-sign Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes?
All of these questions, and much, much more will be answered in the coming days. For now, let the celebrations concerning football's return begin. The question is, should we even be celebrating? Did the NFL show its greedy side? Some think so, like MJD over at Yahoo's NFL blog:
Imagine someone built a big, beautiful, magical road in a place that had a crippling traffic problem. Ordinarily, it takes you 90 minutes to drive to work, and 90 more to drive home. And then someone builds this amazing private road, and it helps millions and millions of people travel more efficiently. It's a private road, and you have to pay a toll to use it, but it's worth it to you. It gives you more time with your family, less stress, and generally, a happier life. It does the same for millions and millions of people. You, and many others, come to depend on it.
Then, one day, the person that created and operates that road tells you he's going to shut it down. You ask the man why he would do such a thing -- is the road hurting someone? Is he losing money? No, he tells you, he just feels like shutting it down because, while it is making him money, he feels like he might be able to squeeze a little bit more money out of it, if he'd just agree to deprive a whole lot of people of something they really enjoy.
Eventually, he finds a way to get his money, and he re-opens his road. Yay for him?
I don't feel like applauding that behavior. I'm glad it's over, but my personal celebration will be pretty much non-existent.
While MJD's opinion is awfully accurate, it hasn't stopped just about everyone with a Twitter account, or at least it seems, from jumping on the "FOOTBALL BACK" trend, that rejoices in, you guessed, the impending return of NFL to our lives, provided the players actually approve the new collective bargaining agreement. Jay Glazer, the football insider supreme, believes it's just a matter of finalizing the agreement:
I said I wouldn't jump in til they agreed... They've FINALLY agreed! Sources say 2 sides this hour FINALLY agree to terms of new CBA.
Because Glazer to put himself out there like that, it's pretty clear football is indeed back. The players are meeting as this article is being written, and by tonight, the news should be solidified. While there's still a little uncertainty left -- the players still have to formally agree on the new CBA -- it hasn't stopped the celebration from going on over at Twitter. Football fans are clearly eager for some good news concerning the NFL.
Tweets like these capture the mood quite well, but there are a few that stand out in the crowd for different reasons.
Football back = the national curling team's chance for fame destroyed.
This needs to be a legitimate concern, folks. If not, you're missing the big picture -- or something. Anyway, some Twitter users also remind us not to count our chickens before they hatch, and when you're dealing with grown men fighting over large amounts of money, there's truth in these warnings:
And then there are those who, despite meaning well, miss the boat entirely concerning the NFL news. We can call this first one wishful thinking:
And this one is just, well, wrong:
#FOOTBALL BACK!!And da best part is NO PRE-SEASON.Players will be a lot healthier 4 this yrs' SUPER-BOWL. SMASH MOUTHAin'tcha heard..
Um, there will too be a preseason. Only the Hall of Fame game has been canceled.
Anyway, that's about the gist of it. People want their football, and they are happy it's (probably) back in time for a full season. Even the misguided tweets show just how much football's been missed. They also, along with the rest of the reaction, show just how powerful a brand the NFL is in regards to social media. While they'll never do away with the concept, it makes you wonder if the NFL even needs a PR team anymore. The fans are doing a good job promoting the game themselves.
Speaking of, here's a celebratory song that captures the mood quite nicely:
So who's your first pick in regards to fantasy football drafts?