In any case, I owe everyone on my loyal reader list a real-life update, or at least some kind of excuse as to why you haven't heard from me since ... sheesh, last Tuesday? Really? There's no excuse for that, is there?
Well, if there is, I think this qualifies — I've had a 10-year reunion and Music & Arts Week, an exercise I can't promote highly enough and intend to continue doing so throughout the year. And since MAW takes place in a land time forgot (no cell phone service and only limited Interwebz), there wasn't much chance to blog or anything like that.
In any case, we're back now, and there should only be a few interruptions between now and the start of football season (Media Days is a mere two weeks away, folks). In fact, just for fun, let's play a football video (h/t: RBR).
That was fun. And with that, let's take a look at some of the things we missed from this week.
• Obviously, the biggest story around the sports world today is the death of Steve McNair, one of those "holy crap!" moments that life throws us from time to time to remind us of how fleeting this ethereal plain really is.
The country's best writers are and will continue to put McNair's life and career into perspective, as this excellent post from Dr. Saturday will attest. I'll always remember McNair as the old guy in the pickup game: he never appeared to be moving very fast, nor throwing the ball very hard, and he was always nursing some kind of injury that would sideline the best of us under normal circumstances. But he kept coming, kept coming, wasn't fazed by much of anything ... and he won. And he kept winning. I have no idea what kind of guy he was, but he was a HELL of a football player and he'll always be one of my favorites.
On to less serious things ...
• A pair of fantastic posts from Smart Football, both of which will make Peter von Herrmann smile: first, a look at Nick Saban's defense; second, the maddeningly simplistic stylings of Paul Johnson. The guy knows his stuff and makes me feel inadequate.
• Speaking of Saban, you've no doubt heard that he keeps rolling up commits for his recruiting class of 2010, removing all the suspense from the process, in the words of Cecil Hurt. In a sense, this is consistent with the way Saban's teams play football, as well — they work harder and execute better than everybody else, essentially removing all the drama from games, as well. Obviously, even with all that, sometimes you'll still lose ... but not because you didn't do everything you could and cover every angle.
If you're into recruiting for '10 — and I try not to be, but it's hard — RBR has you covered. Gentry Estes has a good look at the attrition for the program, also.
• RBR also tackled another big issue this week: the phenomenon of the second-year improvement. Not surprisingly, the outlier in this study is Houston Nutt, something to think about before you go jumping on the Ole Miss bandwagon.
• Things only tangentially related to football: Tower has the story of a potential curse on BDS; 8Box tackled the important subject of which coach you'd hire, fire or destroy; EA Sports has a look at virtual stadiums across the country; and here's a gut-wrenching story that will make you stop hating Tennessee for a minute.
• Other stuff: Rapaport sits down with Anthony Grant; Buster looks at potential trade partners for the suddenly alive Braves.