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92,000 Alabama Fans Have Nothing Better to do Than Watch a Scrimmage

Initially you’re overwhelmed by the sheer force of the numbers — a crowd of 92,000 showed up to watch an intra-squad scrimmage. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty of the matter, of course that many fans showed up — it was their only chance to see Alabama get a win.

School officials had planned for around 50,000 fans to be on hand, and were prepared to host even 60,000 just in case. I can’t imagine what 92,000 did to them. Defensive end Wallace Gilberry made a comment that he thought Florida or Tennessee were in town. Nope, just Nick Satan Saban in his first year as head coach.

It shows what kind of passion and support we have at the University of Alabama,” Saban said. It certainly makes me feel great about being here as the coach. I just hope we can continue to channel all that energy in a positive way so we can get to where we want to go and continue to build this program into something special.”

Translation — we’re not in Miami anymore. Then again, Saban won a national title at LSU, so he knows what rabid SEC fans are like. Man, even if Saban was a jackass for leaving the Dolphins, have to feel for the guy — and anyone who has the pressure of 92,000 fans showing up for a practice game. That is pure insanity. It’s that type of passion by the fans that really make you hope for some serious strides in Tuscaloosa — perhaps a 2-10 season.

Screw New York, Joe Thomas Is Going Fishing

You know how on draft day, there are constant shots to the green room where the humble former collegians are awaiting the moment that will change their live for the future? All the players are gathered so when their name is finally called, they can proudly prance across the stage, pose alongside the commissioner, jersey in hand, cap atop the head, and break open a lovely smile. It is at that very moment that the man makes a transformation from draft prospect to future cornerstone of an NFL franchise.

Why all the sentiments and the poetic waxing you ask? Well, because Joe Thomas has made it very clear that he will not be present in New York City for the 2007 NFL Draft. He will not be there to crack the proud smile alongside the commissioner when his name is called — be it early like a Robert Gallery before him — or embarrassingly late like Aaron Rodgers a few years ago. Instead, as Adam Schefter reports, Joe Thomas will be gone fishing:

Despite a personal e-mail from commissioner Roger Goodell, Thomas rejected the NFL’s repeated written and verbal invitations to attend the draft-week festivities in New York.

Thomas wants to maintain a years-old tradition in which he spends draft day fishing for coho salmon on Lake Michigan with his dad.

That’s so sweet. Sentimental. Wholesome. Refreshing. A good family man, spending good quality time with his pops.

Unfortunately, Thomas isn’t as wholesome as his actions would make you believe. He has endorsement deals with companies such as Under Armour who I’m sure is not happy about Thomas’ planned absence on the biggest day of a draftee’s life — in front of millions of viewers no less.

I guess in the end this whole deal won’t even matter by the time Thomas is in training camp. But for now, I’m sure he’s upset several sponsors, and we already know the commish ain’t happy about it. Hey Joe, don’t be surprised if you get flagged for a couple of extra holding calls this year buddy.

The Cincinnati Bengals Are on the Clock

And I’m picking for them! Actually, I’ve already picked for them … in the Awful Announcing Complete Sports Bloggers Mock Draft Version 1.0. We left off yesterday at pick 15, with The Starter Wife from Ladies… selecting Penn St. OL Levi Brown. Here’s the recap of Day 1 (picks made on behalf of blogger listed in brackets):

  1. Oakland Raiders [Dan Shanoff] – Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
  2. Detroit Lions [The Wayne Fontes Experience] – JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
  3. Cleveland Browns [A Price Above Bip Roberts] – Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
  4. Tampa Bay Bucs [Leave the Man Alone] – Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
  5. Arizona Cardinals [Deadspin] – Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
  6. Washington Redskins [Unsilent Majority] – Amobe Akoye, DT, Louisville
  7. Minnesota Vikings [Our Book of Scrap] – Ted Ginn Jr., WR/KR, Ohio St.
  8. Atlanta Falcons [The Big Lead] – LaRon Landry, S, LSU
  9. Miami Dolphins [Just Call Me Juice] – Joe Thomas, OL, Wisconsin
  10. Houston Texans [Seal Clubbers] – Greg Olsen, TE, Miami
  11. San Francisco 49ers [The Fan's Attic] – Jamal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
  12. Buffalo Bills [Shot to Nothing] – Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
  13. St. Louis Rams [J-Money] – Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
  14. Carolina Panthers [Digital Headbutt] – Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn St.
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers [TheStarterWife] – Levi Brown, OL, Penn St.

Hey, might not be exactly what you see on draft day, but it’s a good barometer for what the fans are feeling across the blogosphere. Look out for Day 2 of the draft over at Awful Announcing today.

Steve Spurrier Gets Political with Confederate Flag

Apparently Steve Spurrier pays attention to the background scene of ESPN’s GameDay set because he felt it was ‘embarrassing’ that someone was waving a Confederate flag around in the background of the pregame show when the Gamecocks took on the Vols. Spurrier’s political statement didn’t stop there either:

“It would make us a more progressive, better state, I think, if the flag was removed. But I’m not going to go on any big campaign to have it removed. That’s not my position,” Spurrier said in an interview with The State. “But if anyone were to ask me, that would certainly be my position. And I think everyone in there, it was their position, too.”

Considering the South lost the Civil War only over a century ago, I’d say getting rid of the Confederate flag is probably the right thing to do. Even though South Carolina moved the Confederate flag from the top of the dome to the grounds recently, some of the politicians aren’t too cozy to the idea of getting rid of the flag entirely.

Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, who sponsored the bill that moved the flag from the dome to the grounds, said Spurrier’s timing was “100 percent wrong,” given the presidential campaigns coming through the state. Candidates have more important issues, Ford said. “He threw a monkey wrench in this campaign and I don’t like it,” Ford said. “It don’t look right. It don’t sound right. It don’t feel right.”

[Don] Gordon, a state officer with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said Spurrier’s call for the removal of the flag was “the moral equivalent of calling our ancestors ‘nappy-headed hos.’”

Wow, now that’s some serious business. There’s no question the Confederate flag means a lot to South Carolina but come on, to compare it to Imus’ remarks? Now I know why it’s hard to suggest the state pulls down the flag, there’s almost no room for negotiation when one applies that type of logic.

It’s Like Rugby, Only Football

Man, quite bizarre. Check out the video passed along to me by esteemed site contributor GP John. It’s apparently of a Princeton/Yale football game from 1903. You would hardly recognize it these days as college football, looks more like rugby than anything else.

Since I mentioned rugby, I dug up this vid on YouTube. It’s flippin’ sweet.

Michael Michaels Is as Crooked as a Reggie Bush Punt Return

Image courtesy Bevo Sports

For as much crap as Reggie Bush has taken over the scandals he created upon leaving USC for the NFL, I truly believe Michael Michaels is the real crook here. Here you have a guy who was trying to make it on the sports agent/sports marketing scene by throwing a ton of cash and perks Reggie Bush’s way. No question Bush wouldn’t have been the first athlete to illegally receive gifts and bribes from agents and marketers while in school — not as if that makes it OK — but he’s not the one who cried out to the public as soon as the deal went sour.

That is so wrong in so many ways. You’re trying to illegally persuade a top-notch client to join your business — and when he doesn’t — you try to solve it in a court room?

The former landlord for Reggie Bush’s parents in Spring Valley has reached an undisclosed settlement agreement with the Bush family for alleged unpaid rent and other losses in a case still under investigation by the NCAA.

Michael Michaels alleged last year that Bush’s parents lived rent-free in his house for a year while Bush was at USC, with the understanding that Bush would be a centerpiece in Michaels’ fledgling marketing agency after he turned pro.

So no, I do not condone Reggie Bush and/or his family accepting gifts while Reggie was playing at USC, but Michael Michaels is far worse. By the way, what a sound recruiting strategy. Imagine how many other prospective clients will want to sign with Michaels now that they know should their business dealings go wrong, they could wind up going to court? What a fantastic approach!

Florida Football Building New Legacy

Just yesterday it came out that Florida offensive lineman, Ronnie Matthew Wilson, was arrested and is accused of shooting off a gun during a dispute in a club.

Wilson, 19, has been suspended from team activities, coach Urban Meyer said. Wilson was charged with aggravated assault, simple battery and the use or display of a concealed weapon during the commission of a felony, according to jail records.

Well, that’s not the first time a Gator was in the news this week — and not for winning the national title, nor for entering the NBA draft. On Monday, Florida linebacker Dustin Doe (pictured) was charged for fighting in public

for his involvement in a large brawl in a downtown Gainesville parking garage.

Police responded to the scene at 2:25 a.m Sunday, and Doe was observed fighting in a group of 20 or more people. According to police reports, Doe and two others were arrested.

This is certainly a nice way for Urban Meyer’s Gators to celebrate their BCS title. I guess they’re getting in shape for Spring Practice.  Thanks to JS for the alert.