Reasons to give thanks when it’s springtime
By Greg Sullivan
I'm either half-a-year early or half-a-year late for this; but let's take a second to give thanks. No turkey carving please. Just focus on giving thanks.
This year people didn't have to go to spring football games to find sports entertainment, although the option was still on the table. That's something to be thankful for. Pass the cranberry sauce.
Last year's University of Alabama scrimmage that brought a full house made national headlines. Among other things, however, it also sort of implied that there weren't other big games going on to keep fans at home watching their plasma screens.
But who knows? I can't remember anything interesting going on last spring. So I'm not pointing a finger at just Alabama fans and calling them bored.
There is hype surrounding University of Georgia football this year that's been approaching near-Saban levels. Of course, some fans of any team cringe when they feel the hype around them gets too high. It is, you know, sometimes exciting to sneak up on people from under the radar.
College football, though, as imperfect as it is, often requires hype to get teams into the bowl games that they want. Ask LSU. So maybe packing a spring game actually works in your favor.
The turnout was not too big at UGA's G-Day scrimmage on Saturday. Though, I'm sure some of you were there.
So there won't be all the "big crowd" headlines that will draw harsh jokes from rival fans if the team is not the greatest team that ever graced a southern field. Not to say other joke material can’t still creep to the surface.
I know the likely explanation for the modest crowd is that it was raining and looked dreary all morning and afternoon Saturday. Not exactly the kind of thing that draws alumni from three or four hours away to drive up to watch a game that doesn't count.
The explanation that I'm going to use though is the reason for why I'm so thankful. I argue that it's because there are so many other good sports out there to distract the sports fanatic, even the kind that would watch spring football.
The Braves, thankfully, are now a good team again; Hampton or not. Early season extra-inning losses or not. I watched UGA beat South Carolina on Sunday in baseball and that Georgia baseball team is a compelling one too. The Final Four was great with its overtime championship game. Hold your breath, but the Hawks should even make the playoffs, despite their past and somewhat current mediocrity.
It is fair to say there are a few distractions out there for fans. And it is a good thing to keep folks from being too obsessed with the minutia of just one team. Even if it's the Georgia Bulldogs.
I don't care about some recruit from Louisiana's SAT score. I don't care at all. Just tell me who's on the team when they get there.
Of course, the football atmosphere is worth soaking up anytime there's a chance. So I don't put down anyone who attended a spring football game. I applaud them, not for their loyalty to their teams but for their hunger for the game. Football is as American as baseball and the American flag.
I'm just thankful that we're not actually living in the waiting-for-football season in the sports world, though occasionally it feels like it. This year, so far at least, it looks like there may be a lot to be thankful for.
I'm playing it down a little, but I'm lumping Georgia football into the “thankful” category.