Ready for some football

IUS Horizon

The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 9, with a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. I, for one, could not be more excited.

The Saints won that game, advancing to the first Super Bowl in franchise history and went on to defeat the Indianapolis Colts to win Super Bowl XLIV. That’s what’s so exciting about the NFL. You never really know what’s going to happen.

In 2008, the Arizona Cardinals, a franchise established more than 80 years ago, reached its first Super Bowl, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a last-minute touchdown.

The cardinals had been to a championship game before, most recently in 1948, and, back then, it was called the NFL Championship Game — not the Super Bowl.  The game was played in Shibe Park in Philadelphia, which today is the site of the Deliverance Evangelistic Church.

So, that’s why this time of year is so exciting. Every team has a chance and every fan has a reason to cheer — except maybe Detroit Lions fans.  I’m joking, of course — at least a little bit.

As we are in Colts country, many of you may remember Peyton Manning broke Dan Marino’s 20-year-old record by throwing 49 touchdowns in 2004.  That record stood for only three years before it was broken by the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady in 2007.

Just last season, Tennessee Titans’ running back Chris Johnson, became only the sixth running back to gain 2,000 yards in a season, came within 100 yards of the single-season rushing record and set the decade-old record for total yards from scrimmage.

Johnson has publicly said he intends to break that single-season record, set by Eric Dickerson in 1984, this year, and he looks primed to do so.

In that span, Johnson rushed for more than 100 yards just twice. After the Titans named Vince Young as the starting quarterback in week eight, Johnson exceeded 100 yards in every game, and Young has been named the starter to begin this season.

Many of the major storylines going into the season involve the bevy of big name players who have changed teams in the offseason.

LaDainian Tomlinson is now a New York Jet, the Philadelphia Eagles traded Donovan McNabb within their division to the Washington Redskins, and the Miami Dolphins acquired Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos.

McNabb will face his former team at least twice, not including the playoffs, and will likely be focused on out-playing his replacement in Philadelphia, Kevin Kolb.

Marshall will be out to show he isn’t the diva he was portrayed to be in Denver and can be a team-first player.

It’s the build-up of a week of anticipation. If your team won last week, you can’t wait to watch them build their momentum. If they lost, redemption is foremost on the mind.

Either way, if you’re anything like me, as soon as one game is over, you’re itching for the next.


Sports Editor