Hello from the ACC football kickoff

July, 20, 2008
7/20/08
6:43
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

In case you were wondering, there are 138 days, 18 hours, 34 minutes, 30 seconds ... 29, 28, 27 ... until the ACC championship game.

Until then, I've got plenty of football "stuff" for you to read, and it all started Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation here in Greensboro, Ga. That's right, I'm at the Ritz. Again. Tough job, I know.

Sunday was the first day of interviews, and it was a steady stream of questions and answers from 12:30 to 3:45 p.m. The coaches go tomorrow from 3:30 to 6:45 p.m., (AFTER, of course, they golf). 

The players like this event because it gives them a chance to actually meet some of the guys they line up against, compare programs, find out they're not the only ones with a crazy strength coach, and even take in a little golf. (Last year this was at Pinehurst, and the year before Ponte Vedra Beach, near PGA headquarters. See a theme?)

The players were lamenting Sunday they don't get to stay here longer, (they left tonight right after their interviews) and it really is a shame, because many of them need much more work on their golf game.

Take, for example, Virginia linebacker Clint Sintim.

"I don't think Clint's ever swung a club before," Virginia tight end John Phillips said of teammate Sintim. "He struggled a little bit."

Just how bad is Sintim's swing?

"Terrible," he said, "Pretty bad. A couple of my friends told me, 'Go practice, don't embarrass us.' It didn't work out too well. I may have to take up bowling."

Yet somehow, Sintim beat his friend, Miami offensive tackle Jason Fox, in a putting game Saturday night -- the same Jason Fox who told me the Cavaliers gave them some extra motivation in the weight room this summer after, well, you know -- that Orange Bowl loss.

"Every now and then it comes up, when you reflect on the season and think, 'Wow, that was a big game for us,'" Sintim said. "You don't throw it in his face, or nothing like that. [Short pause.] I beat him in a game of putting. My stroke wasn't the best, but the scorecard will tell you otherwise."

"Did you cheat on your scorecard?" I asked him.

"I didn't say that," he said with a sly smile. "I didn't say that. He was pretty good, Fox was pretty good."

"But you said you beat him."

"Yeah, the scorecard ..."

Where's an official when you need one?

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