Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gameday Anti-Orange Reading

Big game today. Here's some good reads to get you started, in case you missed them.

Enjoy the game today. Give thanks for your deep gene pool. May Barbara forget how to get to Sanford. And Go Dawgs!

Defensive Gamechanger, Apply Within

At some point today, the Dawgs may find themselves at a crossroads...needing a play...desperate for someone to step up and turn the momentum in their direction.

Someone...someone like...Sean Jones.

Georgia has numerous playmakers on defense, in my opinion. It's like they've just been waiting on someone to take the reins and say, "Yeh, I got this."

Here's to the next Dawg to summon their inner Sean Jones and crush the souls of voWels players, as well as leave the inbred fans with their minimal IQs in the palms of their hands.

Spiders on Crack

I really dig YouTube. If my firewall at work didn't catch it in its miserable web of uselessness, I wouldn't stand a chance at avoiding the unemployment line.

So, in case you haven't discovered this gem...wood spiders evidently suffer from the same substance abuses that we do. (h/t Heath)

Poor miserable bastards.

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Bandwagon, No Orange Skirt...Just Glory, Glory

State of the Dawg Nation

So here we are...One win. Four losses. I usually save this annual post for Clean ol' Fashioned Hate Week. But given the sad state of affairs in and around the football program...what time better than the present. I'm pissed, I gotta let it out. Doctor's orders.

It's Gone...might as well get after it Coach.
The losses to Carolina and Arkansas were like punches to the gut. The ones to MSU and Colorado were like swift kicks in the prolate spheroids. Painful. Brutal. No one's happy. Not one Dawg is satisfied with the fixins in their bowl.

For you Coach Richt, the Glory, Glory is gone. Like a freight train. Somewhere between 2005 and Boulder she packed her crap and left town. The decline was gradual, yet noticeable. And although pink slips have been issued, adjustments made within your staff...this season we've taken on the role of pushovers. In the trenches we've been pushed around by the good (SC, Ark), the bad (MSU) and the ugly (CU).

I think I speak for most of my brethren when I say that we don't have the luxury of waiting for more pink slips. I'm not yet ready for the Holiday Season. I am ready however, for football. Real football. The kind of inspired play that leaves fans breathless and desperate for more. Not downtrodden and desperate to go home.

If things have been ugly around town the last couple weeks, a fourth loss in five years to the toothless wonders will send everyone into a tailspin we may not come out of until the calendar turns. I implore you, fix what needs fixin' and kick what needs kickin'. That '59 Cadillac ain't never coming back, but that doesn't mean we have to sell the junkyard.

For the fans, it's time to make a decision. And it boils down to these three options:
  1. Wear your colors proudly Saturday
  2. Wear orange and wait for the bandwagon to pick your sorry ass up again
  3. HillBilly Adam & Eve
  4. or sit at home and wear whatever the hell you want to
Personally, I don't give a damn which you decide to do. I just don't want bellyachers sitting around me while I scream at HillBillys and wait for AJs next highlight. I get sick to my stomach at the sight of urranjah overalls, so having to deal with Dawg fans willing to accept them as comfortable fashion statements is enough to ruin my weekend. Just find another box of Kleenex and pretend you remember way back to 1979...or 1990. Hell, go ahead and sing ol' Rocky Flop til your cold heart's content. Just be sure your dental plan is paid up in full before you start drinking out of lil Dooley's kool-aid sippie.

These are hard times, not meant for the feint of heart or the wannabe purebreds. The fact is we've all become spoiled. And whether you like to admit it or not, Coach Richt has been holding a silver spoon for your lazy mouth. Sure, he's let it get tarnished. Hell, Coach Fabris tried to gouge our eyes out with it while CMR casually turned the other direction. But for some of you eating out of the Mark Richt Era is all you've ever known as a Georgia fan. For the rest of us, the last four games have brought back painful memories.

Been there. Done that. Got the GOFFENSE t-shirt to prove it.

Either way, we all need to get over it. We ARE Georgia. Early October is no time for December's decisions. You think Demarcus Dobbs has the time or luxury to care about such things? No, he and the other seniors are playing for now. Does Keem Dent whine and moan about what needs to happen next year? Go ahead, ask him. Just make sure you ask to borrow his helmet first.

This! This is what I'm talking about.
And while you're wearing that helmet, stop...pause...focus. Think about the difference between you and guys like Shaun Chapas. He wears it with pride. I saw him flip a ragin' buffalo over his head Saturday night to provide King a lane to run through. use it to hide some form of shame. The Dawgs lose and you feel embarrassed. That engiNerd in accounting always gives you hell on Mondays after the Dawgs go down in defeat and after the last four weeks somehow you feel emasculated.

I say sprout a pair or sit down on your sofa next to your wife's throw pillow. There's no room for you in our stadium. The Dawgs lost to a mediocre future PacTen puppy Saturday night and still my 6 year old girl wore her red and black to school Monday. She ain't afraid of no HillBilly and she sure doesn't take any shit from a future level 26 magic user.

Are you disgruntled Dawg? Are you done wallowing in your pile of pity? Ready to rinse off?

Understand, you can't wait until halftime to decide. On Monday Richt sent the players a text telling them their pads would be ready for them at Butts-Mehre. It was 1's versus 1's. Time to tighten the chin strap. And you, you with the pitchforks, the torches and the Fulmer now the least you should be able to do is make a decision on whether you are a part of our sea of red and black, or just another fair weather Dawg sizing up an orange skirt.

With a h/t to Hamp, and Rex...and of course, Col. Nathan R. Jessep...I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to. It's gameday. It's Athens...

Go Dawgs!!

Five Keys, One Mindset

Weiszer has his five keys to a victory up. It wasn't lost on me as I read through them that most of them pertain to the one glaring fault I and many others have of Coach Richt at this point: playing and coaching to manage mistakes rather than playing to win.
There is reason for many to panic in the Bulldog Nation. Georgia has lost four straight games for the first time in 20 years and is trying to avoid its first five-game losing streak in the same season since 1953. Georgia needs some big plays to excite the crowd and to avoid costly penalties and sloppy play to keep the home fans from unloading with boos inside Sanford Stadium. Georgia’s chances to win will be better if the crowd is with them instead of against them.
Kids play better when they're loose, relaxed. Fans cheer better when they see the team has the same fervent desire to unleash hell upon the opponents as they do. All of that starts with the guy who's leading the team onto the field. It's been a good week at practice. It's been a good week for accountability. Let's hope it carries over 'tween the hedges.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Leading Despite Inexperience

He's the one bright spot in an offense that has struggled mightily since Labor Day. Yet he was once considered the unit's only question mark. He trails his charges in semesters of matriculation, but leads them in yardage and GATAttitide.

Ladies and Gentlemen...Aaron Murray.

Murray displaying some awesomeness. (courtesy of ABH)
This piece by Paschall pretty much explains it all. What was once considered to be the Dawgs' weakest link has turned out to be the glue holding Bobo's house of cards upright. Or at least as upright as he can.
The line was considered the team's biggest strength behind Green before the season, but it has been the last offensive area to come around.
"I'd say across the board we just haven't been good enough, " Richt said. "There have been some bright spots. There have been some good things that have happened, but we just haven't done it good enough as a team, so I don't really want to single out the O-line because they're in the same boat as everybody else is in, in my opinion."
 Everybody, it seems, except Murray, whose play has been surprisingly solid.
Coming into the season, my only question about Murray was his health. Meaning, could he endure the rigors of SEC play? Sure, I knew he'd have some growing to do and that we'd have to take some lumps as a result. And honestly, it's more than fair to say he still has some learning ahead of him. However, like the Senator says, his play has been a pleasant surprise

Nearly as surprising as the offense's struggles thus far. If we had been told 5 weeks ago that at this point in the season the Dawgs would stand at 1-4, how many of us would've figured in Aaron Murray as the sole person responsible instead of an All-SEC receiver and a stagnant running game?

Shaken, not Stirred

Coach Searels appears ready to shake things up with his offensive line. Freshman Kenarious Gates opened yesterday's practice at RG with the first team. Weiszer has a rundown of the possible changes.

Freshman Kenarious Gates worked as first-team right guard in practice. Trinton Sturdivant was lined up as the starting left tackle and Clint Boling shifted to right tackle, replacing Josh Davis.
“Did you notice that?,” Richt said when a reporter asked him about Gates. “Why don’t we just tell Tennessee what we’re doing? That’s why I don’t like you guys out there sometimes.”
Richt actually opened practice to the media for an extra 25 minutes on Tuesday.
Asked about now being a backup, Davis said: “No comment.”
Searels has made a reputation in Athens for mixing things up and patching together a line amidst injuries. This would be quite a shake up, especially given the improvement in pass protection. To me this says the offensive staff is tired of not getting yards up the middle. Richt is ready to gain the line of scrimmage back.

So tired, they're even willing to try a true freshman that got his scholly in the 12th hour of signing day. Of course, another good idea would be much less of Carlton Thomas up the middle. If we can get that coupled with some physical run blocking...well, I'll drink to that.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Locker Notes - HillBilly Huddle

The funny thing about the people in urranjah overalls is they use toothbrushes despite the irony. 

Bless their hearts.
  • Kris Durham - Gonna be good to see you back on the field, and in the huddle.
  • Coach Richt - Leading the team out is one step in the right direction. Starting #4 is bigger one.
  • Baccari Rambo - Last year in Knutsville you were one of the few bright spots. Would love to see a pick six 'tween the hedges.
  • Marlon Brown - I hope that you can get after it Saturday, cuz we know how much this one means. 
  • Trinton Sturdivant - Seeing more and more of you. Orange defenders look best planted on the turf. Just sayin'.
  • Brandon Boykin - Your legs = field position. GATA! 
  • Justin Houston - I heard Matt Simms said you couldn't sack a line of groceries. Maybe you two can get together to discuss it Saturday.
Here's a sharpie to catch the ones I missed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Offensive Headaches

First off, I'm on record that if we are to get our first SEC win this Saturday we are going to see more snaps for Caleb King and Kwame Geathers. Secondly, I'm usually not one to dwell on negatives. But the last offensive play of the game Saturday deserves another look...if you haven't already.

The Original Blawger notes that Caleb never really had the ball on that disheartening play. Pretty easy to agree that it wasn't a flea-flicker after watching the video.

There's a lot going on there. Walking away from Folsom I wondered aloud just how in the heck BJ Beatty (who I had warned was their biggest pass rushing and playmaking threat last week) got in the backfield so quick. How could CU's best defender go practically untouched on such a crucial play? I mean, there's never any excuse for laying it on the ground. But in the name of all things Holy, the one thing 9 guys on the field were assigned to do was block!

Looking at it over and over again it seems to me either White should've been checked/checked himself into protecting the line of scrimmage or Josh Davis should've been quicker to cover the rush off that end. We didn't necessarily need a TE blocking downfield there, especially after it was clear pre-snap that the Buffaloes were bringing the run blitz.

I'm not looking to assign blame to anyone, believe me. In truth, it was likely a good conservative play call that suffered from poor recognition pre-snap and a bad exchange. A recipe for disaster; one you might expect from a RS Fr QB, but maybe not necessarily from a veteran o-line and TE. Again, I hate dwelling on the negative. Woulda coulda shoulda and all that. But this one play seems an appropriate microcosm of our offense so far this season. 

Coach Dooley and Mental Health

Coach (Vince) Dooley is venturing into the unknown Saturday. The unknown of having to root for his son (ergo, against the Dawgs) in the very home his UGA paychecks built. For good measure he also weighed in on our 1-4 season thus far.
I'm sure Coach (Mark) Richt is even more surprised than I am. But I've always said each year is a venture into the unknown. You absolutely don't know what's going to happen.
Yeh, like having to erase the cherished memory of your beloved legendary coach being carried off the field on the shoulders of his players and replace it with one of him singing that dreadful song...over and over and over again.

(And yeh...I get that it's his own son. It's hard to pull against your own kids. Believe me, I get that. But it's also hard to picture Dooley using that trademark body english from his den to force a late Blair Walsh field goal attempt wide of the upright.)

Malice in Wonderland

Coaches Richt and Miles entered the season on supposed hot seats. Since, Richt has lost four straight while Miles is off to a tumultuous 5-0 start. Many Dawg fans are understandably upset. Hard to imagine Tiger fans actually have a good (if not better) case for their coach's dismissal.

I mean...where to begin? Taking the hot hand out at quarterback after getting to the goalline...calling an option from inside the 5...not having your team ready to spike the ball when necessary...

Not to mention that this is a scene from a previous Milesian tragedy.
LSU had been favored by two TDs, and not only needed a do-over to pull out a victory, they nearly lost in the same infamous way they did at Mississippi in 2009. That game ended with LSU recovering an onside kick and getting into Ole Miss territory with plenty of time to get into winning field goal range, only to lose yards, waste crucial seconds getting plays called, complete a desperation pass to the Ole Miss 5 with 1 second left and then fail to get off one last play.
How many deals with the devil can one man make? The Mad Hatter is on borrowed time in Baton Rouge. But I'm not betting against him wiggling his way outta this mess again this season. But Lester's own left tackle Joseph Barksdale summarizes things best:
As for Miles' odd manner, Barksdale smiled as he reflected on the victory over Tennessee and said, "If I'm not mistaken, at the end of the latest 'Alice in Wonderland' movie, the Mad Hatter did his job and things ended well. So let's hope that keeps up." 
 Les Miles...keeping hope alive.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday's Meatloaf - From Folsom With Hate hear that? That's a deep breath full of oxygen. It's nice to be back at or reasonably near sea level, where we use trees for paper, gasoline for fuel and bikes for garage sale fodder.

Although the trip out west would eventually end in anger and despair, on the way out to Boulder Friday I couldn't help but feel a little sad. These are trips I really look forward to taking with the Dawgs. I enjoy seeing other stadiums in other cities. I like meeting other fans, both ones who wear red and black as well as other opposing colors. Other than Louisville in 2012, this would stand as the final call for travel Dawgs to venture into out of conference territories.

Don't get me wrong, I am damn glad Georgia got Greg McGarity to come home. I trust him to do what he feels is best for UGA Athletics as a whole. It's hard to argue against his experience. But it's still gonna be hard to let go of boarding a plane and seeing those silver britches under someone else's lights.

And you better believe I'm not the only one. Everywhere I went this weekend we spoke with business owners who only saw two colors, red...and green. The buffalo student section may have treated us rudely, but the Boulder area hotels, restaurant and bar owners couldn't get over how vast the sea of red was and how much money it was willing to spill onto Pearl Street.

And given the 1-4 start here, right now it's hard to envision comforting bowl destinations.

Today's Ingredients
  • I can't help but wonder, will little Rodney Stewart be SEC PotW?
  • Over at BI, Murray Poole rewinds Colorado.
  • Evaluating AJs return is bittersweet. Fletcher pens some truth in that as Green goes so does Bobo's hopes the offense. But perhaps Doug illustrates it best.
  • A wise man once said after his hiring, They've gone out on a limb, there's no doubt about it. Given that this is the worst start since that man's 1990 season, PWD looks at some lessons we Coach Richt can take from Goff's lackluster tenure.
  • ecdawg finds a picture is worth 53000 words. 
  • Meanwhile, Kit is simply broken.
  • Running into Exile on the bourbon aisle at the Boulder LiquorMart on Saturday morning is about as ironic as a 5'7" 175 lb back not being able to run up the middle. Yet I digress...the man from the cornfield weighs in with the good, bad and ugly.
  • Another DamnGoodDawg, Big Muddy Dawg offers his thoughts as well over at Year of the Dawg.
  • Martin Van Dawgin points out just how bad the CU Athletics program (and specifically football) is here in October 2010. And yet we lose.
  • As I was standing in the ridiculously long line at halftime (does Folsom have only one restroom...??) I overheard a CU alum describing just how bad the situation is in Boulder. Bad coach with a worthless AD, recipe for disaster. Of course, the Dawg fan he was talking to just had to bring up RedPantyGate. YOU BEEN TRUMP'D BUFFy!!!1
  • The Senator makes a compelling case for the impact of new assistant coaches.
  • Looking forward, Weiszer explains that the voWels are just as heartbroken. Saturday's gonna come down to who shows theirs the most.
  • Kim tells us everything we need to know about lil' Dooley's HillBillys.
  • Rex's prediction on the FU/Bama game was WAY off, but his analysis of floriDuh's kicking situation could spell trouble for the vile reptiles.
  •  Lastly, if I'd known this was a major at Duke I woulda taken my SATs more seriously. (h/t Arapahoe Tailgate Nation)
Oh Boulder, how I'll miss you. Some special shout-outs to Bop! Pizza for their organic pies. Yes, that's Bop, as in Boulder Organic Pizza. I laughed at the name too, until I had finished devouring a couple slices. Also to Juanitas for the worst margarita in North America (sidenote: Boulderians evidently refer to them affectionately as margs. Perhaps a better name would be lime flavored dishwater). Seriously, these people couldn't make an acceptable version of this Mexican cocktail if you spotted them a fifth of Patron, two limes and a senorita with a shaker. A straw poll of Georgians who were in the area over the weekend confirms this.

Looking back, I guess I shoulda known it was going to go downhill quickly Saturday after a rousing game of drunken H-O-R-S-E with Travis, who didn't let his lack of a mortgage payment get in the way of his strangely accurate jump shot. Maybe I'll start drinking my Natty Ice tall boys from a paper bag.

But perhaps BulldogJosh illustrates in one picture what a visit to Boulder is like. These folks take their tree hugging and recycling to levels that make Al Gore blush. Allow 20,000 students to say the F word to visitors wearing red is quite acceptable. But nudge a bike rider on Arapahoe Ave in your rented Suburban...or put your recyclable plate anywhere but in the compost pile and you're suddenly being read your Miranda Rights.

But it does have it's highlights, being in Boulder CO. For the first time I drank bourbon out of a biodegradable plastic cup (evidently made from corn). I also had several solicitations to contribute monetarily to marijuana research. I applaud college students who take science seriously. And I was taunted post-game by a denizen who sleeps in a cardboard flat adjacent to a creek bed. 

No, it wasn't Travis. But it may have been Mork and Mindy's lovechild. Bastard.

Sorry the meatloaf was late for breakfast Reader. It just took a little longer to cook the hate off. Now go on and get outta here. Unless you wanna help unpack.


Scenes From Boulder, part two

Getting from section 102 to 108 is ironically kinda like trying to get to the Georgia section at Historic Mark Richt Field when you come in the wrong gate. They "herd" everyone through an old gymnasium. What ensued was a lot of Who's That Comin'...

Aaron Murray warming up.

Ralphie's Run

Pregame warmups
- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone

Scenes From Boulder, part one

Meatloaf's still cooking. So it'll be up later. In the mean time, here some pics and videos from the weekend.

Outside of Boulder

The infamous Pearl St.

A shot from the CU pep rally, Ralphie's Stampede. They do this at the north end of Pearl St the Friday before each home game

- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday's Mile Low Thoughts

I'll make this quick, for my sanity and yours. And so I don't miss my flight outta this place.

- First and foremost (and at the risk of sounding like a sore loser), Colorado fans are among the worst. The "F... You Georgia" cheer highlighted their classlessness I think.
- Talked to so many nice people around Boulder leading up to the game. My experience at Folsom flushes everything nice I have to say.
- We're as bad in the Rocky Mtn air as we are at sea level.
- Caleb's fumble is one of many things that cost us the game. But there's no question in my mind that he should be the starter. In fact, I'll go so far as to type that if he gets half of Thomas' carries...we win that game.
- And I'll continue to plug Kwame Geathers for more snaps as well. After becoming mysteriously missing in Starkville, he played alot and played well.
- However, the Dawgs' front continuously allowed Hansen to escape the pocket and move the chains. And that was brutal, time and time again.
- We did the CU offense plenty of favors with the roughing the kicker and other brainless teasers, but they used the run to set up the pass well. There are plenty of Hawkins' decisions that didn't make sense to me, but he had a solid gameplan.
- And in the end his buffs executed better than our Dawgs. Ouch!
- And what can you say about AJ? Except that we couldn't pump the fluids into his veins fast enough.
- At least we got to see Knowshon on the sideline. Although I was hoping he'd suit up for my fantasy team today. If not for the Dawgs last night.

So here we are. We've let two good teams slip through our grasp. And we've given two bad teams season defining wins. Like I said last week, strap your chin strap on tight. It's gonna be tough.