It's Friday, and for once, I'm actually taking the weekend off. I'll be heading to the fine city of Columbus on Saturday for a spectacular concert featuring a Journey cover band. I know, you're jealous.
So, this will be the last post of the week. If you haven't checked out my post from yesterday on Georgia's top spring performers, however, it should help kill some time if you are in great need of reading material.
Also, a couple of big things coming next week...
First, we're going to launch a new series in which we'll get some inside info on spring practice from each of Georgia's 11 BCS-conference opponents this season, along with the rest of the SEC.
Second, I'll be spending a bit of time in the car to drive north where I'm visiting family and heading up to New York, where I'll be covering the NFL draft live from Radio City. If you're not already following me on Twitter, you can sign up now and be ready for our draft coverage.
Now, on to a heaping helping of links...
-- Mark Richt says Georgia will be more of a team without its superstars. I agree with his premise, but I must say, I'm disappointed that Richt appears to use the "blame the media" cop out. Perhaps I'm bias in defending the media, but this just seems like the oldest excuse there is, and I have always thought Richt was above it.
Were Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno the most talked about and written about players last year? Absolutely. But part of the media's job is to get the stories people want to hear. It is not the media's job to maintain locker room chemistry. It's the job of the coaches and the players. If we ran nothing but stories about walk-ons and punters, we'd be out of business (OK, out of business even sooner).
I think what Richt really means with his quote in that story is that he thinks this year Georgia feels like more of a team, but to bring up "the media" in his argument is unfair. Besides, I'm not sure what "media" he means, because I read virtually every inch of local coverage on a daily basis, and I think the coverage of the two stars was far less at Georgia than it has been of, say, Tim Tebow at Florida. Truth is, Stafford and Moreno were far from great quotes, and that probably got them out of the spotlight more than most superstars.
-- Forget Brian Van Gorder. The Love of Sports has a story about the real tough man of Georgia defensive coordinators: Erk Russell.
-- Chattanooga's David Paschall talks with CBS about the network's planned coverage of the SEC in 2009. Georgia Sports Blog has more details, along with a first draft of what Georgia's timeslots might be.
-- The Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler writes that Georgia has reminders of last year's loss to Florida plastered everywhere in its locker room.
-- I wish Rivals would have made this a free article, because it's a story every Georgia fan should read. Bryan Evans is using his ties to the program to help raise money for a former high school rival who is now paralyzed from the neck down.
-- The Buffalo News writes that this year's running back class -- including Knowshon Moreno -- aren't exactly speed demons.
-- Chris Low has the first installment of crazy Tennesse coaches: Ed Orgeron is ready for his big-screen debut.
-- And Get the Picture has installment No. 2: UT has to report a secondary recruiting violation after Lane Kiffin attempts to find closure on the whole "gas pumping" incident.
-- The top-ranked Georgia men's golf team will face some stiff competition in the SEC Men's Golf Championship.
-- Georgia closer Dean Weaver is on the watch list for the top reliever honors.
-- Catfish & Cornbread has a collection of unrelated yet still worthwhile thoughts on Georgia sports.
-- First the Iron Bowl might move to Friday and now Kenny Stabler is out as Alabama's color man. I suppose next you're going to tell me that Bear Bryant is dead.
-- Doc Saturday should probably be expecting a not-so-pleasant phone call from Mitch Mustain's mommy and daddy after this story.
-- The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal stole my joke already.
-- Just when it looks like we might be rid of Frank Calliendo, the fate balances the obnoxiousness level by bringing this back into our lives.
-- But wait! We're back on the plus side of the ledger with this news: ESPN and Stephen A. Smith have parted ways.
The previous three posts remind me of one of my favorite exchanges on "The Simpsons"...
Shopkeeper: Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
Homer: Ooh, that's bad.
Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
Homer: That's good.
Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
Homer: That's bad.
Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.
Homer: That's good!
Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
Shopkeeper: ...That's bad.
Homer: Can I go now?
-- I loved the "Star Wars" reference in Wednesday's "Lost" episode, but the New York Times thinks it's totally played.
-- And finally, Matthew Stafford is just the latest in a long line of "can't miss" QBs to get tons of hype before the draft. Some have turned out to be every bit the star people predicted, others have fallen far short. But Todd Marinovich is as cautionary a tale as there has ever been, and his story in the new Esquire is an absolute must read. (And it's a long one, so perhaps print it out and tell you're boss you'll be away from your desk for the next few hours.)OK, have a great weekend, folks!