|EDITOR’S CORNER: NFL opening weekend full of emotion, good and bad|
|Written by Kevin Massoth, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Monday, 13 September 2010 21:10|
Football is more than a sport. It’s not merely a hobby or “just a game” either. For fans across America, football is life.
Millions of NFL fans had “America’s game” flowing through their veins this weekend as the first week of the season kicked off Thursday night, followed by a slew of games on Sunday and Monday.
As players spilled their blood, sweat and tears on the playing field this weekend, fans cheered and cried for their teams in the stands and their living rooms.
There were plenty of examples over the weekend to suggest that the game of football is indeed more than just a game.
Every team starts with a clean slate going into the season and all the buildup to the first game makes for an emotional first week.
This year’s week one gave some insight as to what might be seen around the league for the rest of the year.
Here are a few highlights from the weekend that stood out in my mind, and could possibly be a common theme for the remaining 16 weeks of the football season.
1.) Touchdown... I think?
The most controversial play of the weekend came near to home in Chicago during the final minute of the Bears and Detroit Lions game on Sunday.
The touchdown, that wasn’t “quite” a touchdown, was caught (sort of) by Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson and would have given Detroit a 20-19 lead with about 30 seconds remaining.
The only problem was an NFL rule technicality wiped out the Johnson end zone grab after he failed to keep control of the ball after hitting the ground.
It seemed as though the Lions were going to steal a win in Chicago when Johnson sprinted in celebration towards the end zone stands. But the look on his face, after realizing the referees called it incomplete, can pretty much sum up what to expect from the Lions this year.
Johnson went from ecstatic to bewildered, and I expect those patterned emotions to fill Detroit this season when they compete with teams week in and week out, just to fall short in the end and finish with another disappointing season.
2.) Anti-climatic ending
One of the themes to Sunday’s games was low scoring defensive battles. Three teams won with 15 points or fewer, with Sunday night’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins rounding off that group.
Washington won the game 14-9, but could have lost if it weren’t for an offensive penalty with time running out to negate a Cowboy touchdown.
Dallas offensive tackle, Alex Barron was guilty of a holding call which turned a Cowboy celebration into Cowboy loss.
Dallas was the favorite to win the NFC East this year, but this game brings up the a valid question.
Will Tony Romo and the ‘Boys ever be as good as they are supposed to be?
3.) T.O. and Ochocinco no show
It’s safe to say that Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco enjoy attention. So where were they at the end of the first half when Carson Palmer was throwing a Hail Mary? The field? Nope. The sideline? Nope.
Both divas…I mean players… were in the locker room. The first reaction would be that they were dealing with injuries. But then why wouldn’t they, or their coach Marvin Lewis, tell the media that?
Because the truth is, most likely, that they were busy being sore losers in the locker room when their team was getting pummeled on the field.
Whether T.O. or Oh-so-psycho is doing something wrong or not, they are always the center of attention no matter what team they are playing for.
You can expect one of them to be the lead story for their team every Sunday whether the Bengals are winning or not.
All in all, it was a wild start to the football season this weekend, and many fans and organizations received a sneak preview for what to expect from their teams in 2010.
All that’s left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy (or cry through) another NFL year.