It feels like we are on a bit of a roll with healthy discussion topics this week, so I'll throw out another one.
As usual, the poll is overly simplistic, but puts a nice graphic at the top of our debate. Since it is clear to me now that most of the readers on Hogs Haven are professional pollsters, I ask your forgiveness for making you choose between two options that may not encapsulate your true feelings. Speaking of true feelings, if your phone rings at 2 AM in the morning and the area code is from Richmond, be careful before answering. It might be Parks ready to tell you all his innermost thoughts.
As the title confusingly implies, today's debate pits the experience of that opening day game against the Giants against the experience we are all anticipating for this week's tilt. I am less focused on the outcome of the games as I am on the feelings we all have as fans heading into these matchups.
Sure, on opening day, the world was our oyster. We were far from being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. We were (hopefully) still weeks away from the inevitable shenanigans that annually seek to derail any shred of respectability we have earned. Parties were planned. You staked out a "spot" to be for the game. Menus were created, and like-minded groups of fans converged to enjoy what we all hoped was going to be the start of something great.
Fast-forward a few months. We face the Giants again in the second of two regular season matchups. Where are you--as a fan--this week versus where you were at the beginning of the season? Feel free to contrast this week with our week two game, since the home opener was also the anniversary of 9/11 and season openers are generally more festive anyway.
This is not at all a referendum on whether we are good or bad fans (I already wrote that article I think! haha). On the contrary, this is about how we as fans have been treated to a string of shortened seasons. I know we will all be watching the game this week. I know we will all be cheering our butts off. But yet again, our season is over well before the 17 weeks of regular season football we had hoped would remain compelling to each of us.
How do you get up for this kind of game? Are you turning down invitations to attend parties so you can be somewhere where you can focus on the game? Are you DVR'ing it so you can go Christmas shopping and then you'll watch it later? If you're married, are you thinking twice before making a federal case about "having to watch the game" since our record and recent performances have rendered the outcome partially meaningless?
In short, do you still look forward to watching the games as much as you did in September? I can honestly say I do, but I am also a big, dumb idiot. I will say this though: in September there was 0% chance I would be watching a game alone. This weekend, I am not so certain (hence the birth of this topic). I have not fielded invitations to any Redskins parties this weekend, and this time I can say with confidence that I don't think it is because of my naked Ed Hochuli "no hands" first down impersonation. (It's really something special.)
This time of year, the atmosphere for NFL fanbases is different. For some cities and their fans, that means that the playoffs are coming and it's time to start hitting on all cylinders. For Washington, that means it's time to start hoping the Wizards or Caps can save us from total sports depression.
GodTebow help us all.