Training Camp is sputtering to its conclusion and the scrubs are getting the last reps they will see this year unless they are signed to the practice squad of the 49ers or some other team — or hauled off the street by a team decimated by injuries and desperate for a body at a certain position.
Some of these gents will go back home and give up their dream. Those who live in small towns will fare better than those from big cities. The small towners will still be somebody, and for a long time. They’ll get credit from the bank and have their pick from PR related jobs. They’ll be able to become coaches at their high schools. They’ll get fat, have kids, go to church, and live happily ever after.
The big city guys will get swallowed up. They’ll wish they’d cracked the books somewhere along the way. Depression will settle in. They’ll turn to drugs, ruin their lives, end up on the street, find religion, and live happily ever after.
IOW, we’ll no longer have to worry about them. So long guys. Thanks for stopping in.
By now, Mike Singletary and the coaches know, give or take a couple of players, which guys will be on the 53 man roster. Heck, even most of us know. The starting lineups are set. The depth chart is mostly set. The only thing left to be decided is the eight players who will make up the practice squad. Eight out of the twenty-seven players now dangling off the rear end of the 80 man roster.
How exciting. It must be getting close to the Exhibition Season. Many fans will be closely eyeballing the first team players in these games, some hoping to see sharp performances to encourage their hopes, and some hoping to see dull performances to promote their despair. Since these games are actually just practices against other teams, instead of against one’s own team, both eyeball types will have plenty of titillating peeparonis.
This site particularly enjoys the second halves, and especially the fourth quarters, of these games. It is then that sandlot football takes place and many exciting and horrific plays occur. It is especially fun knowing that the aforementioned twenty-seven guys, on each squad, are fighting for their football lives, trying to catch the coaches’ eyes and grab one of those precious few practice squad spots available.
This is the territory that spawns each year’s blog Heroes. Those can’t miss potential HOF players who somehow never end up playing a down in the NFL, or very few. Players in these quarters are exciting, though. Their tremendous talent has gotten them from Pee Wee ball all the way up to the NFL. Superior athletes, one and all. And for many of them, it will be their crowning, and final, moments in the game of football. The last hurrah. That one at bat in the big leagues.
Tuesday seemed to be hump day on the blogosphere, as frustrated posters heaved their stones at Kentwan Balmer with a vengeance. The poor lad has bedeviling personal issues, as twenty-three year olds are wont to have. Fans have little tolerance for things getting in the way of 100% football focus, and Mr. Balmer is a former 29th pick in the first round of the 2008 draft who has yet to make anything remotely resembling an impact. So it was Eff You, Mr. Bust day. Hopefully, Kentwan does not read the blogs, or he’ll have a severe red ass to add to his personal issues. He is expected to return to duty today. We shall see.
It was another mostly uninspiring practice, with some starters sitting it out. David Baas and Alex Smith had trouble with Hike 101, as one might expect. My sense is that players (and fans) are weary of the endless rep, rep, reps, with only the trench guys getting to really hit somebody, and are looking anxiously forward to Sunday, when the safeties can belt the Colt WRs and the LBs can tackle and perhaps blow up the Colt runners. Picks can be returned, kickoffs run back, TDs earn six points, fans will be in the stands. The adrenalin of the game becomes real.
Cheer up, lads. Hang in there. Two more days and it’s off to Indy and the end of Training Camp.