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Finally time for some football

By By Josh Taylor / staff writer
July 27, 2003
This has pretty much been the daily conversation between my neighbor, Michael, and I for the last six months. No, we are not recovering heroin addicts. Worse, we're football addicts.
Although the Major League Baseball sausage assault incident and foreign substances in bats have been entertaining, it's not quite the same. As any true football fan knows, there's just no substitute.
The NBA playoffs and NCAA basketball tourney kept me occupied for a while, but after the Dallas Mavericks and the Mississippi State Bulldogs both got put out the fix was gone.
Alas, it's finally time for some football. Well, preseason NFL at the very least.
That's all the NFL preseason really is, a quick fix. If you've ever braved an entire preseason game before, you know what I'm talking about.
The team stars usually play the first three or four snaps of the game and then disappear. After the initial possession guys like Brett Favre are pulled out and replaced with guys like Craig Nall. And yes, the Packers do have a third-string quarterback named Craig Nall. They even have a third-string wide receiver named Jorg Heckenbach. He's sure to get some playing time this preseason.
Despite the fact that Kurt Warner was once Favre's third-string backup, it's hard to imagine the coaches having that whatever it takes' attitude to winning with guys like Nall and Heckenbach playing before halftime. Granted they're a lot better than I ever will be, but have you ever heard of them?
The point is that the NFL preseason is not so much about winning as it is a warm-up for the real deal. An appetizer for guys like me to hold us over until the show starts.
At this point I'll take what I can get. At least the countdown has begun.
In less than a week it will be time for the annual American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but try to stay with me.
The Aug. 2 American Bowl will match up the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS of New York. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 5 a.m. That's right, 5 a.m. Apparently it's that whole other side of the world thing. Don't stay up all night for this barnburner. It will be re-airing the same day at 8 p.m.
The Monday Night Football schedule kicks off Aug. 4 with an 8 p.m. battle between Green Bay and the Chiefs.
The New Orleans Saints will go through another regular season without a Monday Night appearance, but luckily they will be facing the Eagles in a preseason Monday Night game on Aug. 11. We can all look forward to a few downs of Aaron Brooks and Deuce McAllister followed by a few hours of backups Todd Bouman and James Fenderson. Remember what Andy Warhol said about everyone getting 15 minutes of fame. Well, this one's for you Fenderson.
We've got four weeks of this mess before we get to the real deal.
To hold you over until Sept. 4, the start of the regular season, you can go ahead and dust off the cooler and grill while you watch all the preseason hype start to take shape.
I have noticed that ESPN has been airing a lot of NFL Films Presentations lately.
Apparently they feel our pain.