College football fans can’t wait to see how many players will get drafted from their favorite university, who those players will be, when those players will get drafted, and where those players will go.
NFL fans can’t wait to see who’s got next for their favorite franchise. Fans of teams with the highest draft picks are hoping for a franchise QB that will lead their team to the playoffs and the Super Bowl for a decade and a half (or longer), and fans of teams with lower draft picks are hoping for that one perfect pick that fills the hole that would prevent them from continuing and building upon their success from the previous season.
New League Year’s Day is in March but in the football world, Christmas comes after that, in late April and early May, in the form of the NFL Draft.
It’s important to remember family during the holiday season, and in the case of Football Christmas, that family is your team: the players, the coaches, the owner(s), the trainers, the food vendors, and of course, your fellow fans.
Just like traditional Christmas, Football Christmas wouldn’t be complete without commercialization…I mean, uh…wonderful presents that embody the true meaning of Christmas 😉 Obviously, draft picks are the presents to which all of us football fans look forward to the most:
- Most of them will turn out to be those crappy toys that break within five minutes of you taking them out of the box (draft busts). Bummer. But…
- A small number of them will be worthwhile. Maybe you’ll get an average starter-level player that hangs around for 10 years; Those are the toys that aren’t our favorites. They weren’t THE item on our list, but they are last for long enough and are just enjoyable enough that we grow to appreciate them. Maybe they’ll even get a Pro Bowl nod or two?
- Then an even smaller number of them are the quality players; These still weren’t THE gift on our list, but we definitely wanted them and are pleased the moment we open them. They are the toys we play with on a regular basis, but not every day. They’ll likely get several Pro Bowl nods and maybe even a spot on an All-Pro team.
- Then, the most rare of all: THE gift. This isn’t just the top toy we wanted this year, it’s the top toy we’ve wanted the last FIVE years. Not only do we play with these toys everyday, but we can hardly go anywhere without them: The Hall of Famers. These are your franchise QBs like Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, and Tom Brady. These are your electrifying offensive players like Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe. These are your game-altering defenders like Lawrence Taylor, Ray Lewis, and Rod Woodson. They’ll make the Pro Bowl almost every year (if not literally every year) and they’ll also make multiple All-Pro teams. Maybe they’ll even win a MVP award?
Yes, toys are awesome. But, sometimes you get stuck with clothes. Well, I’m here to tell you that in the case of Football Christmas, clothes can actually be a little exciting. I’m talking about the annual NFL Draft Caps brought to fans (and to draftees) by New Era. (For the record, I’m not sponsored by them or anything, I just happen to be a big fan of their quality. I don’t recall ever having gotten a New Era cap that I didn’t enjoy.) The 2018 NFL Draft Caps were just recently revealed and well, they deserve to be talked about.
This year’s theme: Team Mottos. Below are some of my favorites and least favorites. If you want to get one for yourself or check out ones that I do not mention, you can find all of them here.
- New York Giants: “Big Blue”- Obviously, I had to mention my team’s hat. “Big Blue” is a nickname the Giants have had for ages and I think it looks great on a hat.
- New York Jets: “J-E-T-S”- Not even leaving the same stadium from the last one on my list, I love the Jets hat. The motto is their team’s chant. It’s not exactly the most original chant, but it’s a classic.
- Seattle Seahawks: “We are 12”- I like this one a lot because the hat features the 12 flag as part of the slogan. The Seahawks are the only team to use something besides words and their team logo in their Draft Cap’s design.
- Cleveland Browns: “Dawg Pound”- Another classic slogan makes my list. Also, aside from their logo, this hat is devoid of that ugly orange team color.
- Chicago Bears: “Monsters of the Midway”- Though the team has recently lacked the ability to incite fear that is usually associated with monsters, it’s another classic slogan.
- Buffalo Bills: “Billieve”- The greatness of the play on the word believe is just the tip of the iceberg when you consider the fact that the “bill” is actually a physical part of the hat. This one actually made me laugh.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: “Steel City”- Yes, Pittsburgh is the Steel City, but the Steelers are the Steel Curtain. C’mon New Era!
- Miami Dolphins: “Go Phins”- The Jets hat lacks originality in a fun way. The Dolphins hat lacks originality in a boring way.
- New England Patriots: “Do Your Job”- I can hear these words coming out of Coach Bill Belichick‘s mouth, but that doesn’t make them fun or interesting to put on a hat unless there is a likeness to Belichick right next to them, which (SPOILER ALERT!), there is not.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: “Black and Teal”- Congratulations, you can name colors.
- Arizona Cardinals: “Rise Up Red Sea”- So, they stole the Atlanta Falcons “Rise Up” slogan, and decided that stealing wasn’t bad enough, they should also make it sound dumber.
- Houston Texans: “We Are Texans”- I am human. I don’t think I need to put that on a hat to make that true.