Close your eyes and listen very carefully. If you're still enough, you can hear the distant cheers of football fans across the country. If you take a deep sniff, you can smell hints of sweat, beer, and chicken wings in stadiums, bars, and living rooms across the nation. And if you keep your eyes closed, you may even see a blurred futuristic image of your team lifting the coveted Lombardi trophy. What could all of this mean? It means football season is back.
Now, with every new season comes some certainties.
The first certainty is excitement. Despite past performances, every fan is giddy with anticipation to see their team in action. If you're like me, you've been passing the time reading articles about your team, re-watching old highlights on YouTube, and keeping tabs on your favorite players' social media accounts.
The second certainty is conflict. It's safe to say that most sports fans are emotional, and every team faces some form of adversity. Teams may make offseason moves that fans don't agree with, a player may get injured, or fans may make fun of one another. I mean, who could have predicted Andrew Luck retiring, Odell Beckham Jr. getting traded to the Browns, and Ezekiel Elliot holding out? These conflicts are inevitable and occur before, during, and after every season.
The third certainty is hope. At the start of every season, sports fans around the country have hope that their team will win the NFL championship. It doesn't matter if their team had the worst or best record in the NFL the prior season, there is always hope.
The final certainty, my personal favorite, is that of greatness. Every year, we see some of the craziest performances from individuals and teams alike. These are the moments that have sports fans shaking their heads in disbelief or jumping up and down in excitement. Last year, some of these moments included the Miami Miracle against the Patriots, the Chiefs vs. Rams game where both teams combined for over 100 points, Aaron Rodgers 20-point comeback against the Bears, and Derrick Henry running a 99-yard touchdown against the Jaguars. It's almost impossible to predict when we will witness greatness, but that's what makes the NFL season so exciting.
With that said, I can't wait for the NFL season to start this Thursday, and I can't wait for the excitement, conflict, hope, and greatness that comes with it.