It's very late and I got back from Athens not too long ago. I have about enough energy to upload a few pics and describe the scene, but any in-depth analysis of my picks, as well as some YouTube goodness, will have to wait. I'm gonna lead with a recap of my trip to my college football Mecca:
As some of you know, I've had another reason to look forward to my annual trip to Atlanta to see the family for Thanksgiving. This year, for the first time ever, I was going to see my beloved Georgia Bulldogs play live. Plus, they would be playing their in-state rival Georgia Tech. Plus, the game would be at Sanford Stadium in beautiful Athens, GA. I paid through the nose on StubHub to get my ducat and insure my entrance a few months back. But a combination of a disappointing season and truly shitty weather kept enough people away that I probably could've paid 1/4th of that from a scalper. Ah well, live and learn.
The kickoff was annoyingly early at noon. This meant getting up at 6:30, to drive an hour+ to meet up with some folks I kinda know for tailgating. This guy (let's call him Whitlo) is a character whose motor never quit running, even though he had gone out the night before till the wee hours and was up at 6 to set up his tailgating station. I randomly met him at a charity event (BreastFest) in Baltimore and we bonded over the UGA/Tennessee game that was on the bar's TV at the time. I mentioned that I would be at the Tech game, so he invited me to tailgate with him and his cronies. Oh, also I had a mustache at the time, so he still calls me Earl because of that. For those of you know a certain lad named Jimmy, this guy is in his class for having a saintly wife.
So after some aggravating u-turns required to find a place to park, I finally met up with the crew and got acquainted. Everyone was really nice to me, but it didn't hurt that I brought a 12-pack of God's piss and some homemade monkey bread. Even though the weather was cold & rainy all day, the beer and trash talk flowed. Kickoff was on me before I knew it.
I pretty much bounced across the street and between the hedges. After taking a few pictures from the one endzone (so close to the field), I climbed up to my seat in 327. Here was my view:
The first half was a giddy blur. Georgia moved the ball at will, but also gave up an INT for a TD and struggled against Tech's option offense. At the half it was 28-12 and I figured one more score would put Tech in a passing situation and thus the rout would ensue. Except for one thing. Tech scored on the first play from scrimmage and didn't let up till they were up 38-28 late in the 3rd. Things just went 180 degrees the opposite direction and everyone was stunned and frustrated.
Well, maybe not stunned, because the Georgia defense has been shaky for most of the year. And it just could not stop the option at all in the 2nd half. It's tough when they got 4-5 yards on 1st down almost every time. You have to make tremendous individual plays for the offense to not get a minimum of 2-3 yards every play.
In related news, I hate the option (or wishbone or whatever) and always have. It is and extremely frustrating offense, especially when run well. And that's exactly what Georgia Tech did all day long. Georgia tried to come back, but couldn't stop the Yellow Jackets and get the ball back one last time down 45-42.
It was a bittersweet end to a lot of things. My first visit to Sanford Stadium, a roller coaster game, a disappointing season that held so much promise, and likely to the careers of NFL-bound Matthew Stafford & Knowshon Moreno. Mohammed Massaquoi also had a huge game in his last one as a senior. I would think he gets drafted, but probably not real high.
Regardless, I'm hooked. I'm going to the game next year, even though it's at Tech's boring stadium in downtown Atlanta.
After the game, the socializing continued as we retired to a sushi restaurant and everyone drowned their sorrows in drinks poured by an Asian man nicknamed Buddha. Well, I mostly held my sorrows' underwater for a spell then allowed them to breathe. I nursed a few beers knowing that I would have to drive back to my parents' place at some point. We hit another bar, then Whitlo had a hook-up to get us into a sold-out Zac Brown concert at the Georgia Theater. The most exciting thing I saw in an hour of that show was a brawl that broke out and I was briefly and barely sucked into. One of my colleagues described them as a "young Alabama". That wasn't far off. They were way too slick for my tastes, but they were clearly a local favorite, as I was in the minority of not digging them. The only dim highlight was a decent cover of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". Check out these awesome lyrics which stuck out to me as being particularly atrocious:
Because every time I try and tell her how I feel
it comes out "I love you"
I'm not anti-romantic songs, since love has obviously been the inspiration for some of the greatest songs ever. But if that's what gets you laid nowadays, I'm gonna take a cheese grater to my dick. So I called it a night and schlepped home.
Thanks to the warm hospitality of my Southern gentlemen and ladies, I had one hell of a day. Now... some pictures:
The view from the hedges:
This was taken while the scoreboard still worked. They announced that for the 1st time, everything in the stadium was powered by renewable energy. And it showed.
Top 10 Pick in the NFL Draft: Matthew Stafford:
Now on to Week 13 in the league where they play... FOR PAY!
Week 12 Records:
Cline -- 9-6-1 (+$140) (LOTW=L -- BDCS=L)
Goose -- 5-10-1 (-$660)
Cline -- 85-58-2 (.594) +$1250 (LOTW=5-4 -- BDCS=4-5)
Goose -- 77-66-2 (.538) -$350
- Thursday, Nov. 27 (3-0)
In honor of the results of these games already being written, I give you this clip of a post-Survivor Series promo where The Ultimate Warrior begins with that very sentiment. Hang in there for his analysis of how some crayon drawings his fans (i.e. him) made and how Hulk Hogan should be scared that they're seeping into the walls of Joe Louis Arena. Hang in there a little longer for Mean Gene's understatement of the century and a quick promo that they would be talking to James "Buster" Douglas next.
- TENNESSEE (-11) at Detroit
I'd like Detroit's chances better if Tennessee hadn't gotten smoked by the Jets last week. I think the Titans work out some anger mgmt. issues on the Lions as they start to see 0-16 looming on the horizon.
- Seattle at DALLAS (-12.5)
Seattle stinks, and Dallas is looking to score points. Too bad this newfound desire to score points came too late to get me into the Fantasy playoffs. I still have an outside shot, but I need a lot of help. Pray for me.
- Arizona at PHILADELPHIA(-3)
I talked myself into taking the Cardinals against my better judgement last week. They still almost covered. I just don't like them traveling to the East Coast in presumably cold conditions. For absolutely no reason, I think this Eagles team will chafe at all the doom & gloom pronouncements and make one last stand
- TENNESSEE (-11) at Detroit
- Sunday, Nov. 30
- San Francisco at BUFFALO (-7)
My analysis of this game will be as brief as this promo.
- San Francisco at BUFFALO (-7)
- BALTIMORE (-7) at Cincinnati
I would include some analysis about how I am going to stay with the Ravens and how the Bengals are in a season-long nosedive. But that led me to this video, and I have to go alert someone in power that the Ultimate Warrior may have been involved with 9/11:
- INDIANAPOLIS (-5) at Cleveland
It's hard to be intimidating with a fey Australian accent ("We're socked up?"). It's also hard to intimidate anyone when your name is Romeo. Or Dingo.
- Carolina at GREEN BAY (-3)
Words fail me.
- MIAMI (-9.5) at St. Louis
I still don't fully trust Miami, but I trust St. Louis less. In unrelated news, there's some nice use of Patty Smythe and action figures by TMZ here:
- New Orleans at TAMPA BAY (-3.5)
On the road, on grass, against a better defense than Green Bay's, the Saints are gonna be slapped kinda like this:
- N.Y. GIANTS (-3.5) at Washington
Vince McMahon loves Zubaz like Heenan loves comedy (and the China Club) and Plaxico hates gun laws:
- ATLANTA at San Diego (-4.5)
Not that it was a realistic consideration at the time, but I imagine that San Diego GM Randy Smith's reaction to the Turner/LT matchup Sunday will resemble the Warrior's when one of Vince McMahon's greatest creations (Papa Shango) put a curse on him:
- Pittsburgh at NEW ENGLAND (-1)
In this Christmas season, please allow the Ultimate Warrior to make you feel guilty for having any problems because there's always someone else out there who has it worse (also, I think the female announcer's panties could have stopped a Saharan drought):
- DENVER at N.Y. Jets (-7.5)
Favre's been playing since The Ultimate Warrior was known as The Dingo Warrior and threatened to write his name in puke on Rick Rude's body:
- KANSAS CITY at Oakland (-3)
I don't really care about this game, so I'll take you to a shocking confession by the Ultimate Warrior:
- Chicago at MINNESOTA (-3.5)
As crazy as the Warrior is, at least he was original and did it on a big stage. This guy slapped some paint on, injected some steroids and gives dull interviews.
And a bonus report from the immortal Lord Alfred Hayes
- Monday, Dec. 01
- JACKSONVILLE at Houston (-3)
Got an hour to kill? Check out a waste of some UConn Student Activity Fees. It'll probably also be a better use of your time than watching this game.
- JACKSONVILLE at Houston (-3)
A bonus clip of Shawn Michael's shocking turn. Again, Heenan=Comedy.