|Hope springs eternal — in spring football?|
|Saturday, March 08, 2014 9:00 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
Spring practice has always been a big deal in the past in college football.
It’s always intriguing to see what Local State University has in store for the upcoming season with the veterans returning — who has stepped up in off-season workouts; has gotten bigger, faster, stronger; has developed in the scheme of things; is changing positions; etc., etc., etc. — and those fighting to replace departed stars that were either backups last fall, saw limited action, simply dressed or were even red-shirted or gray-shirted and how much they have grown and improved — or not.
Sometimes, things don’t pan out for whatever reason: a player loses heart or his love of the game, simply doesn’t want to put in the time or whatever.
It was also interesting to see how players have returned from the inevitable injuries that happen in major-college football — and have always happened.
Nowadays, it’s become box office big around Columbus and elsewhere, such as Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa, Austin and Los Angeles.
The spring games at these places have become so important, they are televised as if they are a regular-season game.
What didn’t used to happen and is now coming about with more and more frequency are high school seniors who elect to graduate early and get a head start on their college careers by going through these spring practices.
Whatever happened to enjoying your senior year of high school?
Throw into the mix how in some southern states, they have had spring football practice for a number of years now — in the little research I was able to do because the opening of spring practice at Ohio State really spurred this column — and in Texas, Spring High School in Spring near Houston; one of my many, many friends (or at least a couple) lives there with his wife-mate-spouse and four children — has a spring football team.
Holy gridiron, Batman! Is this crazy or what?
No wonder the Southeastern Conference is so dominant when you consider some of these facts (and usually wonderful weather, except for this winter) and how hard it will be for other teams and leagues – consider Ohio State and Michigan (please forgive me for writing that name out but it’s March!), for example, in the Big Ten — to match that.
Let’s face it: we are not known for our great weather — we don’t surfer dudes and such in the Midwest during March!
Even USC — which is in a state that isn’t far behind Florida and Texas as far as football talent goes — might have a hard time keeping up with these “Joneses” — or Sabans and Miles, if you will.
I, for one, hope that the OHSAA never seriously considers trying to let this go on.
This item I caught the other day is one I hope ends up with a happy ending.
Remember Richie Incognito? Of course you do. What, you’ve been sleeping under a rock lately?
Anyhow, the former Miami Dolphins guard known more for his treatment of former teammate Johnathan Martin is himself receiving treatment for what was called exhaustion.
Here’s hoping that it is more than that and he really gets help to see his anger issues or whatever demons are plaguing him.