GATE 1, LAGUARDIA AIRPORT, NEW YORK -- Let the season begin.
This begins my 28th season covering the NFL, and the stories are endless. As I leave on my training camp trip -- 27 teams (give or take a couple), 31 days, beginning tomorrow in Flagstaff, Ariz. -- here are the 10 stories I'm most looking forward to documenting for you in the pages of
Now for your email:
GLAD YOU LIKE THE PAUL BROWN SPEECH.
Beautiful wording by you, Mike . "He was the original rookie symposium." Thanks. Appreciate you and so many others writing to say they liked the speech.
THE NFL IS HYPOCRITICAL.
Goodell suspended Vilma for a year because he believes he offered teammates $10,000 to injure Kurt Warner and Brett Favre and knock them out of playoff games. If that's true, it's a little more serious than Dez Bryant getting into some altercation with his mother. But you're right: There's been a spate of bad incidents this offseason, and when they're adjudicated, Goodell will have to hand down sanctions to prove he's protecting the image of the league.
ON T.O. AND THE HALL OF FAME.
Interesting question. I'm a believer that off-field stuff doesn't matter when it comes to voting for the Hall, but that's a tricky thing. I considered Michael Irvin's leadership and the importance of his influence on locker-room chemistry when I voted for him. So I would be hypocritical if I didn't consider Owens' influence on team chemistry. As far as the first ballot, who knows? Cris Carter and Owens had similar careers -- Carter with 23 more catches, Owens 23 more touchdowns� and Carter's failed to get in on five tries. We'll see what happens. Five or six years from now is a long time, and opinions can change.
MIKE BROWN IS NO PAUL BROWN.
Well, Mike never coached or won championships the way his father did, so you're right there. I also think he hasn't been able to convince his players over the years that he's doing everything within his power to win the Super Bowl. But I'm not sure that applies only to Mike Brown in the heir department. There aren't many Paul Browns, and remember -- in his time running the Bengals, Paul Brown didn't win a Super Bowl either.
THE LIONS SHOULD DO MORE.
I doubt sincerely the Lions would cut a first-round cornerstone player like Nick Fairley for one DUI. Why would they?