Bill Shanks commentary: Football season can't get here soon enough

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerJuly 25, 2012 

Since I'm a baseball fan, there's nothing like spring training. Every team is undefeated. There's hope for an improved season, regardless of how well your team did the previous season. And even the lead up to the start of spring training is a lot of fun. There's nothing like counting down until the day pitchers and catchers report to Florida to begin the long baseball season.

And for football, we're in that similar spot in the calendar. We're getting close to teams strapping on the helmets and pads and hitting each other. We're getting close to hearing about which players are looking good, which ones need to step up and how good or bad our favorite teams might be this season.

SEC Media Days was all I needed to get excited about the upcoming season. Hearing what the coaches believe will be the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and just hearing football talk was enough to get my blood pumping to know we are really getting close.

But it's also enough to start making me really nervous. All of the talk from Georgia coach Mark Richt about the offense raised enough questions for any Bulldog fan to start shaking their head. With offensive lineman Kolton Houston again a question mark, can true freshman John Theus step in as the starting right tackle? And we all know that, with former Carver High standout Isaiah Crowell now gone, someone has to step up and become the new starting running back.

Georgia Tech fans are probably sweating it out, wondering who will replace Julian Burnett at linebacker. And Georgia Southern fans can't wait to find out how coach Jeff Monken will replace quarterback Jaybo Shaw.

It's the normal pre-preseason issues that make fans just take a few deep breaths.

We'll all stress about this stuff, because that's what fans do.

As we get closer to September, we'll see articles about the issues facing our teams. We'll read the preseason publications and read the reports from practice and wonder how the big questions are being answered -- or if they can be answered.

It's a combination of excitement, anticipation and worry. It's like a kid worrying that Santa Claus won't bring him that one present that he really wants and running into the living room on Christmas day to see if he got what he actually wanted.

Yes, welcome to late July. Football season is right around the corner, and frankly, I can't wait. It's a shame to hope the days in your life go by faster so something like football can get here quickly. But I'm one of many who pleads guilty to hoping September gets here before we know it.

-- Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from3-6 p.m. weekdays online at

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