Training Camp, Where the Same Story Is Told Ever Year, But We Love It

For the football-loving portion of the nation, this time of the year isn't quite Christmas -- but maybe more like the day when your mom starts to put a present or two under the tree. We're less than a week away from the start of the NFL preseason between the Bills and Titans, but camps are under way. For now, it's just a tease. But at the same time, it can begin to feel like you're experiencing déjà vu during these weeks. Thankfully I've got a handy macro that eases me right through the preseason. ↵

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↵[Insert Name Here] Injured During First Practices: Plenty of excellent candidates to fill this space. Beanie Wells goes out on Day No. 1, very reassuring for Cardinals fans who thought they got a bargain on a guy with a foot injury last season. ↵

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↵There was also that brief scare that had everyone thinking Vick to the Vikings when Tarvaris Jackson went down with a knee injury. However, it sounds like Jackson will be back sooner than later, so don't rush out and buy that Vick jersey in purple just yet, premature jersey purchaser. ↵

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↵Brandon Marshall tweaked his hamstring in what I can only assume is the most conveniently timed injury in the history of football. I'm sure he'll be just fine for Week 1 ... or if he gets a trade or a new contract. Whichever comes first. ↵

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↵Not all of the injuries are so well-timed. Nothing is convenient about Stewart Bradley going out for the Eagles with what is reportedly a season-ending knee injury. There's always one of these that prompts the "preseason is too long" column flood. (For the record, I'd love to see two preseason games, not four.) ↵

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↵[Insert Name Here] Is Holding Out For More Money: And in the least shocking development of camp, it's the wide receivers making up this group. And holding out as a wide receiver is equally fun for veterans and rookies alike. Roddy White, fresh off his huge season hooking up with Rookie QB Matt Ryan, is just fine without all this camp nonsense, thank you very much. The same can be said for Michael Crabtree, who hasn't found his way to his first training camp just yet. ↵

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↵[Insert Team] Fights During Practice: We've got the Saints going at it already (video) and there's also word of a bit of a Civil War at Jets camp, via the Star Ledger (excellent fight photo at the link). In all, there were three fights in 15 minutes with Vernon Gholston even trying to kick someone. Ah yes, it's training camp time. ↵

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↵[Insert Player] Falls Victim To Prank, Exacts Retribution: One player I wouldn't be trying to pull a prank on: Shawne Merriman. And yet, one of the guys in the world with enough bulk to pull off such a move would probably be DT Jamal Williams, who is 6-3, 348 lbs. Via one of Merriman's tweets: "Not so good morning i have some teammates who R funny guys & want 2 knock on my door at 5am lets see what Lights got up his sleeve shall we? ... So the culprit was Jamal Williams aka big mall & i got him with the atomic balm under the shoulder pads take that take that take that lol." ↵

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↵Ah yes, all of these stories are ridiculously familiar, but try to tell me you aren't excited. You're only lying to yourself. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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