Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If Florida doesn't get Ernie Badeaux, they're totally screwed

It's signing day, one of my least favorite days of the sports year. All around the country today fans will act as if their team has won a championship or is doomed to failure based on the whims of high school football stars. It's largely nonsense, of course. For every Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin who lives up to their hype, there are Brock Berlin or Steve Shipp who fail miserably. The Birmingham News broke down the 25 first team members of this year's AP All-American team, and found that only five were originally "five star" guys on - with just one on the offensive side of the ball. As long as schools are filling their needs today and getting reasonably talented guys, they'll be fine. Whether a kid commits in October or on signing day shouldn't matter, but for the hardcore recruitniks it always does. It's all really silly.

Florida got a win they had to have last night at the O'Connell Center. 6-2 in conference is about where before the season most would have expected this team to be right now, likely swapping results of the SC road loss and the Vandy road win. If they protect their homecourt the rest of the way, Florida will go to the tournament. South Carolina's very good, and Devan Downey's terrific. That team is not a fluke - covering them is proving to be the highlight of my tenure here in Columbia thus far.

Florida gets a week to get ready for next week's trip to Rupp Arena, and it's safe to say Kentucky's struggling right now. They shot 35 percent from the floor and Mississippi State controlled the entire game last night in Lexington. That's three straight losses - having fun yet, Billy Gillispie? I'm sure this is all still Tubby's fault somehow.

I was happy to see Bob Hayes of the Dallas Cowboys finally get chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend. He changed the way NFL teams played defense - that alone should have been credentials enough to get in, but some voters overreacted to his issues with drugs. Hayes has been dead since 2002, so he won't be able to experience his day in Canton. There still will be weirdness connected with it, it appears. A woman claiming she was Bob Hayes's older sister spent Super Bowl week arguing his case to media members. She was even brought to the podium to speak for him at the NFL's announcement press conference. Now Hayes business manager says the woman is a fraud - not related to Hayes and having previously tried to fake a will and letters from the man. What a bizarre obsession/hobby/scheme to have.

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