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Return of pro football looks promising despite lockout

By Justin Cheatham
On September 28, 2011


The NFL lockout had many football fans like myself worried that there might be no professional football season in 2011, but what I was worried about most was the league taking a hit that would drop coverage and support from loyal fans. However, with the rollercoaster of a season that has taken place so far – only three weeks – my fears of desolate stadiums filled only with concerts and lesser sports has come to pass.

 Football season is not only a time to watch grown men the size of small Volkswagens hitting each other so hard the flat screen shakes on the wall but a time to root for your home team, your city. It's a time to get together with friends and family and gloat in their faces when your team beats theirs. Without a football season there is no fantasy football, which means the only way to brag about beating friends at sports means you have to get together and play sports. Without football season, there would be no Super Bowl parties to slightly watch while you drink with friends and talk about how much better your team would be doing if they hadn't lost to Denver in round one of the playoffs.

 With that much at stake losing a football season is more like losing your cell phone; it's easy to replace but it would take forever to get the thing back just how you liked it. My initial fears were that the NFL would take a year off and fans would flock to other sports that didn't have a problem splitting up billions of dollars between owners and players. The National Hockey League had a lockout in the early 200s when they took a year off to arbitrate a similar dispute involving money, and the fan base has yet to recover. The effect on fans was not the only loss the NHL experienced after their lockout; many TV stations took hockey games off their schedules and filled them with other content that stuck even after the lockout was over. Basically they pissed off fans, fans quit watching and, as a result, TV stations dropped their coverage.

 Luckily the players and owners figured out their fiscal quarrels with enough time to still have somewhat of a training camps and a pre-season. Many fans and football writers worried that the nature of such a short offseason would put younger teams at a disadvantage and help teams filled with veterans but within the first set of upsets in week one it became evident that this season could get interesting.

 Week one saw the veteran Steelers fall to the Ravens and the Eagles, who had picked up a slew of young players, absolutely destroyed the Rams, but maybe those two were just flukes. Then week two came along and continued to surprise and captivate fans with matchups like the Carolina Panthers and their new quarterback Cam Newton giving the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers a narrow 30-27 victory. This is when the season really started to shake up; the Falcons beat the new dream-team Eagles and the Cowboys escaped San Francisco with a battered team and their first win of the season.

 Week three continued the madness with the injured Cowboys literally kicking their way to a victory at home against the Redskins and outrageous things like Buffalo winning their third straight against Tom Brady and the Patriots. My fears of a boring season were erased completely at this point and that was before I heard that Michael Vick broke his hand in the Eagles loss to the Giants, not to mention the fact the Raiders beat the Jets.

 Now that week four is around the corner and my fantasy team has two wins (suck it Caleb and James) it feels like football season is finally back in its regular form. Football watch parties and rocking, shameless victory dances are being conjured up at this very moment and queso is clogging America's arteries one Sunday at a time; the way it should be. 

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