Taylor Lewan, tandem bike enthusiast. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Have you watched Sportscenter lately? Of course you haven't, why would you willingly subject yourself to wall-to-wall coverage of Peyton-palooza and the unending saga of Tim Tebow: NFL Quarterback?
The WWL has a tendency to let things get out of hand, but that can hardly be blamed on just ESPN. The media as a whole is fascinated by Tebow in a myriad of ways that are only distantly related to what actually happens on the football field. People get so caught up in these things that it all tends to spiral out of control. Tim Tebow is no longer a football player, but rather a tool with which pundits and columnists can mold just about any point they wish to make. The man is pious and ill-suited for his position and a winner above all else and a true christian in sports. The angles are endless, and the opportunities for opinion and reaction are so great that sometimes you just can't control yourself and you end up with your most outspoken talking head split screened opposite the press conference so that the world can watch him tweeting his reaction in real time. We, as a sports obsessed society, have reached the bottom of the rabbit hole, people.
But there is more to the story. Eventually Tim Tebow is actually going to get to play some football for his new team. Despite the fact that most of the media is obsessed with the long-term discussion of "will he earn the starting job" there is at least one guy out there interested in the short term. I'm talking about Chris Brown of Smart Football.
Over at Grantland Brown takes a long look at why Tebow can work as a secondary quarterback option for the Jets, how he should be used, and what the hell the Wildcat offense actually is. An excerpt:
The answer to all of the above is no. The most important thing to remember about football strategy is that there is no such thing as Platonic ideal football; there is no right or wrong way to do things, and the game is governed by a few simple things: the size and speed of the players, the geometry of their arrangement on a football field, and, above all else, pragmatism — what is good is simply what works. And what works is what is simple.
Even if you don't care about Tebow and the Jets, read this for the insight into why the principles of the single wing offense cropped up as the Wildcat in Miami a few years ago, how this swept across the league, and why there is still a chance to exploit the defense by employing this kind of package a handful of times per game.
On to the links.
"It's moving right along (laughs). I was up to 360 at the All-American game and am now down to 340 so I am feeling good right now. By the end of July Coach Wellman thinks I can lose 20 more pounds so by the start of the season I am hoping to be somewhere around 320 or so".
Tremendous takes a look at incoming freshman Ondre Pipkins, his strengths and weaknesses, and what his contributions could mean for a defensive line that is in a state of upheaval.
"There's not a bad coach on this staff. I think Brady is really good. He knows his strengths and doesn't try to coach everybody. He'll coach the defensive line, he'll coach the defense, but he's comfortable with his role and he's very good at his role."
Meanwhile, the Detroit News runs down what Gerry DiNardo had to say after attending a recent practice.
Taylor Lewan: The Michigan football team's most serious funny guy - Taylor Lewan bought a tandem bicycle that he rides around campus with Drew Dileo. Now that's comedy.
What They’re Saying: Trey Burke and the NBA - UMHoops gathers some quotes from various people on Burke's decision and his potential. Those close to him seem to very evenhanded in their assessment of the situation, and the scout reaction is that while Burke's game shows a lot of potential, he has enough he needs to work on elsewhere that he would benefit from a year back at Michigan.
Michigan basketball signees Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary receive honors - Two of Michigan's future players received a mention on the All-New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) teams.
"We have an American flag [in the weight room], and Mike Mauti said 'you know coach, you should put an American flag underneath that Pride sign,' " Fitzgerald said. "So the next day we had that [flag] laid up, so he's pretty excited about that. I don't think you can have enough American flags in your weight room."
Somewhere, Ricky Stanzi and J Lehman are smiling.
Kansas State Has Some Bullshit Excuse For How They Learned About Jamar Samuels's Ineligibility - All is well at Kansas State.
I was stuck for what to write, and went out drinking. (That’s not uncommon.) There was a bumper sticker on a fridge in a bar. It read "NOLA: We put the ‘fun’ in ‘funeral.’" It clicked from there: the death of interesting football, the zombie city of New Orleans, the end of the BCS, Les Miles torching his good credit in a single night. You can’t write about NOLA or college football without mentioning the hangovers and body bags. They are part of the scene, and doing so would be dishonest. I also wrote that in a 200 year old kitchen at three in the morning by gaslight in the middle of a rainstorm. You weren’t getting happy out of it even if you tried.
The lengthy interview with Spencer Hall is definitely worth your time.
Pundits love to characterize players into convenient, bite-sized definitions either through statistics or stories that tug at the human condition: Craft can effortlessly solve the Rubik's cube in about a minute. Craft is a first team Academic All American.
Craft is the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year. Craft is [lazy euphemisms traditionally reserved for modestly-sized caucasian athletes].
While all of that is true, Craft's most important contribution to his team is his self-appointed hybrid role as a precocious coach on the floor, on-court therapist and archetypal curator of unrelenting effort that is both contagious and inspiring. That value cannot accurately be measured with stat sheets.
Ramzy at Eleven Warriors, killing it softly.