Tonight is the official launch of the NFL's Consumer Ripoff Season, aka the preseason, aka "If you want to pay enormous sums for season tickets to your favorite team's games, you must also pay less-enormous-but-still-ridiculous-sums for your favorite team's preseason games."
Which is to say, the Hall of Fame Game happens in Canton, Ohio, with a bunch of rookies temporarily wearing Steelers uniforms taking on a bunch of rookies temporarily wearing Vikings uniforms.
It's the first quasi-sighting of America's viral obsession since February, and to mark such a momentous occasion, the Blob has decided to offer a couple of training camp snapshots, culled from a couple of different places on the East Coast.
* In Richmond, Va,, the Redskins and Texans conducted a joint practice, an event carefully coordinated by both coaching staffs to ensure each team gets to work on specific areas of preparation in a businesslike atmosphere. So of course both teams, in a businesslike manner, chose to work on their brawling preparation.
* Meanwhile, at MetLife Stadium, the Jets conducted a public scrimmage last night under the lights. A small passel of fans showed up, intent on their own preparation. And so, when quarterback Geno Smith botched a couple of plays, they heartily booed him.
Smith, to his credit, took it in stride, recognizing that it's never too early for the fans to get cracking on their hatin'. But a certain former pro basketball star no doubt would have had a different take.
Take it away, A.I.