Not ready for Prime Time… or any time

I’m not sure last night’s Sugar Bowl is worth breaking down, but in any event I’ll save that for a later date. Here’s the on the surface observations I had watching the game:

  • To the talking head (I forget who you were) who said earlier in the day something like “often in these games it’s not the primary matchup that everyone points to that decides which team wins”, no.
  • The Fox production wasn’t too bad – other than not letting the game get started until almost 9:00 PM and the endless, repetitive commercials – but the broadcast crew certainly was. I’d almost rather listen to Pam Ward.
  • One of the best things about the game was that it (once again) exposed the utter asshattery that is Mark May’s anti-Georgia schtick. (Even he sang a different tune after the results were in.)
  • Brandon Coutu was born to kick field goals in a dome.
  • If you didn’t get a sense of déjà vu watching the game, you obviously didn’t follow mid-90′s Atlanta Falcons football. All of the elements were there: a junk offensive scheme that couldn’t mask a bad offensive line, defense that was an afterthought, undisciplined play and, of course, a head coach who had no answers when his team was getting its ass kicked. All we were missing to complete the picture was a player losing it on the sideline and getting into a shouting match with the coach.
  • I didn’t feel embarrassed for Hawaii until the camera cut to the stands and the sideline after the Warriors finally scored their first touchdown. First, watching the band celebrate like they’d seen their team take the lead was bizarre. But then the camera went to Colt Brennan – and the look on his face at that moment reminded me of the kid in first grade we all knew who got caught messing himself in class.
  • The stat of the night: Hawaii’s longest play from scrimmage in the third quarter was a roughing the passer penalty.
  • Whether you like the BCS as it’s currently comprised, or you’re a playoff advocate, one thing that’s apparent is that strength of schedule needs to be factored into the postseason equation.
  • Along the same lines, whatever Boise State’s win in last year’s Fiesta Bowl accomplished for the non-BCS conferences, Hawaii’s loss pretty much wiped out. Nice check’s in the mail, though.
  • As lopsided as that game turned out to be, there is a silver lining for Hawaii. After last night, and after the Warriors get obliterated in their ’08 season opener at Florida, they shouldn’t have nearly as much trouble in the future finding D-1 teams willing to schedule them.
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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Not ready for Prime Time… or any time

  1. peacedog

    Removing SoS from the BCS was ridiculous.

    Don’t you remember all the “when the outcome of nobody A vs nobody B determines who will play in the title game” wailing? That the SoS component needed tweaking was certainly arguable (and any methodology created to measure something should always be evaluated to ensure that it’s best doing what it aught). Removing it outright was an obviously bad idea. But typical of the BCS, which has reacted late or overmuch to problems at times.

  2. peacedog

    And the Broadcast was an embarassement. I couldn’t make it into the 4th, so I missed the “classless” bullshit.

  3. scdawg

    I know I have complained about those two idiots on Fox before, but they exceeded even my expectations of their ineptitude. To criticize Richt for challenging the catch on 4th and 11 was ridiculous. All game, so that people wouldn’t turn away, they talked about how quickly HA could score and comeback. Then they complain when we challenge a first down conversion on 4th and 11 because it was 38-3 and almost the 4th quarter. And, it was a successful challenge, though FOX got the reason for the challenge wrong the whole time.

    Just absurd. Then to say that it was such a “shame for America” that HA didn’t show up to play? Just like ESPN, anytime anything disrupts “the narrative” (in this case HA as the 2008 version of Boise State) they don’t know what to do with themselves. How about just calling the game?

    And I couldn’t get ESPN radio in so I could hear Uncle Ron.

  4. When Charles Davis is the “good cop” in the announcing team for a Georgia game, you know something’s messed up. Don’t know who appointed Brennaman Miss Manners for the first-down challenge or the fourth-and-whatever pass inside the 10, but I’ll be really glad when the BCS contracts get re-bid in a couple years.

    Say what you will about the ESPN/ABC military-industrial complex, but at least they don’t go balls-out nutty with the graphics the way Fox does. At the rate they’re going, Fox is just going to air an entire game in CGI one of these days a la “The Polar Express” or something.

  5. FWIW, I did like the YAC and the missed tackles graphics that Fox showed.

    But the broadcast team was truly craptastic.

  6. Xon

    To be fair, Color Commentator did stand up for UGA, sort of, when Lead Commentator went into the ‘classless’ crap. Lead Commentator sort of kinda realized he was out on the skinny branches, and so he started telling us all what a nice guy Richt is and how he’s adopted kids from Russia. “Hey folks, don’t get me wrong!” Color Commentator pointed out that we have backups who we want to give a chance to succeed as well. Plus, the ‘unforgiveable’ pass we threw on 4th down inside the 5 yard line was with half of the 4th quarter left and Hawaii having scored on the previous possession. So you’re comments about the announcing crews’ incoherent hypocrisy are right on. Hawai’i (note the apostrophe, I am SOOOO smart to get that right) is supposedly the nation’s most prolific, most explosive offense, yet we are supposed to take a knee on the 5 yard line with 7 minutes to go? We inherited the ball on the 5 on that possession b/c of Brown’s awesome kickoff return. So what Lead Commentator was telling us is that it shows a lack of class to send your second team in for a possession that starts on the 5 yard line with a big lead and actually let them run actual plays. It’s like the 04 game at Kentucky, the one we won 62-17. We scored 3 TDs in the 4th quarter of that game, but all of them came off of short fields we inherited from UK turnovers or big returns. Our scrubs want to play hard too and they deserve a shot from that distance.

    I don’t favor running up the score per se, but that’s not what Richt does. He has frustrated UGA fans with his gentrified ‘classiness’ for seven years (how about taking a knee with 3 minutes to go inside the Auburn 15 last year, handing them the ball on a change of possession?). But sometimes you are put in a position where it would be insulting NOT to try to score. Starting with the ball on the 5 with 7 minutes left is one of those situations.

    Furthermore, all game long the announcers desperately tried to convince us of Hawai’i’s valiant nobility b/c they ‘played hard’ even though they were getting rocked. Great…but then when Georgia plays hard to the end it shows a lack of ‘class.’ (Like when Lead Announcer first went off on his rant, which was just after the personal foul on UGA’s D for tackling that guy through the ref’s whistle when his forward progress was already stopped. That’s a penalty that good aggressive defesnse are going to get sometimes, and that’s all there is to it.)

    But now I realize I have spent far too much time defending against this garbage, when in truth I couldn’t care less. We won, and it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog! The hurt feelings of the losers or the embarrassment of the media leads them to say stupid things. The bottom line is that the second greatest day in Hawai’i history was a complete and total beat down. I take no pleasure in seeing an entire state crushed like that, but I take great pleasure in seeing the Dawgs dominate. Sorry you got in the way, Hawai’i. Collateral damage.

  7. peacedog

    The complains about the 3q replay were pretty much the height of the broadcast for me. Because it was pretty obvious we were challenging the catch and not the spot, and because it’s not classless to keep playing the game with 15 minutes to go. Even though we’d mostly let up on offense at this point.

    Just absurdity all the way around.

  8. Xon

    Yes, and they never even showed it once it was overturned. Lead Announcer got all indignant during the review: “I just cannot believe that we are sitting here waiting on a review of this play! I cannot believe why it was challenged in the first place…”

    Then they overturned the call. That’s why, dude.

    And the idea that you’re not supposed to challenge bad calls when you are winning big with a FULL QUARTER to go was absurd to the level of satirical. Seriously, it was the sort of argument that a fake announcer in a sports comedy would make. Hawaii was into our territory. They did not complete the pass. We’re supposed to, for pity’s sake, allow them to continue their drive? It’s just stupid.

    I undersand arguments about running up the score, in principle. Especially when people distinguish between professionals and college/high school kids. Pros should have thicker skin and have no right to complain at all. But frankly it’s time we start giving the college kids a BIT thicker skin, too. They’re not babies. If they don’t want to get embarrassed, they need to PLAY BETTER. And I’ve never understood how deliberately and obviously trying NOT to offer any resistance at the end of the game is supposed to make the loser feel BETTER or less embarrassed. “Remember that time we were getting beat by four touchdowns and the team started lolly-gagging for the last 15 minutes so they wouldn’t brutalize us like Mongolians? Man, that was a ‘classy’ ending to that game, we really appreciated it.”

  9. If we had beaten Hawaii 77-10, I wouldn’t have felt bad for them. I did feel bad for their poor fans – that came a very long way and actually thought they had a chance to see a victory. They were all decked out in those nice white t-shirts to counter the blackout. It was like a baby einstein book, all in the stands.

    We should have kicked a field goal – instead of going for it on fourth down at the 5.

    44-10, that’s a much better sound.

  10. I found Brennaman’s complaints particularly strange given the fact that earlier in the day Texas Tech wiped out a fourteen point deficit with less than four minutes to go to win its bowl game against Virginia.

    I guess that’s what you get when you use baseball announcers to call college football games these days.

  11. That and the fact that they had gone on and on about what a quick-strike offense Hawaii had and how they were able to wipe out two separate 21-point deficits to beat Washington in their last game. I’ll go ahead and lower myself to quoting Steve Spurrier’s philosophy — “I’ll quit tryin’ to score on them when they quit tryin’ to score on me.”

    Brennaman seemed like he was hoping to go down in history as the guy who called Hawaii’s stunning upset of the mighty Bulldogs, and when it became clear that that wasn’t going to happen, he lost interest in doing anything other than a) praising the pluckiness of the Warriors and b) telling the world what horrible, horrible people the Georgia guys were.

  12. What really greased me the most about Brennaman’s comments about running up the score was the fact that USC did almost the exact same thing to Nebraska earlier in the year, and no one was whining then about USC’s ‘lack of class’.

    And as for Brennaman’s asinine remarks about bowl games not mattering the next year and pre-season rankings not meaning much, I call total bullshit. That’s the only reason LSU is in this year’s title game – because people thought they should have been at the start of the year. Don’t tell me bowl games and preaseason rankings don’t matter when it is so painfully obvious that they do.

  13. Shorter Thom Brennaman:

    “Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma. No one cares about bowls from last year. Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma.”

    Thom is a person for whom the term “logistical gymnastics” was invented.

  14. Oh, and Thom calling us “the Gators” in the second half was the icing on the cake. I mean…

    - We aren’t “the Gators.”
    - We dislike “the Gators.” A lot. It’s been said elsewhere, but this is calling Boston’s baseball team “the Yankees,” Southern Cal’s football team “the Bruins,” the president of Iran “George W. Bush,” etc. It is absurdly, absolutely incorrect.
    - “The Gators” just capped off a 9-4 season with a loss to a team that got punked by App. State. “The Gators” finished tied for fifth in the SEC. Georgia finished the year 11-2. Georgia won the Sugar Bowl. If anything, the shouting heads at FOX and ESPN should be calling Florida “the Bulldogs.”

  15. Irishdog

    Where were all these champions of the defeated when Tebow was scoring touchdowns with ginormous leads late in the 4th quarter against blueberry-muffin competition? Tebow’s a starter, Cox ain’t.

    These people get paid to notice the difference between letting subs play hard, and piling it on; not doing so is inexcusable.

  16. And as for Brennaman’s asinine remarks about bowl games not mattering the next year and pre-season rankings not meaning much, I call total bullshit. That’s the only reason LSU is in this year’s title game – because people thought they should have been at the start of the year. Don’t tell me bowl games and preaseason rankings don’t matter when it is so painfully obvious that they do.

    I couldn’t agree more with you. That’s why I think they ought to hold off on the polls until at least the first week of October.

  17. USCGDawg

    I have not seen many Fox broadcast. Do they always run a 4 commercial rotation every three minutes or is this fallout from the writers strike… make it stop. Is this really who the SEC wants to negotiate a TV contract with? Surely the FoodNetwork has some time slots.