Friday, August 8, 2008

Are You Ready For Some Pretend Football?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 8:49 AM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

mike_cox_thumb.jpg

Watching preseason football is, to borrow from Jerry Seinfeld, like rooting for laundry.

Football fans so eagerly await the season that we pay and watch the preseason, even when we know how inherently meaningless these games are.

If we're lucky, starters last less than a quarter before they're replaced by players

with unfamiliar names, numbers and backgrounds ("Pass caught by Oscar Jones from

Whatsamtta U with the uniform number signifying the elemental symbol of Hassium"). The announcers are also forgettable, even though Roger Twibell allegedly hosts a three-hour talk show in this town.

Sure, hardcore fans pretend that these games are chance to evaluate talent, as if their background in high school football makes them able to assess the value of a third-string tight end or a backup defensive end. Sure, we can all pretend that Brodie Croyle gives signs that he can lead the offense, even though the opposing coaches are providing the most generic of defenses at this stage.

But we really won't learn anything four full weeks. And probably not even then.

To illustrate the point, the following are the NFL's leading passers from last year's

preseason: JT O’Sullivan and Kevin Kolb. One preseason, this town's talk radio lines were abuzz concerning the relative merits of Jesse Haynes.

The sample size is worse than too small to be meaningful. The sample size itself is meaningless.

We will, however, have the opportunity to curse out Carl Peterson and make jokes about Mike Cox's name for those four weeks, and to practice our DVR fast-forwarding techniques.

After all, we need practice, too.

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