The Back Nine comes at you after a week off and I hope you missed me. The craziness isn’t that far off.
10. Hearing the great Rece Davis on the studio show for the Euro Cup got my football blood circulating. And by that I mean the real football, American football, SEC football. Media Days are only a week away and it feels like it is fast approaching. I must confess that I watched big chunks of three games from last year on Sunday. But I did watch the extra time periods and the shootout of the Euro finals. It was intense and the raw emotion that was on display after it was over was something else. I also learned a lot about the victorious Italian team and the hard-luck Brits. Just don’t quiz me today. I already forgot everything.
11. It was a bit depressing to listen to radio guys talking about how they would be driving to Hoover one week from yesterday. On the other hand, it wasn’t unusual for me to go to my room at the Wynfrey and watch some of the speeches on TV to get out of the frigid ballroom where the presentations were given. The veterans know to bring sweatshirts even if it is a humid 96 degrees outside. The league will announce the two players from each team that will be attending Media Days on Wednesday (it has been three since 2010). Florida plans to go with two defensive players. Maybe it will restore confidence to that side of the ball.
12. You may be able to tell that I’m a little fired up next week even if I won’t be going. There will be moments when I am fired up about not being there as well. But here’s a bit of trivia for you. It appears that Nick Saban will eventually set the record for the most appearances at SEC Media Days. This will be his 20th at LSU and Alabama and I don’t think he’s going anywhere soon. The record is 23 by Steve Spurrier, the head ambassador at Florida. They were 23 entertaining appearances, I’ll tell you that. I especially liked him calling out commissioner Roy Kramer in the back of the room at the Sheraton about the BCS. Dan Mullen, by the way, will be making his 13th appearance.
13. The hits keep coming for the Florida football team during talking season. The latest was a PFF College list of the top 50 players in college football and the only Gator on board was Kaiir Elam. You’d think he is Florida’s only real football player and I would be he’ll be the only first-team player on the preseason All-SEC team. I’m just saying that Florida’s roster is better than most people think and the reason I can say that is that I trust the development of players under the coaches and certainly under Nick Savage. Too many people are looking at the fact that Florida has to play Alabama and LSU from the dark side and that Georgia is everyone’s summer love. I may be wrong, but I may be right. Or I may be crazy.
14. I didn’t even realize until I heard it this weekend that the Big 12 Media Days start Wednesday. There may be a few questions about Kansas paying up a player (Caperton Humphrey) to stay quiet and not report abuse and harassment. What a mess Kansas was under Jeff Long and Les Miles. I guess Miles took that LSU attitude with him, the same one that has Ed Orgeron in trouble. Anyway, Big 12 Media Days will be a lot about Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, who may be the Heisman front-runner after torching the Gators in the Cotton Bowl. But you know how I feel about early Heisman odds.
15. The SEC Media Days lasts for four days, although some media arrive late and others skip out early. The Pac-12 is one day. The other three Power 5 conferences are each two days. And that is all I have to say today about Media Days.
16. It has been difficult to watch the Braves this year because of an awful bullpen. And I think that Tomahawk Chop has run its course. I’m not saying I’ve given up on them, but after Ronald Acuna’s injury, maybe I will just stick with my American League team, the Red Sox. I think Acuna might have been the NL Most Valuable player this year. What a shame.
17. Since I am in the SEC Media Days mood, the “Florida Four” will involve the first two Media Days (that replaced the old Skywriters Tour”) in 1989 and ’90. See if you can tell me the first four Gators who were Florida’s players to attend. Give up? One you should have known. In 1989, it was Emmitt Smith and Richard Fain and in ’90 it was Chris Bromley and Huey Richardson.
18. So, with a week off, I kind of forgot to solicit some playlists from the peeps. But I went on Twitter and a lot of people responded. The one I went with came from my old radio pal Heath Cline. It’s a beauty.
* “Drive-In Saturday” by David Bowie.
* ”Can’t Get There From Here” by R.E.M.
* ”Caution” by The Killers.