Let's play football! (WEB ONLY)

You can almost feel it building. As the summer days wane, the anticipation of another football season is gaining momentum. And it’s about time.

When the NFL season ends with the Super Bowl, the scene quickly shifts to free agency and the draft. The hype around those events are massive, but they also die down by about mid-May. We are now approaching three months without real, new football news and stories. But never fear, the football drought ends this weekend.

The NFL preseason officially kicked off last week, but most teams, including the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, played their preseason openers this week. It’s almost a football mini-holiday. Even as a kid growing up, the start of the preseason was a welcome sight that took a priority in the last days of summer.

Baseball season had its time, and the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are still holding strong in their postseason pushes. Even Minnesota United is sitting in second place in the Western Conference standings and played in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Wednesday night. And as those seasons continue, and important games become more prevalent, they will still certainly draw attention. It’s a treat to see regional teams holding their own and sticking on a path to the postseason.

But there’s just something about the turning of August that starts drumming up interest in football again. It’s not full flung yet, as it will be in the early days of September. For now it’s subtle. Football, albeit preseason, returns to action. Highlights return on TV. Fantasy football leagues are spawned and drafts are hosted. The annual HBO training camp show “Hard Knocks” also kicked off this week, featuring the Oakland Raiders with storylines and personalities galore for the producers to choose from.

The first college football games begin in a little more than two weeks, with the high school season kicking off the following week before the calendar flips to September.

The summer isn’t over yet, and I’m not in a rush for it to be. But it just feels right to have football back.

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