Michael Johnson, Staff Writer
The NFL season is approaching quickly, and fans around Utica College campus are having trouble staying patient. With all the off-season controversy, including the new helmet rule, trades, releases and key additions for teams, this season may be an interesting one.
The excitement for the season radiates throughout campus. Students and faculty alike have been walking around campus all week representing their favorite teams; even some friendly arguments ensued between fans of rival teams.
It seems as if the NFL season brings out the intensity in everyone.
“With all of the additions the Giants made for their offense this year, I can’t see them not winning the division,” senior Todd Gardner said. “Adding Saquon Barkley to our run game with our already versatile pass attack, the Giants offense will be a hard one to stop.”
Gardner is most excited for the Giants to play their division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, who just won their first Super Bowl in franchise history last season.
“The game I am most excited about is when the Giants play the Eagles because they are arguably the best team in football and will be a tough challenge,” Gardner said.
The love of football does not discriminate between genders on the UC campus.
“The Bills are my favorite team because they are close to home,” freshman Deanna Rosato said. “I know that they picked a good quarterback in the draft so hopefully we can finally win. The game that I am most excited about is when they play the New England Patriots at home because I really feel like they have a chance this year.”
Junior and defensive lineman on the UC football team, JP Gilroy, thinks that the Eagles are going to win another Super Bowl.
“The Eagles are going back to back this year, no question in my mind,” Gilroy said. “They have the best defense in the league, and by watching guys like Fletcher Cox, and Chris Long, I learn techniques and strategies that I can use on the field. I’m not looking forward to any particular game this season because the Eagles are going to go undefeated.”
Junior and defensive back Ben Vargas believes the Cleveland Browns will bounce back from a 0-16 season.
“This season will show how good of an off-season the Browns had,” Vargas said. “You can’t do any worse than 0-16, which was the Browns record last year, so we can’t go anyplace except for up. If we don’t win at least six games this season, I am going to be a free agent in the fan game.”
The matchup that Vargas is looking most forward to is the Cleveland Browns versus the Pittsburgh Steelers game.
“It’s a league game and they have a very high-powered offense, so I think it will be a good one,” Vargas said.
Senior Joe Cozza is optimistic about the New York Giants this season.
“Honestly, I say the Giants are going to be good every year, but who really knows,” Cozza said. “This year I am as optimistic as I’ve ever been because of the additions to our offense. Our defense is solid, we just need to be able to put points on the board and we will at least make the NFC Championship.”
Cozza is looking forward to the Giants-Cowboys matchup.
“The game I look forward to most every year is the Giants vs. the Dallas Cowboys because of their history, and I just have an unspeakable hatred for Cowboys fans,” Cozza said.
Get your popcorn ready because the NFL has arrived.