Well, I’m back. And I find the place has to be mopped pretty thoroughly. Some of you have been pissing in the corners.
And I find that, true to form, all sorts of shit happens as soon as I’m away from a keyboard. Hell, I was even at the practice when Jabari Greer was hurt, and I didn’t notice a thing. I did, however, notice when Curtis Lofton and David Thomas were giving out autographs after the practice was over and someone commented on how hot it was. Lofton replied, “Could be worse. I could be an Atlanta Falcon.”
Other than that…well, you saw the Hall of Fame game. That trumps practice. But I have to say, most of my impressions from the practice we watched stand up unaltered. This team is dripping with offensive talent. You could put together an 8-8 team out of the players who are going to get cut. The defense? Not so much. Definitely “work in progress” territory. Although, they didn’t do too badly against the Cards, actually: one score in the first four drives, an ought-to-have-been safety, and with the first team offense taking the reps the score should have been 23-0 before the defense forgot how to tackle. Not bad for August.
(And parenthetically, I must ask: is there actually a single Cardinals fan who thinks it’s a bad thing that Kevin Kolb was injured?)
So, what did I get out of my sojourn? A lot of good food (finally got to go to Liuzza’s, which is as good as advertised). A trip to the zoo (the white alligator, the flightless boa, the saltwater anteater). The joints of a 90-year-old (averaging in the trips down and back, we spent probably four hours a day in the car).
And heatstroke. I haven’t been that hot since 1984, when we moved away from New Orleans. I can remember sitting in the Quarter, watching the tourists stagger down the street and snickering. Ah, the wages of hubris! I was so hot I couldn’t tell you where I got my shoes. But we came away with some more olive salad from Central Grocery, so that was good.
So, what’s going on? The Temptation of Jonathan Vilma, that’s what. Apparently, Roger’s beginning to sweat. What’s curious is this: Goodell is offering to reduce Vilma’s suspension if Vilma drops a civil suit not against the league, but against Roger Goodell. In other words: Roger isn’t acting in the interests of the NFL in making this offer, but in his own interests. I hope the owners are paying attention.
And I hope, more than anything else, that Vilma tells him to fuck off. If Vilma accepts a deal—any deal—it’s the equivalent of pleading guilty to a lesser charge. His reputation is in the toilet, and everyone else is smeared. Don’t give in, Jonathan. It’s too much fun watching Goodell sweat; now, I want to see him piss his pants. By the time you’re finished with him, I want to see his own lawyers refusing to sit on his side of the room. Go for it.
One last thing: I really enjoyed my time off. Did y’all?
On the Jukebox
A whole week of nothing but loafing. Now I have to get back to work, because I need the dough.