48 Hours Out

KC vs. Houston. 2020 NFL Season kick off!

Jim Rome
September 08, 2020 - 9:19 am
Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes

USA Today

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Hard to imagine but we are literally this close. This close to a day that many thought may not happen at all. This close!

It’s game week. Hell yes it is!! 

And what a strange journey it has been. And by strange, I mean, jacked up. But none of that matters now, because we made it. We finally freaking made it. And we’re even closer than you think.  Because even better than there being NFL games on Sunday, we’re actually just over 48 hours from the first game of the season. Actually! 

Just over 48 hours from Houston at Kansas City on Thursday night and I don’t think I’ve ever been as hyped to see Thursday night football as I am right now. You know how sometimes Thursday night football feels like some of the worst football ever? Right about now, it sounds like the best thing ever.  It feels like the damn Super Bowl: at least this Thursday does.

Listen.  I get that it’s going to be a different season, that’s just a fact. We know this. To start with, in an effort to cut down on potential COVID transmission, the league ordered hundreds of electronic whistles for referees instead of the old school breath-power whistle.

The league is also cracking down on postgame handshakes and jersey swaps. Members of each team are supposed to stay at least 6 feet away from each other after games…despite the fact that they spent the previous three plus hours smashing into each other.

There won’t be cheerleaders or mascots on the field. In some places, there will be fans in the stands, in others, there won’t be. There will be fake crowd noise. I could go on , but after a spring and summer where it wasn’t totally clear if there would even be football, it’s just great to be talking football.

Like it’s great to be talking about Jadeveon Clowney signing with the Tennessee Titans and how he fits in that defense. And from where I’m sitting, the answer is: pretty damn well. Clowney may have mis-read the market and may not have ended up with what he wanted and thought he deserved; but the Titans got exactly what they needed, and played that perfectly. I love that move for the Titans. Some of Clowney’s best production was with Mike Vrabel in Houston and he fits what the Titans are all about defensively.

That said, when you start seeing the stories about a possible sign-and-trade that the Saints had lined up for him and also reportedly that the Ravens had lined up for him, there’s part of me that almost wanted to see that happen, just for the chaos.

According to PFT, the Saints version of the deal would’ve been that Cleveland signs Clowney and then traded him to New Orleans. The Ravens version of the deal would’ve been Jacksonville signing him and then trading him to Baltimore.

Either way, the league blocked it. Just the old no fun league doing what the no fun league does.

But even if they killed that dream, it’s still good to be talking NFL again. It’s good to be talking about Deshaun Watson’s contract. He’s earned every single penny and more. Hopefully the team doesn’t ruin him.  Or turn around and trade him.  Like, don’t put that past Bill O’Brien, because you know he could. You know he probably will. Hell, I’m shocked he hasn’t already. 

It’s even good to be talking about the Dallas Cowboys again, although let’s be real, that never stops.   Not even a pandemic can stop the Dallas cowboys from manufacturing news. But it’s cool to be reminded that yet another quarterback has signed a contract and the cowboys are still working on one for Dak Prescott. I’m definitely here for that. No I’m not. Stay hot, Jerrah.

And it’s so great to be talking about the New York Giants and their personnel moves. Like the expected move of cutting defensive back DeAndre Baker. Ian Rapaport tweeted: Giants are set to release cb DeAndre Baker, officially moving on from their ex-first rounder this week, source said. Not a surprise, they’d hinted at it... And recently gave away his number. Baker was on the commissioner’s exempt list after charges with 4 counts of armed robbery

Most Giants thing ever: and what an awesome ride that was. The Giants gave up three picks to trade up to select Baker last year, then watched him get torched as a rookie, and then get charged with four counts of armed robbery during a pandemic. That is one hell of a first year in the league. The list of all-time first round busts is long and distinguished, and our guy Baker just played his way onto it. And that’s not easy to do. And no one can ever take that from you, Bake. Just ask Jamarcus Russell. Akili Smith. And Tony Mandarich.

Damn, it’s good to have ball back! Eassssy Rome, it’s not back until they kick. The hell it isn’t. You know how you know it’s back? Because the Jets are crying. Again. And you know why they’re crying? Get this. Wait for it. A little longer. A litttttle longer. The Jets are crying because they think they’re being disrespected!!! Waaahahh! 

General Manager Joe Douglas did a zoom call with reporters yesterday and he wanted you to know that his guys are pissed that they’re being overlooked.

"Our guys don't live in a bubble. We see the things that are said, we see the things that are written. It angers a lot of people."

Yeah, I bet.  I just wonder if it angered them as much as you trading your best player, Jamal Adams. Add in the loss of Adams and the fact that C.J. Moseley has opted out this year and that roster that was much last year, looks even worse this year, and you’re getting about all the respect deserve. If not more than you deserve. I mean, you do know you’re the Jets, right? You do know that you have had just one winning season since 2010, right? That’s what you should be pissed about not some perceived lack of respect that none of you have earned or deserve anyway. Instead of worrying about what everyone else is saying and writing about you, maybe you spend a little more time not destroying your young, franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold. Because you couldn’t’ have made it any tougher on him through his first two years in the league than you did. The fact that you damn near wrecked this guy should anger you, not some preseason predictions that don’t mean jack anyway. Because if you’ve had just one winning season since 2010, and traded away your best player and another talented player opted out, I guessing whatever people are saying about you, no matter how harsh, is probably true.  And exactly what you deserve. You don’t demand respect, you earn it; and so far you’ve done nothing to earn it. So stop wasting our time by demanding it.

I get that we’re still in a pandemic. And that anything and everything can change in a flash; and probably will. But a huge tip of the hat for the shield even getting to this point without an outbreak; without any huge issues related to COVID 19.  Sure, we’ll see what happens once teams start to travel and the games begin, but so far so great; and it feels absolutely amazing. Generally Thursday night games can really suck, but I don’t care what happens 48 hours from now, I’m going to have a giant smile on my face and it’s going to be absolutely awesome.