The NFL gets started tonight with a pretty decent game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee, but I'm not feeling a whole lot of excitement for it right now. Not only is my team, Tampa Bay, going to be awful but they also are stuck with one of the league's five toughest schedules. Carolina, the team I'll be covering this season, had a winless preseason and looks lost on defense. They've got the second toughest schedule. Right now the best thing I have to pull for is the Lions losing ten more to break Tampa Bay's 0-26 futility streak. Even watching Percy Harvin, which should be fun, gets diminished because any success he has also means success for the NFL's resident drama queen.
Current FSU President T.K. Wetherell popped off at the NCAA again earlier this week over their handling of the school's academic scandal. I'm still amazed that FSU doesn't seem to grasp just how easily they were allowed to get off in the "punishment" for that. Yesterday the NCAA pointed out that yet again Wetherell has no idea what the hell he's talking about. Has any university ever had a president quite this clueless about what proper protocol is for dealing with controversial situations? The quicker they can get a new guy named in Tallahassee, the better off the school will be.
Remember when former UF women's basketball player Tamara Stocks posed for Playboy as one of their "Girls of the SEC"? Another former Lady Gator is going to be appearing sans clothing, although in a different publication. ESPN the Magazine is doing a publicity grab with their "Bodies" Issue next month. Basically, it's going to be lots of nude or semi-nude photos of male and female athletes. Golf World reports Sandra Gal will be among three current LPGA players to appear in the issue. There's always a debate about what this kind of thing can do for women in sports that seems silly to me. Most male golf fans don't tend to watch anything other than elite level men play golf - not seniors, juniors, developmental tours or women. Even if Natalie Gulbis and Anna Rawson played the LPGA tour in bikinis every week, it would only boost interest for a brief period of time. This will make some ESPN readers slightly more aware of a few female athletes, but it won't do a thing to get them to actually check them out on the playing field.
The most recent NFL jersey sales numbers are in. The number one seller: Michael Vick. Obviously part of this is that he's new to his team. A Philly fan who wanted a Donovan McNabb or Brian Westbrook jersey likely would already have bought them before the last few weeks. I get that. That still doesn't make it any less puzzling that there are people lining up to spend money to brand themselves as proud supporters of a guy who has the record Vick does (the whole episode with the dogs, "Ron Mexico", flicking off the home fans, positive drug test while awaiting sentencing, and so much more). What would possibly make someone want to wear Michael Vick's jersey before he's even played a down that counted for the Eagles? The fact so many people are jumping at the chance is just depressing.
Good college action tonight with Clemson at Georgia Tech. I'm really curious to see what a Dabo Swinney coached team will look like. The guy impressed me at the ACC's media gathering as being pretty sharp and having a good plan in place, but who knows how he'll handle a tight game or tough 4th down decisions. I love Paul Johnson's offense and the moxie he brought to a Tech program that had been sleepwalking for years under Chan Gailey. This should really be a fun game on what is a pretty lame overall week for college football.