The day is now upon us. Gathered like children round the Christmas tree with butterflies and knots in our stomachs, anxiously awaiting the arrival of that final piece or maybe the cornerstone to a bright new future.
Football fans everywhere are checking Twitter feeds and Facebook posts hungrily devouring every draftniks newest trade scenario and mock draft. Each one providing their own insight to what is, without a doubt, the most unpredictable spectacle in all of sports.
Now that we are entering the 11th hour, every GM, coach and owner is up to speed on the players they want in the draft and even a few that they think could be there with their pick. The stage has been set, and the most prolific collegiate football players in the nation will gather with friends, families and former coaches and wait to hear the commissioner announce their name and placement in America’s favorite sport.
The suspense is palpable and every nerve in the body is rapid-firing signals back to the brain faster than they can be decoded. A hush comes over the capacity crowd in the Radio City Music Hall as NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, makes his long walk to center stage, note card in hand. Lightly he adjusts the level of the microphone before making his opening remarks. The buzz begins to build in anticipation of the draft’s most famous words before they are uttered for the first time in 365 days. Teeth clinch, heart rates jump, sweat beads on the brow of fans all over the world as Goodell announces, “And with the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select…”
As fans we all have our preferences and predictions, both positive and negative, as to what direction our favorite teams will go. Lost in all the hustle and bustle of this modern “holiday” is the birth of hope. With each pick and trade that comes off the board hope replaces the anguish and frustration that all but one team felt as the final seconds ticked off of the clock signifying the end of the season.
With that new-found hope message boards, forums, team websites, fan pages and, yes, blogs much like this one, will collectively rejoice the coming of a new season. And whether you take the time to think about it or not, you are filled with great expectations as whatever team you pull for is right back in the hunt for that ever so elusive Lombardi Trophy.
Every Team is back at 0-0 and with that beautiful statistic in place the mind can drift, wonder, and maybe even dare to dream that at the end of it all your team will be the one left standing in a perpetual blizzard of confetti as the star player looks into the camera in front of millions of fans to proclaim, “I’m going to Disney World!”
As I leave you with the taste of victory lingering on your mental pallets, just take a moment and remember the feeling that hope provides. That warm fullness that wells up inside to the point of bursting. Savor that moment, let it sink in and enjoy these few brief hours out of the long day, week, or month that has been eating at you. Take this time to push back all the nonsense of your normal day-to-day and just relish this time out, breathe deep the minutes you have to sit back and embrace something so trivial yet so very, very important to, yes, the cultural fiber of our great nation. Celebrate no matter what happens and let the games begin!