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A not insignificant number of D.C. residents couldn't sleep last night.  It was like Christmas Eve as a 4-year-old, where every minute feels like an hour, and every hour feels like a day, all in anticipation of something exciting. 

Back then, it was presents.  Now, it's an even greater gift: FOOTBALL'S BACK!!!

OK, so it's not real football.  It's basically an exhibition game.  And the stars of the team are either not playing (see: Portis, Clinton) or will see just a series or two (see: Campbell, Jason), but the uniforms the fourth-stringers will be wearing will still be that sweet, sweet burgundy and gold.  As noted philosopher Jerry Seinfeld once said, it's the laundry we're rooting for anyway.

Tonight's matchup is against the Bawlmer Ravens, up in good ol' Ravens Stadium -- or whatever they're calling it this week.  (Why can't it have a good ol' classic American traditional name like FedEx Field?)

If you're really a degenerate, the Skins are three-point underdogs.  Apparently the bookies aren't Colt Brennan fans.

Despite the lack of starpower, and the scrimmage-like quality most pre-season games take, there are a few things worth watching -- besides, ya know, it being football (and owing to the Caps not playing tonight).

First is the QB battle.  Todd Collins and Colt Brennan are fighting it to see who's the real No. 2.  They'll both likely see some reps against the Ravens' second- and third-team defense, so results won't be as important as the decisions going into them.  Are they making smart plays and throws?

Second is the growth of the sophomore receivers.  Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas (not to mention Fred Davis) were all disappointments last year, but with an extra season of experience and a full offseason, one or more of them could step up, living up to their potential. 

Third is the offensive line.  How are they blocking?  How are they communicating?  Will they get enough consistent plays to gel?

So while the overall spectacle is completely meaningless -- except to the aforementioned degenerate gambler (and he really should get some help) -- there are some things for the fan to look for.

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