Archive for the 'Football' Category

Three Make or Break Games

There are a lot of games this fall to raise the needle up as far as anticipation.

There’s Kirby Smart’s debut. A pivotal game for the division against UTK. Jacksonville. A chance to exact more mastery against Malzahn. The bugs. And others along the way.

Here are, at least in my mind, three games that can make or break the season.

  1. North Carolina: This one is big for oh so many reasons. First – the Bulldog Nation has some demons of the Georgia Dome to rid itself of. And then there’s the whole Kirby Smart’s first chance to prove himself as head coach against and pretty good quality opponent. Losing won’t detonate the whole season, but it’ll certainly get things off to a good start, and also avoid detractors that are bigger fans of The University of Mark Richt than UGA from foaming at the mouth.
  2. Tennessee: If Georgia takes care of business, this one could be big, and even may still be if a loss to Ole Miss happens. Win this and the season, as usual, hinges on the WLOCP. Plus, you can stunt the upward path of a Tennessee program that just may be better than the ’72 Dolphins if you ask their fan base.
  3. Florida: First of all, Kirby knows what this game means as a South Georgian and former player. Remember – he grew up partially in a time where Georgia did not lose often in Jax. If there are any doubters about CKS – they’ll be greatly silenced by doing something Richt struggled to do for the most part – beat Florida.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

 

And it was well worth it

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Look, I’m a realist.

Do you really think that Ludacris was going to show up to do a show in Athens out of the goodness of his heart?

Well, in this week’s tale of the offseason college football news cycle, the its a major news item that, for the first time in a while, the gang in Butts Mehre has the audacity to *gasp* actually SPEND some of its financial intake.

Is $65,000 a lot for 15 minutes of work? Sure. It’s on the level of NASCAR teams that collect last-place prize money for running 10 laps and loading up on the trailer.

The anti-football communists and ones who are ok with UGA reverting back to the Goff era may not like the idea of throwing $65,000 around, but that’s a small price to pay for its already proven impact.

The atmosphere at G-Day created an unreal atmosphere for recruits – either in Athens or watching. The program grabbed the attention of the college football world by the horns – oh, and has also reaped immediate windfalls on the recruiting trail.

$65,000? A small price to pay.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

 

Is a big helping of patience in order?

I’m a big fan of winning. It’s better than losing.

Of course, the UGA Athletic Board has the same line of thinking by and large – that’s why Mark Richt is in Coral Gables and Kirby Smart was called to come home to Athens.

In a perfect world, the Smart regime would surpass anything Richt has ever done. But there’s an old saying I once heard – that you cannot make chicken salad without the chicken.

The steal a phrase from Smart’s old boss, ‘it’s a process.’

Georgia may not appear in the mold of how Kirby wants it in September. But will it be toward what he’s envisioning in a three-year plan by the time Auburn comes to town? I’d say odds are good.

There are depth issues at places like running back and inside linebacker. Yes, there’s young talent, but even when you’re in the fire of competition, it’s a learning curve, regardless of the ability.

And make no mistake – if Georgia has a similar record to the end of the Richt era (when Georgia was blessed with an easier schedule than it will face this year), the fans of The University of Mark Richt will be loud boisterous.

But there’s a reason why Georgia pulled the trigger to bring Kirby to Athens.

My prediction is this: It may not show with the record – but Smart will have this program headed in the right direction by November.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

 

 

 

Kansas City: BBQ, Steak, & Beer

 

*Just a note – I’m the Kenny Powers of the group.  So….Hide Ya Kids, and some material may be NSFW.  I don’t know where you work, so I don’t know.

IMG_0557First of all, I’d like to apologize for the long delay on my first post to TGT.  What I have been doing is making late-night tweets about CORN, sports, Ted Cruz, and BBQ on my TGT twitter account (@Dawgs4CORN).  This is a great outlet for many things, especially driving my main man Corbin crazy.  Thanks for understanding.

I recently made a trip out Missoura Way.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as a fan of all things CORN, I expected there was a reason they put the name “Kansas” in Kansas City.  I was expecting CORN as far as the eye could see, with 0 trees, 0 hills, and an unforgiveable arctic climate – I was wrong on everything but the climate.

I’ve always heard three things about KCMO: steak, BBQ, blues.  Three pretty good things in my book.

Upon arrival, I decided to take in the steak aspect of the city.  I’d done my research, everyone talks about the Hereford House, the Golden Ox (which is closed BTW), and many more.  I decided on The Majestic Restaurant for several reasons, but mostly the fact that its downtown – I didn’t fly halfway across the country to Uber to the suburbs and eat in a stripmall (mild pet-peeve of mine), they have live blues and jazz in the basement, and it looked FANTASTIC…..and was.

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One thing I learned about KC was that it is a fantastic beer nerd city.  One thing you will learn about me is that I’m on a life-long search to find beer that I don’t like (at this point, I’ve had one).  The city has several good breweries nearby (which will be discussed in detail later), and numerous craft beer bars that have good specials ($3 local pints on Sundays…).  These are all positive things for my inner beer-nerd.

One day of my trip was dedicated to tourism, specifically Boulevard Brewing, Arthur Bryant’s BBQ, and Arrowhead Stadium (home of the Kansas City Chiefs).IMG_0556

My itinerary for this trip was backwards, but it led to an awesome day.  I’ll be blunt, I don’t eat breakfast, so a trip to a brewery at 11:00 AM can lead to one of two things:

1.      Mid-day tears

2.      Mid day grumpiness

Boulevard Brewing was founded by a struggling artist who had rich parents in 1989.  It seems to me that this man was the original hipster.  He has turned a simple hobby into the 12th largest brewery in the US, and has not sold out to Macro-brew ideals one bit.  This is a man who uses all the money saved (a lot of money BTW) by recycling bottles to feed all of his employees from marketing to warehouse to custodial every Wednesday.  Boulevard has done a great job of keeping the craft and local parts of their mission in tact while growing.  When I say that the brewery is big, I mean it is BIG; we are all astounded by Terrapin and Sweetwater, but this is probably twice as big as those two combined…if not larger.

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They also make a fantastic product.  Missouri has much more effective beer laws than we in Georgia, allowing you to buy beer at a brewery (RADICAL concept).  They make several beers that you can buy in Georgia, but I’d like to highlight one in particular – the Rye-On-Rye-On-Rye.  This is a rye ale that is double aged in rye whiskey barrels.  Weighing in at 14.6% ABV, this is a great breakfast for any growing dawg.IMG_0548

One note about the natives, they are CRAZY about their World Series win.  Must be nice.

I then made the trek across the city to Arthur Bryant’s BBQ.  It was started in the 1920s.  From my research, it is the original KC BBQ joint.  A note about the location, it’s in a rough area, but IMO that adds to the appeal.IMG_0523

They offer a wide variety of products, but the ribs are fantastic!  They do serve regular pig ‘que, but all I can say is it ain’t from Old Clinton.  They have sliced beef that is decent.  Sides are decent.  They like to brag on their fries, but they are pretty soggy and therefore not for me.  The sauce is really heavy on paprika and light on vinegar, but to be honest is unnecessary.  The environment is the best part of it, the floors are greasy in a way (better wear oil resistant shoes), great aroma, and if I remember correctly (brewery got me all dizzy) there is a picture of Morgan Freeman on the wall….or Danny Glover.

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My friend Kensington told me to go to a joint in Kansas City, Kansas called Oklahoma Joes.  It is in an Exxon station and the line wraps around the building multiple times at lunch.  I really wanted to go, but couldn’t get the time.IMG_0562

Another admission; I don’t really follow NFL football, but the trip to Arrowhead was really cool.  I learned a lot of history about the franchise.  Coolest part of the tour was going down on the field and the trip to the locker room, where some of our favorite Dawgs get dressed.  The tours are led by diehard fans (interestingly called the redcoats).  The redcoats travel with the team, and are the ones who lead the team on the field on gamedays.  I asked our Redcoat what he thought of Aaron Murray’s new MTV-themed haircut, and got this response: HAHAHAHAHAAH (but in a Midwestern old man voice).

All in all, KCMO is a great place to go.  Give it a visit.

CORNdawg

On Georgia Southern

For the record, I think Georgia wins. But in possibly an indictment of how uneasy things are amongst the fan base, I could also see Georgia losing as well.

Living in Middle Georgia, you live among a good mix of fans, and with its proximity, that includes Georgia Southern fans. To me, GSU has always been a rural version of the Georgia Tech fan base. Georgia should not lose to them on the gridiron – and when it happens, it is MAJOR deal.

And don’t discount the dislike for the Bulldog Nation either. Asking people on campus not to wear red all week because they are playing UGA? That’s North Avenue Trade School inferiority complex stuff. Heck, you can almost argue that a Georgia loss would devastate UGA’s fan base more than any other group.

We’ve talked in this space before about Georgia enabling programs to get a signature win. You think winning at the The Swamp was big a few years back? That’s absolutely nothing compared to what it’ll be if the Eagles pull off the win. It’d be more revered than any of Georgia Southern’s 1-AA titles. A state of Willie Fritz would be commissioned within three days.

Georgia has talked big in recent years about ‘running the state.’

A loss to Georgia Southern means taking a back seat going forward to GSU. Georgia, and Mark Richt cannot allow that to happen.

Bottom line – if Georgia has multiple three and outs and relies on defense and special teams on Saturday, it’s a recipe for disaster and one of the most infamous home games in Sanford Stadium history.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

A different meaning of the Georgia-Auburn game

For a long time, especially as a result of calling the Peach State home, the Auburn game was usually circles on the calendar. When you live in and around Auburn fans and other supporters, it’s hard not to get your blood going for The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

Georgia and Auburn is like two siblings going against one another. The thing about siblings is, you don’t always have to like them. That’s the case with the Bulldogs and the Wartiglesmen.

But for me, the Auburn game means a lot more, and something different.

It all started back two years ago, really in the final minutes of the game.

On the late-game pass thrown by an Auburn quarterback that Georgia had the audacity to dismiss for stealing from his own teammates (I refuse to refer to the fluke play by name), when the ball was deflected in the air, I just knew…maybe from the perpetual heartache of being a Georgia fan, that it would not end well. And course, it didn’t.

Now, like everyone else, I was devastated. Our dog, a 45-pound pit mix, was probably also nervous from all the yelling at the TV from the late-game turning of events.

So, of course, a few minutes go by. And then, Mrs. Lugnut Dawg decides that something is needed to make me feel better. At that moment, she tells me that we’re expecting our first child. All I know is that if Georgia would have won and our daughter would have been born a boy, his name would have most likely been Aaron!


Flash forward to 2014.

On the Friday morning before the game, I was primed and ready to go, already making plans for what time to head to Athens on Saturday for not only the Auburn game, but Todd Gurley’s return. That all changed around 2 p.m.

While at work, I got the call that few want to receive. It was one informing me that our daughter’s trip to see her pediatrician was much more serious, and that the next stop was a trip straight to the ER of the local Children’s Hospital.

21 or so days later, she was out of the hospital and has improved in multiple areas since then.

The funny thing is, when telling Georgia fans about the initial trip to the hospital, usually say, ‘well, it was the weekend of the Auburn game…”

In a way, our daughter has been defined by the Auburn game.

Either way, she’ll be decked out this Saturday from our home in red and black cheering on the Dawgs with us!

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

One group to be very happy for

Sure, Saturday night’s game was probably only fun to watch for people with a football appreciate like Gene Stallings, and Georgia very likely set offensive back to the stone ages, but there was a very important group within the program to be extremely happy for.

The defense.

I don’t care who you play. Any time that you hold an opposing offense an entire game without a score – especially when they START a drive at your one-yard line? That’s a heck of a night.

As much as this team’s offense has been maligned as of late, the defense has bore a heavy load of it as well. Except in their case, they were supposed to be a cornerstone of this team along with its now-injured potential Heisman Trophy Candidate.

It hasn’t been fun for this defense the past two weeks – and two pretty good offenses exposed some weak spots during that time. And yes, I know Mizzou’s offense is not on the same level. But a game without a TD is a game without a TD.

Going into an off week, momentum is everything. This group has it on defense.

I’m not guaranteeing they will slow Florida down…but they’ll at least head to Duval with a strong wind at their back.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg


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