This is National Signing Day when it turns into an attention whore -- which is because it has BECOME an attention whore:
Linebacker Roquan Smith, who is a big deal according to some recruiting service you don’t need to give a damn about, committed to UCLA Wednesday. This information was announced via a TV ceremony and then produced the typical ganglion of media interviews, all of which delayed Smith from sending in his paperwork and opened up a window that Georgia coaches exploited by melting his phone to tell him that defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, who was the main lure for Smith, was leaving UCLA to coach with the Atlanta Falcons.
Smith has now reopened his recruiting because nobody’s word is worth keeping and everyone is perpetually for sale.
“A lot had to do with that we had a long ceremony,” Larry Harold, Smith’s high school coach, said. “I don’t know if you saw all the people. He was taking a lot of pictures, and then he did a bunch of media interviews. It took a while to do all of that, and the UCLA coaches were calling to ask about the paper. At that time, the news was breaking about Coach Ulbrich and the Falcons. We’re holding onto the papers to see what Coach Ulbrich is going to do. We’re mulling over the options.”
It’s the price of choreography, as it turns out. Jim Mora, Jr., coached the Falcons, now he may be undone by them. If that rises to the level of irony, here’s hoping it lands on someone’s foot.
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Andrew Sharp of Grantland saw a Clemson video asking the musical question “How Much Gear In Year?” so he decided to ask a musical question of his own:
“Where would you go to college if you were making your decision based solely on how cool all the gear was? That means uniforms, helmets, sweat suits, sweatbands — everything.”
And it caused me to ask a musical question as well: “If you were making your college decision based on that, can we not agree that the very great likelihood is that college isn’t for you.”
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And on the basis of names alone, your new favorite college players are Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (Saint seems to be a relatively common middle name/first surname in Nigeria, among other places) and Texas tight end Devonaire Clarington. The same reason for both, really -- just look up the word “euphonious.”
I could say those names all day and feel as good as I'm going to until the bars open.
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It’s good to see the Olympic Flame burns bright in Sochi -– it helps allow the rich folks in Sochi to to see the road that leads away from their considerable share of the $51 billion bill. From Associated Press’ Nataliya Vasilyeva:
“Russia had vowed to pay for what became the most expensive Olympics of all time by getting super-rich private investors to take the cost from the state. Instead, as the first anniversary of the games approaches, at least two of those oligarchs are quietly dumping their toxic assets on the state — forcing taxpayers to pick up the bill.
“Two key investors have unloaded properties built for the Olympics at a combined cost of $3 billion, a spokesman to Russia's deputy prime minister confirmed to The Associated Press. The issue is a major headache for Putin, who needs to pay off the oligarchs to keep them happy, while preventing the deals from triggering popular unrest. Other oligarchs may now be waiting for the right moment to demand their reward or compensation for taking on Sochi projects.
In other words, you being bummed about the 2024 Olympics not coming to the Bay Area are standing on the wrong of the trucks fleeing town. And you people in Boston -– well, you got the Patriots to keep you warm while your state is cleaned out down to the last cobblestone, so pretty much shut up.
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Today in Educational Hell: Your course in Cristiano Ronaldo Studies at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. For actual Canadian college credit, even.
From Fox Soccer, UBC-O lecturer Luis Aguiar got the idea while watching Ronaldo being Ronaldo at the World Cup, and decided a class examining Ronaldo’s rise to global iconography and the social and personal repercussions emanating from his rise.
There are not, sadly, related classes in Messiology, “Ibrahimovic: Threat Or Menace,” the biology behind Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s heat vision, or why Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal looks exactly like The Crackpot Quail.
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Charles Haley’s analysis of the difference between Joe Montana and Tom Brady (“Joe didn’t have to cheat”) skirts the following questions:
1. How do we know Montana didn’t have to cheat?
2. How do we really know Montana didn’t cheat?
3. In a game played, coached and owned by essentially amoral men who would do anything to anything for a perceived advantage and far worse for an actual one, what exactly IS cheating?
4. Is “non-cheating players” going to be a separate wing in Canton?
5. Can you hate football any more when there isn’t a game than you do right now?
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And finally, the Washington Washingtons omitted Robert Griffin III's name from a letter to season ticket holders referencing the team’s nucleus. What does this mean?
It’s Washington. It, like the team itself, means essentially nothing whatsoever. It's just another 5-11 season waiting to reveal itself.