One of the side effects of the high standard of living that Americans enjoy is the constant battle against our own weight.
This is a truly modern problem: our ancestors didn't have the issue of having too much food around, and undoubtedly would have wished for such concerns. Stepping on a scale probably didn't pre-occupy folks who were trying to figure out how to stab a deer with a pointy stick.
It's a real problem for a lot of Americans, though, resulting in shortened lives, health care expenses in the billions, and some really funny home videos.
Fortunately, this modern American cliche does not apply to me, your humble webmaster. As a prime example of male health, I have moved gracefully into middle age, retaining an almost panther-like grace and cutting a svelte fig...
Wait. You aren't buying this, are you?
Okay. The truth is that I, like, many of you, am constantly waging a battle with my waistline. My weight is an oscillating Death Slinky, with which I wage a never-ending war marked by diets, frantic promises to exercise, and the occasional head slap by my patient spouse.
Perhaps you are one of those people who never has to diet. Maybe you have a high metabolism, a deeply engrained responsibility about maintaining your health or the right genetics. You're truly blessed. (Mutter, grumble)
If you're like me, though, perhaps you can relate to the following: I've probably started a dozen diets by saying something like "I'm going to start dieting tomorrow, so it is probably alright for me to go to (random sports bar) and enjoy some Buffalo Hot Hell Carnage wings and a few beers. And then maybe a couple more"
That's what I'm thinking about when I consider today's newswire. It's a feast of Falstaffian proportions prior to heading into an elongated period of denial.
Dig in and enjoy, because tomorrow we're going on a six-week diet plan with no plans to break it until the end of July.
Appropriately enough, a Reuben starts off the gorging.
Browns running back Reuben Droughns made the mistake of entering the Browns locker room during media time and immediately found himself in the center of at least a dozen microphones and a flurry of questions. After the shock of being in the middle of all this technology wore off, Droughns acquitted himself very well and said some things that Browns fans might actually enjoy reading a player say.
As a result, Mary Kay Cabot leads off todays newswire with the first of several stories on Droughns, which features this quote from the Book of the Anti-Verba: "Deep down inside, the way I feel is that the way I get a new deal is to prove myself on the field and everything upstairs will take care of itself."
It doesn't always work that way, but one hopes it works out for an athlete who gave up an idea of a contract holdout of his own accord, because he wanted to get with his new teammates and play.
"Anything I can do to help this team win, I'm willing to do it", says the back who rushed for over 1,200 yards last season, "whether it's going back to special teams, running back kicks, kickoff coverage or whatever it takes".
Cabot is not the only Browns reporter to have focused on Droughns. Similar stories are found this morning from the Beacon-Journal's Pat McManamon, Mike McLain of the Warren Tribune-Chronicle, and the team's own Official Site.
Another story getting a lot of attention was the surprising news that TE Keith Heinrich was to undergo ACL surgery. Heinrich, as we noted yesterday, ripped up his knee during passing camp. The surgery is the subject of columns by the Associated Press, Dayton Daily News, Canton Repository, and the always-verbose Len Pasquarelli (who would nod approvingly of my nine-paragraph intro to a simple Newswire re-cap).
William Green, who was the subject of several stories in yesterday's newswire, was again the subject of multiple articles. His situation is discussed by the Dayton Daily News and the Browns Official Site.
Our good friend Jeff Schudel of the Lake County News-Herald once again focuses on a different player, paying close attention to Jeff Faine's weight. Unlike your webmaster, the issue with Faine might be "too little" rather than "too much". With the rebuilt line increasing expectations, this article borders on a must-read for fans hoping to understand why some are worried about the very middle of the line.
Fans looking for true brilliance in sports reporting should read Mike McLain's mini-camp recap, which starts off with a discussion of Brodney Pool and Braylon Edwards missing camp. This is the same way I started off my recap yesterday. I approve. Oh, yes.