Basketball already?

It’s the first weekend in October.  The leaves are starting to turn yellow.  It’s rainy, it’s cold…perfect sleeping weather… or just perfect weather period if you’re like me and love the cooler, flannel shirt-wearing fall days.

If you’re a fan of the Auburn Tigers right now, my alma mater, you may be starting to (gulp) think about the upcoming basketball season (which, in their defense, could be pretty good with coach Bruce Pearl and a new set of stellar recruits).  With two SEC losses already, the football team is kaput.  Across state, the football outlook may not be much better as fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide could soon enough be looking forward to the basketball season and new coach Avery Johnson after this afternoon’s rainy visit to Athens, Georgia.  Imagine, the state of Alabama and its passionate football fan base looking ahead to basketball the first weekend in October!

As for the Washington Wizards and their upcoming season, playoff expectations are again high, but I’m not sure the team can contend for a championship built around John Wall.  Wall’s up-tempo game, court awareness, and ball distribution may be the best in the NBA; however, he’s still not a natural shooter, a threat from behind the arc like Stephen Curry who drains 3’s like he’s shooting lay-ups (then again, nobody’s like Curry who likely decides whether he wants to swish or bank it in from anywhere, anywhere, within the half court line).  Bradley Beal and Otto Porter are good players, Nene can still bring his paint game when healthy, but the Wizards need another scoring threat to contend.

Enjoy your rainy, fall weekend!

September Saturdays

As I look out through the screen door onto our deck, I see a light fog moving in through the hazy, green foliage of the trees.  It’s a September Saturday morning in early fall.  The ‘beauty’ run is over, the first cup of coffee is the best, and you’ve got two hours to enjoy reading the Saturday morning paper.  Can’t beat that.  Oh, and since it’s football season (the Nats died weeks ago), you’ve got a full slate of college and pro games to enjoy, not to mention the full complement of your fantasy football lineup set to go—even if they are destined to put up negative numbers.

Since I’ll always be a college football junkie, my bucket list being a night game visit to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, an October Saturday in South Bend, Indiana, with the ‘golden’ fall foliage in the background, and a New Year’s day visit to the Rose Bowl to see the southern California sun setting over the San Gabriel mountains, I’ll make a couple of predictions:

Ole Miss will not beat Alabama tonight.  This game could be close, and Ole Miss is a good team, but when I heard ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ fire up the gym rats in the locker room yesterday morning at work, I knew that was probably good karma for the Crimson Tide this weekend.

Georgia Tech will beat Notre Dame in South Bend.  Another tough call, but after a scare in Charlottesville last weekend against an inferior UVA team (and losing their starting quarterback), the Fighting Irish will fall to a quality, legitimate Ramblin Wreck football team.

P.S. I’m usually wrong about these predictions, as I am about choosing my fantasy football team on draft day, but it’s a beautiful September Saturday in early fall, the coffee’s great, and there’s hope!  Enjoy your weekend!