The Steelers will start “training camp” on Thursday the August 22nd.
That will mark 71 days since the last “event” that Steelers have have had the pleasure of enjoying. That prior “event” being the May 12 publication of the NFL’s 2021 regular season schedule.
- Believe it or not, publication of the coming season’s “schedule” was considered and “event.”
That’s right, it didn’t matter that fans had known the “who” and “where” for quite some time, the “when” seemed to be even more important to many faithful–including those who root for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I know this shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but I was actually blown away by how many people were anxiously awaiting the release of the Steelers’ new schedule as if it were a play at the goal line.
Then, there were the folks who were trying to investigate the leaks and determine which sources were credible and which were not. It was like watching Twitter gather information on Watergate; only, instead of real, high-stakes information, it was the cute and adorable kind.
And I don’t know what was worse: the leakers or the people who were upset at all the leaking, like they just found out the end of the latest Star Wars movie by mistake.
I even got caught up in it. It’s hard not to when a sports entity is as big as the NFL. It’s easy to get sucked in by all the nervous energy and the drama that you didn’t know would accompany the “when.”
When it comes to anticipation of the schedule reveal–an event that happened less than two weeks after the even-more anticipated annual NFL Draft — it just goes to show you how much fans crave the league.
It’s also a testament to marketing and how tight of a grip the NFL has on all of us.
In mid May:
- The puck was about to drop for the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoff tournament.
- The NBA playoffs were set to tip off soon.
- Major League Baseball was nearing the summer portion of its regular season.
None of that seemed to matter on Wednesday the 12th. It still felt like the NFL was the biggest show in town. In fact, I’ll bet if the four major networks and ESPN could choose between airing the NFL’s schedule reveal or an actual game from one of those aforementioned leagues, the schedule reveal would probably win out.
And that’s because — minus all of those pre-reveal leaks that I’m sure would be patched up if a big network contract was involved –i t would likely draw the best ratings.
It’s unreal. We keep waiting for folks to get tired of the NFL. Yet, it’s the one entity that is still in some sort of golden age, where we will happily graze on any product it wants to give us.
- It’s the NFL’s world, and we’re just living in it.
At the very least, with training camp starting this Thursday, we’ll have real “news” to discuss. Or at least we will after padded practices start on July 28th…