I really wanted to love everything about week 1, and just bask in gratitude for seeing professional football again. I should be able to simply appreciate a return to the game, and not dwell on the little annoyances, right?
I probably should. But I didn't. Here are some things I loved, and some I really hated.
I love SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. I'm sure it'll look more like a real sports stadium when filled with fans, but it's an impressive, artistic creation. Maybe I'm weird, but I'm also looking forward to seeing Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas next Monday night.
I hate the fake crowd noise. I mean, I really hate it. The NFL blew a perfect opportunity to hear the true sounds of the game. Let fans hear the players celebrating, jawing at each other and pleading with the refs. I want to hear coaches bark nonsensical terms at players when calling plays. I want to hear their frustration when something goes wrong. I want to hear trash talk after a great reception or pass breakup.
You might have to censor some of it, but it would be interesting and different. And, unlike crowd noise from an empty stadium, it would be real. In fact, I'd like an audio channel of the uncensored feed so we can really hear what it's like. Instead, we get videogame-style crowd noise that didn't make sense at times. Awful.
I loved watching Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson dominate their games through the air. Yes, it's a youth-oriented league, so Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray are natural focal points for attention. But I like seeing familiar names light it up, and those two brought their A game.
And hey, let's throw in Adrian Peterson and his 114 total yards as well. Nice game for a 35-year-old running back.
I hated seeing what letter grade Tom Brady and Philip Rivers brought to their respective games. After scoring touchdowns on their first drives with their new teams, both quarterbacks disappointed their fans at home with costly turnovers. It's only one game, but I'd like their new teams to get a little of what they thought they were buying.
Did I mention I hated the crowd noise? Okay. I also hated the rash of injuries to starters. Marlon Mack's season is over. Le'Veon Bell will probably miss time. DeVante Parker got hurt. Miles Sanders never even made the trip to D.C. Blake Jarwin might not have been on your fantasy team, but losing him for the year will surely affect the Cowboys. And now Michael Thomas has a high-ankle sprain? And none of that counts injuries to the non-fantasy players whose absence will affect our starters.
Sure, injuries are part of the game. But it's week 1, and we went through a lot waiting for it. Brutal.
I hate non-decimal scoring. Chris Godwin, Mike Williams, CeeDee Lamb, Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers and Joe Mixon are all among those whose yardage stats ended with a nine. All told, it could add up to a couple of points one way or the other, and that could affect the outcome of a game. Every yard counts in decimal scoring. You'd think all leagues would use it, but I know that's not true (I play in one). Please, make this a priority in 2021.
I love when I see a commercial so many times, I can quote it. And by "love," I mean I hate it. There's one where some media outlet is touting their fantasy content, and there's a snippet of a guy saying "Do everything you can to acquire Christian McCaffrey."
Wow. That's really good advice. I think they're on to something. And what does that even mean? Make sure you get the first pick in the draft? Spend all your auction dollars on one player? I think I just hate commercials at this point.
I love hearing my friends lay out their complex survivor pool strategies, only to get bounced in week 1. I guess saving the Ravens for later wasn't a recipe for success after all.
Finally, I still love football. I don't always love the way my fantasy fortunes go, but I'm glad we're off to the races. Good luck this week.
What did you love or hate about week 1? What are you looking forward to in week 2? Share your thoughts below.