Dawson's Diary - day three

CLEMSON - If you haven't read Dawson Zimmerman's spring practice diary ... what's your problem?

I write this entry in the wake of a triumphant intramural softball game. "The Windjammers", a softball dynasty put together by football managers Riley Cummings and Dalton Coker, were victorious tonight in a 16-7 trouncing of the opposition. The Windjammers were lead by Willy Korn, Mark Buchholz, Xavier Dye, Landon Walker, Jon Richt, and….me. It should be noted that Jon Richt did, in fact, attempt to transfer from our team but we were able to convince him to stay by promising him a Capri-sun after every game. We take our softball seriously.

And now to practice day #3, the last practice before spring break and our first this year in full pads. It was an especially windy day today, something a punter always notices… It made me wish that I had brought out my new Wall-E kite which I'm sure would have looked spectacular silhouetted against the sky above the practice fields. My regiment today consisted of doing lots of drill work, practicing my drop, working on my leg extension…basically things that the general populace gives no care to hear about or watch. I don't blame them for that, especially with a gauntlet known as the Oklahoma drill occurring on the field to my left.

The Oklahoma drill, or, as Coach Swinney has renamed it, the Paw drill, is possibly one of the most entertaining things I've observed in this spring's practice. I believe the spectators at today's open practice agree with me in this regard as most strained to watch the action and collectively "ooh-ed" and "ahhhed" at the collisions taking place before them. I think that the competitiveness that this drill fuels and harnesses is what makes it most effective in bringing out the best in the players involved.

Something I noticed is that the increase of tempo and the brevity between plays is magnified when guys are in full pads. Coach Swinney continuously yelled at players to run off the field, a concept that I am all too familiar with.

When you're a young kid watching Sportscenter in the morning, sometimes for 3,4,5,6 times in a row (everyone's done it at some point), you dream of someway, somehow, making it on the program. Luckily for me, this dream was achieved last season when after a particularly sorry punt, I trotted, loafed, plodded, essentially moved at the speed of a depressed somnambulist, back to the sideline where the fury of Dabo awaited me in all its raging glory. My friends who happened to catch the clip on Sportscenter congratulated me on my bittersweet accomplishment. I'm tempted to sprint off the field like Usain Bolt after my first punt of the season to show Coach Swinney the impact that he's made on me about finishing my job. Maybe if I sprint fast enough he'll let me return kickoffs and punts. I guess we'll see.

For now I'm going to enjoy spring practice and focus on getting better which is a mentality that I believe we carry as a team. I look forward to spring practice #4 and the continuation of our team's quest for greatness and the goal of reducing our opponents to sniveling weaklings. I will now go revel in the euphoria of tonight's softball victory. Cheers.


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