Here’s To Football :)

           Saturday August 6. A special day.

          In Canton, Ohio the next great ones enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Les Richter.  Chris Hanburger. Richard Dent. Ed Sabol. Marshall Faulk. Shannon Sharpe. Deion Sanders.

          Each certainly worthy. Four of the six, I’ve seen their work up close. Dent was one of the best defensive players I’ve seen since I started watching the pro game. Faulk, was always fun to watch. He was a Swiss army knife running back. Shannon Sharpe was ultimate H-back. He was the next evolution of the tight end an offensive weapon.

          And yeah…”Prime Time”. Say what you want about Deion Sanders. He was great at what he did. He cut off half the field, and if he had open field after an interception or a punt, you were giving up six. I never saw a player that could flat out accelerate like Deion Sanders.

        And then there’s Big Ed. To me, Ed Sabol ties this class, and every Hall of Fame Class together. He ties generations of football fans together. From old fans who saw the game grow before their eyes, to the youngest fans of today who will tell their grandkids how great Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers were 30 years from. Because of NFL Films, we have a comprehensive record of this sport and that is something this football fan doesn’t take lightly. To be able to see the greatness of a Johnny Unitas or a Jim Brown is special. Its true, it pails compared to being alive at the time. But, to have the frame of reference to see not just in oral history but in actual fact is something valuable and special.

         There are some who say that Ed Sabol should not have a bust in Canton today. I would contend that because of him, all those busts sitting in the Hall of Fame now and every one that will be placed there afterward will shine a little brighter because more eyes got a glimpse of why those player were that great. You can thank Ed Sabol for that.

     I’m a giddy football fan today. The Hall of Fame puts in a new class. The training camps are open. The lockout is over.

     And down in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Huskers get it going again!

     Today, practices open. 27 days from now, Saturday September 3, 2011. Chattanooga open the season. Nebraska begins a new year in a new league with new promise, and #20 preseason rankings.

     Friday was fan day in Lincoln. The day where all the Big Red faithful get some time to meet the ballclub and get autographs. The columnists at the Omaha World-Herald, Tom Shatel and Sam McKewon are asking if the fan day should be just for the kids. They’ve gotten more than a few comments on it. Some people who went report that they saw grown menfolk cutting little kids in autograph lines to get a Taylor Martinez or a Bubba Starling. I find some of the reports a little hard to believe, but then again football fanaticism can lead to strange behavior.

     I’ve never been an autograph person myself. I do own a few and gotten a few, but for the most part I’d rather actually interact with some noted person, shake their hand, let them know how much I enjoy what they do. You maybe talk for a little bit and then you keep it moving. You are happy, and I find they are, too.

    I don’t buy the concept of being “too old” to want to get an autograph. No more than I buy the concept of being “too old” to wear a jersey. Let people enjoy their thing their way, as long as they aren’t being destructive or rude to other folks whats the harm? Now when some autograph shark is cutting in front of a kid for an autograph that they are probably going to sell anyway? That’s being rude and I think that is where other adults fans need to check that person.

    I agree with the concept that at times we take sport fandom a little too seriously. Every fan is guilty of it at some point, myself included. However, trying to put an arbitrary “grow up” edict is going too far the other way to me. Yeah, I’ll agree that sometimes, you can do better than rocking some jersey just out and about, but to say no one should? That’s a little much. (My personal rule — 1. I only wear custom jerseys with my name on it, and the new I choose on it.)

    To me, as long as they aren’t being overly drunk or stupid and are positive supporting the teams, let fans be fans and don’t restrict fan day to just the kids. I agree with Mr. McKewon.

The culture of Nebraska football is passed down to kids. But it’s passed down from adults.

   Besides, there are worse thing you can flag grown men on. Like why a grown man with a wedding band on his hand can be in a strip club by himself. 😉



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