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Pre-Season Better Than Vegas

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Let me start by saying I am not a big fan of the pre-season.  Sure, it give you the opportunity to see younger players and how they react in "real" game situations, but it also opens your team up to injuries that can affect your season.  Just ask the Washington Redskins.  

It's russian roulette for the owners, who only have to pay the players about $1000/week, instead of the game salary received during the season.  Since they still charge the same amount for tickets, and season ticket holders are forced to buy tickets to both pre-season games as part of their package, owners make alot of their money for the season during these two meaningless games.

So on one hand they make a lot of money, but at the risk of losing one or more of their best players, which could impact their chances during the season.  Already this season we have seen incidents of this with the injury to Clinton Portis and Chad Greenway, the Vikings #1 pick, who was lost for the season.

The Broncos, knock on wood, have been reletively "lucky" when it comes bad preseason injuries, but it is still an unecessary risk.  I know there are people out there that will say that an injury can happen at any time, that there is no difference between pre-season game #4 and Week 1.  I say there is a big difference.  Most injuries to star players seem to occur because the established player, knowing he has a spot on the team, is only going about 75%, trying to avoid getting hurt.  Meanwhile, you have some undrafted rookie trying to make an impression wth the big hit going at 100%.  The results can be devastating.

There is no good solution.  The season is already long enough, and the owners aren't going to give up a game's revenue for teh safety of their players.  Let's just hope the Broncos stay clean and heatlhy the rest of this pre-season and beyond!