“That’s the (other) opponent we’re playing, COVID.”

If there’s one thing you were worried about letting the players go home for the holidays, well, you’re not alone.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart is more concerned about COVID-19 than opt-outs when it comes to player availability for Friday’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl matchup against Cincinnati.

The No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (7-2) broke camp for three days to celebrate Christmas before players returned to campus late Saturday to resume preparations for their New Year’s Day Six bowl game against the No. 8-ranked Bearcats (9-0). Between the players being outside the school’s control and recent spikes in outbreaks of the virus across the state, Smart said he was “on pins and needles” awaiting results of the first round of testing.

… “So, we’re trying to avoid doing a lot publicly, and we’re trying to avoid any positive tests that might knock somebody out for this game. The numbers are spiking all across over the country and really right here in Georgia. With things going on, our concerns are with our players that have gone home and come back.”

All we need this week is for JT Daniels to come down with a severe case of contact tracing.

In the meantime, welcome to lockdown, Dawg style.

Meanwhile, with players home for the holidays this past week, UGA could no longer monitor their movements via the SEC’s Kinnexon tracing technology. Players were immediately subjected to PCR tests upon their return Saturday, and they will be tested two more times before Friday’s noon kickoff at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (ESPN).

Smart said the Bulldogs would not travel to Atlanta until the night before the game and won’t be participating in any typical bowl activities.

“Our concern is with our players that have gone home and come back and also with the guys being around each other,” Smart said. “So there’s really not a lot you can do to enjoy the bowl. You can enjoy the fellowship of your teammates and just stay safe so we can finish off this season.”

When Kirby retires from coaching, maybe he can run the CDC.  In the meantime, he’s got a game to coach, by damn.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

18 responses to ““That’s the (other) opponent we’re playing, COVID.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    It keeps getting closer and closer. I’m begging to think ‘when’ not ‘if’, and just hope for a mild case.
    Oh, and Happy New Year! I’ll be sure to pass along any other cheery news.
    Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Russ

    I’ll be holding my breath until kickoff. I’d put JT in a bubble by himself until game time. I think we could lose pretty much anyone else and survive, but losing JT now would be a killer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. otto1980

    Smart is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. It is not surprising we are seeing opt outs in this COVID world of lockdowns but if you don’t contact tracing or a positive test has them out.

    Like

  4. theotherdoug

    Imagine if we paid Saban to run the CDC.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. debbybalcer

    A real worry most people are being exposed by getting in small gatherings inside unmasked with people they feel safe with.

    Like

  6. PTC DAWG

    Hard to tell someone to stay away from Family around the Holidays…I’m glad they let the kids go home..

    Liked by 2 people

    • HirsuteDawg

      It is hard – thats why slowing the spread of COVID just isn’t working. My wife and I were disagreeing on visiting our daughter and grandchildren for Christmas. She was determined to go and I was saying stay home – thats what all the experts are recommending. A day before she was to leave to drive up my daughter called and says stay home we have COVID. So we spend Christmas at home alone and worried about the daughter, the husband, and the grandchildren. If my daughters symptoms started a day later my wife would have been in the soup.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Peach Bowl. In Atlanta. Verses Cincy. Get there the night before. No activities. How…fun.

    Any word on commemorating our Seniors Pre-game?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Teacher Martin

    I thought I read that the NCAA was prepared to play the game on a different date if there were Covid concerns.

    Like

  9. spur21

    This season is a circle jerk of the highest order.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. 69Dawg

    Fingers and toes crossed that they get to play.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rigger92

    We are in SC these days, Alpharetta folks from ‘81-90. Out where we are, where there are mostly two lane roads and 5 grocery stores to choose from, nothing is much different now that toilet paper is on the shelves.

    I travel throughout the country, and, have enjoyed being virus free this year. I do understand the problem though. My thing is, I have worked in approx 50 hospitals from KS to FL and everything in between. Over 50 hotel nights, maybe 20 MRE meals just to stay “inside” while out of town.

    I don’t get how this thing is so wild. This year has been no different than any other in the last decade for us here. I still drive 55,000 miles, still install X-ray and MRI systems every time I can possibly manage, in any state I can get to. We actually have run 3 crews this year and the cumulative miles and nights in hotels turns into over 200k, 150 nights, and many meals out at night. We are gassed right now and thankful for a week off. It all start again next week unless this longshoreman strike doesnt get settled out there in L.A.. we have to deliver a lab at Vanderbilt on 09JAN but it is still in a container in the harbor by Los Angeles because of some labor dispute. May get more time at home, which is not good for the monthly targets.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. RangerRuss

    This is why I have such tremendous faith in Kirby Smart. The man excels in whatever task is presented before him and has the ability to adapt to dynamic situations. Given time I believe he will exceed Saban’s success. Hell, CKS equaled Saban on the Chicom virus prevention and triumphed personally by remaining virus free.
    Yes, the Dawgs have experienced some issues under his tenure. I think he learned and will be better going forward. The man is simply determination personified. How else could you describe a short, white, finance geek that turned himself into an All-SEC DB in the environment in which he played?
    I don’t think he’ll relax and go all ROAD (retired on active duty) in his early 50’s due to delayed brain disorder from early adult cocaine abuse as was the case in some of the boys.
    Friday by 3 o’clock we’ll see if Kirby is worthy of my exalted ranking. I’m hoping the Dawgs will spank Cincy’s ass quickly enough to allow a display of the talent that will face those taters across the river on 4 September.
    Go Dawgs!

    Liked by 1 person