The NFL season begins Thursday because the reigning champion Los Angeles Rams tackle the Buffalo Payments. New rule modifications, blockbuster trades, retirements and un-retirements mark the beginning of the season.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
It’s protected to come back out now, soccer followers. The NFL is again. Tonight the reigning champion LA Rams host the Buffalo Payments. Now, this new season options new hopes for gamers and groups, ongoing scandal and, as all the time, Tom Brady. That is proper. The 45-year-old is again once more after retiring after which unretiring in the course of the off season. NPR’s sports activities correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now to clarify. Hey, Tom.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello there.
CHANG: OK. So Tom Brady – I assumed he was making an attempt to spend extra time along with his household.
GOLDMAN: Properly, he did throughout his 40-day retirement.
CHANG: Good. That is high quality.
GOLDMAN: However it’s being reported his return for one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is inflicting pressure inside his household. He took 11 days off from coaching camp to cope with private issues, in line with Tampa Bay’s coach. Now, after all, all Bucs followers care about is, can he lead the crew to a different title? He can so long as he is wholesome. However it’ll be attention-grabbing to observe.
CHANG: OK. Properly, apart from Tampa, I am curious. What different groups are gamers are you going to be maintaining a tally of?
GOLDMAN: Quite a lot of speak about Buffalo, one of many groups enjoying tonight. The Payments have by no means gained a Tremendous Bowl. They famously misplaced 4 straight Tremendous Bowls within the early Nineteen Nineties however by no means broke via. Now, that might change this yr behind an incredible quarterback, Josh Allen, an incredible protection and simply an excellent, full crew. Two different quarterbacks to observe – Justin Herbert of the LA Chargers and Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles. They have been constructing to a breakout season, and this might be it. Three predictions for you, Ailsa – and now count on the precise reverse to occur.
CHANG: OK. And I am sorry, but it surely looks like scandal is simply, like, an everyday a part of the NFL expertise. And that is no totally different this season, proper?
GOLDMAN: That is proper. And, once more, a number of contain dangerous therapy of girls. The Deshaun Watson case in Cleveland – he’ll serve an 11-game suspension in relation to a number of allegations of sexual misconduct. A lot of this off season, The Washington commanders commanded the flawed form of consideration with their proprietor Dan Snyder for an alleged poisonous and misogynistic office setting.
CHANG: And but, I imply, Tom, it looks like regardless of all of that ongoing scandal, the NFL – it is nonetheless wildly standard. Are you able to please clarify this to me?
GOLDMAN: Yeah, nonetheless the No. 1 spectator sport within the U.S. It is thrilling. It is on this nation’s blood. For a extra nuanced reply, I’ll quote Travis Vogan, a College of Iowa professor. He research sports activities in American tradition. He instructed The New York Instances NFL followers are, quote, “OK with the contradictions and the hypocrisy and even the discord that exists throughout the league. Folks will say soccer is so American as a result of it is about violence and capitalism and territory. However possibly the hypocrisy and discord and corruption are simply as American.”
CHANG: Oh, my God. Properly, that claims loads about us. Properly, I can’t allow you to go with out asking about tennis. Can we simply speak in regards to the superb match final evening on the U.S. Open?
GOLDMAN: Oh, an incredible match that began final evening and ended at 3 this morning New York Metropolis time. It took Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz 5 hours and quarter-hour to beat Italian Jannik Sinner. Each are a part of an thrilling new era of males’s gamers. And, Ailsa, I can barely include myself fascinated with tomorrow’s semifinal match between Alcaraz and American Frances Tiafoe. They’re each enjoying scorching tennis, each enormous fan favorites. Count on a thriller on this one.
CHANG: It’s going to be epic. That’s NPR’s Tom Goldman. Thanks, Tom.
GOLDMAN: You are welcome.
Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Go to our web site phrases of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for additional data.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content is probably not in its ultimate kind and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability could fluctuate. The authoritative report of NPR’s programming is the audio report.