newsno spring game uva football end spring another practice
Sports

No spring game? UVA football to end spring with another practice

Contributors

virginia footballHear the one about how UVA football coach Bronco Mendenhall decided not to have a spring game? Seriously?

Ohio State just had 100,000 at its spring game. Spring games are important. You don’t get 100,000 people to show up for … nothing.

Except that’s what spring games are: nothing. The quarterbacks wear red jerseys and are off-limits for hits, nobody else who gets hit is hit hard, for obvious reasons.

Spring games are a waste of time. Credit to Mendenhall for conceding that.

“The team has done everything that I’ve asked them to do, and they’ve done it at a really high level where we currently are in measuring our program,” Mendenhall told reporters on the ACC spring football conference call on Wednesday, by way of explaining that, no, he wasn’t punishing his team by taking away their spring game.

It was a good question. Mendenhall had made clear when he was hired in December that he would make sure his team earned its practice time, and followed through, requiring players to pass a rigorous conditioning test before being allowed to take the field in the spring.

Even Mendenhall expected his approach to lead to some player movement.

“Probably the biggest surprise of this transition for me is I was expecting more resistance, and I was expecting more attrition as we took over the program and changed culture and work capacity and different expectations,” Mendenhall said.

So when he presented his team with its options for ending the spring, with a game or with another work period, it was a surprise to him that the players wanted to go in the direction of another work period.

“The way I expressed it to the team is, our program will move farther ahead and faster with one more workday, so that’s what we plan to do,” Mendenhall said.

It won’t be the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen, to say the least.

If you’ve ever watched a football practice, congratulations. You’re also probably good at watching grass grow.

Spring games are only marginally more exciting: akin maybe to watching a guy with his butt crack sticking out taking endless swipes through your front yard on a riding mower.

The bigger question isn’t why UVA is passing up the chance to give fans a taste of things to come this fall by going the one-more-practice route.

It’s … there aren’t better things to do in Ohio than watch a stupid spring game?

Column by Chris Graham

Contributors

Contributors

Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News

Washington Nationals
Sports

Nats Notebook: Nationals look to rebound with D’backs coming to town

ron sanchez
Sports

Ron Sanchez gives up head-coaching job to return as assistant on Bennett’s staff at UVA

Ron Sanchez is back at Virginia, with Tony Bennett announcing Tuesday that Sanchez has rejoined his staff as an associate head coach.

brandon mills
Local

Family of man shot by police at Harrisonburg Walmart disputes official story

The family of a man who was shot and killed by a Rockingham County sheriff’s deputy Sunday night is disputing the official story that is being told by authorities as to what happened leading up to the fatal moment.

economy
U.S./World

Glass is half-full for economy in 2023 as survey results reveal states with best performance

ben cline
U.S./World

Is this parody, or does Ben Cline really believe the woke mob is after him?

earth
Culture

A divine creator made everything? Obvious logic disproves the existence of God

window air conditioner unit
Culture

Summer on its way: Are there any environmentally friendly air conditioners out there?