With less than a week until the start of the college football season, here are five thoughts on a high school football Friday.
1. Don’t read too much into Clemson’s practice on Thursday. Frankly, the fact that it took so long for Dabo Swinney to light into his team for a lousy showing should be considered a blessing for fans looking for encouragement heading into the season.
There are usually multiple practices like the one Swinney described as “the worst one of the summer” yesterday. Instead of a handful, there has been just one. Consider it a win for the Tigers’ focus and dedication to bringing it every day. Also, class has started now, which can screw up even the best pre-class routine, and next week brings the new routine of a game week. This should re-ignite whatever fire was missing in the Tigers on Thursday.
2. If you think tickets are too expensive now, just wait. I have had many conversations with fans and season ticket holders about the value of the Georgia ticket. Third-party brokers consider it one of the most valuable of the season anywhere in the country. This caused me to pause and ponder the implications of ticket value.
Attending this Clemson-Georgia game could end up being something for me to tell my children and grandchildren. Many ticket holders feel the same way, and anyone with season tickets got a significant bargain considering the hundreds of dollars seats are currently going for on the open market.
But the business implications of selling this ticket are massive, as well. Due to high demand, prices have skyrocketed to the point that selling the Clemson-Georgia ticket to a willing buyer can more than pay for season tickets. In fact, it is a scalper’s dream scenario.
I don’t think schools will enjoy seeing tickets they priced at $75 going for an average of $750 on the market (just ballpark figures here). I believe universities will respond by raising ticket prices even higher than they currently are, creating even more of a burden for alumni and fans already struggling to afford the whole college football experience as it is.
3. Deshaun Watson looks the part. I went to watch Gainesville High School practice a few days ago, and the kid is a stud. Granted, they were in shorts, and there was very little game-type action taking place. But one thing stood out to me above all other things.
I am reminded of a scene from ESPN’s SMU documentary “Pony Excess”. A booster attended one of Eric Dickerson’s practices and recalled then-coach Ron Meyer asking him to identify the future star. According to the booster, it was a simple process because he just looked different.
Watson was the same way. He’s just taller, thicker, and more imposing than his teammates. It’s not a slight at them but a credit to Watson’s frame and dedication to preparing himself for big-time college football.
Oh, and the kid can flat out throw the football with as effortless a motion as I’ve ever seen in person. Very impressive.
4. Clemson’s basketball schedule should be brutal but fun. Instead of going through every difficult stretch, I’ll just let you check it out for yourself. Suffice it to say Clemson will have an interesting but challenging slate this season in the nation’s toughest conference. Brad Brownell will definitely have his hands full as he tries to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
5. Forgive me for not caring enough about Ben Affleck playing Batman. Christian Bale will always be Batman for me, and I’m not even sure about the premise of this Batman-Superman sequel to “Man of Steel”. Personally, I thought “Man of Steel” should have been better.
When a movie pushing 150 minutes has issues with plot development, it’s probably not a good thing. Plot development is the key to a good movie for me, and “Man of Steel” just didn’t fulfill that requirement. There were some underlying spiritual elements in the film that were pretty cool, but I just wasn’t satisfied. Maybe I’ll change my tune between now and 2015, when this movie is scheduled to hit theaters.