So it Begins - After what seemed like an eternity, college football is back. (Well, it actually returned last Saturday when FCS powerhouses North Dakota State and Montana played an amazing game. If you're really jonesing this morning, you can watch a re-air of that game here.) Here's a guide on how to watch around a work-week's worth of college football over the next five days.
Game Week chatter - Mike Bonner of the Clarion Ledger was on the Out of Bounds radio show yesterday to shuck and jive with Bo Bounds about all things MSU. Lots of lineup questions addressed, among other things. If you missed it, hit the link to give it a listen.
Mississippi Food Fight - Coach Mullen's charitable foundation, the Mullen 36 Family Foundation, has joined up with some other organizations to host a drive for donations at the game Saturday to benefit community kitchens in Starkville and Hattiesburg. You can donate money at the game or online. As much as I hate condoning peace, charity, and love for your neighbors at a football game, this sounds like a worthy cause.
Player Pieces Aplenty - Feel like reading mini-profiles of some of your favorite young Bulldogs with blurbs of varying degrees of intrigue culled from game-week interviews? Projected starting running back Ashton Shumpert, linebacker Beniquez Brown, and freak-of-nature Gerri Green.
Transfers to the Rescue - This isn't really current news, but it was to me—USM's got a bunch of transfers on the roster this year. Based on the article linked above, in fact, the majority of USM's starting front seven could be made up of transfers, many of whom are from power-five schools. And they're not the only ones. One of the QBs fighting for playing time this year, Tyler Matthews, is a former four-star recruit who transferred in from TCU. Per some writer at NFL.com with the worst name I've ever heard of (and who apparently thinks USM is going to shock the world against us Saturday), USM currently has 21 transfers on its roster. Huh. Who knew?
Dak Prescott is Good - Despite all the doomsday predictions floating around about State's 2015 team, most still give Prescott the praise he's due. And here's another piece that does that. Apparently Prescott's passing efficiency didn't drop off much when he played the great defenses last year. So much so, in fact, that, among returning QBs in the SEC, he's the most consistently efficient. Not good enough? How about being the most consistently efficient returning QB in the country? Yeah, he's that, too.
Random photo of good booze
I'm a whisky guy. Have been for a while. But a message-board sage recently turned me on to well-aged, South American rum. And, folks, it was long past due. I didn't know what I was missing. Behold 15-year-old El Dorado Rum, blended from rum aged between 15 and 25 years. It's freaking awesome.
Music that adequately describes how long the offseason has been
Catch-22 Excerpt of the Day
"When I was a kid, I used to walk around all day with crab apples in my cheeks. One in each cheek."
I threw the book down. It was impossible to read anything with a guy like Orr around you.
"Why?" I finally asked.
"Because they're better than horse chestnuts," he answered with a twinge of triumph in his voice.
"Why'd you walk around with crab apples in your cheeks? That's what I asked," I said, glaring at him.
He didn't notice, of course. He was still pacing around the room.
"When I couldn't get crab apples, I used horse chestnuts. They're about the same size and actually have a better shape, though the shape don't matter much . . . ."
"Why did you walk around with anything in your cheeks?" I was losing my patience now. You always lose your patience when you're talking with a guy like Orr.
"I didn't walk around with anything in my cheeks. I walked around with crab apples in my cheeks, and when I couldn't get crab apples I used horse chestnuts. In my cheeks. One in each cheek."
"Because I wanted . . . "
"Jesus Christ! Why did you want—"
"I wanted apple cheeks," he replied. He started cutting his toenails. He was doing it over the floor, too, so I'd walk on them with my bare feet later. "Well, not really. I didn't want apple cheeks. I wanted big cheeks. I didn't care about the color so much, but I wanted them big."
"Do you mind cutting your nails over the table, hey?" He kept right on cutting them over the floor. What lousy manners. I mean it.
"Do you want to know why I wanted big cheeks?"
I didn't answer.