Mr. Conventional Wisdom on the Cocktail Party

Welp, if you’re looking for unique insight, podnah, you’ve come to the wrong place.

“We know there’s a fine line between winning and losing,” Barnhart said. “Georgia is 4-3. Well, if a ‘Hail Mary’ gets knocked down against Tennessee and Georgia can convert fourth-and-1 against Vanderbilt, they’re probably sitting at 6-1 going to Jacksonville and everybody’s happy. Well, everybody’s not happy.

“Georgia’s 4-3 and they’ve looked ugly doing it. They’ve had moments where they can’t run the ball and so they’ve got to get back on track, and they’re going to try and do it against a really good Florida defense.”

Barnhart emphasized how important this part of the season is for Smart and Georgia to rejuvenate the team and the program.

“Kirby knows they need to play better than they’ve played,” Barnhart said. “Georgia’s season, guys, every year is pretty much defined by Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech. Georgia has hit that span now.”

Thanks for sharing!


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“Are you trying to lead me in to saying the word?”

Uncle Verne, for the win:

“Verne, what’s that game called?” analyst Gary Danielson asked during an in-game promo during the CBS SEC broadcast over the weekend for this Saturday’s game.

Lundquist, retiring from calling football after this season, referred somewhat off script that it used to be called: “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.”

Danielson replied: “Last year, what can they do to you?”

“What are they going to do fire me?” Lundquist said.

Now if he’ll only say something derogatory about Michael Adams this Saturday…


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

“This is a joke”

Joe Alleva was simply dripping with respect for Florida and the SEC office as a result of the Hurricane Matthew postponement.  Dudes, some advice:  next time you want to wail on conference folks, use a private email account.

Next league meeting should be a blast.


Filed under SEC Football

Are the times really a-changing?

Skip the underlying tone to the Schultz piece I linked to yesterday and focus on the point he was making, that Georgia has changed its drug policy protocol in response to Kirby Smart.  Is there a case to be made for that?

Look at a couple of dry descriptions of the night’s events.  First, from Marc Weiszer:

Police searched Patrick’s dorm room in which he and Smith were on the night of the incident after a resident assistant reported smelling marijuana.

They found a fake can of Arizona strawberry iced tea with a hidden compartment, but marijuana wasn’t found in the can. Patrick admitted to keeping marijuana in it when he had possession of it, but said he did not have any on that night.

Police found other items identified as drug paraphernalia including a “smoke buddy, tobacco gutted from cigars and rolled in a paper towel and lighters and towels rolled up and pushed against door cracks.  Both players admitted to smoking cigars that night, but not marijuana.

And this, from Jake Rowe:

Police did, however, find tobacco gutted from Black N’ Mild cigars and a container in which Patrick admitted he used to stash pot whenever he has it. Had the drug test been positive for Patrick, he’d have been in line for a four-game suspension due to it being his second offense. It would have been Smith’s first offense and just a one-game suspension for him.

However, as Rowe puts it, police on the scene “… weren’t able to find a testable quantity of the substance and neither player was arrested.”

So, despite some questionable surroundings, there was no arrest and no admission of guilt.  Add to that one more thing.

“After receiving an incident report last week, we determined that neither Roquan Smith nor Natrez Patrick had violated any Athletic Association rules that would require suspension,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement. “This included drug testing, which was negative for both student-athletes.”

To summarize then, we have a situation where despite circumstantial evidence indicating drug use, the police don’t arrest football players and Greg McGarity, who, if you’ll recall, once was the mastermind behind a decision to drug test student-athletes returning from spring break, gives both a clean bill of health.

Okay, I concede that’s not the typical Georgia Way response to which we’ve been accustomed to seeing.  But is it the sign of something bigger, a new drug policy era at Georgia?  And is it something for which Kirby Smart is responsible?

With regard to the latter question, it’s not as if he’s claiming responsibility.

“I’m a team player when it comes to policy, and I believe in doing what the team theme is, which is what our athletic association has been so far,” Smart said in his press conference on Monday. “Do I think that we live in a society that’s a little bit different now than it was back whenever? Sure, I do. But I also believe in what we have, and we know and accept the rules that we’ve been charged with.”

Those comments don’t indicate total agreement with the policies in place at UGA, but it doesn’t appear as if Smart is on any sort of policy-changing mission. Thus far he hasn’t been heavily affected by it as the Bulldogs head coach.

If I accept that at face value — and also thinking back to comments he made in a similar vein when he was hired and first asked about Georgia’s drug policy — it’s hard to see Kirby taking on a crusade here.  Which means if we’re considering Schultz’ charge seriously, that what’s happening is a more subtle evolution of policy that’s being directed by McGarity, or somebody over McGarity, and acceded to by Jimmy Williamson.

Maybe that’s so.  But taken together, it’s a bridge a little too far for me to cross after only one such incident.

That being said, the most believable part for me is the chickenshit hypocrisy behind that kind of approach, if true.  Rather than being forthright about the reality that Georgia’s drug policy is out of step with the rest of the conference to the detriment of the program, nibbling at the edges with incidents like this lets the school maintain its righteous public stance while allowing players to stay on the field as many of its peers do.  Toss in the likelihood that such a dichotomy will result in student-athletes receiving more favorable treatment than mere students and you’re looking at some real weaseling by the administration should this indeed be the new road the school is traveling on.

I can’t say we’re there yet, though.  What I can ask is, if Schultz is on to something, what happens if the change doesn’t help the bottom line, so to speak?  And what sort of reaction can be expected if Morehead and McGarity decide to take another shot at convincing the SEC to adopt a uniform drug policy?


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

“This game’s a lot more important to me now than it was back then.”

Seeing as he was an integral part of one of Georgia’s most unexpected victories in the Cocktail Party series, it’s interesting to hear that take from Kirby Smart about Saturday’s game.

Mindful of Woody Allen’s wisdom regarding success, if anyone can sell a team on the importance of showing up to play, you’d have to think Smart is in a unique position to do just that.

There are also attitudes like that of Isaiah McKenzie, who’s clearly stung by the ending of the Vanderbilt game.

“All I could think about that whole week was what could I have done to get that 1 yard,” McKenzie said. “But I wouldn’t say there wasn’t much to do. I could have probably dove or did something. At that time in the moment it wasn’t going through my head. It was just, ‘Get the 1 yard.’ It just hurt me I could have probably done something different, like jump or stretch my arm out. It’s just a thought.”

With that play in his head, McKenzie wanted to “rush the bye week” so that Georgia’s next game could come quickly. And the Bulldogs’ upcoming contest will be incredibly important to bounce back in, considering it’s against archrival Florida.

This team will have had two weeks to get ready to play Florida.  It’s not like they don’t have a chance, either.  The Gators imploded against a Tennessee team that scored less points against Georgia and held Florida’s offense to fewer points, as well.

On the other hand, it’s not as if Florida’s strained itself against weaker opposition, unlike a certain team I could mention.

It’s time to get your collective shit together, Dawgs.


Filed under Georgia Football

College lives matter?

Interesting quote here:

Washington State receiver Gabe Marks provided a thoughtful response when asked why there are fewer college football players involved in the protest movement started by Colin Kaepernick.

“College football players are more, if you could believe it, they’re more of a number than NFL players are even. You know what I mean?” Marks said. “The NCAA and schools kind of like can monitor everything that college athletes do. Twitter and stuff like that. It would be kind of scary if you are a college athlete and you tried to take a stand and then the athletic director or something like that, or your coach comes and says, ‘Hey, what are you doing? That’s super un-American,’ or something like that.

“You’d probably be scared of the consequences that could be enforced on you at that point and a lot of guys in college and in the NFL don’t really want to get into the trouble of it, you know what I mean? Because it’s a pretty big stance you take and there’s a lot of backlash that comes with that. Kids don’t want people hating them, let’s be honest. A grown man has more of a ability to be just like ‘Whatever, I believe what I believe in.'”

Leverage and control, baby.  That’s what college football is all about.  And that’s why what happened at Missouri last year generated the reaction it did.


Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

“Other than that, we’re in pretty good shape.”

What’s the over/under on how many of Florida’s defensive starters nursing injuries don’t return this Saturday?


Filed under Gators, Gators...