“Is this an interview or an interrogation?” – Adrian Clayborn, otherwise known as the Tampa Bay defensive end who may have hurt Tom Brady at Patriots practice, responding to questions from the media about the play where the (supposed) injury occurred.
The NFL season is 17 weeks long, followed by three rounds of playoff games, and then the Super Bowl. Added together, that’s 21 weeks of games (what’s up, math?), leaving the other 31 weeks of the year without any football. This model shouldn’t work, but it does. With the promise that comes with the NFL Draft and free agency, along with additional media coverage, I find myself enjoying the NFL just as much during the offseason as I do the regular season.
That is, except for the dreaded month of August. It’s ironic – this is the month we get our first glimpse of actual action, albeit in the form of preseason football. Naturally, you’d think this would be a glorious period for NFL junkies. But I openly loathe the NFL in August, probably for the same reasons most fans do: the low proposition value.
Positive developments can happen in August, but more often than not, the month is littered with TERRIBLE injuries, leading to this awful conclusion about the NFL: while nothing matters or counts this time of year, everything hangs in the balance. One wrong cut or awkward stumble and the next six months could be irrevocably ruined before even transpiring. Again, August is the worst.
This preamble is a roundabout way to avoid the obvious news from Wednesday’s practice. Tom Brady left the practice field after evidently hurting his left knee, the same knee he had surgery on following his season-ending injury in 2008.
Just like that, the world was stuck speculating on Twitter – which is both the worst and best place to be at such a time – waiting for clarification, 140 characters at a time. Things quickly got weird. A grainy video of the play that gave New England fans a heart attack made the rounds, as did a false report from Bloomberg. Somehow, an extraneous helicopter made its way into the storyline. In retrospect, this is comical - but within an hour, Tim Tebow versus Ryan Mallett became a real thing, and I began Googling Jadeveon Clowney highlights in anticipation of the 2014 NFL Draft.
By the way, did I mention that August is the worst?
You already know how this story ends by now – Brady is going to live, the Patriots are back to being Super Bowl contenders, and the next six months mean something again. Meanwhile, this all happened on Tim Tebow’s 26th birthday. Twitter told me so. Hey, at least it got that right.
Follow Ryan Hadfield @Hadfield__