The one good thing about going to see other NFL training camps is that it's usually a whirlwind, and something goofy often happens.
Last week's visit to the AFC North camps took me to Georgetown, Ky. to see the Cincinnati Bengals, to Berea, Ohio for the Cleveland Browns and to Latrobe, Pa. for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It took five days, four nights, four plane rides, two rental cars and four different hotels, one of which I couldn't find before getting directions from a cop who pulled me over after thinking I was casing out a neighborhood in Westlake Village, Ohio.
The Bengals, believe it or not, were the least interesting of the stops, with Marvin Lewis running a low-key, stay-out-the-headlines type camp. According to some who think new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell prepped for the job by studying Cincinnati-area police blotters, it was a big deal for the Bengals to get through their first night off from training camp without any incidents, after Eric Steinbach was charged with boating while intoxicated.
The Browns were in the midst of the Brady Quinn hoopla after their No. 1 draft pick finally signed. Given how desperate the Browns are at quarterback, with local favorite Charlie Frye holding the reigns to the starting job until Quinn is ready, it's not surprising that fans there are hoping that the former Fighting Irish star becomes the Dan Marino of his generation by proving that he should have been a top-five pick instead of slipping to No. 22.
But the most exciting thing that happened, aside from that little traffic stop in Ohio, took place in Latrobe. Never got to see Arnold Palmer playing with his buddies across the street at Latrobe Country Club, but Steeley McBeam was unveiled. The first-ever Steelers mascot was introduced Wednesday to a not-so-adoring public. Most said the mascot's name sounded like a Mr. Rogers character and looked like former Steelers coach Bill Cowher. Actually, he looked like the cop I met in Ohio.
Stories from the training camps will be in The Sun next week.