Football is the best, and I miss it violently. Sure, the NCAAs have been cool, and hockey is fun, and the Olympics were great. But when it all comes down to it, football is the most wonderful thing to enjoy in this world. So I am really fired up that the NFL 2002 schedule was announced last Friday and that draft day is quickly approaching.
This coming NFL season will be interesting because they have restructured the league from three to four divisions in each conference. This will kill some great rivalries, as well as start some new ones, so it will be fun to see how the players, executives and fans adapt to the change.
I’ve never been a huge advocate of impartiality. Therefore, those people who don’t like the Denver Broncos can drop this column right now.
For some reason, the Broncos have been given a very brutal 2002 schedule and will have a lot to prove if they plan to make the playoffs next season. They will face six teams that competed in last season’s playoffs. Without getting too analytical about whether or not the Broncos will be competitive against these teams, I’d like to give a rundown of some of the games they will be playing.
Sunday, September 8
The Broncos start the season hosting the St. Louis Rams. This will be a good measure as to how the Broncos’ season will go. The Rams are still going to be good, and probably a little bitter about losing that last game in February. Perhaps the Broncos’ off-season defensive retooling will keep the game close, but one thing is for sure: Denver’s offense will have to be running on all cylinders if it’s expected to keep up with the Warner/Faulk juggernaut.
Sunday, September 15
Denver makes its first of two trips to the Bay Area to face those dastardly 49ers. First of all, I despise the Niners and hope the Broncos put some really nasty hits on little Jeff Garcia. I also encourage some bad sportsmanship towards that loudmouth Terrell Owens. I’m not saying the Broncos should hurt Owens, but they sure should scare the crap out of him. It will be a tough win because the Niners will be looking for revenge from the time the Broncos waxed them at Mile High in 2000.
Monday, September 30
After a supposedly easy game against Buffalo, the Broncos travel to Baltimore to face the depleted Ravens. Hopefully the Broncos will be able to crush the Super Bowl IIIV champs, who lost Elvis Grbac, Shannon Sharpe, Qadry Ismial, Jamie Sharper, Rod Woodson, Duane Starks, Tony Siragusa and many others from their Super Bowl team.
Sunday, October 27
Not only do the Broncos have to deal with a sour Rams team, but they also have to go to Foxboro and play the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. It should be very interesting to see how the Patsies defend their title.
If the Broncos are playing well, it should be a great game. It will also be interesting to see which team my hippie friend roots for because he’s from Massachusetts and claims to be a Patriots fan. But I seem to remember three years ago when he was a devout Broncos supporter. That’s so weird. Isn’t that weird? (Did you catch the “Wayne’s World” reference?)
After all this, the Broncos still have two games against Oakland, and we all know how ugly that can get. So mark your calendars – September is only five months away.