Can’t wait for football?
It seems the clock grinds to a halt once August arrives. While baseball season is in full swing, football enthusiasts grow weary as preseason drags on. And on, and on, and on. Let’s face it – there are only so many minutes of watching the third string quarterback overthrow a receiver even the most ardent of football fan can take watching preseason ball.
That’s why true football fans have Wednesday, September 5th circled on their calendars. That’s the evening the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, take on the Dallas Cowboys in the 2012 NFL season opener.
In the interim, fans will simply have to wait.
To help in that process, here are a few facts to know for the casual (and not so casual) football fan as we get ready for kickoff:
1. Quarterbacks selected first in the NFL have success
Andrew Luck was selected first overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2011, the Carolina Panthers took Cam Newton to start the draft. Sam Bradford (2010; St. Louis Rams) and Matthew Stafford (2009; Detroit Lions) were also selected first overall. If recent history is an indicator of future performance, Luck stands a good chance of NFL success.
2. But what about quarterbacks taken with the second pick?
Robert Griffin III (RG3) was selected second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. The last quarterback to go second was Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles) back in 1998. In 1997, Ryan Leaf (San Diego Chargers) had the honor of being the number two overall pick. McNabb played 13 NFL seasons while Leaf was regarded as a bust.
3. A ‘Giant’ hill
Repeating as Super Bowl Champions rarely happens. The last team to win back-to-back championships was the New England Patriots (2004, 2005). They are also the last team to make back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. The Giants will need to overcome incredible odds to even make it back to the championship game.
4. Drew Brees
If New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, continues his assault on opposing defenses he will take a major step toward becoming the games all-time leader in passing yards. Currently at 40,742, he trails Brett Favre’s record (71,838) by 31,096 yards. Barring injury, he is certain to pass Kerry Collins (40,922), Dan Fouts (43,040), and Drew Bledsoe (44,600) this season. Brees is just 32 years old.
5. The Old Man in Cleveland
Brandon Weeden (22nd pick of the Cleveland Browns) is the oldest first round pick in the history of the NFL Draft. He was 28 years, 195 days old when selected. A lock to start at quarterback for the Browns, he is older than Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Tim Tebow. He is not, however, the oldest NFL Draft pick ever – that honor still belongs to Chris Weinke who was three months older than Weedem when selected by the Carolina Panthers in 2001.
6. Is Thursday becoming ‘Football Night’?
In 2012, a record 16 games will be played on Thursday. One will be played on Wednesday (the season opener) and one on Saturday (Week 16).
7. A New Look
In April the NFL and Nike introduced new uniforms for all 32 NFL teams. The most drastic change? That honor goes to the Seattle Seahawks who will display an updated logo with a “wolf grey” stripe. (pic: Seahawks new logo)
8. And the highest paid player this season is…
Despite signing a record contract in July, Drew Brees will not be football’s top earner in 2012. That honor goes to Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos who Forbes estimates will make approximately $42.4 million this season – despite missing all of 2011 with a neck injury.
9 The last of the best
The last player selected in the 2012 NFL Draft was Left tackle Andrew Datko (241st pick; Green Bay Packers). What’s his status? According to Eric Barancyk of the Green Bay Gazette, he has made quite an impression thus far in camp and actually has a shot at making the 53-man roster.
10. How it all ends
Super Bowl XLVII will be played on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. It will be the tenth time New Orleans will host the game.