Friday, September 22, 2017

the Friday Misery has bad news for Grantham's towel

A nun, a priest, and a rabbi walk into a bar in Starkville...

j/k Starkville has zero of those nouns.

Welcome to Athens!! We have beer drawn from kegs! Not your Uncle Rufus’ tub!
Back in '05 the wife and I spent a month in Starkville one afternoon, so what follows are factual accounts.

It’s the perfect town if you like to spend a day shopping for God’s word at the Bible Outlet store, crossing the road to the WalMart to replenish the underwear drawer, swinging through the Zaxby’s drive-thru to pick up some over-fried chicken, and then setting up a picnic under the town water tower.

And that’s just about it. The town is a desolate homage to what life was like during the post-depression era. It’s just that it has yet to progress any further.
Is that supposed to be a dog? A bear? A gopher?

Case in point, on Saturday find a Missy State fan that’s made the trip from Starkville. Now they have to have come from Starkville. Not one of those rare cowbell clanging fans that now lives in Atlanta, or anywhere east of the Tuscaloosa-Starkville-Meridian Triangle.

If you have trouble, listen for a couple discussing how in the world they are going to play this football game after dark. “I know Winona, I wus jus’ wondering the same thing. It’s gon be dark long before the bands even toot their marching horns! Now how’s Fitzgerald gonna tell the difference between the center and the left guard’s hindquarters?”

Anyway, find that fan, probably in a #7 maroon jersey fitted neatly under some overalls and wearing a cowbell around his neck, and ask him if he has a cell phone. Or even knows what one is.

Ask him if he has an opinion about whether The Stones were better than The Beatles.

Ask his wife anything about the Bay of Pigs and the resulting strained relations with Cuba.

Ask either of them their thoughts about milk going from cardboard cartons to plastic jugs.

Then prepare to stare into the actual and real face of Stupefied personified. Seriously, they will probably walk away quietly while whispering cautions of crop circles, aliens, and satanic worshippers.

Bubby, why don’t these people get their milk from glass jugs like normal people do?

After scaring the buhjeebus out of Mr. And Mrs. Clanga, catch back up to them and introduce them to the world of wonder that is Athens GA. In all of its Millennial brilliance! The lights, the vehicles not powered by two mules and a gust of wind, the delicious food, being able to walk more than two steps without having to negotiate a cow pattie, the trees, the running water, the “outhouses” made of plastic, THE LIGHTS!!

They might not want to leave. And really, why would they?

The part where Toddles waddles back ‘tween the hedges
Let’s be real, Todd Grantham did a lot to improve our defense when he arrived in 2010. It took a couple years, but we caught a glimpse of what a squad of eleven men can do when they’re coached to do football things like cover receivers. And tackle.

The douchebag deserves some credit there, okay? Really, he does.

That said, what a poser. What a coward. What a semi-deranged lunatic with an nonsensical white towel fetish.

His greatest memory in Athens - confronting Vandy’s penis-head of a coach at midfield. His lowest? Pick from a plethora of plays where the opponent had huddled, set, gone through a cadence of voice commands, and then snapped the ball all while our defense was gazing at the sideline like a herd of clueless sheep waiting on some kind of direction.

Here’s my take...Chubb breaks one and is running free along the Missy State sideline. All that stands between him and a touchdown is 60+ yards of Sanford paydirt. As the fans reach the top of their audible crescendo...wait, what’s that? No, who was that?

Grantham steps in front of Chubb waving said towel like some maniacal bull fighter whose cap is more than slightly askew and whose face is toxic with anger.

The cheers become gasps. Some avert their eyes in the milliseconds before impact. Others, now empowered with the full realization of what in the holy hell is actually happening right here under the lights on national tv and my God I think even some grandmas are watching, shriek like they’ve never shrieked before.


The rest trails off because when the dust clears there is just a towel, floating casually and effortlessly down towards the MSU 43 yard line, within feet of where Christian Robinson stands with mouth agape.

Then the cheers, slowly at first, begin to return. The dude in front of you points to the endzone and starts jumping up and down. Your eyes follow and that’s when you realize that the spectacle has only just begun. Nick Chubb’s arms are raised, and one of them hands Grantham the football.

“Is this what you were looking for a second ago Coach? Sorry, I wasn’t quite done with it.”

Grantham, his eyes dazed and his countenance thoroughly confused, reaches down and gently takes the ball. Then he slides off of Chubb’s shoulders and waddles back to the opponent’s sideline.

Drunk on night kicks
A couple weeks ago I told you that the Irish weren’t ready. And for the most part I was wrong. They played better than I thought they would. They’re a better team that I thought they were. To be perfectly honest, I underestimated them to some degree.

Now it’s game four and we’re still kicking off under the lights. In my nearly three decades of following Georgia football, I’ve never seen Sanford with the energy for a cupcake like we saw last week. It’s loud and people are into it, every aspect of it.

Thirty-five to seven in the third quarter and Samford has the ball looking for a first down, no matter. Dawg fans still up in their ears disrupting the set and the audibles.

And that’s so, SO important. Because the truth is that I don’t know if MSU is ready. I don’t know how good they are. I’d like to think we can contain this media darling quarterbacker they’ve got, force him into throwing it while applying the rush. I hope we can.

I also think our special teams can be a difference maker tomorrow night. They’ve been the model of consistency thus far. We had a long return called back in South Bend. Last week we had a blocked kick after Fromm fumbled. That tells me they’re capable of making that one play that is a huge difference in the outcome.

I think our offense can over-power their defense. I really think they can.

But I do know that I’m tired of hearing people talk about just how great “these Bulldogs” are just because they beat a half-assed LSU team at home. Who cares. We beat a pretty good Notre Dame team on the road. But that was two weeks ago. Teams are supposed to get better as the season progresses. The good ones do. Have we gotten better since boarding the busses in South Bend, prepping for Samford, beating them soundly, and then prepping for another team of bulldogs?

On the other hand, has Mullen’s team gotten better since last Saturday when they beat a team that’s notoriously hard to beat but is nothing more than a shell of its former self? Have they gotten better during a week when they’ve been continuously billed as the second best team in the SEC? “And Dan Mullen is the second best coach in the SEC!!

"These gloves make my face feel...different."

None of that matters tomorrow. It’s late September and I don’t give a damn who the second best team in the SEC is. I just want Georgia to be the best team on the field tomorrow night. I want Kirby to expose Mullen as a fraud and a joke, just another Urban Meyer project living out his days under the Starkville water tower, wearing wide receiver gloves on the sidelines to fight off a November chill.

And I want this amazing, uber talented, incredible game manager, dual-threat, future Heisman winning quarterback to completely and utterly fold like a cheap suit under the verified, the insurmountable, the downright imposing, the unified force of nature that is the deafening weight of Sanford Stadium. I want to see him try to bounce outside, think he’s gained the edge and then…


Roquan levels his ass and then Fitzgerald spends a moment on the turf seriously contemplating the consequences of returning to the next huddle.

We saw what Kirby’s team could do on the road against a storied program. It gave me a taste. Tomorrow night it’s just a casual rival that’s been continuously flagellated by the media all week, but it’s SEC football. Like the corny conference slogan says - “It just means more.

It does, and I want it because it will taste even better than those Irish tears. Now, please bow your heads. Lord, please make Grantham pick up his own dirty laundry. Our thoughts continue to be with everyone battling these hurricanes. We pray for their safety. And also, we pray that the Chapel Bell rings loud and proud late tomorrow night! Amen.

Go Dawgs y'all!

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