NFL gives every team hope

NFL gives every team hope
September 06
02:00 2018

Every fan of an NFL team, at one point in time before the season starts, says “This is our year.”  Funny, I know, right, because I have said it myself.  But honestly, the NFL has done an uncanny job of giving almost every team a gleam of hope heading into the season, when in reality most have no shot.  The same cannot be said in any other league.

It is amazing to me how the NFL, year after year, gives many teams a perceived sense of hope when in reality most teams have no chance of winning the Super Bowl, or even making it to the playoffs for that matter.  I mean look at the Cleveland Browns, who went 0-16 last season.  If you ask a Cleveland fan they will say they have a shot, more than likely.

Take basketball, for instance.  We all know that heading into the 2018-19 season, there are probably only three teams that have a legitimate chance of winning the title.  The Warriors, Rockets and Celtics fans are eager to begin the season because they all feel they have a good chance to win it all. 

The same can’t be said for the rest of the league.  I do not have a “favorite” team in the NBA, but I am from Washington, D.C., and I know the Wizards have no shot at winning the title.  There are more than 20 other fan bases that feel the same way.

The same goes for baseball and hockey, for the most part.  Usually there are a couple of teams expected to compete for the championship each year and the fans of the rest of the teams are somewhat hopeless. 

I am not sure how the NFL accomplishes this feat. The best guess I can come up with is the low number of games in the season.  Football only has 16 regular season games versus 82 for basketball and 162 for baseball.

Another factor that can’t be ignored is, a football game has a relatively small number of possessions by each team.  On average, a team has the ball eight or nine times during any given game, depending on the pace of the game.  So if a team gets lucky against a superior opponent, anything is possible.

If a team only has 10 or so chances to score every game, that makes the outcome a little harder to predict.  If you couple the small number of games with the small number of possessions within those games, I think that is what give us fans the most hope.

As many know, I am an avid Washington Redskins fan.  I know we finished below .500 last year, with a 7-9 record, but for some reason I am filled with optimism.  I don’t really have a reason, with all of the turnover and injuries my team has had to deal with early on in the preseason.

We have a new quarterback, our running back of the future is injured for the year, and we have unproven weapons on offense.  Our defense was the worst in the league against the run last year.  We made a few additions to fill some holes, but in my head we are a playoff team.

I know many of the experts are predicting the Redskins to finish last in the NFC East, but once again I keep saying “This is going to be our year.”  Based on what my team has done over the past 20 years, I should have lower expectations, but the NFL has somehow given me hope.  I know it sounds delusional to non-football fans.  Those who live and die by their team’s weekly results know how I feel because I am sure they feel the same about their team.

This is why the NFL has and will continue to be the most popular sport in the country.  As long as they give every team hope prior to Week One, we will continue to watch as fans, period.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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