Aug. 10, 2009

I hope you enjoyed your summer...because it's officially over! Well, at least mine is. It must be an age thing, because they certainly seem to have gotten shorter the older I've gotten. All things considered, it was a very enjoyable and productive summer for me, UAB and ISP.

Starting on a personal level, I spent a good portion of my down time getting ready for my brother's wedding. We'd waited 44 years for it to finally happen, so we were all going to make the most of the occasion! I was humbled and honored to serve as his "Best Man" for the festivities. We squeezed in a nice weekend trip to New Orleans for the Bachelor Weekend (no incidents) in mid-July, and before we knew it, the wedding was upon us. My sister and I teamed up to produce a loving video shown at his Rehearsal Dinner Party, complete with any number of embarrassing baby pictures, shots from the fashionable 70s, fraternity ZAPs and anything else we could find as ammunition. Long story short, we had a wonderful time getting ready for the wedding, and I'm very lucky to have an amazing sister-in-law.

About the time my brother and his new wife said, "I do," UAB and ISP did virtually the same thing. In case you missed it, the UAB athletic department and its multi-media rights holder announced a new, 10-year extension to their contract. The deal provides the Blazers with a pretty sporty guaranteed check each year, as well as fantastic new scoreboards for Bartow Arena, Young Memorial Field and the new softball stadium under construction. Both sides are very excited about the new deal, and you can read more about it, as well as see images of the awesome new scoreboards, on www.uabsports.com . As you may, or may not, know, I'm a proud employee of ISP (International Sports Properties), and it's great to have a long-term deal in place with the Green and Gold, along with about 60 other properties across the country...easy to see why ISP is "America's Home for College Sports."

Two days after that press conference, Neil Callaway held his pre-season get-together with the media. Football practice started last Thursday, and right on cue, the hottest temperatures of the summer arrived. It's great to see more and more bodies out there on the practice fields. The added numbers help create something that's been noticeably absent the last two years...DEPTH. Early reports have been good, and I know everyone is anxious to put the pads on for the first time and start some hitting! I know there's a lot to be done before September 5th, but, like you, I'm counting the days. Opening the season with two straight conference games at Legion Field will give this edition of the Blazers a chance to get off to a fast start...and ending the season at home will be a welcomed change, too!

Stay cool these next couple of weeks...get yourself in game shape...we'll need you against the Owls on September 5th at Legion Field.

Practice hard, and GO BLAZERS!!!


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