ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
Here we go again! This Saturday night, my dull lifeless existence will finally end. The smell of the pigskin, the lazy days on the couch and the artery-clogging foods that will soon enter my body are just days away.
The first NFL contest airs Saturday night on ESPN-and I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas Day.
The greatest thing about the start of the football season is that it’s just the beginning. But the second greatest thing is the food!
Sub sandwiches, chips, salsa, pickles, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats become a super-Sunday afternoon snack.
After receiving a clean bill of health at a recent physical examination, I not only am prepared to eat to my heart’s content, I can do it without feeling guilty.
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A recent word search on the Internet helped me find information on a former high school football opponent of mine.
I found out that DeAngelo Evans, once of Wichita Collegiate fame, is continuing his football career in a semi-professional league in Chicago.
Evans is one of four running backs who plays for the Chicago Prowlers, a team in the newest semi-pro league, which was supposedly founded by Eric Dickerson and Tony Dorsett.
I’ve always been a fan of Evans, even when we competed against each other.
Perhaps, the most amazing run by Evans that I ever witnessed occurred during my junior season at Hillsboro High School.
Evans took the handoff and darted to the right side of the field when he met head-on with my teammate, Jason Hamm. Hamm appeared to have Evans stopped for a major loss, but the former Spartan broke away with a spin move and reversed his momentum to the other direction.
After several jukes and spins, Evans turned a five-yard loss into a 30-plus-yard touchdown.
I had a good look at the play, too-until Collegiate’s Hamilton Hill blasted me into the ground.
* * *
Attention K-State fans. Michael Bishop has shown up on the KSU alumni radar.
Bishop has found work in the Canadian Football League as a starting quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts.
Currently, the Argonauts are 1-3. The former K-State star is having an impressive season, completing nearly half of his passes for close to 500 yards. He has only four interceptions. Bishop has also rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown.
Although I’m glad to see Bishop succeed in the CFL, I still feel he is a game-day player and not a practice player. Many argue with my assessment of Bishop, saying he doesn’t possess the intelligence to be an NFL quarterback.
But since when does it take brains to win in the NFL?
My “guestimation” is that he’ll show up in the NFL down the road, and he’ll do it in Flutie-like style.
* * *
Tabor College will begin its football season in mid-September with high expectations both from players and fans.
Last season the Bluejays registered a 5-5 season, the second-best record in school history.
Coach Tim McCarty has kept a tight lid on his latest signees for the 2002 season. On Aug, 9, the Bluejay coach should give the media a little more information on this season’s hopefuls at the 2002 KCAC Media Day in Salina.
With returners such as All-Americans Tyson Ratzlaff and Jason Phelps, this season should be nothing less than interesting.
* * *
I’m not sure why I get so excited about the NFL season.
My team-the Chiefs, as I have mentioned previously in this column-continue to dig inside my chest and rip my heart out each and every season.
It’s not just a quick rip either. No, the Chiefs start slowly by piercing the skin, then sink into flesh and mucus, and finally grab the heart, while hitting every rib on the way.
But here’s my optimistic outlook for the season. It reads like a broken record.
The Chiefs will defy the odds and find a way into the playoffs under Dick Vermeil’s leadership.
Most likely, the Chiefs will win two or three games-and I will be left to defend my team with nothing more than threats on the season to come.
Nevertheless, enjoy the pigskin season. Partake in the things that make us Americans: football, food and heart biopsies.
Pass the ketchup.