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2012: The Season of Hope 
Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:55 PM.

Before every NFL season, there is a condition that spreads like the plague. Coaches, players and fans of every NFL team contract it sometime between late July and mid August. For some, it lasts for weeks; for others, itís months. This unavoidable summer syndrome is called hope. Side effects include the vanishing of last season from oneís memory, the development of a belief that this year will be different, and expectation levels peaking far above the normal (and in many cases the rational). The effects of hope are being seen and felt nationwide in anticipation of the 2012 NFL season.

While the direct cause is not always certain, several factors can lead to outbreaks of hope amongst NFL fans. A strong offseason can take fans from misery to ecstasy faster than Roger Goodell can hand down a suspension. Robert Griffin III has Redskins fans thinking rebirth. Broncos fans finally have another legend under center and their expectations for this season are a mile high. Andrew Luck is the new face of the franchise in Indianapolis and he has fans hoping for another 10+ years of offensive dominance in the AFC South. As it usually does, an active offseason has changed the outlook for fans of many NFL franchises.

Itís not just the fans that have been hit by the hope train, however, as NFL players appear to be all in for the 2012 NFL season. Ryan Kalil took out a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer predicting that his Panthers will win the Superbowl this year. A quarterback like Cam Newton and a healthy defense can do that to a veteranís attitude. Eagleís quarterback Michael Vick called his team a dynasty in the making. Though many have criticized Vick for these comments, it certainly shows the confidence he has in his teammates and the Philadelphia coaching staff. Players league wide are making it known that this season is one of hope and high expectations.

At this point in the year, last season is in the rear view. Players, coaches and fans are looking forward to a great NFL season. The bar is set high. The excitement level is even higher. Donít try to fight it. Hope is highly contagious.
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