Monday Night Football will be broadcast live on British Eurosport this season and there is an absolute cracker to start things off with as the Philadelphia Eagles travel to face the Washington Redskins.
We present six reasons why you should boil yourself a strong cup of coffee and join us at midnight to watch the match in the American capital, or if you can't stay up that long, for the highlights repeat at 20:00 on Tuesday evening.
1. TWO OF THE MOST EXCITING QUARTERBACKS IN THE SPORT
The Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III is not (yet) the best quarterback in the game but he is arguably the most exciting. Last season was his rookie year and he lifted a team that had been in the doldrums for years into the playoffs. He has a bullet of an arm but can also take off with electric pace at any time for a big run. Check out this beauty against the Minnesota Vikings last season.
RGIII suffered a serious knee injury in the playoffs last season though so it will be interesting to see how well he is moving.
Nobody has really offered such an exhilarating dual threat with arm and legs in the NFL since Michael Vick first came into the league and Vick just so happens to be the quarterback of the Eagles. Vick had a spell in prison for operating a dog-fighting ring but has since returned. He was blistering in his first full season back but struggled last year and it is considered a make-or-break season for him with a decent back-up in Nick Foles ready to step in if he struggles.
2. THE EAGLES' NEW COACH COULD CHANGE THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE IN THE NFL
At the end of a disappointing season, the Eagles decided to fire their long-time coach Andy Reid and bring in Chip Kelly from the University of Oregon. At the college level, Kelly produced the sport's most exciting offense as their 'Fastball' style left opposing teams gasping for breath.
Kelly likes his teams to snap the ball quickly, and he has also told Vick he wants the ball out of his hands within 1.5 seconds. Whether he can implement this tactic at the NFL level remains to be seen – but if he is successful other teams are sure to follow his lead and the game may never be the same.
3. IT IS A MASSIVE GAME…ALREADY
The NFL regular season is only 16 games long and you have to win your division to guarantee a spot in the playoffs so you really need to hit the ground running. The Eagles and the Redskins both play in the NFC East (along with the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys) which is possibly the tightest, most evenly contest division of all. A win over a divisional rival in week one is a major psychological strike to start the season and if you lose you are already playing catch-up.
4. THE RILEY COOPER FACTOR
During the off-season, the Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper got into big trouble after being caught on camera using the N-word. The majority of NFL players are African-American so this has really made him public enemy number one in the league. His own team-mates even came out and criticised him but the issue seemed to be put to bed until last week when he had a skirmish with team-mate Cary Williams during practice. How he is treated by his team-mates, fans and opponents will be a fascinating sub-plot to watch in the opening MNF game of the season.
5. EXPERT ANALYSIS WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE GAME BETTER
Everybody has rightly been praising Gary Neville for the depth of analysis he has given to Sky Sports' Monday Night Football but such deconstruction of the game is expected of all NFL experts – simply trotting out old clichés won't keep you on the air.
Monday Night Football has one of the best co-commentators in the business in Jon Gruden, a former NFL head coach who won the Super Bowl for the Glazer family-owned Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.
Even seasoned viewers of American football will tell you that there is so much going on in any given play that you often need somebody who is really clued in to highlight everything for you.
Once you start appreciating all the work those goes on away from the ball, you will start to appreciate and thus enjoy the sport that much more. Gruden is a great mind to help educate you on the more nuanced aspects of the sport.
6. THERE IS ANOTHER GAME ON STRAIGHT AFTER!
Monday Night Football is usually just one match but on the opening weekend of the season you get a double header to keep you going until breakfast time. Straight after the Redskins v Eagles clash, the Houston Texans take on the San Diego Chargers.
The Texans have been close to getting to the Super Bowl the last couple of seasons and again are one of the favourites. Meanwhile, San Diego will be interesting to watch this season, not least because they drafted Manti Te'o - he of fake girlfriend fame! Unfortunately Te'o has been ruled out this week due to a foot injury so for this week at least, we will be seeing as much of him on the field, as he saw of his girlfriend!
Monday Night Football will be broadcast all season LIVE on British Eurosport in HD. British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 are available on BT TV, Sky, Virgin Media and UPC in Ireland. Viewers can also subscribe directly to the Eurosport player. Subscriptions range from £3.99 to £5.99 per month, depending on the length of contract. Full details at www.eurosportplayer.co.uk