Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In praise of the Cocktail Party

I want to pause a moment this week to say how special, how unique, and how intrinsic to College Football our annual trip to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party remains.

Living in Virginia, with a wife and two young kids, I've not attended in a number of years. But some of my great memories come from those trips.

Hell, some of them even happened on a Saturday.

This game is one of the things that makes the University of Georgia special on the national stage. It is destination football, perhaps on par with anything and everything else in College Football.

I know some are there already, relaxing on a beach. I'm jealous of everything but the Sunday trip home, should things go as they too often have in recent years the last decade the last 20 years since 1990.

In my youth, my friends and I were usually early arrivers. Georgia-Florida week was, in fact, a week.

More than a decade ago my buddy, The General we called him, was the last caller on Coach Richt's annual Sunday call-in show the week before Florida. This was early in Richt's tenure. Maybe even in his first year, because I remember Munson explaining to Richt just what-all the Cocktail Party entailed.

We had played Kentucky or someone the day before.

"Just wanted to let you know, we're packing up the car and heading down tonight," The General said, as the end-of-show music played.

"My God," Munson replied. "You'll be dead by Thursday."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What's the matter, Georgia? Can't handle a little pressure?

The headline comes from my wife, who, in line with our style of analysis here, did not watch yesterday's game.

I remain tranquil in the wake of losing to, for goodness sake, Vanderbilt. Because we are on a path. We're locked in. There's no doubt or looming decision festering in my gut like after a bad loss in recent years.

This is either going to work or it's not. Within three years.

Joe, and 99 percent of sensible Bulldog fandom, did not like our key 4th down play call yesterday. I'll list the reasons:
  1. It didn't work.
  2. Nick Chubb.
  3. I mean, you can't go in motion like that twice in a row. C'mon, y'all.
  4. Sony Michel.
Our special teams play was a comedy of ironies and poor decisions. On the biggest plays, Vanderbilt's defense looked like it was just swarming past our blockers. Watching Arkansas/Ole Miss after our game made me ache for a night game in Sanford Stadium with a team that looks like it knows what it's doing and doesn't fuck around about it.

Any way, whatever. We have a plan. This plan appears to be going poorly. I say let's beat Auburn and Florida this year, and of course Georgia Tech.

These are my only 2016 goals for the program. I hope they're somehow, perhaps magically, within reach, and that they won't be subverted for longer-term goals.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

UGA fans should pay UGA prices for returned tickets

As the Banner Herald notes, Georgia Tech has returned about 2,000 tickets for its visit next month to Sanford Stadium.

You can buy one for $95, the price we charge Tech fans, a price based largely on the price they charge us for games in Atlanta.

Returned tickets should be available to UGA fans at the normal home ticket price of $45, not the price we charge other fan bases.

I feel certain we can handle the $100,000 loss. I feel certain we can make relatively sure, at least to the extent we do for regularly priced tickets now, that only UGA people get these tickets.

It is not right to charge Georgia fans away team prices, and particularly not for garbage seats in the Tech Deck.

Hat tip: The Senator.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

LSU v. FLA: Play it or you both forfeit

That's what Commissioner Lucid would say.

You two figure it out, or you both get losses and the rest of us move on. Then you can consider not upsetting me again with your inability to compromise.

And, no, I did not read the SEC bylaws on this. I mean, I skimmed them, but who has that sort of time?

I know this: Ain't no way a Florida team that doesn't play its full SEC schedule this year can be in the running in the SEC East.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The rehabilitation of Isaiah Crowell

When erstwhile Georgia star Isaiah Crowell sent a cartoon depiction of a police officer being murdered out into the internet, that could have been it for the troubled young running back.

His talent, no doubt, saved him again. That his talent is relative to the rest of the Cleveland Browns organization helped immensely.

But at the end of the day the broader lessen is this: There are no knuckleheads beyond redemption:
"I said, 'Isaiah, why did you send me a check? I told you you didn't have to send me a check,''' Pennie said. "He said, 'Sarge, I want to do it. I really want to do it.' I said, 'okay, alright, you will now be an executive level sponsor. So now, you are a celebrity sponsor of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation.'' 
Crowell, asked by cleveland.com about the donation this week in the Browns locker room, was reluctant to discuss it. He never wanted publicity for it in the first place.
Crowell is currently the NFL's second-leading rusher, by the way.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lucid Idiocy drinks to 2016!

If you need cocktail ideas today, Lucid Idiocy has you covered. Drink up.

The Silver Red and Black
Shot of Johnny Walker Red, shot of Johnny Walker Black, Diet Sprite. Losing badly in the 4th quarter? Substitute Mercury for the Sprite.

The Banana Lambert
My siblings and I actually created this one at the start of the 2015 season, based on the oldest bottle in my parents' liquor cabinet. It's a shot of banana liqueur and a shot of bourbon with ginger beer, garnished with mint. It's not as bad as you think (yes it is).

The Jacob's Ladder
Shot of peppermint schnapps, shot of Boone's Farm, shot of whiskey, hand the ball to Nick Chubb.

The Nick Chubb
Get a rocks glass. Fill it with rocks. Enjoy.

The McKenzie
Three sips of an $80 Scotch, enjoyed by a fire with a mellow cigar. Then drop and shatter the rest of the bottle.

The Lorenzo
Tequila in a shot class garnished with pulled teeth. Yeah, I don't know why either.

The Eason
Get some champagne. Add jolly ranchers. Give it to the other team.

The Blazevich
Shot of beer. Shot of Amaretto. Top with 151. Light on fire and set aside without drinking.

The Kirby
A vodka fishbowl martini served daily at 3:30 from a bottle of Grey Goose that has been emptied out behind your back, then refilled with either more Grey Goose, Absolute or Mr. Boston's.

The McGarity
Beverage of your choice, served in a glass too big for you to finish.

The Placekicker
Prepare two separate glasses of malt liquor. Set aside on an tray table while you enjoy three to five Easons. Approach tray table and trip face first into both glasses. Cut yourself severely.

The Sack
Beverage does not exist.

The Line
Drink of your choice served in a colander.

The Beat UNC
I actually don't know what's in this one, which is a shame because it was pretty good. I know it's built on a Nick Chubb, but for the life of me I can't remember what else was in it.

The 2016
Make an Eason. Put all your eggs in it.

The Richt
Vodka shots. Like revenge, best served cold.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lucid Idiocy contemplates return!

I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're going to hear about them.

Fair warning, Bulldogs: This blog is coming back to life, angrier, dumber and more disillusioned than ever.

Monday, October 20, 2014

WLOCP: Packing Gator sections with Dawg fans

As Bernie has already noted, absent a friendly fan discount, the cheapest after-market tickets for the Cocktail Party are going to be on the Florida side, which is the eastern side of the stadium this year.

But you don't want to sit with Florida people. So why not target a few key sections, see if we can load those up with Georgia fans?

This is, more or less**, what the stadium looks like in Jacksonville, with our sections colored red:

You can click to enlarge the chart. The sections I've "silvered-in" are Florida sections that are right next to the Georgia sections. If you dig a little on the ticket boards, you can find tickets in these sections.

I recommend clicking on a ticket exchange ad from your favorite Georgia blogger so they get a little bit of the action. I know Bernie has a ticket partner, as does Georgia Sports Blog.

If enough Georgia fans target these sections, you won't have to sit next to Johnny Jean Shorts. He can be a miserable seat mate, even if he's having a sad this year.

I've also silvered-in Florida sections 136 and 236. Those of you looking for 50-yard-line seats, perhaps you can focus there.

All just a humble suggestion. But it would be cool to see entire extra sections of Red and Black come kickoff. Feel free to use the comments section here (you don't have to register or nothin') to coordinate things a bit more, and to let folks know if you find any Florida section where big blocks of tickets are available.

I'm happy to keep things updated as sections turn red, or as big blocks are discovered. For those that don't know, I help run The Dawgbone, so we can put more than Lucid Idiocy's paltry weight behind this if the desire is there.

Go Dawgs. Send Agent Muschamp out to a chorus of barks.

**When I say "more or less," Everbank Field reconfigured things a bit this year, so there are seating charts on online that aren't up to date. I got the UGA sections from our Athletic Association's ticket office. Then I had to add one of the 300 sections myself after a conversation with Everbank Field's ticket office. There's still one section (317) that UGA says is ours, but I can't find on any seating chart. Still, the dividing lines I've shown between our sections and Florida's should be reliable.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Recovery through music: Your badge is right here

Well I've told you how a life goes up and down,
don't you notice how the wheel goes round?
And you better pick yourself up from off the ground,
before they bring the curtain down.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coaches teach execution, right?

This is just ridiculous:
Those kind of miscues—along with the high snap on the punt and giving up a fake field goal—again bring up the issue of whether Georgia should have a special teams coordinator. 
“Whether you have a special teams coordinator or not, you’ve got to field the punt, you’ve got to snap the ball, you’ve got to catch the snap,” Richt said. “What does that have to do with whether you’ve got a special teams coordinator or not? It’s just things we’ve got to be able to execute, the basic fundamentals of it. Those guys are very capable and I do have faith that we can get the job done. We’ve got the ability, we’ve just got to be consistent in that way.”
Why have a quarterback coach? I mean, it's just a matter of Aaron Murray executing, and he's very capable. Why have a wide receivers coach? What, is he going to to teach them to have four hands?

For that matter, why have a head coach? Do we need a coaching staff at all? Just think what the athletic association's reserve fund would look like if you cut all those salaries.

You don't think we need one? Fine. But don't act like it doesn't make sense to ask.

A hard rain did a-gonna fall

Consider the preseason question answered.


Friday, August 23, 2013

PreSeason Ponder: Is a hard rain a-gonna fall?

I say, "maybe," but I've been known to be an optimist about these things.

Friday, March 22, 2013

perfect speed, my Jarvis

I suspect many of you, as a child, read a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull, about a bird who wanted to learn everything he could about perfect flight and speed.

There's a line in that book that stuck with me: "Perfect speed, my son, is being there."

And that's what popped into my head when I read that Jarvis Jones ran a 4.9 40 at pro day.

I never thought Jarvis was fast, because I have eyes. But he is always at the ball, and I can't explain it, nor do I care to.

He doesn't have a start speed. There's no top speed. He is like water flowing well before the snap, through the path of least resistance to the ball. He is simply there.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Manti Te'o: Failed journalism, failed priorities

I am, of course, not qualified to talk to you about what did and didn't happen to Manti Te'o. Certainly I'm incredulous. Surely there's some amount of stupid and some amount of lying involved on his part, and probably Notre Dame's, and the question is simply how much of each.

But, then, we haven't heard directly yet from Te'o in the wake of this. As a newspaper reporter I've gone into plenty of interviews thinking "guilty ... almost certainly guilty" and left thinking "not so fast, that person made good points."

So it is important to reserve judgment, something we all need a reminder of from time to time. And this, is a big one. It is exceedingly important in life to keep an open mind.

Clearly, repeated journalistic failings have been exposed at the highest levels of sports reporting. Pete Thamel, for goodness sakes, has written for The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, and he screwed up in a way that will attach itself to the rest of his career.

That makes me angry. The lack of mea culpas out there so far from these reporters intensify the feeling.

But I must keep an open mind until hearing from them, as well. And, as a reporter for 15 years, I see clearly how this happens, even to very good reporters.

The truth is there's a rarely problematic hole in the typical journalistic process. If I interview a guy on the street about the news of the day, I don't ask for his driver's license when he spells his name for me. If I call a policy expert that I've never met and leave a message, I don't question whether it's really him or her when I get a call back.

So why wouldn't you believe a guy, who seems like a fine kid, when he says he has a girlfriend? He's Manti freaking Te'o, Notre Dame All American, made legend through some combination of effort and media myth. Those guys have girlfriends if they want them.

But here's the thing: If you care about this young woman, this supposed actual person who was in a car wreck, then got leukemia, then lay dying - if you care about her for any reason other than she was dating Manti Te'o, you reach out for her family. You call a friend.

You ask them for details - something you should double-source anyway, given the nature of memory in traumatic situations. Even if Manti Te'o tells you the family doesn't want to talk, you try. And you say, "your daughter/sister/friend is going to be a major part of a national news story. We publish Wednesday."

But she wasn't the story, even though her role in it was perhaps its most compelling element. Te'o was the story because he could tackle, and he played for Notre Dame. She was just his girlfriend.

Think, for a moment, about the priorities evident in that.

Then think about how they might apply to this situation. Or this one.

Postscript: Major kudos to Timothy Burke, Jack Dickey and Deadspin on this story. Yeah, there was some anonymous sourcing in it I'm not real comfortable with, but they did what they felt was right to present things as they found them, and with an effort (which I expect will fail) to protect the privacy of whoever's picture was used as Lennay Kekua's.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

You want to impress me? Beat Florida.

Until then, I feel like this: How did we ever win six?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I come neither to bury Richt, nor defend him

Only to ask a hypothetical question:

If David Greene throws that pass just a little lower versus Florida in 2002 (or Terrence Edwards times things just a little better and catches it), and the Dawgs play for the National Title that year instead of Ohio State or Miami ...

and ...

Matthew Stafford hits that wheel route versus South Carolina in 2007, and a Dawgs team firing on all cylinders gets to the SEC Title game against LSU, despite a ridiculous loss to Tennessee (and maybe plays Ohio State, again, for a National Title) ...

how does that change our conversations today, and in the recent past, concerning Coach Richt and the state of our program?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

To the players whose homes were egged

"I don't believe you. You're a liar. Play fucking loud."

It must be distinctly depressing to come home after getting your butt kicked and find your house egged and rolled, presumably by angry Dawg fans expressing their disappointment with you for sucking.

I'm not sure who all's houses got hit, but Christian Robinson said his did, and if memory serves me, Aaron Murray is one of his roommates. I hope some of your teammates came by to help clean up, or better yet, all of your teammates and a bunch of fans as well.

Because we are, most assuredly, all in this together. But only if we will be.

There are a few responses to something like this. We need focus on only one.

Start about the 50 second mark.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pathetic, or something like it

With apologies to Kenny Rogers, Merle Haggard and pretty much every Dawg fan who had to watch that game.

Initially my one and only thought about this game was "pathetic." But somewhere between the sorriness of the third quarter and the inevitability of the fourth, I began to grasp a sense of nuance about a game that surely marks one of the true low points, from a single-game point of view, of the Richt era.

Tonight was 2008 Alabama bad, without the second half attempted comeback. The better team - the better team by a wide margin - won. But we played poorly.

Our offensive line looked like we should have expected at the start of the season. Our defense is inexplicably mediocre. Aaron Murray is getting harder to defend against the people who say he can't win the big games. I'm not one to bash play calling, but running out of the shotgun against one of the nation's most athletic fronts, on the goal line and elsewhere, strikes me as stupid.

So all around a fairly sorry game, not so much in effort (although the fourth quarter made me question that as well), but in execution.

Long season still to go. Still a good chance South Carolina takes a couple of losses in SEC play. We have a week off. Then Kentucky. Then we damn well better beat Florida, or you can start hoping about 2013.

What we had here tonight was a two-Merle-Haggard song loss. Wake up, Bulldogs. In hindsight, you were bound to lose tonight against a good South Carolina team that came out loaded for bear and ready to go. But you also played like shit. I'd prefer you learn, one of these days, to play like champions.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Malcolm Mitchell's place

During last night's game, when I wasn't just generally losing my mind over the widespread ridiculousness on display, I found myself wondering where Malcolm Mitchell's proper place is in our lineup.

After we pushed the ball to him early on offense, he disappeared, other than to make another bad punt return decision. Meanwhile our receiving corps doesn't seem to need his help. Tavarres King and Michael Bennett are making plays, and we've got Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten as the next options at wideout.

Not too shabby.

Now, obviously Mitchell is talented enough to crack right back into that lineup and play a prominent roll. I hate it for whoever that costs time, but that's football, and we're running enough four and even five wide sets to get everyone snaps.

But ask yourself: Do you feel more comfortable about Rantavious Wooten / Marlon Brown as the third receiver on the field, or about Branden Smith as one of your starting corners?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm sure there are things to worry about, but I don't see them

I'm trying hard not to judge too much on a Vanderbilt game, or any of our other early season games for that matter. But, damn, that looked like a complete team last night.

The offense looked like it was entering juggernaut territory. The defense showed more than enough nasty to beat Vanderbilt. We get our last few starters back, and I expect we'll be solid favorites for every game between now and the SEC Title game.

I don't know that I've ever seen a stronger early season performance from The Dawgs, with the possible exception of 2003, when we opened so strong against Clemson and South Carolina, only to fall short against LSU.

I'd still like to feel great about the offensive line. Freshmen kickers aren't ideal. I anticipate development along the defensive line to further compliment Jarvis Jones.

But we seem to have a playmaker, or playmakers, at every level of the defense. We have a strong and balanced offense and an experience quarterback. I believe, for the first time in a long time, my expectations for the Bulldogs were too low, and I'm very impressed with what we've seen so far.