Rice Is Rolling Over in His Grave

Dedicated to Mocking Bad Sports Writing

Dennis Dodd Really Hates Spring Games

Posted by biggusrickus on May 7, 2010

There was this from a couple years ago. I imagine he wrote something angry about them last year too. Now we have this:

Springing a few ideas to get rid of spring charades for good

I still hate puns, especially boring ones like that.

I’ve seen 90,000 crazed fans in brilliant sunshine. I’ve seen 2,500 lonely souls in the rain. I’ve seen celebrity coaches and I’ve seen scoring systems so complicated that BCS computers would go cross-eyed.

I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend…Oh, sorry.

I assume he means scoring systems that go something like this, which, I don’t know, seems simpler than algorithms used to rank football teams. But maybe it only seems that way to me because my brain is a Cray supercomputer.

Now that they’re done for another year, I’ve seen enough of spring games.

Do you have any idea what the odds are that the exact number played would be enough for Dodd? They have to be astronomical.

I’m done. Finished.

As are the games for the year, so chill out, man.

Not only are the shams currently foisted upon us mostly meaningless,

They’re entirely meaningless.

they’re almost always boring.

I kind of agree here, though excitement level varies from game to game. Excitement, however, isn’t really the point.

In terms of lasting memories, they’re more disposable than a Bic lighter.

I’d have gone with dirty diaper, because that also sort of speaks to the true smelly awfulness of these games, Dennis.

Quick, name the leading rusher in Florida’s 2009 spring game.

Chris Rainey, maybe?

Answer: Doesn’t matter.

Then why’d you fucking ask?

Sixteen starters sat out for “precautionary reasons.”

Why the scare quotes, like sitting some guys who are dinged up so they don’t get further injured is some kind of sinister cover-up?

Quarterback John Brantley accounted for five touchdowns (three passing) and then went back into the witness protection program behind Tim Tebow.

It’s amazing he wasn’t offed, because that is the fucking worst witness relocation in recorded history. They didn’t even change his name!

Moving past his stupid hyperbolic joke and dealing with the point here: fans were excited by the five-touchdown performance. It made them feel some level of confidence that their QB would be good after Tebow left. Even if he’d never actually seen the field all season, it wouldn’t have changed that (he did see it in some mop duty and put up good stats in a very small sample size against shitty teams).

Anyway, back to the needlessly angry bullshit.

And that was from the defending national champions.

This was a paragraph unto itself. He really wanted to stress the fuck out of this point, which is puzzling. Because there isn’t one.

Alabama thought so much of its spring game that its coaches were former quarterback Jay Barker and a radio talk-show host.

Jay Barker, as in the winnigest QB in the school’s history, who led them to their most recent national championship until last year’s. What a lack of…respect for the spring game? Paul Finebaum was the “radio talk-show host.” He’s also pretty fucking famous in the state of Alabama and throughout the south. He’s also an annoying asshole, but that’s neither here nor there.

Nick Saban was still in charge, basically telling an official to throw a flag on the third play of the game.

I’m not sure if Alabama is one of the schools who brings in real officials for these games or not, but if they missed a call that Saban thinks will be called normally, and he wants his players not to make the stupid mistake again, telling an offical to call it makes sense to me.

Nick is always in charge. After the clock expired he decided to keep playing until a tie was broken.

Well, yes, as head coach he decides when practices begin and end. And a spring game is essentially a glorified practice.

I thought about making  a “Charles in Charge” joke but thought better of it. However, please enjoy these opening credits to the Scott Baio vehicle.

That’s not a game, that’s an off Broadway production of an SEC Saturday.

I saw the ArcLight’s production of “Cocktail Party.” It kind of left me cold.

Nebraska trumpeted its use of a television analyst as a side judge. At least everyone was respecting the game that day.

Respecting the meaningless game. Remember? It’s just a scrimmage. You called them “mostly meaningless just a couple short paragraphs ago. Having a celebrity side judge sounds kind of fun actually. Good an ya, Nebraska.

Never mind the injuries … no wait. Always mind the injuries. Coaches have long grumbled about staging those off-Broadway productions for nothing more than serving tradition.

He’s really showing a lot of confidence in that “off-Broadway” trope. I bet he typed it out the first time, and said to himself, “You’ve just nailed that one, Dennis. Nailed it!” 

I call bullshit on the point, and if it isn’t bullshit from Dodd it’s bullshit from coaches. College coaches run three scrimmages each spring (well, that’s what Georgia does, which I assume it’s the norm). The spring game is the third scrimmage. It would be a scrimmage whether fans were in attendance or not. I do not at all believe that the fans being there makes injuries more likely.

USC’s Lane Kiffin, in his second year as a college head coach, might be the newest to bitch.

That he cites Kiffin for this seems absolutely perfect to me.

Kiffin sent defensive lineman Jurrell Casey to the locker room after he hit quarterback Matt Barkley in Saturday’s game in the Coliseum. Barkley, who already had wrist surgery, injured his throwing hand after it hit Casey’s helmet. Because Casey couldn’t control himself — quarterbacks are off limits — who knows, USC could be playing with a backup quarterback in the fall. Hey, but at least everyone had a good time at the spring game, right?

Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett broke his foot doing spring conditioning drills. Miami QB Jacory Harris missed most of the spring with a thumb injury. Shit happens. Blaming the spring game for it is asinine. By Dennis’ logic teams should never practice to ensure they remain healthy for live games. And since ultimately the games themselves are pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things, we should probably not play them either to ensure that nobody gets injured. Holy shit! Dennis Dodd wants to do away with the entire sport of football! It all makes sense now.

Oh, the “games” are good for a tailgate and a starter tan if you’re not in, say, Minnesota, but other than that give me spring practice over spring games anytime. At least then, no one is pretending. Chatting up coaches and players in a relaxed offseason environment? I’m down. Always. It’s why we college football writers make our spring “tours” to various campuses. In fact, I got to know Jimbo Fisher a bit last month sitting in a conference room at a Florida resort near the Gulf of Mexico. It was, with little embellishment, like talking to Elvis before he went onstage.

First, the sun shines in Minnesota too. Second, who is pretending? What are they pretending to do? What the fuck are you talking about? Third, it’s nice for you that you get to make the rounds and, like, buddy up to coaches in Florida resorts. But for those of us who are not paid to write terrible columns about college football, the spring game is the only direct access we have to see what the team might be like. You arrogant dipshit.

I’m going to skip the part where he actually reiterated his complaints from two years ago about the Spring Bash stuff that some schools were doing, and go to this:

I don’t really care about MSL and its spring circus at this point, but I do have an alternative.

I beg to fucking differ, seeing as you just spent three paragraphs rehashing two fucking years later.

An answer to the meaninglessness, the unnecessary injuries, the quirky scoring: Scrimmages against other schools. It’s not a new idea. It just makes too much sense right now.

Dennis’ answer to the non-problem of meaningless games that could potentially cause unnecessary injuries? Different kinds of meaningless games that could cause unnecessary injuries! The sense, it’s too much for me.

He goes onto run through the plan, but I’m frankly tired of this article. It’s not even that I think exhibition games are terrible ideas, but they are still likely to be boring, with players sitting out or getting yanked early as they do in pro preseason games. Ultimately, you are still risking people getting hurt in a meaningless game, which beyond the tedium of scrimmages seems to be Dennis’ main problem. The point(s) being, I see no reason to change around the system and Dodd’s a fuckwit.


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