“I’m just very thankful that my wife wasn’t a Kentucky grad, because that would be really disappointing,” Hands said, which immediately becomes one of the funniest all-time quotes from SEC Media Days (particularly when you envision a jolly man with an Australian accent saying it).
Because of the time difference, most Alabama football games come on around 3 a.m. in Australia, which is when Hands cracks his first beer at his home in Tamworth, his wife dead asleep. He craves Bama football, and by the time his wife is waking up, Hands is usually a bit doozy (from the game and the beer) and heading to bed.
When she told him that she wanted to make a trip back to her home state of Alabama to visit family, Hands agreed but said the trip would have to be in mid-July so he could check out SEC Media Days and try to meet Saban. Hands did end up meeting Saban and getting a football signed and later was seen at the hotel bar drinking Bud heavy and telling anyone within earshot about his Saban encounter.
That a guy would spend almost $9,000 to travel from Australia just to get a football signed by Saban isn’t even the best part of this.
The real litmus test for Hands’ commitment to his football team, as any good and insane fan will confirm, is what he’s willing to give up in order to secure another national championship for his team.
1. On the final day in Hoover, Alabama coach Nick Saban dominated the headlines and discussed the rebuilding that's ongoing within the program, what Lane Kiffin brings as new offensive coordinator, life as a grandfather and more. Saban also commented on the rumor Texas was willing to offer him $100 million.
2. Ole Miss, Kentucky and Georgia also had their moments on Day 4 at SEC Media Days. Here are some notes from Bruce Feldman. Related: Chris Conley is going to run the world someday.
3. The SEC and ACC are adding a “strike zone” rule this year to help protect quarterbacks against dangerous hits to their lower legs. It’s the same rule the NFL uses and is essentially this: A defensive player can’t “forcibly” hit the passer below the knees if the passer is in a throwing motion and has at least one foot on the ground. No penalty will be called if the defensive player tackles and wraps up low or is blocked into the lower leg of the passer. This is good news. Hopefully it will eliminate some of the ugly leg injuries we see every year because quarterbacks can’t protect their knees and shins when trying to get rid of the ball.
2. Interesting story from the Wall Street Journal on how college football is studying Major League Soccer audiences to improve its fan experiences.
3. While you’re enjoying your weekend, the ACC will kick off its Media Days on Sunday, which will run through Monday. Among the players expected to be in attendance are Florida State’s Jameis Winston, Clemson’s Vic Beasley and Louisville’s DeVante Parker, who should all be studs in 2014.
1. New York Times Magazine has an in-depth piece on former Penn State president Graham Spanier, who departed the school during the Jerry Sandusky scandal. It’s worth a read.
2. Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris said super-freshman QB Deshaun Watson will play in Week 1 against Georgia. Cole Stoudt has been named Clemson’s starter, but some outside the program believe Watson will eventually take the starting job in 2014.
3. Alabama fans showed up on Auburn's day in Hoover, and an Auburn fan showed up on Alabama's day wearing a shirt made to infuriate. They never stop trying to poke each other.