After over a week spent not in my hometown, in my own house I'm making the trek back to The C today. The weather is breaking like crazy people, been in Fayetteville the last few days and I'm pretty sure we topped 80 yesterday. It was glorious.
Spring is in the air, if it isn't in the air where you live I'd definitely consider moving. Just don't move to where I am because we've already got plenty of transplants.
Move to Atlanta.
With spring slowly springing it takes me to spring ball which, if you didn't already know, is my personal favorite part of college football. So here's a little AC/DC because that is what you get to listen to when your strength coach loves it.
So it was the AC/DC catalog or, back in 2004-2006, something from the Lil Jon discography. As we get into this spring ball discussion, where several schools have gotten an early start to their work, check out the entire spring schedule for the nation.
Spring ball is the best folks. Outside of hitting someone you don't know and beating someone you don't know spring ball has it all. Running and crashing into people. Knocking people out. Film sessions to get better and learn things. Also film sessions for clowning your teammates. Position battles. Clueless teammates to make fun of. Fighting. Huge fights. Coaches cussing each other out. Tackling to the ground. Scrimmages.
You see in spring everything is wide open. Sure the three year starter is likely going to be the starter again but with graduation, poor performance, redshirt seasons waited out and position moves there are plenty of spots where things are just written in pencil.
Ball hard and you can see your name climb up the depth chart. There really is nothing more satisfying as a reserve player than the name climbing from the mash up of "other guys" clumped at the three to the two-deep. There's an element of satisfaction. A relief in knowing you're not splitting the three's reps during team period with someone else or rolling in with a dipshit who doesn't know what he's doing. A relief in knowing you can run with the twos or ones and avoid the slapdicks waisting reps by not knowing how to get any sort of play off.
Yes, rolling in with the threes can be that bad at times.
But all in all spring ball is just a mix of learning the nuance of the system, proving your worth and getting out there competing. Installing a new system is what spring is all about. Fine tuning a scheme that the team has played for years is what spring is about. Finding new wrinkles for stopping something that held your squad captive in the regular season is what spring is all about.
Every player has value on a roster. From the first guy who is the star, NFL type to the last guy who is merely a practice body who spells the actual scout team guys in situations. In spring you get to prove you belong on that roster. Sure, maybe that dipshit doesn't know what he's doing but as long as he can run, hit stuff and follows specific directions without falling down he's got some value. That slapdick that's can't get a play off might never throw a pass at quarterback but he's a hell of a signal caller and understands the film aspect of it pretty well too.
Or take me for instance. The third team safety that always ended up running with the twos because he knew what he was doing when the younger and/or more talented guy just couldn't put it together. A guy whose value was in being able to help teach younger guys what was going on, roll in with inexperienced players to get them on the right page and also hit people. Yes, somehow I was smart enough to know our defense inside and out but I also am dumb enough to enjoy ramming my head into moving people over and over again.
So I love spring. My best friend, a reserve quarterback who acted as our signal caller, loved spring. Depth charts moving, guys getting to show what they can do and friends getting to compete against one another.