I miss football already.
In fact, I started missing football before the confetti hit the shoulders of Ben Roethlisberger at the conclusion of Super Bowl XLIII. Before Kurt Warner could change into a graphically bedazzled tee shirt and Anquan Boldin could start lobbying for a new contract, I started missing football.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing I love more than watching Middle Tennessee State and the University of Louisiana-Monroe battle it out for a chance to get beat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
I pine for the late-round drama at PGA National where I can witness Y.E. Yang outlast John Rollins for his first win on tour.
I make sure to set my DVR to capture the Spurs-Suns game on ABC so I can watch Shaq and Tim Duncan roll their wheelchairs up and down the floor while Jeff Van Gundy makes the action out to be the latest reincarnation of Magic versus Bird.
Sure, the NCAA Tourney is so close we can smell the billions of dollars which will change hands on a last-second buzzer-beater by some messy-haired, pimple-faced guard from Gonzaga, but the news this weekend in sports wasn't from the hardwood or the fairways.
SportsCenter led with a story about T.O. going to Buffalo and speculation as to the destination of LaDanian Tomlinson this offseason. Everyone wants to know who the woeful Lions will pick first, further plummeting the franchise into a tailspin that will only result in Detroit declaring martial law and electing Eminem as mayor.
And we can't get enough of it.
John Clayton and Mel Kiper Jr. tease us daily with speculation and mock draft results while Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon debate the impact of Rex Ryan's defensive coaching techniques on the Jets.
No one cares whether Matt Kenseth won the first two races of the Sprint Cup this past month, or that A-Rod is lying to another member of the news media. The NHL has sunk into such a sad state, the season only has about fifteen games left before the playoffs and the average sports fan couldn't name more than two teams over 80 points.
One thing is for certain. Millions of men across America have already begun thinking about who they will take No. 1 overall in their NFL fantasy draft in August. Hundreds of thousands have the first day of mini-camp circled on their calendar and are planning an NFL draft day party for a dozen of their closest friends.
Sure, the sportsnation will pause for three weeks to place bets on which Cinderella will lose to North Carolina or Oklahoma in the Final Four, but in the back of their collective minds they will be wondering if their NFL team will trade up to grab a big name on draft day.
I realize the NBA and NHL playoffs are upon us, Opening Day of the MLB season is only weeks away, Tiger is back at Doral this weekend, and Selection Sunday is next week.
With the exception of my man-crush on Tiger, I really could care less. What really matters is that the Buffalo Bills are relevant again (for better or worse), Brady is back in New England, Michael Vick's name will be back in conversation, and L.T. may not be a Charger next season. Oh, and Madden 2010 is in the works.
So start saving for next season's season tickets and plan all weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, vacations, and funerals around week one. Fantasy leagues should be forming and draft days set.
Jerseys should be purchased in the summer when they are cheapest, and face paint schemes can be designed no later than July 31, because there's nothing more important in March than the NFL in September.