Wilson's Word: It might be preseason when ...

Sometimes an NFL preseason game is so boring, it inspires Jeff Foxworthy "You might be a redneck" schtick to endure. Colts finish preseason winless with 35-7 loss at Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI -- In the spirit of “You might be a redneck” comedian Jeff Foxworthy, I bring you this attempt at humor about Thursday’s NFL preseason finale.

At some point, you just couldn’t take seriously the Colts’ 35-7 loss to Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium. But making the two-hour trip to the banks of the Ohio River means accepting the challenge to be creative. So here goes. Foxworthy fans will get the schtick.

You know it might be NFL preseason when …

… Half of Paul Brown Stadium is empty — at kickoff. Maybe less than half.

… Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne comes out of the locker room wearing shorts and a visor. And the rest of the starters aren’t carrying their helmets on the sidelines and sporting hats or visors.

… The only Colts starter at his usual position who is also expected to start the season opener at Denver is safety Mike Adams.

… The one guy who impresses you on offense is a running back named Zurlon Tipton. Wonder what mom and dad were thinking when they came up with Zurlon?

… Colts coach Chuck Pagano eschews a 27-yard field goal in a scoreless game and goes for it on fourth-and-2 at the Bengals’ 10 … and then …

… Tipton loses 5 yards on the most vanilla play call you will ever see.

… The Colts’ longest offensive play of the game is a 16-yard Harnish TD pass to Da'Rick Rogers. The Rogers punts the ball in frustration. Personal foul, 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

… You want a player benched for calling a time out.

You know it might be NFL preseason when…

… Adams exits after one series. He must have accomplished everything that was expected in an 11-play possession that resulted in a Bengals punt.

Jason Campbell plays well. Yeah, he was the Bengals’ starter, who completed 13-of-16 passes for 123 yards and 1 TD.

… Offensive left tackle Joe Reitz goes down with a high ankle sprain, and you immediately start thinking about how that will impact roster cuts on Saturday because those injuries tend to linger and the Colts already have a backup tackle injured in Xavier Nixon.

… The Colts insert a defensive end, Tyler Hoover, in Reitz’s spot on the O-line.

… Rookie offensive guard Jack Mewhort starts the game at center because two other guys are hurt.

… Pat “Boomstick” McAfee is 1-for-2 on TD-saving tackles. He couldn’t bring down Bengals returner Dane Sanzenbacher on a 77-yard TD runback in the third quarter. But Mac did shove Onterio McCalebb out of bounds after a 59-yard KO return in the final quarter.

… QB Chandler Harnish plays an entire game.

… And Harnish gets the hell beat out of him, taking five sacks and getting pummeled God knows how many other times.

… And makes Harnish look forward to returning to the sanctity of practice squad for a third consecutive year. (Just kiddin’, Chandler.)

You know it might be NFL preseason when…

… A reporter asks, “Is it still the third quarter?”

… Several reporters say, “Yay” when the press-box announcer advises, “That is the end of the third quarter.”

… You want coach Marvin Lewis ejected for challenging a call.

… And you want NFL referee Walt Coleman to hit the showers, too, for allowing the fourth-quarter challenge in a 28-0 game. Lewis got the play overturned, hope it was worth it. You still held up the game 10 minutes.

… The loudest sound you hear all night is after that challenge, when Coleman forgets to turn off his microphone and the shrill of his whistle blasts through the PA system. Can you hear me now?

… The Colts lose. Again. And are 0-4. That only happens in preseason, right?

… The announced crowd (or tickets sold) is 42,020, and passing along that info on the PA prompts a reporter to mutter, “Those might be the right numbers, but they’re in the wrong order.”

… Your idea of a seven-course meal is a bucket of KFC and a six-pack. … OK, sorry. That’s a Jeff Foxworthy original. Those of you who made it this far, you deserve a real joke.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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