<b>Spiritual journey to Kingman made with anything but a wayward spirit<BR>

The real fun begins on Saturday morning when most of the Olympic events begin.

Look for the U.S.

to have success in swimming, thanks to Michael Phelps; softball, featuring Las Vegan Lori Harrigan and Arizona's own Jennie Finch; gymnastics, basketball and maybe track and field, if there's no drug testing.

***

The Bulldogs football team made its official return on Monday morning with the start of two-a-day practices.

Last year's 2-8 season is nothing but a bad dream now.

The team practices in pads for the first time today.

Coach Jay Weakland said he plans to know by next week who will be playing what positions, but added his starters won't be determined until just before the first game of the season on Sept.

3 against Cibola.

When the team breaks up for position practice, Weakland is coaching the offensive lineman, leaving the offense with coordinator Mike Nelson and the defense with coordinator Stan Moore.

Weakland is making sure the Bulldogs learn two things before they learn anything else about football – discipline and working together as a team.

***

While on the subject of teammates and teamwork, this afternoon I saw the headline "Wallace Arrested," and I figured that Detroit Piston "Bad Boy" Rasheed Wallace had been arrested again.

Wallace had been doing so well since arriving in Detroit from Portland.

His anger was under control, he became a key part of the Piston's championship run, recently signed an extension with the Pistons and seemed to be on a roll.

I was relieved when it was not Rasheed Wallace but rather Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes" fame who was arrested for supposedly acting like Rasheed outside a NYC restaurant and allegedly attacking investigators, who saw his limo was double-parked.

***

And speaking of incidental contact, the Phoenix Coyotes recently inked a deal with superstar Brett Hull, bringing him to the Valley of the Sun for the next two years.

The Coyotes have done a lot of work in the off season to improve on the not-so-good team from last year.

It's just unfortunate that all the talent brought in for this season will go unused because of a lockout.

Phoenix teams can't catch a break.

(Actually they can but not the right kind.)

Now, Cardinals' running back Marcel Shipp is out with a fractured leg, and wide receiver Anquan Boldin had knee surgery on Wednesday.

The Cardinals' offense is going to depend on Emmitt Smith and Larry Fitzgerald.

***

And perhaps one of the biggest days for sports fan arrives today: the release of Madden 2005 featuring Baltimore Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis on the cover.

Considering the "Madden jinx," I say the over/under is five weeks before Lewis goes down with an injury.

Brent Hinckley is the Miner's sports writer.

He can be reached at bhinckley@kingmandailymner.com.

Editor's note: The Miner seeks commentary from clergy and churchgoers about religious issues and Kingman's church community.

What follows is the first of these columns, which will be published periodically on the Religion pages in Friday editions.

Will the true Kingman natives please stand up? Being new to Kingman, moving here in June, I have yet to meet one person who was born, raised and continues to live in Kingman as an adult.

Why is that?

I like it here.

My husband and I are from the Midwest, and we find the weather great, the mountains surrounding us simply beautiful and the sun shines every day.

Every day! I think the desert agrees with us.