The Sound of Silence


Shhhh! Do you hear that? Exactly. We are just hours from the kickoff of Super Bowl LIII (53), and it’s unusually quiet.

This year’s game has character. Tom Brady is going for his umpteenth championship ring, and instead of one for the thumb, calling it “going for the toes.” You have a man crush happening between coaches Belicheck and McVay. The whole package seems wrapped tightly and neatly, like a Christmas present—which, by the way, wasn’t Christmas four (4) months ago? Kind of my point. With an expanding college playoff and a spring development football league in the distance, are we still as vested in the big NFL championship game as we used to be?

It’s one thing to wait over a month after the college season to watch our favorite university play in a bowl game, another product that seems to have suffered a bit with the invention of the college playoffs. Can anybody point to a bowl game other than the playoff matchups and maybe the Dewey, Cheatum and Howe Bowl, and say they reminisce about a memorable matchup?

The NFL season ended officially for Buccaneer fans thirty-five (35) days ago, which is nothing new for Tampa Bay fans. The Bucs have been prematurely evacuating the playoffs for a major portion of their existence. The season hasn’t gotten any longer. So why does it feel like we are rounding the buffet table one more time, but not so much because we are hungry, but more because it’s just there?

Does the preseason really have to be a month long? Could the entire preseason go away? I’m asking for a friend. I understand there was a time when these gladiators who actually spent the off-season chillaxing would need to get into shape. These days being in NFL shape is a 24/7/365 deal. Why couldn’t the NFL shorten the season two weeks and give some sanity to those of us who feel robbed paying full price for the season ticket package for games that can’t even be referred to as glorified practices anymore?

The Rams have a chance to prove that a team can basically sit every one of its stars in the preseason and be competing for the NFL’s grandest prize. Is it time for the NFL to consider dropping two preseason games? I don’t mean going to an 18-game season, but with year-round training, NFL players don’t have much rust going into each season. With prevention of concussions a MAJOR theme these days (thankfully), is there a way to drop two full-price scrimmages and shorten the season by two weeks? Maybe then it wouldn’t be so quiet thirty-six (36) hours before the game. Maybe then we would be rounding the buffet table for a delicious, sweet dessert instead of just a passing glance.