Count me among the folks who enjoy National Signing Day, that college football recruiting bonanza when high school stars affirm their commitment to schools -- and a handful of uncommitted players make their announcements on national TV.
It's not that it isn't a little creepy. But the professionalization of college football recruiting -- at least a decade in -- has happened, and there's no going back to whatever it was before superstar 18-year-olds took a podium surrounded by family and picked from a couple of hats. The only question now is which players take the ceremony to a new level -- not unlike the way Isaiah Crowell pulled out an actual bulldog puppy when he announced for Georgia last year. That was, inarguably, the greatest moment in National Signing Day history.
Here's what I'd like to see: National Signing Day ceremonies for top-ranked high school engineering students or pre-med or journalism get the same hat ceremony. Why? Because it's fun, and it's a thrill for the kids.
Super Bowl Media Day: The big story was Rob Gronkowski's ankle, which appears better than it was a week ago but still unknown whether it will be good to go on Sunday. The Patriots sure won't be giving anything away. I think there's no question he plays -- the only question is how effective he is. Without a full-strength Gronk, the Pats' offense isn't nearly as devastating.
(Otherwise, Media Day was kind of a dud.)
Peyton Manning Watch: Manning claims he feels good and thinks he'll play again. My default is to assume he might remain in the league but will never reach his All-Pro status again. Frankly, I think that even if he is cleared to play and is a high-profile signing for some QB-strapped team, he is going to get injured quickly and mercilessly and either be entirely ineffective or KO'ed altogether. That's certainly a shame -- for him, for the team that signs him, for his many fans. It's just the reality: What Peyton said yesterday is, at worst, wishful thinking and, at best, spin.