Review: Radiant “Red Zone” is Beacon of Enlightenment for NFL Fans

In Uncertain Football Season, NFL Network’s Red Zone a Sure Score

 

Photo of NFL Network anchor Scott Hanson

Scott Hanson from the NFL Network presides from the pulpit of America's fastest-growing socio-religious phenomenon: The NFL Red Zone.

 

Six weeks have passed since the opening kickoff to the 2010 NFL season and there are still many uncertainties as to how this campaign will finish.  Beyond a few perennial truths that include the Lions, Browns, 49ers and Raiders’ annual collective suck-fest and the usual solidity of the AFC East, we know almost nothing about this football season.  A myriad of questions abound that, as of yet, do not have answers such as:

“Are the Cowboys really this bad?”
– Maybe, and I relish every minute of it.

“Who will win the NFC Central division?”
– We have absolutely no idea.

“Will any Cincinnati Bengals get arrested this year?”
– Possibly, but it’s still too early to tell.

“Was that really Brett Favre’s weenie on those text message photos on Deadspin.com?”
– We are divided on this.  Part of us wants to see The Gunslinger absorb this horrible chapter in his career and bounce back to finish with dignity.  However, we remain torn and wish to see the salacious Favre Express train wreck continue to fester and witness his exit from the game having tarnished his legend.  OK, at this point, we want to see the latter.

Among all of these questions, few answers are to be had.  But there is one infallible certainty in this young season: the NFL Network’s Red Zone channel is absolutely fantastic.

In fact, it is beyond fantastic.  For me, it has revolutionized the way I watch football.  And to think this was all an unintended consequence from expanding my cable service in an attempt to catch one or two University of Utah football games on obscure channels leads me to believe this discovery was nothing less than divine providence.

Why, you ask?  Allow me to enlighten…
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The Return of Football—America’s Game

Football players in front of American Flag

Football season is well underway and it happens to coincide with the launch of this blog.  While I am hesitant to dedicate the first sports post to football—the so-called “America’s Game”—it provides a perfect opportunity to start this section off on the right foot.  Or the left foot, whichever you prefer.  The reason being that the phrase “America’s Game,” something I used to cringe at, is now a perfect metaphor in which both football and the United States of America share an alarming—and hilarious—number of parallels (at least until the neo-Confederate dream of NASCAR overtaking the dominance of football comes to pass).

Let me begin with a confession: I like to watch football*.  OK, I love to watch football.  Whether it is college or the NFL, you can usually find my anything-with-a-ball-obsessed ass planted firmly in front of the soft glow of a football broadcast emanating from a needlessly expensive, flat-screen television each and every Saturday and Sunday.  And when the opportunity presents itself, I am no stranger to witnessing a football game from the oft-frigid seats of an actual stadium.

* apologies to my international friends who may mistake this term for what we Americans dismissingly call “soccer”

Like any football fan, I can mindlessly go down the list and check off everything I like about not only the game itself, but about the general atmosphere and experience of “America’s Game.”  Many positives of the football experience transcend the excitement of watching oversized physical freaks violently moving (or preventing) an oval-shaped inflatable piece of pigskin across painted white lines.  More importantly, the game serves as a venue for (mostly) males to come together in celebration of the very principles we as modern Americans hold near and dear.
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