Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let's go Hawaii!

The college football season opens tonight. While Presbyterian at Wake Forest is technically the very first game of the season, I'll be at the game that is for all practical purposes the opener as South Carolina hosts Southern Miss. This is one the Gamecocks should win, but they've staggered through their last few openers so there's always the chance of an upset. I previewed it for my friend Chuck Oliver's site should you wish to read some extended thoughts on the game.

Also in action tonight will be Utah and Pittsburgh, with the Panthers heading west for the game, and Marshall at Ohio State. One matchup that was supposed to be a featured game on Saturday has now turned into a debacle, with UNC's agent/academic messes expected to cost them use of as many as sixteen players. I'll be at that game with a friend who typically likes to try and leave early if things are decided. If this many guys are missing, I'll have to make sure he's still even going. Back to tonight, Lane Kiffin and USC are at Hawaii beginning at eleven eastern meaning there's at least two games worth of action easily available in the night. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of as much as possible.

Nike unveiled their latest ridiculous alternate uniforms for ten schools yesterday, with Florida among those jumping through hoops for them. The Gators didn't do nearly as poorly as some teams, but I'm not a big fan of the scaly pattern on the helmet. What I don't get is why these programs are willing to feature these uniforms in key games. Boise State and Virginia Tech will go at it Labor Day in prime time with tons on the line, yet the Hokies will be wearing a ridiculously ugly black getup and Boise will be in helmets that look like something out of a bad movie football scene. I've talked to guys after these "alternate uniform" games, and more than one has told me something about their outfit took some getting used to. Why have players adjusting to their uniforms as a game's being played if you don't have to? Can these schools really sell that much extra merchandise with these outfits?

There's a difference between being willing to speak unpopular truths and saying really stupid things you happen to believe. Former Reds reliever Rob Dibble has always been closer to the second part of that than the first throughout his broadcast career, but he's always found someone else to employ him after he gets bounced from another venue. Now he's looking for work again after his bonehead "suck it up" routine about Stephen Strasburg got him fired as Washington Nationals color analyst. Curt Schilling, a pitcher who certainly has the ability to be a polarizing figure like Dibble, was able to explain on ESPN before the word on Strasburg's injury came down that the rookie almost certainly would need Tommy John surgery. He used his experience as a pitcher to explain why that was and what to look for, as opposed to trying to brag how much tougher he was than anyone else. There's a lesson to be learned from this episode (not by Dibble, it's too late for him) by other jocks about how to handle stuff like this going forward if they become a broadcaster.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the alternate uniforms that nike puts out. I am a younger fan than most, but i've wanted the gators to update their uniforms for a while, at least the helmet.

Matt said...

Wearing the uniforms against Georgia is an especially poor choice as we all know that NO ONE out-uniform gimmicks Mark Richt. You've gotta think that he's been saving something pretty special up his sleeve for the day some poor sucker decided to try. I'm guessing he'll give all of his players black eye contacts and force them to eat a pound of red Fun Dip before the game. Can you imagine the fear in John Brantley's eyes when he has to face down 22 black eyeballs and 11 bright red tongues. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

jacob said...

Very good point matt, richt is the king of gimmicks.