The grind of the preseason is coming to an end and the even longer road of the NFL regular season is on the horizon. Football fans from all over the world are gearing up for what promises to be seventeen weeks of gridiron excitement, with many league stories already unfolding. Here are just a few interesting happenings around the NFL as we get ready for the first game on September 10. That game will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the New England Patriots.
The game has numerous stories, not the least involving Tom Brady and whether he will play or not. Everyone is aware of the mayhem “DeflateGate” has caused and the most surprising thing about the story is it is still going on! They are endlessly debating Brady’s suspension for his alleged involvement in the controversy and it has not yet been determined if he will lead his team on opening night. There is over a week to figure it out, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this story continues through the beginning of the season.
On the Pittsburgh side, they are dealing with the fallout from their recent acquisition at the back-up quarterback position. Given their history, it would seem unlikely that the Rooneys and Michael Vick would ever come to terms. But come to terms they did and Michael Vick showed up in a Steeler uniform during a recent pre-season game in Buffalo. He did well that day but it is too early to tell if he will be embraced by Steeler Nation. There was quite a reaction from local fans when the announcement was made that he was going to play for the team. There were some demonstrations outside of Heinz Field and the local sports radio talk shows were focusing on it constantly.
There are other things that these two teams need to concern themselves with besides the inevitable distractions. The management, coaches and players should have only one thing in mind; how to get to Super Bowl 50. That should be the goal, because there are thirty other teams striving for the same trophy. This is a landmark year so hopefully the sideline shenanigans will take a back-seat to the more important business of playing the game. If only it was possible to return to the days of Lombardi and Shula, when it was more about the sport and less about the off-field indiscretions.
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