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Happy Thursday! It’s the NFL’s world, folks, and we’re all just living in it. But for one day, at least, that world was … fun?
Schedule release date turns silly
The NFL released its schedule Wednesday night — seriously, what other league could possibly turn a weekly to-do list into a nationwide media event? — with the most unexpected twist possible: humor! For once, the league, so often mired in self-serious mythmaking and solemn moral judgment, remembered that football is a game and games are supposed to be, you know, fun.
On Twitter, the Carolina Panthers busted out old-school video game references to highlight their schedule. The Atlanta Falcons went with a Game of Thrones-style intro, with a wicked shot at the Saints tucked inside. The Los Angeles Chargers chose hysterical stock footage to illustrate their opponents, while the Indianapolis Colts offered up Andrew Luck reading off trivia tidbits of each opponent. The Baltimore Ravens went full Monster Truck. It was ridiculous, it was meaningless, it was absurd … and it made us want to watch some football right. Freaking. Now.
No more No Fun League
One reason football is losing the coolness battle to the NBA is that the NFL takes itself far too seriously. Somewhere amid all the sermonizing and posturing, the NFL tends to forget that people love football not because it’s a moral barometer or test of patriotism, but because football is a great game. And it took a freaking schedule release, of all things, to remind us of that.
Anyway, here are the 10 best matchups of the season; we’re betting you can guess most of the top ones. We can’t wait for any of them.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Zion Williamson slams down gender reveal
Look, gender reveals are goofy as hell, but if you’re going to reduce the glorious discovery of your future child’s gender to viral content, you might as well go big. A Duke athletic department official solicited Zion Williamson his own soon-to-be-gone self to throw down a dunk that revealed the baby to be …well, you’ll have to see for yourself.
There are brutal ways to lose, and then there’s the way Manchester City got bounced from the Champions League quarterfinals: by video review that ruled a late goal was invalid because of an offsides penalty. Tottenham moves on, and so too does the controversy over video review.
Robert Kraft remains embroiled in scandal over visits to a Florida spa, but for the moment we won’t be seeing what the Patriots owner did, or had done to him, inside. A judge has blocked the release of surveillance video, and while we’re all for justice being done, sometimes we don’t really need to see the whole process playing out.
Gronk dented the Lombardi Trophy!
Turns out you can’t use a Super Bowl trophy as a bat, as Rob Gronkowski learned at Fenway Park.
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