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And now, the most over-hyped event in sports.
The NFL preseason has its positives, of course. Fans get to see their team's recent draft picks. Position battles are fun to watch, on occasion.
The problem is, the preseason is taken way too seriously, when it's really just a cash cow for the owners.
First, the quality of play is awful. Veterans are not in rhythm, rookies don't know the offense, and the entire second half is essentially a comedy of errors as fourth-stringers desperately try to do something out of the ordinary to impress the coach.
The other major sports have preseasons, too. But the NHL and NBA preseasons get little-to-no press. Baseball Spring Training games occur far away from teams' home ballparks. At least soccer's version of preseason (friendly matches) often takes clubs around the world, playing for fans that would otherwise never get to witness their favorite players in person.
American football? We put on our preseason games in prime time.
And the worst part? People watch it.
The 2010 NFL preseason opener had better ratings than a Yankees-Red Sox game on at the same time.
Fans in Philadelphia are currently engulfing talk radio with complaints regarding the Eagles' red-zone ineptitude. During preseason games. When starters play one half at most. When coaches aren't even using the entire playbook.
When it comes to preseason, true fans just pray that no impact player suffers a season-ending injury before the year begins.
But owners love the preseason. They get to charge season-ticket holders full price for two meaningless games.
It's a travesty.