Carry me back to New Orleans...
I'm back. Surely plenty has been said about the Sugar Bowl. Pretty much every news account I read after the game included some form of the phrase "wicked beating." My personal favorite was a column subhed in The New Orleans Times-Picayune: "Georgia defense will haunt Brennan forever."
Honestly, I haven't seen anyone take a beating like that outside of a Rocky movie.
But I will say that the Hawaii fans seemed nice. Of course, the only real interaction I had with them was listening to them talk about how cold it was and watching them give each other that cute little "aloha" hand gesture.
But they sat there at the Super Dome and watched the entirety of an epic beatdown they came 2,000 miles to witness, so I can respect that.
Looking ahead, I love where this leaves us. Being ranked No. 2 at the end of the season is great, but, more importantly, this young team is hungry. They got a taste of just how close they could come to an actual National Title shot in a season that, let's be serious, was on the brink of disaster in October.
Now they feel invincible. I really think Coach Richt could start matt drills tomorrow and he'd have these kids slobbering at the mouth to run gassers at 5 a.m.
Better yet, let's keep playing. My buddy Joe wants to line up and play all the other 118 teams in college football, alphabetically, starting tomorrow.
What Coach Richt, his staff, and this team have accomplished this year is nothing short of staggering. It is the launching pad to new heights. I've been saying it since last year, but now I'll put it in print: We will win back-to-back National Titles in 2008 and 2009.
Also, someone drive dump truck full of money up to Stacy Searels house. He can not talk to the media all he wants.
We lose so few weapons next year. A young offensive line that was so strong at the end of this season should improve. The concern now: Off-season shenanigans (read: disciplinary suspensions) and hype. And since we open with two cupcakes, mostly hype.
Bulldogs, you're going to be a fashionable pick to win the title in 2008, and with good reason. Don't believe it boys. Please don't forget you almost lost to Vandy this year. This game you love is hard.
As for the Sugar Bowl experience, New Orleans starred as itself, as always. And, as always when pitted against any challenger except mother nature, it won.
I got home to a pretty fantastic string of emails from my friends. Most of them added up to "Ouch." Some of them included real nice visuals of their return to work following the Sugar Bowl:
When attempting to set my coffee on someone's desk it immediately fell to the floor and spilled everywhere.
Its fun when you have to keep telling stories about black eyes at work. CEO's and board members really respect them. (Editor's note: This man was beaten up by a cajun woman, who apparently hit him in the head with a bottle.)
It's also fun when you call one of your clients to have an at-length conversation today - and the said client reminds you that you've already had this at-length discussion yesterday. (Editor's note: This young lady drove BACK to New Orleans this past weekend for the National Title game.)
Yeah, the Big Easy was pretty tough on some of us.
A few last points:
I don't know how I could have missed it from the upper deck, but my brother told me a group called "Bonerama" performed the National Anthem before the game. You stay classy, New Orleans. And be sure to overcharge me while you're at it.
My dad told me that the television broadcast had a bit with Herschel Walker and Knowshon Moreno walking around Sanford Stadium, and that Knowshon tried to teach Herschel the "Soulja Boy" dance.
How is this not on YouTube? Why even have YouTube?
As for our tailgate, I thought things couldn't get more ridiculous. Then helicopters started showing up. Seriously, we tailgated right outside of the Super Dome, and next to the helicopter landing pad. As my buddy Brett said, we pulled up, got out of the cars, shot-gunned a beer and the state police flew in reinforcements.
This first short video gives you the lay of the land. Notice how I totally pan away from the action and make a smart ass comment just as the helicopter pilot makes a fantastic move.
Shortly after that, the state patrol helicopter took off, leaving just the second chopper. Right after the patrol helicopter left... well, look what the other chopper pilot does:
Yeah. He just changes parking spots. Awesome.