Friday, September 29, 2017

the Friday Misery is a Champion at Comeuppance

About last night...
Bank on it.

Butch’s temperature, a week to week examination
Week 1, visit to Athletic Director’s office
Butch - “Wahoo! You like that goal line stand in OT BABY!!”
AD Currie - “Wonderful. Now put that damn trash can back in the locker room. Coach football, not future internet memes you sonofabitch.”

Week 2, luncheon with boosters

Butch - “Put that whoopin’ on Indiana State boy! Offense starting to come together. I like this kid Dormady. Think I might make a poster of him...Stormin’ the Beaches of Dormady. Nice!”
Booster Cleetus - “No you’re not.”
Booster Bobby Jo - “Boy, you gotta purty mouth. Reminds me of ma best goat”

Week 3, family dinner table
Butch - “That was one heckuva throw. Can’t believe we lost that one like that. Hate it for my guys.”
Wife - “Yeh, into single coverage, on the last play of the game, 60 yards from the endzone. Duh!” (tops glass off with the boxed wine and storms down hallway)
Son 1 - “And that was a BAD gator team Dad, real bad.”
Son 2 - “Can we live in Florida next year and not Michigan or Ohio again?”
Son 3 - “Pass the tater tots please.”

Week 4, getting that wannabe high and tight
Butch - “I tell ya, that’s about the best 0-4 team I’ve ever coached against. Wow!”
Barber - “What about those smokey gray uniforms again? And a pregame speech about flashlights making the dark spots shine bright!”
Butch - “Oh, yeh. I like that! And the batteries are like the energy that makes it all happen!”

(Mystery solved. It’s been the barber all along, from the bricks through the trashcan. He’s got clippers in one hand and a copy of “Coaching Motivationals for Dummies” in the other.)

Week 5, back in Currie’s office
Butch - “KnockKnock! Hey there John, I brought the trashcan like you asked. I was wonderin…”
Currie - “Good, close the door.”

The buzz cut from La Mancha
Don Quixote was a fictional dreamer; a romantic Spanish gentleman, in pasteboard armor and saddled on a horse well past its prime, driven to insanity by his relentless pursuit of Chivalry.

Butch Jones is an actual professional cheerleader; paid handsomely as a college football coach to drum up motivational slogans and tactics in a continuous failing pursuit of an SEC East crown.

For both, the beginning is whimsical and delightful. Knoxville, much like the Spanish countryside of the 1600s, was a blank canvas in 2013 and in much need of a new spark and direction. Enter Jones who quickly proclaims himself a master mason proficient in the use of words and catchphrases as bonding agents.

The results are mixed. I’m sure Spanish prostitutes didn’t mind being referred to as high class ladies and the innkeepers enjoyed being “lords of the castle”, but when windmills are envisioned as monstrous,murderous giants things take a dark turn.

Besting Georgia two seasons in a row and ending Florida’s 11 year win streak really put Tennessee’s future in a rosy hue. But the epic tumble the Vols experienced the rest of the 2016 season was a dramatic, painful adventure on Rocky Top, as if Rocinante itself had thrown Butch from the saddle into his own pile of bricks.

But here’s where the romantic cheerleader takes a different path from Cervantes’ star gazing Hidalgo. Quixote never parts ways with his “squire”, Sancho Panza. They’re relationship is as loyal as it is symbiotic. Jones on the other hand fires assistants, thereby uprooting their families, in order to continue his ponzi scheme of slogans. After the 2015 season it was defensive coordinator John Jancek, and after last season it was newly hired offensive coordinator Mike DeBord. What started out as a whimsical play with words has devolved into a bloody battle of stab the scapegoat in the back.

Perhaps Cervantes himself said it best: “The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.” Butch, you’ve run out of heads to lop off and your trashcan is full of broken bricks. Perhaps your barber can provide some sound investment advice for that buyout.

Down to the business of kicking ass
Ladies and gentlemen, though we have more than one enemy tomorrow, only one of them is truly formidable. And no, it doesn’t wear orange and it doesn’t play football.

Hear me out now.

Understand, Tennessee can’t beat us. They just can’t. They are one thread away from becoming completely unraveled. They’re the trash at the bottom of the bin. They’re soon to be has beens being cheered on by low lifes in checkerboard overalls and fancy pants frat boys with a funnel protruding from their nether regions. That’s all they are. They just aren’t able to beat us.

UMass exposed them for what they are, they just lacked the talent and ability to finish the job. Georgia comes out tomorrow and smacks them in the mouth and they’ll crumble into a pile of rubble at their false prophet’s feet.

However, if not taken seriously, our true enemy can absolutely be formidable. She can turn the most prepared and talented team into an on field three ring circus. Her name is Adversity and she planted the Neyland sod that claimed three ACLs in 2013 and Chubb’s entire knee in 2015.

She connives for missed blocking assignments. Next thing you know your quarterback just got blind-sided and the ball is scooped up and headed the other damn direction.

Adversity gives birth to setbacks. And setbacks don’t treat Georgia well. They tend to make a better Georgia team fall flat at a lesser opponent’s feet. They get into our heads and scramble things up until the next thing you know that squib kick turned into a game tying field goal and oops they just intercepted and somehow we just lost to georgia tech.

So tomorrow, when JimBob Cooter drops a stack of cash in a referee’s pocket and Chubb gets flagged for roughing the passer because he ran out of bounds and tripped over Dormady’s out-stretched cleat, we have to stare back at Adversity with a steely gaze.

You messing with the wrong mothereffer today bitch.

Kirby has filled us with hope. We believe we’re past the days of wetting the proverbial bed and making up excuses for our own inadequacies. Maybe so. But we’re right where Missy State fans were this time last week. And those doggies got walloped from the get-go and never bothered to get back up into the fray.

So when She swings and connects, don’t reach up to wipe the blood from your mouth. Smile at Her and tell her what Damien and Greenie and McMichael and Verron told her before that last drive in ‘02 - “Nice shot, but you’re gonna need more than that today.

It’s a long road through a college football season. Knoxville is just the next stop. Let’s treat it like a business trip. And like it says right there on our business card,

Georgia Football
We’re here to make your life even more of a living hell.”
Four dissatisfied customers from Starkville to South Bend.
You’re next!

Through our own faults, we’ve fallen victim to this Hillbilly regime’s magic and sheer dumb luck before. Still today, two years removed, they mock our best player’s injury, like some dipshit point of pride that they can’t use fertilizer for anything other than their own goat farming. For that and many other reasons they need their comeuppance. They’re overdue for a good ass whoopin’. Set your jaw and turn your motor all the way to HIGH.

Now, please bow your heads...dear Lord, Herschel’s angels, Mr. Grizzard and the late, great Munson, please keep their Franzia Frat boys away from our Dawg brethren tomorrow. Let Chubb run free and Roquan run amok! Thank you please, Amen.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Rewatch notes, plus a retraction

Rewatched the Miss State game last night with the family. It made for a nice evening, so I highly recommend it if you are able. What follows are just a few notes I wanted to add to my original thoughts on the game.

The main reason I wanted to rewatch it is because that goal line stand was at the opposite end zone from where we were seated standing. And man was it even nicer to see up close on the tv screen. It was equal parts pathetic desperation on MSU's part, and sheer effort and domination for the real Dawgs. Best thing about it, those kids making plays are freshmen!

I mentioned Sunday how impressed I was with the secondary. The snaps Parrish played really showed how versatile this group can be. I think Blackledge even mentioned at one point that Aaron Davis is like a safety playing at corner. True enough as those guys hit and tackle as well as they cover.  And it's a beautiful mix of experienced older players and a lot of youth. McGhee's break up was just as awesome as JR Reed's. Very nice to see.

On Sunday I remarked on our "trouble running in between the tackles". Friend of the blog Scott suggested that I reconsider the play of the line, especially those inside offensive linemen. And true enough, Chubb had a nice gain on an inside trap. And that Sony run up the middle featured MSU's all world woman beater Simmons getting double teamed into the turf. Seriously, I think that cat is still buried there five and half feet below the surface.

Seriously, that dude is everywhere. He could put the UGA Orbit buses out of business just jetting around campus during the week!

Lastly, at one point while the cameras were focused on Mullen, in the background you could see an assistant coach's hands holding a cell phone. Pan across to the other side and Scott Sinclair is pulling on Kirby's belt while everyone else is coaching. What a telling visual that could explain a lot about what we witnessed Saturday night.

Now, onto Tennessee. Because I guarantee you they'll be a LOT more focused on the game on the field. Go Dawgs!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Why there’s not a quarterback controversy in Athens

I’ve heard this topic pop up in both casual conversation as well as in formal ones in and around the media. So let’s nip this in the bud shall we?

First, the illogical opinion will be framed around concepts derived outside of the football field. People will say things like the following even though they’re not based in what’s real:
- “Well, Eason was the starter before the injury. So he should get the QB1 spot when he’s ready for action again.”
(Reality - Sorry, this is SEC football and not a five year old tee ball team. Georgia is 4-0, 1-0. Every snap must be earned, from the placeholder on field goal attempts to the quarterback.)
- “Fromm has looked like a freshman at times and that scares me.”
(Reality - Without two drops and one throwaway Saturday evening Fromm would’ve finished a perfect 11-11, 250+ yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs. What exactly about that is scary? Maybe you should watch a nice Hugh Grant romantic comedy on Saturday nights.)
- “Eason worked hard for this chance and deserves the opportunity.”
(Reality - I agree with you...but that was a month ago. We’ve won four games since Eason went down. He can work his way back and earn it again.)
(Bonus reality - Small sample size, but before he was injured Eason wasn’t exactly in sync and hitting on all cylinders. Similarly, people saying that Fromm has under performed are basing that on a small sample size. Who has the most data, experience working with both young men, and best vantage point to make the decision as to which player has earned the next snap? The coaches. Not you, and certainly not me. Kirby, Chaney, and the offensive staff are no doubt putting every effort into determining which player, 10, 11, or 12 gives us the best chance to score points.)

And that brings me to my last point. When we fired a 10 win a year coach a couple years ago we told the world we were ready to adopt a new mindset. Remember? That new mindset isn’t anything about giving a player time on the field just because it feels right or because one has another year of experience on the player behind them. It’s about winning, not about hunches and what feels like it’s just the right thing to do.

Like it or not, that’s where we are. If this mindset doesn’t get us to Atlanta this year or next I’ll be screaming for a new mindset to take over. Nothing against Eason, I hope when he’s ready he pushes Fromm to get better or pushes himself past Fromm to get the start.

Either way, it makes the team better. Go Dawgs!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Thoughts on being the much, MUCH better Dawg in the fight

It’s hard to know where to start, and time is short for me this morning. But I know this - I can’t wait to rewatch this game!

Probably the best way to break down my thoughts this morning is in these three parts:

Loudest and involved Sanford’s crowd has been since 2013 LSU. Now as usual, a lot of that had to do with what was happening on the field, which was in a word, spectacular. And we’ll get to the coaches and the players in a minute. But whenever the crowd noise can impose its will on an opponent it’s with more than a mention.

The level of engagement matched the intensity on the field. (Well, except for the crew behind me that spent 10 minutes having everyone check under their seat for a phone that ended up being in one of their pockets. Hahaha) It was a night to remember as a fan of Georgia football.

The score clearly indicates that MSU was out-played. But it doesn’t take much to realize that in between the lines to see that it was the Georgia coaches preparation and game plan that set the tone. From the perfect play call on our first offensive series to having an answer for everything they asked Nick Fitzgerald to do, it was quite a statement for Smart and his staff.

As amazing as the game plan and play calling were (and yes, it’s time we give Chaney a break y’all; even I can see he’s earned it) it’s the physicality and the discipline on the field that is just as nice to see.

Take this for instance:
“We play physical and we practice physical,” Bellamy said. “Sometimes you’ll be like, ‘Gosh, coach, we’re going full pads again?’ But on Saturdays it shows how physical we are and I think that’ll keep carrying over.”
We might be a long way from realizing our dreams since it’s still just September, but it’s clear something is going right in Athens with Georgia football.

I think I would start with Deandre Baker. His game last night is a welcome sight considering all those years we suffered under Willie Martinez with defensive backs out of position and never, ever, ever turning to the ball to make a play (not to mention avoid the interference penalty). There were times when Fitzgerald made the right decision to throw Baker’s way, but it was never because 18 was out of position, just in single coverage.

And that interception was just a thing of beauty. The defensive front seven has earned every bit of praise and headline they’ve made, but it’s time the secondary earned some props. They held their own while Parrish was out, and now they are their own force to be reckoned with.

Offensively, anytime you can use the program’s second all time leading rusher as a lead blocker for a true freshman sensation, you’re living life right. Even though we have trouble running in between the tackles, Chaney is using the players he has to find production outside of that. On Chubb’s direct snap touchdown run, great downfield block by pulling Wynn into a hole that Jayson Stanley opened up.

Fromm had his best game thus far (and again you have to commend Chaney for putting a true freshman in good positions to make safe throws. Perhaps the experience of trying to do the same thing last year for Eason helped in that regard). He started by completing his first eight passes and ended up  4-5 for 143 yards on throws of 10+ yards. So it’s not just checking down and throwing the ball away.

And I’ll end with the execution on special teams. Nizialek (sp?) is amazing. He’s now averaging 44.5 yards per punt and the ball is up in the stratosphere forever! Blankenship wth six more kickoff and guess what? Six more touch backs. I cry tears of joy every time it happens. What a time to be alive!

And just like that it’s Tennessee week. Let’s go help the UT brass write out Butch’s pink slip!