Cut downs and the regular season are almost here. There’s just one pesky, little thing in the way. A football game. The fourth and final week of the NFL Preseason is seen by many as a nuisance. But with the right mindset, perhaps it can be awesome. Here’s my list of reasons why.
If the game is local, it’s a bargain
Alright, so the game doesn’t count and the guys that get to play are mostly ones who will be looking for a new team this weekend. Those are valid reasons to consider the final preseason game less “valuable” than any other contest each year. But hey, the market gets it.
For about the same as it will cost to park your car you can see the game and bring along a couple friends. With the secondary market having lots of great seats as low $6, with fees, it’s a night out for as little as that bag of soda cans you have squirreled away in the garage. Or maybe you want to live a little and spend the $30 to sit on the 50-yard line.
It’s the perfect opportunity to introduce someone to the game
Many of us fans have someone in our lives we’d like to share in our fandom. If they’re not already into the game, though, it can be difficult to get them up to speed. As it turns out, Week 4 of the preseason is usually a pretty good football primer. The play books are so ordinary they can’t even be rightfully called “vanilla.”
If you took my advice above and scored some seats to go live it’s also the perfect game to take someone who needs to adjust to large crowds. While a half filled stadium is still a LOT of people, it’s nowhere near as intimidating as it gets during the regular season.
If you’re like me you watch a good many games beyond the ones your team plays in. Often these are enjoyable simply due to the fact that the stakes are low to none. Preseason Week 4 is rare in that it gives you the chance to have that stress-free experience with your own team.
Face it, Weeks 1-3 just aren’t the same. Everyone says they don’t care if their team wins and maybe that’s true for some fans. But there’s plenty of reason to hope your team plays well. With these games heavily featuring players who are expected to shape the regular-season fortunes of the Buffalo Bills, it’s agonizing if they struggle. Week 4, however, removes this stress.
Be a part of a story
While it’s arguably the worst game of the year, that doesn’t inherently make it a bad game. As fans we’re often drawn to the stories within the game. The end of the preseason doesn’t have the star power, but there are plenty of stories to get immersed in.
There’s at least one underdog story that pulls us in every year. This is the game where we get to see if this year’s favorite makes the grade. Or maybe there’s a personal favorite for another reason. Perhaps they attended your school or you helped train them to be a better running back.
If you follow these stories you know approximately how most of them end. There’s an aura of sadness surrounding the last game before the regular season. For many it begins a time of uncertainty. Waiting for the phone to ring for another chance to live a dream. For some the call never comes.
The bargain game you attend might very well be the pinnacle and end of a young man’s NFL career. As a fan there’s magic in cheering them on and letting them know; Once a Bill, always a Bill!