AFC North Afternoon Roundup

AFC North Afternoon Roundup
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Summer’s almost over.  Again.  Which means our favorite time of year is about to begin.


No, I don’t mean fall, with its colors, cooler temps, and relaxed vibe.  Screw that.


It’s football season, dummy.  And that means a return to the mudslinging, freewheeling conversations we enjoy about our favorite teams, our fantasy teams, our generalized bragging rights, and our indignation that anyone could ever suggest inferiority.  It means eating lots of grotesque, diet-demolishing greasy fatty food.  For some (like me), it means thick, hop-heavy, waistline-expanding beer…lots of them.  And it means that Sundays are sacred, and not to be interfered with by spouses, children, or other family responsibilities.


Sacred.  Got that?


The preseason is a cruel tease, and doesn’t move my meter one bit.  It’s not even on Sundays!  How does that qualify as football?


But for now, it’s all we have.  Here’s this year’s first AFC North roundup.  Enjoy.


Baltimore Ravens

RT Ricky Wagner is quietly having an excellent camp.

My Take:  Bully for Wagner, who has millions of reasons to perform well in a contract year.  If he’s able to solidify the right side of the offensive line, the Ravens’ chances for overall success would certainly increase.


Cleveland Browns

The Browns are enjoying the benefits of joint practices.

My Take:  And why not?  Joint practices afford the opportunity to go against unfamiliar players and simulate game condition with much greater accuracy.  Most teams engage in them for that among many reasons.


Cincinnati Bengals

USA Today repeats a familiar story with their AFC North schedule predictions.

My Take:  It’s easy to understand why they’d feel that way, but predictions that hold the same from year to year are in essence “mailing it in”.   A little imagination would be preferred, especially this time of year.


Pittsburgh Steelers

OLB James Harrison’s PED interview has been scheduled.

My Take:  It’s about time.  For good or ill, this issue needs to be resolved before it drags into the regular season.  While the logic of holding these interviews at all bears scrutiny, it’s obvious that the league simply won’t let it go.  Best to play it out at this point.


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