July is the horse latitudes of the college football offseason. National Signing Day, spring practices and the NFL Draft all push a little wind into the sails of a football fan. But there's nothing like that in July. The air is dead still. There's no momentum. And if you're Nick Saban you have to decide whether you're going to throw Terrance Cody over the side of the boat to lighten the load, or feed him to your starving crew. It's a tough choice.
In the meantime, a college football fan can only look for other means of sporting amusement.
For example, there's always baseball. Speaking of which, can someone please explain to me how the Atlanta Braves are only 2 games out of the lead in the N.L. East? Every time I watch them they're either trying to end a losing streak or gacking one up to begin a new streak. Then either the Phillies, Marlins or Mets forget how to play baseball for a week, and the Bravos are right back in it. Watching someone try to take control of that division is like watching a chimp try to open a walnut with knitting needles.
And then there's soccer. Of course the United States' team just completed an exciting run in the Confederations Cup, which I understand to be a reasonably big deal in the world of soccer, though not as big a deal as the World Cup. I think it's sort of the MAC Championship Game of international futbol. Which I follow about as closely as the price of guava futures on the Curacao Commodities Exchange. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the United States being competitive in international soccer. But I've learned from experience that the U.S. National soccer team is the organized sporting equivalent of your ne'er-do-well cousin Walter. Everytime you think he's going to get it together, he shows up on your doorstep with four days of stubble after a three day drunk, a truly sad state of affairs for a guy with a Ph.D. from M.I.T. I'm curbing my enthusiasm regarding the futbol for the moment.
If, like our fearless leader, you're looking to unwind with a good book, I'd recommend Bill Heavey's If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat? Heavey is a longtime columnist for Field & Stream whose wit and self-deprecating style should resonate with all outdoors enthusiasts who possess more zeal than skill. In other words, most of us.
Of course, you could also follow football recruiting through the summer. I'll be doing a good bit of that next week, as I try to catch up on the TMI previews of some of our newest commitments for the class of 2010. If anybody has any requests, I'd certainly be willing to listen.
In the meantime, August cannot get here soon enough. Unfortunately, as Railroad Earth points out, we've still got a long way to go: