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Talking points: time is the ultimate alpha dog edition

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  • The Papa is tha-rilled. About the effort on Thursday, that is. As one who suffers from the apparent inability to get over-excited about anything myself, I appreciate this bit from Fulmer: "I think they followed the coaches' leads. I really do. We were determined to go out with there with energy ourselves and the team followed." Of course, it helps to have younger guys on the staff.
  • Somewhere in LA, a restaurant is getting Todd Blackledge's email address. ESPN has announced that Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe will be the broadcast team for the Tennessee-UCLA game. I like that team, as they offer solid play-by-play and analysis without getting overly serious about the whole thing.
  • Tougher than Lethal Weapon's Sergeant Riggs. Brent Vinson's shoulder was apparently so bad last year that he was essentially playing cornerback without an arm. The shoulder would divorce itself from its socket sometimes just because Vinson rolled over in bed. He would laugh at the pain. Seriously. No, seriously. Roommate Eric Berry would help Vinson "put the joint back in place and go back to sleep." It's not a Circumsized Small Children entry on the CV, but it's medical-ish.
  • Somebody get the bugzapper some juice! RTT#4 Ahmad Paige, who I said preseason last year "drew a pestilent horde from the far corners of the nation like an industrial bug zapper humming away in the humid shadows of a Louisiana midnight" and who redshirted in 2007, is having a tough time getting into the rotation. The guy is extraordinarily talented, and the coaches are pushing buttons haphazardly in search of the motivational technique that works best for Paige.
  • I do . . . for another little while. CBS and the SEC have decided to extend their marriage for another 15 years. Mazel Tov! We love ourselves some Grandpa Verne down south.
  • Time is the ultimate alpha dog. We are two weeks from the beginning football season and just over a week away from Game Week. Good news, that. The bad news: I have Lofty Goals on the to-do list that I'm not going to have time to finish, including a series on this year's new players, a series of previews of our most important opponents this season, and something else that I might do next summer instead. At least I'm not the only one getting hammered by our favorite scarce resource.
  • To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. Head over to The Daily Gopher, SB Nation's new Minnesota Gopher blog.
  • More lists! Southeastern Sports Blog has another great list, this one of the 10 most exciting Tennessee football games of the modern era.
  • This explains a lot. From Spencer at The Sporting News:
    I will gain five pounds this season. It's an inverse relationship with the players; any body fat they have aerosolizes, floats through the television and lands on me. Sitting for 10 hours straight on a Saturday does that, especially when you have an open bag of Cheetos Flamin' Hot on the table at all times.
    Substitute "ten" for "five" and he's nailed me. Spencer also says that whatever cool nickname we give Dave Clawson's new offense and no matter its "alleged complexity," it will, "after a period of great confusion, look exactly the same as it always has. He really has no reason to believe otherwise. Not yet. He will. I hope.