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Column: Throwing out some short takes today on college football

Happy Friday.

Another weekend is upon us, and I suppose a lot of you could be getting ready to go on vacation with the Fourth of July holiday coming up mid-next week.

Me, I still plan to churn out columns and stories throughout next week while celebrating Independence Day right here on the Georgia coast in the Golden Isles.

Hopefully, all of you will continue coming to AllOnGeorgia for your news throughout the holiday week.

For now, let me leave you with these college football short takes before you get your weekend started:

*SEC Media Days: It has become a huge, huge event as the premier conference in college football showcases the league at this annual party which for all intents and purposes kicks off another season of the game we love.

This year, the festivities are coming to Atlanta and will be hosted by the College Football Hall of Fame and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.

The event is slated for Monday, July 16 through Thursday, July 19. It will be the first time the media days have been conducted outside of Birmingham, Ala., home base for the league, since the event started in 1985.

Coaches and players from all 14 conference schools will once again meet with more than 1,100 media members over the four days.

Fans have long been a part of the event as they have been allowed to stake out the lobby area at the former site in Hoover, Ala., to welcome the representatives for their favorite team as they parade through the building on their way to meet the media.

Obviously, Alabama drew the largest crowds, and I assume that would be Georgia this year as head coach Kirby Smart and Company make their way to the interview areas.

And this year, the SEC will also hold the inaugural SEC Football Kickoff Summerfest on Sunday, July 15, in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. The first of its kind fan event will feature a live broadcast by the SEC Network’s traveling show, SEC Nation.

“Our fans have a year-round passion for SEC football and we have created this new summer event to provide them an opportunity to show their spirit, celebrate the game and get an early start on the 2018 football season,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “SEC Football Media Days is one of our signature events and the largest media event of its kind in the country, so it is a natural fit to bring our fans into the celebration by hosting SEC Summerfest in Centennial Olympic Park.”

SEC Summerfest is scheduled from 1-8 p.m. that Sunday. The SEC Nation show will be live from 6-8.

Fans attending SEC Summerfest will have an opportunity to engage with fellow SEC fans in a family-friendly game day environment. Activities include live music, food trucks, interactives and much more.

Me, I think this is all overkill, but what the heck. Have fun if you go.

*Finebaum moving on?: If you’re a fan of SEC football, surely you are familiar with the always-colorful and controversial Paul Finebaum who hosts a daily show on the SEC Network.

Well, he is scheduled to be in Atlanta to work the media days, but he might just skip out on the event if he doesn’t have a new contract with ESPN by then.

His current deal with the television network expires next month, and according to published reports, he won’t be at the football media sessions if he doesn’t have a new deal on the table.

Reports also suggest that the SEC has urged ESPN to get a contract done with the television and radio personality, but that has not yet happened.

These same reports noted that Finebaum is considering other offers. He was hired by ESPN in 2013 along with the debut of the SEC Network, which launched in 2014. He hosts the Paul Finebaum show on weekday afternoons and regularly appears on the SEC Network and ESPN. He is part of the SEC Nation show as well on college football Saturdays.

I say, bring back Finebaum. All those Alabama rednecks who call his show regularly certainly make Monday through Friday entertaining as we await kickoff on Saturdays.

*Perfection for Bulldogs?: Well, longtime college football analyst Phil Steele thinks so.

Steele, now working for ESPN, has predicted a 12-0 regular season for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2018. He says the Dogs will be favored in every game and will come out on top in the SEC East.

“When you look at their schedule, I think Georgia will be favored in every single game in the regular season,” Steele said this week on Atlanta radio. “South Carolina on the road is a tough game but (Georgia is) already an 11-point favorite in Vegas. At LSU, I figure they’ll be about a touchdown favorite. Florida in Jacksonville, they’ll be favored. It may just come down to the SEC title game and wouldn’t that be quite a rematch? I’m predicting 12-0 Georgia against 12-0 Alabama in the SEC Title game.”

Me? I don’t think this is out of the realm of possibility by any means, but I’ll offer up my prediction a little closer to the start of the season. That, by the way, is Sept. 1 for the Bulldogs against Austin Peay at Sanford Stadium.

More Fromms in college football: Dylan Fromm, younger brother of Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, is also going to be playing quarterback in college.

The rising senior at Warner Robins recently announced his commitment to the Mercer Bears in Macon. He also entertained offers from South Alabama and Penn.

Last season, Fromm led the Demons to the Class 4A state championship game while throwing for 3,500 yards and 35 touchdowns.

He is Mercer’s first commitment in the 2019 class.

Also, Tyler Fromm, twin brother of Dylan, announced he would be playing for Auburn back in May. He also had offers from Florida, Ole Miss, LSU, South Carolina, Louisville and Colorado State among several others.

Tyler Fromm is a tight end. He caught 43 passes for 529 yards and five touchdowns last season while also playing for Warner Robins.

Perhaps the Fromm family should now be called the First Family of Football in the State of Georgia.

Yellow Jackets’ Stinger Tickets: A new ticket package was so successful for Georgia Tech men’s basketball last season that school athletics officials decided to give a similar plan a try for football this coming season.

Georgia Tech athletics announced earlier this week that it will offer a Stinger Mobile Pass for the 2018 football season.

The Stinger Mobile Pass is a new, flexible ticket option for Tech fans.

For $149, the ticket option guarantees a seat for all six home games at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The six-game home schedule features ACC games against Clemson (Sept. 22), Duke (Oct. 13), Miami (Nov. 10) and Virginia (Nov. 17) as well as games against Alcorn State (Season Opener – Sept. 1)and Bowling Green (Sept. 29).

Stinger Mobile Pass tickets are mobile-only and delivered to the buyer’s iPhone or Android device each game day. The exact seat location will vary from game to game. Fans can buy up to two mobile passes per account. Passes purchased in one transaction will have seats together for each game. Friends can also link Stinger Mobile Pass accounts to ensure that their seats will be together for each game.

The Stinger Mobile Passes for Georgia Tech basketball last season sold out in just two hours and a limited amount are available for the 2018 football campaign.

Heck, if you’re willing to spend $200, you can also load up on some Varsity hotdogs for your pregame meal on each of your visits to North Avenue. Any chance a Varsity Tailgate package can be built into the deal?

*Inside the Eagles: Georgia Southern is getting creative when it comes to fan interaction with its football program.

The GATA Lifestyle Experience has been created to give diehard Eagles’ fans a chance to hang out with the football team at the start of preseason camp in Statesboro.

This inaugural event is open to adults 25 and older and is scheduled for Aug. 2-4.

Attendees will check in on the afternoon of Aug. 2 as the team also reports for duty. The participants will get 100 percent access to team and staff meetings, practice, team meals and more.

Whatever the team is doing, the participants are also going to be a part of the action, according to the event release on the Georgia Southern athletics site.

Attendees will also receive Georgia Souther gear, recognition of their participation and a photo shoot in uniform to remember the event by. Other perks include a tour of the Smith Center and a ride on the legendary Yellow School Buses to Beautiful Eagle Creek for practice.

“This is going to be an awesome way for members of Eagle Nation to see what goes on behind the scenes of camp and we’re fired up to be able to host this event,” said Georgia Southern head coach Chad Lunsford said. “We’ve put a lot of thought and preparation into making this a one-of-a-kind event and I think it’s going to be a hit for those who join us in August.”

The cost to attend is $1,500. A $500 non-refundable payment is due at time of registration. This price does not include lodging, but does include meals and a social event.

The camp will be limited to 20 fans. Deadline to register is July 15 in order to assure proper gear sizes, but fans can sign up after that date as long as spots remain available.

I’m kind of surprised fans will get all the access that has been promised by the Eagles, but if they do, this sounds like a pretty cool thing for a hardcore GSU fan.

 

 

 

Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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