Friday Fives: Suggested Bulldogs strategy – give Vols lead

A fistful of comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports.

Let’s see, airfare from Atlanta to San Francisco on the first week of February, 2016, right now looks to be anywhere between $320 and $580, depending upon your dates. Non-refundable. So, just how confident are you in the Falcons getting to Super Bowl 50?

The long-range only extends to Sunday

Can Falcons fans practice restraint? (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Can Falcons fans practice restraint? (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Forget that previous paragraph. Shred it. Such Super Bowl day-dreaming can do nothing but distract and deter. What this surprising Falcons season requires now is a microscope, not a telescope.

As the Falcons continue to refine their 1972 Miami Dolphins imitation, we will be tempted to look preposterously ahead. It already is being done by those going down the team’s schedule and, opponent by opponent, ticking off the probabilities: “Win; win; there’s a cupcake; win; what, they’re still in the league?; win; hot garbage. . .”

That is a fool’s exercise. No NFL team can claim sure-thing status – that is built into the DNA of the league. And certainly not a team whose grasp on success is as traditionally fragile as the Falcons.

Yes, fans need to take ‘em one at a time, too. Now I must go into writer’s rehab for using that cliché.

Fall behind at Tennessee and prosper

Vols coach, the excitable Butch Jones, tries to prod his team to the finish. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Vols coach, the excitable Butch Jones, tries to prod his team to the finish. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Here’s an unusual strategy the Bulldogs may want to consider Saturday in Knoxville:

Where on most road trips to places like Neyland Stadium, you hear how important it is for the visitor to get off to a quick start, take the crowd out of the game. Perhaps Georgia should consider doing exactly the opposite.

Just lay down for a half. Fall behind early by design. Commit whatever turnover necessary, punt from the red zone, work on your first-half arm tackling all week in practice – whatever is needed to stake the Volunteers to a double-digit lead.

Then you get Tennessee right where you want it. The Vols have blown two-touchdown leads in three of their last four games. According to STATS LLC, there have been only 17 games so far this season in which a FBS team lost after leading by at least 13 points. And here are the Vols with three of those.

It all began, remember, with getting up on Oklahoma 17-0, and carrying a 24-10 lead into the fourth quarter, and then melting into a puddle of orange. That set a tone.

Want to really get all those people in that cavernous stadium on edge? Give them an early lead and let them nervously chew on that for a while. They’ll be too busy thinking up horror scenarios for how their team is going to blow this one to get all loud and intrusive.

Just trying to be constructive here, in this time of sweeping, corrosive negativism.

Wrath of the titan

Alabama's Nick Saban joyously salutes fans after beating Georgia. (Getty Images)

Alabama’s Nick Saban joyously salutes fans after beating Georgia. (Getty Images)

It was the perfect set-up for another Nick Saban sermon, two days after a regenerative blowout of Georgia and two weeks following a stinging loss to Ole Miss.

So there he stood Monday, the preacher at his pulpit, the one decorated with a strategically–placed bottle of Coca-Cola, ready to deliver one of his favorite messages. He once more was in position to damn the false prophets of the media.

Asked about the ever-shifting perceptions of his kingdom these last few weeks, Saban could have laughed it off. He could have shrugged; after all he owns three of the last six national titles and is as immune from criticism as anyone in his industry can be. You know, maybe have some fun with the absurdity of it all.

But the words light-hearted and Saban never have occupied the same sentence – until this sentence.

“I say the same thing as when y’all buried us last week and all that. It really doesn’t matter what you think, and it really doesn’t matter you say, and I’m hopin’ that nobody on our team is playin’ for you,” he began.

Of course, he’s right. The bulk of the chatter throughout the sports media – every platform from old-fashioned newsprint to the phone screen – is cotton candy.

You should be bemusedly suspicious of everything put out there. Like certain angry denials from a certain coach that he had no intention of leaving the Miami Dolphins for the University of Alabama.

Saban Monday was quick to separate the nattering media from the good people who don’t blog post, as if those voices were entirely separate.

“I said before I believe in our team. I do believe in our team. And we’re going to work hard to make our team better, and I hope our players respond the right way – it’s not going to be for you. The fans, yes.”

Oh, the ‘Bama fans are the reasonable ones? Maybe Saban does have a sense of humor.

The fantasy of easy money

If you took this guy, Falcons Devonta Freeman, you may have had high fantasy football hopes. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

If you took this guy, Falcons Devonta Freeman, you may have had high fantasy football hopes. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

If it looks sketchy and smells sketchy, it has to be either an email from my new best friends in Nigeria or online fantasy football.

Know those commercials featuring various unemployed Millennials celebrating their new-found wealth based on someone else’s accomplishments? Well, now, the folks at FanDuel/DraftKings are trying to explain how one of their employees just won $350 K.

Looks kind of bad when someone on the inside, someone theoretically capable of feeding off the information of drafting trends to build his own team accordingly, hits the mother lode. Sort of like lottery host John Crow just happening to hit the right six numbers.

There was no wrongdoing, the daily fantasy company asserted. And now the long trip back to building trust and credibility with its customers begins – perhaps stretching all the way to Sunday’s pre-game shows.

Some have cried for the need of more – or just some – regulation. (Translated: We got to find a way to slap more taxes on this stuff).

Whatever the eventual outcome, the news certainly sent tremors throughout parents’ basements everywhere.

Bonfire of the banalities

Is Derek Fisher the man to bring stability to the Knicks? (Getty Images)

Is Derek Fisher the man to bring stability to the Knicks? (Getty Images)

More proof that highly-paid professional athletes are just the same as poor trailer folk, only with more tattoos:

It has been a good week for the New York Post. First came its headline on Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia leaving to team to go for alcohol rehab: CC on the Rocks. And then it reported on the alleged fight between Knick coach Derek Fisher and now Memphis Grizzly Matt Barnes.

Apparently Fisher has been squiring Barnes’ ex, a “Basketball Wives LA” “star” Gloria Govan.

Here’s a bit of advice, kids: In the unlikely case you can find someone who doesn’t have his or her own reality show, hold onto that person like gold. Otherwise, your life is certain to get stupid.

Barnes reportedly drove nearly 100 miles from his team’s California training site to Govan’s home when he learned Fisher and some friends were there enjoying a bonfire. Fortunately, the confrontation produced only few small bruises. Hardly worth the greenhouse gasses. No report on whether any marshmallows were harmed during the fracas.

The Knicks had no comment, but were no doubt pleased that this actually was one of the more normal news stories arising from their locker room.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

68 comments
cloudodust
cloudodust

( Just reciting the afore mentioned heading regarding, How to Beat Tennessee ) Tennessee had the lead and due to poor clock management, Georgia lost. Does that fit the revised template..?

FLGators
FLGators

I heard a rumor that Richt has asked the AD to meet with him this afternoon. Is Richt stepping down?

Mutley
Mutley

Show some backbone, be like the Florida fans don't show for any more games. Say as loud as you can with your money, "I'm MAD AS HELL AND I'm NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE".

canon ball
canon ball

To the Bulldog Nation.. Oh ye of little faith..have even less...after the Tenn. Game.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Congratulations Hummer, you are over 60 comments.  Time to ask for a raise.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

In the hindsight is 20/20 mirror:

After the dismal 2010 season capped off by the loss to UCF in another meaningless bowl,UGA could have hired Gary Patterson. Not an option now Patterson has TCU contending for a shot at the CFB playoffs.

After last seasons humiliation in Jacksonville and total mismanagement at the end of the Tech Game, UGA could have hired Jim McIlvane ,not an option now, he has the Gators in line to walk away with the SEC east.So do not believe the Phil Fullmer excuse that who could the Dogs get who would be better than CMR. The chance of the program sinking into mediocrity by replacing CMR is farcical ,CMR already has the football program trending in that direction.


Big Wally
Big Wally

@Buschleaguer yea nothing grinds my gears (Family Guy reference) more than when someone throws out the old "well who would you hire excuse" for not firing Richt.  Basically when you read that comment or hear it on the radio, you pretty much just have to understand that whoever is saying that has very limited intelligence.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Hmmm, the Richt apologists must not be fans of Steve Hummer.  Doesn't seem to be any on here tonight.,

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Big Wally 

Give it time Wally ,We are putting Hummer on the cutting edge of football analysis tonight. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

Pruitt said he thinks tackling may be a problem.  Whew, that is a relief.  At least he knows they are suppose to tackle.  After watching his defense today, you would get the impression they thought it was two hand touch.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Another concern, Pruitt is not only the DC, but also works with the secondary.  That bunch doesn't look like they are even coached at all.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Kentucky and Missouri looking for signature wins


UGA loves handing those out

Big Wally
Big Wally

The pathetic thing is, we had a window to win the East with Florida being down the last couple of years, but that window has now closed.  They now have a good coach apparently.  Butch Jones has now finally found his SEC patsy in Richt.  Looks like a lot of 3rd and 4th place finishes in the SEC East from now on.  Yea Richt.

Mutley
Mutley

Just a damn shame you have find this obscure blog to vent.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Of course now all of the CMR apologists will use the Nick Chubb Injury to let Richt off the hook for another lost season. This excuse might ring true ,if the Vols had jumped out to a 24 to 3 lead and held off a furious Dog rally to squeak out a close win. But as we all know the Dogs were up 21 points after Chubb was hurt ,and again CMR and the Dogs snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

FlatTire
FlatTire

The Bulldog Roundtable is probably trying to figure how to convince everyone how being bowl eligible and winning 8 or 9 games is a very successful year



Big Wally
Big Wally

@FlatTire LOL.  I'm sure they will try to have everyone convinced that Richt had a great year coaching.  

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Big Wally  I remember last year being told how important it was to win that all important 10th game


Seriously; I was thinking would you hear this stuff at Florida and Bama


Let me know when teams get a ring and a trophy for winning 10 games

Big Wally
Big Wally

@FlatTire @Big Wally Yea, the sad thing is that is what McGarity was saying.  That's pretty much raising the white flag saying you realize that your coach is not going to win the East, much less the SEC, so we will settle for 10 wins.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

On the bright side AJC, this is the most traffic Hummer has had on his blog in years.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Why was Michel even on the kick off return team?  At that point in the game he was your starting running back (and dare I say, will be for the rest of this year and next year, Chubb may never come back from  this).   Just more stupid coaching.

Big Wally
Big Wally

We should have known last year that Pruitt was not a SEC caliber DC when Florida ran 4 plays against us and racked up 38 points on us.  This fraud doesn't know what he is doing.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Big Wally 

Who is the bigger fraud Wally the inept DC'S or the inept Head Coach who keeps hiring them? The Dogs Defense has not been SEC quality since Van Gorder left. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@Buschleaguer @Big Wally  Your right both are inept.  Van Gorder's defense carried Richt for his first 5 years and there is no coincidence those were Richt's best years.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Big Wally @Buschleaguer

So Pruitt coaches at Bama and wins a NC.

Then he goes to FSU and wins a NC.

Then he goes to UGA and . . . .

Pretty telling.

FlatTire
FlatTire

But but we can still win 10 Games

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@FlatTire


This will be the last week the 10 win line can be used ,after next week it will 9 games and after the Florida game it will be 8.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@Buschleaguer @FlatTire Agree, Pruitt and his defense made this Tenn QB look like the 2nd coming of Tim Tebow.  They will make the Missouri new QB look like Peyton Manning.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FlatTire

C'mon, Flat, we can still win 11 games--and I'm sure we will. Aren't you?

Big Wally
Big Wally

Butch Jones finally found his patsy in the SEC.  Of course it would be Richt.  

Mutley
Mutley

It seems like Richt being the Christian man he is would realize all the pain he is causing the Bulldog fans and do the only honorable thing. Resign effective immedialty.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Two years ago the AJC had a user friendly UGA Game Day blog not perfect but it worked.. Last year they screwed it up and this year they have put the final nail in its coffin with the totally useless Dawgnation .

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer

You nailed it.

Amazing that the AJC can't figure it out--or can't admit they f'd up.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Special Teams again



What a surprise

DawgNole
DawgNole

Dawgs didn't follow your strategy, Hummer.

Painful loss was inevitable.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Pruitt, the most overrated DC in the SEC.  I love how they keep saying on the radio how he is a hot coach who will be snatched up by another team soon as a head coach.   Go right ahead,  he is just the second coming of Willie Mart. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

Dawgnation site needs to be changed


just look at the number of posts; 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FlatTire

Yup. Everyone knows it; you'd think the AJC would get it--or at least have the integrity to admit they screwed up bigtime.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Time for the Richt apologists to break out their regular annual list of excuses.

1), but, but, who would we hire,

2) but, Richt is a good man, we can't fire him,

3) but, but we don't oversign like every one else,

4) the SEC doesn't like us,

5) the UGA administration makes it too hard to succeed at UGA.

excuse, excuse, excuse.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Dawg Nation is a useless way to cover a team, but since UGA is equally useless, the two deserve each other.

Eric_C
Eric_C

I also do not like the dawgnation page.   The defense was exposed again...never seen such an overrated defense...the middle of the zone defense is once again a disaster.  The special teams blow it again...what else can you say.  Aside from the punt return, it was a complete and utter disaster.  

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Eric_C

Well, there was that fumble return.

But still a complete and utter disaster.