By Jose M. Romero / @RomeroJoseM
It’s not the first game or even the first kickoff that truly determines that the NFL regular season is on.
It’s the roster cuts and moves to form the final 53-man roster, or at least the opening week final roster, and the beginning of the work week for teams around the league who play on Sunday.
Dallas and the New York Giants play the regular season opener on Wednesday, then there are 13 games on Sunday and two next Monday. For Sunday games, preparations begin on Labor Day. Then it’s the traditional off-day from practice, Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday are the hardest practice days of the week, followed by a lighter session on Friday.
Friday or Saturday, road teams travel to the city where they will play.
The rosters are set. The battles for starting jobs are over. We’re ready to cheer on our teams and see some hard hits, touchdown celebrations and big plays. Let’s just hope the replacement officials don’t screw up too bad when making calls and throwing yellow flags.
Let’s also hope for no catastrophic injuries in what is the most violent and brutal game anywhere.
Other hopes for the new NFL season:
-That Darren McFadden, Andre Johnson, Vernon Davis, Percy Harvin, Jason Witten (when he’s available to play), the Jets defense and Jay Cutler have stellar seasons. Fantasy football!
-That all of the Tim Tebow-mania ends sooner rather than later.
-That Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson gets his life in order. Better yet, that he stops trying to be both football player and entertainer. Pick one, and don’t mess with Evelyn Lozada anymore.
-That the Raiders become relevant again. The NFL is a better league when the Silver and Black are in the conversation.
-That someone new, outside of the Giants, Green Bay, New England and Pittsburgh, wins the Super Bowl.
-That teams, coaches and players just accept that commissioner Roger Goodell is the ultimate authority as far as discipline, and accept the punishments he has handed down.
-That team president Mike Holmgren turns things around in Cleveland, because he’s a likeable guy.
-That Victor Cruz continues to salsa after touchdowns.
-That more Latinos find their way into the pro ranks, so that one day there can be a breakout Latino star every year, as Cruz was last season.
-That Ray Lewis of the Ravens stays healthy and is able to retire on his own terms, if indeed he calls it quits at the end of the season.
-That I didn’t have to pay for the NFL Redzone channel. It’s so addicting on Sundays.
-That more progress is made in getting an NFL team in Los Angeles as soon as possible.