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tk13
07-29-2005, 01:44 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/12250558.htm

This is brutal, outdated … and perfect

JOE POSNANSKI
Kansas City Star

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Football players despise training camp, and you really can’t blame them. Here are some of the greatest and richest athletes in the world — big, talented, dedicated men who can bench-press twice their weight and fight through your basic elephant stampede and outrun virtually every car in the Kia line.

Most of the time, they are treated pretty well. They are, after all, NFL players.

For a month every year, though, these players are transported to little towns like River Falls, they are dumped in college dorm rooms, given beds the size of two Pop Tarts placed end to end and told to crack heads twice a day. They go down the hall to the bathroom. They eat meals in a cafeteria. They are forced to smash their bodies into odd-looking blocking sleds, required to catch passes from machines that catapult footballs at about 295 mph, told to do pushups whenever they do something awful, like drop a pass.

They are required to be in bed by midnight.

They are also yelled at continually, relentlessly, nonstop. It doesn’t matter where the players go in town, someone screams at them. It is like living on ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” only the screams are even more inane. Coaches scream pointless words and phrases like “Ball!” or “Show up!” or “Hit it!” Players hear these shrieks in their sleep.

Yes, it’s easy to understand why players despise training camp.

It makes me feel bad for loving it so much.

Sure, I understand how outdated all of this is. Football training camp is right out of 1957 — it is Paul Brown and George Halas and crewcuts and hula hoops and Sputnik and Pat Boone records. Millionaire players staying in dorms? Sleeping on cots? This comes from a time when baseball players rode on trainers and basketball players took two-handed set shots. How did this survive?

Truth is, it is barely surviving. Almost half the teams in the NFL now train at home or close to home. The New England Patriots train at home, which means everybody will be doing it soon. The Patriots inspire more impersonators than Starbucks.

But for now, at least, the Chiefs still come to River Falls. Thursday was the first day of practice. You know how when you drive through some cities, you say, “Wow, none of this was here before,” and “I can’t believe how much this place has changed.” Well, you don’t say those things in River Falls. It is as ageless as Kansas City television personality Dave Stewart (no kidding, someone gave me a tape of the 1985 World Series game six. Afterward there was a shot of Dave Stewart interviewing fans — he looked older then).

Everything stays the same in River Falls. The same “Welcome to River Falls” sign leads you in with the catchy slogan “The City By The Kinni” (the original slogan “Our Kinnickinnic River Has Eight Consonants” was inexplicably shelved). The movie theater is always playing one movie for two bucks. The Chinese restaurant (with the helpful sign outside that says “CHINESE RESTAURANT”) has a buffet every day in the same spot.

River Falls is this kind of place — just south of downtown there’s a “Southtowne Cleaners.” Go about a 1.2 miles and there’s a “Northtowne Cleaners.”

And this is the perfect kind of place to build a football team. Sure it’s old-fashioned. But it’s good. Everybody is together playing football, studying playbooks, complaining, grumbling, dealing with the yelling. There is not much to do in a cute town between dry cleaners other than throw footballs and catch footballs and crash into tackling dummies.

Thursday, it began. There is no telling what to make of this team based on one practice even though afterward there were many questions like, “How did the defense look?” and “Did the defense seem faster?” and “How would you rate the defense?” People want quick answers, but that’s not how training camp works.

No, first there will be drudgery. There will be a fight or two. There will be moments when the Chiefs defense looks like the Doomsday Defense and other moments when they look like the Doonesbury Defense. Sometimes quarterback Trent Green will look like Unitas, and other times he will throw more picks than Eric Clapton. Some days Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf will look as if he needs a stretcher, other days as if he needs an ambulance.

This is training camp. You hope day by day, week by week, that the team comes together. Everyone knows there is more pure talent on this defense now than the Chiefs have had in five years. Everyone knows this offense has scored more points than any other team in the NFL the last three years. But how will they come together?

That’s training camp.

And it’s there for everyone to see. That’s the best part of all. Thursday, during practice, Priest Holmes made a nice run, Freddie Mitchell made a couple of big catches, Kawika Mitchell made an impressive interception, and all the while Chiefs fans stood behind a wooden fence and watched, cheered, believed they were seeing something important. They called their friends on cell phones. They pointed out players to their kids.

When practice ended, Dante Hall ran to the fence to sign autographs. Tony Gonzalez caught a few extra passes. Boomer Grigsby was surrounded by cameras and reporters.

And Chiefs president/CEO/general manager/funk doctor Carl Peterson walked by. A few minutes before, he had walked by these same fans, and a couple of them had yelled, “Get Derrick Johnson in here.” They were talking about the Chiefs’ unsigned No. 1 pick.

“Get Derrick Johnson in here,” they yelled.

Peterson turned around and smiled.

“He doesn’t want to come in,” he said.

He started to walk away when a woman yelled, “Yes he does.”

Training camp is still a place where you can stand over a fence and argue with the team president. It would be terrible to see training camps fade away.

Logical
07-29-2005, 02:03 AM
How sweet, actually it is still football news. All is good in the world.

Rausch
07-29-2005, 02:37 AM
JoPo is what is still right in sportswriters. He's a throwback who keeps on dreaming. Never wake up fat-neck, never wake up...

Oh, I almost forgot what pissed me off:

Sure, I understand how outdated all of this is. Football training camp is right out of 1957 — it is Paul Brown and George Halas and crewcuts and hula hoops and Sputnik and Pat Boone records. Millionaire players staying in dorms? Sleeping on cots? This comes from a time when baseball players rode on trainers and basketball players took two-handed set shots. How did this survive?

It better ****ing survive 'cause if it don't there won't be a Belly-check or Bill Parcells or Bill Cowher or Herm Edwards or DV left in the league.

"You play the game to win. YOU PLAY.....TO WIN....THE GAME!"

Gotta' love the guy...

stumppy
07-29-2005, 04:34 AM
Football :)

Bob Dole
07-29-2005, 05:34 AM
When practice ended, Dante Hall ran to the fence to sign autographs. Tony Gonzalez caught a few extra passes. Boomer Grigsby was surrounded by cameras and reporters.

From this chair, he might as well have written "Cats and dogs sleeping together."

Gonzalez is at the first day of camp? Madness.

KCTitus
07-29-2005, 06:11 AM
...they are dumped in college dorm rooms, given beds the size of two Pop Tarts placed end to end and told to crack heads twice a day...

I read this line about 5-6 times...I still dont understand.

BigRedChief
07-29-2005, 06:12 AM
From this chair, he might as well have written "Cats and dogs sleeping together."

Gonzalez is at the first day of camp? Madness.

:eek: Holy Chit Batman! Tony G in camp? First day? If that can happen maybe Bartee can turn his head around this year?

CHIEF4EVER
07-29-2005, 06:34 AM
:eek: Holy Chit Batman! Tony G in camp? First day? If that can happen maybe Bartee can turn his head around this year?

I wouldn't hold my breath.

ptlyon
07-29-2005, 07:04 AM
He started to walk away when a woman yelled, “Yes he does.”

Ok - which one of you ladies yelled this?

ROYC75
07-29-2005, 07:09 AM
:eek: Holy Chit Batman! Tony G in camp? First day? If that can happen maybe Bartee can turn his head around this year?


Awh man, he has many times , many times. To watch the reciever go by him....... This year he is facing the reciever , but much deeper......can he get his 1st INT ?

What are the odds here.......... anybody ?

Fire Me Boy!
07-29-2005, 07:19 AM
Some days Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf will look as if he needs a stretcher, other days as if he needs an ambulance.
This line made me laugh out loud...

ENDelt260
07-29-2005, 11:20 AM
I read this line about 5-6 times...I still dont understand.
I don't understand what you don't understand.

ChiTown
07-29-2005, 11:22 AM
DAMNIT, CARL!! :cuss:

KCTitus
07-29-2005, 11:31 AM
I don't understand what you don't understand.

Im going to assume you're serious, because Im curious to know...

They sleep in beds the size of poptarts and are told to crack heads twice a day...I dont get it...'told to crack heads'?

**edit**

nevermind, it just clicked...I was reading as if crack head was 'crackhead' (druggie). I got it now.

ptlyon
07-29-2005, 11:35 AM
Im going to assume you're serious, because Im curious to know...

They sleep in beds the size of poptarts and are told to crack heads twice a day...I dont get it...'told to crack heads'?

**edit**

nevermind, it just clicked...I was reading as if crack head was 'crackhead' (druggie). I got it now.

Ok crackhead

ENDelt260
07-29-2005, 11:54 AM
Sweet. I think from now on I'll just call Titus Crackhead.

ptlyon
07-29-2005, 12:01 PM
Tit Crack for short

Fire Me Boy!
07-29-2005, 12:20 PM
Tit Crack for short
Isn't that cleavage?

Terribilis
07-29-2005, 12:35 PM
its actually much funnier worded 'crackhead'

Dunit35
07-29-2005, 12:48 PM
[QUOTE=tk13][url]

And Chiefs president/CEO/general manager/funk doctor Carl Peterson walked by. A few minutes before, he had walked by these same fans, and a couple of them had yelled, “Get Derrick Johnson in here.” They were talking about the Chiefs’ unsigned No. 1 pick.

“Get Derrick Johnson in here,” they yelled.

Peterson turned around and smiled.

“He doesn’t want to come in,” he said.

He started to walk away when a woman yelled, “Yes he does.”

QUOTE]

hahaha thats funny...I wish I woulda been there I wouldve told him to F**k straight off. I cant take this DJ not there Sh*t much longer. Same old Carl huh? Im sure DJ wants to be in there and Im sure Crap does too. I hope they can get him in there by Monday or so..

KCTitus
07-29-2005, 12:57 PM
its actually much funnier worded 'crackhead'

aint it? :D

ChiTown
07-29-2005, 01:29 PM
[

hahaha thats funny...I wish I woulda been there I wouldve told him to F**k straight off. I cant take this DJ not there Sh*t much longer. Same old Carl huh? Im sure DJ wants to be in there and Im sure Crap does too. I hope they can get him in there by Monday or so..

ROFL

Wow! Now, THAT is some Class A venting!