Besides the Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor fight, you might not find a thing in sports more overblown than preseason football.
A sport that does everything it can to stay relevant in the summer months brings an onslaught of shows and commercials with people yelling at you that “FOOTBALL IS BACK.”
I get it, exhibition games are important to you and to a lot of football fans that refuse to support any other form of competition.
But it’s nothing more than a liability for the game’s best players.
I understand that preseason football is imperative for rounding out the roster and giving every man a chance to prove to management that they can cut it in the pros.
Those are the guys that want it most. Those are the guys that are going to compete like it’s the regular season or even the postseason. They’re playing for their football lives.
The only thing preseason football does to the starters and the stars is present an opportunity to get injured before the real thing starts.
We almost saw that twice Monday night when New York Giants wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall left early against the Cleveland Browns after suffering apparent injuries.
Beckham was cut down at the knees by Briean Boddy-Calhoun after going up for a reception.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) August 22, 2017
While the hit was legal, it wasn’t exactly clean and certainly unnecessary given that it was the second game of the preseason.
Luckily for Giants fans, it was just an ankle sprain for Beckham as x-rays came back negative.
The word is still out on Marshall though, who was hit hard by rookie safety Jabril Peppers in the first quarter.
While the Giants did not provide updates during the game, Marshall had x-rays done and told reporters later on Monday night that he was dealing with a sore left shoulder.
The results of his x-rays have not been released as of yet.
What was all this trouble for? A game that means absolutely nothing to either Beckham or Marshall or Eli Manning or Landon Collins.
Feel free to try and tell me that the preseason is needed for all the starters to jell and settle in. Sorry, I’m not buying it. That’s what training camp and practice is for.
You can’t tell me that any of the game’s biggest stars need to play 1-to-3 quarters of meaningless football to get ready for the regular season. You think Odell Beckham really needs to play a couple quarters against the Browns to prepare for a game he’s been training to play his whole life?
But this is the NFL and at the end of the day, it’s a money grab.
The league can’t put butts in the seats if the marquee men are wearing sweatpants on the sideline.
Tickets for Saturday’s Snoopy Bowl against the Jets are starting at around $50 and that’s for seats in the nosebleeds behind each end zone.
No one is going to pay that to see Tavarres King as the Giants’ No. 1 receiver.
So I absolutely get why your favorite player is risking serious injury. It’s just totally unnecessary.