Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will keep the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award after all, the result of a bizarre voting process that saw a writer switch to vote FOR Cushing as a protest of the revote and others simply refuse to make a choice. Cushing has no business winning the award, but there wasn't a clear enough consensus around one player to get them past him into the top spot. Meanwhile, an off the record NFL GM revealed his team felt Cushing has been a chronic steroid user for years when they evaluated him for the draft. As noted Monday, this was one of the least surprising steroid suspensions in the history of team sports. That only makes it harder to understand why some writers decided to go out of their way to be obstinate and give Cushing the award anyway.
At SEC meetings in a few weeks, the conference intends to once again look at doing something about Mississippi State's fans incessantly clanging cowbells. There has been a rule against artificial noisemakers in the SEC since 1974, and MSU has simply ignored it or made minor efforts to pretend they were enforcing the rule. Now their spokesman maintains the cowbells should be considered a "great tradition" of the SEC. That's a load of crap. Either there's a rule, or there isn't. I don't particularly care which, but it's absurd that if MSU visits another school and their fans clang cowbells while the Bulldog offense is trying to call signals it's a violation while the MSU home fans can do the same to them in Starkville and it's acceptable. A fine won't do anything to stop this either. If the SEC wants a ban to have any teeth it has to be a 15 yard penalty for any disruptive clanging after one warning. If they're not willing to do that, then open it up and let everyone pass out whatever noisemaking crap their marketing department can get a sponsor for.
Control freak coaches irritate me. Mark Fox, Georgia's basketball coach, is severely restricting his players use of Twitter. They're only supposed to send tweets out about the team, according to Fox. If you can imagine such a thing, the players were sending messages “about themselves and just a bunch of nonsense.” That might have something to do with the fact they were using their personal Twitter accounts, and they're college students. That's what kids their age DO on Twitter. Athletes being allowed to interact with people and behave like normal kids? Can't have that! Hey coach Fox, I bet when the players use their personal cel phones they talk “about themselves and just a bunch of nonsense" too. You going to take those away next?
One thing Fox presumably will still find acceptable to tweet about is where teams stand in the rankings. A variety of college hoop gurus have issued their current preseason top 25s now that the early exits to the NBA have been resolved. Expectations for Florida are going to be radically different this season. Jeff Goodman of Fox has them as his tenth team, as does Gary Parrish of CBS Sports. Pat Forde, who covered the Oklahoma City first round for ESPN and thus saw their double OT loss to BYU, puts them a spot higher than that. All have Florida as the highest ranked SEC team. It all seems a bit much to me just yet. Maybe once I've seen the signing class actually contribute and know whether they got more help at point or not I'll start to think of UF as the kind of team that's a two or three seed, which is what that rating should indicate.
Today marks exactly two years since the start of regular Monday through Friday postings on this blog. This is post 464. It's been an interesting daily challenge to try and make sure I have some kind of content here that you'll hopefully find worthwhile. If the stats showed no one was reading, I would have probably discontinued it long ago (a suggestion my wife makes about twice a month when she's annoyed about me staying up late). Thanks to those of you who do choose to drop by and see what's on my mind.