THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:
NFL EXHIBITION: HALL OF FAME GAME
PITTSBURGH vs. MINNESOTA
Details/TV: At Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, Sunday, 5 p.m., Ch. 4:
Please tell us it’s not already August. As Steve Rushin writes in the Aug. 3 issue of Sports Illustrated – the one with Pete Carroll painfully smiling on the cover – we are “at summer’s warning track, the last 10 feet before the padded wall of fall … (where) the liquor store is already making its cruel transition from Summer Ale to Harvest Pumpkin, in the same way that NFL training camps arrive to steal baseball’s thunder.” Part of that theft – the first televised exhibition NFL game, done in concert with the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. But it also signals how famously popular the pro football game must be if some people wearing uniforms of the Steelers and Vikings can assemble on what amounts to a high school field in Canton, Ohio and go through the motions before a national TV audience. Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis, the hero of Super Bowl XL, will finally get his Hall pass this weekend. Someday, could Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger get his bust next to “The Bus”? “I am a big Roethlisberger fan,” said Hall of Famer and Pennsylvania native Joe Montana in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I really like Ben. He will be in that Hall of Fame someday.” Mick Tinglehoff, a 6-foot-2, 237-pound center on the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line from 1962-78, blocked for running backs that went to 13 Pro Bowls and played in four Super Bowls. Adrian Peterson could appreciate that. For the first time since his suspension last year, he should be back on the field getting some carries for the Vikings. With just seven full seasons in the NFL, what are his chances of a Hall of Fame induction? The 30-year-old has already surpassed 10,000 career yards (leading the league in 2008 and 2012) and there’s a decent shot he’ll go past 100 career TDs this season. It’s sure to be discussed on the NBC broadcast.
Also: The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction Class of 2015, which includes the Chargers’ Junior Seau, the Raiders’ Tim Brown, the Cowboys’ Charles Haley, the Chiefs’ Will Shields and former front office men Ron Wolf and Bill Polian airs at 4 p.m. Saturday on the NFL Network. Watch if only to see how the Seau induction goes.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
Giovani dos Santos gets the Galaxy welcome-wagon treatment on Tuesday after his first training session, and then joins the lads for the contest against Seattle (Sunday, 1 p.m., ESPN at StubHub Center in Carson) before a national audience … The Dodgers trout out Alex Wood for his first start since coming over from Atlanta during the opener of a three-game series in Philadelphia (Tuesday-Thursday), then Clayton Kershaw puts his 37-inning scoreless streak on the line in the first of three at Pittsburgh (Friday-Sunday) … More highlights at this link