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W-Take Bears +3 v. Cowboys
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Yes, there are reasons to watch the last preseason game!

by J.W. Miller on 08/26/19

Random thoughts while hoping you enjoyed your glimpse of Saints starters this preseason …

Unfortunately, the only similarity to the Saints' final preseason game this Thursday and the regular season is that ticket holders get to pay the same price for both. Since the NFL eliminated the gradual roster cutdowns in favor of one final cutdown, more fringe players get to hang around an extra week or two. That’s good for the team, because they have more time to evaluate while reducing injury exposure for the starters and front-line backups. Many of the fellows wearing Saints uniforms who play on Thursday night will be hoping to impress enough to be considered a practice squad prospect, either here or somewhere else. But tune in anyway if your version of high drama is watching Drew Brees standing on the wings in a baseball cap …

Speaking of quarterbacks, I became an Andrew Luck fan on October 11, 2010. It was moments after a Stanford teammate fumbled and USC’s Shareece White picked up the loose ball and headed the other way. Luck immediately went after Wright and laid him out with a tackle that should be featured in a video about tackling. Wow! A quarterback who could channel Dick Butkus! Show me more! And he did show us more, after he was selected by the Colts to follow Peyton Manning. I was saddened by Luck’s unexpected retirement this weekend at age 29, but I understood it. Football is a violent game in which careers are ended in a blink. Luck was snake-bitten the past few years and decided he didn’t want to risk his long-term well-being. Good for him. But after a year of regaining his health, will he miss the game? That might be about the same time that a couple of old-timers named Brees and Brady will be holding their own press conferences. Wonder if Luck would unretire if he had the opportunity to follow a second Hall of Famer and revive his own chances for a bust at Canton …

Speaking of no luck, I am taking major issue with the lack of respect my Kentucky football team has been shown this off-season. I know they lost some major studs from their 10-3 team of a year ago, including No. 7 overall NFL draft pick Josh Allen, RB Benny Snell and their entire veteran secondary. Vegas has the over-under for UK victories at only 6.5, while other predictions are for fewer wins and no bowl eligibility. USA Today ranks the Wildcats No. 62 in the nation, four spots behind UK’s opening opponent, Toledo of the Mid-American Conference. Kentucky is favored over the Rockets by 11½ points Saturday at Kroger Field, which doesn’t seem like a lot of points against a team that was 7-6 last season and lost some key defensive starters of its own. I believe the Cats will cover that spread and go on to win at least eight games. This is the time for Coach Mark Stoops to show he has put together a program that is sustainable. So there! ...

And speaking of respect, let’s tip our caps to the new Little League World Series champions from New Orleans. The team polished off two previous champions – Hawaii 9-5 on Saturday and Curacao 8-0 on Sunday - to win Louisiana’s first Little League title. As I watched both weekend games, I had two recurring thoughts. No. 1, I was hoping UNO Coach Blake Dean was preparing scholarship offers for RF Reece Roussel and 3B Marshall Louque. Roussel set a LLWS record with 17 hits, in only 23 at bats, while Louque’s timely hitting included seven doubles, a record matched by Roussel. No. 2, I had never seen so many sets of braces on one field. The reflections off the smiles of the entire team had to be another record: Most Braces in a LLWS game.

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As if Sunday's debacle weren't enough, memories of Deion Sanders high-stepping to a pick-six in a 1994 victory over the Saints another reason your intrepid scribe hates the 49ers