The impassioned sigh you heard this morning was the sound of the world waking up with the realization that the NFL season opens this weekend. Okay, preseason, but that's the next best thing.
Every February the American football fan retreats into an emotional cave, grumbling about interminable off-seasons and the irrelevance of the Pro Bowl. There the fan falls into a six-month slumberous depression, inconsolable, poking their head out for the Draft, or to growl at anyone who passes too close or tries to placate them with Major League Baseball. In July, with the opening of training camp, the sounds of Chris Mortensen and Peter King drift in deliciously on the breeze and the sleeper begins to stir. Until, at long last, we are graced with the great meaninglessness that marks the return of the NFL, the Hall of Fame Game.
Not everyone appreciates preseason football, even some who claim to be football fans. Stadiums sit at 80-percent capacity and some games aren't even televised. The truly compulsive know where the disease of apathy reigns, gambling is the cure, and thus we are grateful for the blessed plastic pill-bottle bearing the label, "PROP BETS":
August 8, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals v Dallas Cowboys
The Bengals are favored by 2.5, and the Over/Under is 32.5.
Playtime Over/Unders (total snaps):
Carson Palmer's first target Money Line:
Any other Bengal +400
Kieth Brooking +250
Various and sundry Over/Unders:
T.O. dropped passes 1.5
T.O. being accountable for dropped passes 0.0
Close ups of T.O. - OTB (Off the Board)
Close ups of T.O. and Ochocinco being chummy - OTB
Number of times Cris Collinsworth says, in reference to the Bengals receiving corps, "there aren't enough balls to go around," before someone stops him - OTB
T.O. tirades 0.5
References to Tony Romo's relationship status 4
References to Miles Austin's relationship status 24 (reportedly dating a Kardashian, after all)
People you should be friends with who will remember who won this game in ten years 0.0
If you are someone who truly gambles on the preseason, or if you watch one of these games all the way to their meaningless conclusion, then you aren't spending enough time with your family. Turn off the TV, and the computer, and go read a book with your favorite child. Do that now. Real football doesn't start for another month. Go on. Get.
Christopher Schmidt's articles also appear on Sports Haze.