Despite the fact that baseball is my favorite sport, football definitely has (and feels like) the longest offseason. For the longest time I wasn’t sure why, whether it was the short regular season, the relative infrequency of games, or the fact that winter is still going on when the season’s over. But finally, I figured out why the NFL offseason feels so long: because the NFL never stops.
As a counterexample, let’s look at baseball. Over the winter you’ll have a few stories: some trades, some free agent signings, etc. Maybe you’ll even have a PED scandal to spice things up a bit. But for the most part, baseball is over in October and it only resumes when pitchers and catchers report in mid-February.
Now consider football. The Super Bowl is in early February, followed by the NFL Combine in late February or early March (the “man, I can’t wait to see what team that guy plays for” phase), then six solid weeks of straight draft coverage on ESPN (the “man, I can’t wait until Mel Kiper is off my TV again” phase), then the draft at the end of April (the “man, I can’t wait to see this guy play” phase), then the mini-camps and OTAs in May and June (the “man, I can’t wait for training camp” phase). By the time training camp starts in July you’re not sure if you can wait any longer. But there are still four preseason games between you and the regular season (the “it’s not football season still? Are you kidding me?” phase).
But this coming Thursday, all that will be over with: it’ll be football season again, and all will be right with the world. And since when do I start an NFL or MLB season without a season preview? NEVER!