Friday, December 6, 2019

the Friday Misery puts down the fork, and picks up the gauntlet

“Aww...look at these poor little Dawg fans,” she said as she came upon our table. Then, as she wiped away fake tears, “Did they get their wittle feewings hurt?” 

There was no logical retort to make, as indeed, we had.

Comfort food in an uncomfortable moment
Paul Dupre' has a cozy little restaurant in Baton Rouge where his staff serves food inspired by his grandmother's home cooked meals. Elsie’s Plate and Pie has everything a southern palate might find comfortable to a hard working fork - okra, tomato pie, red beans & rice, pork chops. And of course, plenty of fried catfish.

It is also true that this is where our crew sought comfort after witnessing Kirby’s Dawgs get spanked harshly and very publicly by Coach O’s bengal bayou tigers last season. It had been quite a day for our hungry appetites already, having been invited into the infamous JR Vendetto’s tailgate. Under the shadow of the campus' Memorial Tower he and his fellow Louisianans had graciously served up gumbo and boudin and jambalaya and enough shrimp to feed Ignatius Reilly for at least a week. 

Nick Offerman as John Kennedy
Toole's sardonic protagonist
Although Ignatius would probably wash em down with a glass of sherry instead of all that cold beer. And given his penchant for grandiose complaints, he’d even find a way to underappreciate and pick nits at anything that graced Miss Elsie’s dinner table. But last October, as our band of dawggone tired travelers gathered around an outside table under the evening sky at her restaurant’s namesake, we needed comfort. To travel and witness a loss is one thing, but to see the team get beat so soundly was even more devastating than humbling.

So we passed around plates and argued over which dish was best (and for the record, it was the seafood pot pie in my humble opinion. But the Natchitoches meat pie will likely be my order the next time I’m there) all while punishing ourselves by reliving this failed play and that bad call and DEAR GOD DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THAT FAKE FIELD GOAL! 

There's something about sharing a table being weighted down as much by great food as good friends' voices. On a day that ended badly on the playing field, it was comforting to find familiarity in conversation and used silverware. Not to mention napkins used beyond their ways and means.

Yes, looking forward to another visit to Elsie's. But next time I hope to not be interrupted by an LSU fan spewing hateful truths and logic.

this offensive echo chamber is offensive
Look. We've all been arguing about it for months. And I know by now I’m not going to convince you one way or the other. I know that. By now you’ve either decided to hate this Georgia offense until you’re blue in the face, or to support it despite it’s awkward and unwelcome visage. 

As a person who is himself very often awkward and also, at times, finds himself unwelcome, it should be no secret I’ve chosen the latter stance. When Jake Fromm turns one way to hand the ball off and the ball carrier of note has moved in an opposite direction, I can relate. Just a few months ago I fell head first into the backyard trying to catch my dog by the collar before he gobbled up his own excrement. (I know right? I was all like “WTF dude! Naw, don’t do...oof.”) Like Fromm, my intentions were true. But the dog zigged when I thought he had committed to the zag.

We all pay a price for our inadequacies. It’s just that mine are less public. And not punishable by a 300lb lineman barreling in on me.

But can we all agree that we’ve said everything that needs to be said at this point? Does it really do any damn good to rip the scab off again just to shove it in a fellow Georgia fans’ face?

Regardless, by tomorrow night around 7:30 you’ll have one of a couple options: 1) keep pissing in your own cheerios and wallowing in your own misery over the fact that this offense hasn’t lived up to its potential despite its 11-2 record and third straight trip to the December Dome, or 2) enjoy another incredible win over LSU on the grand national stage.

Kind of like we did here. And also here. And I especially enjoyed it when we did it here.

I hold true to the lifestyle of being a Georgia Bulldog fan where it means you take the good with the bad. In other words, I’m just as much a Dawg fan now as I was when we lost to Georgia Tech 40-23 my first year at UGA back in 1990. 

Ray Goff wore a UGA conductor cap. I wore a grimace.
People train don't run outta
Wichita huh Coach?

Transitioning stanza
But I won’t wear a grimace tomorrow. Nor a UGA train conductor’s cap for that matter. And not because I’m too proud to be upset over a season like this that we’ve been begging for. For years now we’ve wanted a program that took us to back to back to back SEC Championship contests where we could see how we could stack up against the conference's elite as well as the nation’s best.

During the Richt years we had a taste of it every now and then. His teams took the lid off the cardboard box that held the cake and we got to drag our finger through the icing a bit, During the Donnan years we got close enough to stare at the lid...until Quincy threw yet another interception in Columbia and we just settled for another Little Debbie.

During the Goff years we played with toy trains evidently. I don’t know. I can’t remember anymore. 

No, tomorrow I will not be wearing a grimace because we’re gonna win this damn thing. I’m sick of hearing about this unstoppable LSU Fightin’ Tiger offense and ready for Kirby to change the national narrative to “Hey, maybe this Georgia defense is really THAT good. Garsh!

Have we faced an offense this good? Nope. Not close. But have they faced a defense as good as Tae and JR and company? I bet not. And I'll take the Dawgs in that fight.

All. Damn. Day!

We're already living rent free in Dabo's head. Tomorrow Fromm and Co. make Coach O drop another F-bomb on his way down to 4th in Sunday’s rankings. Joe Burrows gets next week’s Heisman, but Rodrigo gets carried off the field on Jordan Davis’ shoulder as the red and black confetti reigns down.

Strike your pose Burrows, but #RespectTheSpecs! Always.

Now, if you will, please bow your head...Dear Lord Baby us one more shot of Herrien barreling downhill with sights set on an LSU defensive back. And then please, please let our defense get after their ass! Go Dawgs!

For reference if you're interested - Elsie's Plate and Pie. You won't go wrong, promise.

Also, if you're unfamiliar with the Ignatius Reilly reference, go buy a copy of Confederacy of Dunces, Toole's only book, may he rest in peace. From his tragic end we must celebrate every incredibly vivid character he gave us.

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Well, I'm not usually one for speeches, so goodbye." - Ron Swanson

It's not you, it's me.
The only Van Halen that truly matters y'all...

Historically, I've long hated change. It has been my standard operating procedure since even before Van Halen transformed into Van Hagar and also well before something called New Coke hit grocery shelves.

Yes, whoever coined the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" is one of my favorite philosophers.

Sure there were signs of cracks in my exterior; small instances that one could point to and say, "Hey, you're not so scared of doing things differently after all." For instance, as I grew up I liked to rearrange my room at times, move furniture around and see what space opened up. In adulthood I also once had a brief, uneventful, and sublimely lacking affair with something called "decaf" coffee.

But for the most part, I've long enjoyed living each day in comfortable and familiar environs. That said, as I age I've noticed a need developing; a need to appreciate opportunities to stretch my horizon, challenge my own status quo, and take different paths through this jungle of Life.

A large part of that is why this blog has throttled down to a virtual halt. When my girls were young they would be in bed and asleep by 8:00pm most nights. I'm not much for mainstream television, so that left me the better part of two hours to write about my Alma Mater, her athletic developments in particular.

I got a real charge out of prepping a couple posts, scheduling them to publish about the time the ol' woke up, and then seeing the stats climb. There's some of you that have had this little blog bookmarked just about since its inception. Others have joined up along the way, some of those have even stuck around. I truly appreciate your visits, your comments, the emails, the criticisms, the laughs, the lows endured together that have made us stronger, and just the camaraderie along what will have been a ten year journey next month.

No, today is not the very end of Bernie's Dawg Blawg. But today is the start of something new for me that will mean...yes, somehow...even less posts here.

You see, one change I've been working on for some time (really ever since this post a few years back when I expected to go on a little hiatus) is broadening my writing into other avenues. And while some of those topics may have been broached here, it just seems a better idea to pivot rather than force content that doesn't always fit into what we've built here.

So no Ron Swanson, this isn't a good bye so much as a chance to introduce you to a new venture. It's something I guess I'd knew I'd always get around of these days...

Monday, April 23, 2018

GDay - what I saw

You win some. You lose some. But only in a spring game can you do both in one afternoon. Here are my casual observations from the Red vs Black scrimmage.

Gameday feeling. Great crowd is what Kirby wants and that is what he gets. The energy gives the young players a taste on what fall Saturdays are like when the games count. And it gives the recruits something more to think about for sure.

Justin Fields is a large dude. I don’t put much weight in spring performances, especially at quarterback. But Fromm sure gets a lot of tipped and batted down balls at the line of scrimmage. Or maybe I’m still just sore over the one that bounced off a Bama’s player’s helmet in Atlanta back in January. 

Mainly it was nice to see what Fields can eventually bring to the game when he does earn snaps. Lot of zip on the ball and such a fluid runner.

As for Fromm he had a few really nice deep balls. Ridley had one of them ripped out by McGhee on what would’ve been a very nice touchdown. But on a day that saw about 90% of the plays as passes, I thought the best pass came from Fields off his back foot when he lifted a beautiful ball to Landers in the corner of the end zone.

GDay 2018 definitely lived up to Kirby saying it would be a game for the quarterbacks. And since there were so many passes we didn’t get to see much of Holyfield. But I thought he and Herrien looked good in pass protect when they were needed.

Speaking of pass protect, how about Keyon Brown and Brenton Cox showing off that a simple tight end ain’t gonna be able to ward them off. Scary fast dudes with a nose for the quarterback!

Monty Rice definitely eased some of my concerns about losing Roquan. He was adding pressure up the middle and chasing down ball carriers all day.

Ahkil Crumpton had some nice catches, especially the one he caught across the middle in traffic but still snuck around the edge for some more yardage.

That’s some of what I saw. Hope you enjoyed some spring ballin’ as much as we did. Go Dawgs!

Friday, April 20, 2018

GDay - what I'm looking for tomorrow

First of all it will be interesting to see how many folks get turned away. With only 78,ooo seats available tomorrow and record crowds for this event thus far under Kirby’s watch, ain’t everybody gonna get a first hand look at Justin Fields arm and Holyfield’s legs.

Regardless of seating arrangements and availability, I think the first thing I want to see is how well the middle of the field is covered by our defense on passing downs.
You see, one does not just replace a player like Roquan Smith. It’s impossible. But I have great confidence that the coaches have recruited talent behind him. So I’m confident that we have someone that can blitz through the heart of the offensive protection. Afterall, the name Natrez Patrick comes to mind. And I’m confident we may have someone that can defend the field laterally from sideline to sideline.

But what made Roquan so very special was how well he defended the middle of the field in passing situations. He could cover a tight end. He could take away a slot receiver’s crossing route. And there was nary a team that would dare to throw a middle screen in front of Roquan Smith.

In other words, opposing quarterbacks had a lot to process at the line of scrimmage when they looked across and saw Roquan staring at them. Were Monty Rice and Nate McBride paying close attention? I hope so. And again, I have full confidence that the coaches have recruited the right players.

Because it’s been since before the disgraceful John Jancek linebacker coached era that we could defend that area of the field on any down that effectively. I miss Roquan a lot already. I’ll miss him a lot more if we see a lot of successful seam routes and crossing patterns.

Elijah Holyfield should have himself a day. The fans aren’t the only ones I suspect that want to see how he manages 20 or so touches in a game(like) situation.

Pass protection. Kirby says it is structured to be a quarterback’s game. As nice as it is to have a true sophomore quarterback that lead us within a breath of a National Championship, I think everyone would be thrilled if Justin Fields made some plays. Still, in a spring game it’s hard to gauge things like pass protection. However it will still be something to keep a close eye on.

And not just for the obvious reasons of seeing how the coaches rotate tackles and guards. We lost two absolutely amazing pass protection runnings backs in Chubb and Michel. Holyfield and Herrien have big shoes to fill as (probably) the only scholarship backs available tomorrow. We know Fromm can hurt teams with his arm as well as his legs if need be. And we suspect Fields will eventually be able to do the same to opposing teams’ defense. But we’ll need to have solid pass protection, and that sometimes means a small running back stepping up into the path of a blitzing monster.

Special teams are typically hard to truly evaluate, but Kirby had this to say yesterday:

“Our special teams, we think we’ve got some good competition going on, so we’ll be coming after punts, we’re going to do everything real on kickoff and kickoff return, we’re just not going to tackle live,” he said. “But everything is going to be as real as possible other than that. Same thing with punt and punt return, so we’ll be rushing them and we’ll have punt returners back there trying to return them. We’ve got great competition at punter, great competition at returner. I’d love to see some guys have some pressure on them and have to make kicks and catches.”

So perhaps we can at least see some of these punters under rushed conditions. And those are a few things I’m watching for, in addition to seeing some new guys that have supposedly stepped up big thus far, like Brenton Cox and Cade Mays. What’re you ready to see from some football in April?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jake Fromm - sophomore slump??...not likely.

Whoever holds the number one quarterback position at Georgia is often under the spotlight, but Jake Fromm may be under more pressure than most in 2018. After beginning last season as a backup, he was thrown into action and stood up tall to serve his team and take them to the Championship game. Despite losing that game, Fromm has earned huge recognition from scouts, coaches, and fellow players for the way he embraced his situation last year.
And this time around there could be a lot more to come from him.

Fromm came from out of the blue after an injury to Jacob Eason, and since then he has never looked back. Coming in with nothing to prove last season, he will face a very different proposition this season when the games get underway. The decision to play Fromm last September when Eason went out in the opener was an easy one. Now, many expect newcomer Justin Fields to challenge for playing time sooner rather than later.
That adds some pressure for the incumbent sophomore signal caller in Fromm. Plus, the expectation will be that Fromm will not only replicate last season’s play, but build on it thanks to that experience, as well as show himself off as being one of the better young quarterbacks in the conference and the nation.
Fromm has shown a penchant for handling the pressure, both on the field and off of it. And all indications are that he’s embracing the role of “seasoned starter” well thus far.
The pressure is on Fromm already, because many people are looking at him as a possible Heisman Trophy winner. The latest betting shows he is 12/1 to lift the Heisman. One reason Fromm is such a big price is that some people still believe that last season was a fluke, and he hasn’t improved enough to be a starting quarterback. Should Fromm go out and throw brilliantly in his opening two or three games of the 2018 season, then he will become a genuine Heisman contender, his price will certainly fall.
The road to where he is now has been a strange one for Jake Fromm, but no one can argue that he has taken advantage of the opportunities given to him. He now heads into a new season where he is being talked about as a potential Heisman Trophy winner, so has a bit of pressure on his shoulders. However, we know from watching him mature so quickly last season that he has a good head on him, and is more than capable of handling that pressure.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dawgs' NFL Draft talent preview - one on hold, but ten with eyes on Sundays

Deandre Baker Was All Set for the NFL - Then This Happened
For Deandre Baker, it’s hard to forget: his University of Georgia team came within an inch of winning a national championship. In his head, he continues to recall how the game against Alabama came to an end. Georgia got behind the line to take down Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa in overtime and take his team out of field goal range. Georgia believed that they were about to secure the University’s first national championship since 1980.

Then it happened. Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard TD bomb to DeVonta Smith to rewrite the Bulldogs’ story.

Baker could only watch as that play unfolded. That his team fell just one game shy of winning a championship was motivation enough to ignore the NFL draft and return to the program. Another factor in Baker’s decision was that he was watching ESPN on the very day of the deadline for players to make a decision on whether or not to declare. Then they replayed the TD. If there was any chance that Baker would change his mind, it had just been blown to smithereens.

In the lead up to the early entry deadline for the draft, Baker said that he had heard that he would be taken anywhere within rounds one to three. Both DC Mel Tucker and HC Kirby Smart had expressed their surprise in his decision to return to the Bulldogs.

Lockdown corner
Throughout last season, Baker, who recorded nine pass breakups and three interceptions, saw a limited number of balls thrown in his direction. Pro Football Focus revealed that the DB went 272 defensive snaps in a row without giving up a touchdown.

When Baker was given a national audience, he appeared to play some of his best football. While the Bulldogs were given a lesson in passing the football by Oklahoma in the first half of the Rose Bowl, he went on to make one of the game’s biggest plays.

On 3-and-12 in double overtime and making his way through traffic, Baker saw that Oklahoma was executing a misdirection play. He avoided any receiver looking to divert his angle and forced Marquise Brown out of bounds and shy of the first down.

This set up a Lorenzo Carter blocked field goal attempt, before a Sony Michel walk-off touchdown put them into the national championship.

In the title game, while Calvin Ridley scored a late TD, Baker held him to just 23 yards on 4 catches.
Baker first came to the fore as a sophomore. He started 2016 as a backup, with Juwuan Briscoe and Malkom Parrish on the outside. After week four’s 45-14 loss to Mississippi, however, Georgia decided to give Baker a chance to start.

It soon became clear that the move was a good one.

With safety Dominick Sanders, DB Aaron Davis, and CB Malkom Parrish all graduating, Baker is now the secondary’s only seasoned veteran.

Bulldogs could make draft history
This year’s draft, however, could prove to be a historic one for Georgia. Some 10 Bulldogs took part in the recent NFL combine. Should nine of those players be picked, it would be UGA’s largest-ever draft class.

The quality of Georgia’s class, however, isn’t just about depth. UGA can refer to a handful of their players as some of the best in the draft and could see up to three players taken in round one: a program record. Two UGA players have been selected in the first round of a draft seven times in the past.

In an mock draft, Chad Reuter predicted that three Bulldogs would be selected in the first round: Roquan Smith to the San Diego Chargers (pick 23), Sony Michel to the Pittsburgh Steelers (pick 28) and Isaiah Wynn to the Jacksonville Jaguars (pick 29).

Reuter named six Bulldogs in total that he believes will be selected within the first four rounds of the draft. He predicts that RB Nick Chubb will be selected by the 49ers with the 59th pick, Lorenzo Carter by the Browns with the 84th pick, and Trenton Thompson picked up in the fourth round by the Chargers. If Reuter’s prediction comes true, the Bulldogs would only need to see three of its four players who were at the combine selected to set a single draft record.

According to many betting sites, how these draft departures will affect the 2018-19 Bulldogs remains to be seen. For a team that was three points away from a national championship, they are only fourth in the betting to win it, with Oddschecker listing bookies that place them at 10/1. On the one hand, Bulldogs fans may feel insulted but, on the other, they may be tempted to take advantage of the free bets available, with such favorable odds on offer. The champions, Alabama Crimson Tide, are favorites to retain their title at 11/4. The Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes are both favored above the Bulldogs, at 8/1 and 9/1, respectively.

Different paths
When it comes to two of these players (Smith and Thompson), their paths may have begun in similar fashion, but they’ve since taken very different routes along the way. Both were juniors last year and had one year remaining of eligibility when they make the decision to turn pro in January. Smith, however, is believed to have had a difficult time in making the decision, whereas Thompson supposedly had no doubts at all.

As each sit and wait, with the draft less than a month away, it’s Smith alone who seems to be destined for stardom in the NFL. It’s uncertain as to what will become of Thompson. He’s almost certain to be drafted, but it’s open to debate as to how long he will have to wait until his name is called.

The talk at Georgia’s Pro Day was that the best Thompson can hope for is the third or fourth round. Smith, however, looks likely to be a top-15 pick. He was told as much in December when he completed his underclassman evaluation application form. He claims his decision to enter the draft this year, however, was not the no-brainer that many assumed it to be. Smith, who led the entire SEC in both sacks and tackles for loss, said that he struggled in letting go of his Bulldogs family.

Sony Michel, Davin Bellamy, Nick Chubb, and Lorenzo Carter each returned for their senior seasons last year for largely the same reason. Not one of them, however, was given the same kind of high praise that went to Smith. Instead, they were given similar feedback to that of Thompson.
Such decisions are rarely based on contract potential and draft grades, however. There can be extenuating factors.

Tough time for once top prospect
The 6-foot-4 Thompson has suffered with injuries throughout his collegiate career. He underwent shoulder surgery last year, in addition to struggling with knee injuries. He also suffered a medical episode that led to him being hospitalized and forced to withdraw from school.

While it created health worries for Thompson, it also caused him further trouble, academically. It’s unclear as to whether he would have been eligible for another season, but most felt that it was the right time for him to make the leap to the NFL.

When Thompson arrived in Georgia from Westover High School, he was the top prospect in the country, according to 247Sports composite rankings.

At times, he lived up to his reputation, with 56 total stops in his sophomore year. Between recovering from shoulder surgery and suffering from a knee sprain, however, he saw fewer snaps in 2017. He missed a pair of games and finished with 38 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss.

Thompson seemed to struggle at Georgia’s recent Pro Day, appearing to be favoring his right leg during step-overs and timed runs. Smith’s workout was almost flawless, even though his status indicated that he wasn’t obligated to participate. Only time will tell how each of these players progress from here. For now, at least, it appears that their careers are destined to take very different paths.

Friday, March 2, 2018


Selflessness. (n) - devoted to others' welfare or interest and not one's own. 

With a dream season in the balance, not to mention a spot in the National Championship game, Nick Chubb knew what his friend and his team needed.
“In the second half Sony Michel, he gets popped right on the ball, fumbles, the guy picks it up and runs it back for a touchdown,” Smart said. “Nick comes over to me on the sideline and gets right in my ear and says, ‘Coach, put Sony back in. I want him to touch it first.’ Well, it wasn’t really his turn. It was Nick’s turn to carry it. Nick wanted Sony to go back in to prove that we had confidence because we knew weren’t going to win the game unless he got back in rhythm, unless he got his confidence back. Sure enough, that next drive, we actually gave it to Nick first but Sony came back and made the run that’ll define that game -- the last run.”
Is it too late to petition for a fifth year of eligibility? With the way the coaches are stocking the talent in Athens, we may not miss their yards and touchdowns. But God, I'm gonna miss their hearts and their passion for UGA.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

When JazzHands turn to pen... gets a little dusty up in here.

Sony Michel asks for our forgiveness and gives humble thanks. And all I can say is, "Same here Sony. Same here."

Mostly, though, I’m going to miss you all. My people. Dawg Nation. You all mean the world to me, and it’s been like that since Day One.
I often think back to when I took my official visit to UGA. Being there for that game against South Carolina, between the hedges? I mean….
I just knew.
I immediately got this feeling that Georgia was the place for me. And it wasn’t even about, you know, Ohhh, these facilities are the best I’ve ever seen. (They were!) Or Wow, this gear is the best-looking college stuff out there. (It is!) It just came down to all the amazing and kind people I met. Georgia fans, and everyone associated with UGA, are just the coolest, most supportive people in the world. You’ve been there for me every step of the way during my four years in Athens.
And now it’s time for me to pay back some of that love you’ve shown me by doing big things in the NFL and making you all proud.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Super Bowl Dawgs

Malcolm Mitchell hasn't played for the Patriots this season as he has been nursing a knee injury. The former Georgia star receiver has been in the NFL for just two seasons. But if New England wins tomorrow night against the Philadelphia Eagles Mitchell could have just as many Super Bowl rings! Regardless, there's no doubt Mitchell wishes he was on the field to help Tom Brady out and everyone back in Valdosta GA wishes the same thing.

Boss Andrews' best 75 meter sprint.
One former Bulldog and now Patriot that will be playing is David Andrews. "Boss" wasn't drafted in 2015, but signed on with Belichick's team and eventually earned the starting spot to start their 2016 season. Like Mitchell, Andrews is a homegrown Georgia boy having graduated from Wesleyan High School. Dawg fans remember Andrews as a consistent starter having played in 50 games as a Bulldog. There's no doubt that Tom Brady and the New England coaches appreciate that consistency as well.

The lone Dawg on the Eagles' side is Dannell Ellerbe. Philadelphia is Ellerbe's fourth NFL team, and this will be his second Super Bowl having won one with the Ravens in 2013. Unfortunately, the former two sport star out of Richmond Senior High School in Rockingham NC has played sparingly this season. But when he does enter the game both Georgia fans and Ravens fans will look for him around the ball. Ellerbe has a knack for creating and recovering turnovers. In fact, his interception of Brady in the 2013 AFC Championship game helped the Ravens slip past the Patriots into SB XLVII.

NetBet Sport currently has the Patriots as a 4.5 point favorite. As an NFL agnostic, I only have those three former Dawgs in the fight. It's even more popular to root against the Patriots in the NFL as it is to root against Auburn in the SEC. And Belichick's team usually enjoys the role so much they simply keep on winning.

Still, I think the Eagles could run away with this one, much like the Falcons last year for the first 45 minutes. But I think Philadelphia closes the deal. Most importantly, I hope my smoked wings turn out as good as last year.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Two initial Tuesday thoughts

First, as well as officiated as the Rose Bowl was, last night was about the opposite. The Tyler Simmons offside call on the block punt missed the fact that he was drawn. Still, in real time that was probably forgivable.

However, when Swift gets dragged down by his face mask and collar right in front of the head official, that’s more than a head scratcher. 

Second, we’ve relied on halftime adjustments all season. Last night we went into the locker room thirty minutes away from a National Championship with a 13-0 lead. Chaney had Pruitt on the ropes after that Hardman touchdown run. And clearly Tucker was having a relatively easy time of making Hurts use his head and his arm more often that his feet. 

But somewhere along the way our offense neglected itself of Sony Michel. He was clearly the player that needed the ball most often and yet we didn’t give him the reins. That’s something that I know will haunt me for a long time. Surely the same goes for Jim Chaney. 

And that Tua kid, you’ve got to give him credit, stepped into the biggest game and delivered. They’d been working Parrish’s side all along. Somehow we failed to close that window. 

Feel bad for you and I. Feel bad for the coaches that had worked so hard and came so close. 

But I’m heartbroken for that team, especially those seniors that deserved that stage and everything that comes with it.