A well-dressed, downtown man walks into a Chicago dive bar on the corner of Nowhere Street & Future Is Bleak Boulevard. He asks the bartender for a wine list. The bartender is caught off-guard by the request. He takes a bar napkin and a pen from beside the register and writes in capital letters:
He slides the napkin across the bar. The well-dressed looks at the writing, smiles and says quickly, “Old Style”.
Does this story have any meaning or relevance? Not really. Is it fun? I think so. And that’s how I feel about training camp and the preseason. Shakespeare wrote better than I do and he said it pretty damn well. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I spend a vast majority of the next six weeks muttering/writing a refrain that seems to drive a stake through the vampiric heart of the Bourbonnais die-hard: it’s all meaningless.
There will be things to look at this summer. Young linebackers attempting to meld their skills into a veteran defensive unit. A new group of offensive linemen trying to find themselves as a unit. A quarterback-guru head coach and a quarterback looking to get on the same page.
These are things worth looking at but you will never have the opportunity to see them. Every moment of practice shown to the public is a mere performance. Nothing of value is implemented or practiced. Teams are far too secretive for that. And preseason games are intriguing for the those hovering around the fifty-third roster position. You know, those who’ll make the roster and spend an overwhelming majority of the sixteen-game schedule in jump suits on the sideline.
Watch it. Enjoy the hell out of it. Just don’t come to any conclusions based on what you’re seeing because the truth is simple: you’re seeing nothing.