Daily Archives: March 19, 2010

Scott Lakatos, I think I love you.

From David Hale’s blog:

… In the secondary, Brandon Boykin said much of the language and technique is the same as what the Bulldogs ran in past seasons, the teaching manner of their new defensive backs coach, Scott Lakatos, suits the players well. And while the bulk of what Georgia is running remains the same among the secondary, there are a few key differences.

“When the ball’s in the air, he teaches to get your head around and look for the ball,” corner Jordan Love said. “Last year we were playing hands to the receiver, and that’s an adjustment we’ve had to make.” [Emphasis ecstatically added.]

Me so happy.

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20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Hey! You fans! Get offa my lawn!

Judging from the commentary here, at other blogs and in my e-mail box, I think it’s safe to say that the new tailgating restrictions announced by Michael Adams yesterday are being met with something less than universal acclaim.

Kinda scary how much that scene resonates here, isn’t it?

And, yeah, it’s certainly fair to vent some wrath in the direction of a few bad apples.  But looking back at how things have gotten to this point from the perspective of someone who’s tailgated on North Campus for almost thirty years, I find it pretty easy to discern the school’s fingerprints on the body, too.  Stadium expansion, an unprecedented level of campus construction over the past decade and the decision to move fraternities off Lumpkin Street each have had a noticeable impact on the North Campus tailgate scene.

Throw in the rising number of night games, with crowds consuming for longer and longer periods of time, together with the administration’s ineptness in planning for the same, and you’ve got all the ingredients for the perfect storm.  That’s basically what we got with the Auburn 2007 game.  And then we saw more of the same last season.  As we’ve seen on more than one occasion, giving Michael Adams an excuse to act generally isn’t going to end well.  So here we are.

The thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t being totally driven by a power trip.  In fact, I don’t think that’s even the primary motivation for this.  The bottom line for this is the bottom line.  This is about changing the motivations and the expectations for the (reasonably) well-heeled – the folks like you and me who spend the money on season tickets and like to make a social event out of six Saturday afternoons in the fall.  We’re being herded in a new, more profitable direction.

The first hint of that is in the timing of the announcement itself.  If you think choosing to impose the new policy shortly after contributions were due was merely innocent timing, I’ve still got that Hahira beachfront property for sale.

But there’s more than that in play here.  One real key to what’s in store is the four-hour pre-game restriction.  That’s not going to impact the uppah crust folks who’ve paid a lot more money to tailgate elsewhere and it’s not going to have an effect on the twenty one-year olds who’ll stroll up to North Campus with styrofoam coolers and chilled cases of Natty Light, both of which will be thoughtlessly abandoned at the first opportunity.  Nah, that’s only going to matter to the families and groups who travel on game day and want to have a chance to set up tents and grills and settle in for a while with folks.  The responsible people.

The other key, which seems to have gotten less attention than the North Campus rules, is the complete campus ban on pull-behinds like trailers and cookers.  Again, this affects the same group – the very well-to-do and the irresponsible will care less about it.

When you look at this, it’s hard to see how it’s going to have much of an impact on what Adams is crying about.  If you’re really worried about trash, for example, how do you not ban something like styrofoam coolers?  But if you look at it as a step along the way to monetizing more of the tailgating experience, it makes much more sense.

I posted a long time ago that if these guys could figure out a way to charge you for the air you breathe on campus, they’d do it.  An exaggeration, sure, but consider where this is all likely headed, at least in my humble opinion – to a point when the university charges a fee to retain a designated tailgate space on North Campus and a license fee for pull-behinds.  The gamble in the short term is to create enough grumbling about how the new rules don’t really fix the underlying problems – much of which the school had a hand in creating – so that Adams can use that to take things to the next level and wring a few dollars more out of a block of folks who don’t share as much of the blame for existing conditions.

There’s no way to win on this.  If you complain about the new rules and threaten to pull financial support over it, they’ll spin that as part of the concern over how things have gotten out of hand.  If you complain that the new rules don’t really fix the problem (they won’t) and that something more effective needs to be done, you’ll give Adams another excuse to take action.

And that’s the perverse genius of the man here.  It’s not just that he’s going to get us to pay money for something that we used to get without charge.  It’s that he’s going to do that and make us grateful for the opportunity.

In the end, we’re all nothing more than wallets.

65 Comments

Filed under Chivalry Is Dead, It's Just Bidness, Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World

Coach Richt, Logan Gray and (gasp!) bloggers

Well now, here’s something you don’t expect to hear from the head dude:

… [Richt] disagreed with a blogger who criticized plans to use Logan Gray again deep in Georgia’s own territory on punt returns if he doesn’t win the starting quarterback job.

“I usually don’t ever read a blog, but I read the blog about Logan Gray catching punts,” Richt said…

… Richt said he wanted “to try to educate whoever cares that when Logan is back there — I tried to explain it the other day — it’s at a time when our opponent is punting it in. It’s a pooch kick. Our defense — our punt return team — is in punt safe to keep them from faking the punt because their (sic) across the 50-yard line.

“All Logan is doing is making a decision whether it should be a fair catch or let the ball hit. The fine gentleman who writes the blog, I don’t think he understood that very much, but I just thought maybe if everybody got educated on that a little bit better, they’d understand why Logan would do that. He was 100 percent last year on making those decisions and never bobbled the ball. I think that’s not a hard thing for him to do and we’re not expecting him to return the punt because those punts don’t get returned. There’s no return set up.”

First off, kudos to Richt for responding – and responding in a respectful way.  I can think of several of his peers (as well as countless anonymous bloggers/commenters) who wouldn’t have been nearly so decent about that.  And I have long suspected that Richt and the coaches read the blogs more than they let on.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

However, with regard to the substance of his remarks, sorry, but I’m not buying it.  For that all to make complete sense, you’d have to believe that (1) Logan was only deployed as a returner (using the term loosely) in situations when Georgia was flat-out not returning a punt; (2) no other player on the team was as capable of judging whether to field a punt as he was; and (3) that he performed his duties at a level higher than anyone else on the team could.

And the reason you have to believe this gets back to something I said in the comments to my post on this subject.

… Basically what Richt is doing is conceding to the opponent’s strategy without a fight. How does it make sense to say, “OK, we’ll go ahead and start at our own 10 yard line”?

By electing not to insert your regular return specialist, you limit your options and you make it easier for the other team to defend.  Now maybe you can justify this in terms of risk and reward, which gets back to the three points I raised earlier, but I didn’t see anything in what Richt said that went in that direction.

Maybe that’s because, in reflecting on last season, I question whether he’s got his facts completely straight.  I can recall a game when Gray bobbled a punt.  I also remember the Vanderbilt game (I was there!) when Gray sandwiched a disastrous minus-2 yard return on a punt from the Vandy 31 between two Prince Miller returns of 55 and 40 yards.  And there’s the Auburn game, when, after Georgia got down 14-0, the coaches elected to have Prince Miller field punts twice inside the Georgia 20 (one of those was fair caught, by the way).

It’s hard to see how there was some hard and fast rule about when to send Logan out to field a punt, at least in the context that Richt described.  And it seems apparent that there were circumstances when the coaches were convinced that they could trust Prince Miller as much as Gray.  Given that, it’s hard to justify continuing the same old thing this season.

Again, this isn’t about Logan Gray.  Respectfully speaking, it’s about the tactics.  It’s about being unnecessarily passive.  It’s a mindset Georgia needs to get out from under.

55 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere

Friday morning buffet

If you’re looking for something to fill in the time before you have to check your brackets…

  • Richard Samuel moves inside.  I continue to be impressed with Grantham’s mindset – it’s focused on deploying the talent where it fits best, instead of balancing a depth chart.
  • I love this spring practice quote“It’s been two months since I hit somebody,” Gator offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert said. “I just want to go out there and run around with my helmet on.” At its heart, that’s what college football is all about.
  • Vol fans, this is why winning the recruiting rankings ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
  • I hope we’ll always have the Zooker“Don’t want to be the bad guy. Want to be the good guy. I want to put an arm around a guy and say, “Hey, he really does love you.” That can get confusing sometimes.” You said it, Coach.
  • Yeah, he’s out of a job and suing his former employer, but life could be worse for Mike Leach.
  • More Georgia spring practice observations here.  It sounds like Bobo has plenty to work with.
  • And Rodney Garner adapts.  Again.

7 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Recruiting, The Adventures of Zook