So I get off the plane after a week in the sublime 70-degree SoCal air, and get hit in the face with a shovel of 104 Fahrenheit. Texas summer is here. It's ugly, uncomfortable, and relentless. It creeps it's way into every day, making each seem like two. Dog days of Marmaduke proportion. But I love it. This annual summer dance with a blast furnace. Extreme heat means we're extremely close to the first day of training camp, which means we have real football stuff to talk about while we're waiting for the real football season to begin the weekend after Labor Day. No more inventing topics out of thin air to make baseball season move along more quickly, thank you. Enough with basketball and hockey, two supremely inferior sports, and time for baseball to step aside into its proper role of second fiddle. New defense. New playcaller. New blocking scheme. New rookies, including the greatest of all time apparently...JJ Wilcox. New hope, new optimism, new season. 0-0 just like everybody else, Super Bowl-bound no doubt. We got better while everybody else got worse, the common homer cry. 16-0, baby. Just 23 days until Oxnard is abuzz and we start holding our collective breath over injuries. A mere 37 until the Hall of Fame game, which will follow the shortest HoF speech in history, delivered by Larry Allen. "Football was cool. Thanks everybody. Peace out." First time I've really been optimistic about this team in a long time. It's coming together, quietly and in the right way this time. 11-5 is my guess, but that's for later. Meanwhile, I'm sweating my ever-lovin' knickers off. Geez, it's a scorcher out there. Is Romo's cyst thingy all cleared up? I often wonder what this time of year feels like to the oblivious among us, who take no interest in the NFL. Gotta be brutal, with nothing in particular to get excited about. The more brutal, the more nigh upon us. You can almost smell it. Bring on the heat.