Saturday, December 8, 2012

Alternatives to the Heisman ceremony

Tonight the Heisman Award will be given to the year's least undeserving player. Don't kid yourselves, this award has been irrelevant for decades. Herschel couldn't win the thing during his freshman season so it has lost a large measure of validity every year since, with an exception in 1982.

So tonight, here's some things you can do instead of watching Herbstriet gush over   (insert quarterback's name here)   or some Tom Rinaldi story designed to make you cry over that kid that plays defense with the Japanese restaurant's name on his jersey. Choose carefully, and bonus points if you manage to fit in all of them:
I was so Lochte before Ryan was so Lochte.
  • cut your toenails
  • watch a movie with Matthew McConaGay in it
  • pretend to be helping your wife with mailing all those Christmas Cards until she realizes you're (completely unintentionally...) sticking the address labels upside down
  • read a book
  • troll Abuurn fans, at least the ones that have internet dial up
  • introduce your lady friend to the musical stylings of Mr. Barry White
  • eat a bowl of cereal at 8pm just for the hell of it
  • call your mom and tell her you just ate a bowl of cereal at 8pm
  • go around your block with a cup of hot chocolate and sing carols door to door until that creepy jewish lady calls the cops because you won't stop screaming the lyrics to Sandler's Hanukkah Song and get off her lawn
  • read every post I've ever written after google translating them all into swedish
  • learn to read swedish
  • invite yourself over to a neighbor's house and turn all of their pictures upside down when he goes to get you a beer(s)
  • catch a Greyhound bus Watts Dantzler style to each Heisman finalist's hometown and spray paint on the welcome sign - Manti/Johnny/Collin wears JARVIS JONES pajamas!!!" 
  • make pudding
  • spend all afternoon gathering up every 2012 election yard sign you can find and then erect them all in the neighborhood nazi's* yard
  • buy a ticket for the 2012 Sun Bowl and then call to return it because you "didn't realize Georgia Tech was playing in it...again."
Add your own in the comments.

Or if you've already done all that, grab a couple fingers of bourbon and join me out on the deck. We can compare the depths of our misery from one week before. That might sound like an awful way to spend a Saturday night, but it beats the hell out of watching a fake award show.

*This is usually the president of the HOA.

Friday, December 7, 2012

What might have been

Just like y'all, still working my way through this.

I've been thinking this week about signature plays. Ones that not only help define a game but also put that player(s) on the Shelf of Legends at Butts-Mehre. The best example to get where I'm coming from is - would you remember Verron Haynes so easily without the Hobnail Boot play? Sure, he later rushed his tail off against Ole Miss when we absolutely had to have him at tailback, but it was because of that play in Knoxville that he's so easily recognizable, mostly due to the importance of the win.

Others that came to me in a rush: Fred Gibson's finger tip catch on the hard slant route in Jacksonville 2004, Michael Johnson's catch on the Plains to send Georgia to the SECCG for the first time, Tra Battle on the Plains as well in 2006, and of course Pollack's circus interception in Columbia 2002.

So here's where it gets hard for me. And I have yet to watch the replay of it; I'm only going by the raw footage in my brain that continually torments me. So I will probably miss a play or two. But there are so many guys on this year's roster that were so incredibly close to achieving that "status" in last week's SEC Championship game.
Mike Ehrmann
For instance, the first one that comes to mind is Tavarres King's catch on the last drive where he knew two things going in: 1) he was going to get nailed, and 2) he HAD to catch it. And he did. It was heroic and as full of courage as it was skill. For all I know T King will have another incredible day January 1st, 2013 in Orlando like he did on the first day of 2012 in Tampa. But for me, that catch in the Georgia Dome will be the cherry on top of an incredible career wearing the "G".

And of course there are others. Washington blocking the field goal that Tree returned for a touchdown really helped carry us later in the game; it was a confident shot in the arm. Gurley carrying Bama defenders that were draped all over him was a highlight to his award winning season.

Aaron Murray...just pick a throw, damn. I mean the guy was one lousy tipped pass away from immortalizing himself as one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in Georgia Bulldog history. It's one thing to have records, it's quite another to have a game winning play on the biggest of stages. And damnit if Aaron Murray didn't deserve just that. Every shot he took, he just kept getting up and making even bigger throws.

Don't get me wrong, the fact that Alabama ended up winning the game doesn't diminish these guys' careers in Athens. Not one bit. They're all damn good Dawgs, every single player on that sideline this season.

It's just the what might have been that haunts us. As that final second drained from the clock my eyes turned to Murray and I was reminded that my pain and my hurt was but a fraction of what he was feeling. I saw Chris Burnette walking slowly in disbelief towards the locker room and Kenarious Gates doubled over near the goal line. They had proven themselves as champions, and still...STILL were left to wonder, what might have been.

"I mean, it's life man."

Perhaps you've already read this, but I just found it last night (h/t @RMeaders). It's about as good a description as you can find of the emotion in the Georgia Dome Saturday night, both in the stands and behind the scenes as Coach Richt met Kathryn after the confetti was being swept up. I'm not going to even paste a portion of Tomlinson's words to tempt you. Just follow the link when you have a few extra moments. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When HillBillys fail...

...hard. Like, harder than usual.

Lulu and Junior, the HillBilly Adam and Eve, have to be getting as restless as the coon stew rumbling around in their belly. Because the line is getting long.

Have you #TurnedDownTennessee today?

Reckon we should not a eaten The Forbidden Fatback Lulu?

Foster recruiting for Trooper?

What's the world coming to when a high school football recruit is lobbying for his benefactor a school's top recruiter to keep his job...or step up to a better one? Seriously, this Reuben Foster kid has lost his damn mind. And it ain't even his fault I'm sure, he's been fed so much bullshit over the years it has to become damn near impossible to tell which is up and which is down.

But son, Taylor's name is lower than Spurrier's around Athens. And it ain't even close. Did you even see this game as your "father figure" celebrated the cheap shots to our quarterback? There is a line 20 miles long at UGA waiting to hate Trooper Taylor just a little more.

And Coach Richt is at the front.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Third Annual Bowl Pool - Festivus4theDawgNus

You're on strike from H&H Bagels. You find tinsel distracting. Or maybe you just got out of the schvitz and the lighting is bad on the porch. Regardless, Festivus is your heritage George! It's part of who you are.

So join in the fun again this year as we spend over three weeks and 35 bowl games to determine who picked them best. This year you'll walk away with a stylish t-shirt if you win. So follow the link to join and pick carefully.

PASSWORD = thehumanfund

What is Festivus? Glad you asked.

C-Wash - Dawgs' "premier motivator"

This is a lengthy read that mostly centers on Cornelius Washington's reaction to fans this summer after Crowell's dismissal, but it does a good job of capturing who #83 is, on and off the field.
"He's the most vocal guy we have out there," Robinson said. "He's not just somebody that breaks it down, he's somebody you respect. When he says something, people listen. He's been that guy for us for a while. That's one thing in the past two seasons — we've had great guys like that, him and Ben Jones, guys that weren't afraid to speak to the team and say what's on their minds and keep us together when things aren't going well."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Coach Mark Richt - Might AND Right

For thirty years we had been waiting on a game such as the one with the weight and magnitude of Saturday night. For a moment we could feel the thrill of victory within our grasp, and all of the glory and glamour that would come with it; only to get hosed down by a flood of agony. The surges in the highs and the depths of the lows were as dramatic as they were fitful. It took every beat of our hearts just to withstand the experience.

The 1993 timeout game in Jacksonville was nothing. The Jasper was down game on the Flats was a dance in the park comparatively speaking. Nowhere in any nook nor cranny of the inner recesses of my Bulldog mind can I find a time that will haunt me nearly as much as Saturday night's loss will. To be so close you can taste the champagne roll over your tongue and ease down your throat, only to turn to the scoreboard and watch helplessly as the last few seconds drained from the clock.

Sheer, horrible and raw agony.

via Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images
They say misery loves company and she sure had a chair open for each of us as soon as the confetti started to descend. So while I sat there in her chair the last few days, I found more questions still than answers. And while what few answers there are provide little to no relief, it's a process we must work through.
  • To go back and forth on whether it was right to spike the ball or not is useless. I can see fans getting upset if the communication had delayed the play on the field. But Murray and the sideline were on the same page. True, there was some delay in getting everyone set, but the plan was decisive and the reasoning afterwards was about all I needed to hear. Bottom line, they were comfortable with the no huddle and had plenty of time to score. Fate however had a different design.
  • We should take no comfort in the fact that we were right - the line of scrimmage would decide the outcome. Bama's offensive line was monstrous and we had no answer. But we can take comfort that our offensive advantage at specific skill positions - quarterback, running back, and wide receiver most notably - nearly made up for it and proved us wrong.
  • The salt in the wound is walking away from that game knowing we won't finish where we should. In essence, we're penalized for winning the WLOCP and flushed down by both the "objective" computer polls and the subjective human ones to a position that is both an insult to the team that proved themselves worthy of something better and the game as a whole for being such a classic.
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White was one of my favorite books growing up and there is an ongoing debate in it about "Right vs. Might". Does what is mighty determine what is right? Does what is right eventually prevail? The post-game presser ending proved that Richt is both mightier than some voice and right for defending those who had just given their all for their team and their coach.
  • And to take it further, this game was more than a determinant for Notre Dame's BCS opponent. Alabama is might personified in college football. They are the massive measuring stick that all others attempt to rise to. Georgia needed to prove to national fans, the media and its own following that it could compete at this high of a level. In the end, time expired on Georgia. But even in losing the game, the Dawgs proved that they can indeed play with anybody in the nation.
All of which brings us to a new crossroads. Where do we go from here? And no, we're not talking about Orlando of course. Are we hungry enough to convert those third downs next time? Can we make the adjustments to slow down an offense like the Crimson Tide's? Most importantly, will 'Ol Lady Luck smile on us when the outcome is teetering in the balance?

Time will eventually tell, but I think Coach Richt walked away from the Dome even hungrier. You can't coach in a game of that magnitude, get that close to winning the damn thing and lose your fire. He can get us to where we dream of going. He's proved that to me, you and most importantly to his players. When that happens the loss Saturday will finally be worth the agony it produced inside of us. That doesn't make today or tomorrow any easier and it doesn't make my tortured sleep in the meantime any less fretful. But I've never been any prouder as a University of Georgia alumnus than I am right now. 

And that is as silver of a lining as I've ever known.

Hotline redux - Greene fires back at the "king"

It was water under the bridge as far as I was concerned. And I've been told an apology has been issued over the airwaves. Whatevs. But you knew regardless that the post game presser would come up at least once on the weekly call in show. And even Coach Richt's absence wasn't enough to keep the issue down for long.
Mitchell in Baxley thanks Coach Richt and says the players are champions in his book. Challenges the underclassmen to come back and finish the job. Also says the reporter who asked the question (about not winning the big games), if he asked him the question he’d be picking up his teeth. Greene says it’s a shame that in this day and time it’s cool to be disrespectful and people feel they can say whatever they want; that they have the right to question Coach Richt and Aaron Murray on why they can’t win the big game. If he were Coach Richt he would put it back on him as the “analyst” to break it down. Anyone who understands football and has played football can understand that it’s more than one guy that determines the outcome of the football game. No question the quarterback has a big part in that. But if you watched that football game (Saturday night) then you know that it was not won or lost solely because of Aaron Murray. Twenty years ago no one asked questions like that and nowadays people feel entitled to answers, feel like they can say whatever they want. Says maybe he’s more “old school”. Thinks Coach Richt handled it about as well as he possibly could given that situation. People don’t realize in January at 5am these guys are getting up just to get the opportunity to play on Saturdays in the Fall. Nothing is given to them. They’re not even guaranteed to win a game. They’re getting up, putting in time and working out just to get to run out and play for Georgia. To go out and put your heart and soul on the field, play as hard as you can against a very good opponent just to have someone come out and say “Well, it’s never good enough.” One of the messages he gives to the young people he talks to is to tune that out because there are people everywhere that are telling you you’re not good enough. You just have to play within yourself and keep going. Apologizes for getting on his “soapbox” a little bit. Scott says that’s alright.
This lengthy response by David Greene adds an extra layer of intrigue because Oliver was employed at South Gwinnett when Greene was in high school. That's not to say the two are close. In fact it appears Greene is distancing himself without even mentioning any connection or even Oliver's name.

Anyway, glad the douchebag eventually owned up to his shortsightedness. Although I'm sure the producers there are appreciative of the ratings boost.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday's Meatloaf - a local cougar brings Festivus Miracle!

Festivus has begun. I wasn't completely sure until I saw so many grievances being aired last night during the utter bullshit BCS show. I had come to accept the fact that we would be left out in the cold long before, but when I saw the matchups I really wanted to rain blows upon someone.

But I sense that we really need to move forward y'all. So this post is designed to be light, if not mildly entertaining and high in good things like sodium, random acts of curbside kindness and some trans fats. With all that being said...I don't like to brag, but...

Hot pickles, sexy sammich
When you have a birthday AND get your order in the Chick-Fil-A drive thru paid for by a hot cougar nice lady who has a clear, unobstructed rearview mirror, know you're living right. Truthfully, I guess it's possible my mysterious lunch time "fan" was impressed as much by my Georgia vanity plate as my easy-on-the-eyes demeanor. After all, it was SEC Championship week and she couldn't have been a Tech grad, being a female and all. But hey, who're we kidding. The good Lord has blessed me with a lot more than a functioning keyboard and Blogger login credentials if you know what I mean.

And the dude at the window with the headset was just as taken aback as I was. Each time I insisted on paying him for my meal he just shook his head and said "She wants to provide you with a meal that's just as hot and made to order as you are."..."The lady in front of you already paid for your lunch sir."

What do you do at that point? Catch up to her car, force her to roll down the window and throw a wadded up $5 bill at her? Hire a private eye to check her license plate for any prior unsolicited acts of kindness? Get back in line so that you can pay it forward to that creepy guy in the royal blue Miata?

No, I just honked, waved and rushed home to tell the wife what had happened. After all, she needs to be reminded of the treasure that she has in her husband. I just wish I had ordered that peppermint chocolate chip milkshake. Mrs. Bernie loves those things.
    Today's Ingredients
    - So...did anyone have any more questions for Coach Richt?
    - If you missed it earlier, the Huskers are already spitting kernels at us.
    - Over at The Grit Tree Lugnut is working through the stages of disappointment like the rest of us.
    - Nice to see Georgia fans aren't the only ones supporting Richt in defending his players.
    - And if you're looking for a few rational thoughts on the "non-spike controversy", Chris Brown's write up is as thorough as they come.
    - Surprisingly, Spurrier chimes in from his usual December armchair and disagrees with Richt.
    - Groo has no regrets. But he does have a video of the team returning to hundreds of gracious students.
    - The Lady Dawgs disposed of Tech on the hardwood yesterday.
    - Have you "liked" the Herschel's Famous 34 Pub and Grill's BookFace page yet? If not, I urge you not to piss him off.
    - Whoa. LA Tech thought there was a limo outside when they left the Independence Bowl at the alter.
    - In the latest Curious Index, Run Home Jack might have an explanation for Bielema's recent weight gain.
    - Lastly, isn't it about time the SEC seriously considered just seceding from the NCAA altogether? At least in football? Some of you lawyers out there need to work up a petition or something. That game in the Dome WAS the national championship game. At least in my mind.

    So it's time to get the pole out of the crawl space. Festivus4theDawgNus is currently being prepped for its third annual run. AND THIS YEAR THERE'S AN ACTUAL PRIZE!!! No "fake donuts" this time around. Winner gets a bonafide Festivus t-shirt shipped right to your door. All you have to do is outscore everyone else at the table. More details will be forthcoming on Wednesday. For now, consider these rules carefully:

    • watching every bowl game is neither necessary nor encouraged
    • no bonus points can be awarded showing Mark May your feats of strength
    • t-shirt does not come in Charlie Weis' size, which gives this pool a decided schematic advantage
    • be careful with the lighting on the porch
    • a perfect score for all 837 bowl games gets your name in the Bernie's Dawg Blawg banner for a whole week as well as a replica of Kruger's flask
    • tinsel is strictly prohibited
    So come back in a couple days and we'll kick this thing off in earnest. The bowls may be loaded with stale, distasteful matchups but that doesn't mean we can't make the most of them.

    Have a great week Reader. And if you're behind me at Chick-Fil-A one day soon and find the super awesome blogger in the car in front of you paid for you to Eat Mor Chikin, don't read too much into it.


    A "corn cob worst of the week"...??

    Boy, doesn't take long for the Huskers to start with the trash talk. We've already made a ballot for worst of the week.


    This nomination came in before the Nebraska game, so we're obliged to include it. You've got the ball at the eight yard line with 15 seconds left. Clock is running and no timeouts. Most teams would spike the ball. Not the Bulldogs. They throw a pass in the flat that gets tipped and caught at the five. over. You have two options in that situation: throw it into the endzone or throw it incomplete. Yeah, the ball was tipped, but would it have made the end zone otherwise?
    Okay...yeh, it wasn't thrown in the flat. It was directed there though, so I give Husker Mike a half point for creativity. And to his credit, most of the nominations for "cob of the week" stem from their epic fail against Wisconsin. But seriously, Georgia was mere yards away from going at least another year before even remembering what conference Nebraska was in. Luckily, at the time of this posting, the Bulldogs had yet to receive a vote.

    Whew. See y'all in Orlando.

    Husker meets Hunker in the CapOne

    Goddamn BCS. Making me agree with Nicolai Saban of all people.

    So...we're heading to Orlando on New Year's Day and playing Nebraska. You can grab your tickets here...or somewhere else I'm sure. It's not like Nebraska fans can find the state of Florida without Tommy Frazier anyway. And you'll pay just $17 more than Wisconsin scored on them the other night.

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    Sunday's thoughts on the 5 yard hole in my heart

    I can't put into words how deeply disappointed I am, any more than I can imagine how deeply disappointed the team is. It's going to be hard to trudge along today. But hopefully some good news comes later on. We'll see.

    Pain. Heartbreak. Agony. (via AJC Compton)
    - There will be a ton of hand wringing and second guessing over the way the game ended and the management of the clock. That's understood. But make no mistake about it, this game was won by Bama's offensive line. They created holes in the defense all night. Lacy went for 180, Yeldon nearly matched that. They were even better than advertised and did all of that against the best defensive line they've played against.
    - I'll tell you honestly one big difference I saw in this team as opposed to the last Georgia team to play Alabama: when we went up 21-10 after Tree's touchdown, the team maintained their business like composure. Were they just as electrified as the crowd when the kick was blocked? Sure. But there was no dancing around and celebrating and towel waving afterwards. The crowd may not have realized that Bama was no where near done, but the team understood that the game was far from over. As I watched the sideline I couldn't help but be impressed by their focus.
    - I'd also like to commend the crowd on the energy and noise level. My ears were ringing as I left. Both sides really helped create an atmosphere that was one of the most electric and exciting I've ever witnessed.
    - And in many ways that matched the play on the field. This was an epic game. The absolute two best teams in America battling toe to toe with EVERYTHING on the line. That makes the result that much harder to swallow, but the experience of being there is something I'll never forget.

    As much as I'd really like to forget it right now. I'm really hoping the Cotton Bowl does the right thing and takes us as their SEC team. I think they'd be pleasantly surprised by the Georgia turnout. As much as the team has earned the opportunity to play in a BCS game, that's just not going to happen. A trip to Texas and a chance to play in Jerryworld would be a good reward for a team that will be left out in the cold.

    And after last night, there's absolutely no way I'd miss a chance to cheer this team on again. No. Way.

    Coach Richt confronts the "king"

    UPDATE: just as lovely as Coach Richt defending his players is his disposal of the gatorade bottles before the presser began. I think Driskel just fumbled again.
    - - - - - - - - 

    You should watch the whole thing, but in the very least fast forward to around 13:50 where the 680 the fan asshat Chuck Oliver, self described "king" of college football, makes a fool of himself. And then Richt returns to the microphone after leaving to stand up for his team and his quarterback just a little more.
    (post edit - original video was evidently taken down. But this one shows everything you need to see/hear.)

    If you listen to his show, I have no idea why. But if you tune in Monday, just remember that you just helped him improve his ratings, and thereby supported his question to Coach Richt.

    I guess what I'm asking you to do is, especially in times like these, support your team. Not dipshit radio jocks.