Kickoff For The 2018 NFL Regular Season Is Almost Here

The National Football League is back. The good news is that even here in basketball myopic Philippines we get the NFL on TV albeit on standard definition. Instead of nice looking extreme sports when there is a break in the action we get commercials for US shows dubbed in Tagalog

Think about whatever TV series you like, when the show returned for a new season you always had questions you wanted answered like what will happen to the Starks after Ned lost his head? Or how will the Dexter/ Deb relationship evolve after she caught him in the act ?  Every time you are excited over a sequel or a cliff hanger it’s always because there are questions that are unanswered in your brain that are unanswered. Sports is the real reality TV.

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Some of the questions this season I am looking forward to seeing answered this year off the top of my head?:


  • Tom Brady can’t just keep going and going can he ? I want some of that TB12 stuff.
  • Ryan Tannehill returns to the Miami Dolphins after missing the whole year due to injury. His replacement is now a reality TV star. Will he finally deliver on expectations ?
  • Will the New York Jets mess up 3rd over all pick from USC Sam Darnold like they have the other QBs they have drafted in the last four years? No other team in the NFL has drafted more QBs in the last ten years than the Jets (7).
  • Will the Buffalo Bills first playoff appearance in 17 years be the start of something good or just a mirage?

AFC North

  • Will Pittsburgh be able to overcome the New England hurdle? Todd Haley was to Ben Roethlisberger as Gloria Arroyo was to Noynoy. Now that Haley is gone , you don’t hear Big Ben hint at retiring anymore.
    Will the Cleveland Browns finally get a win for the first time since Christmas Eve 2016?
  • Will Joe Flacco play better with a shiny new toy ( Lamar Jackson)  that might be a threat to replace him? Joe’s problem was he got all he could get after his Super Bowl win leaving the Ravens very little money to improve the rest of the team.
  • Will Marvin Lewis finally breakthrough and give the Queen City a playoff win? He has been there since 2003 and he is no Bill Belichick so the last few Januarys have made us in the 21st century feel what it was like to watch Rasputin.

AFC South

Chucky is back.

AFC West

  • Can Jon Gruden light a spark under the Raiders after a decade in the booth? Some criticize his handling of the team’s defensive stalwart Khalil Mack. Gruden has a ten year contract, think about that when you feel you are empowered at work.
  • When will we all stop reflexively saying San Diego Chargers? They were sneaky good last year?
  • Did you notice that a Hall of Fame QB (John Elway) can’t seem to even identify a reliable pro QB in the draft?
  • Will Andy Reid’s QB reputation be intact now that he has given Patrick Mahomes the keys to the Chiefs? He has done a lot with a lot less.


Kirk Cousins and how he feels about his guaranteed contract.

NFC East

  • Was it wise for the New York Giants  to skip on a QB in the top of the draft for a RB despite obviously wanting to move on from Eli Manning last year? A running back can make you look good on the short term but they are rarely around for the long term.
  • What is the significance of November 5 2018? That will be the game that if Dak Prescott has the urge of passing to longtime Cowboys safety valve , he will have to heave one to the announcer booth where Jason Witten is now making his living.
  • Will the other Gruden make good use of the usually effective rarely flashy Alex Smith?
  • Will the Philadelphia  Eagles be able to focus through the distractions and even win two playoff games this year? Remember , it was nearly retired backup Nick Foles that guided them to the Superbowl last season not Carson Wentz.

NFC North

  • Will the Vikings sink or swim after their so close yet so far playoff run last year? They seem to think bringing in Kirk Cousins will help. You like that? 
  • I will cheat here because the question for the Bears is always the same. Can they build a football team that can win despite a stadium and a city that has never been kind to their own quarterbacks?
  • Another obvious question for the Detroit Lions. Can   they crack the code and make a Bill Belichick disciple ( Matt Patricia) look good? I feel Matthew Stafford is more than a competent QB. The Lions though have rarely put together a decent team in how many decades?
  • Will Aaron Rodgers get the Packer faithful to R-E-L-A-X this season since he is coming back from a collarbone injury that decided the trajectory of their 2017 season?

NFC South

  • Does it even matter that Jamis Winston starts off the season suspended? He is 18-27 for his career. Does Harvard alum Ryan Fitzpatrick still have a few surprises left this late into his career?
  • Is this the year that the Falcons will make us forget the biggest choke job in Super Bowl history?
  • Can the combo of Drew Brees and Sean Payton provide a post Bountygate deep playoff run before the former hangs it up?
  • Shouldn’t Cam Newton be getting more respect ? Any player taken at the top of the draft is almost always going to a very bad team. He took over a team that only won twice and survived the ups and down which lead to a Super Bowl appearance three years ago.

NFC West

  • Should we be reading more context to Jimmy Garoppolo‘s 5-0 record in 2017?
  • The Rams sure have a lot of talented players like Todd Gurley, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald but does it have a boom or bust feel?
  • What does the post Legion of Boom era look like in Seattle?
  • Will Arizona‘s running game return to its 2016 form? They have a brittle veteran QB and a highly touted rookie backup.

Tune in to the NFL to find out the answers to all these questions and for new questions.

23 Replies to “Kickoff For The 2018 NFL Regular Season Is Almost Here”

    1. The NFL is paying for their previous sins of omission. There was a huge payout ( billion dollars approx) to the players that participated in a class action lawsuit. Two weeks ago at the Hall of Fame ceremony one of the players confessed during his speech contemplating suicide. There was a crippling hit to Ryan Shazier last year which even puts his ability to function normally in doubt and he still wants to play football. Just in case you want to see my view on concussions in a more immediate context I did put them in an older piece here.

      Last time Robert, you I discussed the concept of care in the context of sports. You have no idea how much towns across America care about their high school and college teams . No idea what a big deal it is 365 days a year even if the season only lasts the last third of the year. If professional football will eventually fade away it will start with the level of care going down in these smaller communities.

      If you haven’t already seen the 2000 movie Remember the Titans, I promise you an entertaining movie where social change happens awkwardly in a town with the backdrop of football.

  1. American FootBall sport is losing their audiences, because players mixed Sports with Politics. They refuse to Stand, when the U.S. National Anthem is played, at the start of the game. Instead, they kneel.

    The game is not a venue for players to vent their politics.Whatever political issues they have, the game is not a good venue…People are there to enjoy the sports… They should stand for the U.S. National Anthem, as a courtesy, what America has given them in their lives…

    1. I never understood why the anthem is played at national competition level in USA. As far as I know, nowhere in Europe it is done. Only with international competitions and probably not even with all sports.

      1. You do know in this country that the anthem is played in movie theaters and regular theaters. Fact : it is played before the start of sporting events in North America . Fact : Since 2001 God Bless America is played in the middle of baseball games. You are entitled to your opinion on the tradition. Your other points I will answer later,

        1. You do know in this country that the anthem is played in movie theaters and regular theaters. + played in the middle of baseball games.

          No, I didnt know that. But that doesnt change my view about it.

        2. I don’t intend to change your view on anything, But aren’t we all better off if you have more perspective ( since you are here anyway) even if your stand doesn’t budge an inch?

          One thing I wanted to say about my viewpoint when writing this yesterday. This has a bottom up perspective of one sports league. Parallel to a micro economics view compared to a macro economics view. A bit like comparing all these companies in one industry as opposed to comparing individual industries to each other.

          Well since you brought up big picture issues I will tackle them slowly. One more thing about the national anthem. When attending a hockey game in this case Minnesota North Stars ( as they were known back then) vs the Vancouver Canucks. The teams are composed of Canadians, Americans , Swedes, Russians and Czechs if my memory serves. They play both the Star Spangled Banner and O Canada. Any other questions you have of sports traditions let me know.

        3. In a sense, Robert, what you do not understand does not speak of what you do not understand. It speaks more OF YOU. It tells people ABOUT YOU.

          The tradition of singing the national anthem (in America) began in 1918, during the World Series. Due to the overwhelming positive response from it, it was repeated again. It peaked during World War 2 and cemented itself as a tradition.

    2. @777Hyden007Toro88677.76 They took a hit, there is no doubt about it. In 2016 a lot of the prime time games coincided with Trump / Clinton debates. Yet nothing has caught up with it. Their lead was so large that yes there was a dip but it is still dominating not just sports TV but all TV. I will explain more when I answer Robert. Some analysts said too bad the NFL had to come up with an anthem rule when the rhetoric was already dying down on its own.

  2. The NFL is not only the most popular sports league in the US but it is the most popular program in five different TV networks (ESPN, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC). Let me repeat that: not the most popular sport but the most popular program in five different networks. This in a country that already has the best basketball, hockey and baseball in the world. They also have professional soccer and several professional racing circuits.

    1. Yes NFL ratings are mostly taking a dip this year but it is not like anything is catching up apples to apples. Like I said I love baseball and for the first time in a while a baseball game did well against an NFL game but it was playoffs vs regular season. 2. True that. I listen to a lot of them and Ryen Russilo hates how it is almost expected that you have to take an anti Trump stand. I like Jemele Hill but she should not have done what she did.

    Since the topic of NFL TV ratings was introduced into this thread then it is open for discussion. I quoted those two from a previous blog I submitted here in GRP. Fact remains the NFL still holds their dominance not just over sports TV but for all TV in the one country that cares about it. The one country that has the most high end team sports in one place. They still have room for their own pro soccer league. Despite all those team sports , find a Winter or Summer Olympics where the US did not do well in the medal count. The NFL is the #1 show in 5 different American TV networks. If anyone can find data where other programming ( sports or otherwise) has surpassed it this year then please present the link and we can discuss further.

  3. Gogs,
    – as a visitor sitting in the stands, I come for a sports match. Not some nationalistic, patriotic bruhaha. If I want to hear and listen to music or vocals/voices, I will visit a concert or put a CD in my CD player.
    – I dont care about my own (national) anthem; I dont care about my national flag (a piece of cotton by the way, painted in the colors of the country you want. That same cotton is used to produce the national flag of another country)
    – In many sports, in a team other nationalities (people with other passports) are playing. So I am sure they also dont give a damn about the anthem.
    – playing the (american) national anthem with every sports match, is like a person saying “I love you” all the time. In the end, it becomes too much and it becomes a bit unbelieveable. Something that is happening too often, is too much. It losses its value (see metaphor with “I love you”).

    1. @Robert Haighton:

      The Flag is a symbol of a nation. It is a remembrance of those who sacrificed for us, so that we can live in peace. Many lives and sufferings of those who sacrificed were offered on this “symbol” of the American flag, Filipino flag or Neatherland flag, etc….

      The same as the national anthem. It is a song, that reminds us , as Filipinos , Americans, or Dutch. It reminds us, for our Unity as a people living in the :Philippines, America or Neatherland…

      Liberal Progressive ideas may erase these symbols. It meant nothing to them. However, we conservatives, centrists, nationalists, etc… will continue this tradition…it is important to us.

    2. 1. Those that go to Yankee Stadium or Lambeau Field also come for a sporting event. Then again like I mentioned in my blog on music this week. I grew up a certain way and you grew up a certain way. No erasing that. People accept the anthem as second nature because that is the way it always was. You don’t ask a fish about water not only because they can’t talk but also because that is all it ever knew.

      2. Like I have always said in my sports analysis , where does the typical Filipino go for a sporting event of any magnitude? I mentioned 3 in that blog where you and I discussed Dutch football. My bro in law reminded me of Ultra in Pasig so that is 4. All in Manila. There is no sense of community really in sports locally. Definitely sense of nationality when its a foreign team vs the national team but that is it. But community ? None. The anthem is just something some cultures do as part of their community.

      3. Your player argument is true in football like for example Real Madrid. How many different nationalities do they have? But the national anthem is for the patron. Let me give you a local example. Filipinos are proud of every Azkal win. For some reason that I can not fathom. Just because they have the Philippine flag?? Come anthem time , none of the players know the words let alone try to sing along. Filipinos will settle for any kind of attention even if they have to depend on ringers. Please read definition #2

      4. The best form of indoctrination is the one you don’t even know is there.

      1. Gogs,
        pls do believe me: I am not an attention whore. But in this specific case let me ask you to take a closer look at the Dutch anthem and try to translate it into your fav language.

        It is totally screwed/fucked up.
        What countries are mentioned? Spain. In a Dutch anthem?

        Secondly: Most of us (Dutch) were (and are not) never raised with the anthem. Raised? Not in school, not at home and not elsewhere. In short: It is not a priority.

        Thirdly: As a matter of fact when the Dutch national football team is close to getting World Champions (1974, 1978, 2010, semi finals 2014) the country goes berserk and Dutch “Pinoy” Pride is sky rocketing. The next day everybody has a headache and hangover from the beer drank the day before. But that doesnt mean they will sing (at best maybe hum) the anthem.

  4. I’m out of the loop but is American Football even popular here in the Philippines? I barely hear anybody talk about it.

    1. Interxavier

      1. popularity in the Philippines- not even close and I wish they were even more under the radar. Look at what is popular here: telenovelas, noon time shows, AlDub, the PBA, the Lakers, Manny P. The NFL is none of those things. As I wrote in a previous blog, I was very saddened that the NFL is now available on over the air TV. It was removed from cable HD and subjected to lousy resolution and bracketed by lousy low IQ commercials.

      2. street buzz- again look at what does get talked about in the kantos and in the jeeps and it is not the NFL. Nor should it. The NFL does not fit in tambay discourse and that is part of its appeal. Like I told Robert Haighton , I wrote this from the bottom -up. Where I talked purely about issues internal to the NFL and not external. Not one comment or question was directed towards the internal issues i.e. intrinsic to the 2018 season. If you follow the FB group of GRP , you will see every once in a while where Benign0 lists what is discussed by pinoys and it is laughable to anybody but pinoys. GRP is all about begging to differ. Anybody can be contrarian but defending why you are contrarian is where the work is.

      3. The same time as the Gilas pikon brawl there was an angry mob telling GRP not to discuss sports. It was provoked by veteran GRP contributor Kate Natividad who in so many words claimed that the brawl was a microcosm of the pinoy attitude. I found it brilliant but a certain cross section of the audience wanted a cease and desist in the topic of sports. One of my major themes every time I talk about pinoy sports consciousness is they only care about one team sport. And it is a sport that other countries do not prioritize yet they school the Philippine team since time immemorial. Yet when this paradox is questioned by various GRP writers , we are met by a chorus of ” do not write about sports”. Which is ironic since pinoys only care about one team sport. As in singular. Pinoys have a very narrow appreciation of things as evidenced by what is “popular”. Look at the discourse in noontime shows and even the prime time “news”.

      Nothing can be more indicative of pinoy values than popular pinoy TV and how the pinoy behaves in the streets. I won’t bother to list the shows or the behavior one sees everyday but hopefully you get the idea. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, jeepney drivers , motorcycle drivers and guys on bikes. How they obey the rules and show kindness to their fellow man IS THE PINOY SPIRIT. That is what is popular. That is what is pinoy. What I write about does not attract people who find that appealing. I write things like this because I am in the perfect place in the Internet to write something like this. A place that begs to differ with the mainstream pinoy school of thought. More on that here.

    1. NFL TV stats are way way way better than graduates of Uni versity of the Philippines statistics … to this day Filipinos still prefer CIA and Wikipedia stats of how many Filipinos are OFWing and surrendering their nationality abroad …..

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