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Tapping Millsaps

T-Minus 33 days until training camp convenes

In case you haven't heard, the Saints decided to hold their 2007 training camp at Millsaps College, because it worked out so well in 2006. Last year, the team frequently dipped into the old bag-o-cliches when referencing their wonderful training camp experience, and how it laid the foundation of their (almost) season of destiny. It's really not that profound: half of the team's players were new (and, for that matter, just out of college), of course being sequestered in a dorm for a month would force them to bond. That's about as special as art fashioned by glueing macaroni to construction paper (and the little bastard who created it). Minimalist my ass.

Still, Saints V.P. and C.F.O. Dennis Lauscha remains defiant in the face of scorn:

After our tremendous experience last year, we knew that we wanted to go back to Millsaps and we believe it is a great experience for fans, as well. We are excited to get started.

I guess the Saints' roster is still young enough that it makes some sense to travel for camp. For a more veteran-laden squad, with well established routines and families, holding training camp away from home can foster resentment among the players--hence twelve teams are holding training camp at their own practice facilities. And yes, the Saints are a regional team, and a camp in Jackson gives them an opportunity to reach out to their Mississippi fans. But New England, Washington and San Diego also draw from regional fanbases, and holding their camps at home doesn't make fans in Connecticut, Maryland or Tijuana care any less passionately.

Whatever, if Sean Payton wants to hold his own Junction Boys in Jackson Mississippi, that's fine with me. After last season, I don't see any reason to change the setup. Millsaps is going to receive a lot of money from what appears to be an extended agreement to host the training camp: The Saints are lending their considerable fundraising clout to help raise funds for improvements to the campus gymnasium, laundry facility, and eventually to classrooms, video facilities and even dorms. Combine that, the new Nissan plant and the BP just outside of Byram (exit 86), and you can see why the Jackson metropolitan area is going to be the most happenin' spot in the Gulf South.

Damn, my ghetto-ass freshman dorm was so filthy, we had an honest-to-god infestation of bedbugs. Yes, Virginia, bedbugs actually exist. And they do bite. Notice the beautiful real-brick motif of the walls; I used to try to count the bricks to keep from getting the drunk-spins (never worked).