Some thoughts on the weekend...
- It was pretty obvious that no one was going to upstage Reggie Bush on the field Saturday, when the Saints and Titans opened their respective preseasons. What Reggie wasn't counting on was an upstaging son of a bitch named T-Rac, the Titans mascot. Coming onto the field in the second half, T-Rac ran Saints backup quarterback Adrian McPherson over with a golf cart, knocking him out of the game. It hasn't exactly been a smooth entry into the NFL for McPherson -- last year in a preseason game, he accidentally lined up under a guard.
- It happens every year. Thank God it didn't happen to Drew Brees. Clinton Portis dislocated a shoulder making a tackle on an interception Sunday against Cincinatti. Portis could miss the first week of the season, if not beyond, and may even require surgery. This is a huge blow to the Redskins -- without any semblance of a run game last year the Redskins offense would have been downright lousy. Once again we get to argue over the merits of having four preseason games and whether or not it's smart to have your best players in the game at all. What I want to know is, what did Portis think he was doing making that tackle? I understand the "gamer" syndrome, the drive that causes players to go all out even in the first quarter of a meaningless preseason game, is something I'll never truly experience. But Portis claims he wanted to come out of the game well before that play because he was afraid of injury. If that's the case, why make the tackle? Didn't he learn from last year, when Marc Bulger missed the final six games of the season after injurying his shoulder trying to tackle someone on an interception return?
- Anyone who saw Outside The Lines Sunday saw an interesting story on the place of religion in sports. Minor league baseball teams (and even the Atlanta Braves) in the Bible Belt have run promotions that are meant to attract Christians to the ballpark. The teams argue that they need to appeal to their demographic, and given that these teams are in highly-religious areas, it's impossible for them to try and reach out to their target audience without appealing to their spirituality. But public tax dollars go to fund a lot of stadiums and ballparks across the country, and last I checked there was a separation of church and state in America.
- If anyone saw the "Formidable Opponent"-esque segment on Sportscenter Saturday Morning with two Sean Salisbury's, you probably were as disgusted as we were. Doesn't ESPN have enough patience-grating personalities without having to actually clone them? What's the matter, was Mike Ditka not around to stutter and call people stupid? Trey WIngo too busy using his ESPN Mobile? Mark Schlereth lost babbling to a terrified intern about how good the Broncos old offensive lines were? Was there NO other real person to sit in that seat? If ESPN does that ever again, I'm done.
- Kurt Vonnegut would refer to our hometown of Livingston, NJ as a granfalloon. Still, we'll be watching them tonight on ESPN at 8 EST as they play in the Mid-Atlantic Region Finals of the Little League World Series. Mainly, we'll be looking for younger siblings of kids we used to know. Let's hope there's a fight in the stands between proud parents, as the LLWS continues to mirror South Park. Teams are even trying to lose -- one team intentionally lost knowing that their opponent hadn't gotten every kid on their team an at-bat and that the penalty for such an awful crime is forfeiture. Having to give every kid an at-bat is a silly rule. Kids need to be prepared for the inevitability that no matter how good they are at something, there will always be someone (or in this case, 9 someones) who can do it better.