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This is the second best time of the year... opening day of the NFL season! I live for this... going to games when I can or parking on the couch with two TVs in front of me tuned to the DirecTV Sunday Ticket. This year will be my first watching the games in HD as I got my HD TV the day before last year's SuperBowl... and so far, it even made preseason games interesting! Oh yeah, nothing like watching a football game in HD (unless you watch the PGA... wow, HD does one hell of a job for golf tournaments... but I digress). And if you've got the Sunday Ticket and HD, you've got to get DirecTV's Superfan too which gives you over 110 games in HD during the season as well as the mix channel (shows 8 games at once)... perfect to keep on one TV on the mix and the other on your game.

So what's the best time of the year? I'd have to say late November through January when we're late in the season, teams are fighting for division championships, playoff spots, playoff bye weeks and then, in the playoffs where the games really matter. Win and advance; lose and you're going home until minicamps start up again late in the summer.

Too much football on TV you say? Ah, not if you're a fantasy geek. This is the 8th year of the Fantasy Football Genuine Draft League, the fantasy league I run and manage a team along with 11 of my best friends and family who are the fellow owners. Last Tuesday night we held our annual draft knocking out 180 draft picks in less tan three hours! I walked away with what I think is a pretty strong roster (starters marked with an asterisk): Eli Manning*, Brad Johnson, Edgerrin James*, DeShaun Foster*, Mike Anderson, Cedric Benson, Chris Chambers*, Torry Holt*, Keyshawn Johnson*, Michael Jenkins, Deion Branch (I got him real late, he's definitely going to play somewhere by week 4), Tony Gonzolez*, Bubba Franks, Jay Feely*, and the Bears* defense/special teams. Of course, I've got to deal with the fact I'm in the same division with my cousin Joe and good friend Lee, all three of us usually make the playoffs which means we'll beat up each other all season long... usually screwing each other out of the first round bye.

Is that all? No way! What about putting some action on games? Last year you may have seen me make my picks against the spread in a lose competition with my bud Joel Ross. I don't plan to do that this year, just not enough time every week.

There's nothing like watching a game where your favorite team is playing, you've got players on your fantasy team playing in the game (and your opponent that week do as well), and you've got money on the game. Sunday's are funny... my wife will ask "so who do we want to win?" Ah, not an easy answer: "Well, of course I want the Jacksonville to beat Dallas, but I need both teams to score a total of less than 38 points, Jacksonville has to win by at least 2 points, but Dallas needs to throw it to Terry Glenn all day long to keep it close. Oh, and when Jacksonville does score, it can't be throwing it to Ernst Wilford." AC's wife: "huh?" Yeah... good fun!

So, what sucks? Unfortunately I'll miss the games on Sunday's opening day as I'm flying out to Redmond for a summit Mindsharp is holding for SharePoint 2007 Administrators & Developers. My flight leaves Jacksonville just after kickoff on Sunday and arrives in Seattle (via Cincy) after 9p PST. By the time I get my bag and up to the hotel in Redmond, it should be well past 10p and the Sunday night game will probably be over. SUCKS! If you're going to be at our Summit in Redmond next week and staying at the Courtyard Seattle Bellevue/Redmond, meet me in the bar Monday night for the first MNF games of the year!

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