Ron Agostini

NFL's big tease now over

Reading time, two minutes:

Labor Day weekend means the end of the NFL exhibition season, one of the great frauds perpetrated on the football consumer.

Let's see: Fans pay top-fare to watch players who'll be working behind the counter at convenience stores next week. Nothing wrong there.

The solution is two practice games, and then we'll keep score.

Here's better value for your dollar: San Joaquin Delta at Modesto Junior College tonight, beginning the 87th season of Pirate football.

Another good season opener is next week, when the Modesto Panthers welcome a powerful Edison of Fresno team coached by ex-49er Tim McDonald.

Western Kentucky-Florida, North Texas-Oklahoma and Arkansas St.-Texas are dress rehearsals. Tennessee-Cal is Opening Night.

The have-nots can rest easy. Some will qualify for the 31 bowl games.

In the name of humanity, pay attention to Virginia Tech today.

Michael Vick's apology was convincing until he got to the part about finding Jesus and how that's "the right thing to do as of right now."

From that point on, Vick memorized the words from Damage Control 101.

Parking illegally is a mistake. Bankrolling a dogfighting ring for years is a lifestyle choice.

Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick (Pitman) will receive some playing time today at Nebraska, where he'll no doubt see red.

For the first time since he was a kid, Oregon's Nathan Costa (Hilmar) will not play football this fall. He will redshirt.

The late Leona Helmsley cut two grandchildren from her inheritance but bequeathed $12 million to her dog. Insert your Michael Vick joke here.

A pipe dream, but why not: Tyson Gay, the world's fastest man, would look good running on MJC's new blue track at the Relays next May 3.

Information not lost on Relays director Gregg Miller: Gay's coach is Jon Drummond, a Relays friend.

This week, an attendance record. Next week, the playoffs for the Modesto Nuts.

Just waiting for the official word: Daunte Culpepper, the starting quarterback for the Raiders.

Patriots safety Rodney Harrison will serve a four-game suspension for human growth hormone. More names to come.

Ex-quarterback Boomer Esiason will replace Don Imus on radio. Esiason is well-prepared. He'll treat women's collegiate basketball players like royalty.

Just wondering if Roger Clemens and Brett Favre are arranging their farewell tours to end at the same time.

This just in: David Beckham is injured. Again.

Mark Cuban will show off his moves on "Dancing With The Stars." His Mavericks can use a few new steps.

As the season grows longer, the Giants grow younger.

An injury to the starting tailback could result in a few carries for San Jose State senior Dante Collins (Johansen, MJC) against Arizona State.

Don Nelson says he's tired, but he's strong enough to try squeezing more cash from the Warriors.

The more times White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gives his "get me out of here" diatribe, the bigger the chance his front office will comply.

The largest truth about the NFL preseason is that everyone is still 0-0.

Prediction: New get-tough NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will shorten the preseason.

The result will be the expansion of the regular season.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at or 578-2302.