TOP SECRET SPRING PRACTICE REPORTNo, just kidding - Cal as expected has closed spring practice to the public. I'll never understand why fans bitch about this. I'm as big a Cal fan as the next guy, and the quality of my life isn't compromised by JT closing practices. What are we missing? Half-assed critiques of player performance on a message board? This isn't a knock on Cyberbears at all, which features some incredibly knowledgeable football analysts. I just prefer to analyze Cal's talent based on what I see with my own eyes.
I for one am more than content waiting for the coaches to tell me who's doing well when they leak stuff through Heater and other scribes, or when they release an early depth chart. Until then, we can find other things to obsess about:
* Like Erik Ainge's torn meniscus. I for one hope that he makes a quick recovery, though it's certain he'll miss all of spring practice. Meniscus injuries are odd things; sometimes athletes recover in a few weeks; other times it takes much longer to get back to 100%. It's not so much that Ainge needs the work; but he is trying to establish chemistry and timing with a fleet of new receivers.
* Or Cal's '08 football recruiting. UCLA has a bunch of very early commits; good for them. Some early commits stick; lots look elsewhere as it gets closer to signing day...eleven months from now. It's better to have them than not, though, since it can create momentum in a region like LA (where the Bruin commits hail from). For those interested, Cal has only one '08 commit - OL Tyler Rigsbee, whose dad is the AD at Butte JC. For the record, I'm not worried.
* Or DeVon Hardin's draft status. His returning to school seems like a no-brainer, but stranger things have happened (Jamal Sampson). Never underestimate the NBA's willingness to whisper sweet nothings to players who have more upside than achievement on the resume. Here's hoping that the big guy makes the right call and returns to Berkeley next year. We don't want yet another mulligan for Mr. Braun.
* And finally, the complete and utter lack of white supremacist symbols and rhetoric associated with our football team. Are we just going to let USC set the standard for everything in this conference? Seriously (for those of you who didn't get the sarcasm) I'd like to hear from someone - anyone - who can justify the fact that USC is washing its hands of the affair. Boys will be boys, but boys usually don't juxtapose flaming swastikas with their school's logo on Facebook. Our friends at Conquest Chronicles are suitably outraged (as is every other Trojan I know), but the school is looking the other way. What gives?