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Warm Welcomes and Weekend Withdrawals

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Those of you who followed me from Kyle on Football to Dawg Sports already are familiar with "The Movement" . . . namely, the drive to get Georgia and Michigan to schedule a home and home series in football.  

The arguments in favor of such a series are myriad and I shall return to making my case for the "Blog Bowl" forthwith, but, for the moment, it suffices to say that the Bulldogs and the Wolverines should face off for the first time since 1965, if for no other reason than because the Red and Black and the Maize and Blue are the intercollegiate athletics blogosphere's two most well-represented squads.  

In fact, the weblogging arms race continues, as noted by The M Zone and the Georgia Sports Blog, respectively:  two new weblogs---one pro-Michigan, the other pro-Georgia---have joined the burgeoning ranks and I welcome them both to this enterprise.  

On Sunday, I found myself hankering for some football in the worst way and I was gripped by the fear that Big 12 women's basketball, rodeo, and the Olympics were my only available options.  

Then, during an afternoon fliparound, I stumbled across an Arena Football League game on N.B.C., which evidently decided to interrupt its coverage of the winter games in order to bring its viewers an actual sporting event.  

If you're not familiar with arena football, it works like this.  It's just like regular football, except it's played indoors on a field that's, oh, I don't know, maybe 22 yards long.  

You're allowed to have 12 players on offense, 10 of whom are permitted to be in motion just before the ball is snapped.  Instead of having four downs to go 10 yards, you have seven downs to go three yards.  

Defenses are hampered by the fact that, if a tackle is made in the secondary, that's a 15-yard penalty for illegal use of a defensive back.  Also, the front seven are required to count to "four-Mississippi" before blitzing.  

That's a bit of an exaggeration . . . but only just a bit.  The A.F.L. is barely watchable, but even bad football is better than no football at all (unless your league's most popular player wears a jersey bearing the words "He Hate Me," of course).  

Like the song says, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.  That's my only excuse for watching 20 minutes of Arena League football on Sunday afternoon.  

Labor Day weekend can't get here soon enough.  

Go 'Dawgs!