Football season is over.
Now begins the offseason and that infinite lull that speaks to the GM in all of us.
For those that actually paid attention to such things, there were two options:
- Check into rehab and get a grip on life
- Partake in the methadone that is the combine, free agency, the draft and new stadiums
If you chose No. 2, then by all means just admit as I have that you are powerless against football. Once this occurs, it makes for a much more meaningful adventure into the world of offseason ritual.
First up, the NFL scouting combine.
If there was any reason to get the NFL Network, this was it. Hours upon hours upon hours of coverage that ultimately amounts to nothing.
Episode after episode of young prospects running around in their underwear.
There is no need to watch with a pen and a paper either, because NFL.com will categorize and rattle off all the accumulated numbers with respective analyses for each player.
Sure, there's some nostalgia and arrogance when remembering past masters such as Vernon Davis. But these are all worthless memories in the long run, and especially when the season comes around.
Second, we have free agency.
A clustering mess of madness that is exciting for about a day or two and then soon finished with the last gasp of signings, which are typically the most meaningful ones of all.
Whatever was not added to the roster in free agency, look for such things to be targeted in the draft.
Which brings us to No. 3, the NFL draft...which has become an almost religious experience for some and really sets the NFL apart even more than it already is from every other major, national sport.
The draft will be, as it always is, in late April.
And it will provide the same grand anticipation as it does every year.
Aside from all that, the draft is really a spring break for Football—or summer camp.
It's a moment to put on the team colors, sit in front of the TV, eat, drink and spend time with some old friends who you haven't seen in a while.
After the draft, however, begins the darkness. The real doldrums of football fandom.
OTAs don't offer much of any entertainment, and it's about three months until the real training camp starts—which, for all intents and purposes, isn't that exciting either.
All in all, it's the longest offseason in all of sports, and the NFL does its best to keep us engaged and drawing our attention to things like baseball, basketball and even hockey.
Then again, Euro Cup 2012 will be this summer...but even the very mention of such things in this forum might get me banned for life.
In the meantime, play some Madden franchise mode and go watch the new Santa Clara Stadium being built.
Onto the offseason, folks.