Archive for the 'Fans' Category

Personally, I’m glad it’s over

If anything else, the Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska means one thing more than anything else – closure.

You want frustration, this season has been full of it with injuries, unbelievably bad luck, defensive misadventures and haphazard efforts on special teams.

Unless you are playing in a BCS Bowl, a bowl game is pretty much, as Corbin Dawg alluded to earlier, an exhibition. Oh sure, they are fun to go to for fans (me and Lugnut’s dad enjoyed ourselves in Jacksonville) and players get to do some cool things. But for the most part, bowls do not define your season.

Regardless of Georgia’s result in Jacksonville, it does not change the fact that three damning issues exist within the program going into the offseason that would be the same if Georgia would have rallied to win:

- An atrocious defensive secondary

- Bad News Bears special teams play

- Hutson Mason getting a firm enough grasp of the offense

If there is a silver lining, it’s that this team heads into the offseason pissed off. If this team needed a wakeup call, Nebraska may have done Georgia a big favor.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Gator Bowl Review: A Crummy Commercial

Be Sure to drink your Ovaltine.  Ovaltine?  A crummy commercial?  Son of a bitch!
-Ralphie

I have a few thoughts about the Gator Bowl yesterday, but before I jumped in the specifics, I wanted to touch on some big picture thoughts.

I hate when the Dawgs lose.  I hate it so bad.  I want, and most years expect, Georgia to win every game.  I have as unrealistically high expectations on where I want the football program to be as anyone.  I was devastated after the Auburn loss, and in the past, I have been devastated by losses in bowl games.

But not anymore.  I saw a lot of venom and angst yesterday on Twitter, but I simply don’t care that Georgia lost yesterday.  If Georgia had won, I would have felt good, but not have the same feeling of happiness I have when we beat South Carolina, LSU, came back against Tennessee and Tech, and beat Florida for the 3rd year in a row.

Don’t be confused; I am not one to hate on the Bowls.  I love watching these games.  I stayed up to 12:30 in the morning last night watching UCF beat Baylor.  I was glued to Texas A&M and Duke.  These are fun games.  But in the end, they are just glorified commercials for the sponsors, ways for local towns to fill up hotel rooms, and ESPN to have content and sell advertising space.  That is all.  The bowls have no merit other than that.  Except the National Championship.  And I’ll even say the bigger bowls have luster.  Living in the South and having the tradition, you want to say you won the Sugar Bowl.  The Rose Bowl is important to the Big 10 and Pac 10/12.

But these mediocre bowls are just exhibition games and fun games to watch.  How many times yesterday did they talk about the bad playing conditions on the field, yet they let Junior drive his car out on the field and hand over the coin?  It was done for pomp and circumstance, and to let Tax Slayer have their spokesmen get TV coverage.  I’m sure if this was game in Sanford Stadium, there would be no way in hell a car would be driven on the field, espeically in those conditions.

I saw stats yesterday that UGA is 1-3 in Bowls the last 4 years, or they’ve lost X number of games the last five years and this and that.  I hate these stats, because they are intellectually dishonest.  If we had won yesterday, UGA would be 2-2 in their last four bowls.  Just like with the beating ranked team argument, those stats are only thrown up after a loss. If we had won, no one would say “Hey, Mark Richt is 47-21 his last five years.”  But since they lost, it was “Mark Richt is 46-22 his last five years.”

Previously, a bowl win might help you in the polls for next season.  But now with the playoff selection committee, the polls are completely irrelevant.  And Auburn and Baylor showed that if you start the season unranked, you can still climb up in the hearts and minds of America if you just win the games.

I am not just saying this as a defense mechanism because the Dawgs lost or having sour grapes.  It was nice to get a win last year, but did it matter?  I mean, it was nice to close out on a win, but last year I was still hung over from the Alabama game.  Losing to UCF didn’t keep the Dawgs from signing the Dream Team or winning the SEC East in 2011.  Losing to Michigan State didn’t keep Georgia from signing the “Ring Team” or winning the East in 2012.  Beating Nebraska last year didn’t do anything to help us for 2012 against Clemson or keep anyone from getting injured this season.

I opened with a quote from one of my favorite movies.  I’ll throw in another 80s movie franchise example.  In the Rocky movies, what bout was more important-Rocky beating Apollo Creed for the title in Rocky II or beating Ivan Drago in Rocky IV?  Clearly, beating Creed was more important.  It was for the belt.  Did Rocky’s fight against Thunderlips in Rocky III matter?  No, it was a charity exhibition.

Like with Ralphie and his Little Orphan Annie Decoder that was thought to be something more than it was, these bowls are just a crummy commercial.  Any more or less emotional investment in them is just a waste of time.

The actions in the game certainly frustrated me.  Same old, same old.

-I want to get into special teams more in detail later, but how we can’t be competent in the punt return game is maddening.  As I was watching UCF last night, every time they received a punt there was no drama.  Remember when we had Damien Gary, Thomas Flowers, Mikey Henderson, and Brandon Boykin would could actually make plays?  We can’t even field the punts anymore.  Man, I long for the days of Logan Gray.

-I think the defense quietly played its best game of the year yesterday, with one glaring mistake.  Of course, the glaring mistake was a big one.  For all intents and purposes, a 100 yard touchdown pass is not something you see often, especially from Nebraska.  And what sucked so bad is as soon as he let it rip, you just knew it was going to the house.

-Gurley was hobbled, it was clear he wasn’t 100% still.  But he still had a very good game.  I think that if he was 100%, he would have scored on the 3rd and 10 draw play in the closing minutes.

-It seems like Lynch has had some big drops and other miscues this season, but Lynch is still a good player and will be sorely missed.  I wish him nothing but the best in his NFL or other future endeavors.

-Not having Matthews or JHC at safety was evident.  I hope JHC can get his act together, because I am not sure his leash is going to be incredibly long going forward.  He is reminding me an awful lot like Ealey and King.

-Mason did well statistically, but 182 out of his 320 yards (57%) came on little dump offs to Gurley and Douglas, and the one long pass to Bennett.  I get the weather didn’t help any, and the O-line protection was shaky, but it seemed he was a little off, hesitant, and held on the ball for way too long.  Like I said last week, hopefully he was able to learn something.

I don’t know if I have ever said this, but I am glad this season is over.  I love watching the Dawgs play. I pine for it all year.  I talk about it all year with friends.  Hell, I take the time to blog about it.  Football season is fun, even if the team is not doing well.  It is even more fun when they are.  But this year was an up and down roller coaster of emotions and I’m glad it is came to an end.  I’ll be jacked up for the 2014 campaign soon, but right now, I am just glad this year is over and behind us.

Corbindawg

Murray’s mom speaks up

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Clemson – Bridging The Generational Dawg Nation Gap

I was born just a few weeks before Herschel ran over Bill Bates on a hot late-summer night in Knoxville, so when it comes to the height of the Georgia-Clemson rivalry, I have very little memory of it. Oh sure, we took on the rock petters off and on in the early 1990s and as recently as 2002 and 2003, but it wasn’t a matchup of two even teams with high hopes of themselves.

For Georgia fans my age, we have no real feeling of the hate between Georgia and Clemson. It’s a lot like younger fans see Tech. If you have been a Georgia fan only since Mark Richt’s arrival, it is easy to question if Tech is a rival. But if you had to suffer through three losses in a row to the NATS in the late 1990s or Tech somehow winning a share of a national title (do those even count?), you understand that Tech is a very very serious rival.

Fans my parents age see Clemson in the same way. To us, Clempson is an ACC school that has a lot in common with Georgia. But for folks my parents age? They may as well be on the level of Florida or Auburn in terms of great dislike.

In the early 1980s…these two teams HATED each other. And you’re seeing friction get kicked up again thanks to Sammy Watkins. These poor rock petters. They somehow think that they have arrived as a program thanks to beating teams in the Almost Competitive Conference and slipping past a very average LSU team. If beating average LSU teams made coaches great, then Jim Donnan is a legend. 

What the renewing of this rivalry has done is this – bridged the generation gap between Georgia fans of different generations. I was told stories about Clemson growing up but never had a full dislike. Thanks to this game having so much on it, that has changed.

And there was also this story. Which explains my Lugnut Dawg’s mom cannot stand Clemson.

My parents attended the 1984 Georgia – Clemson game. After Kevin Butler’s long field goal caused Larry to exclaim “Oh my God! Oh my God,” my folks eventually made their way to their post game tail gate spot. After a while, a Clemson RV pulls up right in front of them. Before leaving, the driver of the RV dumps its sewage out, fully in front of my parents group.

Needless to say, my mom greatly dislikes Clempson.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Wearing Black and Gold

I was raised in a small rural Georgia town. I still live in a small rural Georgia town. This is by choice. I love my hometown, just as many of you love your hometown. There’s something about “home.” Small rural Georgia towns offer things that larger cities don’t. For better or for worse, if you love your small rural Georgia town, you think it’s the greatest place on earth. My friends here at TGT and I have a lot of fun with this. They don’t find my small town to be quite as delightful as I do. For some reason, Corbin doesn’t like the fact that our high school football stadium overlooks the Dollar General. But he never turns down a meal at Scott’s BBQ.

Something I think is fairly unique to a small rural Georgia town is the intimate sense of community. Everybody knows everybody, and for the most part loves everybody, even if you don’t like everyone. Kind of like family- you can talk about your own, but nobody else can. Country music songs are written about small rural Georgia towns. You’re also proud of your own. Very proud. When somebody does something good from your hometown, everyone shares in the sense of accomplishment. High school sports are HUGE in the small Georgia towns that dot the rural countryside. Not saying they aren’t huge in the larger cities- clearly they are- but it’s just different. If you’re from a small rural Georgia town, you know what I mean.

Right now, Cochran, Georgia is Wichita State Country. Native son Carl Hall and his Shockers have made an amazing run through the NCAA Tournament. Businesses around town have signs out front encouraging and congratulating Carl. You can’t go anywhere without someone bringing up the topic of Carl and his Wichita State team. For a small town like Cochran (Bleckley County has a population of less than 12,000; Cochran less than 6,000) it’s a really big deal to have a hometown kid to be playing in the Final 4. It’s a huge deal. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often to small rural Georgia towns. Kids from Atlanta play in the Final 4 every year. They play in BCS National Championship games and in all of the major professional leagues. But towns like Cochran don’t have this opportunity very often. That’s why, when it happens, it’s a really big deal. Again, if you’re from a small rural Georgia town, you know what I mean.

carl hall

Tomorrow night, everyone in Cochran will be tuned in to watch Carl Hall and his team take on Louisville. This is the biggest stage, and Cochran is sharing in Carl’s success. It’s fun, and it gives us all a sense of pride. To many, this is just an exciting Final 4 game. For the community of Cochran, it’s more than that. It’s a chance to see one of our own do something incredible. We’re proud of Carl and are having a great time watching him play on national television. This is the kind of thing that unites small towns and brings everyone together.

We’re wishing Carl and his team all the best as they get ready for the biggest game of their lives. Win or lose, we’re proud of you Carl!

Go Shockers!

ucheedawg

Mizzou: Not SEC (jail) ready

It’s been played out far more than needed on how ready for the SEC Mizzou and Texas A&M would be. On the field this past fall, it’s safe to say the school with the second-best J-School in the conference (behind UGA’s Grady College of Journalism, of course) also lags behind on the gridiron. 

If there’s one thing you learn in the SEC, its how to handle run-ins with local authorities when you are on the road. Well, according to this linkage from Outkick The Coverage, Mizzou’s fans still have some things to learn thanks to this first-person account.

  Still, give these fans credit for living by the mantra of famous stock car driver Delma Cowart of Savannah

- “He never won a race, but never lost a party.”

A few of the highlights:

After being heckled as creepy Missouri fans peeping around sorrorities, we were put in the cruiser and eventually a paddy waggon with a true motley crew of characters. Our favorite being the Canadian kid in town for a wedding vomiting all over himself and blaming it on the guy next to him. If Canada has a version of Locked Up Abroad, he has to be on it.

 

we are given a bag of prison goodies to go with our jump suits and orange crocs. A guard leads us down several hundred yards of hallways before we are corraled into a pod of cells. To a couple of suburban fraternity boys, this is Alcatraz.

 

We watch the game winning field goal from a holding cell and are then released to my friend’s parents like a couple of dogs with our tails between our legs. Missouri just had their one shining moment of a dreadful first season in the SEC, and we watched it from a jail in Knoxville for a couple thousand dollars a piece.

 

The entire trip home the next day we keep asking ourselves, “Why is public intoxication such a big deal in Knoxville?”

 

Lugnut Dawg

Is it even ok to be disgruntled?

As I walked out of Sanford Stadium Saturday, with the losing feeling that has become the norm thick in the air, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by Georgia fans not booing the team off the field, no screams (at least from where I was) for Mark Richt to be replaced by Tuesday.

And then there was the video of the fan holding the poster shown on ESPN which I was upon riding home – “UGA Alumni Support Richt’s Work.”

So let me get this straight – there are alumni which support a team that has gone from a top five program to one which has won 14 of its past 28 games. That’s a .500 winning percentage for you non-math majors like myself.

As Georgia fans, we love to ridicule programs like Georgia Tech for its lack of high success, but that is exactly where this program is – an average program which makes excuses when it fails to win a big game.

Look, I’m as proud as anyone of the team’s effort against USC. But to quote a line from “We Are Marshall,” – A Great Effort is not enough.

Moral victories were something which seemed to be the norm under Ray Goff, I’m not sure we need to go into more detail than that.

I love the Bulldogs and I love the University of Georgia.

If you have a UGA diploma on your wall or if you claim UGA as your team, it is fully expected and should be encouraged to want this program to be more than average.

Georgia’s fans deserve better than average, and moral victories won’t accomplish a goal of restoring its program to where it should be.

Lugnut Dawg



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