Just when you thought you couldn't stand to even think about the news any more, what with the Traficant expulsion, and the roiling stock market, and Western forest fires, and drought, and killings, and kidnappings, and a possible baseball strike, there comes a small glimmer of hope: Football news has returned to the sports pages. How refreshing to read that Ohio State's Jim Tressel is preparing his outstanding freshmen for the season ahead, that the Steelers and Browns are eagerly anticipating pre-season opportunities to try out new players, and that the St. Louis Rams, formerly of Los Angeles, can continue their rivalry with the San Francisco Forty-Niners.
Football is, after all, the quintessential American sport, and football means fall, and crunching leaves, and kids going back to school. Next Saturday, the Washington Redskins will play the 'Niners in the American Bowl in Osaka, Japan, and on Monday, Aug. 5, Houston takes on the New York Giants at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton.
American football -- real football -- it just doesn't get any better than this.