It has begun.

For the first time since the Baltimore Ravens beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl, football has returned. It is not regular season, but it will do.

The NFL preseason schedule kicked off with a Cowboys victory, and high school two-a-days are occurring on practice fields across the nation.

The sun is brighter, the air is sweeter and life in general is just a whole heck of a lot better now. And I don’t expect anything will change that.

With almost anything, the newness wears off in a relatively short time. Fans stew in a funk for months and months without their favorite sport, and then, once it returns, the masses are often jaded within the first few weeks.

Some teams will begin piling up losses as quickly as they play games. Suddenly, the season isn’t quite as enthralling.

Then, your fantasy teams start stinking it up – yes, I am speaking from experience – and a handful of players beginning making you feel sick to your stomach for drafting them. Next thing you know, certain teams become unwatchable.

Throw in a shaky start for somebody’s hometown team, and it’s enough to significantly curb one’s consumption of a sport.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of diehards who will be glued to the television, newspaper, websites and social media, scouring the edges of the earth for information on anything involving their favorite pastime, but not everyone is as fanatical.

Then, there is football – the sport that never grows old, boring or tired. Even for the casual fan, the luster rarely fades.

Personally, I love football. It doesn’t matter who is playing or where they are playing. Even if it is a pair of lousy teams, I’ll watch.

I can’t say the same for many other sports. Baseball doesn’t captivate me until the playoffs, and horrible basketball is unbearable. There are too many golf and tennis tournaments packed full of unknown commodities to continually pay attention, and hockey, soccer, boxing and auto racing do absolutely nothing for me.

Regardless of how it is dissected, football is practically the perfect sport.

It is only played once a week, allowing fans to spend the first half of the week reflecting on the previous game and the second half preparing for the upcoming one. It has become synonymous with its fantasy counterpart, which has inundated the culture with countless leagues comprised of members from every walk of life.

Football is packed with action, void of minutia and has the perfect balance of athleticism, grace and power. Perhaps no sport is more reliant on flawless teamwork, and, most importantly, a party accompanies practically every game.

From August to February, I can’t get enough football. I don’t believe anyone who even remotely loves sports can. Even people who typically are not into sports will work football scores into their vernacular around the water cooler.

Football is the one sport that keeps you pumped up from the season’s opening kickoff to its final touchdown. That doesn’t mean it is always the best game around, but it is the most compelling.

The roller coaster has begun once again, and I’m buckled in for another great ride that, unlike other sport’s seasons, will not end anytime soon.

Contact Clay Whittington at

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