Big changes greet NFL fan

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

Opening Day for the NFL is upon us, meaning it is time for the most powerful league in North America to begin a new season.

The first football fix begins tonight when the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers host the Miami Dolphins.

Let the office pools begin. (Last year we ended tied for first and are looking for a repeat!) For you fantasy football freaks, I use this as a term of endearment ... really I do, here's hoping your defence doesn't give up 200 rushing yards.

Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that the Steelers got "the one for the thumb" in everyone's favourite Super Bowl host city -- Detroit?

Incidentally, I don't understand why Steelers fans are so worked up about Big Ben missing the opener; after all, Antwaan Randle El completed their biggest pass of last year. (Although there is no question that Big Ben made the most important tackle of season). Maybe that's a little offside, but I am a Seahawks fan, y'know.

I digress ...

Change was a key word during the off-season. Many prominent players moved squads, the aforementioned Randle El, the always-entertaining Terrell Owens, Daunte "Love Boat" Culpepper, Junior Seau, Edgerrin James, Drew Brees, Eric Moulds and Steve McNair, just to name a few.

But by far the biggest change in the NFL happened off the field. It wasn't the change in commissioner; it was the change in the broadcast lineups.

CBS is back for its 47th season with a full contingent on the sked. The FOX crew is back for season 14, covering the great stories in the NFC. ESPN is in the NFL game in a big way, as are all its rowdy friends, on Monday nights.

And NBC is back for prime-time Sunday games, with John Madden in the booth.

Carpal tunnel, here I come as the Super Sports Pack has been ordered. (Bet the price is going up after Ted Rogers committed more dough to the Jays Tuesday!)

Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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