Ah, the fourth preseason game. The most meaningless and ceremonial of all preseason games. I’ve always thought the fourth preseason game should consist of a single kickoff return, followed by three hours of players mingling with the crowd as cocktails and canapés are passed around. I think that would be more worthwhile endeavor than an actual fourth game played by players who won’t even make the practice squad. It’s like watching the fourth quarter of the first three preseason games for four quarters in a row.
But the NFL sees fit to still play these games in their entirety and attach them to expensive game ticket packages that are rammed down your throat, so there you have it. Friday night, the Cowboys play their final preseason game against my hometown team, the Minnesota Vikings. If this were a regular season game, it would merit a primetime audience. If this game had been played a week ago, when Brett Favre needed to get his sea legs in the Vikings offense, it still would have been fascinating. But alas, we’ll have to settle for an apparition of that game. Here’s what you should look for Friday night:
A Very Small Helping Of Favre. Of course, it would be far more fun if the Land Baron played the whole game, so that the announcers could prattle on endlessly about him while he throws into triple coverage. Favre isn’t expected to play much in this game, nor is Tony Romo. It’s a shame, because it turns out the two men are BFFs!
The quarterbacks have become friends since Romo turned pro. Favre said he considers Romo "one of the top five players in the entire league." He phoned Romo last season to offer advice on playing with his broken finger.
"Brett's a great guy," Romo said. "I enjoy talking to him. I'm happy he's back. He's fun to watch."
Ah, their just like childhood pals out there, running around, fumbling snaps, making me angry.
But plenty of Favre talk. Rest assured, the TV guys will talk about him as if he’s sin the game the whole time. I suggest muting the telecast.
No Roy Williams. He’s hurt. In fact, don’t expect anyone important to play any significant time in this game. If the head coaches could play the game without players of any kind, and simply visualize the game in their minds, they would do that.
A stadium that does NOT have grassy berms and $60 pizzas. Not every stadium can be JerryWorld, you know. But hey, at least the punts won’t hit the roof.
In short, don’t expect much of anything Friday night. The fourth preseason game only serves to put you into panting, desperate, frenzied state for real NFL action. We’re almost there, gang. We’re so close, I can practically taste the Ben Gay. But we’re not quite there yet. Just this one last thing. One more pointless, annoying preseason game and we’re home free.