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Preseason Game #2: Saints vs. Bills

This here gameday thread is for discussion of tonight's Saints-Bills exhibition game in the Dome. Use it, enjoy it, love it: if it concerns tonight's game, or the magnificent return of Rick Ankiel, it's fodder for the Gameday thread.

First order of business: I must be the last person to find out about this, but legendary broadcaster John Madden has his own video game. Apparently, the player ratings are a bit of a Ron Burgundy -- that is, a big deal. I'm not exactly sure why, since any game styled after John Madden undoubtedly involves the gamer making inane comments about a patently obvious on-field happenstance, at least moreso than any actual football that one may play. Nevertheless, the Saints' Madden ratings have been released. Reggie Bush was given a 100 in acceleration; I'm told that's noteworthy.

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Here's hoping the Saints show a bit more crispness tonight; this should be a good test. And please, no injuries. There have been enough this week.

Drew Brees will play the entire first quarter, Palko will relieve him and play the rest of the game. I don't necessarily see this as an endorsement of Palko -- quite the opposite, if he struggles, this could be his last week in the competition. Let's see what'cha got, rook.

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With most of the important post-Katrina firsts shrinking in the Saints' rearview mirror, the team opens their 2007 home schedule with a radically different mindset than a season ago. Gone is the "underdog with something to prove mindset"; gone is the persistent calling to resolutely stand as the one shimmering symbol of hope in their fallen city. Just as New Orleans has advanced along the road to healing, so have the Saints advanced into a new era of prosperity.

Yet sometimes it's worthwhile to re-examine the territory that was just passed.

Of all the things that New Orleans missed due to Hurricane Katrina, J.P. Losman's return to the Superdome remains one of the most minor, the most trivial. And perhaps it's better that New Orleanians first see him now, now that he's a more developed quarterback, leader and person than he was in 2005. Yet it's hard not to think that New Orleans missed out on something special that week in 2005. If nothing else, it would have been something eventful in a season that otherwise provided a dull, aching pain.

So today, even if only for a series, J.P. Losman finally cashes in his rain check with the city of New Orleans, the city where he achieved his greatest measure of success.

Welcome home, J.P., it's been quite a while.

Please don't hold it against us when we boo you.