Wednesday, September 8th.

My brother and nephew

On that day, fans from 32 NFL football teams celebrated the fact they were undefeated as the start to the 2010 season was upon them.

Dreams of thrilling stories, upsets, streaks and magic performances by established superstars and heroes from out of nowhere running through minds like a Barry Sanders 30 second, 2 yard run. Reebok hats in team colors for winning a division, the carnival atmosphere of a home playoff game and the relative tailgating extravaganza.

And that surreal 2 week symphony of Super Bowl euphoria – from the unimaginable post-game shock of winning a conference championship to the final whistle and podium ascension for the owner, coach and MVP to hoist the trophy.

Saturday, January 8.

The eligible field has narrowed from 32 to 12 for glory and fan bragging rights.

And it is here that I’d like to recognize the fans that make the game worth cheering for. Your community, your friends and your family that rally behind a logo, colors and a jersey. Fans willing to welcome new heroes and strategists – like San Francisco does tonight after the Jim Harbaugh signing, already looking towards next year.

This weekend it’s all about Baltimore, Kansas City, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, New York, Seattle and New Orleans – with Pittsburgh, New England, Atlanta and Chicago waiting in the wings for week 2 of the post-season.

I hope everyone enjoys the ride as much as possible and create special bonds that sport allows through victory and defeat.

Enjoy the sampling of fans that reached out to me today and went the extra mile in their passion for the game.