The dog days of summer are around the corner, and compulsive liars are abandoning their safe havens.
It's particularly worrisome in the NFL
Though clearly outnumbered, football liars have more impact than baseball liars. (Barry Bonds is a noted cheater, but unaccomplished liar).
Football liars don't get much leeway. Baseball liars are often treated with reverence.
Joe Maddon and Lovie Smith are liars of a different breed.
Maddon's versions of the truth are considered sacred and uplifting.
Compulsive lying is often known as pseudologia fantastica, or mythomania, giving the liar Zeus-like status.
To put things into perspective:
Rays pitcher Erik Bedard can give up enough runs to account for a month of innings.
Maddon will then find enough good things to say about the journeyman to make you believe he just faced the Yankees' Murderer's Row.
He makes us see Bedard as a cuddly teddy bear whose purpose is to help your kid go to sleep at night.
In the world of liars, Bedard is safe material.
Pro football is not so accepting.
It's especially true around One Buc Place, where the Mike Glennon liars are for the most part loathed.
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith created a firestorm when he said Glennon was the Bucs quarterback of the future.
Glennon is a liar's worst nightmare.
Praise Glennon and a tsunami of liar catchers will be swarming your home. They will kidnap your children, holding them for ransom until you take back your words.
Lying for Glennon is high risk, low reward.
It's why Smith and Bucs GM Jason Licht sleep with their lights on and never leave the home without a bodyguard.
Now, you can lie about Josh McCown being the Bucs quarterback, and thousands will nod in approval. Maddon can lie that his team can really hit, and the season will turn around when Jeremy Hellickson returns.
Lying is everywhere.
They are lying in Cleveland, in Minnesota and New York.
They used to lie in New Orleans, but Saints head coach Sean Peyton paid his penance and Drew Brees makes believers out of naysayers.
Quarterbacks turn coaches into liars.
Look what Tim Tebow did to Rex Ryan.
Cleveland management is trying to make us believe Brian Hoyer is Otto Graham.
It's all to keep Johnny Manziel in his place.
"It's his job to lose. Brian is the hometown kid," management cries out in support of Hoyer, an undrafted free agent who has played five undistinguished years in the NFL.
They are lying about Geno Smith and Michael Vick in New York and Christian Ponder and whoever else is on the roster in Minnesota.
Wherever there is a quarterback controversy, there is a nest of liars.
Everybody understands. The lies serve a purpose.
But for the Bucs' wounded, suffering fan base, Glennon lies are not acceptable.
They create worry about Smith's penchant for defense and indifference toward offense. They generate fear that somehow Glennon will quarterback the Bucs and planet Earth will be on the brink of World War III.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.