Passing the Time

Hopefully I'm not the only one, but is anybody else having football withdrawals? I've got some solutions to tide you over. Read about it inside.

It's been one month, eight days and several hours (depending on the time you're reading this) since the clock struck midnight on Ole Miss' Cinderella-esque football season, but who's counting?

As the days come and go, my football fix gets ever-so-bigger, with any type of gridiron news welcomed considering my condition.

(Maybe I need some form of medication, but I digress.)

I'll be frank; in each passing season, my virtual obsession with pigskin-filled Saturdays only intensifies. There's no relief. No noon kickoffs or Grove activities to keep my mind occupied.

What do we make of the dog days before us? I'll give it a try.

With the passing of National Signing Day, Houston Nutt and Co. have signed a strong class filled with star power and quality depth.

Hitting on eight of the final nine prospects left on the board wasn't too shabby either, with Bobby Massie, Pat Patterson and Tig Barksdale impact players who can help make up for the losses of Michael Oher, Mike Wallace and Jamarca Sanford.

My hat's off to the Rebel coaching staff for bringing so many excellent blue-chippers into the Ole Miss family.

You'd be hard-pressed to criticize the efforts of Andy Kennedy and the men's hoops team. The term "adversity" has long been exhausted when describing this season, and I'm sure the Rebels are tired of hearing it.

But the fact of the matter is, these guys have faced all forms of turmoil, and responded with a competitive grit all Ole Miss fans can be proud of.

We've all witnessed the growth of Terrico White as an All-SEC type performer, as he thrills us every game with numerous displays of high-flying acrobatics.

I've read countless posts of how the freshman phenom could easily declare early for the NBA draft, but for us logical types, Terrico's in this for the long haul. Enjoy.

Renee Ladner and the Lady Rebs are getting better, despite a consistent flair for the dramatic.

Defeating South Carolina with a last shot attempt by Elizabeth Robertson was incredibly satisfying, considering the team has had so many close losses to the likes of Tennessee, Auburn and at Mississippi State.

The fact that many fans refuse to support such an enjoyable team still bothers me to no end, by the way.

Billy Chadwick and the highly-touted men's tennis team have started strong, topping Kentucky and Mississippi State to start a season filled with large expectations.

On the outside, freshman Devin Britton seems to be struggling with No. 1 singles, but the newcomer is progressing steadily with every match he encounters. He's certainly one to watch for the future.

The No. 1-ranked doubles duo of Bram ten Berge and Jonas Berg receive the toughest draw each time out, but have responded with rousing success.

Sure, falling to Kentucky after racing out to a 5-1 lead in the breaker was tough, but the duo is critical towards the Rebels chances this season.

And finally, baseball season is just around the corner.

Ranked sixth nationally by Baseball America, the Diamond Rebs head into the 2009 season with plenty of excitement. Foregoing their pro careers in favor of returning to Oxford, seniors Brett Basham, Logan Power and Brett Bukvich only add to the towering expectations the squad faces every year.

With many new faces mixed with familiar ones, this team has all the makings of something special.

Ok, maybe my life's not so bad. While it's tough to abandon my football craziness, too much good surrounds Ole Miss athletics this second week in February.

Only time will tell if my condition can be cured. But considering the circumstances, it's time to sit back and relish in these enjoyable times.

Two months till the Grove Bowl.

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