Welp, it’s mid-June, and we are amid the barren wasteland of college athletics news. Unless you’re a fan of a good college baseball team (and unfortunately, that has not been the case at WSU for more than a decade), there isn’t a lot to digest between now and the start of talking season when coaches and players gather for Pac-12 Media Day in July.
Granted, there’s the now months-long discussion regarding the future of the conference’s media rights deal, but my lord is that a pointless topic. How many more times can people like Dennis Dodd and Brett McMurphy play Brett Yormark’s Big 12 ventriloquist doll? Add to that our own WSU President’s inability to understand the meaning of the word “imminent”, and you’ve got an echo chamber full of rubbish. Just let me know when the deal is done, which new school(s) is/are coming aboard and how much is in the bag.
One piece of cool news this week came courtesy of the Manning family, who invited slew of college quarterbacks to attend the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana two weeks from now.
Full list of QBs set to attend the 2023 Manning Passing Academy released this week.— Crissy Froyd (@crissy_froyd) June 7, 2023
Drew Allar, Penn State
Luke Altmyer, Illinois
Carter Bradley, South Alabama
Michael Brescia, Colgate
Doug Brumfield, UNLV
Hudson Card, Purdue
Brady Cook, Missouri
Since the list is in alphabetical order, you have to expand it to see that Cougar quarterback Cam Ward is among the list of college attendees/counselors. Ward is one of seven Pac-12 invitees, along with Michael Penix, Drew Pyne, Cam Rising, Shedeur Sanders, Ty Thompson and Jayden de Laura. Interesting that Oregon’s backup is attending, while its starter, Bo Nix, is not. Also interesting that someone looked at de Laura and thought, “Yep, that’s definitely someone we want to help mentor high schoolers.” But I digress.
Outside of Penix, and maybe Rising - currently rehabbing from a pretty bad knee injury - Ward should stand out among the west coast’s representatives. If memory serves, the college QBs also take part in some competition, so hopefully we’ll get to see how Cam stacked up in some of those drills.
This comes on the heels of Ward hosting a youth football camp of his own in May.
Between the camps and workouts, Ward’s summer calendar appears to be rather full! Can’t wait to see how Ward and the offense look in the fall.
This Week in Parenting
The misadventures of the 11 year-old wifi-only phone experiment continue unabated. This week he asked if he could have SnapChat, because that’s the only way to communicate with is friend, Landon. I countered with, “I’ve seen Landon among your Google voice texting contacts.” “That’s a different Landon. I have three friends named Landon.” So to sum it up, my kid has more friends named Landon than I have in total. (possibly untrue, but still...)
Team Kendall got out and about last week, as Mrs. Kendall had work at West Point and the rest of us tagged along. We were fortunate to have an Army Sergeant Major offer to show us around in his golf cart, and we happily accepted. Man, what a cool place. After we watched the 10-minute video at the visitor’s center, I was ready to sign up. The campus also made an impression on the 11 year-old, who made a verbal commitment to the USMA after his unofficial visit. He asks that you all respect his decision, and is not granting interviews. I don’t have the heart to tell him that attendance would require him to visit a barber, which he hasn’t done in a couple months.
The teenager was also thoroughly impressed with the place, but not enough that he elevated it above the Air Force Academy in his ranked schools of choice. This even after we got to check out the dining facility, which is amazing in and of itself! We also bumped into Army football coach Jeff Monken, who was kind enough to take a few seconds from a prospect visit to get a photo with us.
As I thanked him and shook his hand, he finished with, “Beat Navy.” I mentioned that I’m in the Air Force, and he said, “It’s just too bad you weren’t up to Army standards.” I know he’s probably thrown that line out over 1,000 times, but it felt so great to get insulted by the Army Football coach. I avoided the temptation to ask him where the Commander in Chief’s Trophy currently resides.
We also made the three-hour drive from West Point to Cooperstown, since I figured that might be as close as we ever get. It’s kind of stunning that the ultimate shrine to the game of baseball is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but I’m glad we visited. The boys even got to sit in Hank Aaron’s locker.
NEVER SMILE. ALWAYS LOOK TOUGH. THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS THAT WE TAKE SERIOUSLY!!!
You Suck If...
You almost certainly heard the numerous reports of Canadian wildfire smoke making its way south to the eastern seaboard. I was there, and it was really bad! Like, we couldn’t see across the Hudson, and more than a few minutes outside resulted in burning eyes. The AQI reading on my phone was well into the 400s. I have no idea what that means, but when the scale tops out at 500, something in the 400s is probably rather harmful.
You know what also was really bad? Wildfire Superiority Guy on Twitter! “Hurrrr that’s nothing compared to the wildfire smoke we deal with here! Durrrr.” It reminded me of the dorks from places like Wisconsin who say, “You think this is cold? We’d be in shorts up in Green Bay!” Or someone from Arizona who goes, “95 degrees? We wouldn’t even turn on the air conditioner in Yuma!” Nobody cares, man. And nobody likes (insert topic here) superiority guy. If you’re that guy, you suck. Stop sucking.
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A former gun company executive spoke to ProPublica about how we got here and what we can do to curb rising gun violence.