Your usual quick dump of links and such before the weekend gets underway:
— Auburn has announced that their three representatives at SEC Media Days will be Lee Ziemba, Josh Bynes, and Aairon Savage. This is deligthful news for two reasons, one much, much more delightful than the other:
1. Surely, surely, they wouldn’t be sending Savage to the podium if he wasn’t going to be able to say “I’m 100 percent healthy and ready for my hitting to live up to my last name again.” Am I wrong in thinking this is the clearest sign yet he’s actually going to be able to make a go of this thing? It’s going ot be one hell of a story if–when?–he does.
2. If they’re naming players for SEC Media Days, that means Media Days aren’t far away, and once we hit Media Days, that means fall camp’s not far away, and once fall camp starts, it’s all gravy from there. I’ve enjoyed the Winter Olympics, and NBA playoffs, and really enjoyed the World Cup … but I am also beyond ready for some college football.
— At that same link: Dontae Ayock has gone home to Tampa and will walk-on at USF in the hopes of earning a scholarship. The last RB to depart on questionable terms from an Alabama school and transfer to the Bulls–the Tide’s Mike Ford–wound up the starter down there, so there’s some positive precedent for Aycock. Best of luck to him.
— I haven’t done much playing around here just yet but it looks like it could be fun. HT to commenter Rick.
— ESPN’s Jamie Newberg provides an overview of Auburn’s current recruiting efforts not all that dissimilar (though obviously a lot less roster-specific) than the one done here at WBE this week. A lot of the names he mentions are extreme longshots for Auburn, but for the recruiting fans out there, it’s well worth looking over his comprehensive Auburn watch-list anyway. Also, hearing him say the following …
With eight commitments in the fold, Auburn currently finds itself with a top-10 class (No. 9 in the ESPN team rankings) but has a long way to go. With 17 or so more commitments ahead, expect the Tigers to land one of the top classes in the SEC. That means they will have one of the better classes in the nation.
… is kind of nice after the recent sky-is-falling talk.
— RBR’s OTS is realistic about the difficulties for the Tide in claiming a second straight national title, but what’s really noteworthy about the post is this nugget of wisdom as regards preseason prognostication:
[E]ach season is the effective dawn of a new day. Some people like to believe in the notion that you can take the previous season as a baseline and then add or subtract from it based on the offseason attrition of the teams in question, but in reality things are far more complicated than that simplistic analysis ever envisions. Simply put, each year is different. The teams are different, the players are different, the location of the games is different, the coaches are often different, and the strategies employed by the teams often change as well.
I enjoy reading season previews as much as the next guy, but there’s also little doubt that the repeated X starters – Y graduates = Z success formula gets awfully tiresome, and doesn’t account for the kinds of quantum leaps taken by teams like Auburn 1983 or Alabama 2008, nor the kind of endless wheel-spinning we’ve seen from Notre Dame in the Weis years or Tennessee at the end of the Fulmer reign. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect Auburn to improve by a game or two this season. But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility they don’t improve at all or get worse. It’s quite possible they explode for 11 or 12 wins. The equations just aren’t that easy.
— Anyone in Atlanta who wants to break into sports radio, now’s your chance.
— All I’ll say about the LeBron thing is that after reading this excellent little piece by Will Leitch, I’ve never been happier that the teams I really care about–Auburn University’s, mid-major college hoops squads, the U.S. Men’s National Team–are all outside the American professional sports mainstream. Leitch shouldn’t feel stupid for being a sports fan; he should feel stupid for being a pro sports fan.
–A couple of worthwhile World Cup links for those of you so inclined: the ESPN Ombudsman explains the decision to allow the sound of the vuvuzelas over the broadcast (and reveals, unsurprisingly, that the excellent British broadcasters ESPN’s brought in this time around are being recognized by viewers for the excellence they’ve brought), and the Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson explains why Germany went from so good to so feeble in the space of one round.
And lastly, an update on the TWER World Cup pool: It’s down to yours truly and frequent commenter Joe Blow. I’ve got Spain in the final (even though I’ll be heartily rooting on the Dutch, somewhat ironically) and he’s got the Netherlands. A Dutch victory would technically result in a tie between Joe and fellow WBE comment-thread denizen J. Cargile, but I think Joe wins the tiebreak. Hup Holland! Or, where the pool is concerned, go Spain, or something. It’s almost a win-win.
Have a great weekend, folks.
No mention of the new TheAuburner videos!? That’s a shame. The whole world needs to see the genius of “Stopmotion Cookies.”
I didn’t go through my entire reader today, Walt. They’ll get their love eventually.
I already miss Ally McCoist (referred to in the ESPN ombudsman column). I’ve got to find a way to start following his Rangers from now on.
My theory on Savage is that the coaches are sending him just so that he misses a couple of days of those dangerous no contact summer workouts. You can never be too careful with him.
Yeah, J.M., he’s been terrific. Unfortunately I think he’s been phased out of ESPN’s rotation as the Cup has progressed … a lot less of him now, more Ekoku, Mustoe, and (ugh) Harkes.
Michael, I probably shouldn’t have laughed at that, but I did.
Yeah, Jerry, my suspicion is that you ARE reading a little too much into the Savage choice for SEC Media Days (though I hope you are not).
Even if injured, if he’s shown outstanding leadership to the young players and gone above and beyond everything that has been asked of him, if he’s still not ready to play, being a team representative for SEC Media Days for this Auburn graduate (he’s in grad school now) would be a nice little reward, no?
I typed up a big long rant about LeBron here, but I figured I’d spare you all the space.
All I really want to say is, I really hope he’s the only guy out there that really wants to be Pippen instead of Jordan. I hope he’s the only guy with that ridiculous potential that wants to retire to warm weather and buy his mom a house on South Beach and play for fun with his buddies before his career ever even gets started.
As sports fans, we appreciate those that chase after and obtain greatness, right? So does that mean that we reserve the right to dislike those that give up on the chance? Or does that mean that we’re actually wired and obligated to dislike them?
As a LeBron/Cavs fan ever since he came into the league, I’ll be sticking with the Cavs and rooting against him just like every Clevelander he just spurned. It’ll be fun to see the lovable cast — Big Z, Verajao, Booby Gibson, Antawn Jamison, Delonte West, and even ol’ Bammer Mo — and how they hold up this year, and see if they can’t get a fifth or sixth seed.
I’m just gonna leave it at a positive. I really don’t even want to get into the LeBacle of last night.
Those poor people. It literally can’t get any worse than that in all of sports. A city loves an athlete undoubtedly more than any city has ever loved an athlete before, and then that…. whatever the hell THAT was… happens.
Don’t forget, residents of FL don’t pay state income tax. One big reason LeB is going to So. Beach.
The word was that Savage was a go in the Spring. The coaches held him out of the spring game purposely. If he’s stayed healthy since then, there is no reason to think he won’t play. Especially if they’re sending him to Birmingham. If they wanted to send a guy who was a good story that might not play it seems like it would have been Etheridge. The players who go to media days are always significant contributors to the team. Notre Dame wouldn’t have sent Rudi to media days (lol).
Although I can’t imagine how cavs fans feel right now, I would have to say it’s that kid’s life. He’s entitled to do whatever he wants to do. Cleveland wouldn’t even be what it is today if it wasn’t for the blood, sweat, & tears he threw into that b-ball team over 7 years. I can’t believe the uproar by people (not saying you Orange). And last but not least: I’m a young successful millionaire and superstar…Miami?!? or Cleveland?!? Miami?!? or Cleveland?!? MIAMI hands down. WDE
el carg says
I’m a huge NBA fan, but have felt an ick towards Lebron since he got that Hummer in high school. The entire sports marketing machine has been spinning and shifting to make money off him and his personality. It was my extreme pleasure to see him fall on his face the other night. He could have handled in a diplomatic way toward Cleveland, but it was like a spit. But hey it created headlines, and I’m sure Nike and other clients will have the crowds forgetting and loving him again.
On the World Cup bracket — thank you for not pointing out Ghana Soundz loses the tie breaker because he idiotically filled it out for one game instead of the entire tournament. Ugh. But I’ve still got a chance in the one I’ve got money at stake in. Thanks for setting it up.
Congratulations on the World Cup bracket first place, Gerry. Well played.
Joe Blow says
When am I going to learn to follow my head and not my gut when filling out brackets? The final was my only “gut feeling” pick. That really knocked me way down in the final rankings! Congratulations, Jerry!