Preseason football: Forget about it

Even a top five might be asking too much.

Go ahead and try and see what you come up with.

Preseason football is about as forgettable of a foray as there is in the sporting world, and not just for the millions who watch.

Even the men who put on the pads and are paid to focus on every detail while they are in action tend to scrub the scenes from their minds shortly after running off the field.

Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth is entering his ninth season, which means he’s been on the roster for 33 preseason games. But when asked to name some memorable moments from those tremendous tilts of Augusts past, he managed to dig up two:

“Probably the only preseason moment I unfortunately remember, well, two of them, one was Levi (Jones) got hurt my rookie year the first preseason game so I had to go into Buffalo against Aaron Schobel as a rookie at left tackle,” Whitworth said. “That was a nerve-racking experience.

“The second would be New Orleans here (in 2008) when they decided to bring absolutely everybody and the kitchen sink and gave Carson (Palmer) a bloody nose,” Whitworth added. “It’s not something you really want to remember much. Typically, I remember the bad stuff, usually not the good.”

Apparently two plays every nine years is the going ratio.

Like Whitworth, safety Daniel Manning is entering his ninth year, and even after giving the questions some serious thought, Manning could only muster a top-two list.

“One was my rookie year when we were playing San Diego and I had to make a tackle on LaDainian Tomlinson, back when he was hot and still at the top of his game,” Manning said. “And one year I ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown against San Francisco. But other than that, there’s not much to remember.”

The irony is that to many of the players on the expanded summer rosters, their careers and livelihoods depend on preseason games. So it would seem as though more moments would be memorized.

Like a few of the ones Dane Sanzenbacher has turned in. The wide receiver had two memorable plays last year in the preseason opener at Atlanta when he returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown and caught a 36-yard touchdown pass a few minutes later. And last week at Kansas City he caught a 26-yard TD pass.

“You want to make an impact and do things people are going to remember,” Sanzenbacher said. “But in the grand scheme of things, they’re just dress rehearsals that most people don’t remember.”

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