10 days and counting…

By Jon Gluskin

Enough already. I’m sick of the sports world right now. Baseball is getting boring and the Olympics are over. I need the NFL.

As each day passes, my anticipation builds as I go to the Yahoo Sports Web site and see the countdown to the NFL season decreasing, minute by minute. Every time I turn on the TV and the topic is pro football, my ears perk up and I instantly become hooked.

Since Adam Vinatieri kicked the Super Bowl-winning field goal last February, I’ve been longing for football to come back.

I can’t wait for the time when Sunday becomes the best day of the week. I wake up at 10:55 a.m. and watch football from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Homework? Not a chance of any getting done.

During the off-season, I have scanned the Internet, following every trade and free agent pick-up.

I’ve debated who got the better end of the Clinton-Portis-for-Champ-Bailey trade. I’ve been baffled by Terrell Owens being traded to the Baltimore Ravens, refusing to play there and ending up a Philadelphia Eagle.

I didn’t think anything could possibly top that crazy situation – that was until Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, a star in his prime, retired at age 27, choosing marijuana over the NFL.

One of the best parts of football season has to be the phenomenon of fantasy football, a craze that captivates millions of individuals like myself.

My fantasy football draft is a day that shapes my fall semester. Since that day, I have been tormented on whether or not I committed fantasy football suicide by drafting the dynamic duo from the Minnesota Vikings, Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss.

The next couple of weeks become a waiting game; all that’s left to tame my football craving is Madden 2005.

The preseason might not be the most exciting time of year, but it’s still the NFL and it’s important to remember that great plays and stories do occur.

Just last week, former Illinois wide receiver Aaron Moorehead made a one-of-a-kind, miraculous catch in the Indianapolis Colts’ game against the Chargers, making national highlight shows.

So I’ll keep following the preseason, knowing the real thing is almost here.

Once the preseason ends, every team will have the same high hopes and expectations. The Arizona Cardinals will have the same record as the defending champion Patriots; all 32 teams will be in contention.

Now is the time of year when it seems like every team in the NFL has a chance to go all the way.

Bears quarterback Rex Grossman will have the same quarterback rating and number of touchdowns as Atlanta Falcons stud QB Mike Vick.

Anything can happen in the parody-driven NFL. That’s what makes it so great and why I am fanatically obsessed with it.

I guess for the next 10 days, as training camp comes to a close, I’ll just have to revert to being the bitter White Sox fan that I am; my favorite team will have to be whoever is playing the Cubs.

However, once Sept. 9 comes and the Colts play the Patriots in the opening game, baseball becomes merely an afterthought and life seems fulfilling again.

It’s not even September, but you heard it here first. In a crazy offensive battle, the Vikings will beat the Colts 38-35 to win Super Bowl XXXIX.

I am ready for some football.

Jon Gluskin is a junior in communications. He can be reached at [email protected]