Our reporter spent the day at Philadelphia Eagles training camp in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Here are his notes.
> Five players were shot this morning outside of a position meeting attended by Michael Vick. Vick claims no connection to the incident.
> The shooting overshadows the camp violence from last week when quarterback Kevin Kolb, who hunts wild boar in the offseason, felled head coach Andy Reid with a spear in a case of mistaken identity. Reid made Kolb run extra sprints after practice.
> Kolb appears to have a strong grasp of the system in what will be his first year as a starter. But coaches say he still has yet to show Donovan McNabb's strength or accuracy when projectile vomiting.
> Someone named Stewart Bradley is a middle linebacker and captain of Philadelphia's defense and not an interior designer. Huh. Weird.
> Defensive lineman Brandon Graham, drafted 13th overall out of Michigan, has been performing quite well in camp. He says he is motivated to prove doubters wrong who say a traditional swimming power like Michigan can't also produce serviceable football players.
> Fourth-round draft pick Mike Kafka is getting a lot of attention as a third-string quarterback because reporters like to work his last name into their columns in the form of bad puns. But this reporter wouldn't do that because taking such extreme measures would be rather Kafkaesque.
> Remember when Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was on the Patriots and he dropped that easy interception in the Super Bowl that would have clinched New England's 19-0 season, and then the Patriots went on to lose? That was awesome.
> The Eagles have had to find new strength training exercises this year at camp now that Brian Westbrook is no longer around for them to carry off the field.
Training camp is less than two weeks old and Tim Tebow's Broncos teammates have already grown tired of his miracles.
"Look, it's cool he can make all that food," said wide receiver Jabar Gaffney. "But how about some diversity? I'd rather starve than eat another goddam fish, I'll tell you that. And the carbs from the loaves are not helping any of us get in shape."
The Broncos selected Tebow in the first round as much for his leadership and intangibles as for his football ability, and those intangibles included feeding and ministering to his teammates. It was hoped he would save the team money on dining costs at training camp, as well as for post-game spreads. And he has, but Broncos players don't care about cost savings.
"I asked Tim for a pizza. Deep dish. The works," said running back LenDale White. "He got me a fish on a loaf and tried to tell me it was a French bread sardine pizza. That's not what I asked for and Tim Tebow isn't supposed to lie."
Head coach Josh McDaniels is working with Tebow to improve his food-making.
"The problem is that Tim is a biblical literalist," said McDaniels. "So in the Bible it says Jesus made loaves and fishes. Fine. But what I want to stress to Tim is that if he wanted, being that he's supposed to be all-powerful, Jesus could have also made a nice stir-fry. Or, you know, even steak with a loaf. I'm sure the guys could go for a London broil sandwich."
But not all the Broncos are tired of Tebow's loaves and fishes. Starting quarterback Kyle Orton says he is happy with his new teammate.
"Hey, I'm very happy with sticking to exactly what's in the Bible," said Orton. "Because I know that means soon he'll start changing water into wine. Score!"
In what many are calling the worst “Madden Jinx” yet, all 5.5 million people who purchased this year’s edition of the game have reportedly died.
The supposed jinx – which in the past has delivered various levels of doom to cover subjects such as Marshall Faulk, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander, Vince Young and Troy Polamalu – is usually contained to the cover subject.But clearly Drew Brees is not the victim of the Madden 11 curse because he is still alive.
Hospitals across the country began reporting high numbers of unexplained fatalities in the early morning hours after stores began selling the game – many among seemingly healthy young men aged 16-35. By the mid-morning, with the death toll skyrocketing into the millions, a working theory was developed: the Madden curse had turned on its consumers. And by early evening it was confirmed: all 5.5 million who died owned copies of Madden 11.
“It seems the focus of the jinx moved from the player pictured on the game to the little E at the bottom left of the front cover – a little E that stands for Everyone,” said President Obama. “A game rating that was intended to be welcoming to all instead welcome 5.5 million of our citizens into eternal rest.”
The five-plus million who died were stricken with severe strokes or brain aneurysms during the brightly colored, flashy intro into the game.
“All those flashing lights and photos, while exciting, when paired with the power of the Madden curse were too powerful for their brains to process and they essentially exploded,” said Robert Monsanta, Cook County (Illinois) chief coronoer.
Shawn Scott, the lead programmer of Madden Football at EA Sports, says that while tragic, the 5.5 million deaths give his job a new focus.
“We strive to improve the game every year, but sometimes that’s hard, to be honest,” said Scott. “But now for next year we’ll make it our goal: don’t kill everyone. So I think it’s all up for us from here. And I’m excited about the high percentage of first-time buyers we’ll have for Madden 12.”
Madden 11 is upon us. Let's take a look back through 22 years of the franchise to see how we got to where we are today.
Picture Awkward Pop Warner Tackle
The school's mentally challenged kid just saw The Waterboy and was inspired.
News Are You Being Hazed?
It's NFL training camp season, when teams gather to prepare for the season but mainly just to screw with rookies.
But if you are a rookie player, how can you know if you are really being hazed? Just follow this handy flowchart.
Our reporter spent the day at Cincinnati Bengals training camp in Georgetown, Kentucky. Here are his notes.
> Terrell Owens has been on his best behavior so far and is not expected to cause anyone any trouble this season. "Including opposing defensive backs," said one scout. "In fact, especially opposing defensive backs."
> While most teams choose sites for training camp with little to do other than football, the Bengals interestingly train in Georgetown, Kentucky a town with as much, if not more, to do than Cincinnati.
> After having one of the NFL's easiest schedules in 2009, the Bengals have the league's fourth-toughest schedule this season. The iPhone app RunPee, created by backup quarterback Jordan Palmer, says you can go to the bathroom anytime after Week 10 in Cincinnati's schedule without missing anything meaningful.
> The Bengals won the AFC North last year? Really? That's absurd.
> Defensive back Adam Jones is scheduled to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on October 20th to discuss whatever he will have gotten in trouble for by then.
> Quarterback Carson Palmer says that if everyone could keep pretending he is an elite quarteback, he would really appreciate it.
> Still looks like the Bengals are sticking with those godawful uniforms. A bold, yet disgusting, choice.
Picture Shocker Senior Pic
The real shocker is how he Bieber-ized his hair.