NFL Training Camps: It's Almost Time

With some camps already open, and less than one week remaining before all 32 NFL training camps are open, it’s time to get excited for the 2014 season. Yes, the news may still be trickling in slowly. Yes, we’re still in the dog days of summer, but make no mistake about it, we’re not far away from some serious excitement. Let’s take a look at what the start of training camps truly means for fans and franchises alike.

1. Preseason football: Yes, fans complain that the preseason is a bit boring. Yes, fans who attend the games still have to pay regular season prices, but the fact of the matter is, we get to watch our favorite players on our favorite teams take to the gridiron in just a few short weeks. The games not mean anything in terms of standings or what’s to come during the year, but we should accept the games for what they are: televised NFL football.

2. Position Battles: The true value of training camps and the aforementioned preseason is in position battles. Depth charts shake down in large part due to the performance of players during this time of the year. Players jockey for starting roles, roster slots, and many other accolades by putting in quality training camps and creating solid game tape. NFL rosters are forged at this time of year, and key personnel decisions are made. Rounding out a roster is a difficult task, and deciding which players constitute the final 53-man roster is critical to a team’s success.

3. Money: Okay, this may not mean much to the casual fan, but NFL franchises are going to be making some pretty good cash in the near future. In addition to the aformentioned ticket sales, stadium concessions and jersey sales are going to be quite profitable at this time of year. The product will be visible to millions of eyes during the nationally televised preseason games, and T.V. revenue will roll in. The most profitable North American sport will not be hurting for cash by any means.

4. Fantasy Football: Fantasy football is one of the most popular phenomenons in the world today. Millions of fans play fake football every year with friends and strangers alike. This is the time of year when the majority of fantasy leaguers start to get serious about their draft preparations in the hopes of one-upping their opponents. They find their sleepers during the preseason and try to use what they’ve learned in the hopes of assembling a powerhouse team. Whether you love fantasy football or hate it, you cannot deny its popularity, nor how many new eyes it has brought to the NFL product.

5. One step closer to opening the season: Even if you’re not into training camps or exhibition football, the fact remains that this is the next step on the path to the games that really matter. It is a long time between February and September, and NFL fans have been salivating for months on end. It’s almost here. This is the time when things start to take shape. Opening night isn’t all that far away anymore.

When camps open next week, the news feed will start to pick up. There will be much more information and speculation than we’ve seen in quite a while and it will truly begin to feel like football season once again. Get ready, everybody.


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