Bush sheds ball, chain Kardashian

Training camps are opening around the NFL, and the book on Brett Favre is closed (for now), so it’s time for some serious football talk.

A renewed sense of optimism surrounds the New Orleans Saints, who are coming off an 8-8 season in which Drew Brees led the league with 5,069 passing yards. So, why the optimism?

The Saints seemed to improve their defense in the offseason, and Brees can expect more help from running back Reggie Bush, who will not be slowed by dragging a ball and chain.

Bush recently broke up with high-maintenance girlfriend Kim Kardashian, only months after the couple was rumored to be getting married. According to an unnamed source in an eonline.com report, Bush and Kardashian are "very sad" about the split.

The Saints should be thrilled that the soap opera has ended.

Anyone who has seen an episode of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" reality show knows at least two things:

1) Bruce Jenner is a clown with a bad nose job.

2) Kardashian is famous for no obvious reason.

But Bush finally has run free of his biggest distraction. Handicap the intangibles. Bet the Saints over 81/2 regular-season wins.

• WEIGHING IN — A headline from Deadspin.com, on the breakup: "Reggie Bush prepares for training camp by losing roughly 140 pounds."

From SportsPickle.com, on the Philadelphia Eagles’ Andy Reid: "Head coach reports to training camp 187 pounds overweight."

• SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING — In a surprising twist to a never-ending saga, Favre announced he is staying retired. Skeptics say he will return next year, if not sooner.

When he saw the news on ESPN, Ben Roethlisberger thought something must be wrong with his TV and called a repairwoman to his hotel suite.

• OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has conditionally reinstated Michael Vick, but which team will sign the troubled quarterback?

Speculation has Vick most likely going to Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Bay or even New England. But don’t rule out Vick playing in the United Football League, with the Las Vegas Pit Bulls.

• SACKING THE QUARTERBACK — Although he angrily denied it, Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was accused of calling Jay Cutler, the team’s new quarterback, a wimp. But Urlacher actually used a more graphic feminine term.

Vikings receiver Bobby Wade said Urlacher questioned Cutler’s manhood during a conversation in Las Vegas.

"I don’t think I would ever say that about one of my teammates," Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune. "I have no problem with Jay. To tell you the truth, I think it’s just stupid. It seems like something always happens before training camp."

Will Cutler throw a fit and demand a trade?

COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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