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Covering for Gerry Sandusky as he now travels with the Ravens and battling kidney stones (I wouldn’t wish them on George Steinbrenner) has left me a little lagging in the world of Gilbert’s Arena. My bad, but I’m here to catch up.

First the Ravens from last week. Did that really happen? Ready to prove they can execute on the road, ready to give Brian Billick a great effort as he returns to the Metrodome for the first time, ready to fix some of the regressions from week two and they give us that? They either looked bored or confused, sometimes both, and neither helped anyone think this team will challenge in the AFC North. I know it’s just the preseason but they had stuff for which to play. I’m not talking about winning a game, just execution and effort.

It was the worst effort of the preseason until I watched the Redskins play the Patriots. Now that was just plain horrible. It looked like something from the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At least the Ravens offered a few highlights (Although if you watched the Rave TV telecast you couldn’t see Baltimore’s only touchdown as it happened. They obviously are struggling in the preseason too). The Redskins finest plays of the night came only when the Pats committed a penalty. Can’t wait to watch Baltimore and Washington on Thursday. I think I’d rather pass another kidney stone.

Funny moment today from post practice. Kyle Boller (you remember him, right?) exited the shower and headed over to chat with Ray Lewis and Steve McNair. He wanted to show them his new fuman-chu mustache (the one that wraps around the corners of the mouth best exemplified by Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon, or Kathy Bates in any movie). Amidst hysterical laughter, Lewis immediately ordered Boller back to the sink to shave that. “That’s a direct order!” Kyle then complied, sort of. The fuman-chu part went down the drain but the mustache remains.

As for the Orioles, all my previous rants about trading Miguel Tejada may now be flushed into the sewer. Happy and healthy once again he looks like the guy they signed in 2004. I had actually forgotten how great he can be. On Sunday he offered maybe his finest game in an Oriole uniform. Twice he stopped grounders at shortstop that made you gasp. He showed his most spectacular, in the process twice robbed Damon Hollins. Tejada also made every routine play, plus every right decision. Throwing out Ben Zobrist at the plate was every bit as important as a game winning hit in the 9th. Oh yeah, he did that too !! Miggy, nice to have you back. Let’s see if we can have you for a whole season in 2007.

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