1. Every summer I have done this gig, this moment has gotten better and better. Maybe it just gets better and better with age. Maybe it is like Christmas, and from now until I die I will always look forward to this moment with greater and greater anticipation. With training camp opening this week (Thursday, for the uninitiated), the first real, tangible sign that the offseason is not going to last forever reveals itself. All of the stories and topics that go with covering the Washington Redskins in the offseason get pushed down the page when real live football players put on pads and start competing for precious roster spots.
2. What is the one thing every year that you see or hear or read that signals the beginning of football?
3. If anyone is going to be in Richmond for the opening of training camp this Thursday, we will be hanging out at Gus' on Broad Street to celebrate the inauguration of the 2014 season. I will post later with any drink deals or special things we are doing, but if you can make it, you will get a chance to meet a handful of our regular writers. You guys know the drill--nothing fancy, just a bunch of Redskins fans clinking glasses to our Super Bowl aspirations in July. I will do my best to bring some Hogs Haven swag down there for anyone who can make it. if you are in Richmond, you need to be there!
4. I feel like telling everyone "congratulations" when I get to this point every year. I feel like the flight director at mission control that oversaw the safe return of Apollo 13 to Earth after a series of hardships threatened to strand them in space and doom them to failure and death. Sure, that is taking it a bit too far, but still...if I smoked cigarettes, I would be lighting one up right now, unbuttoning the top three buttons of my shirt and sighing the kind of sigh that goes with enduring almost six months of no meaningful NFL football. Somehow, some way, we found a way to survive the barren wasteland that is life without NFL football. Sure, we snacked on the draft and free agency, but there is no substitute for the real thing. We are almost there now...
5. I just want to thank the community for making Hogs Haven such a great place when there is no football being played. You have weathered a hefty amount of content that is designed to inform as well as (hopefully) entertain. I hope it is not lost on everyone how much more thought and planning goes into what many would call our "filler" material than the thought that goes into what is posted on other sites. I won't do the litany of thanks here, but the HH team tries our best to put out content that--for the most part--tries to arm Redskins fans with as much intelligence as we can.
6. Think about how many Draft Profiles we wrote this summer. Did you know that after doing as many of those as we did, we still only had FOUR of our draft picks covered in that series? You know what that means! Next spring we will be DOUBLING our efforts!