5 Things to Watch Out for this NFL Season

The 2016 NFL season is going to be explosive. Sure there’s been lots of politics and scandals, but we are also seeing some of the greatest players in the history of the game ready to hit the gridiron battlefield. Here are five probably inevitable key points to keep an eye on, as we ready the tailgates and ice up the long-necks.

A photo posted by New Orleans Saints (@saints) on

Resurrection of the Saints.

Last season was bad for New Orleans. Last season was so record-setting bad, from their garbage defense to dealing with the aftermath of the bounty issues, that even the locals might be up for writing the team off. But remember how magical the ’09 season was? Sean Payton’s team needed to lash out after all the frustrations of the levees breaking when Katrina hit, and it pushed them to deliver better than ever before. So maybe the Saints are like that Animal Mother guy in Full Metal Jacket, totally fine as long as someone’s always throwing grenades at them. Louisiana is still drying out from a whole new blast of mass-flooding, and that’s the thing. The same infrastructure concerns were unaddressed and neighborhoods are drowning. Which means the Saints will be looking for another copacetic release, so this season could prove to be a serious turnaround from last year.


Headaches Headaches Headaches.

Issues of head traumas have grown into a fat controversy, at the high school, college and NFL levels. With healthcare being more of a hot button topic now than ever before, this could be the year when the franchises take real precautions. Like it or not, examples need to be set, and now is a better time than any. Players shouldn’t feel as much pressure to play while wounded, which will only make a lot of these warriors want to fight on all the more. Everybody wins. This is all the more plausible if game-day active rosters are expanded.

photo via Gotham City Cheerleaders

                                             photo via Gotham City Cheerleaders

Gotham City Goes Official.

The unofficial Gotham City Cheerleader squad will finally be endorsed by the New York Giants. While there may be no actual evidence to support this happening anytime soon, it would be a tremendous PR move for president, CEO, and co-owner John Mara to make. Especially following his defense of kicker John Brown’s Domestic Violence charges this year. More importantly, the Gotham City Cheerleaders are just too good not to be picked up. Come on, Mara. Being the only NY team with no cheerleaders is kinda embarrassing at this point.

Deflategate Redux.

Just kidding. Everybody has had more than enough of that one, right?


Politicizing the Playbook.

In recent weeks San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has shown the country he’s more interesting off the field than on. Whether we agree with his views or not, it’s a given that floodgates are now wide open. Hollywood celebrity status stuff aside, for decades, lots of players have kept up charity activities as past-times (sometimes even without a court-order to do so). We live in a fastly-moving age where a cult of personality is easier to score than times past, thanks to social media. It’s easy now for players of any stripe to share their opinions with the world, and more fans earnestly want to know what those opinions are. While Mike Ditka never pursued the political career he could have, people are still talking about Tim Tebow maybe entering politics. How footballers roll with Free Speech is only the tip of the iceberg. Expect a lot more of this. Some of it will come off as really stupid or silly, but some of it will be thought-provoking. When we expect these men to be leaders, we should not be shocked when they try to lead.

Worst case scenario, at least things will get interesting.