Like David Hale said earlier this week, that's our equivalent to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training...there's no real activity yet, but it's the first sign of life since Signing Day.
This year's festivities should be fun...it's Lane Kiffen's first year, for one thing, so we get to hear 100 different variations on whether it's true that A) All of this making a public fool of himself is some sort of master plan; and B) All publicity is good publicity.
No Phat Phil this year, so the possibility of subpoenas drops drastically.
I'm personally really looking forward to the quotes from the two Dawg representatives, Joe Cox and Jeff Owens. Pretty much everything these guys say fires me up to the point of wanting to run through a wall, and they were definitely the perfect choices as our representatives, despite what Pat Forde says...he seems to think that the reps should be the biggest "stars" on the team, so he wanted AJ Green and Rennie. I think it should be as Richt has always done it, with two senior leaders going to speak for the team, and these two definitely fit the bill.
- Dawgs recruiting is continuing to roll...two more huge commitments over the last couple of days:
- Garrison Smith, DT out of Atlanta: We need DT's desperately this year (we lose three of our top 4 to graduation after this year), which made this guy pretty much a must-have. He's 6-4 250 right now, and he is so athletic that he actually plays mostly at DE in high school.
- Nickell Roby, CB/ATH out of Frostproof, FL: If the name of that city looks familiar, it should...it's also the hometown of his cousin and future teammate, Carlton Thomas. This guy is a burner, and ESPN.com's scouting report just raved about him. He's also 5-8 and 165 pounds, which means he'll wear #23 when he arrives on campus. I'm convinced that we had a special tiny jersey made for Tim Jennings when he showed up at school, and rather than throw it away, we just sign another diminutive corner every four years and just pass the jersey down. He's a little guy, obviously, but runs a 4.4, and at 165 has max lifts of 285 at the bench and 445 squat listed...that's nearing Thomas Brown territory.
This makes 17 commitments, which means I only seeing us taking about 3-4 more...if I had my wish it would be one more DT, one more WR, and then whomever we can get out of Mack Brown (highly rated running back) and TJ Stripling (pass rushing DE).
- Braves continue to be on a roll...unfortunately, it's too little, too late. This team had a chance to make noise earlier in the season when nobody in the NL East could seem to win any games...now the Phillies are on a monster roll (9 game winning streak, 12 out of their last 13), and even though the Braves are playing much better baseball over the last couple of weeks they are actually losing ground in the standings and are now 6.5 games back. We are only 4 games out of the wild card, however, so that's a possibility....but I'm not getting my hopes up. We're swinging some hot bats right now (especially the middle of the order), but I'm not sold that we can maintain that level of success...this is still the same team who, not too long ago, was losing series while only scoring 3-4 runs over a three game span pretty consistently.
And if the offense DOES fall off, we're in even bigger trouble, because Bobby is working this bullpen like crazy. Just about all of our top guys are near the league lead in appearances, which shouldn't be the case...number one, we haven't won enough games to have used our setup and closer that often, and number two, our starters have been extremely effective for the most part. The problem is that Bobby rarely lets anybody pitch past the 7th inning, no matter how effective they've been. The other night, Vasquez was throwing a gem and was lifted after the 7th having thrown only 101 pitches...we should have gotten at LEAST another inning out of him.
One more Braves note...Nate McLouth may be my new favorite player, even though he can't hit his way out of a paper bag right now. I just like saying his name really loudly with a thick Scottish accent. Try it sometime...it always puts me in a better mood.
- Doc Jensen at EW.com continues to put out pretty good LOST content, even in the long hiatus. This week, he looks at 15 reader-submitted mysteries that "must" be solved before next year's series finale.
Hate to break it to him and his readers, but some of those ain't gonna happen...I think we've seen the last of Libby, for example, and I also think we've received all of the explanation we're going to get on the numbers (try researching the Valenzetti Equation).
- And I'm about 9 games into my first season on NCAA 10 from EA...like I mentioned before, I have a PlayStation 2. The only game I play is this one, and I can't talk myself (or more importantly, my wife) into ponying up the cash for a PlayStation 3 for just one game. Apparently EA is also not ponying up any more money for improvements to games on the PlayStation 2 platform, because this one is EXACTLY the same as last year. Only updates are to the rosters. I literally can not tell any difference in the game play, and there have only been minor font changes to the overall appearance.
As for the rosters, there are the usual interesting screw-ups (Vince Vance is white, for example), and I wasn't too happy with some of the player rankings, but those were rectified pretty quickly (how is Michael Moore a higher rated WR than AJ Green? Did his mother help with the programming?).
If you've never bought the game before, I would give it an A-. It's still the best as far as gameplay and overall enjoyment. But if you have bought the game in recent years, it's only worth it if you want the roster updates.
OK, that's enough worthless stuff for now!
46 DAYS TO KICKOFF!!!