Single page view By Tim Keown
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It's training camp season, which means the backup receivers for the Minnesota Vikings never could have dreamed of this kind of attention.

We're getting daily -- or is it hourly? -- reports on the condition of Terrell Owens' inflamed groin. Is it real? Is it fake? Wait, here's Andy Reid with a press conference on the subject.

Seahawks camp
Every little aspect of training camp ends up being scrutinized, it seems.

We're getting in-depth analysis on the potential benefits of lineman-on-lineman practice fights, vis-a-vis the team's overall morale.

We couldn't ask for anything more. NFL training camps are like spring training with a Benzedrine drip. Even the smallest, dullest item could mean the difference between the playoffs and next year's No. 1 draft pick.

One online poll asked eager readers to rate "the Bears' best backup offensive lineman," and I really wish I was making that up.

From the New York Post, we get the news that Curtis Martin pulls the plug on his dorm-room phone at Jets training camp so he isn't bothered with anything other than football. He confesses to the occasional text message, but that apparently doesn't take away from his ability to concentrate on hitting the hole off-tackle.

In Dallas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram gave the play-by-play of offensive guard Larry Allen's bout with post-practice sprinting Sunday. Seems Allen ran one sprint with the first group, the second sprint with the second group, and the third sprint with the third group. He finished last each time.

A lot of this news -- suitable for use in your all-important fantasy draft -- is brought to us by television reporters standing in the hellish sun with their melting makeup pooling at the collar. It's hot, it's miserable, but it's football. In America, that's all that matters.

This Week's List
How sports influence popular culture: Coming up next on "COPS," a shirtless, tooth-challenged meth addict from the hills of Appalachia tells the arresting officer he has never intentionally ingested the drug, he thought it was flaxseed oil, and he remembers this time he had a shake at Jamba Juice on a trip to the big city.

Next to the hourly updates on T.O., it's the surest sound of summer: Heard Skip Caray the other day, and he was saying, "The ol' wheel play was on right there."

How to replace one overworked cliché with another: It looks like the A's, with Danny Haren, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden and Barry Zito, have gone from The Big Three to The Four Aces.

When your season's going wrong, there's no telling how wrong it will go, Part I: A poorly kept secret around the Dodgers -- Derek Lowe's affair with Carolyn Hughes, a local sportscaster who covers the team -- blew into the open with the help of their spouses.

When your season's going wrong, Part II: The current storm surrounding the Giants concerns a talk show host from the flagship station ripping the team's "brain-dead Caribbean hitters" and saying Felipe Alou's brain has turned to "Cream of Wheat."

Felipe's response: He has refused to accept Larry Krueger's apology, and he has canceled his pregame show.

Continued...


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