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This Is The Worst Time Of Football Season

10:37 AM EDT on July 25, 2023

FLORHAM PARK, NEW JERSEY - JULY 20: Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets run drills during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on July 20, 2023 in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

This is a time of year when I should be excited about football. The NFL has its tentacles in me, and I am never going to be able to get away. Training camp is starting. My team is a Super Bowl contender. And yet I actually think this is the worst time of football season. Nothing has really started. I haven’t had time to get excited about consistent reports of a guy looking good in camp. It’s so early there haven’t been any entertaining intra-team fights yet. For me it seems like all anyone really gets is bad news.

Mainly, it’s injury news, helpfully reported moments after it happens by beat reporters typing into their phones. Yesterday these people typed that defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, now with Detroit, had been carted off after a non-contact injury. (The first to report this yesterday, per the NFL’s official site, was Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ official website.) Other reporters and fans typed into their little social media boxes, too, about how “non-contact” injuries are never good, how they always seem to be ACL tears. Reporters moved to their computers to write stories about how, per sources, an MRI revealed no structural damage and Gardner-Johnson is day to day.

It’s not like you even get to see anything. “C.J.G-J got hurt, but he should be OK” is the main story one day. The other stories yesterday were brutal, too. Multiple reports say Nyheim Hines will miss the season after suffering a serious knee injury when he was hit by a jet ski. (The reports say he was also on a jet ski at the time, but wasn’t moving.) Meanwhile Denver defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike is suspended for the season for betting on NFL games, the seventh player to be banned for the 2023 season. Other NFL news yesterday: “The parties to the incident which occurred on June 18th, 2023 at the Haulover Marina involving Tyreek Hill have resolved their differences.”

And the dog-related football news yesterday was not about clump dogs. Last week rookie Vikings WR Jordan Addison was cited for driving 140 mph. Yesterday the citation showed he told a state trooper he was driving that fast because he had a dog emergency.

Just when I think I’m not going to watch football until Week 1, though, the league draws me back in. Yesterday we got the first shots of Aaron Rodgers in a green Jets helmet. I knew there was only one reporter I could turn to for commentary: Mike Florio, the man who compared Clayton Thorson to Thurston Howell III.

I was not disappointed. In a story headlined “More than anything else, Aaron Rodgers looks skinny in his new uniform,” Mike Florio made some more old TV comparisons:

Some invoked the Great Gazoo. Others, Mike Dukakis in a tank.

These comparisons are pretty good! I approve. In fact, the Great Gazoo one was good enough I might’ve just stuck with that one. I also learned from the blog that Chris Simms has a catchphrase: “As Chris Simms always says on PFT Live, quarterbacks benefit from the suit of armor made up of body mass.” Never mind. This is the best time of football season.

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