Saturday, December 17, 2016

Last chance, losers!

Bowl season starts today. So as of the moment this post publishes, you have a scant few hours to join the bowl pool, make your picks, and resign yourself to a big chair in front of a big screen for the next few weeks.

In other words, it's the greatest most excellent time of the year! A Festivus for the rest of us!


And the password is "JazzHands". Now, let's begin with the Airing of Grievances...


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Staying home.

Jazz Hands if you wanna celebrate!

Maybe not a huge surprise, but still BIG news for sure.

Go Dawgs y'all!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Reminder: suits are paid for their analysis

Mel Kiper says Chubb and Michel should stay put.
"I don't think Chubb or Michel has maximized his grade yet, and another year might allow that to happen," Kiper said this week on a conference call. "This year did not allow it to happen, so if you're happy being a third-, fourth- or fifth-round pick, you come out. If you want to try and help your stock, you go back for another year."
Musics to my ears! But also bad advice. 

I have no idea what Sony and Nick will decide. Seems a no brainer for Chubb. Despite what some analysts might say I think he's proven to be a more than capable three down back. That's what NFL scouts want to see is a running back that can not only make yards on the ground, but also hold his own in the pocket and transform himself into a receiver when necessary.

But Chubb is also the kind of person that doesn't always succumb to conventional wisdom.

Sony could also become a three down type of back for the NFL. He can certainly pick up blitzes and can be both a receiver from the backfield or the split out wide as well. But he has more to gain from returning if you ask me.

However, I would advise both to leave and start preparing for the combine and Pro Day. Kiper is right that running backs should want to be taken in the top two rounds. But there's also no other position in football that has a shorter shelf life.

If either Chubb or Michel want to make a living playing this game that they're both so talented at, they should start sooner rather than later.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Annual Bowl Pool - Festivus is back!

In the long storied history of the blog's annual bowl pool, I've never won. Maybe the seventh time is a charm.

Regardless, we're getting the pole out of the crawl space and meeting at the Costanza's for dinner after the Airing of Grievances. Click the link and the password is "JazzHands". Then simply create your entry and join Kramer on The Strike line.


For you noobs...a historical catch you up. Please make your checks out to The Human Fund.



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!"
"I DON'T GIVE A SHIT I WANT MORE!!"
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

Hope.

I was prepared to have even more of it when the fourth quarter began last Saturday. The odds seemed in our favorhttps://www.topauscasinos.com.au/online-pokies/ . 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.
VIA

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. Best online casinos Johannesburg.

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.

Win.


More.
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!



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Thoughts on beating Auburn, again

What a night. What a game!

My feelings driving in yesterday were that I was much more worried about containing their defensive line than I was the vaunted Auburn rushing attack. We have defensive players and coaches that have beaten that thing before. Plenty of times.

Which brings me to the player of the game. I can't explain why they came out in the second half slinging the ball, but it sure was nice to see Mo Smith make the play of the game. He was surprised as anyone to see the ball come his way, but took the opportunity and made a helluva play. Needless to say, without that we're probably gnashing our teeth a lot more over the offense's inability to score.

But the offensive gameplan I thought was solid. Sure, Chaney got too cute in the red zone, but in a game of field position (especially in the second half) he was able to slow Auburn's pass rush down by spreading the field and was able to get precious yards on the ground utilizing Sony and Chubb the way we've been waiting to see them used all season.

Speaking of field position, a couple of good Ramsey punts and kicking that sucker into the endzone on kickoffs gave the defense just what they needed: an uncomfortable and frustrated Auburn offense that never could produce a big play.

And kudos to the crowd too. In a season that has seen some ups and plenty of downs, they brought the fire and passion. Truly a great win for all involved. Go Dawgs!

YouTube Video


Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembering Bill Stanfill

Bill Stanfill has passed.

There's a reason I have that man on this site's masthead. He was relentless in his pursuit. He gave his all on the field of Glory.

Stanfill was all-SEC, all-America, all-World. Hell, he's most of the reason Spurrier hates Georgia so much.

If any of Kirby's defenders have half the heart of Bill Stanfill tomorrow night, they'll eat the heart out of an auburn player, spit it out on the sideline, and then raise their hand to go back into the game for more.

No doubt Erk has a seat ready for 77 in our Maker's Kingdom. But I doubt ol' Stanfill will rest there long before finding another fight to take a part in. He was a damn good Dawg. And despite the fact that I'm just slightly too young to fully appreciate his work tween the hedges, he'll be firmly on my mind as I find my seat tomorrow afternoon.

Go Dawgs!


the Friday Misery has all precincts reporting as hating abuurn

So you’ve had a bad week. You’re ambivalent. You’re downright agnostic. You can’t even seem to get out of bed and you sure haven’t even seen the television remote since your mom left town on Monday to visit Aunt Sara down in Lagrange.

Trump?

No. Shut the hell up. I’m not talking about no damn election. This is football son. It’s actual serious bidness. It’s not decided by no electoral college and it sure don’t have no hanging chads.

I’m talking about you...yes, you there with the Auburn tickets that’ve been on stubhub since mid-October. You with the four day old mustard stain on your chin. You the “fan” who was not so quietly hoping for a loss in the bluegrass so you could somehow and in some goddamn way justify selling those seats even to an auburn “grad” since they haven’t moved off of your outrageous initial asking price.

You need a bath and some smelling salts. That, or maybe just an enema. However, I’ve got work to do and I couldn’t really take the time to give a damn. So…


I was wrong.
Once, way back in August before I knew that blocking on the offensive line could be so offensive and actually downright optional, I opined that this Saturday’s contest and renewal of the Deep South’s oldest rivalry could be the Gus Bus’s last stop on the Official WarTiglesmen’s sweater vest tour.

I can’t remember if I was drunk or just that goddamn stupid, but looking back I know that I was wrong.
Auburn comes to town possibly in their own desperate straits. Unless Coach Malzahn still has some magic up his sleeve, the War Plainsmen could be fighting for bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, Smart’s Dawgs are ready to enjoy a three-game homestand to finish the regular season and maybe help Chubb get over the 2000 yard mark.”

Haha. So stupid. “Siri, what is 2000 yards rushing?” …   …..     …   …. “Bernie, are you still a Georgia fan?”
"Hey! (clapclapclap) Hey siri. Hey. We're in the real for real
CFB rankings. (clapclapclap) Hey! (clapclapclap)"

Shuddup. Of course I am.

I did get closer to the mark later in that post though…
“It will be interesting to see how this young team finishes under its new coach. It’s hard not to expect a bad showing at this part of the season. Which is why I’m glad we get Auburn at home. Hopefully it’s a night game and Sanford provides some pep in the team’s step.
I think the key to beating the Tigers will be how much our linebackers develop in the first nine games and how well our secondary can tackle. A big game from players like Bellamy and Carter and a healthy ground attack could give us our seventh win of the season.”
(Okay, so maybe it would just be our sixth win. Sue me or just ask for your money back at the end of this post.)

You’re welcome. The main point is that I was really wrong but I still hate Auburn. That hasn’t changed and it won’t. Not as long as there are sheep that they will bed down with and bagmen that they’ll meet on a darkened corner against a backdrop of toilet paper drifting amongst the tree limbs.

So romantic. Dumbasses.

HOLD ONTO THE BALL!
That's the wife's rallying cry. It comes when there is either a sense of urgency or a sense of importance. Actually, usually both.

Chubb breaks into the secondary...HOLD ONTO THE BALL! When Sony rounds the corner on a sweep...HOLD ONTO THE BALL! When Sanders intercepts a pass and begins a run back...HOLD ONTO THE BALL DAMMIT!!

She's a superstitious soul and calling out the obvious is both necessary and vital to our survival.

But tomorrow it takes on an even deeper meaning. Yes, every offensive player needs to hold onto the ball as if it were the last swig from the handle of bourbon and it's 3:01 and Uncle Verne is knocking on the door and making sure Gary is done taking his pregame dump. And every ball intercepter that wears the Georgia G needs to grasp that pigskin like it was the last biscuit on grandma's Sunday table.

Holding onto the ball means more than ball security and more yardage. It's also controlling the one thing that Gus has a hard on for even more than orange tweed with no sleeves. 

The Clock!

Holding onto the ball means Sean White has more time to pick his nose. Holding onto the ball means Pettway has more time to contemplate why his mom didn't use more C's in his first name and less estrogen.

"I can't talk now. I'm trying not to pee."
Holding onto the ball means we want it more. We need it more. It means we recognize that football is not patty-cake, two hundred speed sweeps, and singalongs. It's for men with bad intentions. It's eight of the last ten and hungry for eleven.

Concession speech
Well they just got to the ball fast and they tackled. We need to change that faulty tire, rebuild the transmission, and maybe take one of their safeties that I can convert to a quarterback or running back or even a quarterback or something so we can beat oregon again cuz my wife wants a new house and also a goat she can milk.

Hashtag West Opelikan livestock, but I digress.

Also I think there should be a rule that their current safeties that haven’t stolen money and other shit from their own locker room have to tip the ball in the air so that our finely trained receivers can successfully and unabated run under that thing to score. It just fits our systems the way I’ve drawn this program up since the beginning. All of the success we’ve had has been predicated on other institutional programs’ generosity and ...and ...and basically free loading off of that so that our fans can get what they’ve waited for and also war eagle!

Questions?”

“Yes, coach...why’d you go for it on 4th and 32 from your own 12, in the first quarter...on the opening possession?

“War eagles. Next question.”
More heart than any words that've ever come
out of Trigga Tray's mouth. Ever.

Maximum effort. Laid onto the turf.
I’m not asking much y’all. We haven’t been home in weeks. Is it too much to suggest that we come together with one common goal? Is it ridiculous to mention that it’d be nice if you stop searching for our next head coach and log off the dawgvent for just 12 hours so that we can tailgate in Fall’s absolute resplendent splendor? Is it out of order to demand your absolute best and 100% of your determination and 200% of your voice so that we can do our part in the prime Saturday spot tween the hedges?

I’m only asking because quite honestly I doubt your loyalty. No, not you with the Tahoe packed before 3pm Friday. And not you who told an Auburn coworker that absolutely not would you take two bills apiece for your four tickets.

Y’all are leaders among the boys. You’re Deandre Baker not giving up on the deep pass. You’re Rodrigo lining up his toe and Eason when the clock hits under two minutes.

We have to commit to the G and we have to get after that ass! Auburn is in town and they’re drunk on their own bullshit. A half a tick and Les Miles is still coaching while Gus asks your wife whether she wants paper or plastic. One more Holstein on I-20 outside Toomers’ Corner and these barners are late for the kickoff.

We’re Georgia. We’ve been ready since 10:47pm last Saturday night. We’re the Dawgs and Saturday night is alright for fightin’. Get a little action in...now, let’s bow our heads. God bless our veterans, Tra Battle, and please HOLD ONTO THE BALL!! Go Dawgs y’all! Amen.

Legacy left on the field...

Is it the voiceover, the cinematography, the music? Yes. It's all of that and the heart of being a Georgia Bulldog. Go Dawgs! #beatAuburn

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday thoughts under further review

Great and much needed road win. That was no easy place to play a football game last night. Kentucky fans took every available seat and got loud.

Defensively things changed after Kirby called the timeout as they were driving and about to score. Offensively things changed when Chaney opened things up and exposed their pass coverage.

And yes, special teams got some of their special back.

Thanks Lexington. Thanks Road Dawgs! And thanks Redcoats Pep Band!

Bring on Auburn. See y'all tween the hedges at 3:30 Saturday. Go Dawgs!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 4, 2016

the Friday Misery is wheels up

A very busy week started with another Jax hangover and just spiraled from there. Suddenly it's Friday morning and I've got to get the car loaded for the Bourbon Trail.

Speaking of wheels up, I do have this though. Watch Tony Milton knock a wildcat on his ass so Greene could hit Edwards deep.
(h/t Groo)

I hope you can join us. Shame we have to travel that far north up 75 to get a night game. But it should be a beautiful time up in Kentucky, unless you're an ice cube. Hopefully alls well that ends well on this road trip.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Smart Era - a mid-season evaluation

This is one of those where I am, how we got here, and where we’re going posts.

The good news for me is that my frustration lies more in the short term than the long term. The record might be better under our previous coach, but I doubt we’d be so much better that we’d avoid difficult conversations about Richt's future. The fact is that Vince Lombardi himself couldn’t have beaten Florida with that offensive line.

So yes, I still believe in Coach Smart, even as frustrating as it is watching him grow up as a head coach. I like his energy and enthusiasm. I think recruits react well to him, obviously. And I think he has great upside as a head coach in college football.

VIA
However, the question about Smart’s future has changed ever so slightly, at least for me. Given the circumstances of Richt’s firing, we’re not going to be faced with any decision to make in a couple years if we haven’t reached the SEC Championship game (at a minimum). The only decision to make will be between UGA and Smart’s representation of what any settlement will be.

Again, that’s the program that we are now. There’s no going back on that.

So I do believe Smart can be a great head coach. Given what I’ve seen eight games in my confidence is shaken a bit as to whether he can become a great one quickly enough. Here’s the two examples of that that I think are the most glaring at this point:
  1. Our overall depth will improve next year and especially into Smart’s third year. But will the last couple years’ glaring deficiencies in wide receiver and offensive line recruiting have had enough time to correct itself to a championship level? We may get an idea in February. But we can’t be absolutely sure for some time. And that’s as difficult for me to come to grips with as it is for you I’m sure.
  2. By the time the depth chart resembles a title contender, will Smart have overcome his lack of sideline balance. The truth is our head coach still has a lot of position coach in him. Which begs the question that goes back to Richt’s firing and Smart’s subsequent introductory press conference when he emphatically stated that he would be hands on in every facet of the game. Did we over correct from a coach that ended his tenure as more of a CEO to a kid that forgets to manage the game clock because he’s trying to control too many other things?

Those are two honest and fair questions to ask at this point. We can get into arguments over assistants and coordinators’ jobs if you’d like, but in the end the two most important concerns are those right there. We can stockpile talent on the sidelines to be a contender, but if the head coach still treats timeouts like stock in a bullish market it’s not going to win us the big game we’ve gone all in on.

Yes, the truth is Smart inherited at least part of the problem in #1. But we’re a program that doesn’t make excuses any longer. So it is Smart’s problem to fix.

And yes, I still believe he can. Even as angry as I am that it’s November 1st and we’re still fighting for bowl eligibility. Even as angry as I am that Chubb will likely leave campus having never beaten Florida.

Even as angry as I am with the realization that while this new era may still be a step in the right direction, it won’t be as quick a fix as I had hoped.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ugly.

No real words. That is not a good Florida team. And they're the best the East has. I hate we've not been able to win the WLOCP during Chubb's tenure. Herschel owned the gators. Gurley beat them singlehandedly.

Sigh.

I can't say I was confident, but I did feel we had a good shot. And that played true through until the third quarter. It was just brutally evident we weren't going to be able to move the football.

We're just not a very good football team. It's going to take something different and special the next few weeks to keep the bowl streak alive.

Still thankful we get a night game next week. But the truth of the matter is that I'm not sure we are ready for that kind of environment. Even in Lexington.

But I'll be there to help.

Many thanks to The Hall-aday Inn for the hospitality on St. Simons again this weekend. Made the trip worth it despite what happened in Jacksonville.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Misery - old fashioned cocktail party

One part ice. Two parts bitters. Two parts ginger syrup. Four parts bourbon.

Now. Let's do this.


Prelude
Washed ashore on the northern bank of the St. Johns river, I was dizzy and disoriented. Twice I attempted to rise, just to my knees, but gravity easily overpowered me and my face came crashing back down to Earth.

As I lay there, exhausted and despondent, I thought to myself, “This is what losing three of four feels like.” The shame was just too thick to slice through and even days later the memories would not relent.

Botched assignments. Overblown egos. Poor execution. Laziness. Poor decisions.

We had embraced the wrong tenets and got caught believing better of ourselves. Against inferior opponents you can sometimes survive, but not on a day when they wanted it so much more. So I was left to drift listlessly towards the next destination, the next moment of judgment, with nothing to tend to my wounds except time and the marsh water of the River’s lower basin.

Night was falling. In the distance I could hear the motorized sounds from the expressway. But I could not see the lights because my eyes had grown too heavy.

Goddamn Vanderbilt,was my last thought before I passed out.


Down. But not out.
By dawn the realization that this territory was not unchartered only intensified. The pain continued to be persistent, but hope can be an incredible analgesic.

And I saw you there too, as well as the others. As the Sun crested over Exchange Island we realized our strength in numbers. We were fortified by our position. I looked deep into your eyes and you mine, and we both saw a familiar resolve.

Chubb’s knee. Gurley and AJ benched. Third and Grantham. Fourth and Willie. The Independence Bowl. 2008 Blackout. Quincy in Columbia. Kevin Ramsey’s year. Ray Goff minus 1993.

We have seen some shit man. We have traversed this rickety bridge. To just stop and not move forward is to give up. You, me, Kirby, his players, we’re just not wired that way. To see the top we must endure the cold, dark valley.

Better days are ahead and these struggles will only make them that much sweeter. So we dust ourselves off and set our bearings. There is much work to be done.


The sweet salve of a WLOCP win.
Yes, some have chosen not to bear arms. The fight has lost them and they are no longer propelled to join our side. They’re the same ones that missed Nat Hudson throwing that block in 1980. Lindsay ran and ran, but not before their eyes. Instead they sobbed quietly in a corner after shutting the television off.

They know not how to see a fight through to the end. Their drawers are too tight and their grits are watery. Whether that is a result of their own personality flaws or poor parental influence when they were younger, is not our place to dwell in. Perhaps they only chewed crayons in kindergarten instead of their teacher showing them the beauty that could come forth from the waxy, vivid Crayola box.

Their only hope is that we circle the wagons in their absence. Have mercy they just need to be turned toward the light!

There was a point in time when players like Bobo, Edwards, Smart, and Champ decided they were just goddamned tired of taking the beating. No one gave those guys a chance against a Spurrier team that was the defending national champion and reloaded with talent. But those Dawgs didn’t back down and they certainly didn’t worry about those that had given up on them.

Same can be said of the 2004 team, as well as the teams in 2007 and 2012. They weren’t worried about Florida’s ranking and their streak in Jacksonville. They didn’t bother with supporters who had left their team’s colors at the bottom of the laundry pile. They didn’t concern themselves with fanatics that had only become fanatical about bitching and moaning more than hunkering down and Glory Glory.

Brothers, sisters...the fight continues on tomorrow. Together we cross onto Gator Bowl Blvd and populate the lots along Duval and Tallyrand. Many others will join us in spirit, a cocktail in their hand and some grit left in their belly. We’ll join hands and we’ll watch the team bus approach. We’ll embolden those players’ attitude and we’ll pledge our support through to the end.

We must focus on that which is within our control, which means recognizing that the very vocal minority may not be swayed. But that doesn’t mean that our colors change. It doesn’t mean that we can’t pump our fists into the cool evening air when Sony Michel battles for a first down. It doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the absolute pleasure of being a Georgia Bulldog fan on a Saturday night.

Because win or lose, it is an absolute pleasure. Having endured so many losses together, we can stomach the possibility of one more while summoning forth the very voice intent on preventing it.

As Larry Munson and God as my witness, I look forward to looking back on the banks of the St. Johns tomorrow and smiling. Together we washed ashore broken and battered. And together we will walk away having seen players like Lorenzo, Atkins, Payne, Sony, and Chubb experience the utter joy of winning in Jacksonville.

Finally. Again. Go Dawgs y’all!

Now, let us pray...dear Lord please protect us from this enemy race and let the ice in our drinks have the will of Nat Hudson and the fortitude of Robert Edwards. First downs for Glory! Amen.