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Inside the sports world


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dan Rosen

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat, September 1, 1999

The National Football League's front office has done some great things in the past, such as finally implementing an instant replay.

But, the one thing they need to work on is the preseason regimen that each team goes through.

Granted, mini-camps and training camps are necessary for each club, but why in the holy name of Pete Rozelle do they play four preseason games?

Four - that is a quarter of a season - and these games mean about as much as the penny you get back from something that costs 99 cents.

The players who are actually going to play in the regular season games need about one, or maybe two, games to prepare for the season.

Guys like Trent Green, the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, do not need to go down with season ending injuries in the third game of the preseason. Now, while Green may be a bit overrated - during his playing days at Indiana University my brother caught a pass that he threw, and my brother was in the band - he is still a professional quarterback that is paid to start. Now the Rams are stuck with no-namers like Curt Warner and Joe Germaine.

It's the preseason for heaven's sake, and the games are incredibly boring. Even commentators such as Al Michaels and Boomer Esaison, run out of things to say by the third quarter, and those guys are the biggest chatter-boxes on television.

Cut the preseason games down and start the season two weeks earlier with the guys who could actually make a difference in the season if they were healthy.

One of the greatest rivalries in college football will be on display Saturday afternoon, as the Fighting Irish storm into Michigan Stadium - a battle of the bulge with the Michigan Wolverines.

Now, while Michigan has not been known for its good behavior and tamed athletic department in the past years - i.e. Steve Fisher and the Fab Five - they actually get my vote in this one.

Not because they should probably beat an overrated Notre Dame team who can run the ball, but when it comes to the passing game, quarterback Jarious Jackson looks about as comfortable in the pocket, as I would.

The reason is Notre Dame tampered with one of the greatest early season rivalries. The Irish decided to go against an alleged verbal agreement and handshake with Michigan's Bo Schembechler and play a game the week before this, to prepare for 'The Big House.'

To make it worse, they played Kansas - a weak opponent at best, which allowed the Irish to slowly implement some new sets and see how they work in a game situation.

So, with the news of the selfishness out of South Bend, I am going to have to hail ... as much as it hurts to say ... to the victors.

The Wolverines party in Ann Arbor, to the sweet tune of a 31-17 victory.

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