Friday, December 13, 2013

Airing of Grievances - on Coach Richt's polarity

Any and all posts in regards to the state of the Georgia football program (in this space at least) start with one eternal stipulation - program first, always. During off seasons such as the one we're seeping into here, the two poles are almost always Mark Richt fans and Mark Richt haters/detractors. Everyone else (aka, the vast majority) kind of gathers around and chirps in. I'm going to be quite honest with you: those of you that support one guy blindly because he runs the program "the right way" are just as dangerous as those who say the man can't win because he spends Sunday mornings in church.

Frankly, both arguments are lazy and out of focus. With that out of the way, I had a few paragraphs laid out for this, and I may still post that. But I feel a need to be direct and concise at this point rather than overly wordy and assuming. So here are the essential questions I have for both camps.

If you want Richt gone:
  • Why do you trust the guys in Butts-Mehre to make a significant improvement with a hire? What gives you faith in their abilities? What leads you to believe that their commitment to success on the field matches that at the Bookstore registers?
  • Would you be more happy with a national title next season followed by a short/medium/long era of insignificance?
If you're perfectly content:
  • Why? Seriously, why?
  • By your estimation, what does Richt need to do to get his team to the next level of the national picture? Answers can range from just lucky bounces of the ball to larger scale changes in some way.
Feel free to add questions that I may have overlooked. And before I turn it over to you completely, I'll just say that I'm one of the ones that still believes Richt can get us to where everyone wants to be - winning on the national stage. Laugh at me all you want for continuing to live in the past, but he was depressingly close to making everyone content and supremely satisfied last season. But I fall well short of just saying I'm going to support the guy because he's given us 13 years of consecutive bowl games.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Airing of Grievances - Grantham survives

Believe me, I was all for the guy leaving town. Once you dive into the statistics for this season alone it's enough to make your head spin. And I guess there's still a chance that someone flirts enough with him to lure him back to the NFL as an assistant...


The decision to retain Grantham will end up being the best decision for Georgia. I like the guy's intensity and I believe he can turn things around with the talent on the roster. Quite frankly, the idea of another coaching search where we're met with the reality of who we truly need to turn things around versus what we're likely willing to actually spend was enough to change my mind. And then when you get right down to it, Grantham's guys played hard for him down the stretch. That's not something to overlook.

That all being said, one thing that has to improve (and is primarily the reason for my uptick in terms of the direction of the defense) is turnovers. Looking back at Martinez's last season as defensive coordinator, going through all of the epic failures, yards surrendered and points allowed, it was the complete lack of fumbles and interceptions gained that lead to that defensive staff packing boxes before Christmas. In 2008 we had only 16 turnovers in the black. In the final season of the Martinez era we only had 12.

Likewise, much of the reason for Grantham's popularity in his first season was the enormous increase in fumbles covered up and passes intercepted - 26. His defenses followed that up with totals of 32 and 30 the next two seasons. Now we're back down to Willie Martinez levels (much of which can be attributed to the youth this season, especially in the secondary) with only 14 fumbles and picks.

But it's important to note that of those 14 turnovers (six interceptions and eight fumbles), five came in the final two games and nine came in the last half of the season. That small breakdown as well as the fact that the defense will only mature exponentially heading into next season (both in terms of their understanding as well as their familiarity with the speed at this level) lead me to believe that this season we're about to close the book on has tremendous potential to be a weird outlier for Grantham.

Ultimately, the defense played too many snaps and couldn't get off the field at key moments. Getting back into the top ten nationally instead of with the cellar dwellers can go a long ways towards turning that around.

Airing of Grievances - UGA Athletics Apathy

On Saturday Jameis Winston will win the Heisman. Up until a week ago he remained under at least some shroud of controversy. Other programs used the opportunity to tout their own offensive star as an alternative Heisman pick. A program we consider a neighbor even parlayed their halfback's shining championship moment into (at worst) a glamorous trip to New York City this weekend. Meanwhile, we have a guy that dedicated four years to playing in Sanford, collected nearly every SEC quarterback record, and had to literally be dragged off the field in his final home game.

And yet it was some South Carolina sports writer from Charleston that had to beat the drum for Aaron Murray. Embarrassing.

Would Murray have won the award? No. But you know what? Tre Mason is getting a trip to the Downtown Athletic Club and will put Auburn's football program on grand display in primetime. Aaron was in NYC earlier this week collecting yet another National Football Foundation award for UGA. His "vacation" could've been extended a few days. I mean, couldn't we define Murray's career as "outstanding" in its "pursuit of excellence with integrity"? Wouldn't the last couple of weeks have been a great time to blast the media from coast to coast with nuggets and factoids of Aaron's good works in the community as well as stats? Stats such as - against four of the BCS' top teams this season Murray amassed 14 total touchdowns and over 1300 yards passing. Is there anyone else that can boast those kind of numbers?

No. But I'm sure Butts-Mehre was way too busy getting ready for the next tackle football January.

Our complete and total lack of carpe diem when it comes to things like Heisman campaigns (because in all honesty we should have been promoting two candidates starting in June in the very least) and sticking up for the players on the field when officiating and NCAA rules fail them is astounding. We have an eternal take it easy as it comes attitude. Forever willing to accept our lot in life. Hoping for the future while getting kicked in the crotch by any and all comers.

Additionally, go ahead and explain away the rematch with Nebraska in the upcoming Gator Bowl as old Bill Snyder throwing himself a hissy. But also ask why we don't have anyone that can dictate the selection procedure with authority? Who is representing Georgia's best interest? You think Chris Burnette and Artie Lynch came to the University of Georgia wanting their last game, their last trip on the bus with their teammates, to be against a team they played 12 months earlier? Who is going to bat to make sure these players get what's best for them?

I'm only asking because UGA continually promotes our athletic programs as above certain standards and doing things "the Georgia way". Yet it is a mere casual observance to fancy from a SkyBox. A simple play toy to enjoy several times a year instead of a business to run, market and promote.

Embarrassing. Dawg fans deserve better. And the University of Georgia's athletes certainly deserve better.

The "McDantzler"

This just about makes me wanna drive thru and yell an order at that teenager that's feeling a little emo cuz his girlfriend of nearly two months dumped him even though he took her to Longhorn's before Homecoming but yeh he'll make you a sandwich anyway and despite it all.

I've been known to eat some inventive yet suspect foods. If I get my doctor to approve this culinary experience I'll review it.

In the mean time, enjoy yet another exquisite, humorous creation by our own Watts Dantzler.

Two double cheeseburgers, one McChicken,
fries, ranch dressing and buffalo sauce.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Richard Manuel is dead.

Music has always had calming influence on the scattered, covered and smothered thoughts that bounce around my head like three olds that just discovered hot chocolate.

No less than ten times during the last week I've written a post aimed at bridging the gap between the 2013 season of ACL tears and the upcoming winter of waiting. Each time I've deleted it just to start over the next evening. Like many relationships and algorithms and small batch bourbons, it's complicated.

Yet, I'm intent on simplifying it. Despite the fact that doing so likely means not getting my point across completely.

Now, where was I again? Oh yeh, The Band. We can argue about their lasting impact given their series of stops and starts. But there's little doubt in regards to their influence on the music industry. And that is essentially what leads to this post - influence.

When I last deleted said post, I slammed the laptop closed, jammed the earbuds in and hit shuffle. What follows is the best video version there is of the song, one goddamned beautiful song about The Band's influence on one man. Sure, you can find shorter versions. But they don't have this guitar solo or brass section. So press play, and let the night air cool you off.

My only point today is that sometimes finding one true meaning is a pointless act of desperation. As a blogger I got lost in the forest without a single tree in sight. Got to sinking in the place where I once stood. I've let it simmer. Gonna also let it resonate too. Probably tomorrow. Maybe. Most likely.

For now I think I'll crank up The Weight. Take it away Levon!

Fourth Annual Bowl Pool - Festivus4theDawgNus

Hey! You're here! Another Festivus Miracle!    Join Bowl Pool

Welcome, newcomers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! Pick your bowl winners and maybe you'll win this year's Festivus t-shirt. Choose one winner per bowl, no confidence points and the spread is for informational purposes only. Deadline to enter is the start of the first bowl - Dec 21, 2pm.

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

Happy Festivus!
"It has a certain understated stupidity."

What is Festivus? Glad you asked.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Clowney clocked at 110mph

Ticket. No jail. Of course.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says they saw Jadeveon Clowney coming -- perhaps a bit too quickly -- and promptly cited the Gamecocks star defensive end with going 110 MPH in a 70 MPH zone.
Troopers say Clowney was pulled over in a Chrysler 300 around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night on Interstate 77 near mile marker 39.
Officials say he was immediately ticketed, but not arrested in the stop. No word on what kind of fine was issued.
The Highway Patrol says no other citations were issued in the incident.
Given the time of the citation, he was moving almost as fast as Auburn's offense was at the same time.   Wow.

McGarity's spin on the Husker déjà vu

Am I appreciative on any bowl invite? Yes. I'm more than old enough to remember what it feels like to be a Florida fan or a Tennessee fan this time of year.

But if you don't see that getting the same opponent in a bowl two years in a row as an insult at best and a slap in the face at worst, then you need to take the blinders off bud. Our players may be putting on a good face now, but just imagine your disappointment at playing Nebraska again and then multiply it times 20 or so and you'll be approaching what they're truly feeling on the inside.

Personally, I went on my rant had myself a little hissy fit on the twitters last night. But I had almost come to grips with the repeat matchup this morning until I read this:
“It’s in a different venue, it’s a different site,” McGarity said. “I would be more concerned it if were the same city, same site. For our players and staff, they’ve never really spent more than one night, actually never in Jacksonville. It’s always been St. Augustine. Heck, we play teams every year regardless. We play Auburn every year, we play (Georgia) Tech every year. In that case, people have always turned out in great numbers.”
That's grade A spin right there. Just as fast as he can shovel it onto your plate. Maybe you're a person that will eat it up regardless. But to me, all I see is a guy that's trying to sell some tickets after getting backdoored by Slive and the bowls. Again.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New bowl, same huskers

Nebraska? Again? Screw you Outback! Screw you Buffalo Wild Wings!

Someone really dropped the ball here. To make matters worse, I just discovered that Taylor Martinez suffered a season ending injury last month. The only silver lining is that I'm re-following this fake account.

Urban haz a sad...slice.

Nothing like the comfort of being surrounding by friends, family and Papa Johns when life gets you down.

Coming soon - 4th annual bowl pool

Should have the Fourth Annual Festivus4theDawgNus up and ready for your entry by Tuesday. Stay tuned for more info here at the blog as well as on the twitter for how and where to enter, passwords and yada, yada, yada. First we have to see how all the bowls shake out today.

Although I've already heard Florida has accepted their bid to the Inaugural George Costanza Urinal Cake Bowl. Congrats to Coach Boom!

Screw SEC pride

If you're shouting from your couch about SEC pride and "Hell yeh! We got 7 in a row!!"... Sit down and shut up.

How do you live with yourselves pulling for auburn?