It's preseason! Will these guys even be on the field at the same time tomorrow? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
As the headline explains, preseason football is here (Saints vs. Cardinals tomorrow night - finally!!), and I'm wondering how you will set up your viewing - physically, mentally, and spiritually to watch this game, and preseason games in general.
The preseason is a bit of a different animal from the regular season, what with all the backups getting a chance to play, and coaches hoping no one gets injured, while trying to implement a game plan that allows them to see what these players can do without revealing too much of crucial strategy or schemes that will appear later in the season.
So, with the coaches and players having a different mindset, protocol, and desired outcome for these games, I'm wondering if you, like me, might also have a different set of these as well.
Make the jump to read how I'm preparing for this game, and how I treat/view/process preseason games as a whole, and then join in by sharing your thoughts and methods to your own madness.
And be sure to check back in with CSC later on today for a mid-afternoon Fleur-de-Links (following the team's morning walk-through) and again around 7:00 EDT for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony open thread's commentary celebration of Willie Roaf's coronation.
First, I'll be preparing for the game by putting together my "HansDat's Hot Reads" post for Sunday morning. This will involve scouting both teams a bit to see what they might be trying to accomplish in the game (as opposed to the regular season when I focus solely on what the Saints will need to do to win), then compiling this info cleverly into the sections you know and love: Primary Option, followed by Checkdown #s 1, 2, 3. I'm not sure if you'll get a bonus Hot Read this time, or not. You'll just have to wait and see.
Another part of my preseason ritual is preparing a depth chart card to help me keep an eye on the newcomers, players in new positions or playing new roles on the team, or players with new roster numbers. Today or tomorrow, I'll scour the web, looking for as current and as clean a depth chart I can to either print out, or cut and paste into a Word doc to reformat and then print out. Once it's printed out, I trim off the edges and then do some contrast highlighting (to make it easy to scan and locate numbers by position during the game), and then glue stick it onto a piece of card stock to make it durable enough for the whole four-five weeks. If I may be imbibing a beverage or two during the game, sometimes I put the depth chart card in a plastic sleeve protector.
During the game itself, the first issue is whether I try to watch the game live (if it's not on TV in my area live, my only option of live viewing would be to find an illegal stream, which is illegal, and not something I'd do, of course) and be able to allow myself the treat of goofing around in the game's open thread on CSC (which as a matter of course, I usually do not do during the regular season). Since I can't see them all live, I have to make sure I find the rebroadcast time on NFLN and record the game to watch it as soon as possible. I saw something somewhere about being able to watch preseason games live on your computer (for a price - there's always a price), but I don't know if I'm willing to pay for that privilege.
I don't typically dress up in Saints gear or fire up special food during these games, but I do try to watch and cheer and pay close attention to the special areas and players the Saints have changed in the past offseason. In all honesty, i must admit that my attention usually wanes at some point in the second quarter, once I can hardly recognize the majority of the jersey numbers on the field, but I do try to stay focused as much as I can.
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So that's my preseason mindset and ritual in a nutshell - what's yours? Tell me all, I want to know this stuff!!