•To declare war on the oppressive Vegas summer heat—the temperature on the artificial turf for the June 29 exhibition opener registered 146°, for example—Mileti called together reporters and presented a tableau of cheerleaders sitting on ice blocks and nosetackle Roy Hart taking a sledgehammer to a pair of thermometers. It's not as if the Posse has a home-inferno advantage, though—Vegas has lost three of its four home games.
•Mileti's cheerleaders, who are among sports' more scantily clad, ran through the Saskatchewan Roughriders' bench area, distracting the players, during a July 16 home game. Griped Roughrider coach Ray Jauch, "Naturally the players are going to look at the young ladies and take their minds off the game for at least a few seconds." In keeping with the Posse's plucky battle against the heat, the Posse Showgirls also dash through the stands spraying patrons with squirt bottles.
•The Posse mascot is a group of horses (with riders) that have, er, left their mark during pregame festivities. To say that the team is not drawing flies, therefore, is not entirely accurate. In fact, the Posse pooper-scooper crew has become a fan favorite. The team has not.
Yes, in a city that boasts the Continental Indoor Soccer League Dustdevils, the Roller Hockey International Flash, the U.S. Interregional Soccer League Quicksilvers, the International Hockey League Thunder, the National Volleyball Association Vipers and more than a little Don King, the Posse has distinguished itself as the crown jewel of Las Vegas trash sport.
The comments that Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway made before his team's final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals last week—"I could care less.... This game means absolutely nothing, just like this whole preseason"—sting the ears of fans who shell out as much as 45 bucks to sit in the stands for these games. Still, Elway was voicing an opinion that was heard more and more around the league in past weeks.
The notion that four or live preseason games are necessary to prepare a team for the season is absurd. Further, it's a pity that fans pay top dollar for games that are often little more than controlled scrimmages. Before one preseason game the opposing coaches got together and decided they would blitz only four players in order to protect the quarterbacks. Says one coach, "That kind of thing happens in the preseason all the time."
When it comes to preseason football games, it's obviously caveat emptor.
Slaying the Monster
John Hancock Fantasy Day at Fenway Park, a benefit for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity, attracted more than 100 amateur sluggers last Saturday. SI reporter Dave Gabel was among them.