Friday, December 2, 2016

A little Friday SECCG Misery

This is basically the way I want tomorrow's game to go:

"Do you see that score?!? We're up by 50 Mr. Saban!"
That and as much national chaos as the CFB Gods will allow. Have a great weekend Reader!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bowlin' with Santa

My general malaise has lifted enough to take some glimpses at possible bowl destinations for Kirby's first team. I've heard a lot of people making bold statements about wishing we weren't going bowling and making negative predictions about the number of fans that would show up.

I take a different track. First, say what you want about the season, but these seniors deserve a trip somewhere and to suit up one more time as a tackle football player for the University of Georgia. Also, a young team could use the extra reps in practice.

Well hell, the coaches could too for that matter.

Anyway, stumbled on this list for Georgia specifically. Durham lists the potential bowl games as: Music City, Texas, Belk, Liberty and Birmingham.

Personally, I think we can strike the Music City and Belk Bowls from the list. Sure, anything can happen when conference management and egotistical athletic directors get together on a conference call. And yes, we all know our own AD is just an overcooked angel hair noodle in a suit. But I'd place my bet on the Birmingham Bowl first and then possibly the Liberty.

There's been some murmurs about the Texas Bowl being willing to part with their SEC West team preference and take Georgia in. That'd be news if it happens. And the bowl rep is surely talking up Georgia nicely.
“Yeah, we absolutely will do whatever the SEC thinks is best for our event, and for the conference,” Fletcher said. “It’s tough not to love Georgia. A national brand, a great history, had a fantastic season on the field, has a lot of young talent. As you’ve seen with coach (Kirby) Smart, Houston has become more important – and really Texas as a whole – has become a more important market to try and build a base in going forward.” 
Fletcher said he also heard there was a “large contingent” of Georgia alums in the Houston-Dallas corridor. In fact, UGA has been holding fan days in those two cities over the past few years, including a Kirby Smart appearance in Houston last June.
McGarity of course deferred comment to the SEC offices. Perhaps those alumni in Houston can make a pitch to Sankey in our AD's stead. I'm one that actually takes some pride in our bowl streak, and it'd be cool to finish off a difficult season with a new bowl game to add to the resume.

But that's just me. Go Dawgs y'all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The 2016 season in one word


I was prepared to have even more of it when the fourth quarter began last Saturday. The odds seemed in our favor . We had a three game winning streak. But what’s more is that the team seemed to finally be in sync with the coaches and their game planning and play calling. What’s even more is that we had just dominated the third quarter against Tech; the coaches had made adjustments at halftime which had pulled us out of the 14-14 deadlock.

I still have hope. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take a hit walking away from Sanford Saturday afternoon.

Before the season began I was on a podcast with CorbinDawg, and Bulldog Bob asked us what we needed to see this season to reassure us for the future. For Corbin it wasn’t a record or a specific win against a specific opponent. It was a moment when it was evident the team (and by default the program as a whole) had taken a step forward. He was looking for Kirby’s stamp on the program that showed better days were ahead.

I took that nugget with me throughout the season and waited. I thought Corbin’s approach to the question was good practice given the new direction under a new coach. So it may not have been crystal clear, but I thought I caught a glimpse against Auburn. That was a team win. It was a tighten the chin strap and go get ‘em game. And they can say what they will about Auburn’s injuries or whatever else they want, but it was a dominant performance by the defense.

And it could’ve been what propelled the team to a potential 9-4 record and plenty of momentum heading into Signing Day and Winter workouts.

But as we’ve reminded ourselves for nearly a full year now, first year head coaches come with growing pains. They come with moments of both weakness and trepidation. Which has caused a lot of people to question the decision a year ago to run Richt off. And to be clear, I think it’s a fair question. I don’t believe that Richt could’ve won the East with this team, but there’s an argument that the Tennessee, Vandy, and Tech losses might have played out to a different outcome.

It’s all fair and bipartisan analysis. But I won’t spend much time nor energy dwelling on it. Kirby is our coach. I’ve said all along that I’ll support him just as much as I did our former coach and the ones before him. The only caveat is that it comes with a hard and fast deadline. Championship games must be in the near future or it is onto the next guy. That’s just the program that we are now.

So, back to that one word. Do I still have hope? Yes. I do have hope even as the sting of Saturday’s loss strikes so many nerves. I’ve listened to the theories of Kirby playing the long game - forgoing potential immediate highs in favor of doing it his way for the future. And there’s plenty of evidence to back that theory up in game planning and even specific substitution patterns, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Kirby’s Way is one we’re forced to trust. I have hope for what’s ahead, but like many of you I’m concerned about some problems that Smart inherited, most notably our offensive line depth. And to be perfectly frank it’s talent overall. That in particular is not an easy and immediate fix. There’s no (official) free agent market in college football. And the fact is that any true freshman offensive lineman needs a year to redshirt and develop his body to the size required for this level of football. We lose two linemen to graduation, which means Pittman must develop next year’s rotation and starting five from scratch, again.

Anyway, that’s a big problem for a later date. I think the bigger struggle right now is that the season is over, and barring some huge performance in a minor bowl game, we’re left at the finish line without something definitive to grasp a hold of and say “Yes, this is going to be fun to watch again soon!”

Until then, I think I still have enough hope left.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday thoughts on the fourth quarter

The game was in hand. The players had made plays and the coaches had called a good game. We were running the ball well and the defense was limiting the triple option's effectiveness.

The game was in hand. And then it was not.

Sure, we can point to a bad pass, a drop, or a missed tackle. But that loss is 100% on the coaches. We got away from what was working and paid mightily for it. Hell, the third quarter was masterful as we stepped on them and opened up a thirteen point lead.

For 50 minutes Kirby and his staff had the better plan and the better adjustments. The last ten minutes was a clinic in what not to do to close out a ball game.

On a larger scale, I'm really disappointed because it seemed we had turned a corner. It seemed as if things were starting to click between a young coaching staff and their young players. It really just puts me at a loss for words.

I'm glad this season is over. And it makes me sad to type that.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Misery - Love. Family. Tradition. Georgia.

Still stuffed from so so much turkey y'all. I think I'm just gonna throw a few words on top of some pics and then call it a night...

Autumn Fire: Love from Georgia Football on Vimeo.

Damn. Well then. I stand corrected.

Tradition. Saturday. Athens.
I ain't telling you anything you didn't already know. I'm just telling you what you want to hear.

We didn't come this far...we didn't endure those trips...we didn't run those drills...we didn't walk that walk...we didn't cry those tears...we didn't raise that flag...we didn't join our hands...we didn't attack the day...we didn't move those chains...we didn't drain that clock...we didn't pack that house...we didn't stretch that ball...we didn't black out...we didn't drink them cocktails...we didn't refuse to lose faith...we didn't challenge our own endurance...we didn't force their hand...we didn't commit to the G...and we didn't look our our own faults in the mirror...

...without wanting, without needing to finish this season tomorrow. In Athens. In Sanford.

You. Me. Us.

Together. Family is Georgia and Georgia is Family. We're not in this for one game. And we're not here just for one season. We're joined by a common bond. And we unite one more time together to fulfill one objective.


In one word we find the true meaning of this game - Clean old fashioned hate.

Who wants this more? Do you?

The last Saturday of the season isn't about bowl game selection and it's not about television pundits. Relegated to another midday affair, we must rally and we must be ready. We must slough off the lethargy, the gravy, the discontent, and the discord. We must suffer on to fight. We must be strongest when the face of our enemy is at its boldest. We must hold on.

I'm tired. You're tired. They're tired. The easiest thing would be to let go, and take whatever comes. But that's not how you're built. That's not how I'm made. That's not why they ran themselves so hard. The song says we're a little unsteady, but together we can make this stand.

We are Georgia. We are Family. We stand together and we will endure these last sixty minutes. Because they are our last. As one we will rise to meet our seniors and we will pour our hearts, our souls, and every ounce of our voices into this team's spirit. They run out of the tunnel and we run down the aisles. They stop their ball carrier and we rise as one to crush their spirit.

I enter Sanford tomorrow with the memories of legends past. I gaze upon the hallowed turf through the eyes of those that have set the bar so high - Stanfill, Hines, Amp, Wansley, (JASPER WAS DOWN GODDAMMIT!!), Kanon Parkman, Bobo to Allen, and the greatest of all...the Drought-Breaker..Theron Sapp!

Take my hand. Let's do this together. Records don't matter, because tradition is on our side. It's red. It's black. And it lives within us. Now please, bow your heads...Dear Lord God....please let tomorrow be Al Ford's day at the methodone clinic. Thanks and pass the gravy one more time! Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Smell the turkey, smell the hate

Thanksgiving week is such a blessing and a curse. But the thought of Saturday has me all like...

Enjoy your day with family, friends, and loved ones. Go Dawgs!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

"Dorm Coach" Kasay, Hugh Nall and a flesh eating fish

This is pure gold from All-American Scott Woerner as he recounts many an old McWhorter Hall tale. Very enjoyable read, and one you young whipper-snappers would especially enjoy.
We had a TV room that had one TV. Now, remember, this was before cable; we only had three or four channels on a good day. There were also no remote controls in those days, so it was the responsibility of freshmen to get up and change the channel when needed. We did have a Coke machine on the second floor my first year before an irritated football player. He picked up the entire machine and tossed it off the second floor. Why? That one is easy; the machine took his money — 25 cents at the time.
Times have certainly changed. Thankful for guys from that era that are willing to share like that. Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Two things I'm sick of - black jersey chatter and Stafford comparisons

Yes, I understand fans' fascination with the black jerseys. Whether you are pro-alternate uni or against, I know that it's not your fault the discussion is so lively and energetic each season as to when/if the black ones will be donned and displayed.

I'm just sick of hearing about it. Who really cares? Ask yourself that question. Even if you have a strong opinion one way or another, do you really care which jersey your team wears? I mean, haven't we explored the "Black Jerseys" from every possible angle six ways from Sunday?

I've long been over it. I really, really wish UGA would just keep it all under wraps and make it a surprise so that the only discussion happens the day after rather than the weeks before.

Or, just scrap the black ones and wear road whites all season!

Now that we've re-established that I'm eternally in the minority, onto the next topic. Matthew Stafford was a great quarterback. People who take the time to watch NFL games tell me that he still is a great quarterback. But he's no longer in Athens, so it's really none of my business.

Just like with the black jerseys, I guess I understand the comparisons some are dying to make with Jacob Eason and Stafford. They're both prototype quarterbacks in stature and arm strength. Like Stafford, Eason was destined for an NFL mock draft before he even finished his senior year of high school.

But that's about where the comparisons should end (for now). I've mentioned before that I think at this stage in his development Eason is making decisions based more on his vision than his arm. That's something we couldn't always say about Stafford. In fact, as good a talent as Stafford was and as many games as he won for us, there was always that tendency to make plays with sheer arm strength. That's a trap even the best quarterbacks can't get by with in the SEC.

My hope for Eason is beyond that. Again, it's still early, but I think it's fair to say that we're seeing a young quarterback that sees the field and works through his progressions more and more with each game. Stafford had 10 interceptions his junior year. Eason stands to attempt more passes than Stafford did that season and currently has half as many interceptions.

Now, part of that is coaching. How many throws have you seen Eason make deep and between the hash marks? Most of his deep passes are safer and down the sideline. I think that goes back to what we were hearing during August, that Eason was steps ahead of the experienced guys but not reading things well enough to challenge the heart of the defense. Stafford might have had security clearance for more of the field when he dropped back to pass.

Regardless I think it's not an apt comparison to make and ultimately I hope we are more likely to compare Eason to someone like Murray who lead the team to two SEC Championship Games. Preferably with the win-loss record in Atlanta flipped in Eason's favor.   😎 

Monday, November 14, 2016

What makes a Cajun Ragin'?

Don't tell Kirby, but I'm extending the 24 hour rule before we get real serious about the next opponent because yes indeed I actually do remember Nicholls State oh Lord Jesus can we please have nice things? 

Last night I was reminded that we opened with UL Lafayette in Aaron Murray's first game back in 2010, as well as this tailgate video Nama cooked up...with plenty of Tabasco.

Go Dawgs!