(Bob Belvin is Sports Director for 100.7 FM â€“ AM 540 ESPN-Clarksville)
Somehow the Major League All Star game has lost its sizzle for me-probably replaced by the Home Run Derby, which is held the night before. Generally this is a vacation or travel week for me and I end up in some strange city, not a major league city no doubt, and the general buzz is nothing like Citi Field in New York on Tuesday night.
Maybe it is the total proliferation of baseball across all media platforms that offers up little suspense as to the final score, who is on first and what’s on second. I will start paying attention in September and October, unless there is a more compelling Tuesday night college football game from the MAC Conference that I must see. Part of me wants to be ashamed that I have dissed America’s past time. The realist in me verifies that I can spend ten minutes watching SportsCenter at 6:00 AM and I will be fully vested and statistically informed.
What I am paying attention to, alongside most of the free world, is the SEC Media Days in Birmingham. Couple of quick items you must watch for:
Listen closely to the Ole Ball Coach Steve Spurrier as he plainly talks about paying athletes. I know he is calling it a stipend, I get it and I also get that the idea is gaining traction. There is no way the discussion can be shoved back any longer in light of the insane revenue that the SEC is creating via its new SEC Digital Network. Or the insane money coaches are now earning.
Kudos to Spurrier’s employer for letting him carry the message-and now everyone that may not have been in his corner must reply to question after question regarding the matter. First up to the podium no doubt has its advantages
And a few more to watch in the next two days-Johnny Manziel and James Franklin of Vandy. The Manziel circus rolls into town on Wednesday. And James Franklin now has to deal with the first ever blemish on his self-proclaimed, “we do things first class around here” mantra. Word is the four players kicked off the team over the alleged sexual assault may never be charged in the matter by the Nashville Police, which may lead to even more questions regarding what exactly happened three weeks ago.
And Tennessee coach Butch Jones got another verbal commitment from a 5 Star recruit on Tuesday. Wonder how many questions he’ll get concerning his opening game opponent Austin Peay?
Happy middle of the week to all!