With college football, July usually means two things: voluntary practices and made-up news. Years ago, if your team was mentioned anytime between March and August it meant that your players were getting arrested or breaking their collarbone while jumping off Chimney Rock. Simply put, no news was good news. Now that coaches seem to have done better jobs of keeping their players’ names out of the mid-Summer headlines, it looks as if sports writers have begun to make their own news.
Sports Illustrated and ESPN seem to be having a tough time keeping their websites and publications saturated with real news so much that they create problems that wouldn’t have been seen as a problem ten years ago. For example, one headline from SI states “Chizik, Auburn short on early football verbal commitments“. The article goes on to say that Chizik has only received nine verbal commitments as of July 9th for the 2010 class compared to 19 by the likes of Texas, LSU, and even Tuberville’s last.
Since when did this become news? First off, why does the number of verbal commitments matter a year before these recruits will ever step on to the campus of their choice? We all know verbal commitments mean nothing until National Signing Day anyway. Secondly, how is this headline worthy? It’s a sad day in America when the second headline on a national sports website is the fact that a team has a few less VERBAL commitments for the NEXT football year TWO MONTHS before the previous season even starts. Sure, keeping up with the Joneses is needed to field a successful program these days, but is this something to write about? It’s this type of unwarranted negative publicity that is party to blame for fan bases turning on coaching staffs after one year and calling for their head every year that doesn’t end in a National Championship.
Why not use this dead period to talk about the guys working for a title in the off season or doing great things in their community? Why must the trend be to find something minuscule and put a negative spin on it? We all know that the Average Joe only reads the headlines anyway, which in this case would cause them to throw the team or coach under the bus before the season even starts.
I’ll sum this up with words of wisdom from every mom in the world: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.