A Bittersweet Time for Football Fans 

Former Colts Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning (Photo: Indianapolis Colts)

Former Colts Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning
(Photo: Matt Bowen/Indianapolis Colts)

This week begins the NFL free agency signing period. The unofficial start of the 2015 season. A chance to sign veteran players, players with a track record, players who’ve had proven success.

I should be excited. I should be ecstatic. Instead, I’m heartbroken.

Because this is also the time of year when football fans have to say goodbye to players. Players who come into our lives, players we spend years getting to know, players we cheer for every Sunday, players whose health we obsess over, whose every word we hang on, and after years of investing all of ourselves in this relationship, eventually, some day…it’s time to say goodbye.

That time is now.

And just like any other relationship, it can rip your heart out.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not about one player. I love my team and I’m excited about what they’re building. I understand the business of football. And oddly enough, I don’t disagree with the decision.

But that doesn’t change how I feel about it. Truth be told, right now, when I picture my Colts lining up without Reggie Wayne this season…I feel sick and empty inside.

I know there are other guys out there. Guys who could come in and make an immediate impact. But I don’t care about those guys. I don’t have a history with those guys. I haven’t made memories with those guys.

Right now, I’m heartbroken. Weepy heartbroken. Don’t want to eat heartbroken. Nothing’s going to make me feel better heartbroken.

And that’s the curse of being a football fan.

I’m mourning the loss of one of the football loves of my life. But unbeknownst to me, I’m also in the process of making new memories and falling in love with new players. Only to eventually repeat this pain all over again.

But if the alternative to having my heart broken is having players I don’t love on my team, then the choice is easy.

I’ll take heartbreak.

Every time.

I just wish it didn’t hurt so damn bad.

XO

NFL Free Agency: Free for All. But Not Free — at All.

image_3_t580

A new NFL season is upon us.

With NFL free agency signings slowing down a bit, I thought it would be a good time to step back and review what we’ve learned so far about the 2014 season.

John Elway and Bill Belichick are already engaged in a season-long chess match. So far, the Denver Broncos have claimed Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware, leading us to believe that “offense wins games — defense wins championships,” may be their mantra this year.

Meanwhile, the Patriots gathered Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Brandon LaFell. And according to their former cornerback, Aqib Talib (who claims he does not have a hip problem), the Patriots report fake injuries. Which surprises no one.

Michael Vick will stay in green and white, but he won’t be wearing number 7. Vick may challenge Jets quarterback Geno Smith for the starting job — but says he won’t challenge him for his number. Also, the Jets aren’t happy unless they have a full-fledged quarterback controversy on their hands. And ESPN camped out at training camp.

Mark Sanchez will also stay in green and white, as he heads from the Jets to the Eagles, where he will compete  for the job of backup quarterback to Nick Foles with Matt Barkley. Apparently, the job requirements for backup quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles include good hands (for clipboard holding), playing for USC, and being really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Speaking of ridiculously good looking…in releasing wide receivers Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn, and Domenik Hixon, the Carolina Panthers must think quarterback Cam Newton really is Superman and that he can throw the ball and catch the ball — himself. No one will be more impressed than Gisele Bundchen if Newton is indeed able to pull this off.

The NFC North is playing musical chairs (or musical ends), with Julius Peppers going to the Packers, Jared Allen to the Bears, and the Vikings still deciding which Packer they will sign this season.

Denver running back Knowshon Moreno is taking his talents (and his tears) to Miami.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is still in the NFL, now backing up Colin Kaepernick at the San Francisco 49ers. And making twice as much money — for now.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signed former Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden to ride his bench. And his unicorn.

If you’re a veteran player, prepare to sign a short contract, with one year deals becoming incredibly popular this offseason. There’s a reason they call the NFL “Not For Long.”

And not for long just got, well — less long.

Stay tuned.

XO