Thank goodness. Football is back.

By Scott Signore

I’m pumped about the start of football season, and am so looking forward to watching my Patriots weekly this fall and (fingers crossed!) early winter. If Tom Brady and our boys can meet the expectations of Sports Illustrated – that the Pats will meet Seattle in the Super Bowl – I’d be thrilled. Despite a rather unusual off-season – you can say that incomprehensible criminal activity is a-typical – the Pats are back to their winning ways and I’m eagerly anticipating this coming season.

I’m also very much looking forward to following my fantasy football team.
The National Football League is a common denominator in America as it connects people across social categories and geographic boundaries. Fantasy football does the same here in our office. Sixteen of us jumped into the Matter fantasy football league and with the start of the NFL season, the competition here in the office has commenced. And, so has the smack talk.

Only hours before last Thursday’s season opening kick-off, I heard from Nate Goldin, a recently hired Account Coordinator from our office in Providence. It’s not so typical that I receive email from this particular guy, so I was pleasantly surprised to see his name in my in-box. (Blogger note: I work side by side with some of the staff, but not all of them, and as a result I hear from some more than others. It’s not a hierarchical thing, but rather the result of various team and organization structures.)

In any case, I opened Nate’s email to find the he was choosing to connect for reasons other than inquiring about smart and strategic public relations or social media PR counsel from an industry veteran. He wasn’t connecting to ask about ways to overcome a communications challenge he was facing on behalf of one of his clients, or to provide an update on a high-profile happening with the agency. Instead, he was getting in touch to talk smack. He was politely apologizing (in advance) for handing me my fantasy football team’s first loss of the season. He did wish me luck, but the note was rich in sarcasm.

Fantasy football is brilliant. It makes every game on any given Sunday in the fall count. Games that were previously so far from being interesting are instantly a priority. And, to the NFL’s benefit – and all those marketing NFL products, gear, etc. – it has widened the typical fan’s areas of interest far beyond his or her team. (For example, I’m in the very fortunate position of having Russell Wilson as my team’s QB and plan to care a lot in the coming months about scores of Seahawks’ games.) And, occasionally, those scores help you stick it to those who raise their hand with senseless bravado. In this particular case, however, Nate’s was spot on and I’m disappointed to report that my fantasy team starts the season 0-1.

I hope you are enjoying the start of the football season, too.