Hart AttackNewsSports HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (“W” is irrelevant in preseason) August 27, 2021 EDITION 851 SHARE ON: Hartley Miller, staff Friday, Aug. 27th, 2021 Did you know the Baltimore Ravens have tied the NFL record with 19 straight preseason wins? Whether you were aware or not, I am sure you’re response is similar to mine which is, who cares? In case you are curious, Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers had a 19-game winning streak in exhibitions from 1959 to 1962. The Ravens complete their preseason schedule tomorrow (Saturday) at Washington. Baltimore won its last exhibition game 20-3 over the Carolina Panthers. Here’s the important part from the Ravens game last weekend against the Panthers, very few key players hit the field and if they did it was just for a short time. Baltimore only had five regular starters on offense. QB Lamar Jackson did not play at all for the Ravens. Carolina QB Sam Darnold left after one seven-play series. Most of the Ravens’ offense came against the Panthers’ 2nd or 3rd string defense. The Ravens have tied the NFL record for consecutive preseason wins set by Vince Lombardi’s Packers. https://t.co/EjLQZ885QH — USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) August 22, 2021 Because of COVID-19 most leagues had no preseason games last year and really we did not miss much. It won’t be long before the hockey season begins with the Prince George Cougars, Prince George Spruce Kings, and Cariboo Cougars all having exhibition games next month. The Cougars and Spruce Kings are coming off games in the spring that were played in a bubble which meant little other than development. There are different theories on the importance of “winning” during the preseason. The majority opinion, including mine, is that with no points, standings, or championships on the line, the “W” is irrelevant. Just surviving the dress rehearsal without obtaining a significant injury is a victory unto itself. On the other hand, one can argue that although results do not count, it is important for a team to establish a winning attitude right from the start. Even if two points are not at stake, a team should not let up since this is where injuries and/or bad habits can occur. “I believe everything in life has meaning,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told the media after the victory over the Panthers. “It’s something only one other team has done, the Vince Lombardi Packers and I think that is notable.” Scores are kept in the pre-season primarily because fans and media want a result, even though these games contain no substance. An exhibition game, or “friendly” match, is nothing more than to allow prospects and bubble players a chance to earn a spot on the team. The established veterans need a minimal amount of playing time, if any, just to prepare them for the regular season. There are plenty of examples that indicate preseason scoreboard results are completely misleading and often a tease for a struggling team. In the NFL, the Cleveland Browns went 4-0 in the pre-season in 2017 and yet ended 0-16 when it counted in the regular season. In 2008, the Detroit Lions did the same thing. On the other hand, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl early in 2020 after going 1-3 in the 2019 preseason. In the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning had just two wins in seven exhibition games in 2019 before going on to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Also in 2019, the Buffalo Sabres put up a 4-2 preseason record before missing the playoffs again, a streak that has now run for 10 years. In the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks did not win any of their three exhibition games in the 2020-21 season, yet last month they capped off their first championship in 50 years. The Houston Rockets won three of four preseason games before finishing with the worst record in the NBA this year. There are many more examples in virtually every established league, but with just these in mind, it is foolish to put any stock into how a team might perform in the real season based on fabricated pre-season results. FROM THE QUOTE RACK: The 2021 Little League World Series is underway and, again, there’s scrutiny on eligibility. Most players complied, providing their birth certificates, but eyebrows were raised when some submitted their draft board registration cards. *Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher Caleb Smith was ejected after a foreign-substance check. He says the spots on glove were dirt and I am inclined to believe him. Does anyone really think based on the Diamondbacks 44-85 record that they’re cheating? *Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com In Case You Missed It: A team of Mississippi hunters reportedly broke a state record by hauling in a 727-pound alligator. To me, that sounds like a croc. *Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).