Posted: Tuesday June 13, 2006 1:36PM; Updated: Tuesday June 13, 2006 1:59PM
Fans outside the Rose-Hulman Institute in Terre Haute, Ind., have a good chance of meeting Peyton Manning.
GOOD POINT ABOUT GOING TO TERRE HAUTE. From Sharon of Pinole, Calif.: "I was wondering why you didn't include the Colts' training camp in Terre Haute, Ind., on your road trip. It isn't that far from Cleveland or Canton, and with the quality of players in the Colts' organization, it would be a good training camp to bring your family to.''
No question about it. Skipping Green Bay in order to go to the Rose-Hulman Institute and see Peyton Manning throw to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne is not only a good idea but might be more of a highlight on your trip. The Colts don't draw nearly as many fans as the Packers do in the summer.
MY EAST COAST BIAS IS SHOWING. From Anthony of Santa Barbara, Calif.: "Your schedule demonstrates what is wrong with sports reporting nowadays: East Coast bias. You are a national NFL reporter for a national sports magazine/website. Where are the West Coast teams in your training-camp tour? Pease don't tell me that some West Coast schmo will be attending and reporting, because B team coverage, as you well know, is just not the same.''
Good question, Anthony. The answer is simple. I did my trip to get the max number of teams, six, plus the Hall of Fame inductions, between one Saturday and the next Sunday. You can do a western trip, to be sure. Maybe you could get to five teams -- Cards (in Flagstaff, Ariz.), Chargers (in San Diego), Cowboys (in Oxnard, Calif.), Raiders (in Napa, Calif.) and 49ers (in Santa Clara, Calif.). I don't think you'd see as much football, though.
RON'S RIGHT ABOUT THE PACKERS HALL OF FAME. From Ron Sybert of Joplin, Mo.: "Peter, if you are in Green Bay, you need to have the Chili John's, absolutely the best restaurant chili on earth! Plus you need to tour the Packers Hall of Fame. Talk about history!''
You are so right. You can see Vince Lombardi's desk in there, right where he sat to make up weekly game plans. Great point, Ron.
ROLLING ROCK IS NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME, TODD REPORTS. From Todd Keppich of Pittsburgh: "Not really a question, Peter, but I wanted to make a comment on your training-camp guide, which was really cool by the way. In some sad news, Rolling Rock has been bought by Budweiser and the plant is closing soon. It will now be bottled in New Jersey of all places. It is a sign of the times in Western Pennsylvania that the employees of the plant will be losing their jobs, many of them second- or third-generation employees. If there is any question why the people of Western Pennsylvania are so crazy about the Steelers, it is because all too often they are one of the few bright spots in many people's lives.''
Sobering and true. Very true.
SURPRISE! ANOTHER HALL OF FAME QUESTION! From Malcolm of Sandwich, Ill.: "With what appears to be the impending retirement of Marshall Faulk, what are his chances of Hall of Fame enshrinement?''
Very good. He'll have my vote the moment he becomes eligible. He's one of the best three or four all-around backs in NFL history.
PEOPLE LOVE SGT. MCGUIRE. From Matt Randle of Tucson: "I just want you to know how much it means that you have kept Sgt. Mike McGuire in your heart while he is deployed. I served a tour in Iraq in 2003 and found that sports was one safe reminder of home that kept all of us connected. You are doing a wonderful deed and I commend you, sir. Thanks from a veteran and one of the only Cardinals fans in America.''