It is hard to realize that NFL football is actually kicking off its schedule tomorrow with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio which is featuring the Arizona Cardinals (my team) vs. the New Orleans Saint.† Of course this is an exhibition game and means next to nothing, but it does stand for the beginning of NFL Football this season.† There is an interesting storyline entering this game.† In question is just how well the Saints will do this season with their Coach Sean Payton banned for the year by Roger Goddell.† Not only will Payton be absent all year, several members of the Saintsí team face bans of four games to sixteen games for purposely trying to hurt players by putting bounties on them.† Interesting to note is that Kurt Warner retired from football after a playoff game against the Saints in which New Orleans allegedly tried to take him out.† Another quarterback who the Saints supposedly tried to hurt in the playoffs that year was Brett Favre, yet both Favre and Warner say that they do not think that the Saints had bounties on them.† Yet if one takes the time to watch these playoff games, it appears that both quarterbacks were taking some vicious hits that appear to be illegal.
College football fall camps are also opening up right now, and my favorite team Arizona State started its year yesterday with only 9 starters returning from last yearís disappointing season.† That coupled with the fact that they have a new head coach in Todd Graham means that this year just may be a long one for the Sun Devils.† I am not prone to predicting outcomes months in advance like many are, but I would think that Southern Cal has as good a chance as any of the SEC schools in winning the National Title this season. We shall see.
The Summer Olympics have kept my attention thus far, and the track and field events are just getting underway.† I am one who believes that these athletic events are the heart and soul of any Summer Olympics.† The U.S. Menís and Womenís Basketball Teams are still heading toward what both teams hope will be Olympic Gold.† The Womenís Basketball Team has to be the most neglected team in the whole Olympic Games.† These poor ladies have won 37 straight games and all we ever hear about is our Menís team and how the Dream Team would have obliterated them. Hey press; letís give our Womenís Team some ink for a change.
I was happy to hear that the Cleveland Browns were sold to billionaire Jimmy Haslam who paid something like a billion dollars for the team.† Hereís hoping that Jimmy dumps Mike Holmgren into Lake Michigan and gets a good replacement for him.† With the exception of only the legendary Matt Millen, Holmgren has to be the most over-rated executive in professional football.† Heaven knows the fans in Cleveland deserve a great football team.† Hereís hoping that this†could be†the start of something big!