Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Fly Route

August 17, 2006

August can do crazy things to sports fans and a glance around the sporting landscape reveals area fans are being pushed to the brink.

It's the anticipation and the rotten carrot that is preseason games that sends NFL fans into a frenzy.

The Kansas City Chiefs looked ugly in their first preseason game and couldn't stop quarterback bootleg runs. This would warrant a yawn considering the Chiefs' usual inept attempts to stop the bootleg. It should warrant a yawn considering it was the first preseason game and as fruitless as scheming to stop the bootleg would appear to be, the Chiefs coaches probably didn't even try.

Nevertheless, fans lit up radio stations and message boards all week, complaining about how similar the once-again revamped Kansas City defense looked to last season's attempt.

As one who is not sure a Kansas City defensive end will ever wonder why the quarterback is running the opposite way he is holding something brown and leathery, I will say Saturday night's preseason performance is nothing to meltdown over.

It's the preseason. It's a series of four games so traumatizing in their boringness the only reason for their existence has to be greedy owners squeezing every extra dollar out of the little man and the only excuse for watching beyond the first series is the scarily dark twinge of humor that comes when a hanging-to-the-roster-for-dear-life running back fumbles away his chance to make the cut.

Preseason games suck, not only because they are boring.

It simply takes so long. It's not real football, but it's enough to make fans really, really want real football. Instead, they get to endure five whole weeks of worthless preseason games. Their team plays four times and the players people actually care about play a combined 30 minutes -- and they don't even try very hard then.

No matter what happens in preseason games, it's nothing to get concerned about, bootleg or not.

But August fan meltdowns are not unique to the Chiefs.

Fans everywhere have little choice but to bash their heads against the wall.

Royals fans -- fan -- can do little but try and pick the jaw up off the floor after their team played so embarrassingly bad in a series last week against the Twins, so awesomely ... awesome in a series over the weekend against the Red Sox and, once again, so humiliating terrible in games against Cleveland and the White Sox.

The new freedom of information act that is Ron Prince's tenure at Kansas State has left Wildcat fans all abuzz, as well.

K-Staters endured for years knowing absolutely nothing about what was happening behind the fortress walls. Now there's a million things to worry about.

Now the offensive linemen aren't fast enough to practice and the quarterbacks don't want to be backups. Prince is either too smart, too dumb, too well-read, too outspoken or just perfect based not only on who you talk to, but what time of day you talk to them.

But it will all go away. There's not a single local football game before the calendar turns to September, but then high school, college and NFL teams all kick off in a 10-day span.

Please, please, please hurry up football season.

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