The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

It’s Football Season: The Hall of Fame Game

It’s that time of the year again; football is officially back. After a long summer of suffering through baseball, the time has come for America’s true pastime to return. My favorite part of the first preseason game is how excited fans get that there’s football on. Two minutes into the game, they realize that preseason is preseason, and that the most raw version of football is exhibited through these first four games; it never fails to disappoint.

But this game definitely has some storylines to watch. Most notably, Joe Flacco. Is he still elite?

Joe’s elite reputation has definitely taken a hit in the last year. With a sub par year in 2017, and the Ravens using a first round pick on Lamar Jackson, Joe is firmly on the hot seat. As many see this as Joe’s last year as a starter, I beg to disagree. Joe is exactly like that kid in high school who slacks off almost all semester, but then turns in his ten incomplete assignments on the last day of class, and somehow passes the class. He gets the job done when it matters most. It would be classic Flacco to ball out in 2018, and win a super bowl this year, receiving another massive contract.

The second story line to watch in this game is RG3. Social media workout warrior has finally returned to a football field. After an offseason full of practice throws at palm trees, you know he’ll be ready to go come regular season. What you really have to watch out for is how his knees hold up at Tom Benson Hall of Fame stadium. People forget that in 2016 the hall of fame game had to be cancelled because some genius decided to spray paint the field with a substance known to feel like concrete). In my opinion that doesn’t seem like the ideal field for Robert to make his debut after two years out of the league. But hey, “no pressure no diamonds” right?

The last story line to watch in this game is Lamar Jackson making his debut. Lamar was an absolutely electric player in college, and the great question with mobile quarterbacks like Lamar is how will his game translate to the next level? He possess an athletic skill set similar to the legendary QB Michael Vick. He’ll have no shortage of motivation to prove all of his doubters in the draft process wrong, especially the ones who didn’t think he had the talent to play quarterback in the pros. I can’t wait to see what he does in the pros.

So sit back, enjoy the rest of the summer, watch some hard knocks, and contemplate the first couple of drives of preseason and remember: real football doesn’t start till September 6th when the Eagles and Falcons open up the 2018 season.

-Jackson

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