The season is flying


Yesterday I came across a tweet by @NFLprguy who shared the note that NFL games are averaging 17.4 million viewers, most since ’89 and up 14% from a year ago. I see these types of facts all the time but Thursday’s comment just drives home the fact that this country absolutely adores the NFL.

{GALLERY}Count me among them. Maybe that’s why I’ve already got that slightly melancholy feeling that the 2009 NFL season is going by way too fast. All the hype of the off-season and anticipation for the regular season to start gets us so pumped up for the season. Now, in a blink of the eye, we’re already at the quarter mark of the season. Next blink, we’ll be watching Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite that fast. But it is already Week 5 and some moments that have moved from front-and-center of NFL highlights are now considered “history.” So, let me share my top favorite “historical” moments of the first four weeks of the ’09 season.

10. Mark Sanchez’s start to the NFL season. He became the first rookie QB to start and win the first three of his team’s games. The last player to do that was Greg Cook of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1969.

9.  Darren Sharper picking off a pass and racing 99 yards for a touchdown. He is the leading interceptor among active players in NFL today and already has five picks with his new team, the Saints. His TD return was his 10th interception returned for a score in his career. Only one player has more and that’s Class of 2009 enshrinee Rod Woodson.

8. Last Monday night’s Packers-Vikings game. I was skeptical that the game would live up to its billing. But, all the build-up just added to the incredible feeling that surrounded this game. It did not disappoint.

7. For only the second time ever, two rookie coaches won are 4-0. Congrats to Canton’s own Josh McDaniels in Denver and to Jim Caldwell in Indy. I can’t say I recall any football pundits calling this one before the season kicked off.

6. The Cowboys new stadium. What a building and what a great record crowd for its first regular season game.

5. Peyton Manning’s start to the season. Just days after we placed his 2008 MVP uniform on exhibit in Canton, he goes out and continues a pace that makes one think he may just become the first player to be named MVP for a fourth time.  He is just the third QB ever to start a season with four straight 300-yard passing games. He’s incredible to watch.

4.  How about five different teams – Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Orleans and the New York Giants – without a loss yet. Five teams at 4-0 has only happened twice before in the NFL (1968, 2003).

3. We always love when a “family member” does well. So, kudos are in order for Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary who has his San Francisco 49ers off to a great start.

2. Speaking of family members, it was an awesome scene in late September when more than 20 Hall of Famers returned “home” to Canton for our annual Golf Classic. The camaraderie, stories, and general fun had by all of these football legends is just great to witness. They also placed the Super Bowl XLIV trophy on exhibit in our Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery. It’s the first time we’ve had the actual season’s trophy on display for fans. Come and see it before we have to send it to South Florida in February.

1. Selection process. It’s a year-round process that gains more attention every year. Perusing our Facebook and Twitter pages, it’s apparent that fans have very strong feelings about who is worthy of a bronze bust. We were excited to launch the Voice Your Choice campaign presented by JCPenney/VanHeusen during Week 2. Fans now have a forum to share their knowledge and opinions. I can only imagine how much action the site will continue to get as we move toward the 25 semifinalists cut down in November. Visit>>>

Well, maybe four weeks have passed very quickly. But looking on the bright side, there’s still 13 weeks left in the regular season! I can hardly wait for Sunday and what game-changing event becomes “history” on Monday.

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