TIME: US | UK
WEATHER: US | UK
THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE ONLINE
Features & Blogs
"Life in the UK"
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale
Welcome to the start of the 2008 season
Okay, so it's still a week — ONLY a week! — until the start of the NFL preseason, but it's time to blow the cobwebs off Sideline and get ready for some football. This space has been pretty silent over the last few months, but I haven't been entirely idle. For one thing, this erstwhile designer has been revamping the print version of The American, and for another, I've been getting used to this fatherhood thing (and not by chance that the young lady was born between the NFL Draft and preseason — do you think I don't plan these things?)
However, I haven't been completely ignoring my sportswriter responsibilities. This summer I conducted interviews with fantasy football No.1 selection LaDainian Tomlinson, backfield enigma Reggie Bush and Saints owner Rita Benson LeBlanc, all of whom will be visiting the UK again in October when the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints visit Wembley Stadium.
Those interviews begin in the August edition, where Rita Benson LeBlanc talks about the marketing of the Saints after Hurricane Katrina, ownership meetings, and why bringing the Saints to London is so important. You can read the extended version of that interview right here on the website in a few days, but don't miss the print editions for LT and Reggie!
And with that plug out of the way, onto the opinions...
I have to say, the prospect of meaningless preseason football just around the corner has me way more excited than the Olympics. Let's not pretend I'm anything but a football junkie. When it comes down to it, the only parts of the Olympics I'll be making special efforts to catch are tennis, soccer, and of course basketball. The rest of it — the running races, jumping and throwing metal objects — is what the Olympics should really be about at its core, but running fast in a straight line never quite impresses me as much as running fast, making a cut, and catching a ball while somebody tries to deck you.
I just prefer my sports complicated.
Here comes the new NFL season, and nothing changes with the Washington football team's name. A district court judge last month ruled that the youngest of a group of Native Americans didn't file a lawsuit against the Washington team's use of certain trademarks soon enough after turning 18. This allows the team to continue using their trademarks.
So, a team with an image of a Native American as their logo is called the 'Redskins' — a racial nickname bound to offend at least some Native Americans. And if it offends somebody, that makes it 'offensive', by definition. So, if it's racial and offensive, that makes it racially offensive, am I right? And this is the team based in the nation's capital — the team all those politicians go to see. Strange.
I can't add anything to the 'Favre unretires' story that hasn't already been said. So, let's talk about Trent Dilfer. Sure, Dilfer isn't going to the Hall of Fame, he isn't storied, he doesn't have a road named after him (well not that I know of), and he hasn't displayed wooden acting in the final scene of any romantic comedies. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns, threw less than half the number of yards as Favre, and had a career QB rating of 70.2.
He has, however, won just as many Superbowls as Favre.
Penn State Joe Paterno has been enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame. I'm stunned it's taken this long, but I guess they'd been waiting for him to retire and finally realized he's probably not going to. I can remember visiting Pennsylvania in 2003 and thinking I'd better get along to a Penn State game; at the time I figured it might be the last chance to see Joe Pa on the sideline. Wrong.
One thing that bothers me about Joe Paterno's resume: he still isn't officially the winningest coach in Division 1–FBS history because Florida State coach Bobby Bowden's 33 wins with Howard University are counted by the NCAA, even though Howard isn't a 1–FBS team. Even with such statistical nonsense in place, Paterno is just one behind Bowden.
So who do Florida State line up for non–conference openers? Western Carolina and Chattanooga, teams that are not only in the FCS rather than 1–FBS, but are two of the worst teams in the lower tier. I have to wonder if Florida State are deliberately padding Bobby's stats to stay ahead of Joe Pa.