Monday, December 31, 2007

Warning: Sugar Bowl attendance may cause permanent brain damage

I talked to a buddy of mine in New Orleans about an hour ago. Over the course of the conversation, he said this:

"They just went to the store to pick up Jena. Wait, not the store. The place where the planes go."

I don't leave for "the place where the planes go" for my own flight to New Orleans until tomorrow morning. But I am looking forward to it. Thankfully, I'm taking a cab to the hotel, so my friends won't have to pick me up.

By the way, KJ, it wasn't your son, though I'm sure he's equally brilliant at the moment.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Colt Brennan has two days to live

Just kidding, Warriors. Don't hit me with a rainbow, or some kind of crazy poi-encrusted BBQ pig.

Like a moron, I don't head to New Orleans until Tuesday. Safe travels for everyone else. Looking around today:

Doug's getting close to naming a No. 1. My guess remains 70x Take-off.

The senator links some really interesting stuff about schools that manage to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars by going to bowl games.

Stole this one from the Georgia Sports Blog, who got it from the Banner-Herald. It needs music, but is otherwise awesome:

In other news, it's tough being a sports writer. David, tomorrow, when I'm reading state laws relevant to a lawsuit between the Macon Housing Authority and the mayor of Macon, I'll think of you with pity.

Friday, December 28, 2007

"The daughter of Pakistan"

I'm sure you've read about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, the suicide bombing that killed some 20 others at one of her rallies and the subsequent riots in Pakistan.

But I thought this was an excellent obituary from The New York Times:
Despite numerous accusations of corruption and an evident predilection for luxury, Ms. Bhutto, the pale-skinned scion of a wealthy landowning family, successfully cast herself as a savior of Pakistan’s millions of poor and disenfranchised. She inspired devotion among her followers, even in exile, and the image of her floating through a frenzied crowd in her gauzy white head scarf became iconic.

In October, she staged a high-profile return to her home city of Karachi, drawing hundreds of thousands of supporters to an 11-hour rally and leading a series of political demonstrations in opposition to the country’s military leader, President Pervez Musharraf.

But in a foreshadowing of the attack that killed her, the triumphal return parade was bombed, killing at least 134 of her supporters and wounding more than 400. Ms. Bhutto herself narrowly escaped harm and shouted at later rallies, “Bhutto is alive!”

Despite her courageous, or rash, defiance of danger, her political plans were sidetracked from the moment she set foot in Pakistan: She had been negotiating for months with Mr. Musharraf over a power-sharing arrangement, only to see the general declare emergency rule instead.

The political dance she has deftly performed since her return — one moment standing up to President Musharraf, the next seeming to accommodate him — stirred hope and distrust among Pakistanis. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, she brought the backing of the governments in Washington and London, where she impressed with her political lineage and considerable charm and was viewed as a palatable alternative to the increasingly unpopular Mr. Musharraf.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Better than his word

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk -- that anything -- could give him so much happiness. ...

But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late! That was the thing he had set his heart upon.

And he did it; yes, he did! The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the Tank.

His hat was off, before he opened the door; his comforter too. He was on his stool in a jiffy; driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o'clock.

'Hallo!' growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. 'What do you mean by coming here at this time of day?'

'I am very sorry, sir,' said Bob. 'I am behind my time.'

'You are!' repeated Scrooge. 'Yes. I think you are. Step this way, sir, if you please.'

'It's only once a year, sir,' pleaded Bob, appearing from the Tank. 'It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir.'

'Now, I'll tell you what, my friend,' said Scrooge, 'I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,' he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again; 'and therefore I am about to raise your salary!'

Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.

'A merry Christmas, Bob!' said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he claped him on the back. 'A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!'

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good luck to the Hoop Dawgs

If you're looking for a good summary of all the things that have gone down with our "basketball team" the last few months, Mark Schlabach (UGA grad, former AJC reporter, now with ESPN and, I think, The Washington Post) has a write-up that DawgsOnline hipped me to.

I have to admit, though, I stopped reading after the third paragraph:
ATHENS, Ga. -- Forward Takais Brown, Georgia's leading scorer in 2006-07, was kicked off the team before this season even started. Guard Mike Mercer, the team's second-leading scorer last season and most athletically gifted player, was shown the door shortly thereafter.

So why does Bulldogs coach Dennis Felton believe his program is better than ever?

"I really like this team," Felton said. "We're as talented as we've ever been."


UPDATE: Whammy!

UPDATE II: To call this to your attention would just be piling on. I look forward to the days when we can recognize the existence of the Georgia men's basketball team.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There is a wall around Bethlehem

We have surrounded the little city where the Bible says Jesus was born by a 3-story concrete wall topped with razor wire.
Standing beside it, you feel as if you're at the base of a dam. Israeli soldiers armed with assault rifles examine your papers. They search your vehicle. No Israeli civilian, by military order, is allowed in. And few Bethlehem residents are permitted out—the reason the wall exists here, according to the Israeli government, is to keep terrorists away from Jerusalem.

The Israeli government says it's working. The mayor of Bethlehem, who by city ordinance must be Christian despite the largely Muslim population, says it is destroying the city. He is not allowed outside the wall after 7 p.m.
At two o'clock in the morning most weekdays, several hundred men who do have something to lose—wives, children—begin lining up on the Bethlehem side of the wall. They're seeking work in Israel proper. They stand inside a long steel cage, like a cattle chute, waiting to be searched and prodded and fingerprinted and metal-detected. Some are told to strip. The process can take more than two hours. To be allowed through the checkpoint, you must be married and have one or more children. This, the Israeli army hopes, will ensure the laborers' return.

Many of the men are construction workers—often in the settlements. They wait in line for hours to build houses for their enemies on land that used to belong to them. They're paid $35 a day. Then they return home through the wall.

"Do you think we want to do this?" says one of the men, 35-year-old Sufian Sabateen. He holds a paper bag containing hummus and bread. He's smoking an L&M cigarette. His face, lit harshly by the klieg lights of the wall, is stoic. It's an hour before dawn. Sabateen insists he'd gladly work in Bethlehem for half the salary, but there are no jobs. This is how he describes his week: "From the mattress to work, from work to the mattress. My life is no life."

How long of a walk from there, I wonder, is it to martyrdom?

You know how at football games people hold up posters that say "John 3:16?"

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

They never mention that, three sentences later, come the saddest words in the Bible.

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

Friday, December 14, 2007

What, no sprint-draw?

Doug at Hey Jenny Slater, a long-winded guilty pleasure of a blog, is counting down the biggest plays of the Mark Richt era.

At the moment he's on 19, and it's a great list so far. It's clear he's put a lot of thought into it, and he's got video of several of the plays, so be sure and check it out often.

But we do things half-assed here at Lucid Idiocy, so I'll take a quick stab at predicting the Top 5.

1. 70x take off, 2002
That's the one that beat Auburn and sent us to the SEC Title game in 2002. Beat yourself senseless if you don't know that and still call yourself a Bulldog.

2. The Hob-nailed boot, 2001
The original. The announcement that Georgia was back and David Greene had anti-freeze for blood. And, of course, we all already knew Larry Munson was a mad-man, but this reminded the rest of the world.
UPDATE: No. 2.

3. Pollack beats South Carolina, 2002
In a game that featured a tropical storm, an hour delay and at least one of my friends being removed from Williams-Brice Stadium for a stern 5 seconds, David Pollack managed to tally a forced fumble, an interception and a touchdown all on one play. It's the play that launched his legend and opened the door to our first SEC title season in 20 years.
UPDATE: Doug brings this one in at No. 14. Despite the fact that he is ridiculously wrong and I am right, I really can't wait to see what he's got in his top 10.

4. Darryl Gamble forces a fumble, 2007
Folks, we almost lost to Vanderbilt this year... for the second year in a row. Vandy was driving to seal the game. But Rashad Jones hit their running back on the 8 yard line, Gamble swatted the ball out, Dannell Ellerbe recovered, we drove down, Coutu hit a field goal and we beat Vandy 20-17. The season was saved, and we went on to beat Florida and Auburn en route to a 10-2 record and a Sugar Bowl birth. Anyone think we'd have a shot at a top 3 pre-season ranking and a path to the National Title next year if we'd lost to Vanderbilt?
UPDATE: This one came in at No. 7.

5. Terrence drops the pass, 2002
You know the one I mean. Florida, 2002. This one probably cost us a shot at the National Title. I still say David Greene threw that ball too high. But, as my buddy Ryan said: "Dropped passes are a bitch, aren't they?"
UPDATE: No. 4 on Doug's list.

That's my rough draft. Feel free to post the ones I missed in the comments section. It'll be interesting to see what Doug comes up with.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

None shall sleep

Why didn't someone tell me that a British cell phone salesman became an opera star this year?

"The good man always reverses the question."

I've been slowly reading "Strength to Love," a collection of sermons by Martin Luther King Jr.

Last night I read, "On being a good neighbor," which you may guess deals with the parable of the good Samaritan. The Samaritan, Dr. King wrote, engaged in "dangerous altruism." Not only did he go the extra mile to help a stranger, he put himself in danger of being attacked by the very thieves that waylaid that stranger on the road to Jericho.

Wrote King:
We so often ask, "What will happen to my job, my prestige, or my status if I take a stand on this issue? Will my home be bombed, will my life be threatened, or I will I be jailed?" The good man always reverses the question.

In other words, do not ask "What will happen to me if I act," but "What will happen to others if I do not?" This idea is thousands of years old. It is not King's any more than it is mine.

I think most people would (at least say they) agree with this idea. So the political question becomes: Should that core philosophy change when you are in government and represent one mass of people as opposed to another?

And will that kind of thinking ever get us to where we want to go?

What are the questions in Macon, in Georgia, in this country? And are we willing to reverse them?

In Macon we often fight along racial lines. Our new Mayor, Robert Reichert, spoke to this Tuesday evening during his inaugural address"
I grew up in the 1960s, and I was a witness to the civil rights struggle. I didn't personally participate in opposing the civil rights movement back then, but I sat on the sidelines and did nothing; for years. I am haunted now by my failure to speak up. ...

My heart is changed, and I hope to inspire and lead others in this community to demonstrate their change of heart. ... we need to aggressively pursue all appropriate opportunities to get to know our neighbors, not move away from them.

Reichert did not specifically mention consolidation of the city and county governments here, but he made a reference to it by mentioning the "imaginary lines on the ground we call the city limits that separate us."

After his speech I was walking with Mayor Jack Ellis, whom Reichert replaced.

"He spoke to the heart of the matter," Ellis said. "Now, will the people consolidate?"

If not for race, if not for fear among blacks and whites that new voting districts would reduce one group's political power, it would have happened long ago, Ellis said.

Now, who's reversing the question?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I condone both drinking and Larry Munson

I'm cleaning out some old files and feel the need to save this for posterity. It's "The Larry Munson Drinking Game." I have no idea who made it up. My favorites are No. 7 and No. 12.

1) When Larry says "Get the picture now" everyone must do a shot to start the game.

2) The first time Larry says "Loren, whatdaya got?" everyone must reply "Well, Larry" in a high-pitched voice. The last one to do this becomes Loren and must say "I gotta drink" and then drink each time Larry says whatdaya got? for the first half. But at the start of the second half, "Loren" gets to say "I gotta drink for ———" and then gives away a drink to someone each time Larry says whatdaya got? "Loren" must do all this is a high-pitched Loren Smith voice.

3) If the real Loren tells a story that has nothing to do with the game, such as how much a player loves his mama or how the Girl Scout troop cooked s'mores for the team, everybody drinks one.

4) If Loren actually says something useful, like telling what's wrong with an injured player, everyone drinks three.

5) Every time Larry exaggerates a figure, whether it be yardage, the speed of the wind, how cold it is, etc. everyone drinks two. Examples: "and he kicked it up past the moon" "the wind's blowing a hundred miles an hour" "it's fourth down and 27 miles" etc.

6) The first time Larry bemoans how much trouble the Bulldogs are in when they are clearly in control of the game, everyone drinks two. Example: "The Dawgs are up 31-0, but they've (they being UAB, Central Florida, Vanderbilt, etc.) got that little fast tailback and you know he can just explode for a thousand yards at any moment." Every time after that when Larry talks about how much trouble the Dawgs are in, everyone drinks one. (If, by consensus, the group decides the Dawgs actually are in trouble, "Loren" drinks two.)

7) Every time Larry says "There's no time" everyone drinks one. If more than five minutes are left in the game when he says there's no time, everyone drinks two. Ten minutes, three. If more than a quarter remains, everyone does a shot of tequila.

8) Every time Scott Howard interrupts Larry, everyone drinks one.

9) Every time Larry talks about the fans coming into/going out of the stadium, everyone drinks one.

10) Every time Larry mentions the officials, everyone drinks one.

11) Every time Larry says "whatchmacallit," everyone drinks three.

12) If the game ends on a spectacular play with Larry saying something like "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!" and then nothing for like a minute, leaving you to think he might've died, everyone drinks one for each "GOD" Larry shouts.

13) If Georgia beats Florida, everyone drinks a toast to the Dawgs and yells, "Go Dawgs!"

14) If Larry ever says the phrase "hob-nailed boot" again, everyone poors their drink into a boot and "Loren" drinks it.

15) If at the end of the game, Larry says "Old Lady Luck smiled on us" everyone toasts Old Lady Luck and drinks a shot.

16) Anyone in the room not rooting for the Dawgs must double the amount of drinks taken. Any Florida fans in the room must triple it. Since Tech fans are wusses and don't drink, they must substitute getting punched in the head by "Loren."

"and this loneliness won't leave me alone..."

I was remiss in not noting that Monday was the 40th anniversary of Otis Redding's death. He was one of the greatest song writers of the century, and just happened to be from Macon.

A lot of people don't know this, but along with his own songs, he also wrote RESPECT, which Aretha Franklin made famous. The man was only 26 when he died in a plane crash. Imagine if he'd lived.

Joe Kovac here at the paper did a piece about the anniversary of his death, and I particularly enjoyed some of the comments from his family.

This one, from his wife, Zelma, particularly made me smile:
"When I met Otis Redding at the Douglass Theatre, ... he was a smart mouth, he said something like, 'Hey, baby,' and something crazy. So, you know, I'm a defensive person, always have been, because I'm a short person. ... And back then I was a little bitty short person, like a size three or four. And we go into this argument and I said, 'You don't know me and I am not your baby.' ... And then I saw him again and I'm, like, 'That's that same fool I saw at the Douglass.'"

If that don't give you hope, I don't know what does.

Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone
It's two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Good for Arkansas, good for the Falcons, bad for Petrino

What, did Bobby Petrino say to himself: "You know, the Falcons are pretty dysfunctional, but where can I go that's really messed up? And can I get a job there and ruin my credibility in the National Football League at the same time?"

Petrino quits mid-season, heads to Arkansas.

He might want to read up on the Arkansas open records act, or, maybe, never, ever use a university cell phone.

UPDATE: Not to belabor the obvious, but is there any reason I shouldn't just consider Petrino a shameless bag of dirt? He did take a pay cut, so maybe that's one. Still, from The AJC:
Team owner Arthur Blank said Monday he had heard Arkansas was targeting Petrino to replace Houston Nutt as its coach and that the latest rumor about his coach prompted him to ask Petrino that afternoon about his future plans.

Blank said Petrino, who was signed from Louisville to a five-year, $24.5 million contract Jan. 8, told him that he would be back to coach the Falcons in 2008. It was the second time Blank had asked Petrino about his commitment the team over the past few weeks and the second time Petrino told him he would be back next season.

Said a buddy of mine: "This is what rats look like when they're leaving a sinking ship."

Agreed. I'm not a big Falcons fan, but I got nothing for liars.

By the way, time will tell whether this guy is a liar, too, and I owe Kirk Herbstreit an apology.

Take that, Honolulu Star Bulletin!

A local Dawg fan has come to my defense in the Hawaiin press:
Dawg lovers wish no ill will toward Colt
Greetings from the warm climes of middle Georgia. In the last couple of days, we here have been treated to a few letters in our paper from some of y'all who have gotten the impression (false, may I add) that we want Colt Brennan's "head on a platter." Please allow me to explain that here in Georgia, passion for our beloved Dawgs runs very deep and has run deep for many, many years. We tend to take football very seriously here, and things can be said that perhaps folks who only in recent years have started up a football program misinterpret.

No one here wants any harm to Colt; as a matter of fact, I want him to have a career day against my Dawgs. That, however, will not change the outcome as he hasn't yet seen (oh, he will) a D-line like ours.

But I digress. To those of you who took offense at a local columnist here, lighten up, he isn't Kirk Herbstreit. I hope you all have great holidays, and to those of you making the trip, you are going to have a blast. 'Ceptin' for the game, that is. Take care.

Danny Hinton
Macon, Ga.

I want to thank Mr. Hinton for explaining things to these folks. The Hawaiin press has been villainous in its unfair, inaccurate and undeserved excoriation of my character.

Now back to thinking of new things to make fun of about Hawaii.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tim Tebow: The new Michael Jordan, Gandhi, Mozart and Abraham Lincoln

Led Zeppelin apparently just finished it's reunion show a bit ago.

I understand that Tim Tebow showed up during set break and to tell Page, Plant and Jones that they were no longer needed.

He then thanked Jesus (his Lord and Savior) 36 times and broke into a 45-minute Stairway to Heaven that raised Jimi Hendrix from the dead.

Then Tebow built an actual stairway to Heaven and walked home.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

I quoted some of this in a Veterans Day story I wrote for The Telegraph. It's from a Kurt Vonnegut book called "Breakfast of Champions." There's an alternate title, too, that isn't exactly hidden.

Humanity should just fall silent more often.*
I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one and another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Colt Brennan and the worst mistake of my life

I've removed the name and contact information, but this is an actual letter to the editor my paper received late last week over this column, in which I said (figuratively) that I wanted Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan's head on a stick. My own smart-ass comments appear as appropriate.
Dear Sirs:

It was disappointing to learn that a person from your newspaper expressed his disappointment with the BCS process by threatening the life of Hawaii's quarterback, Colt Brennan. This was not ordinary banter between two colleges, two teams or two cities. This was the type of diatribe that is akin to inciting radical terrorists to assault and kill our troops, their own people and attack innocents around the world.

Um, OK.
Why, in a position such as his on your newspaper, was this sick, over-zealous sewage allowed in print?

The guy who writes the under-zealous sewage was off that day.
Colt is a college student who happens to excel in football.

He's also a plea bargain away from being a registered sex offender.
Why would he or anyone else for that matter, deserve that type of reaction? He never refuses a request for autographs, photo ops, or a simple handshake. He has so much respect for his other team members, the majority of which are of Samoan descent, that he actually learned to speak Samoan.

I hope he learned how to say "Someone please block Rennie Curran."
He is loved in Hawaii by its people and especially his team mates. Anyone who even looks at him the wrong way has just made the biggest mistake of their lives.

I honestly have no idea what that means. Is it a threat, or do guilt and self-loathing just ruin the rest of your life if you look at Colt Brennan the wrong way? Or maybe he's like an eclipse - if you look at him without one of those mirror box thingies you'll go blind.
Hawaii has been insulted to the extreme because of this attack, and our proud Warriors will unfortunately have to take it out on your team. Hawaii - 27, Georgia - 10.

You'd think fans of a team called "The Rainblow..." excuse me, "The Rainbow Warriors" would understand the concept of figurative speech. Are they really at war? Are they actually rainbows?

Also, Hawaii fans can feel free to lecture me on sportsmanship as soon as they stop attacking people from Fresno State.

By the way, Hawaii, stop putting that apostrophe between the two i's in Hawai'i. The rest of the country thinks it looks stupid.

Friday, December 7, 2007

December 7

My inadvertent feud with Hawaii continues, but today is not the day for that.

Never so few.

Also, you can listen to audio of President Roosevelt's speech following the attack here.

I think it says a hell of a lot that, just over 60 years ago, we were in a brutal war with Japan. And today we are allies.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hawaii: Now with the Internet

Holy cow, I am moderately famous with readers of The Honolulu Advertiser:
Two days after UH capped an unprecedented season as the country's only undefeated team, en route to the Sugar Bowl, the Warriors yesterday also found themselves in new territory as the targets of taunts on a national scale.

Among the trash talk on blogs and other Web sites yesterday, Travis Fain, a columnist for The Telegraph newspaper in Macon, Ga., wrote "I want Colt Brennan's head on a stick. I want that pretty boy Hawaii quarterback driven through the Superdome turf. ... Destroy Hawaii."

(Hawaii associate athletic director of external affairs John) McNamara was hardly surprised.

"They only throw stones when you're on a pedestal," he said. "We've reached a plateau we've never been to before. There will be no shortage of critics."

McNamara welcomes "good-natured banter" and said UH officials "will certainly stay above the fray."

But McNamara hopes UH fans don't devolve into similar "mean-spirited" comments.

Seriously, folks, this is college football. There's no room for mean-spiritedness, particularly of the comment variety.

By the way, "columnist" is a bit generous. I'm basically a Georgia fan, who works at The Telegraph, who was asked to write a column this past Sunday. You can read it here.

And if John McNamara and the Hawaii faithful think that I'm a poor sport, they might want to stay away from Bourbon Street. I assure them, I'm a saint compared to some of the drunks we can throw their way.

Here's to a good game. And blitzing Colt Brennan until he's black and blue.

You WANT morons to criticize you

There is a truism to the internet: Criticized on sports message boards = you're living right.

Anyone talking about boycotting the Sugar Bowl immediately becomes irrelevant and not worth another instant of my time.

As the boys at Georgia Sports Blog said, it's "about half a step below retarded."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Alright, one last BCS question

I would like to ask the voters: If West Virginia and Missouri had both won Saturday night, and LSU had still beaten Tennessee, would you have jumped LSU ahead of Georgia?

11:32 Monday morning

The moment I stopped giving a damn about the BCS and focused on Hawaii. Doesn't this guy look like he belongs in Gainesville?

And if those kids aren't careful, they might get tackled, too.

That oh-so-mythical National Title

Over the years I've written a lot of things for this newspaper, and I've been proud to do it. But, last night, when our desk chief asked me to write a column about the Dawgs missing out on a National Title shot, to speak, in effect, for the Bulldog Nation on the front page of The Macon Telegraph... I don't know that I've ever been more honored to write anything.

I hope I did you proud. And, yes, I made fun of tech in there.

Someone's gonna steal a title.

Another thing: We cover Sunday shifts here at the paper on a rotation. That means I work one Sunday every four months or so. And yesterday was my day, making it mere happenstance that I was even here to write that column.

It's a little thing, I know. But, I tell ya, the Lord'll put you where you need to be. Even on the little things.

UPDATE: The link cycled off our site, so I'm pasting the original column from our archives. It's the ridiculous threat that Hawaiian morons took seriously that started it all:

Monday, December 3, 2007

By Travis Fain

Allow me to speak for the Bulldog Nation today: Darn it.

That, of course, is the family newspaper version.

It's not so much that we deserved a shot at the national title. It's that no one really did, and it could have been us. And that title, mythical as it may be, is magical too. An impossible moment of bliss and history. A riot in a trophy. A warm feeling in your gut that the other teams can never take away.

Just say it: "National Title.'' Goose bumps and stomach flips.

And they teased us with a chance at it. Then the voters took it all away.


I've said many times that, in most years, the national title game should pit the SEC champion against the second best team in the country. So I can't argue against Louisiana State making the championship game this year.

But Ohio State? Why are they the assumed No. 1? Does anyone really think Georgia, or a handful of other teams, wouldn't beat them?

The Buckeyes beat one team that ended the season ranked in the top 25: Wisconsin. They went 11-1 in a down year for the Big 10. They beat Kent State, Akron and Youngstown State, proving two things: That Ohio State is without a doubt the best college football team in Ohio, and that they're willing to schedule patsies to prove it.

But I digress. The bottom line is this: We should have taken care of business against South Carolina, or Tennessee, or both. And but for a timely Vanderbilt fumble, we might have lost to the less-than-mighty Commodores. Not even the most optimistic Georgia fan thought we had a national title team going into this season, and now we're going to the Sugar Bowl.

That's pretty good. I am very, very proud of this team. From "The Celebration" in Jacksonville, Fla., to "The Blackout" against Auburn this season was the most fun I've ever had as a Georgia fan, and I'm thankful.

Sure, if Kentucky or Vanderbilt could kick a field goal against Tennessee, or if Tennessee's quarterback didn't throw two inexplicable interceptions against LSU on Saturday, or if the voters who had us at No. 4 last week had shown some consistency, we'd of had a shot at this thing.

But "what if" is a game for Georgia Tech fans. By the way, enjoy the Humanitarian Bowl. Again. I hear the weather's great in Boise, Idaho, this time of year.

There's something that pretty much everyone knows about the BCS, and this isn't the first year to prove it: The system is ridiculous. Let's have some sort of a playoff. Not 16 teams, but four, or maybe even eight. But since I doubt the BCS is looking for my opinion, let me close with this: I want Colt Brennan's head on a stick. I want that pretty boy Hawaii quarterback driven through the Superdome turf. I want perfection in all phases of the game this New Year's Day.

Destroy Hawaii. And then let this be known across the land: The Georgia Bulldogs will be staying in the national title conversation for many years to come.

And if you're not with us, then you'd better start running.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wrapping up

I'm moving all these updates into a separate post. An awful lot to be proud of this season, folks.

Beat the rush. Hate Hawaii early.

UPDATE: The Harris Poll is out. And Illinois has been announced for the Rose Bowl. It's a done deal. See you at the Sugar Bowl. Or the Citrus, if there are shenanigans.

UPDATE 2: It's official. The Sugar versus Hawaii. I worried for a minute that the Sugar would screw us and take Florida. I want Colt Brennan's head on a stick.

UPDATE 3: Looks like we already sold out our Sugar Bowl allotment. Glad to hear that. I was worried that the hype of possible Rose Bowl and National Title berths would hurt Sugar Bowl pre-sells. And while I'm linking the boys over at Georgia Sports Blog, I really, really like the sentiment here.

It is a long way from the Tennessee game to the Sugar Bowl. A long way, indeed.

UPDATE 4: David Ching let's us know the folks who gave us first place votes. In the Harris Poll it was Bob Socci, the announcer from Navy. That's just cool.

National Chumpion

I've said before that, in most years, the National Title game should just pit the SEC Champion against the second best team in the country. So it's hard for me to argue against LSU making the BCS Title game this year.

But Ohio State, not so much. Let's look at their schedule this year:

Sep 01: Youngstown State, 38 - 6 (W)
Hey, you beat your coach's old school. His old I-AA school. Youngstown State team nickname: The Penguins.

Sep 08: Akron, 20 - 2 (W)
You took down the 4-8 "Zips," whose season featured back-to-back-to-back losses to Temple, Buffalo and Bowling Green. Who set up this non-conference schedule? Was the goal to prove that you're the best team in Ohio? Then cue President Bush landing on an air craft carrier, because Mission Accomplished.

Sep 15: Washington, 33 - 14 (W)
Props for traveling to Seattle, but these guys lost to Hawaii. And pretty much the entire Pac-10.

Sep 22: Northwestern, 58 - 7 (W)
Somehow this is the most impressive win yet. Wait, Northwestern was 6-6 and lost to Duke? Oh, then maybe not.

Sep 29: Minnesota, 30 - 7 (W)
Minnesota - now THAT sounds like a real team. A real 1-11 team.

Oct 06: Purdue, 23 - 7 (W)
Ah, the Georgia tech of the Big 10. They finished 7-5 (assuming you count a win over Notre Dame as an actual victory). Ladies and gentlemen, we have something approaching a quality win.

Oct 13: Kent State, 48 - 3 (W)
Where is Kent State, you ask. Why, in Ohio, of course. I'm surprised OSU isn't scheduling local high schools yet. Maybe they should. Kent State was 3-9 this year, with wins over Iowa State, Delaware State and Ohio. Come to think of it, why isn't Ohio State playing Ohio? They could wax that Bobcat ass.

Oct 20: Michigan State, 24 - 17 (W)
I forget, was this game before or after Michigan State fired John L. Smith mid-season? Wait, that was last year. My bad.

Oct 27: Penn State, 37 - 17 (W)
This game was at Penn State, making it the biggest win on the schedule so far for the mighty kings of Ohio (just ask Kent State and Akron). The Nittany Lions finished 8-4. For comparison's sake, so did Auburn.

Nov. 3: Wisconsin, 38 - 17 (W)
Like the Penn State win, you can't really argue with this one. A solid 21-point win over a 9-3 team that has proven over the years that it can hang with SEC teams. And when that team is Auburn, they can even win. This is the Buckeyes only win over a current top 25 team, by the way. No, I am not making that up.

Nov. 10: Illinois, 21 - 28 (L)
You lost to Ron Zook? Well, I can't really throw that stone.

Nov 17: Michigan, 14 - 3 (W)
Seriously, I just don't care.

Enjoy it, Ohio State. Louisiana State is going to destroy you in New Orleans. Unless their best coach leaves for Nebraska this week and some insane gorilla is calling the shots for the Tigers.

Oh, darn.

Oh, and Kirk Herbstreit can...

This is a family newspaper, but you get the jist. Not sure I can improve on what DawgsOnline has to say about Kirk Herbstreit's stellar "reporting" and "analysis" yesterday.

We all make mistakes, but we pay for them, too. By, say, sacrificing just about all of our journalistic credibility and assuring that reasonable people no longer believe what we report on national television.

And great job pointing out Herbstreit's about face on the take-the-two-best-teams-no-matter-what issue. I guess it makes a difference when the two "best" teams are in the Big 10, huh?

Sometimes I wonder if ole Herbie is still upset about this.

Deserve's got nothin' to do with it

Never say never in this crazy year, but it looks like this is it. We didn't move up at all in the Coach's Poll (or the AP, for that matter). Hard to believe that the Harris Poll and the computers would give us enough of a bump to play in the title game.

A shame, but hard to argue with. Of course, had we moved up to No. 2, that would have been hard to argue with, too. I don't know that I've ever seen two teams lose in front of a team, and that third team didn't move up. But that's what happened.

The voters thought we were the No. 4 team in the country last week after Missouri, West Virginia and Ohio State. Were they wrong then, or are they wrong now?

The only real problem I have with all of this (beyond the relatively ridiculous system we have in place to name a champion in college football) is Ohio State. Why is no one questioning their right to play in the title game?

People say it's not fair for us to play for the title without winning our conference, or even our division. Well, is it fair that the Big 10 doesn't have a championship game? Or that Ohio State's best win is against Michigan, who lost to a Division 1-AA school?

We don't really deserve to play for the National Title this year. But neither do the teams that are going to play for it. All I'm saying is that someone is going to steal a championship this year, and we'd like a crack at the safe.

But it looks like the Sugar Bowl v. Hawaii. Better than I expected earlier this year, and somehow still a whammy.

Still, this remains the craziest football season I've ever seen, and also the most fun. Congrats, Dawgs. You blew us away.