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The Dead Period

April 29, 2009

Spring practice is in the books. A-Day is done. And while this post will be old news, I have bubbled up a few thoughts on this time period in my sporting life which I refer to as “The Dead Period.” Outside of a nostalgic passing for Braves baseball, there is absolutely nothing in the sporting world I have access to which even remotely interests me. Yes, I’ll play golf every chance I get, and probably tune in to watch the remaining major tournaments (TPC, US Open, THE Open and the PGA), and if I could, I would watch what Rugby remains across the pond. Otherwise, I may as well be on that island ABC made famous with the TV show, “Lost.” By the way, I’ve never seen it, I just think it is about an island.

Closing Spring Practice. So much was made of this and I heard so many verbal complaints I feel compelled to share my opinion. So what if they were closed? I have a few reasons why I think this was an overall good idea listed below:

  1. Coach Chizik isn’t Coach Tubs. Closing practices after Tubs kept them open the previous 10 years makes sense. What better way to show the world there is a new car in the garage than to do the opposite of your predecessor? Joe gives high marks for this move.
  2. Reduced pressure. The media had a field day with this one and I say again, who cares? Despite what most amateur and professional sportswriters would have you believe, what the coaches and players do during practice is really no ones business. If Coach Chizik says he closed practices so the players wouldn’t feel additional pressure, then let that be the reason and get over yourselves. Free press doesn’t mean free, unadulterated access. The last time I checked, journalists got paid to find stories, not have them served on orange and blue china in the shade of the athletic department.
  3. But the fans need to know! Again, baloney. Fans buy tickets to football games against teams of varying skill on Saturdays in the Fall. Or, they watch / listen from the comfort of their home, car, boat, etc. Either way, show me a fan who says their game day experience was lessened because they couldn’t see or read about spring practice and I’ll show you a fan who probably stands around wringing their hands in a public restroom, waiting for someone else to open the door because they don’t want to get their OCD hands dirty.

A-Day performance. Joe has previously skipped A-Day games because he’s almost as bad as the fans listed in point # 3 above. I’m superstitious when it comes to Auburn football. Many blue moons ago, I realized the A-Day games I attended resulted in a losing season the subsequent fall. I laid off the A-Day festivities until last year, when I realized Auburn could field a horrible team in every respect and it had nothing to do with my attendance or not.

Skip to the game Joe….it was, well, fun. We tailgated and walked in. We picked our own seats, opposite the stadium from where we normally sit. We enjoyed ourselves and relaxed because no matter what, Auburn wins, right? Sort of. I paid a lot of attention to the QBs. So much so, that I put a stopwatch on Caudle and Burns respectively between the whistle blowing and them taking the snap. Caudle averaged a hair over 24 seconds and Burns average right at 29 seconds. Is this significant? Probably not. Did it make me feel as official as a referee and a whistle while at the game? Most definitely. The result: we have two starting QBs. Oh dear me, isn’t that what we had last year? *gulp*

If you really want to hear expert analysis though, here are my recommendations:

  1. Jay Tate
  2. The War Eagle Extra. With nifty position by position analysis
  3. Fields of Donahue. Okay, maybe not an expert, but I really like this kid’s style

Recruiting got a big shot in the biceps this week with all the hoopla around the limo stretch Hummer. What does Joe think? I would have NEVER thought to do this, which is probably why I have never, nor will I ever coach at a mecca like Auburn.

Rollin' into an Alabama HS near you

Rollin' into an Alabama HS near you

Ahhhh yes, now we have something to talk about until Summer practices start.

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