Eight quick gridiron hits (four here and four after the jump) as we begin the slow transition from Olympic fever to football frenzy. If symptoms persist, we suggest frequent check-ins with After Action’s picture-a-day countdown to kickoff.
1. Garland’s sabre surprise. Denver Broncos players have been active in charity efforts geared toward healing a community devastated by wildfires. But when it came to Air Force 1st Lt. Ben Garland, who is attempting to earn a roster spot on Denver’s defensive line, the giving was personal. Garland’s teammates gave him two silver sabres and an Air Force football helmet lost to the blaze when it engulfed his grandparents’ Colorado Springs home. Key quote from Denver linebacker Joe Mays: “He’s an awesome human being as a whole and I’m just glad we were able to get him something.”
2. Army football preview. The Black Knights begin preseason practice this afternoon, and the Army media folks have gone all-out: Click here for a massive season preview, including a position-by-position breakdown, quotes from Randy Ellerson and a preseason practice schedule.
3. Navy football preview. Navy’s write-up isn’t as extensive, but it also includes a workout schedule and notes for the coming season. If you want to know everything there is to know about the program, hit the media guide. Can’t wait for September and want some football this weekend? Click here for details on the Blue-Gold scrimmage and a visit to Annapolis by the Baltimore Ravens.
4. More Navy news. The Washington Post recaps the Mids’ offseason soap opera here. Short version: The team is operating without captains because of off-field issues and is missing three players who failed the physical fitness test. That trio won’t be eligible to return to the team until at least Aug. 20, according to reports. The Washington Times weighs in on how the Mids are coping with without one of those three — wideout Brandon Turner. Too much bad news at once? Check out Gene Wang’s positive piece on senior slotback standout Gee Gee Greene.
5. Uniform madness. It’s an established fact — fans love to debate uniform changes. So it’s no surprise Frank Schwab’s blog post on updates to Air Force gear has nearly 50 comments. It’s got all the usual action items: New color scheme, updates on alternate jersey/pants combinatons, promises of a “special look” for the Navy game, and the requisite picture of a football uniform on a mannequin. Join the discussion over at The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette, and leave a note here about what you think of the new gear.
6. Other Air Force madness. Navy’s not the only team with missing players; five Falcons aren’t participating in training camp for undisclosed reasons. Head coach Troy Calhoun announced the absences Friday, per The Associated Press, but didn’t offer details.
7. Dublin news, Part I. Notre Dame’s quarterback issues remain unsettled as the team prepares for its trip to Dublin and a Sept. 1 showdown with Navy. Tommy Rees, who started for the Irish under center last year, will not make the trip, serving a one-game suspension stemming from an alcohol-related arrest in May. Linebacker Carlo Calabrese was also suspended after being arrested at the same off-campus party, per ESPN.com.
8. Dublin news, Part II. Finally, check out the offical website of the Emerald Isle Classic, which has info on the game, surrounding activities, photos, sponsor details and more. Still not satisfied? Get pumped up with the teaser video below.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j8bFgDYe4Y&[/youtube]