I thought I’d take a moment to bask in this awesomeness. We’ve officially experienced our last Sunday until February that there will be no football. That’s right, folks. Football is so close I can taste it. Lets looks at some of the biggest football dates coming up in August/September of 2016.
Saturday August 6, 2016: Many of the game’s best will be enshrined today in the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Most notably, Brett Favre and a pair of his jellies will be honored up there on the stage. I hear his wife beat out Jen Sterger for the honor of introducing him to the Hall.
Sunday August 7, 2016: Hall of Fame Game – The Green Bay Packers face off against the Indianapolis Colts at 8pm (eastern time) on NBC. The game is being hyped as our first chance to see Aaron Rodgers play this season, but he’s already been announced as inactive for this first preseason game. However, after not including the Bob Costas non-sensical halftime rant last season, perhaps NBC will bring it back to the format this season. I doubt it though because Costas is likely covering the Olympic Games with pinkeye right now in Brazil (don’t ask him how he got it). The most intriguing fantasy element of this game? Perhaps a young Colts back emerges as the candidate to usurp ol’ Frank Gore.
Tuesday August 9, 2016: Hard Knocks – The HBO sports docu-series premieres at 10pm on HBO. This season the popular show will follow the Los Angeles Rams. I imagine we’ll see plenty of baby beast Todd Gurley, a competitive quarterback challenge between a journeyman backup and the first overall pick, and Jeff Fisher’s sweet mustache. Oh, and of course story lines for plenty of guys just trying to make the team. Good stuff. One of my favorite preseason activities because it’s more entertaining than most of the preseason games.
August 23, 2016: Madden 2017 – Gamers will be lining up outside of Walmart’s everywhere on Tuesday/Wednesday at 12:00am when the newest Madden is released. Of course now you can just upload the game to your console, so you don’t actually have to lineup outside of a Walmart and risk dying on your way back to your car. Odell Beckham pretty much broke the curse last season (although he screwed all of us in fantasy that had him for Week 16), so is it safe to assume that our coverboy Gronk will be okay this year?
Friday August 26, 2016: First college football game. California plays host to Hawaii in a our first college football “nicotine patch” game prepping us for the actual college football season which will begin the following week.
Thursday September 1 to Saturday September 3, 2016: Real college football starts – Well sort of. There are dozens of games being played over this three day stretch, but only a few that actually appear to be truly interesting to the casual college fan. Most notably, Clemson plays Auburn on Saturday in a pretty big opening day game for each club.
Thursday September 8, 2016: First NFL regular season game! The Broncos will face their Super Bowl opponents Panthers yet again. Although they have home field advantage, I think the Panthers have to be the favorite considering they have a competent QB.