BY PAUL A. LEONE | MAKKADA SELAH
Pre-season football is the ultimate tease. On one hand, giving fanatics any football after a long off-season is like letting a crack fiend get just a tiny taste of the rock. On the other hand, with the star players off the field before you finish your first beer, the games are as disappointing as banging a supermodel only to have Bea Arthur come in halfway through to finish the job. So when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Dolphins Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami) Saturday, August 27, don't expect edge-of-your-seat excitement.
That doesn't mean the game is without its charms. With only 53 spots available on the regular season roster, many of the guys playing in mop-up duty on Saturday will be mowing your lawn, bagging your groceries, and asking, "Do you want fries with that?" before the 'Phins open the regular season next month. Don't think of it as bad football but as incredibly brutal reality TV. So instead of obsessing about how Ricky Williams is nuttier than a bag of Peanut M&Ms, try paying attention to players like Kay-Jay Harris, Brock Berlin, and Matt Walters, who are all hoping they don't get a Trump-esque "You're fired!" this week. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $25. Call 1-888-FINS-TIX, or visit www.miamidolphins.com. -- Paul A. Leone
Owls Do It
FAU ladies start the season
Want to see some hot girls in Daisy Duke-length shorts? Don't go to that mediocre flick at the local plex. Check out the A-Sun Ladies Volleyball champions of Florida Atlantic University as they set off their season home court this weekend. Already favored to win the championship again in a pre-season coaches' poll, the girls are in top form. 2004's Conference Player of the Year Iana Andonova, along with the six other seniors on the team, will make it hard for Bethune-Cookman, Stetson, or even Florida International University to make any sort of impression during the FAU Invitational. The teams compete Friday at 7 p. m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Games go down at the Oxley Center (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Call 1-866-FAU-OWLS for tickets and information. -- Makkada Selah