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News » NFL free agency takes emotional toll on fans 2009-03-11

NFL free agency takes emotional toll on fans 2009-03-11

NFL free agency takes emotional toll on fans 2009-03-11
At some point during Jake Delhomme's January 10th stink bomb of a performance against the Cardinals in the NFC playoffs, I suffered from a case of trigger finger and started flicking around on the TV remote control. "Top Chef" was having a marathon on Bravo, Tila Tequila was up to absolutely no good on MTV and FOX had a nice old fashioned hour block of "Cops" and "America's Most Wanted."

But I ended up getting sucked into the season premiere of "The Bachelor." I know. Pathetic. Yet, there I was, posted up on my couch with a plate of Buffalo wings and a beer — watching "The Bachelor." Forget Larry Fitzgerald. I was observing 25 borderline crazy single women all just throwing themselves at a man they'd never met before, instead. There was crying, fighting, and more crying. Mildly entertained and now somewhat invested, I set the DVR to "Record Series" and realized I was in for the long haul.

For fans of the NFL, the past week has been a lot like one long episode of "The Bachelor." No doubt, the 2009 free agency season has been unlike any before it. Kicked off with a flurry of jaw-dropping mega-deals amidst news of the worst economic times the nation's seen since the AFL, there was endless courting, various false reports, and tons and tons of money thrown around. As an NFL fan, you try to ride the roller coaster out the best you can, all the while scratching your head, clenching your fists, and mending your broken heart.

Though there may be no rose ceremonies, there's just about everything else.

Criticize Washington owner Dan Snyder as much as you want for the amount of money the 'Skins threw at Albert Haynesworth ($100 million over seven years) or DeAngelo Hall (a head-scratching $55 million), his fans know they're getting new toys every offseason. Some fans aren't quite as fortunate.

Hello, Bengals season-ticket holders

Long-suffering Cincinnati fans tracked T.J. Houshmandzadeh updates throughout the weekend like old lovers hanging on to a dying romance via Facebook status updates. When the team placed a franchise tag on kicker Shayne Graham instead of the 31-year-old receiver, the fans rationally and collectively reasoned that it was time to cope with the reality that Hoosh's days as a Bengal were now a thing of the past.

But after helicopter tours of Seattle (yes, this actually happened) and an all-day courting session in Minnesota by the Vikings on Sunday, reports leaked on various blogs, fan sites and local talk radio shows Monday morning that Houshmandzadeh was considering re-upping with the Bengals, the team that took a chance on him with a seventh-round draft pick so many years before. Rotowire.com had the Bengals as one of the few teams with the inside track on the former Pro Bowler. Popular fan site CincyJungle.com tracked the news throughout the day with a fleeting optimism so pure it made you feel like there was actually hope in this world.

A few hours later, he was inking a five-year deal with the Seahawks.


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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 11, 2009

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