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A league of contradictions/The Red Line

August 4, 2011
By Brandon Veale - DMG Sports Editor ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

Soon after I scheduled a week's vacation for last week, I resolved to leave my computer behind. Camp Michigamme is a place for more God and less Google.

But I had to check Twitter one more time before turning it off. It was there that someone had retweeted the following from Packer linebacker Nick Barnett:

"Think am headed to houghton... Any pack fans going to be there tonight? At the downtowner???"

Because of my trip, I did not have a chance to visit with Barnett, whether he arrived at the DT or not. Turned out that the Packers cut him a few days later and he signed with the Bills, which makes sense - if there's any city in the world that resembles a bigger version of Houghton, it's Buffalo, N.Y. That's the only thing about the NFL that seems to make sense to me these days.

My relationship with football is kind of weird: It's never been my favorite sport, but it's the only one that causes me to throw things on Sunday evenings.

The sport just completed months of millionaires fighting billionaires over money in the midst of a recession - and within a month no one will care because guys will be running into each other again.

It's a game of contradictions: It's called football, but the guys who actually kick the ball are normally the least famous.

I like watching pro football. I strongly dislike the NFL. And when I read this week that Charter Communications finally reached a deal to carry the NFL Network, I realized that I'll probably get sucked into that vortex just as badly as I do with MLB Network and NHL Network.

Chad Ochocinco - the league's loudest player - is now a member of the New England Patriots, a franchise that has basically made 'no comment' the team motto.

I don't want to think about football right now. The Tigers are in a pennant race and pulling ahead. And yet, I feel compelled to do so. That's the spell they have us under.

Perhaps the most scary thing: Everyone thinks the Lions are going to be good.

This concerns me for a variety of reasons. When the Packers lose to the Vikings, I hear from my old band teacher and one or two other people, but that's it. If Green Bay doesn't get it done on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field this year, I'm going to hear it from Uncle Randy and Uncle Russ during appetizers, dinner and pie.

I've got about a month to come to grips with all this before it's time to start putting together our Gridiron section, making picks and watching games for real. Right now, it seems as illogical as someone spending their last weekend as a Packer in Houghton.

Brandon Veale can be reached at



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