It's game week! At long last. A few items to jumpstart you today:
• Zibby apparently secluded himself in a Wisconsin cabin all summer long, working out. Footage has surfaced here.
• If you're going to the game on Saturday, be aware that the parking layout of the Stadium Lot and the Joyce lots have changed, and in some places, have changed drastically. Check out SBDomer's post here for some general tips, and also consult the updated parking map on UND.com.
• We're revamping the sidebar to the right, so if you see some things moving around, don't be alarmed. One of the things we added is an expanded "Best Of" section (lower right). Speaking of that, there's no better primer for a football season than Pete's hilarious Football 101 - A Cheering Guide For Freshmen.
• Rick Morrissey and Stewart Mandel joined the whiner parade over the weekend, with articles taking Charlie to task for not telling them who the starting quarterback will be. Is anybody but a few fishwrap hacks really worked up over this? I read these pieces and wonder for whom they think they're doing a favor. It's certainly not your average Irish fan. On the domer social circuit this summer, of course the first topic of conversation was always the quarterback race, but it was more cheerful speculation than the sense that important information was being witheld. Nobody is demanding that Charlie divulge the starter. Nobody feels wronged. Outside of a few ink slingers, that is. Oh, and maybe Chan Gailey.
• On that note, looky here.
Kyle Manley hasn't been himself lately.• Finally, Paul from Classic Ground did a classy post for us last year on the history of the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech series. You're an Irish fan, so you care about history. Get to know your classic Jackets.
Sometimes, he's a pro-style quarterback so highly hyped he held a news conference at the College Football Hall of Fame last year to announce his commitment to Notre Dame.
Sometimes, he's a junior who threw only two passes in eight games as Brady Quinn's backup.
Sometimes, he's a sophomore who has yet to play a down for the Fighting Irish but is so athletic he has been compared with Vince Young.
Manley plays all those roles on the scout team for Georgia Tech, which doesn't know which of the three quarterbacks it will face in Saturday's season opener against Notre Dame. On the subject of quarterbacks, Irish coach Charlie Weis has declared only that he won't declare. Even candidates Jimmy Clausen, the hotshot freshman, Evan Sharpley, Quinn's former backup, and Demetrius Jones, the athletic sophomore, don't know who won the job, Weis told reporters last week.
That leaves Tech guessing. Or, more accurately, not guessing and covering all three bases.
"We've got to be prepared for anything," linebacker Shane Bowen said. "There's not much we can say or do about it. They're going to come out that day with a quarterback, one of the three of them, so we've just got to be prepared for anything."
"It's not as easy as if you knew who the quarterback was," Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "It would be a lot easier if you knew."
The secrecy goes beyond the starter's identity. Unlike Tech, which kept practices open until classes began Aug. 20, Notre Dame held a single open practice, at which Clausen, the hotshot freshman coming off arthroscopic elbow surgery, never threw the ball downfield. Did that mean anything? Was it a ruse to throw off onlookers, and by extension the Yellow Jackets? Who knows?