Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Part of me did not want to go to Lexington after the breakdown we witnessed in Jacksonville. BFR shared my sentiment.
However, I had made it my goal before the season to go to every game this year. BFR had also made this his goal, and to this point both of us have been 100% successful. After going to Las Vegas and Tempe and driving from New Orleans to Jacksonville, I wasn’t going to give up now.
So, the two of us decided to head to Lexington while everyone else stayed behind. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when we arrived, as neither of us had been there before.
The two of us had every intention of driving up, watching the game, and heading back to Atlanta right after.
THAT DID NOT HAPPEN AT ALL.
There’s something to be said for making an SEC road trip with a small contingent of friends and fans, having very little in the way of actual, concrete plans, and being open to letting the adventure take you where it will.
We had great experiences, and established a new belief that Kentucky fans (not U of K, never say that) are the best opposing fans we’ve ever met. Not only have I never been treated with such hospitality, I never even thought the level of hospitality that we received was even possible. Thank you to first to Carole for affording us the opportunity to go to the game, and also to Elmo, JR, Chrissy, Joe, Michelle, Anthony and everyone else we met during our great visit to Lexington.
Our post game experience was un-believable, and is something neither of us will ever forget. Thank you guys again (skip to the post game section of the post if you want to know what I’m talking about).
Bubba tipped us off to a post on another of our favorite blogs about a fan who had extra tickets to the game. We contacted a true Dawg fan, Carole, who graciously offered her unused Kentucky tickets to us, solely on the condition that we cheer on the Dawgs as hard as we could. No problem. Many, many thank yous to Carole for your generosity!
After meeting Carole, We ventured on to Knoxville to stay with my family, and we enjoyed some $1 drafts at an establishment name after owls. What a great start to the trip! Scantily clad UT undergraduate co-eds and $1 drafts! We knew we were in for a great weekend.
We arrived in Lexington about two hours before the game. Lexington is a really nice town and driving to our parking spot we saw some great setups around the stadium. Some great tailgating was taking place and there were some nice houses that made me salivate in jealousy. To have a house that close to a football stadium would be amazing.
We spent most of our pre-game time searching for the one group of Dawgs we did know. This turned out to never come to fruition, but we made friends with some Kentucky fans that were admiring the number of flasks on the outside of our wheeled cooler.
I believe the invitation we received to join their tailgate went something like: “I have respect for any man with that many flasks, even if he is wearing a tacky red blazer.” Classic.
The ladies we saw in Lexington were top-notch as well. We usually expect to encounter so comment-worthy talent when we go to an SEC football game, but for some reason Lexington wasn’t on my radar. It is now. I can’t wait to come back and watch some horse racing and be surrounded by sun dresses.
DURING THE GAME
Even with having approximately 70,000 seats, the view from the upper deck was pretty nice (despite the cold wind). Commonwealth Stadium is great place to watch a football game. No real complaints at all.
After the first drive or two, I thought this game was going much better than I had anticipated. The tension and stress that set in during the second half was nearly unbearable.
When AJ caught that pass in the corner of our end zone, I think the eruption of joy that took place in our section rivaled almost any other similar moment at a football game. The sheer relief we felt started to evaporate, and then Dobbs lifted his magical hand to the air and caused another explosive celebration in our section.
BFR was so elated that he hugged everyone around us wearing red, even some people wearing blue, and spent a disproportionate amount of time hugging the cute girl sitting behind him. Her boyfriend seemed to be alright with it, however, given that we had just won the game and BFR was kind enough to share the contents of his four flasks with the boyfriend earlier in the game.
I declare that madness shall ensue everytime I catch a touchdown
After the game, we searched for the one group of Dawgs we knew, but never found them. We did run into all the players as they were coming out of the locker room. BFR and I were able to speak to AJ Green real quick, and also say hi to everyone's favorite person, Willie Martinez.
On our way back to the car, we stopped at a tailgate of a group of Kentucky fans. We had seen this tailgate initially walking to the stadium. This setup was astounding.
These fans had a trailer that, on the inside, was essentially a bar. The upgrades included flooring, nice cabinetry, seats, a huge area for food, a giant flat screen TV, and a smaller flat screen TV. A large opening on the side of the trailer with a counter provided a perfect seating area to enjoy the spread of food and drinks while watching other games on the two TVs.
Outside of the trailer were tables and chairs in blue and white, and the entire setup was surrounded by a white picket fence and a Kentucky flag flying over it all.
This awesome tailgate was right on a nice corner lot just a small parking lot’s distance from the stadium. Essentially, it was the best location imaginable.
We introduced ourselves to this group and met Elmo, JR, Chrissy, Joe, Michelle, and a whole host of kind people whose names I can’t remember.
We were talking with everyone for a good while, and they invited us to stay and watch the LSU/Bama game with them.
In the midst of all this, Joker Phillips walks up to Elmo and some other people at the tailgate. Joker wasn’t walking by at chance and they stopped him. No, Joker was walking by and purposefully stopped.
BFR and I were just blown away. Not only is this the greatest tailgate setup we’ve witnessed personally, but Kentucky’s [future] head coach is here talking with everyone (he didn’t seem to be in the best of moods, which is understandable).
As we watched the game and drank with these great people, we began to learn a lot about Kentucky.
Kentucky fans would rather be terrible at football and be in the SEC than be great at football in another conference.
Kentucky fans despise Louisville. Their description of Louisville fans reminded me of Florida fans, which automatically makes me hate Louisville.
They criticized Big East football games as being worse than watching a duck fart or listening to Oprah. Louisville vs. UCONN is not a real football game.
They also loved Munson, and their favorite quote was Munson speaking about Lorenzen: “Godzilla is on the loose!”
At about the time LSU/Bama went into overtime, they were ready to leave and we were planning on heading towards Atlanta. However, our new Kentucky friends insisted we join them at a steakhouse called Malone’s (It also conveniently has a sports bar). How could we turn this down?
BFR and I arrived at the steakhouse and joined the group in the bar. JR, who played for Kentucky in the “Couch era” told us he was inviting a friend of his named Anthony White, who also had played for Kentucky.
SEC fans may well remember Anthony White, who also played for UK during the “Couch era.” Anthony let us Georgia fans know that he considers Herschel Walker to be the best running back in SEC (and college football) history…but he considers himself the second best (embellishment on our part, makes the story better and Anthony would definitely go with it!). He is the only back in SEC history with 1500 receiving yards and 1500 rushing yards in the same season, thus he has enjoyed the nickname “Mr. 1500” as much as he was enjoying his Courvoisier Saturday night.
The eight of us sat down for a great meal and several more hours of talking about football, basketball, baseball and life in general. The conversation focused on sports and held the attention of the entire table and most of the rest of the restaurant. Anthony dropped one-liners on us like bombs:
-“One time playing Georgia, I was giving Kirby Smart the business! No offense, but you had a white DB trying to tackle me?!?”
-That Tennessee quarterback is horrible. Every time he drops back, it looks like he is playing dodgeball with the defense!
-Joker Phillips should put me in, I’ll win a national championship right now.
After treating us to a wonderful meal (that we tried to pay for), we bid farewell to this great group of people as they headed home.
We, on the other hand, didn’t head home. We joined Anthony at a party afterwards with a bunch of ex-football players from Kentucky and some of the UK Athletic Assoc staff.
Even decked out in red and black, everyone was great to us, particularly Anthony for bringing us along and introducing us to everyone there.
After a few hours, we knew that we had at least a three hour drive ahead of us, so BFR and I decided to call it quits and we headed back to Knoxville.
All in all, this was the best experience we could have imagined, far exceeding our simple expectations for our trip. I have a new found appreciation for Lexington, the University of Kentucky, and their fans.
I hope BFR and I get to return the favor soon to the great people we met, as well as other fans in the future.
Let this also provide a lesson to everyone: If you don’t feel like going on that road trip, DO IT ANYWAYS! After this trip, there are no longer any acceptable excuses for not making the road trip.
"You may catch some of Jevan's britches, but you ain't catching mine"
South Carolina at Florida: Pretty Sure that BFR’s head will explode if he watches any of this game in a sober state. That is why it is imperative that we pour bourbon down his throat while we are on the Plains. His hate of all things Spurrier and all things Florida is truly unparalleled.
This man has a serious dislike of all things Gator. That is, unless he sees Urban Meyer and the 'Ole Ball Coach being eaten by one.
Mississippi State at Alabama: I refuse to say anything good about this game just because it took the 7:45 ESPN time slot over the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Instead we will focus on the fact that Bama has not scored an offensive TD against the western Bulldogs in two years. Bama also lost to UL-Monroe last year:
This is about all I've got against 'Bama this year and that sucks.Mississippi State is not good and Alabama is really good and that about sums up the entire football game. Bama will run the ball, play base defense and have a winning margin somewhere around 21 points. Final score here is Alabama 27, MSU 6.
Troy State University at LSU: This match up is pretty simple to call. LSU will run the ball a lot with Charles Scott and Keiland Williams. They are also likely to pull the redshirt off of Freshman QB Jordan Jefferson, something Less (Get It?) Miles and company should have done weeks ago.
"Yes, it did appear that the Alabama defense did not want to play dodgeball with Jarrett"
"Yes, I should have gone to Michigan - Scratch that, Appalachian State"The Trojans are 6-3 on the season and throw the ball pretty well with quarterback Levi Brown. They traditionally hang tough with big time opponents and will give the Bayou Bengals some early trouble before fading at the end. Look for a 45-21 LSU victory.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky: Snore...but at least it is an SEC game and it is on TV. The second coming of Pat White, the illustrious and accomplished QB/RB/WR Randall Cobb, will lead UK to a 24-17 victory.
That does it for this week. The Maker's Mark will be out in Alabama this Saturday and we look forward to seeing plenty of Dawg fans there.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
However, Aubie deserves a category of his own. Not only is he one of the least threatening tigers you will ever meet, but he is remarkably versatile. I'll let the following pictures speak for themselves.
Aubie as Santa Claus
Aubie on a bike with Joe Pesci hair
Aubie winning trophies at the mascot karate championships
Aubie at the disco
Aubie trying to get some tail on the field
Aubie flying planes and serving our country
Aubie riding a bike (again) into your grandmother's bushes
Aubie feeding horses on the farm
Aubie baby-sitting kids at the park
Aubie posing for the cover of Playgirl
Aubie giving signals to the basketball team
Aubie auditioning to become Hugh Hefner
Kudos to you, Aubie. You are a hard working mascot. James Brown would be proud, except he was a Dawgs fan. You lose, again.
As an infant/toddler, I had Georgia bottles and apparently chanted “Go Hersch!” over and over. So in the end, I was meant to be a Georgia Bulldog. However, I did have a brief stay with the Auburn Tigers during adolescence.
The following is little Earl without the red hair and the hideous orange shirt. Notice how the kid has to be bribed. Not surprising for Auburn.
We attended almost every Georgia-Auburn game in my childhood, no matter if it was in Athens or on the Plains. And I donned the orange and blue every time. But, when it was time to choose a college to attend, I obviously chose Georgia. Mom was happy, and dad was just as thrilled about the in-state Hope scholarship.
Anyways, we’re like so many other families in this rivalry with people on both sides. And as we head into another entry in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, I’m looking forward to sitting in an Auburn section of the stadium as a Bulldog for the first time. Each time I’ve been to Jordan-Hare in the 2000s as a Dawg, I’ve had the fortune of sitting in the Georgia section. Not this year, though. This year, it’s right behind the Auburn bench on the 50-yard line (Hey, like the title says…Earl sits on the 50). Should be fun.
This video really captures the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.
Georgia is 8-2. Auburn is 5-5. How many times have I seen the underdog win in this series? Too many times to count. Advantage: Auburn
Jordan-Hare Stadium. How many times have I seen the visiting team win in this series? Too many times to count. Advantage: Georgia
With those two advantages canceling each other out, I think the better football team wins on Saturday and that’s the Dawgs. And just for good measure, the former Parkview High School running back Brad Lester has helped the cause this week by calling out the better football team. We appreciate it Brad. Word has it that Rennie Curran has just washed ashore from Liberia again and is thinking about you on Saturday. Thanks Brad.
Georgia hasn’t beaten Auburn three straight times since 1980-1982. Let’s make that 2006-2008. And then watch the Dawgs beat Tech for the 8th straight time, while Auburn ruins Alabama’s season, beating the Tide for the 7th straight time. The Tigers will tell you that they’re undefeated in Tuscaloosa.
The past 7-8 Thanksgiving weekends have been real good in the family thanks to those two in-state rivalries.
Just for you Maverick, here is Phil Collins' 1981 solo hit "In the Air Tonight":
We put this video up because the only thing that should be in the air Saturday night at Auburn is the remaining stench of the Tiger Offense. Mr. Collins also said that he wrote this song while he was going through a divorce and API will have a nasty one if they decide to fire ole Tommy Tubbs.
Actually, to ease the pain of AUMaverick's season, we will honor his request:
However, the most confusing thing is why AUMaverick is not going to the game with us.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I swear, I swear! Y'all need to stop asking me about this losing nonsense! We had a perfect season before!
Others have claimed that injuries or a failure to develop a serious pass rush from the defensive end position are the culprits for the lack of defensive production. Despite these arguments, I believe the reason Georgia is struggling on defense (particularly in the red zone, where we are allowing touchdowns on 68% of opponents’ possessions as compared to 49% last year), is the lack of a playmaker at the safety position.
Let’s take a quick look back at some of the guys that made the safety position great over the last few years.
Jones was a vicious hitter but also a great shut down player in the secondary. He was also a key member of the special teams unit (see Auburn 2002 for proof).
Davis came to Georgia as a linebacker, but became a breakthrough player as a safety his sophomore year in 2003. Who can forget the huge hits he laid in the destruction of LSU in 2004:
One of the hardest hitters I have ever seen. Blue wasn’t known for his coverage skills, but SEC teams knew that if they came over the middle he would be there to light them up:
A walk on who became a star for the Georgia defense. Despite his small size, Battle was a great tackler and also defended well in coverage. The Auburn game in 2006 stamped his name in the Georgia record books:
What do all of these players, along with Jermaine Phillips, Kentrell Curry, and Kelin Johnson, have in common? They all played the safety position with a linebacker mentality. In the current defense that Georgia uses (which is the same basic scheme under Martinez as it was under Van Gorder), we tend to rush four linemen and drop our linebackers into coverage. In the past, one of our safeties has pressed up with the linebackers to help stop the run and shut down passes over the middle. This is evident in guys like Thomas Davis being the team’s leading tackler from the safety position. These guys have also put themselves in positions to make game changing plays. Sean Jones’ 95 yard scoop and score at Tennessee in 2003 and Kelin Johnson’s opening play pick against Auburn in ’07 are great examples.
This year’s team is missing that guy in the secondary who strikes fear in the opponents’ runners and receivers. Rennie Curran seems to be everywhere at the linebacker position, but how often do we see CJ Byrd right there with him? Not very often. Reshad Jones has all of talent in the world to be a head hunter like Greg Blue, but he has proven time and again that he can’t make easy interceptions. And Drew Williams is a good player on special teams, but he does not have any business being our first safety off the bench.
While I am not completely against a change at defensive coordinator, I am aware that a coach can only do so much. If the players don’t step up to the plate and make the plays when they have the chance, the team will look like it has failed. What Georgia needs to do is rally around the team we have and find that swagger that once existed in the Georgia defense. We’ve got two games left in the ’08 season, let’s make them count.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Yes, you do in fact wear too much self tanner and we know, you played QB at the Ohio State University.
Just so everyone remembers, you were not very good:
Yes, that nice Michigan man fell on you and it probably had something to do with the fact that he also thought you were a tool. Perhaps he was jealous that you were the 1988 Ohio High School Player of the Year for football and couldn't handle your greatness. I don't know.
Bubba doesn't have all of the answers, but he does know that you are a tool.
*This article was in no way meant to offend or harm the feelings of his toolness, Kirk Herbstreit.
All season long I've been listening to the "Fire Willie Now!!" contingent of our fan base and this includes others that post on this blog.
Sorry, but I am not on this bandwagon, and as of now do not imagine myself joining it.
I'm also not posting this as a means to engage in a discussion on the merits of Willie Martinez.
I do want to say that I am tired of hearing about Van Gorder and Muschamp. Ever since people started calling for the firing of Willie, these names have come up with how we should bring Van Gorder back or hire Muschamp.
I hadn't heard much of that this year until after Florida, but it was still very limited. After this weekend, I've heard a large spike in these sentiments and they need to stop. They're tired, old, and bordering on stupid.
Why would you want Van Gorder back? Yes, he did a great job here, even better than Willie, and he is a great defensive coordinator. However, HE CAN'T DECIDE WHAT JOB HE WANTS! Why in the hell would you want a guy back who has spent his time burning bridges and has been almost incapable of staying in any job for more than a year since he left our program? Personally, if I were a coach anywhere I would not hire Van Gorder for fear of him jumping ship three weeks later. He's not coming back and even if he were, it would be a bad idea to bring him back.
I had barely heard anything about Muschamp this year, most likely due to the fact that people have resigned themselves to him taking a head coaching job at some point. However, since this weekend I've heard people mention his name. Typically, it has been in the form of, "We should have fired Willie and gotten Muschamp when we had the chance."
First off, I'll go ahead and assume we "had a chance" to hire Muschamp for argument sakes. Why would you want him? When serving as defensive coordinator against UGA, Muschamp is 2-3. In his two years at Auburn, he was dominated by our offense.
Muschamp's a Dawg and a really good defensive coordinator, but you have to take the emotional aspect out of it. The notion that we should fire our defensive coordinator to hire someone who couldn't beat us in the most recent matchups (and I realize Brandon Cox made the situation worse for him), just doesn't make any sense.
You can say you want Willie fired, just don't make absurd points about Van Gorder and Muschamp. It de-values your argument severely, and it shows that your opinion of Willie is rooted more in emotion than reality.
Monday, November 10, 2008
- Wow, what a game. I told other people this weekend that if I wasn’t a Georgia fan, that game would have been awesome. However, I am a Dawg fan and I almost had a heart attack. The important thing is that Georgia came out of Lexington with a victory.
- While I may not have correctly guessed the final score, at least I was right about Georgia jumping out to a big lead. The Dawgs got out to a quick start scoring two quick touchdowns on a pass from Stafford (career high 373 yards passing with 3 TDs) and a hard fought six yard score by Knowshon Moreno (123 yards and 3 TDs). The offense kept going most of the day, scoring touchdowns on six of its ten total possessions.
15 touchdowns on the season with 3 games to go. Please come back next year!
- While Mohamed Massaquoi did not quite match Fred Gibson’s Georgia record of 201 yards receiving, the senior from Charlotte turned in a hero worthy performance. MoMass had eight catches for 191 yards and a touchdown. After two costly fumbles on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter, it looked like he may end up being the goat. With Georgia down three points and the ball inside its own 20, Stafford hit Massaqoui across the middle and Mo did the rest. 78 yards later, the Dawgs were inside the Kentucky 10 and Stafford hit AJ Green for the game winning touchdown.
In the words of Jonathan Moxon in Varsity Blues, “If we go out and half-ass it 'cause we're scared, then we'll always wonder if we were really good enough. But if we go out there and give it all we've got... that's heroic.” Mohamed, that was a heroic effort.
- The downfall of Georgia’s special teams continues to perplex me. Maybe we have been spoiled with great kickers and excellent special teams players, but the breakdown in punt blocking and kick-off return coverage on Saturday was embarrassing. Not to mention that we have stuck by the directional kick off game plan with limited success and an out of bounds kick off on Saturday initially looked like it might spell disaster for the Dawgs. If Kentucky had not returned the favor with a kick off of their own out of bounds, the special teams collapse could have yielded a far worse outcome than it ultimately did.
- The defense stepped up when they had to in the 4th. Is it just me, or does Georgia’s defense seem to strike fear in exactly NO ONE? What happened to the days when teams were scared to come across the middle because Thomas Davis or Sean Jones was waiting for the kill. I really miss Brian Van Gorder.
- I thought the Red Raiders would fold in their second week in the spotlight to a well rounded Oklahoma State team who took Texas to the wire. I was wrong. The offense led by Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree scored on seven consecutive possessions after a fumble on the opening drive and never looked back. Their defense also showed its muscle, keeping the Cowboy offense in check in the blowout victory.
The Heisman front-runner could not be stopped on Saturday
- If Alabama and Florida win their remaining games, the game in Atlanta will most likely be a match up of the #1 team in the country against either the #2 or #3 team in the BCS.
- Alabama was pushed to the limits against LSU on Saturday. After Jarrett Lee’s latest interception-filled game (including another pick 6), do you think The Hat is regretting the decision to kick Ryan Perrilloux off the team?
North Carolina knocks off Georgia Tech
- Butch Davis has built a solid program in Chapel Hill and is now in position to play for an ACC Championship. The offense was not brilliant, but put points on the board in beating the North Avenue Trade School, 28-7.
- As ugly as the game was, the only thing that matters is that Georgia’s record is now 8 -2. Since we are no longer in the national title hunt, style points mean nothing. We go to Auburn this Saturday to face a down Auburn team. Let’s make it three in a row over the War Tiger Plainsmen.
Even with Auburn struggling, the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry should be one hell of a fight.