Dunlap: NFL Has Us Perfectly Hooked

Colin Dunlap
April 18, 2019 - 5:43 am
Roger Goodell

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

They got us. 

Oh man, do they got us. And Wednesday night is the prime example of how the NFL, yep, they got us. 

To be honest and 100 percent open with you, I love it. 

I eat it up. 

All of it. 

You see, on Wednesday, it seemed that the anticipation of the NFL releasing the schedules of games for teams for the upcoming season dominated the sports stories --- and this is while baseball, hockey and the NBA are in the midst of their seasons. Two of those three leagues are locked in playoff play right now. 

But, nonetheless in many sports-consuming cities (and you bet your banana here in Pittsburgh) the biggest story was the release of the NFL schedules. Heck, there were even leaks early in the day on Wednesday. 

Leaks for an announcement of games that won't be played for six months! I love it. I love all of it --- mainly because of how, and I have said this so many times, the National Football League has become America's most potent addiction. They are that way because they are smart about it.    

In short, Wednesday was just a microcosm as the league does a picture-perfect job of staying relevant for 365 days. 

Naturally, they have the games -- and we all know how we act during the league season that runs September until February. 

Related: Everything We Know About the 2019 NFL Schedule So Far

We go bonkers for all things on the field for six months. 

We stop our Sundays and treat them as if they are holidays. We set our fantasy team and hope. We (now legally!) bet on games here in the Commonwealth. 

The NFL owns Sundays in this country and, again, I am mighty fine with that because I consume it like an aardvark does an ant farm. 

But where the NFL really has waved its magic wand over us is with stuff like the schedule release. We get amped for it. 

Think about that. We go nuts for someone telling us who our team is going to play a half-year from now. 

And the Draft --- we seem to have been getting ready for it for months and will be dialed in in a week or so when it hits. 

So many of us have this odd fascination with the NFL Combine and turn on the coverage. See -- they got us again. 

Or how about the stuff that comes out of the Annual League Meetings at the end of March? You just cannot wait and see what new rules might pass, right? 

There is free agency and the trade deadline and, Lord knows, training camp which for us Yinzers includes that hourly check in (maybe even minute-by-minute check in) on social media with the happenings in Latrobe. I mean, that is if we don't go in-person up to St. Vincent. 

Will a player get a Franchise Tag? 

Will a player get a Transition Tag? 

I don't know if they will or they won't, but I will tell you what I will do: I will flick my TV on to the NFL Network which has a daily, year-round morning show and a bunch of live programming to find out. I can't help myself, I must know!

Yeah, that's where we are with this --- and again, I'm not complaining. I actually love it. The NFL isn't just a league of games, it is a lifestyle. It is a way of life to consume and envelope us. 

They deserve all the credit in the world for getting us hooked. The NFL has made us pay attention to everything --- take Wednesday's schedule release for example. The NFL has made even the non-events big events. 

Good on them. 

They have it perfect. 

For the NFL there is no season and off-season. Instead, they are a 365-day-per-year machine and we are totally hooked on it. On all of it. I can't get enough. 

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