The NFL season is still weeks away, but it seems awfully close to Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern.
"You can never be completely ready as a punter," said Kern. "There's just too much to it, what with having to kick the ball both far and high. And then sometimes the coach says he wants you to kick it shorter so it doesn't go in the end zone. I probably lost you already with all the technical jargon, huh?"
Kern says for a position like his, six weeks of training camp is not even remotely enough time to get ready for game-speed competition, so that's why he has been putting in long hours of practice honing various techniques.
"Mainly I have been punting," he said. "A lot, though. Like, I just punt all the time. All day with the punting. I'm trying to come up with other things I could do to help me with punting, but all I can think of is more punting."
The Titans open the regular with two home games at LP Field which Kern calls a "punter's stadium" but then they travel to the Meadowlands to play the Giants in Week 3.
"There you could punt into wind," he said. "Or with the wind. Or there could be a cross-wind. It's basically a punter's nightmare. But that's why we get paid the big bucks at least big bucks for someone who only kicks things for a living."
The president today announced plans to send 30,000 National Guard troops to the hotly-contested border between the offense and defense in preparation for what is suspected to be an increase in violence along the line of scrimmage this fall.
"Each day livelihoods are lost, knees are blown out, yards per carry averages are destroyed along our nation's lines of scrimmage," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. "It was imperative that the president step in and take action."
There is a long history of conflict along the line of scrimmage dating back to the mid-1800s. But the conflict has escalated in recent years as both sides mass larger and stronger players along the line. Perhaps most terrifying: the growth of children serving in youth forces or "teams".
"This is calculated violence playing out on our television screens every week," said vice president Joe Biden. "We can no longer pretend it's not happening. This administration promised to take on the issues and we are."
The National Guard troops will be instructed to prevent teams from moving beyond their currently established positions, a move that will prevent violence but also end scoring.
"There is no perfect solution," said Gibbs. "Once we calm tensions we will take a look at allowing certain players to advance beyond the line of scrimmage."
The Guard has also been instructed to call penalties on all players with Mexican ancestry.
Our reporter spent the day at Washington Redskins training camp in Ashburn, Virginia. Here are his notes.
The New York Giants medical staff came back from another round of tests on quarterback Eli Manning this morning unsure if the signal caller is experiencing symptoms of a concussion or just being his regular stupid self.
“It’s tough to say at this point”, said team doctor Mike Woolcott. “We’ve been asking him simple questions that any human being with a below average IQ would know –What’s your name? Where are you? Who’s the president? and he answered them all incorrectly. The problem is we’re pretty sure he didn’t know those answers before the hit.”
Doctors say that on Monday afternoon Manning was absent-mindedly walking into walls and saying nonsensical things, but no one on the staff seemed to notice or care.
Explained head coach Tom Coughlin, “Eli skips down the halls singing ‘Im A Little Teapot’ all the time, so this is nothing new for us. In fact, I’d say the best indication that he suffered a head injury would be if he wasn’t acting like a two year-old.”
The Giants plan to continue monitoring the quarterback, just like they normally do due to his habit of licking electrical outlets.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve been confused by an athlete’s behavior,” added Coughlin. “In 2008 we assumed Jared Lorenzen’s weight was due to him being lazy and eating all the time, so we tested him for marijuana every day. Turns out he was just a fat f*ck.”
The ProStars cartoon aired only 14 episodes during its television run from September to December 1991. But many more episodes of the Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky crime-fighting cartoon were shot that never made it to air.
Here are a few.