Football's back, no matter what week one means
It’s early September, and everybody is anxious for the football season to finally get underway. I can certainly relate.
As I write this, I’m counting down the minutes (right now there’s 418 to go) until the Giants and Cowboys begin the NFL season in a game that will already be in the books by the time anybody reads this.
The NCAA finished its opening slate of games, and the NFL and all the local high schools will follow suit this weekend.
And when most of the teams walk off the field after week one – college, NFL or high school – we’ll be excited because we just watched football for the first time in a long time. But will we really know anything?
Think about it. What do we actually learn from week one?
It all depends on which teams we’re talking about.
For a high school team like Warwick Vets, week one success or failure has been a sign of things to come over the past five seasons, while the same can’t be said for Pilgrim.
When Vets last won its season opening game, in 2007, it went undefeated in league play. The next four years it lost its opening game every year, and had poor win-loss records in three of those years.
Pilgrim, a Division II team, lost 28-18 to Division III Classical last year, and then went on to have its best regular season (3-4) in seven years.
The year before, the Pats knocked off Classical 20-16 and then went 0-7 in league play.
Maybe it’s just teams called the Patriots who don’t follow their opening week trends. In 2002, the New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-14 to open the season.
The Patriots ended the season 9-7 and missed out on the playoffs. In contrast, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their first game en route to a 12-4 record and a Super Bowl championship.
The following year, 2003, the Patriots lost 31-0 to the Buffalo Bills in the season’s opening game.
The Patriots ended up 14-2 and won the Super Bowl.
What about Bishop Hendricken, a high school team that has played in the past three Division I Super Bowls?
Three years ago, the Hawks lost 22-10 to Division II South Kingstown in week one, and then advanced to the Super Bowl before losing to Barrington.
The next two years, Hendricken beat St. Raphael 27-0 and 51-12 in its first game of the year, and then went on to win the Super Bowl both times.
So if the past three years are any indication, you can pencil the Hawks in for a Super Bowl win with an opening game win, and a Super Bowl loss with an opening game loss.
And finally, there’s the perplexing tale of Toll Gate. The Titans have won their past four opening games, and had a winning season only once. They’ve also had two 3-4 seasons and a winless campaign.
Sound confusing? It is, but don’t let any of that stuff stop you from drawing conclusions after watching your team play this weekend. You could very well have it all figured out.
The worst-case scenario is that you don’t. Either way, you still get the thrill of watching football for the first time since last season.
It just not might not end up being meaningful football. Or…maybe it will be. My head hurts.
Kevin Pomeroy is the assistant sports editor at the Warwick Beacon. He can be reached at 732-3100 and firstname.lastname@example.org.