When the 2014 NFL season came to its climactic end – an ending for the ages – we entered a seven month period without meaningful football games. No, the preseason doesn’t count.
Once the confetti started to settle, the New England Patriots savored one of the sweetest Super Bowl victories in recent history. We were on the eve of an off season that would change the landscape of the NFL forever.
Let me refresh your memories for one second. If you haven’t heard of a little scandal dubbed ‘deflategate,’ which wasn’t a scandal to begin with, it began after the AFC Championship game. The Patriots ran rough shot through the Indianapolis Colts, dominating them in a 45-7 victory. At halftime, the NFL was alerted that the Patriots were using deflated footballs and an ensuing investigation began.
There was no scandal. There wasn’t any definitive proof the Patriots actually cheated. No smoking gun, no employees owning up to it, no players (mainly Tom Brady) admitting to doctoring footballs. No drama here, nothing to see. But that wasn’t how the off season went.
The entire off season was devoted to deflategate and the ensuing draconian-like punishment of the New England Patriots organization just prolonged the ordeal. Eventually, the 4-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady was vacated by Judge Berman two weeks ago, ending (hopefully, there is still an appeals process) the deflategate saga on the eve of the 2015 NFL season.
The 2015 NFL season began on last Thursday putting the dramatic off season in the rear view mirror. Tom Brady was on fire, throwing for 4 touchdowns – 3 of the to Gronkowski – en route to a 28-21 victory over the Steelers. That was just a prelude.
Today, on Sunday September 13, the rest of the NFL joined in and what a glorious day it was. There was NFL action all over TV, internet and social media. The Rams upset the Seahawks in OT, the Bills contained Andrew Luck with a dominating performance by their defense and Aaron Rodgers was his usual self in another victory over the Bears. And it is only the beginning.
From this point forward, 2015 will just wind down. Football will dominate the conversation until we realize Halloween is here and Thanksgiving is around the corner.
This season will prove especially sweet coming off the drama the dominated the off season. The focus should be on the games, not air pressure in footballs.
As the Sunday Night Football game draws to an end and week 1 ends in an amazing Monday Night Football double-header tomorrow, enjoy every second of it. Hopefully the NFL can get its act together.
Here’s to a great 2015 NFL Season. Welcome back.