The NFL preseason kicks off this Sunday with the Hall of Fame Game between the Packers and the Colts in Canton, Ohio.
At the Sports Fans Coalition, we've been a little, ahem, critical of the NFL. That's because fans like us are the only ones who can put a stop to the league's endless parade of greedy, duplicitous, downright shameful behavior.
But let's put all that aside for a moment and talk about why we care about keeping the NFL honest in the first place. We really do love football — just like we love all sports. The extraordinary feats of athleticism, the spirit of competition, the camaraderie bred by shared loyalty to a logo, a team, a city.
The Hall of Fame Game reminds us of all of these reasons. Played in Canton, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the game evokes the memories of players who we grew up with, who we idolized, who amazed and inspired us.
We screamed ourselves hoarse when Bart Starr snuck the ball into the endzone to win the Ice Bowl. We stared speechless when Roger Staubach completed the original Hail Mary in 1975. And we pretty much lost it when Joe Montana hit Dwight Clark for "The Catch" with just seconds left in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.
These moments are seared into our collective memory — and we'd love to hear from you about your own favorite NFL players and moments.
We will always feel a sense of respect and loyalty to the players who made these moments possible. That is why we keep demanding that the NFL do right by them, that it protect them and be honest with its fans.
After all, football isn't about money or power. It's about athletes doing what they love — and fans forming bonds with those athletes, with their favorite teams, and with one another.