Football is back and just like that, there goes your Sundays (and Mondays…and Thursdays)…
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1. The 100th NFL (National Football League) season starts on Thursday and culminates with the Super Bowl in Miami on February 2. Performances by Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody will kickoff the first game of the season that happens to be between two of the the league’s oldest rivals, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. The league is so excited about their 100th year that they’ve coined the phrase “fantennial” to celebrate fans along the way. DON’T LAUGH – YOU DIDN’T USE THE WORD GOOGLE UNTIL 20 YEARS AGO
2. While everyone expects the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots, to do well this season, it’s the Cleveland Browns who are raising eyebrows. The team that went winless two seasons ago has set the bar high this season and could be one to beat, thanks to second year quarterback Baker Mayfield. THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
3. After some controversy around her Sunday Night Football song, Carrie Underwood has teamed up with Joan Jett to sing the show’s opener. For the first time in 14 years, the video for the opening song was shot inside an NFL stadium – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons. P!nk and Faith Hill sang previous versions of the theme song. LADIES OF THE EVENING
4. While you might think the most important people on the field are the guys in the helmets, it’s a little more black and white than that. With the team’s futures in their hands, the referees, and their game changing decision making minds, are only part-time employees. As part of a labor dispute between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association, all refs will be considered part-time until further notice. After some notable controversial calls last season, we’ll see if this status affects the game. PLACE YOUR BETS
5. Did you know the NFL used to be 501 (c)(6) non-profit? They voluntary gave up their tax-exempt status, which means they no longer have to disclose commissioner Roger Goodell’s salary, which has been upward of $31 million. MAKING BANK
Want to know more about your team? Here is the top story line for each team. BE IN THE KNOW