Hello, and welcome

Hello, NFL Nation. I’m honored to be here with you.

This has been a week of new beginnings for me, and I’m pumped to start my blog here at NFL.com. I guess I should begin with a proper introduction and a little bit about myself, right?

Well, like all of you, I’m a passionate football fan, so we already know we have that much in common. I grew up in Baltimore, watching some of the worst football known to man, woman or beast (if there’s a highlight film of the 1981 or ’82 Colts that didn’t turn out like Football Follies, well, Steve Sabol is more brilliant than I already thought). But I fell in love with the game regardless, becoming a disciple of the Air Coryell San Diego Chargers as the Colts left for Indianapolis — running pass patterns in the park across the street in my Kellen Winslow jersey — and I have followed the game for my entire life (35 years, in case you’re scoring at home). Most of my friends and family are Ravens PSL holders, and I very much understand why this sport has such a grip on our country.

I covered the Redskins for The Washington Post for the past five seasons, authoring a blog for the last three. The blog ended up becoming the thrust of my job, and through that endeavor, I met and was touched by far too many readers to list, from those in the Washington area as well as those in Singapore, Seattle, Portland, Europe, etc. I was drawn to the give-and-take of the blog and the immediacy of posting news and other fodder, and I relished the opportunity to also share a bit of myself in an informal manner.

I just kind of followed my instincts out there in Webland and did what came naturally, and I’ll do the same with you on NFL.com.

My aim is to be the eyes and ears of The Fan — globally, because the reach of this game spans all corridors — and provide the best information, analysis and insight that I can about the NFL, touching upon the things that matter most to you. I look at it as I work for you, which means I need to know what you guys think and what issues/stories you care about. I’ll strive to be as interactive as possible, via comments, e-mails, Twitter (my handle is JasonLaCanfora, like that, no spaces) and, over time, by meeting you as my travels take me around the league. (We had several blog gatherings over the past few years in my previous incarnation, including hitting a baseball game en masse, which actually is ridiculously easy at Nationals Park, but I digress).

I will be based out of my home in Maryland, which I share with my wife, Lauren, and our two children, Chloe (4), and Rocco (2). Naturally, parenthood (and work, in no particular order) dominate my life, so that will bleed over into our community here, and I promise not to make it too boring for those who don’t have young humans clinging to and from their bodies for much of the day. I’m also a huge music fan (punk, hardcore, hip-hop, country — but real country like Hank, Hank Sr., Merle — reggae, ska, old-school soul, funk, pop, a little folk, some jazz, even some bluegrass). So I’m sure some of that will find its way over here, too.

I’m also a fan of most sports and a diehard follower of the Red Sox and U.S. soccer, so from time to time, I might have to vent a bit given my state of team-induced angst (I’m dying to watch a replay of our stunning triumph over Spain, which went down while I was in studio).

But football will be our lifeblood, as well it should be, and as we all know, this is a darn-near 365-day-a-year business at this point. With a little luck, I think we can establish a cool little (or not-so-little) community, where people feel comfortable exchanging ideas about football — and whatever else, within reason of course. So that’s the goal, and I look forward to your feedback as we move forward. This cranny of the blog is as much yours as it is mine, and I hope many of you eventually come to think of it in those terms.

OK, that’s it for now. I’m still kind of discombobulated by the time change out here on the Left Coast, and I figure I ought to go eat something and make some phone calls. For those who watched NFL Total Access on Tuesday, I will get the entire “Moneyball” list of team spending in actual dollars posted here sometime this week, and I figure on doing some more Julius Peppers riffing, as well as Brandon Marshall, and, if we must, Brett Favre, too.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I look forward to getting to know you over the coming years.

Cheers.

– Jason La Canfora

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