There aren't a lot of things that are potentially new to me when it comes to covering SEC football, but Saturday I'll experience one. I'll be making my way over to Athens for South Carolina's visit to Georgia. The only time UF went to Sanford Stadium I was assigned to host the postgame on WRUF, so I didn't make the trip. As a result, this will be the first game I cover there. Considering the two teams scored 17 points last week combined and neither team has broken 18 in this game the last four years, it should be a slugfest. It may sound crazy, but UGA's season rides on this game. With a loss, they could easily be staring 6-6 or worse in the face. Florida should win comfortably against Troy, but it still feels weird not being in Gainesville to cover a game. I'll be back for Tennessee, with the odds extremely good Gameday will be in town as well provided UT beats UCLA Saturday (which they should). Here's Awful Announcing's list of televised games this week
Wish I could say that Tennessee Pittsburgh game got my NFL engine going, but not quite. Hopefully there'll be some better action on Sunday. Yesterday the NFL finaly revealed its plan to help fans who are missing their teams games thanks to the outdated blackout rule. The games will now be posted online after midnight. So in essence, Jaguar fans can now watch their team's home games in their cubicle Monday morning. Especially after a loss, I doubt that will be all that popular. What I still don't understand is how the NFL can charge a fan in Jacksonville money for a satellite package of games and then intentionally refuse to provide some of them to him while giving me the same game. It makes no sense.
The Caster Semenya story appears to be getting closer to resolution, with reports indicating that the 800 meter winner as a female in the world championships is in fact a hermaphrodite. Now the question is how to handle this situation, and I don't envy the people who have to figure that out. The reality is Semenya isn't intentionally cheating yet she has an unfair advantage. I can see banning her from future events until she's undergone some sort of assignment surgery, but stripping her medal seems unfair.
Not to be all mawkish heading into the weekend, but make sure you take some time to think about what happened eight years ago today. That Tuesday morning was supposed to Florida/Tennessee media day, and I'll never forget sitting there with the assembled media and Steve Spurrier just watching what was unfloding and talking about it rather than the nuts and bolts of a football game we all knew instinctively wouldn't be played. It's astounding to me that we've gone from the kind of unity of purpose that was on display immediately after the attacks to the point where I heard people seriously argue yesterday that it's perfectly acceptable to them for a congressman from the area where I live to interrupt a presidential address and call the commander in chief a liar since they don't like him. The polarization of this country is a major concern to me, and at this point I honestly wonder if even another attack would unite people or just unleash an immediate orgy of fingerpointing and blame. I know, kind of heavy stuff for a Friday post on a sports blog, but I couldnt believe what I was hearing around here yesterday. Hope you have a good weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.