by Scott Benson

You know it’s time to break camp when the release of a video game threatens to tear at the very fabric of your organization.

Actually, yesterday’s bitching about Madden ratings was all good natured – John Tomase of the Herald has the graphic blow-by-blow in our feature of the day – providing a light moment in the final hours of the official ‘training camp’ portion of pre-season.

We give Donte Stallworth a decision over Laurence Maroney in the Great Madden Debate, but woah, woah……an alter ego? An alter ego named Nicco who lives on Mars? Is this like the time Garth Brooks started releasing bad records under the name of Chris Gaines? Is Stallworth going to come out for a game this year dressed all in black, with his hair all combed different, a sullen soul patch sprouting under his lower lip?

It’s official – Donte Stallworth, 97 speed rating or not, is nucking futs.

Maroney also chatted with the press long enough yesterday to entertain notions that he, like San Diego’s Ladanian Tomlinson, could probably miss all of the pre-season and still be ready to go when the Patriots meet the Jets on September 9th. All right, Larry, but let’s see if you can get out of the red jersey first.  According to Maroney, that starts with the head coach.

Which is exactly what LT says.

Keith Bulluck of the Titans is rarin’ to get a piece of those bastard Patriots this Friday, after they done him wrong last December. Just like John Wensink, he’s skating by the bench, challenging the team’s tough guys. Who’s that he’s pointing at? Well, naturally, the toughest Patriots of them all – Reche Caldwell and Vinnie Testaverde.

Settle down, Keith. Did you remember to take your pill this morning?

What was it with the chatty Patriots yesterday? You’ve got Stallworth and Maroney in the premiere episode of Real World Foxboro, and here’s Josh Miller, also wanting to call a house meeting to confront the roommates about not punting in Tampa last Friday.

Miller doesn’t want to question the coaching staff, so what does he do? He questions the coaching staff. Hey, Josh, if they didn’t have anything against you before, they may now. Remember what Ray Davies said – paranoia will destroy ya.

I really think its time we get the roommates out of the house. I know, how about a part-time job in a yogurt shop? Or maybe running a daily Patriots links site?

What’s your Madden rating?