It could be that Brett Favre is playing in New York instead of the NFC North, or it could be the fact that we have seen more commercials featuring Peyton Manning than highlights.
Or, as much as it pains me to say, it could be the absence of Tom Terrific.
But no matter how you look at it, something has been different about this NFL season.
It’s been boring.
In years past, my goal for a Sunday afternoon, like most real fans, was to watch as much football as possible, while preferably moving as little as possible. It didn’t matter what game was on because there was always enough happening to keep me interested throughout the entire day.
This season has been much different.
The only real reason I have kept up with what’s been going on is to prevent myself from being embarrassed in my fantasy football league. I’ve also noticed myself putting on pants and even leaving my house on a few Sunday afternoons – activities that would have been unheard of in past seasons.
There are still interesting things going on out there. For instance, Drew Brees is on pace to break Dan Marino’s single-season passing record, and the Lion’s could become the first team in NFL history to run the table (backwards) and go 0-16. But not even those stories have persuaded me to wake up in time for the noon games.
So what’s the reason for this excitement drought?
One of the main problems could be the fact that the first-place teams are not even the slightest bit flashy. There haven’t really been the big passing games or rushing performances from the top-tier teams we grew so accustomed to seeing last season.
Let’s take what appear to be the top teams from the AFC and NFC for example.
First, look at the Tennessee Titans. Here is a team that is statistically the best team in the AFC, but the Titans haven’t had the traditional blowout games that we have seen in the past. Before last week’s trouncing of Detroit, the Titans had only won four games by more than 10 points.
Also, let’s not forget who is throwing the ball for the new kings of the AFC. I remember getting more excited to watch Elvis Grbac play than Kerry Collins.
Speaking of bland quarterbacks, let’s move to the NFC and the New York Giants.
A lot of people have already named Eli Manning their selection for MVP for the job he’s done building off last year’s Super Bowl win, and there is no way to argue his 11-1 record. However, he may be the worst big market quarterback of all-time. Besides the obvious Super Bowl miracle catch, I literally don’t think I can picture a standout Eli Manning highlight from anywhere in his career.
The only memory that sticks out in my head is watching him try to run for a first down and noting that he looked like he was moving in slow motion. I don’t think that counts as a highlight though.
Also, in last week’s win over Washington, Manning threw for 305 yards, which was the first time he cracked the 300-mark this season. If that is the league MVP, things are looking grim.
There are still a few teams out there that have the flash fans look for, but it just hasn’t been enough.
Love them or hate them, the Dallas Cowboys are one of the few teams in the league that bring that spark to the table, but their early rut made it tough to really get the big season that everyone expected underway.
Brees is also in control of what could be considered a flashy team, but that flashiness has also put them in last place.
The other factor to the disappointment of this season is the fact that there is no way to match the excitement of last year.
There is no team like the Patriots rolling over the competition, and Adrian Peterson is now just a second-year stud rather than a rookie sensation.
Some of the mightiest teams have fallen, and some of the worst teams have risen to the tops of their divisions, but I hold out hope that there will be a team to come forward and rescue fans from this boring equality-ball.
Perhaps by some off-chance, Plaxico Burress will be placed in the same prison as Michael Vick, who will have undoubtedly already scoped-out any football talent said prison has to offer.
Now, add to that tandem “Pac Man” Jones, who is sure to be arrested again before next season, and most of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Now that is a football team we can get excited about watching.
D.J. Piehowski is a junior journalism major from Genoa. He is the Scout sports reporter.
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