'We talkin' 'bout practice' (IV). Reporting today:
- Alabama Crimson Tide. Can they follow up on last year's success with just four returning offensive starters?
- Arkansas Razorbacks. Can they follow through on the growing expectations?
- LSU Tigers. Is Jordan Jefferson the answer at QB?
- Vanderbilt Commodores (freshmen). Will Bobby Johnson keep the redshirts going to stockpile more talent?
The Michael Oher movie trailer. The trailer for The Blind Side, the movie about former Ole Miss left tackle Michael Oher, is now out. And unless he's moved to the projects, Ed Orgeron's scene is not in there.
Dr. Saturday calls at least this presentation of the movie "a thinly veiled chick flick." More than that, though, it's a particular genre of the chick flick -- one I call "the Mom flick." As in: Middle-aged soccer mom finds her purpose in life by performing some uplifting task and is herself transformed in the process, proving it's all worth it in the end. Why they decided to focus the movie on the mother instead of Oher is not exactly a secret -- Sandra Bullock plays the mother while Oher is played by ... um ... who, exactly? -- but it's still a bit of leap, from my understanding of the story. (This is, of course, ignoring the other, less-savory reasons that could account for it, but I'm giving the producers the benefit of the doubt.)
On the other hand, I don't think it's quite as bad as Hinton makes it out to be. While neither of us have read the book (though I really want to), what has always been inspiring about Oher's story is not just that he's a great football player, but that he was a great football player taken in by a family that helped him achieve his dream.
The problem with most of the bad sports movies Hinton cites is that they're fiction -- the "inspiring ending" is concocted and so can be written to be just as sappy and weepy as the producers, directors and writers want. While I'm sure some liberties were taken with The Blind Side movie, what gives it some special power is that it's real.
This, meanwhile, is actually a pretty decent sports video.
Made by an athlete at Tennessee. Oh, and leave the kid alone. (See, Vols fans? I can say something nice about Knoxville.)
WR Riley Cooper chooses Texas Rangers ... and Florida Gators
This is a big deal, even for the presumptive champions, given that Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy are both gone.
Cooper is the lone returning starting wide receiver from last year's national title team, starting 12 games and catching 18 passes for 261 yards.
Cooper made the game-clinching touchdown in the Southeastern Conference championship game against Alabama with 2:50 left. ...
Quarterback Tim Tebow, Cooper's roommate, said Cooper gives UF the "ability to score from anywhere" as a playmaker and blocker downfield for running backs. For his career, Cooper has 30 catches for 535 yards and nine touchdowns.
Something has to go wrong for these guys eventually, right?
Stephen Alli admitted to Florida early
Like, a year early.
Alli, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound receiver from Toronto who attended Proctor Academy in Andover, N.H., was supposed to be the sleeper in Florida's class of 2010. Now, he's the sleeper of the class of 2009. Alli was scheduled to travel to Gainesville from Canada on Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll practice Thursday with Urban Meyer's squad.
Um ... okay. Once again, Doc Sat's got a point: The NCAA has to provide some sort of guidance to prevent this from getting confusing fast. Oh, and is it okay if you actually let the public see it instead of hiding behind possibly illegal efforts to avoid open-records laws?
Gerald Jones is brave or stupid
But you've got to admire him either way.
RB Anthony Dixon will miss 'historic game'
The Mississippi State player is likely to be suspended against Jackson State and is currently toiling on the second team offense.
Christians selling out the Colosseum
Mississippi State has already set a record for season ticket sales. Next up: Starkville shatters the city record for liquor sales.
'A baleful era for Alabama football marked by recriminations and repeated missteps on the part of pretty much everyone involved'
No, not the late 90s/early 00s. The RBR Reading Room reviews Bama After Bear. Another choice quote:
The result, when no single person or group was able to emerge clearly victorious, was institutional anarchy. Its not by accident that this period saw the ascendence of Paul Finebaum.
Which explains why some Alabama fans have trouble accepting Bear's death.