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College Football Playoff Championship Trophy unveiled

College football is a sport not short on trophies. Exhibit A:

Trophies2

Add another one to the list, as the College Football Playoff organization unveiled its own championship trophy on Monday morning.

CFPtrophy2

CFB executive director Bill Hancock said the trophy was designed to be unique - mission accomplished - and hoist-able. 

“Rarely do you have the opportunity to create an identity and shape it into an iconic object that will be embedded with so much pride and meaning," said Pentagram Partner Michael Gericke, whose firm designed both the CFP logo and trophy. “We are honored to be a part of symbolizing the new era for the College Football Playoff and have it literally come to life with this magnificent trophy.”

The trophy, which does not have a namesake (Vince Lombardi, Larry O'Brien, Lord Stanley) but does have a sponsor (Dr. Pepper), will not be hoisted until it is won in the inaugural College Football Playoff championship on Jan. 12, but it is available for selfies, as Hancock noted to those in attendance.

As for my #hotsportstake: I loved the crystal football trophy from the BCS days (which is sticking around, by the way, it just won't be the one you see lifted on the victor's podium). I thought it was unique and classy. This new trophy, while lacking the quaint charm of the crystal football, is a sleek design that won't be confused for any other trophy. It's hard not to like. 

CFPtrophy fact sheet

 

ULM auctioning off chance to join Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson for season-opener

Duck Dynasty is a certified cultural phenomenon. 

At 11.77 million viewers, last August's season 4 premier was the largest for a non-fiction telecast in the history of cable televison. There's enough Duck Dynasty memorabilia to fill a Wal-Mart - to say nothing of Duck Commander, on which the Robertson empire was built - and it seems as if a different long-bearded man has a new book out every time I hit the grocery store check out line.

Until now, Louisiana Tech had gobbled up all the sports-related publicity within the Duck Dynasty universe thanks to patriarch Phil's colorful career as a Bulldogs quarterback. But considering Duck Commander makes its headquarters in West Monroe, La., it only makes sense for Louisiana-Monroe to attach its name to such a popular brach of the pop culture tree. 

And now they are.

The Warhawks are auctioning off a chance to participate in the opening coin toss with Willie Robertson - Phil's son, and the brains behind the Duck Commander operation - for the opener against Wake Forest on Aug. 28. (Side note: How did ULM get Wake Forest for its opener?) The winning bid will receive airfare for two, a one-night hotel stay, a photo op on the field, two tickets to ULM's Talons Club, a $100 Duck Commander gift certificate, and a trip to the Duck Commander warehouse. 

Also, you're not going to believe this, but August 28 is also camo night at Malone Stadium. 

Video: If you loved "Rudy" (and who didn't?), you'll love this

The era of the College Football Playoff is finally here, with the trophy being unveiled later today. Here, Sean Astin of "Rudy" fame has some fun explaining the new era of college football for ESPN.

This is pretty sweet. 

Photos: Duke has new unis and a new helmet decal

Duke has unveiled a new chrome decal for their black helmets, as well as a set of new, simple uniforms in honor of their 25th anniversary of their 1989 ACC title.

While these may seem unexciting as far as uniform reveals go (and they kind of resemble something you could create in NCAA 2008), keep in mind that Duke's 10 win season last year made a few things very clear to the college football world; Cutcliffe and his staff don't need shiny helmets, jaw-dropping uniforms, or five star athletes to get the job done.

We should all be like Mark Richt when we grow up

I've always maintained that Mark Richt will retire well before you may expect for a man in his position. Richt is different - the good kind of different. He's not going to grind himself into an early grave in the pursuit of a larger trophy case. He has other things to do.

This quote just about sums it up: “I’ve always had a greater purpose in coaching than trying to get a raise or trying to win a championship or coach a Heisman Trophy winner. I mean I’ve been blessed to win championships, coach Heisman winners, All-Americans, national championships, ACC championships. I know we didn’t do that at Georgia as a national champion. But you know, I experienced all that. And if that’s all there is at the end it’s empty, unless you help these guys.

“And that’s what people misunderstand sometimes. I’m highly motivated to win the national championship. But just because I care about them beyond football they think, ‘Oh he’s more worried about that than he is winning.’ No that’s not true at all. Not true at all. I want to win, and we’re gonna do the best we can to try to win. But I feel like we truly are educators, and we truly have a responsibility to help these guys.” 

That quote came from Seth Emerson's latest piece for the Macon Telegraph. It's about the Paul Oliver Network, something that was born out of a tragic necessity following the funeral of Paul Oliver. A former Bulldog, Oliver took his own life after he was described as "depressed" following the end of his NFL career. After that day, Richt created a network of Georgia businesses that help former players whose football chapters have closed - either by their choice or someone else's - start a new professional life.

Every school does something similar to this, but not on this scale. I'm not going to describe the article more here, it's something you really should read for yourself. It's something every coach can use to better himself - either through Georgia's efforts to help its former players, but mostly through Richt himself. 

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