ESPN announced their college football announcing lineup for 2009 yesterday. For the SEC over the air package, they actually retained Dave Neal as play by play voice. ESPN knows they're taking over taking over a property from Raycom that has been mocked for years due to its shoddy production values. Why they would ever want to retain a tie to that is a mystery to me. Two of the three Daves are gone, which is good, but the new analyst is the abysmal Andre Ware. Don't even get me started on the crew assigned to the ESPNU SEC package. ESPN spent big money to get these rights and has assigned either rookies or demonstrably poor announcers to them - I just don't understand it.
Austin Murphy of Sports Illustrated put together his list of the ten most thrilling college football players ever (with eleven guys on it - apparently Austin is a Big Ten fan). Inexplicably, his choice for the number one spot is Vince Young. If the list was most thrilling single game performances, Young can be in the discussion. The Texas national title win over USC was spectacular and he made it happen. For an overall career though, Young has no business being in the top ten much less in the top spot. Just in his conference alone I would take Tommie Frazier of Nebraska and Jamelle Holieway of Oklahoma as more thrilling than Young at his position. To not even have guys like Bo Jackson, Johnny Rodgers and a host of others on the list while Young sits atop it is just silly.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. says he's interested in racing in the Indianapolis 500. Far be it from me to give Junior career guidance, but in general it's a good idea to have success at what you're already doing before you start discussing other stuff. More and more people around NASCAR are starting to believe this guy really is done as a meaningful force on the track, with some of his fans beginning to jump on board the Tony Stewart bandwagon since he drives closer to Dale Senior anyway. It's bizarre to see what's happened, because Junior did seem to have pretty good talent at one point in his career.
Sania Mirza is a pro tennis player from India. She's not hard on the eyes, but considering she never got to the point where she was being seeded in tournaments Mirza was never a big star here. In India, on the other hand, her impending engagement is apparently a crisis for some avid fans. One guy tried breaking into her house to profess his love to her. That kind of thing tends to work out better in the movies. Another fan took himself hostage, saying he would commit suicide if Mirza went through with the engagement. I'd love to know what plans these guys rejected before believing they had carefully selected sound strategies to woo the lovely Miss Mirza away from her fiancee.
We're twelve days away from the start of SEC football media days. Next week is the deadest sports week of the year, but good stuff awaits on the other side. Have a great weekend, avoid strange late night Twittering like Rich Eisen and I'll see you back here Monday.