It was Laozi, a Chinese philosopher from the long ago days before ESPN existed, who said a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
He also said don’t bet road ’dogs that played on the previous Monday night.
This is the proverbial first step in the field turf of a new NFL season, which actually began in New York on Wednesday night so as not to interfere with President Obama’s Thursday night pep rally in Charlotte.
The president, as you may have heard, was supposed to speak at Bank of America Stadium, but under threat of bad weather and a television blackout if the stadium weren’t sold out, moved his speech to Time Warner Cable Arena.
It was the political equivalent of an audible.
The NFL is built on audibles. The real officials are in a squabble with the league over – surprise – money and therefore the league audibled to replacement officials, raising the question of who will be officiating MAC games on Saturday.
The Panthers were expected to draft Andrew Luck last year but when he chose to return to Stanford so he could play for the Colts this year instead, the Panthers made an all-time audible and picked Cam Newton.
It’s a game of adjustments.
It’s a game that Laozi might say begins with a single first down.
And it’s a season that finally will begin full force on Sunday.
1. Spuds McKenzie.
2. The Brat Pack.
3. The Raiders.
Maybe this will be a big year for Judd Nelson. Raiders 26, Chargers 23.