I’ve been lax in covering many of the goings-on at NFL training camps, mostly because of my own personal bias against America’s new fave national pastime (ie. watching Mark Sclereth talk with his hands). But there’s been no shortage of hot stories, from the Raiders’ inability to sign no. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell, the retirement of Tarik Glenn in Indianapolis, to Pacman Jones’ flirtations with the TNA Wrestling promotion. Apparently TNA is good enough for The World’s Scrappiest Human and reprobates alike.

Typically, however, I’ll take the more cultured route and link to the following item from The New York Daily News’ Rich Cimini.

Instead of blasting hip-hop, rap and hard rock on their sideline speakers at Hofstra, a tradition that began last summer with the arrival of innovative coach Eric Mangini (above), the Jets have altered their play list, mixing in classical music-namely Mozart-with their old standbys.It makes for an almost surreal setting: 300-pound men crashing into each other, with gentle melodies in the background. It’s a ballet of behemoths.

The ever-meticulous Mangini, always looking for a psychological or physical edge, isn’t playing classical music to entertain the 3,000 or so fans who show up every day to watch practice. There’s a method to his Mozart.

“From different studies, they assume … Mozart’s music and brain waves are very similar, and it stimulates learning,” he said. “They play it in a lot of schools around the country-kind of underneath, very low-so I thought if that’s the case, why not give it a shot?”

Scientists believe that listening to Mozart can help improve concentration and the ability to make intuitive decisions. They say the music helps both sides of the brain to work together. Fourteen years ago, a study revealed a significant increase in college students’ IQs after they listened to Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.”

“Mozart, Beethoven, guys aren’t feeling that,” linebacker Jonathan Vilma said, smiling. Said defensive end Shaun Ellis: “It kind of puts you to sleep a little bit. I’m not complaining about it. They say it helps learning. As long as we get our music at the end of the day, it’s okay.”

“My hat’s off to the coach for being creative,” said John Murray, a Florida-based sports psychologist, “but I’m hesitant to take a strong stand either way. If it’s not pleasurable for the players, it’s not a good working environment.”