Running around to Give you the Reacharound


Sobered Up - Week 4

First, check out BI's plea of "maybe we should just take a break and see what happens, but I still love you, baby!" to the Blackout era.

I was in Athens and I caught the replay (eh, certain parts I could stomach) last night. It was ugly. It was an ass-kicking. It reminded me of when Georgia was up-and-coming as a national power in 02-03 and would go on the road to Knoxville, Fayetteville, Tuscaloosa, etc. and just pound the living piss out of an overmatched opponent. That's what this was, only the Dawgs decided to play a little role reversal.

Regardless...there are some encouraging signs. While one who saw the score at halftime and postgame might be inclined to think the score didn't properly reflect the level Bama truly beat down on Georgia, I'll put on my Red and Black blinders and look at the following:

  • Alabama outgained Georgia by only 10 yards (334-324).
  • Most of Alabama's points came off of excellent field position they were given in the first half from dumb penalties and Brian Mimbs inexplicably forgetting how to punt a football like a Division 1 punter. These mistakes can hopefully be corrected.
  • Despite the fact the Dawgs had to abandon their gameplan for pretty much the entire 2nd half and their best playmaker was limited to 12 touches, they were able to pull within two scores with a quarter remaining. This gives me alot of confidence in Stafford and the rest of the Dawgs ability to work from behind under a more reasonable deficit (maybe 10-17 points).
  • An extraordinate amount of injuries to key contributors. The ball is definitely not bouncing our way on the injury front this year. Remember less than a year ago when we worried about having too many tight ends on our roster? Safe to say that problem won't be rearing its head again anytime soon.

I won't say anything about the defense, because I have spent the last 36 hours decompressing after this loss, and I don't want to think anymore about Akeem Dent perfecting a 15-yard bitch slap penalty or Willie Martinez employing the same zone scheme that allowed fucking JOHN PARKER WILSON to look like Tom Brady circa-2001 out there in the first half. I'll just leave it at 'the Dawgs have work to do, their strengths and weaknesses are pretty clear cut at this point, and they have two weeks to do fix what needs fixin.' They can still win the SEC and beyond. GATA, Richt and Co.

On the other end of the spectrum, USC's Thursday loss should NOT be compared to Georgia's. I don't wanna hear how at least they lost on the road...going to fuckin' Corvallis, Oregon on a Thursday should not instill fear and intimidation in the minds of USC's players that have been watched at a national level since high school. So anyways, it looks like USC's title hopes are done...

...or NOT. What the hell?!?! Are you kidding me? Watching both those games, they determined UGA was a lesser team than USC? They were so disgusted with UGA losing to the #8 (now #2) team in the nation that all of a sudden USC's inability to move the ball 48 hours earlier against a team that couldn't even stay on the field with Penn State didn't seem as bad?

Again, rankings at this point in the season really don't mean anything, and if Georgia wins out, I do think they'll be ranked higher than USC. That being said, I've had it with these idiotic pollsters. Let computers do it. I'm serious. Take a consensus of all the major computer polls and let them rank the teams using the criteria voters should be using. If college football isn't going to have a playoff, you may as well eliminate any bias that could fester when you involve human voters.

Memo to Urban Meyer...two years ago you could get away running Tebow up the middle on a 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter. You could for the majority of last season as well. Now? Everyone knows what's coming in that situation. It sucks for you that your highly touted RBs haven't panned out yet, but you're not fooling anyone anymore. And it's clearly taking a toll on your QB, who by the way, is 8-5 as a starter in his last 13 games.

This Arkansas team might be the worst non-Vandy SEC team I have ever seen. Petrino roaming the sidelines in Knoxville next year?

ECU, really, that was fun. At least your mini-run of relevance brought us the joy of watching North Carolina's finest putting tax dollars to good bodyslamming inebriated 150-pound 19 year olds. Skip Holtz roaming the sidelines in Knoxville next year?

Speaking of Tennessee, this is going to end badly. We're at the point where a 14-12 loss to Auburn is a a good way. Watching those two offenses was like watching a soft-core porn from the early 90s. Sure, it's still SEC football/naked women, but in the end, you're gonna leave disappointed and wholly unsatisfied.

Navy 24 Wake Forest 17. Maryland 20 Clemson 17. Another stellar weekend along the eastern seaboard.

And on that note, let's wrap up this really cheerful edition of Sobered Up with the Weekly Top 10:

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama - 2 wins in the state of Georgia against Top 10 teams. One of those teams is actually good, too!
3. LSU - The Georgia/Florida SEC GAME OF THE CENTURY looks like it will now be played a week later. In Baton Rouge. And instead of Georgia and Florida, Alabama and LSU will be there.
4. Penn State
5. Texas
6. Missouri
7. Georgia
8. South Florida
9. USC
10. Texas Tech...this...this is tough. Their most impressive win thus far is a 35-19 win at Nevada. Let's just say this is a tentative ranking right now.

And in honor of Blutarsky's Mumme Poll, we'll go ahead and round out the Top 12 with Florida and BYU. Though for the quality of the game's sake, I'm glad to see Ohio State have Beanie Wells back. This looks to be another wild season in the College Football world...but after this one, I'll be glad to take a break this upcoming weekend.

Fade to Black

My new least-favorite Stafford-spooning pic.

Bourn Inferiority here:

I will try my absolute best here to make this post strictly about the
Georgia game in relation to the Blackout, rather than an epitaph of
the 2008 Georgia Football Season. Please keep in mind I merely said

When the losses come, they always seem to hit hard when they matter
most. In Jacksonville 2003, my cell phone got destroyed after a
stumble into the Landing's fountain, my favorite hat got stolen, my
second favorite hat flew out the window on the way to the game, and we
lost. This weekend very much reminded me of that little doozy, with
1/2 of my car, a brand new digital camera, about a half million of my
favorite brain cells and my cell phone were all casualties alongside
the dawgs. Sheesh. These types take a while to get over.

Doesn't it suck when you have a semi-permanent reminder of a really
bad loss, until you at least spend a few hundred dollars getting your
car fixed so you once again have a side view mirror and at least one
side that's not demolished? Of course, the loss didn't cause my cell
phone to get destroyed, the digital camera to be fritzed, or my car to
get roughed up. But that is factually and patently irrelevant. Is my
soul crushed to pieces because of this loss? Of course. Do I feel like
my boyish football hopes for this season just got gang raped by 12
angry, large men? I do indeed. Is all of this compounded and
multiplied because of the additional calamitous events of the weekend?
Certainly. But was the Georgia loss the root cause of my other series
of unfortunate events?

In the same logic, we'll look to Dawg Gone Blog to comment on this
Dawg Gone Game. In an effort to sum up this depressing nut crunching loss, we're provided a quick nugget of wisdom:

"2) Losing the Blackout -- I'm a fan of the Blackout. It gets theplayers excited, gets the fans excited and gets the recruits excited. I don't think it's "gimmicky" at all. I also don't think the blackjerseys cost us a game. I'm absolutely amazed by the folks on themessage boards who think the Blackout should never come around ever again. We didn't lose the game because we were too worried about our wardrobe. We lost the game because we got punched in the mouth and didn't respond. That being said, I do think it's time to take the stance of making the players EARN the Blackout instead of just setting a date for it. Last year it was a reward; this year it was a certainty. I say keep the Blackout, but let's hang it up for just a little while until I get this taste of "embarrassment" out of my mouth."

Y'know, I couldn't have said it better myself. I really couldn't. I
love the Blackout. Love it. It only marginally adds to my enjoyment of
the game, because the pageantry and tradition and campus viewings on
game day are what really gets my heart pumping. But it does add to it,
if only because it provides an extra dimension to the weekend. I think
it clearly reveals the abundant amount of support the fans have for
these Dawgs, but it gets the players fired up and hey, whatever works.
Seeing all of the fans - not just the students, where black shows me
that Dawg Nation LOVES to love their Bulldogs, a far cry from only 8
years ago when we expected to be let down year after year, winning our
glass ceiling 8 games even with incredible talent and always falling
short in the big games. Now it's different. Now we expect to win, and
I hope Dawg fans keep that in mind.

The black jerseys are cool. They just look cool. I think it even makes
us look more ferocious, although admittedly looks were deceiving
Saturday night. And the women were (as always) spectacular in their
Saturday best black dresses. Why would you want to do away with
something that provides so much entertainment? I'm down for putting
the jerseys away for a year, maybe two, but no more than that. I
wouldn't even care if they busted them out again this year, although
my preference would be to wait a little while.

So let's layoff blaming this loss on the Blackout, okay guys? It was
just as much their fault as the fact I didn't have my Musa Smith
jersey for the first time in 6 years. So if you're going to blame it
on any apparel decision, blame it on me.


Shotcallin' - Week 5 (Sergeant Joe Friday edition)

ust the picks, ma'am. Wegots to get on the road for a Blackout!

Texas (-27.5) over Arkansas - $20

East Carolina (-11.5) over Houston - $10

Auburn (-7) over Tennessee - $10

UAB (+26.5) over South Carolina - $25

SC/UAB (UNDER 48.5) - $50

Troy State (+17.5) over Oklahoma State - $20

Georgia (-6.5) over Alabama - $20

Illinois/Penn St. (OVER 54.5) - $10

Last Week: 6-4

2008 Record: 20-13

2008 Pot: $160

USCall It an Upset

Correction. USC DOES suck.


USC'moon Already

Fellow SEC Snob

Alright now in all honesty, they don't suck. They're an incredibly solid team that reloads quicker than Neo (fun fact! he never reloads, he just pulls out more guns!) with seemingly better, stronger and quicker talent every year. Carson Palmer. Reggie Bush. I mean they're fucking good okay?

But how many of those BCS Championship games would they have taken part in if they were in the SEC, or even the Big 12? I ask because I am currently watching the 4th quarter of yet another inevitable comeback by USC on a Thursday night against a terrible, terrible team. And as our now-buddy from Arizona State aptly puts it directly above, in that respect USC just plain sucks.

How do you do it USC? How do you maintain such an elevated (inflated?) sense of accomplishment and sense of self year after year when you play against, and in several cases barely beat, patsies? Yes, you will probably win this game before I am done bitching about this, but that's not the point. I am so tired of watching you fall behind and play close games against inferior opponents, needing blocked kicks (play-by-play!) and the like just to eek out a victory. I'm tired of everyone heralding you as the best in the country when you have to keep relying on your athleticism and superior conditioning to come back against not just weak, but mind-blowingly weak ass teams. If these teams weren't tired from beating your pretty boy ass in the first half, they would be able to maintain these Vics.

You're a great team USC. You're the Trojans. By your namesake you should be covering, especially against skeezy and suspect people. Start doing it already.


Damn Good Dawg

So long Larry...for my money, the best play-by-play AND color guy in the business. Listening to Munson really made you feel like you were watching the game.

Personal anecdote: The highest compliment regarding Munson I can think of came from a buddy of mine...this guy is basically a hater. "This bar sucks. She's not my type. I don't like this song. That show is gay." Fun guy to hang around. Anyway, he also hates UGA and College Football.

One day, Arkansas '05, we were driving back from a round of golf when I put on the Georgia game. The hater was hooked by Munson. "Who is this announcer?" he asked. The whole 45 minute drive back to Atlanta, a guy that had no interest in the game, who never watches a second of Georgia football, listened in silence to Munson call the game. Said it sounded like he was being told an enjoyable story involving football, and was better than actually watching the game.

The Braves Big Four (Carey, Van Weiren, Sutton, and Simpson) were great. Munson was the best.


Sobered Up: Week Four

Well, well, well. Here we are, and Week Four is over already. Weren't we just picking Clemson to get their asses handed to them by Alabama a few weeks ago? On a sad note, this means we're now officially 1/3 of the way through the regular season of 2008. It's really quite deflating if you think about it too long.

We're going to save the in depth opining for later today, but for now let's throw up our Top Ten:

1. USC - How many byes do these guys have? And why so early, USC?
2. Georgia - If you're a Bulldog you have to be feeling pretty good right now. While a few of the teams on this year's monstrous schedule have turned out to be considerably less competitive than previously assumed (here's looking at you, Tennessee and 'Zona State), only Georgia Tech seems to be much better than the Dawg nation pegged them to be. It seems they chose the perfect option with their new coach. Oh, and if you're one of the fans that have been watching AJ Green's YouTube highlights for the past year, foaming at the mouth for a deep threat to materialize, isn't it great when accomplishment parallels potential? Even for one game?
3. Oklahoma - Could easily be in the number two slot, but Georgia's win over Zona State was convincing enough for them to move in. In any case, Georgia beats Alabama convincingly this weekend for the 2nd Annual Blackout game, and Georgia is the clear cut number two, perhaps even number one.
4. Florida - Beat an outclassed opponent, but a road win in the SEC should never be taken lightly, especially at Neyland Stadium.
5. LSU - I love the SEC. A real close game against stacked-with-talent LSU should allow Auburn to work their way back into the Top 15 by the time Georgia plays them.
6. Texas - Texas, you're going to have to start playing some real teams soon.
7. Alabama - As is the case with every game every week, this Saturday is the biggest game of the season. It should be a real slobberknocker.
8. Missouri - Sue is a big fan of holding on acclaim until teams or individuals play worthy opponents, but Chase Daniel proved his mettle last year. This kid's good.
9. South Florida
10. Texas Tech - I really hope Texas Tech wins the few tough games they have this year. Prolific offenses are so fun to watch in late December

JJ here...just a couple of rambling additional thoughts off the top of my head...

Boy, it didn't take long for the Bill Stewart era to turn sour in a hurry. So you're telling me it's actually a bad idea to hand your program over to a guy that couldn't win at VMI? Interesting. I think Pat White and Co. may have killed the whole "talented veteran team strongarms school into picking lovable assistant coach to promote" idea for a little while.

I'm still not impressed with LSU's QB situation at all, and it will cost them down the line. Fortunately, outside of the QB position, they are still on par with USC in terms of talent. Also, I think it's safe to say that you can pencil in any and all LSU/Auburn games into the ESPN Classic rotation from here on out.

What the hell is it with "big" ACC games and field goals? Did that Wake-FSU game remind anyone else of this epic battle?

I love the SEC and everything, but Vandy is not a Top 25 team. They had half the yardage of Ole Miss on Saturday. The Commodores being ranked shows the utter uselessness of Top 25 polls, espicially this early in the season. That said, I will be happy to see them play in a bowl this year.

Georgia Tech's offense looks really, really good. And Paul Johnson is a hardass. That halftime interview where he said two sentences about how crappy his team played before running away from the reporter in disgust was oddly entertaining. His team was up 28-0 at the time, by the way.

Between UCLA's stomping at the hands of BYU and Arizona and Saturday's massacre in Knoxville....this Tennessee team looks like the worst edition of my lifetime. However, I have full confidence in Phil Fulmer to back into keeping his job, somehow.

Wake me up when someone in the Big 12 plays someone decent.

Enjoy the week, kiddos....more later.


Stuff White People Like: Writing About Race and/or America

I really wasn't going to comment on the whole Josh Howard-YouTube "controversy." To me, it really wasn't that big of a deal. I saw the situation as is, and quite frankly, it played out extremely predictably:

  • Josh Howard, in a charity flag football game, made some off-hand remarks during the national anthem about "how he don't celebrate that shit," because he's black and muttered something about Obama. (Note: I am paraphrasing, as the video has since been removed from YouTube)
  • Old, white, stodgy media types react with disgust and horror, and the story gets national attention.
  • White liberal hipster bloggers (how's that for redundancy?), some of whose reading I thoroughly enjoy, take to the other extreme, expressing predictable outrage at White America in full support of Howard's thoughtless comments. Stuff White People Like could not have written this part of the situation more perfectly.
Since nobody asked, here is my stance on this story: It isn't one.

I consider myself a patriotic American. I love this country, I think it is the best country in the world, and I would like to see it remain that way. I have my political views, and I do my damnedest not to discuss them in public forums, or with strangers, because, really, what good has ever come of that? I recognize the utter non-necessity that is the National Anthem prior to sporting events, and yet, I still enjoy it and honor the flag.

That being said, I have no problem with Howard's comments. Were they stupid? Yeah...anyone with a modicum of fame should realize they shouldn't EVER say anything like that in front of a rolling camera unless they want controversy to follow. But were they disrespectful? Not really.

He made some off-the-cuff remarks around his boys. Ever been there, media types and hipster bloggers? You're talking about what illegal-in-Utah things you would do to the blond co-ed across the bar? You just let loose and drop a *B* or *C* bomb in reference to your girlfriend or boss? Ever tell off-colored jokes before? (If your answer is no, you are either a fucking liar or an enormous pussy) That's how I viewed these Howard comments. Saying something stupid he probably didn't mean in front of his boys. No harm, no foul.

While Howard has certainly been one to SPEAK THE TRUTH before, I don't see this as some massive political statement. He has always stood for the national anthem before Mavs games, and if you don't think he will on October 30th, well I've got a bridge in eastern Cuba you might be interested in.

So, use this as ammo against "anti-American" Josh Howard or White America if you must. Throw around hyperbolic terms such as"unpatriotic," "thug," "High-Tech Lynching" and use this minor story as a springboard to make blanket statements that "America is a racist country" and accuse John McCain of releasing racist ads. Or for once, feel free to take the high road and ignore this non-story, because Mark Cuban and Josh Howard seem to be the only ones doing that right now.

(Addendum: I wish the focus had been more on this doozy. Uptight NBA staffers, smoking in a hotel room, local girls, apparent flushing-of-herb, and B-Easy refusing to rat out his buddies. Reminds me of many a similar trip to fraternity national conventions or leadership symposiums, all of which made for excellent stories down the road. Of course at the rate we're going, the focus would have been all on "out-of-control NBA young'uns" or "why wasn't Kevin Love's room searched?")

Shotcallin' - Week 4

Quick thoughts on this weekend's games and the picks for Week 4...Enjoy:

Georgia -7 over Arizona State - $20

I wish I was there. The game is reason #1. Reason #2 pictured above. This is reason #3.

(Note: Reasons may not be in any particular order)

I never understood the whole "UGA can't take the HEAT in the desert!!!111" meme. Has anyone who bought into that actually spent time in either the southwest or the deep south? I agree with Westerdawg: Give me 100+ degree days in dry heat over that sweaty-swampass-inducing sticky heat we have down here. Gatorade, water, and those giant mist fans will keep the Dawgs cool in Tempe. It's not like they're from fucking Buffalo or anything.

Aaaah...Mist there anything they can't do?

Get all your game previewin' on at Hey Jenny Slater, Dawg Gone Blawg, and Dawg Sports.

LSU -2.5 over Auburn - $15
LSU/Auburn UNDER 37.5 - $15

I am thoroughly intrigued by this game. The offenses should be cringeworthy at best, but the quality, speed and talent on the defensive sides of the ball will be enough to give anyone who enjoys REAL SEC FOOTBALL a boner by halftime.

That being said, I see both defenses spending a disproportionate amount of time on the field, and thus, tiring late in the 3rd or early in the 4th quarter. While LSU's QB play to this point worries me, I have just a bit more faith in their offensive braintrust than Auburn's legendary little league system.

Florida -7.5 over Tennessee - $15

You will see me downing shots of Red Snapper while wearing a pink tutu and singing "Rocky Top" at the top of my lungs before you ever see me bet on Phil Fulmer vs. Urban Meyer.

Missy State +7.5 over Georgia Tech - $15
MSU/GT UNDER 36.5 - $15

Just like Auburn/LSU....only with 75% less talent and even FEWER offensive playmakers (yes, that is somehow possible)!

Troy State + 20.5 over Ohio State - $10

I'm a sucker for the "Troy State to cover a huge line against a BCS opponent" bet. What can I say? Add in the fact that Skullcap Wells is still out and Todd Boeckman SOMEHOW IS STILL GOING TO PLAY (!?!?!?!!?) and I gotta roll with the Condoms on this one.

NC State + 7 over East Carolina - $10

ECU falling back to earth in 5...4...3...2...

Mizzou - 34 over Buffalo - $10

Really, though, the precision and perfection that which Mizzou is able to apply while completely demolishing some of the worst teams in Division 1-A and 1-AA is truly impressive. I mean, they're clearly doing a great job of impressing some of the biggest idiots with a forum to write about college football.

Seriously. Go click that link. That asshat has two Mizzou players in his Top 5 Heisman ballot thus far. He has Tim Tebow, who's had one good game against Hawaii and one medicore one against Miami, at #3. He has Knowshon Moreno, he of 7 touchdowns almost 7 yards per carry...FALLING OFF HIS TOP 10 after single-handedly keeping Georgia in the game against a team better than anyone Mizzou or Florida has played. I hate bitching about media bias against UGA, and I don't think this guy has it out for the Dawgs, but jeezus...I'd feel better if Plaschke had a Heisman vote over that guy.

Texas - 29 over Rice - $10

Leaving Work Right Now > Saying Anything About This Game

Last Week: 3-4

2008 Record: 14-9

2008 Pot: $135


More Holes Than Bullet-Riddled Swiss Cheese

Halcyon Days

It has been written here and there, but the Braves season and prolonged era of "contendership" ended with the trade of Mark Texiera to the Angels on July 31st. With some of the lineups the team has been trotting out recently, it's hard to believe this is a team that just a few months ago picked by many to win the NL East, and in some cases (I'm looking at you, Jason Stark), the World Series.

In all honestly, I haven't watched more than a half-inning of any Braves game in more than a month. Banwagon-esque? Maybe, but I've had no problem watching meaningless Hawks games in March or April for years now. The easy answer to say that even the worst NBA game is infinitely more entertaining than a baseball game I have no interest in, but I have to think that I really haven't seen the Braves play a meaningless August game, pretty much ever, has something to do with it.

I became a Braves fan in 1990 at the age of 8. Needless to say, I'm not used to their season being effectively over before most neighborhood pools close. I don't want to get used to it.

So, with that in mind, no more looking back (unless the next few years are so miserable that the Chop House begins looking back fondly at the likes of Marcus Giles). Move onward and forward, that's my motto in let's use it here. Going into 2009 (and beyond), here is what we're looking at as the closest things to be locks on the Braves roster:

C- McCann
1B- Kotchman
2B- Johnson
SS- Escobar
3B- Chipper
RF- Francoeur (Look, I know he sucked ass this year, and he handled his demotion about as well as my kid handles taking a swig of leftover gin n' tonic I left on the breakfast table the night before, but there isn't a cheaper option out there with more raw talent. Especially given the Braves situation at the other OF slots.)

SP- Jurrjens
SP- Campillo
RP- Soriano

Yeah...thats it. I won't even begin the fruitless exercise of guessing who they should fill the remaining 18 roster spots with (future post!), but it's fair to say the areas of need outweigh the positions of strength. The infield is solid for now...but probably isn't stout enough to be carrying a lineup to the playoffs anytime soon, and that's before you even consider the injury risks among that crew.

Good News?

The Braves have the albatross contracts of Hampton, Smoltz and Glavine, as well as a bevy of smaller contracts, coming off the books this year. All told, there should be between $40-$45 million in payroll to replace.

Bad News?

It has been years since the Braves had this many holes to fill, even with so much potential cash to throw at replacements. Liberty Media has promised to field a competitive team (presumably to be able to sell the team at a nice profit in three years), but their feet have yet to be held to the proverbial fire. Maybe the Atlanta Spirit has made me cynical toward local sports ownership, but I'm not overly confident that this ownership group will be reinvesting the entire $X million available back into player contracts.

Bottom Line

Basically, the entire 2009 season (and beyond) rests on that question. Will Liberty Media open their checkbooks and allow the Braves to field a competitive team and begin to replenish the farm system that was their strength throughout the 90s and even up to the Texiera deal? (Although, to be fair, a good starter hasn't come out of the system in almost 15 seasons outside of Jason Schmidt and Adam Wainwright, and that was for other teams...Odaliz Perez, Jason Marquis, Horacio Ramirez, Kyle Davies, et. al...ugh) If not, the Braves are likely to fall into that "we're willing to spend just enough to be competitive for four months, and if we catch fire beyond that, we'll get some more help" purgatory that the Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres and Houston Astros seem to find themselves in every year.

I also don't think going the Yankees route and throwing $20mil/season at CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets is the answer either. There are too many holes to fill, and signing one player to big bucks won't do the trick. Find some value players (Schurholtz-esque signings) at CF, RF and SP. Throw Reyes, Morton or, gulp, James (definitely his last shot) in the 5th spot. Build the bullpen with reliable veterans, because Lord knows they'll be pitching a lot in '09. (Manny Acosta and Pete Moylan's arms are still MIA). Throw whatever resources are left over into rebuilding the farm system through scouting or drafting. Sounds so easy on paper, no?

The Braves won't be favorites again in 2009. But they can be competitive in the NL, and they can build toward a quick 1-2 year turnaround. Their nucleus, while not star-studded, is young but experienced enough to be able to compete on a big stage soon. How ownership and management handle this offseason will let Braves fans know if this season will indeed be a bump in the road and lead to a quick turnaround, or if these last 40 games will be the status quo for the next 5+ seasons.


Sobered Up - Week 3

Any Georgia fans losing their shit over Saturday's effort really need to calm the fuck down. A win on the road in the SEC is still a win on the road in the SEC. The proliferation of penalties is something that can be worked on, as are the missed blocking assignments (on both the pass and run) on the offensive line. I have faith in those problems being fixed by next week or by the Bama game.

Owner of the most impressive 79-yard performance in recent history.

That being said, the lack of a legitimate pass rush is going to hurt us against a team without the awful QB issues S.C. has. In the last few years, Marcus Howard (2007) and Quinten Moses (2006) did not emerge as forces against the pass until later in the year. Hopefully someone can do likewise this season. The return of butterfingers by our wide receivers is another issue that makes me ugh too much to even extrapolate upon. Just catch the damn ball. I'd really like to see Massaquoi and Green get the majority of run at the two wideout spots with Demieko Goodman lining up in the slot. I don't seem to understand the fascination Georgia coaches and fans continue to find with Kris Durham. I don't see what he brings to the table than almost any other receiver on the roster doesn't.

At the end of the day...our offense ran up against an excellent defense and our defense played well enough versus an anemic offense. As always, it was a close game against S.C., and we found out what needs to be improved upon. Let's see how the guys respond.

Luckily (or not so, for those that were hoping for a big prime-time hyped matchup), Arizona State looks eminently beatable following an embarrassing at-home loss to friggin' UNLV. Between that, UCLA and Washington getting crushed 59-0 by BYU and Oklahoma, respectively, Arizona losing to New Mexico, Maryland somehow coming back from the dead to defeat Cal, Oregon needing double OT to beat mediocre-at-best Purdue, and TCU repping the MWC in their stomping of Stanford, the Pac-10 seemed to have a terrible Saturday, until...

USC showed the nation who's fucking boss against Ohio State.
Not much to say about the Trojans except that they're stacked, as usual, on both sides of the ball and dominating out-of-conference competition. However, let's see if they can keep themselves from tripping up against a mediocre Pac-10 opponent. Even with one loss, though...these guys are looking like prohibitive favorites for Miami.

Compared to Saturday, this was like Christmas for Boecks...

Note to Jim Tressel: The Todd Boeckman era...end it. It's over. You're not winning a national title with him as your fulltime quarterback, ever. Terrelle Pryor is raw, sure, he'll make his mental freshman mistakes, but he's athletic and not the turnover machine Boeckman is. I think it's safe to say my dream of seeing Ohio State lose a third consecutive BCS title game to an SEC team is over, mostly because...

The Big 10 wins the ACC Iron Stomach Shitfest Memorial Award of the week for their pathetic showing on Saturday. Ohio State, Michigan losing to Notre Dame and their beached whale of a coach on crutches, Wisconsin needing four missed field goals to hang on against Fresno State, Illinois dominating 20-17 win over Louisiana-Lafayette...and those are the four best teams in that conference!?! Right now, it's safe to say that the Big 10, Big East, ACC and Pac-10 are in a ferocious battle for the right to play the Ralph Nader to the SEC and Big 12's McCain and Obama.

Kudos to Texas Tech for still managing to annihilate the over, even when their field looked like this 24 hours before kickoff:

Best. Slip-n-Slide. Ever.

If every Friday night game was as high-quality and entertaining as Kansas-South Florida, maybe I wouldn't be so taken aback by the NCAA bogarting the limelight on a night that has been and should be dominated by high school football.

UCONN 45, Virginia 10. The Al Groh era might be even more dead than the Todd Boeckman era.

And, Rick Neuheisel, I'm sure you'll do a fine job at UCLA, and maybe even one day you'll make a BCS bowl. But as far as I'm concerned, the football monopoly in LA lives on.

My ass it is.

And now, the Top 10 heading into Week 4:

1. USC - After disemboweling OSU yesterday, they get to enjoy their second bye in three weeks. All's well in the land of Troy right now.
2. Oklahoma - Georgia could just as easily go here, and might be here again next week, but the Sooners are just straight killin' folks right now. How's that for in-depth analysis?
3. Georgia
4. LSU - Looking forward to seeing what their defense can do against Auburn's offense next weekend...although the same could be said for Auburn's defense against their offense, which has seen spotty QB play, and more completions to running backs than any receivers. This one could be REALLY ugly.
5. Florida - Speaking of situations that could get's also Urban Meyer vs. Phil Fulmer week!
6. Missouri - Alright, I'm officially impressed with Mizzou's offense and their douchebag looking QB's ability to drop 50+ on weak opponents. Wake me up in two weeks (@ Nebraska).

Yeah, I workout there on Tuesdays. So do you ladies come here often?

7. Texas - If I'm Mack Brown, I'm furious that damned hurricane not only forced me to move the Arkansas game to kick off a brutal stretch of games (Ark, @Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, OkState, @TexTech), but didn't drop a fucking inch of rain in Austin on Saturday. Something tells me this may not be their year...
8. Alabama - Congrats for beating a 1-AA opponent the way an SEC team should beat a 1-AA opponent. Still not sold on John Parker Wilson.
9. South Florida - With a boatload of veteran talent and that easy ass schedule...these guys could legitimately run the table. Not saying I'd bet on it...but it's there for the taking. They've already played their toughest game.
10. Texas Tech - I can't really ever fathom TexTech being an actual Top 10 Division 1 team...but as long as Auburn is operating with 50% of a football team, I can't put them here.

Until next week...


Shotcallin' - Week 3

Pick your poison...

I'm not gonna lie...we really thought Steve Spurrier would have Carolina among the SEC East's beasts by now, competing for trips to Atlanta every December. At the very least, Sue figured that he would supplant Phillip Fulmer in the pecking order of SEC coaches. Obviously, this has not happened and there are several possible reasons why Spurrier's time at SC has played out as it has (lack of recruiting pool talent, a dry and dusty [read: dirty] cupboard left by Holtz, unlucky injuries, increasing quality of the conference etc.).

I also gotta admit...I don't really take much delight in seeing Spurrier's fall from SEC grace. Sure, I know every Georgia fan is supposed to squeal with delight with every SC loss but I just can't do it. If that awful and embarrassing stint with the Redskins humanized the man, the subsequent shunning by his alma mater in favor of Urban Meyer had to make even the most ardent of Spurrier-haters cringe (tho it's worth noting Jeremy Foley and the UF brass made an excellent decision). The question holds...if Spurrier had his QB and WR recruits as he would have at UF had he been hired, would defense even matter or even any of the aforementioned factors? To an extent.

Even Spurrier's jabs at his opponents didn't bother me too much. His cracks on Ray Goff, FSU and Tennessee were pretty good from a comedic standpoint. Mostly because they were true. Sue's favorite is the infamous FSU shank in the dogpile, which back then was calling out the refs hardcore. He backed up his big mouth with on the field results. His comments after beating UGA last year about Georgia not having won an SEC East game in a year angered me...but not at Spurrier, he was just stating a fact (a fact/quote that Georgia is hopefully using as bulletin board material). Compare that to Urban Meyer's pre-emptive whining and thinly-veiled threats about The Celebration last year, and I think it's evident who's the better trash talker.

But now it's pretty clear that the game has passed the OBC by. I have never really seen a 2-QB rotation that works, and when you're dealing with the marginally talented Blake Mitchells and Tommy Beechers of the world...well that is not just going to end well. At Florida, the Gators had enough talent to weather the QB inconsistencies, so his pulling of future NFL quarterbacks Doug Johnson and Rex Grossman didn't end up hurting the team too much (though the same can't be said of their personal development in the NFL).

Blake Mitchell flat out sucked. Tommy Beecher isn't much better. Steven Garcia can't stop getting in trouble for 16 and 17 year old crimes (really? Keying a professor's car? Did said professor sleep with his boyfriend??). It's been 12 years since OBC has won a title and in almost all of those years, he has employed the two-QB system he holds so dearly. Chris Smelley is the 'Cocks best option at QB and for once, as someone who enjoys entertaining football, I'd like to see what a QB can do in Spurrier's offense without looking over his back after every incompletion.

Hopefully, though, the visor won't figure it out until after this week.

Onto the picks...

Kansas (ML +135) over South Florida - $10

Kansas (+3.5) over South Florida - $10

Tulane (+13) over East Carolina - $10

Georgia (-7.5) over South Carolina - $25

UCLA (+7.5) over BYU - $25

Auburn (-10) over Mississippi State - $10

USC (-11.5) over Ohio State - $20

Last Week: 5-4

2008 Record: 11-5

2008 Pot: $165

Why Would an Atlanta Sports Talk Radio Station Want to Employ Someone Who Knows a Ton About Atlanta Sports?

As someone who's four years at the University of Georgia coincided with David Pollack's All-American career, I really hoped that if I ever found myself talking about him a few years after leaving Athens, it would be about his NFL career, his time with the Dawgs, or maybe, if the NFL thing didn't work out, as it often doesn't and in this case didn't, how he was coaching linebackers now for (fill-in-the-blank) college or high school.

I never expected to be talking about Pollack joining 790 the Zone as their latest and greatest bloviator. Yet, as I sat in traffic in downtown on Tuesday afternoon, there he was on the airwaves as part of the always enjoyable "Afternoon Saloon" program. In all honesty, Pollack wasn't that bad. He was confident, opinionated, and clearly knew his shit about college and pro football (which, uh, would be a pretty big problem if he didn't). Unfortunately, in order to bring Pollack into the mix, that meant that the former third wheel on "Saloon," Brandon 'Hometeam' Leak had been jettisoned from the 790 lineup. Our loss.

Leak was one of those guys that just flat out knew his sports. The fact he was from Atlanta, knew the local sports scene in-and-out, and was the only sports talk personality that gave two shits about the Hawks were all added bonuses. Maybe he didn't have the outsized personalities of a Mike Bell or a John Kincade, but like Chris Dimino, Nick Cellini or Chuck Oliver, the guy just knew his sports. Novel concept, I know. For a station that allows Steak Shapiro to blather on about the "ATMOSPHERE in the arena," "the BUZZ around town," "the MOOD in the clubhouse," "the ENERGY they played with," and other mindless cliches morning after morning, surely they could have utilized Leak's knowledge and evident passion for Atlanta sports (maybe during the awful Brandon and Wolvie mid-day show?).

Pollack might bring in strong ratings, and could prove to be a fine complement to Bell and Oliver (let's see how well he does when football isn't in season), but here's to hoping Leak can land on his feet with 680 The Fan or some other outlet where his talents and local ties can be better served.

(Ugh, that feel more media related posts for awhile. Back to sports...)


Closing Tonight and Working a Double Tomorrow

Braves and Birds hosts this week's BlogPoll Roundtable, asking to rate your team in a similar manner that you would your favorite chain dining establishment. Of course, us at Sue's aren't veterans of this here blog thing, much less members of the BlogPoll (ADD kicks in after #10 anyways). However, we are veterans of many a chain restaurant, both as employees and patrons. So without any further adieu...

1. How would you rate your program's service to you in the first two weeks of the season?

Well, it's been great, for all the reasons Hey Jenny Slater points out. Georgia has dominated two opponents they should have. Sure there are minor questions about the pass rush and the usual early-season onslaught of penalties...but overall, how can a Georgia fan not be completely satisfied with what they have seen. Of course, with SEC play about to begin, Georgia's performance has been about as impressive as your waiter serving you at 5:15 before any dinner rush, standing three feet away and refilling your drink every time it drops below the 3/4-full mark. Let's see how they do when they've just got double sat, have a family of rednecks plowing through sweet tea by the gallon, and another table with two old women sending back their third dish of linguine marinara because it didn't seem al dente. If you're still bringing me a fresh basket of bread every five minutes, THEN you've shown me something.

2. How happy are you with your program's overall scheme? We are in a period in which the spread has become a total obsession in the media. If you're a fan of a spread team, are you happy with the way your program has implemented it? If you're a fan of a non-spread team, do you wish that your program would convert to this Xenu of offenses?

With the strength of Georgia's offense lying in their running attack and the complimenting styles of their different tailbacks, I have no desire to see them switch to the offense du decade. Hell, I'm just happy Richt allows Stafford to throw the ball downfield more than he ever let David Greene (who had an as good, if not better, stack of receivers). The running play-screen pass-tight end over the middle-field goal offense got a lil' stagnant after a few years. I've been extremely pleased with the progression of Georgia's offensive scheme since Mike Bobo took over playcalling duties and I look forward to seeing it at full strength with the return of Brannan Southerland. Having a great blocking fullback who can also punch it through in goal line situations or go across the middle and catch a pass is a huge plus in this offense.

3. Rate your stadium's cleanliness and menu options.

Cleanliness? Who cares? It's a fucking college football stadium in the deep south. Everyone who walks in there already has a layer of dried sweat covered by a film of drying sweat covered by a film of glistening sweat wrapped around their bodies as 95,000+ folks move into a 4 acre radius. Besides, spittoons, empty airplane liqour bottles, used souvenir cups, and the like just add to the scenery of Georgia Football. It's the equivalent of seeing some straw wrappers and food crumbs as you are about to be seated, only to have said wrappers and crumbs swiftly discarded by a able-bodied and exceedingly polite Latino-American.

As for Sanford's menu options...they suck. Awful. Ribeye at Waffle House bad. Salad at Steak and Shake bad. Fresh Grouper at Chili's bad. Chicken Parmigiana at Applebee's bad. On second thought, all those items would be an improvement over what Sanford offers, which is generic hot dogs, generic peanuts, generic cardboard pizza, stale popcorn, pretzels so hard they feel as though they were injected with viagra, as well as standard soda and candy options. All these items are insanely overpriced. Maybe one day, when I am able to venture to the 200/Club level of the stadium, I will enjoy McDonald's, Famous Nathan's, Papa John's etc., but that is still unchartered territory to me. For those of you wondering about the menu and still sitting with amongst people that DON'T donate body parts in order to acquire season tickets, well, just fill up at the tailgate.

Oh, and all the above problems would be completely alleviated with the lifting of prohibition inside the stadium on gamedays.

4. As an incentive to provide your valued feedback, you will be entered into a drawing for exciting prizes! What one prize would you like for your program?

An all-expenses paid trip to Miami for the first week of 2009. As much as I'd love to come up with a more clever answer here, I keep coming back to this one. Beyond that, a performance so jaw-dropping in the title game that UGA gets name-dropped on a Rick Ross track would be great.

5. b. If your program were a casual dining chain, which one would it be? Yes, this is a tricky question because the defining characteristic of a casual dining chain is its sameness. No one said this Roundtable would be easy. Bonus points if you can make a compelling case that your program is Chotchkie's or Flingers.

As much as I'd love to say Shenanigans, the chain immortalized in the massive in-joke to service industry sufferers everywhere, Waiting, I'll go with Logan's Roadhouse here. Sure, Longhorn's and Outback (USC/Ohio State?) get all the pub and love from the mainstream, but at the end of the day, the food quality is just as good at Logan's, the table bread is severely underrated, and Logan's doesn't need the flash of a Bloomin' Onion or massive fake bull's head protuding from their walls to get the job done. No...Logan's draws you in with FREE PEANUTS, a laid-back atmosphere and good ole Southern Charm, while always producing results and never leaving you disappointed. If Mr. Logan happens to be a church-going, Ukranian-child adopting man with movie-star/politician looks that can motivate all his workers to engage in a massive birthday cheer celebration that the other customers would never forget, well then this comparison just gets downright eerie.


Sobered Up - Week Two

Back again for the first time, here to run down the weekend that was in College Football. A few notes before we get to Runaround Sue's Top 10 for Week Two:

The Iron Stomach Award for the biggest ACC shitfest of the week honorably goes to the amazing Middle Tennessee State University - Maryland game, narrowly edging out Virginia's not-so convincing defeat of I-AA Richmond 16-0. This MTSU/Maryland game heralded the first win by- not-even-a-powerhouse-in-the-Sun Belt-MTSU over an ACC team. How much you wanna bet it's not there last? Sure, the only other (3) times MTSU has won against a BCS opponent it was an SEC team (Vandy every time). Who cares? ACC, you suck. You just suck. I had to look away several times just from the score not to throw up in my mouth. And Maryland! You never even had a shot! This is gut-checking time for you and the rest of your ACC brethren. You are all being embarrassed. Even a middle-of-the-pack ACC team should be able to take a Sun Belt team. Jeezus.
Also could have beat Maryland

Speaking of the ACC being completely shittastic, Sue's is not above giving credit where credit is due, and mad dap goes to the ACC's highest ranked team for barely beating the SEC's 10th (9th at best) best team by a last-second field goal last night. Not that you ever would, but if by some un-Godly occurrence you end up on Sue's radar or our Top 10, this will not cut it. Quite comfortable, and drunk, in Athens, I happened upon several people asking for the score of the 'Ole Miss game. Meanwhile, ACC "fans" could be heard discussing whether Coach K's offensive scheme will get it done this year. You suck, ACC.

Did I mention I was in Athens over the weekend? Now, I haven't made it to a gameday in more than a year. My, my, my. Exactly the way I remember it. Beautiful women walking around in their Saturday best, the soothing and somehow semi-erotic smells of bourbon and barbecue permeating for miles...there really is nothing better.

As for the game itself? Georgia looked fine. I distinctly remember halftime approaching, turning to my buddy and remarking, "This is just not good enough." "What the hell do you want man we're up 21-0?" Well we got what I wanted, another TD right before halftime, which made the garbage TD they got with 27 seconds bearable. With a final score of 56-17, this is something I can live with.

See Knowshon jump

Knowshon "super ridiculous fucking awesome running back" Moreno's line? 18 carries, 168 yards and 3 TDs. That's an average of 9.3 YPC, people. In one pariticular "holy shit" moment, Knowshown, running at full speed, completely leaped over a CMU defender. It was one of the best plays I've ever seen in Stanford stadium. Probably number two on the list (see above for proof).

If you put Knowshon Moreno up against an entire team of ACC players, what do you think would happen? Knowshon = Da Main.

See Knowshon run

What will be remembered, though, other than Knowshon's freakish athletic prowess (ability to jump dopey defenders in a single bound!), were the great times spent with friends that you can never put a price on. These are times that I really would say is my "Make a Wish," if I ever got one. Not that I deserve that type of charity. Let me tell you - walking into an enormous stadium packed with more than 92,000 screaming fans all wearing red and black is one of the greatest experiences a sports fan can have. If you were unlucky enough to go to a school without a rich and storied football team, I strongly urge you to go. I just kept walking around, not fully comprehending why I had this ridiculous O-Face smile nonstop. It was good to see my old friend Uga again too. That is one damn fine looking dawg. A great gameday weekend, but let's wait until after the Alabama game to give out awards.

See Knowshon stiff-arm

Just remember while Brigham Young University is beating up on competition they should be beating in the WAC/MWC in the next few weeks, and presumably moving up the polls, they needed a HORRENDOUS call by notorious fuck-up PAC-10 officials to beat Washington. Who sucks. PAC-10 officials, I already do not trust you. But in case you are a total fucking moron, let me explain the rules to you a little bit because, while it's your job to enforce them, you apparently still don't get it: if there is a call that you make in the closing seconds of a game, a call in the closing minutes even, a call that will clearly alter the course of the game and therefore probably shouldn't be made, it better be called "Shanking the quarterback" or "Mack-10 on the field" or "Improper use of a pick-axe, defense number 44." You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. PAC-10 officials and ACC players. A match made in heaven. In closing, I've got the Bruins straight up this weekend. Watch out.

Like those with herpes,

now understands the

meaning of regret

Anyone interested in college football that follows the Georgia Tech Yellojackets, first of all, God help you. Why haven't you given in like everyone else and stopped caring? But secondly, you'll be happy to know that at least one contributor at Runaround Sue's has you projected as the ACC Champion. Now personally I don't think they should be able to put the word "champion" next to ACC when it comes to football, but what are you going to do. But you beat a Boston College team that was good enough, at least on defense, to provide you with a scare. GT, you just overcame adversity, albeit against a crappy team (read: you are also crappy), and you have a blowout under your belt. This is when you parlay the season into a completely acceptable 8 or 9 win season, which I believe will be enough to win the ACC. Good luck.

To Arkansas, the "Charlie Sheen: Platoon It Only Gets Worse from Here" award for an impending downward spiral. Sure, you'll have some limited success in the future this year, i.e. Tulsa/Young Guns, Mississippi State/Men at Work and 'Ole Miss/Major League, but if you don't completely change something real soon you're going to see a long string of failures this year with very little to show for yourself. Other than these three, I see a very strong likelihood of Arkansas losing to the other teams on their schedule, with perhaps Kentucky being the wildcard. But that's the thing, you're almost guaranteed to lose the other ones, and MSU and 'Ole Miss aren't even sure-fire bets. One way or another you need to step it up Arkansas. Because you're definitely losing your next four games (at Texas, Alabama, Florida and at Auburn), which will put you at 2-4. Then you'll be considered amongst the dregs of the SEC, which is still better than being considered a member of the ACC.

Alright on to our Top 10 for Week 3:

1. Georgia - Hey, they'll only be here for another week, but we see no reason why a stagnant USC or an abysmal looking OSU should here this week. Without a doubt, I see no circumstance why either USC or Ohio State will be occupying this spot next week. Unless they both...blow up or some shit.
2. USC
3. Oklahoma - I really thought Cincy might be able to put more points on the board and maybe make it interesting for a while. Guess what? They didn't, and Oklahoma doesn't have a real test until Texas, a whole month from now. Oklahoma is almost guaranteed to stay in the top three for the first half of the season.
4. Florida - Barring Tennessee coming out of nowhere this week, Florida also stands poised to remain in the Top 5 for another month, when they face LSU. This was one helluva ugly game against the U, with 12 points total being scored until the fourth quarter. What the hell happened to Miami, any way? How does your program go that far south that quickly? I'd like to think it was because immediately after they joined the ACC, they became what we call a 'totally crappy team.' One team who stands to drop out of the graces of voters, however, is...
5. Ohio State - Okay, Ohio State. You didn't have your best player on the field. Behind in the fourth quarter to lightly regarded even by their MAC counterparts Ohio? Seriously Ohio State? I don't think you're mentally prepared for next week. I think you're going to get bombed. One player should not that big of a difference make. I don't need to say anything else, I'll let OSU WR Brian Hartline do it for me: "That was pathetic. It was a pathetic performance. OU should've won the game. I don't know how we came out with it." Me neither.
6. LSU - That Florida game is looming large on the schedule. Win that, and LSU is in the Top 3.
7. Texas - Keep beating teams they should beat.
8. Missouri - Read: Texas
9. Alabama - 'Bama you very nearly fell out of the graces of Sue's Top 10. You looked terrible against a Tulane team that hasn't been to their own campus in two weeks. Alabama scored one offensive touchdown, totaled just 172 yards, allowed four sacks and missed two field goals. Incredibly sloppy play, which once again shows your inconsistency. Good News: keep going good game bad game on us, and you'll have a good effort against Georgia.
10. Kansas


Shotcallin' - Week 2

Before getting started with this week's picks, I'd like to give a few words of advice to my fellow Dawg fans crying about Georgia's drop from #1 to #2 in both the coaches and AP poll:

Seriously, who gives a shit?

Georgia fans, including myself, have been pointing to our absurdly difficult schedule this entire offseason. By almost any measurable ranking, it is the most difficult schedule in the nation. Barring Arizona State and a handful of SEC teams finishing at or around .500, the Dawgs will finish with the highest ranked schedule in the nation. This, leads to the conclusion, that as long as there is only one team with less losses than Georgia, the Dawgs will get a chance to play for the national championship.

The point is, we have to win to get there. If we pick up wins against the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida, etc. while USC and Ohio State is plowing through the Stanfords, Washingtons and Purdues of the world, the voters WILL take notice and we WILL be rewarded with an appropriate ranking.

Look, UGA wasn't, by any means, a unanimous or clear #1 to begin with. We were likely to get jumped by the USC/OSU winner in 2 weeks anyways. You think fans of those two teams worry about their rankings on Labor Day? It's all about the final BCS rankings to those fans and it should be to us to. If Georgia keeps winning, we will play for a national title. And thats all that matters.

Act like you've been there before, and act like you'll be there again.

/ Steps off soapbox.

And now, the Week 2 picks:

Ohio (+34) over Ohio State - $10

Central Michigan (+24) over Georgia - $20

*UAB, Marshall, Troy - Georgia hasn't covered against any of them in recent years.

Georgia/CMU OVER 56.5 - $10

Ole Miss (+8) over Wake Forest - $25

Ole Miss (ML +285) over Wake Forest - $10

Oregon State (+15.5) over Penn State - $10

Alabama (-30) over Tulane - $10

Miami (+23.5) over Florida - $10

Texas Tech (-11.o) over Nevada - $10

2008 Record: 6-1

2008 Pot: $160


Making 'Around the Horn' Look Like 'Meet the Press'

As B.I. noted earlier this week, we here at Sue's Truly view the NFL as the "Best Thing to Do While Nursing College Football Hangovers." Henceforth, we can thusly sum up our thoughts on the upcoming 2008 campaign in a friendly Thursday afternoon GCHAT while waiting for SC-Vandy to get going.

Bourn Inferiority: :-/ at going into this without any laid out topicsJibber Jabber: perfect intro right there
anyways, so off the top of your head
whos your SB pick?
BI: Always a tough pick
you want to pick the people that first pop into your head, then you try to remember everything you've read about injuries/chemistry issues, then you remember teams coming out of nowhere in the season and winning the whole thing and you realize you may as well just spit a few teams out
I like the Chargers to beat the hump, first
JJ: I could see that
BI: and uhm
JJ: You think losing that SB will hurt the Patriots at all?
their schedule is mad easy
BI: I just don't think the Pats are as hungry any more. This could be a huge mistake after the team stayed hungry whilst FEASTING nonstop every Sunday last year, but I don't see lightening striking twice
A team's got to have adversity to become stronger, and with that schedule I don't see any challenged.
JJ: ok plaschke
though i could see the latter argument
beating up on an easy ass schedule all year...then running into a wall in the playoffs
espicially in the AFC, where you're looking at a STOUT Pitt/Indy/Jax/SD group

BI: hold the phone I just found out keith urban and usher are bringing in the NFL season this year
you think the NFL bigwigs sent everyone home over the weekend to ask their kids their favorite music artists, came back in on monday and started reverse alphabetically?
"Uhhh USHER!! Yeah yeah he's good. Bring him in. He's got that Yeah! thing that drives everyone crazy y'know!
....aaaaaaand oh oh Urban! Yeah the young demographic really loves that guy! Okay, great work people"
Yeah the AFC playoff picture will shape up to be a mean one no matter who gets in.
JJ: Usher fits well with the typical NFL-music-pick
they like grabbing folks who peaked 3-4 years ago
BI: True.
JJ: Ludacris only 2 years away, believe that
BI: But haven't they had washed-up country music stars singing "Are you read for some football!!!"
Oh and by the way Prince was there two years ago. Or three. And he's never going to be washed up believe that.
JJ: theres too many washed up country stars
BI: true THAT
all country stars are washed up IMO
JJ: Mellencamp? Rolling Stones? Tom Petty?
just beacuse you're a legend doesn't mean you can't be washed up

BI: Petty also cannot be washed up. He's still...
okay I'll give you Petty
last great thing he did was in the late 90's, coinciding with his awesome role as some shitkicking hillbilly in Costner's The Postman
but not Prince
Prince is eternal

BI:Anyway, on the other side of the coin toss in February I see the Saints or Eagles. The Eagles if everyone stays healthy, or the Saints if they play at or slightly above that team's potential.
Other than Deuce Deuce going down last year, I have no idea what happened to them. That offense was insane, and it totally sparked out.
Like a college boy about to get lucky, giddy as hell all night 'cause of the hot girl he brought back to his dorm, then not being able to close the deal because...

I suppose I'd be a real bitch if I picked two, so I'm going with the Saints - Chargers
Dallas is an insane team loaded with talent, I just can't pick against history for the life of me, and I don't like a team that hasn't been out of the first round since...
JJ: Why the hell is everyone high on the Eagles?
theyre old as shit
yeah dallas hasnt won a playoff game in 13 yrs
thats insane
BI:that's insanely insane with the talent they've had Four reasons why people are higher on Eagles than they were on that Pineapple Express they got last night:
A) Look at the rest of the league
Out of all the teams that have a chance to be in the playoffs, we have Carolina, Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, NY Giants, Seahawks, Bucs and Redskins
Dallas and the Saints I've already address so they're out
New York just lost too much this off-season and, got incredibly lucky. That whole hunger thing rears up again and honestly, I don't think they make the playoffs
JJ: so people are high on Philly because nobody else really stands out to them?
agreed w/ G-Men
but is eli turning the corner? or is he still the same mediocre Eli?
BI: Eli has elevated himself from mediocre Eli. He is a top-10 quarterback in the league now. The confidence you gain from winning a super bowl propels you to do great things

BI: Inexperience at quarterback marks off Green Bay, Minnesota and the RedskinsJJ: Skins will be awful
Jason Campbell had one good year at Auburn stocked with NFL talent
other than that, constant dissapointment

BI: So who's left?
Seahawks, who shouldn't have made the playoffs last year and basically have the same team
JJ: ok so i see your point re: Giants and Skins
but still, why so high on Philly?
BI: The Bucs, who we both know have issues galore at quarterback
JJ: you basically like them out of default
BI: oh I'm not finished. this is only point one
JJ: ugh
BI: and then Carolina, who may be the team that could resist them
so, correct
A) Lack of competition
B) The Eagles, correct me if I'm wrong, showed great tenacity and were on their way to a top seed in the playoffs?
JJ: ? wtf
BI: before McNabb went down
they won close games towards the end of games and were on their way to playoffs
hey what is it everyone's favorite card master calls women again?
JJ: huh?
BI: Man where is your head today

Anyway that's reason number two. With a healthy McNabb they're in the playoffs this year
err last year
and they're real talented
JJ: whos their #1 receiver?
JJ: their running backBI: are you saying you dont' like them to plow through that weak ass schedule?
BI: Hmm
Okay, a damn good one tooJJ:I like Philly, I just don't see them advancing far in the playoffs
In my eyes, Dallas is the clear cut team to beat in that conference
JJ: if i had to bet on one team in the NFL making the superbowl, its dallas
BI: I agree re: Dallas, I just can't bet against history.
JJ: got cho' history right here

BI: Exactly my point. They haven't advanced past the first round since Aikman left if I'm correct
I like Dallas, only a fool would not, but that whole not-getting-passed-round-one-enough-to-make-T.O.-cry-like-a-baby thing

: anyways, my first two are Dallas and New Orleans in the NFC

Okay so we're quite agreeable on the NFC front

Ok so give me your NFC playoff picks
I gots
1. Dallas
2. New Orleans
as the top seeds
then Seattle, Tampa Bay, Philly, Green Bay as the others
I see Detroit, Giants, Minny as close-but no cigar teams
I see the Falcons finishing 3-13 and Shock still not gettin his reps
I see Dallas beating N.O. in an offensive showdown for the NFC title
I see Seattle and Green Bay as two of the worst division winners in recent memory.
I see Aaron Rogers being the Packers weak link and Ryan Grant not doing shit
I see the Bears defense and special teams owning, but with the offense going 3-and-out 90% of the time, even they'll get some points scored on them.
fin for NFC
BI: 90% is an awful lot
why don't you like the Eagles again?
JJ: i do
BI: other than their lack of WRs not named Brown of course
BI: i just don't see them as a superbowl pick
i see them winning a playoff game
thats solid
but theyre getting alot of superbowl love, and that i don't see
mcnabb hasnt been consistently healthy in awhile
BI: true
and Dallas hasn't been consistently winnable in the playoffs in a while either
JJ: i dont really think history matters much
i mean in the NFL half the teams turnover from year to year
so i dont think the 2003 Cowboys failure to win in the playoffs will affect this year's edition
BI: but history of injuries do?
JJ: yeah definitely
injured players tend to contunite to get injured
as my fantasy baseball team is currently proving
BI: your current fantasy baseball team is proving that drafting players over the age of 40 is "not a good idea" most of the time
regardless of how "consistent" these old fuckers are
I'll give you this
if the Cowboys fail to make the second round of the playoffs, and perhaps even the superbowl, and perhaps even win it, it could be the biggest disappointment of the season this side of P Manning throwing more picks than TDs
JJ: true dat
so Manning Brady injuries?
how much they really gonna affect em
we still gonna see a combined 8,000 yards and 75 TDs?
cuz i gotta say yes
tho Harrsion being out does worry me
BI: is Harrison out?

Here's the thing
there's really no way of knowing the extent of those injuries
JJ: true they keep that shit to the vest now
BI: Pats/Colts are so secretive about their injuries, we won't know until the 2nd or 3rd game
that being said, I see a Manning and Brady at 75% still being better than 88% of the rest of the QBs in the league, at least
JJ: f'sho

BI: By the way, I think the Falcons surprise everyone and win
3 games
JJ: would that be a good or bad surprise?
BI: A good one I think
JJ cuz i think theres a fair amount of folks thinking 1-15 a legit possibility
BI: I just took a look at their schedule and they are all legitimately losable for sure
JJ: how pissed is Blank gonna be when his "white face of the franchise"-yearning ass has a chance to draft Stafford next year?
JJ: damn yahoo now has Chad Ocho Cinco on their fantasy list
JJ: man i love college football