The Back Nine comes at you after an amazing weekend with my wife Karen as we celebrated 23 years of wedded bliss. She has been through a lot lately but I can see the joy coming back into her beautiful eyes.
10. OK, OK, calm down everybody. Florida missed out on its two big targets at quarterback in recruiting and a lot of people are concerned, especially the Gidiots who seriously want their coach – who has never coached a game at Florida – fired. I said I would try not to use that term any more, but you know who you are, especially the King of the Gidiots who will remain nameless and is the only person I have ever blocked. Florida did get a four-star from Buchholz in Gavin Hill, but no, let’s concentrate on what didn’t happen.
11. Look, I am concerned, but not upset. There’s a difference. We have no idea what is and is not reality with the NIL. Jaden Rashada’s attorney claims his client left money on the table in accepting Miami’s NIL deal. That’s an NCAA violation and breaking a state law. Not that anything will happen to anybody. I don’t know what is worse – that high school football players have lawyers working illegal deals for them or that people can throw out ridiculous dollar figures that were offered that I know are not true. I’ve always said that I thought college football was idiot-proof. I’m starting to wonder.
12. Mississippi State wins its first national championship in anything and Ole Miss basically says, “Hold my beer.” Last time in, last team on the field. It’s why baseball is the least predictable of any sport. Most of them have teams that dominate right to the end. The Cinderellas always have their moments but get kicked to the curb in the end. But not college baseball. Maybe that’s why nobody ever does a pool for the sport. Our brackets would all be up in flames. Congrats to the Rebels and thanks for bringing another title to the SEC instead of letting a future SEC team win it all.
13. That makes seven SEC national crowns for the year now that college sports are over for the school year. Florida won the most with three (all in track), Georgia, Ole Miss, Kentucky (rifle) and South Carolina got the other ones. And another example about how difficult the SEC is going to get when Texas and Oklahoma join is that the Longhorns won the most with four. Maybe the SEC should break off once that happens.
14. I saw a story in the Athletic about players storming the field to fight … from the bullpen. To be honest, it never dawned on me that MLB could have a rule like the NBA and kick players out of a game who left the bullpen to get into the middle of a brawl. Makes sense to me. But, of course, we have to love the traditions of baseball like the designated hitter and bigger bases and a pitch clock like they have in college and the minors. See, baseball can change. Just do it.
15. Congrats to the Avalanche for slowing down a dynastic run, but please don’t tell me it was ended by the Lightning’s loss in the Stanley Cup. There is no reason to think they won’t be back. And as little as I know about hockey, I do know that if you are down a goal in the biggest game of the season it might be a good idea to get at least one shot off in the first 10 minutes of the final period of your season.
16. It’s time. You can officially start watching old football games whether they pop up on a network or you have them on DVR. You have four weeks, then it’s SEC Media Days and you have to put them away. If Billy Napier needs any advice on how to handle THAT clambake, I am here with words of wisdom. Let it be.
17. Wimbledon is underway. The No. 1 men’s player in the world was banned because of Russia’s involvement in the war it started. The world gets a little crazier every day.
18. And the only way to escape some time is to hit the golf course with a nice playlist. Here’s one for you:
* “She Walks in So Many Ways” by The Jayhawks.
* ”Lost In My Mind” by The Head and The Heart.
* ”Trailer” by Mudcrutch.