Right about now, all over the country, giddy little boys (well, actually more like giddy grown-ass men) are waking up to a different version of Christmas morning. The official start of the 2011-2012 football season! Many of their wives are waking up with a strange feeling of dread that they can't quite place until later this evening when the TV gets taken hostage and the DVR goes on overdrive.
But have no fear, I am here to help guide you through the season. You'll know just enough to be able to hold your own in a watercooler/sportsbar/couch conversation and might even learn a thing or two. Dare I suggest you might even begin to ...enjoy it? ...a little bit? I won't hold my breath.
Here's what you need to know for tonight's game. (8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on NBC):
We have the Green Bay Packers vs. the New Orleans Saints. The Packers are the reigning Superbowl Champs and the Saints won the year before. My husband says they are both "NFC powerhouses." To brush up on AFC/NFC, click here.
|Drew 'Bad Hair' Brees|
It will be a 'Battle of the Ugly Quarterbacks' instead of our preferred Battle of the Hot QB's but they are two of the best in the NFL so I guess we'll forgive them. First up, we have Drew Brees of the Saints. Here he is on the left. Feel free to discuss his terrible hair. Next we have Aaron Rodgers of the Packers. Here he is on the right. There, now you at least know the leaders of both teams. Also, both teams have great receivers so it could potentially be an exciting game.
Other players to watch for tonight are rookie Mark Ingram, a running back for the Saints. He's basically taking Reggie Bush's place (Kim Kardashian's ex who has since moved to the Miami Dolphins).
You can always ask your sports fan how he thinks Ingram will do tonight. If you want to brush up on why running backs are like Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, click here. Remember that RB's are the guys who get absolutely hammered by the defense and don't have very long careers.
On the other side, watch for the Packers' tight end Jermichael Finley. (Don't even get me started on the name!!) He suffered a season-ending knee injury last year and everyone will be watching to see how he performs tonight. To brush up on why the tight ends are like shape-shifters, click here. In my experience, it really helps to know a couple of the key players in the game so that when the announcer talks about them you can think to yourself, "Oh yeah, that guy!" Trust me, it will really help keep your interest during those 3-4 hours.
A couple more things to know about the season:
Colt's QB Peyton Manning (who's wife gave birth to twin boys in March!) will not be starting this weekend due to residual pain from neck surgery earlier in the year. This is a big deal as everyone seems to think that without Peyton, the Colts are just an average team and probably won't get very far at all this season. This will also end his streak of 227 consecutive starts.
Titan's Running Back, Chris Johnson, signed a 4 year, $53.5 million contract extension with a guaranteed $30 million. This is a big deal because it is a crapload of money and remember that RBs generally have short careers because they get so beat up. It's also cool because Johnson has a huge head of dreadlocks and lots and lots of gold teeth. Easy one to remember and comment on.
Jim Tressel, former head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, resigned this year after facing allegations of "memorabilia for ink" by his players. What this means is that they were accused of trading valuable sports memorabilia for....tatoos! (???) Who does this? In any case, this is a big deal because he was one of the best coaches Ohio State has ever seen and has now been hired by the Colts as a consultant. However, he will not be allowed to participate in the first seven games of the season due to his involvement in the NCAA scandal.
And there you have it! All prepped for tonight. Enjoy!