Bleach: Spring football shares nothing

first_imgSpring is officially here.It’s not the warming weather that tipped me off (knock on wood), nor is it that damn chirping bird that woke me up this morning.Instead, a quick look at my schedule told me I had to attend the highly anticipated spring football scrimmage this Saturday.Well, if Bret Bielema says it is spring, than it must be so.After 14 practices trying to develop new players, making sure everyone stays in shape and most importantly, obliterating the memory of last year’s disappointing finish, the football team will put on its grand show at 2 p.m. this Saturday. (Free of charge! How nice of them.)If you are using this as an excuse to get up early and drink, then the spring scrimmage serves a good purpose. If you were planning on analyzing the results of the scrimmage with the upcoming season in mind, however, your time would be better spent cleaning up the mess made from the previous night’s adventures.Because no matter how many yards John Clay runs for, no matter how many interceptions Dustin Sherer foolishly throws and however many passes the receivers drop, none of it matters.And I mean none of it matters.Last season our football writer Derek Zetlin wrote the biggest problem that came out of the scrimmage was our kicker and punter. During the game Philip Welch couldn’t hit the broadside of Memorial Library and Brad Nortman would have missed Lake Mendota from the Terrace.Their production during the fall season?Welch was a first team freshman All-American and honorable mention in the Big Ten, while Nortman booted 56 punts for a 42.4 yard average and downed 16 of them inside the 20-yard line. Not only did Welch and Nortman succeed, the two specialists were the one facet of the team to remain consistent all season.Other stories that came from last year’s spring game were Allan Evridge outdueling Sherer — that turned out quite well — and almost every defensive lineman getting hurt sometime during the spring practices.And despite these inconsistencies from the fake season to the real season, every year fans here get hyped up to project which player will star in the fall and which players will be benched by midseason.I suppose the recent obsession with spring football is not entirely our fault. The SEC has pushed fans across the country to new boundaries with their unprecedented craziness during the non-football months. Whether it is Lane Kiffin pulling a proverbial Plaxico Burress by upsetting Urban Meyer or the continual comparisons of Tim Tebow to Chuck Norris, the SEC breathes football 25 hours a day. In fairness to them, they don’t have any basketball or hockey worth watching so they have to fill the time somehow.For those still planning on taking the game seriously though, let me save you some time. None of the quarterbacks will throw deep well. Clay will wow everyone with his Herculean size. One defensive lineman no one knew about will wreak havoc.And we can glean absolutely nothing from this.After the game, Bielema will say the team has to play more consistently. He will claim the starting quarterback job still is up in the air (it’s not — Sherer has it). He will lament the number of penalties and praise some of the new starters. In general you will hear more coach-speak than after a New England Patriots game.And none of it matters, because to the team, this isn’t a game. It is just another practice, albeit on a very large scale.So go ahead and tailgate the game — I wish I could join you — just remember for next season, what you see on the field is about as real as MTV’s new show, “College Life.”Michael is a junior majoring in journalism. Think that spring football holds some value? Think “College Life” is totally real? Tell him about it at [email protected]last_img

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