It's Friday. Signing Day is behind us. Spring Practice is over a month away, and I'm still not entirely comfortable with the notion of the University of Georgia as a basketball school and the type of conversation that entails. So I present to you Free Form Friday, a compendium of sports, pop culture and other miscellany that is only structured to the extent that I just couldn't help it. Feel free to discuss the topics addressed below, or topics of your own crowdsourced choosing, in the comments.
I mentioned in the comments to Kyle's roundball preview of this weekend's Auburn game that I'm moving a little slow this morning. That's because I spent last night at the Macon Centreplex Coliseum with several thousand of my closest friends watching the opening date of Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party tour, with special guests Eric Church and Jane Dear Girls. I highly recommend that you catch the show if it comes to a town near you. I would have gone anyway because Jason's a fellow Maconite, a 'Dawg fan (who owns an English Bulldog named "Athens"), and puts on one heckuva live show. But I was also really impressed with Eric Church, who Darius Dawgberry tells me put on one of the best concerts he's seen a while back at the 40 Watt. If anyone else has heard any good music lately, I'd love to know.
Speaking of great shows, it appears that Mike Slive was not impressed with Alabama's "fax cam" on National Signing Day, or more specifically, with the scantily clad young lady working the facsimile. Apparently another league school complained to the conference about a member of the Crimson Cabaret dance team, in her official dance team uniform, appearing onscreen to ferry faxes to the Armani Bear and his minions. Slive would not identify the school in question, saying only that the call came from the backseat of a limousine with Lee County, Alabama tags, $100 bills blowing out of the windows, and some jackass wearing his baseball cap backwards standing up through the sunroof and twirling a towel. We already knew it wasn't Les Miles because in New Orleans the young lady in question would have been overdressed, and Les was too busy on Signing Day playing ping pong with his parrot Chester and signing another top 10 recruiting class without even realizing it.
No word yet on whether Slive thought that the jersey worn by Isaiah Crowell's friend's bulldog puppy was too revealing, or whether the belt buckle Damian Swann wore to school on Wednesday was "too fancy." Look, if Saban & Co. had a young lady in a bikini come in on her off day from the Lucky Lady Gentlemen's Club, that would be one thing. If a Bama coed were taking road trips to give recruits personal attention in their hometowns, that would be another. But an enrolled student,wearing a uniform worn by members of the school's dance team is no more offensive to me than the camera shots of cheerleaders that you see going to commercial on every SEC broadcast, every Saturday in the fall. What message does this send? There are a lot of pretty girls at the University of Alabama? What football recruit who's been to Tuscaloosa didn't know that already? This was a novel approach by Alabama, and I applaud their creativity. It's not like the young lady's father was trying to get $180,000 for her to appear on camera. Should I be more outraged over this, commentariat?
This Saturday is not only another thrilling basketball Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum (typed the blogger, squelching his inner conflict over this new and troubling "excitement" he feels for UGA basketball). It's also Big Bad John Decision Day 2011. The day that we all find out if Georgia will be getting the guy who many perceive as the most important piece of Georgia's recruiting puzzle, nose tackle John Jenkins (hereinafter, for all intents and purposes set out in this document, "Big Bad John")*. Why the excitement over a JUCO nose tackle with fewer stars next to his name on the recruiting sites than Isaiah Crowell, Ray Drew and the rest of the "Dream Team?"
Because Georgia looked incredibly vulnerable at times against the run this season, and all the top-rated cornerbacks and tailbacks in the world won't fix that. Take for example the second half of the Mississippi State game, in which Chris Relf and crew simply could not be forced off the field by the Georgia front 7. A space-eater like the 6'4, 340 pound Jenkins would allow Deangelo Tyson to move to his more natural slot at 3-4 defensive end (Abry Jones would be the likely starter opposite him) and keep offensive linemen off our inside linebackers, who spent a lot of time in 2010 shedding blocks that could be avoided if the nose had to be double-teamed on every snap. For more on Big Bad John Jenkins, take a look at this recent piece by the Banner Herald's Marc Weiszer. To comment on his commitment, join us here at Dawg Sports for Saturday's basketball game/Big Bad John Open Comment Thread. In true Cormac McCarthy fashion, there will be Oxford commas. And the second space placed after each sentence will be scrubbed out in a senseless act of punctuatory violence. You'll think it's random, but you could be wrong.
Like every other American who's not an Al Queda plant or a writer for The New Yorker, I'll be watching the Super Bowl this weekend. I ask for nothing more than some entertaining commercials, Hines Ward to knock someone completely out of his cleats, and Jerry Jones to be stampeded by actual football fans unable to secure tickets to the weeklong corporate gala disguised as a football game. Oh, and your predictions in the comment thread. Mine? Steelers 27, Packers 20.
That's it for this week. Until later, don't drink and drive, unless you're the protagonist of a country music song, in which case swervin' like you're George Jones is damned near mandatory:
*Had the language set to "lawyer" for a second there. We regret the error.