It might be a few months off yet but the 2018 NFL season is already heating up much as it does every year around this time as the OTA’s and then the mandatory camp practices are being discussed. Even as this is happening the teams are starting to cycle through their players, finding out who’s going to play where, what assignments each athlete is going to be able to handle, and who’s going to be taking those coveted starting positions. It’s a mess right up until preseason kickoff, and by then the coaches are still wondering whether or not the gambling they’ve done during the offseason is going to pay off.

But all that kind of doesn’t matter when it comes to the fans.

Fans keep their own counsel on their teams’ chances of success.

If you’re an NFL fan, and there are still a lot of us around, then you know by now, and throughout most of the year, that you’ve been talking trash on social media or in person to those that are of the same mind as you are. You’ll talk up your team as much as possible and try to make people believe that no matter what, this is your teams year. It wouldn’t matter if you’re a Browns or a Patriots fan, you’ll do your best to convince people, this is THEIR year. And of course some people might agree while others will just roll their eyes and say ‘whatever’ or give a dozen reasons why it won’t happen.

That’s football. In fact that’s any sport if you really want the long and short of it. Fans will almost always think they know best and will either praise or condemn coaches, owners, and players alike when it comes to their actions and how it affects the team. In some cases you might think that a fan has a personal investment in their team considering how gung-ho they talk about them.

It’s a game.

Don’t bother telling this to some people because they won’t do anything but give you a cold, thousand-yard stare that means you’ve been dismissed from their presence, even if you happen to be one of their best friends. To some folks the game is life, and it’s all that matters when the season comes along. Thankfully there are enough individuals in the world that love football and realize that it is in fact a fun game to watch, but doesn’t dictate their lives. Whether you’re a hardcore fan or someone that just likes to watch the games from time to time, football is a fun game to watch. But it shouldn’t rule your life, no matter how diehard you are. Have fun with it, enjoy it. After all, you’re not the one out there getting pummeled into the turf and having to take the loss.

Trash-talking is expected.

So a player that talks trash to another player on the field runs the risk of being penalized for it, or rather, their team would be penalized. That’s all well and good since a little light trash-talk isn’t too bad, but straight up disrespect isn’t tolerable. It’s the same off the field to be honest. Talking trash about someone’s team isn’t a bad thing, in fact it’s part of the spirit of competition and keeps things light and people amused. But it’s when someone decides to make it personal and take a real stab at a person or their team that takes it just a little too far.

I’ll repeat: it’s a game, and you’re not the one out there having to accept the loss or endure a bad play. But people love their teams, which is easy to understand, and tend to view them as a point of pride in their life that can’t stand being maligned. There’s a fine line between talking trash and outright disrespecting someone, and many people tend to cross it around this time of year and especially when the season starts. If you happen to be one of those folks that likes to rib a friend, coworker, family, or just anyone you talk football with about their team then everything should be well and good. If you’re ready to fight at the drop of a dime when someone insults your team then you might need to take a Valium before you decide to get into the season. It’s a game folks, it’s supposed to be fun.

Sigh, bring on the 2018 season, I think a lot of us are ready at this point.

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