Sprints Never Thought ESPN Would Go Full Troll This Quickly // 08.08.12

The Honey Badger tweets what the Honey Badger wants?

22 Days Until SEC Football

Great moments in inane and inaccurate trolling
It's probably best not to give ESPN: The Magazine the publicity that it's essentially begging for with it's "CURSE THE SEC!" cover -- my usual default setting on something like this is not to feed the trolls. But it's just that ESPN has done it so badly on so many different levels.

First, consider the concept. ESPN is using its college football preview issue to poke a finger in the eye of the most college football-crazed region of the country. It's contradicting its usual stance towards dynasty and high-profile teams, which lands somewhere between fandom and cult of personality. And that's before we even get to the multibillion dollar investment ESPN has made in the conference that it's now cursing on its cover.

But even looking beyond all of that -- the cover is poorly executed. Both Florida and Auburn have won national titles more recently than has LSU, whose mascot is one of the pin-riddled dolls on the cover. And Georgia, represented by Hairy Dawg, has not won any of the national titles in the SEC's current streak -- or any national title for about 30 years now.

But, yeah, ESPN Mag. That's a great idea for a cover. Just waiting for your baseball preview issue to call for an end to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

Fire the messenger
Georgia revised its drug policy. No, it didn't weaken the penalties or anything like that. In fact, it toughened some of them.

"That’s basically what’s confidential is confidential," McGarity said. "Don’t talk about it. It’s just stressing that. …If anybody wants to leak information, they just need to be careful. If it’s tracked back to them then they’ll probably lose their job."

Which is actually not that bad a policy, except that it seems a little severe. The reporter in me is always going to default against policies against leaks -- but there are privacy issues and such involved in this, so I can't get too upset.

Tanner McEvoy leaving South Carolina
It's not a huge surprise -- he's a redshirt freshman that was unlikely to see the field this year and already faces competition for the quarterback job in future seasons. Oh, yeah, there was also that whole "getting arrested" thing. It's really only news because of the arrest, and because we're still more than three weeks away from having football games to write about.

I would say fan enthusiasm is down a bit
Kentucky got 5,000 tickets for the game against rival Louisville, the first game of the season, just down the road a bit in Louisville. They had to return more than 2,000. Joker Phillips had better win some games this year.

On the other side of the ledger ...
Meanwhile, Missouri has sold more than 3,500 tickets more than its previous season high. That'd be 45,000, for those of you who are keeping track.

This is unfortunate
It looks like the Honey Badger might take a lighter touch with Twitter this year. And it looks like Les Miles strongly hinted to Tyrann Mathieu that he should tone it down. But we'll let Miles explain how the star CB will be managed this year in his own way.

''I enjoy many times his representation, and as long as it doesn't become a distraction to him, he'll have some time to visit (with reporters),'' Miles said. ''So many times, he's such a pleasing guy, he wants to please everybody. ... Too many interviews, one after another, just doesn't tell him what he needs to do. What he needs to do is do well academically, finish this football season and have a long-range view of himself. Sometimes, even though the world wants today's quote, that's not necessarily what's important.''

We'll see how long this policy actually lasts.

This is the best policy
Nick Saban strikes the right balance on Twitter.

He'll be moving on at some point. Maybe
It's kind of incredible that Kirby Smart has been at Alabama as long as he has. Sure, he's looking for the right job, but there have been some good ones open in recent years, and you have to believe Smart has been getting some calls.

The alma mater probably isn't calling, at least not until Mark Richt loses control of the hot seat again. It will be interesting to see where Smart ends up -- because as loyal as he might be the Saban, Smart's made it clear that he doesn't want to be a defensive coordinator his entire life.

Kickoff rule reduced concussions in the NFL last year
We'll see what impact a similar policy has on the NCAA this season.

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