That New Season Feel

You smell that?

That’s the smell of optimism.

Actually, I don’t know if a state of mind can have a scent, but if it did, I’d like to think it’s the smell of freshly cut grass/turf/whatever your favorite football team plays on.

The 2013 NFL season is underway. At least for two teams anyway.

What I love about sports is that every new season is a clean slate. Last year doesn’t the matter, unless you live in Boston or Chicago, then a season 26 or 10 years ago is the life force of your fan base

But more often than not, whether you’re the Chiefs who went 2 – 14 and took the first overall draft pick or the perpetually maligned Cleveland Brown who went 5 – 11, the sins of last year have been wiped away.

Nothing more exemplifies this than the Patton Oswalt dark comedy, “Big Fan.” A insightful look at those who live their life for one thing, “Big Fan” (2009) is written & directed by Robert Siegel and follows New York Giants uber-fan Paul Aufiero through an NFL season.

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR “Big Fan” FOLLOW

Through a series of unfortunate incidents and poor decision making, Paul winds up in prison by the end of the movie. In the final scene, Paul’s best friend Sal (Kevin Coorigan) comes to visit him, separated by a glass window as they talk over a phone. The two pal’s don’t have much to talk about, their whole relationship revolved around the Giants. So the only “important” news Sal has fits neatly into the pocket of his coat: the newly released schedule for the G-Men’s upcoming season.

Paul is elated. With Sal holding the schedule, in the form of a newspaper clipping, up against the window, Paul scans the 16 match ups and calculates the Giants have a chance to win 14…wait, no 15 games this season.

But despite being emotionally and physically traumatized over the course of the last year, looking at the schedule Paul has something put himself into and give his life meaning. Even if this something had a large influence on why he’s in jail.

With a big smile on his face, Paul looks at Sal through the window.

“It’s gonna be a great year!”

Everyone does this. Even though I can look at the Dallas Cowboys schedule repeatedly before the season and only confidently predict a 9 – 5 season, deep in my heart of hearts I believe the Cowboys have a shot at winning every game. Except against the NFC East, a week 12 game against a 5 – 6 Eagles team will always have my stomach in knots.

But we’re all 0 – 0 now. It’s week 1 and the world season is our oyster.

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About Daniel McFadin

Writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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