The fresh-cut August grass always told me two things growing up: I have to go to school soon and there is football to be played in a mere month.
We are a little more than a month away from the NFL regular-season opener and things couldn't come any quicker.
With roster spots to earn, position battles to take place and chemistry to build, the NFL preseason means more in the overall scheme of things than people realize.
Tennessee and Seattle will begin their journey of the 2012 season on Saturday. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for this preseason opener.
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
When: Saturday, August 11 at 10 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network; Q13 FOX in Seattle
Live Stream: Preseason Live
Listen: Sirius: 88, 92; 710 AM ESPN / 97.3 FM KIRO in Seattle
Betting Line: Seattle (-3) via VegasInsider.com
What's At Stake?
Preseason is just preseason, right? Or is there more? Well, the four preseason games don't matter in the end result, but they do matter to coaches, players and front offices.
While even the first game is simply to get back into the swing of things, there are jobs at stake every second of every day until the final roster is complete.
The first game is simply getting into a routine, building chemistry and finding out who has the upper edge on the available roster spots.
Staying injury-free is always the No. 1 concern with meaningless preseason games, however. Hence the starters only play a possession or two in the first game.
Titans Injury Report (via CBSSports.com)
Questionable: Lavelle Hawkins (Ankle)
Seahawks Injury Report (via CBSSports.com)
Questionable: Sidney Rice (Knee, Shoulder)
What They're Saying
"The last two years have been life-changing for me," Owens said. "I don't want to sit up here and try to emphasize how much I've changed. I think you'll kind of see that as these days go along."
"A lot of people probably don't expect me to use that word humble," he said, "but again, there's been a lot of moments within the last two years that have had me to face and say that word."
We'll find out how much Owens has left in the tank when he participates against NFL competition. Until then, speculation is all we can give.
Titans Key Addition: Kamerion Wimbley
Tennessee's defense was average last year, to be friendly. They were No. 14 in yards allowed through the air, with 226.8 yards per game. But, just like on the other side of the ball, on the ground the Titans must improve on their weak spot. They struggled to stop most teams with the No. 24 rush defense.
They allowed 128.3 yards per game on the ground.
Defense is where Tennessee needed boatloads of help, so they went out and picked up Kamerion Wimbley from the Oakland Raiders. Wimbley recorded seven sacks and 63 tackles last season for the Raiders.
Seahawks Key Addition: Terrell Owens
People are actually talking about the Seattle Seahawks because of Terrell Owens. We aren't just talking about the team because of their great fans or their Super Bowl appearance in the mid-2000s. We are talking about them before they even play one preseason game.
It's all because of T.O.
Owens brings contribution, passion, work ethic, dedication, fire, drama and a temper (just to name a few things) to the Seahawks.
Only time will tell if he's a good addition or not, but so far so good because people are actually talking about the Seahawks before the season even begins.
Key Matchup: Terrell Owens vs. Titans secondary
How will Owens perform on the football field against quality competition? This is the NFL, not some arena football league.
That's the biggest question to address from a casual fan's perspective, as well as the national perspective following the game.
Will he be able to get off the line of scrimmage like he used to? Will his breaks and cuts be sharp? Will his routes be smooth? Will he have his explosive ability after the catch?
All are things people care about heading into this preseason contest.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Titans 20
Predicting an NFL game is one of the more challenging things to do. Predicting a preseason game when knowing the first teams on both sides of the ball will play one, maybe two drives makes it nearly impossible.
Seattle wins this game in front of one of the best home crowds in the NFL. Home field matters and means something to every player, even if they won't see a second of action in the regular season.