Tuesday, August 10, 2004

NFL Preseason: A love, hate relationship

Last night was the start of the 2004 NFL preseason. Every year this brings joy to my heart. It sounds like football. It looks like football. And, for about a quarter and half it's even played like football. The best part is that the start of the preseason means that real NFL football is only a few short weeks away.

But then I remember what an insanely stupid idea preseason football really is. College and high school kids don't need fake games to warm up. Why should the pros? Each year some team loses an important player to injury in these meaningless games. Last year it was the Falcons' superstar Mike Vick. Last night it was a far less famous but still very important player. Early in last night's exhibition game, the Redskins lost star right tackle Jon Janssen for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon.

Still, NFL teams seem to make money on these practice games, so I'm sure they will continue. In the meantime, fans will just have to hold their breath as they wait to see which player will be next to fall in a meaningless game.