This Week In The 'Drome, things make us feel icky.
Car Wash vs. Whitewash : The throng of print media, bloggers, wannabes, hasbeens, future stars, Chamber of Commerce representatives and people in absurd outfits return this time every year to Hoover, Ala. It's suburban Birmingham's analog to the cliff swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano.
The primary legacy of SEC Media Days and the migratory birds is identical — gobs of feces. The SEC proudly boasted more credentials were issued for Media Days than even for the Super Bowl, though, as The Commercial Appeal's Kyle Veazey pointed out, that's more to do with the SEC's credentialing policy — if they were more permissive, they'd have to extend membership to the Austrian School — than anything else.
There were substantive subjects to broach. Vanderbilt's James Franklin was among the last coaches to take his turn at the filibuster stand, and the Commodores' acknowledgement of the four players kicked off the team had its intended effect: Franklin was able to refuse to answer any questions about it. Bravo! Steven Godfrey writes about Franklin's appearance for The CP and boy is it a good read (includes phrase: "Johnny Manziel gang bang").
The SEC didn't get its wealth and outsized importance by being stupid, of course. Mike Slive et al. are no doubt pleased with the way Media Days has grown from a few diehards huddling in a hotel conference room to a few thousand diehards huddling in a hotel conference room. And savvy they were, pinning it on the calendar during the slowest part of the sports calendar.
Savvier still: They can't be accused of holding the most self-aggrandized, onanistic "sporting" "event" of the week — the ESPYs were broadcast Wednesday.
The Week Behind
When You Can't Be Bold, Be Byzantine: The Music City Bowl issued a press release Thursday, announcing a new partnership vis-a-vis its participants.
In relevant part:
Representatives of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl are pleased to announce a new partnership with the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, including an agreement to share selections with the Big Ten Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for one of its participating teams during the 2014-2019 bowl games.
Through the new partnership, the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl will join the College Football Playoff bowls as two of very few major postseason games with multiple conference affiliations. The unique partnership will offer maximum flexibility in the team selection process and optimize the on-field matchup over the next six years in Nashville.
If that confuses you, you aren't the only one: The release continues in a similarly nonce fashion for a few more graphs. Clay Travis (incorrectly) asserted that the MCB was ending its affiliation with the SEC, which would be a death knell for the game, which has survived on the lusty desire of Southern fans since the late 1990s. In fact, the bowl has yet to finalize its agreement with the SEC. It is not pitting ACC and Big Televenty teams (disappointing for folks who were desperate for that Purdue-Virginia match-up). It's sharing — with the Gator Bowl? — a selection spot that could include the ACC or possibly the Big 10 to play an opponent, which they sure hope is from the SEC.
You can understand the confusion. A tip of the hat for using "unique" in its correct definition — one of a kind — to describe this partnership, but Lord knows what it will look like.
The Boomer Falls Silent: Deciding his long-term health was more important than a short career in hockey, Brentwood's Blake Geoffrion — once a Predator, but ultimately a Montreal Canadien — retired at 25. He took a nasty blow to the head in a minor league game — it resulted in a compressed skull — and hasn't played since.
Geoffrion's greatest game was a hat trick for the Preds on a Sunday afternoon in Buffalo, which led to an enthusiastic local sportswriter to proclaim his glory. If there ever was a chance Geoffrion would become a star, it's faded now.
He'll be working as a scout in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.
Garbage Time: Congratulation to rising fan favorite Rich Clune on his contract extension. Please check out his Twitter account, fast becoming one of the best in the city — and I would know ... Former Scenester Caleb Hannan writes about shanks for Grantland. Great stuff.
You're As Gold As Ice: For Saturday's open house, the Predators installed gold ice. Seriously. Check it out.
The reception has been ... mixed. Sure, it's a gimmick, but who cares? It's July. They aren't going to play on it (though the NHL rules don't mention anything about the ice itself having to be a specific color).
Hockey people need to relax. Paint the ice gold and folks act like you vomited in the Stanley Cup. Two things: Sean Maloney picks some songs and here's the math on what it would cost to make a rink out of actual gold.
The Loneliest Number: The Titans have at least one dude willing to wait in line for single-game tickets.
Tweet Of The Weak: Mashable calculated the worst grammar offenders among tweeting sports figures. Surprising no one, Chris Johnson — more than 31 errors per 100 words — leads the way.
The Week Ahead
Summer Camp!: The Tennessee Titans begin training camp Wednesday at what is now known as St Thomas Health Center Sports Park Of Metro Center Dot Com Bowl. It will be the first glimpse of a team that, at least on paper, is dramatically improved from the sustained mediocrity which has defined the franchise for the past several years.
As ever, there will be someone — usually this person is a receiver, defensive back or some kind of kick returner — who will be incredible in camp, sort of OK in a few preseason games and then cut before Week One. This person will then be picked up by the Pats or Rams and make the Pro Bowl.
Sneds Stalking Over at The Open, Brandt Snedeker wrapped the first round three-under, two back of the leading Zack Johnson. Sneds has won something like $3.5 million since January, and seriously, he's bound to catch a win in one of these majors, right?
The Open is not really suited to Sneds' game — but, then, the majors that are suited to his game haven't suited him either.
Baker's Back!: And a hearty congratulations to Brian Baker, who will come back to pro tennis Monday at the BB&T in Atlanta.
Baker hasn't played professionally since a torn meniscus forced him to pull out of the Australian Open.
Emails to jrlind[at]nashvillescene[dot]com. Radio Tuesdays at 6P on 102.5 FM.