Chaos, Confusion, Courting Rules Day In NFL As Lockout Ends
Chaos, Confusion, Courting Rules Day In NFL As Lockout Ends
Training Camps Begin Opening Wednesday - Seahawks At Chargers Set To Open Pre-Season In 17 Days
Mysterious Decline Of Seattle Keeps 0-15 Mariners In Running To Set MLB Record For Straight Losses
Sign Up For Entire College, NFL Seasons For Just $199 And Get Pre-Season, Rest Of Baseball Season Free Early Bird Football Clients 18-6 With Last 24 MLB Plays
By Kelso Sturgeon
The National Football League lockout is over and teams begin reporting to training camp Wednesday. Chaos, confusion and courting will rule each day at least until the first week of the NFL pre-season begins Thursday, August 11, when the Seattle Seahawks journey down the coast to meet the San Diego Chargers in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.
In other words, after almost five months of debate and bickering, it's a go. We will have an NFL season just as I predicted months ago. With $19.9 billion on the table, there was never any doubt about that.
There is so much for each of the 32 teams to do before the regular season begins September 8, and other than the brutal hellish routine of getting each player up to his physical maximum, personnel issues will be on the table each day. Top running backs such as Carolina's DeAngelo Williams and New York Giants' defensive end Osi Umenyiora are free agents and may leave their teams as might dozens of other key players.
Eight of the 32 teams are without legitimate starting quarterbacks, raising a bidding war for long-time Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer and Philadelphia back-up signal- caller Kevin Kolb who are both free agents.
From the biggest names in the game to four punters and 11 long-snappers, personnel issues will make for plenty of chaos and confusion as various teams court the. Being courted does not mean every free agent is leaving the team for which he played last season. Some will get new and better contracts and will stay where they are, in their normal comfort zone, if there really is any such thing in the meat rack that is the NFL.
And then there are giant question marks about the health of several key players, including the Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning who has voices doubts about being ready for the pre-season because of the slow healing process of a neck injury suffered last season.
Handicappers are going to have to keep up with all new signings and free-agent transactions on a daily basis or face the reality of starting the NFL season not knowing who's on first.
Teams reporting on Wednesday are Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle. The rest, with the exception of Houston and the New York Jets, will report on Thursday and Friday. The Texans and the Jets are not permitted to open until Saturday under a rule that says no team can open training camp more than 15 days before its opener. Neither plays until August 15.
Bookmakers Also Will Be Busy Catching Up
Bookmakers are also going to be busy updating all their figures for the coming NFL season and posting their first over/under win futures. If you think you know something they don't, you just might find an edge in over-under betting on the number of wins each team will have.
As an aside, the red flag is up on offshore betting. Some strange things are going on and the reasons behind them make little sense. Just pay attention.
As the lockout comes to a close, the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots are the 6-1 co-favorites to win the Super Bowl, which will be played Sunday, February 5, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The longest prices on the board are the Carolina Panthers at 300-1 and the Buffalo Bills at 200-1.
In college football, Oklahoma is now the 9-2 favorite to win the national championship, While Alabama is second in line at 5-1, followed by LSU at 8-1 and Florida State at 10-1. The other 119 NCAA Division I teams are 12-1 and up, some, such as Maryland and Central Florida listed at 1,000-1.
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July 24-10 Units...Indians (-120) 2, White Sox 4 (L)
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July 22-10 Units...Yankees (-165) 17, Athletics 7 (W)
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July 21-10 Units...Rangers (+115) 0, Angels 1 (L)
July 20-10 Units...Cardinals (+100) 5, Mets 6 (L)
July 20-3 Units...Braves (+100) 3, Rockies 3 (L)
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July 19-3 Units...Brewers (-120) 11, Diamondbacks 3 (W)
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July 12-10 Units...All-Star Game Under 8 ½ W)
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