The NFL season begins tonight, when the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens travel to Denver to play the Broncos.
In 2013, NFL fans have so many ways to follow the game, it can be easy to lose track of the notion that this is all supposed to be leisure-time entertainment. The following are suggestions on how to cut through the volumes of NFL-fan-experience accessories and have fun this season:
- Fantasy football: Thanks to the organization and inclusiveness of others, I hopped back on this train last season after an extended absence. I’m the opposite of a fantasy football junkie, and I don’t have any advice for actually winning your league, but as far as enjoying the experience, the single best thing to do is draft your team live. Most casual fantasy fans probably do automatic drafts because participating in a live draft seems like a daunting task, but it really is not. You don’t actually have to do any research or preparation, and it shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete. The benefit is that you’ll end up with a team of players you like and will enjoy following throughout the season rather than be handed a random list of auto-picked players you have to google to find out if they’re any good. With the season starting tonight, this advice may come too late for you to start your fantasy football experience off on the right foot, but until a bunch of you buy paid subscriptions to this site, you’re going to have to live with things like this happening.
- CBS Sports tablet app: I received a web-capable tablet as a gift, and I’ve found it to be great to use while watching games to do things like read twitter and keep track of other information that enhances the game-watching experience. Last week, I found CBS Sports’ tablet application, and I’ve been extremely impressed. It’s free, like this website, and, after it easily allows you to enter all the teams you want to track across all sports, you can view a single, customized, live scoreboard panel that displays information about all current games in which your teams are participating. You also can expand each individual game into two types of detail views: a) detailed statistical information and b) a social media feed presenting a virtual play-by-play experience of text and images with interactive twitter integration. Recommended.
- Soul: On a fan landscape increasingly dominated by things like fantasy football, NFL Red Zone, lawsuits, and gambling (ok, that’s not new), it can begin to feel as though this whole mess of the professional football world has lost its spirit. Fortunately, this offseason brought the deserved rise of the voice of the 2013 NFL fan, embodied in one man: Pro Football Talk Commenter. Follow him on twitter and read him at KSK and, occasionally, on his own site. PFTC easily is the most important new presence on the NFL commentator scene, and that’s no joke. His voice is as seductive as Shakespeare’s.
This concludes ALDLAND’s piecemeal NFL season preview. Catch up on the other entries below, and enjoy yourselves.