Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Sugar - FSU-v-UGA

8:27 – You’re looking LIIIIVVEEEE at Jeremy’s apartment, a compulsively clean and orderly place owned by Mandy’s old friend Jeremy, who is all about the Gators and is dying to explain how Zook lost this morning’s game on that reverse in the closing minutes. He has a point. Grossman was on fire, why take the rock out of his hands? We’re usually at Jeremy Yards on Thursdays to watch Friends, but only when I can stomach that show, which is about once every 3 weeks. Scrubs helps, but really, somebody stop the bleeding on Friends. Casey, Jeremy’s roommate who got out of the Air Force and stayed in Valdosta, just showed too. Jeremy was out partying it up last night for New Years, so we may get stories about that as the night progresses.
Really looking forward to this game for three reasons: 1 – Florida State ALWAYS plays big just when you expect them to fold, and with BOTH of their QBs out for discipline, this is a textbook Owen Wilson/Dennis Leary scenerio. Never comfortable as the lead, always dropping unexpected games or losing major showdowns. But when backed into a corner, playing the #2 role (the Leary-as-cop role, Wilson-in-Zoolander role) nobody comes out swinging harder than Florida State.
2 – I love the coaching thing in this game, Georgia’s Richt versus Bowden. Richt told the Georgia press this week that nobody other than his dad has had more of an influence in his life than Bowden. And while Bowden is obviously not far off from getting out, Richt just re-upped for an unheard of 10 years at UGA. So this is clearly the graduation game for Richt from the Bowden protégé role. Best story of all the Bowls, by far.
3 – Can’t WAIT to see what Bowden is going to do with BOTH of his QBs out for dicipline.
And here we go…
8:30 - Lynn Swan starts off with a one-on-two interview of Richt and Bowden at the same time. Nice effort by Swanny. Bowden says he knows – just knows – Richt is going to be running out routes on him. Richt is way more serious and obviously wants to get this over with.
8:37 – UGA QB David Green is 20-5 as a starter and the SEC Offensive player of the year. Linebacker David Pollack is THE SEC Player of the Year, first defensive pick since the 80s. And he’s a sophomore.
8:39 – Booth guys, Gary Daniels and Bob Griese (is Keith Jackson OK? I can’t believe he would skip the Rose Bowl AND do another game without Griese) mention that UGA fans and players have been doing an inordinate amount of talking this week – believable here in Valdosta, georgia’s closest major population center to Tallahassee. “They’re forgetting,” an FSU guy supposedly said in return. “We’re Florida State.” I agree, on the Dennis Leary principle.
8:41 – We’re underway and in the proud line of great sounding names at FSU– Cedric McIntosh, Tamarick Vannover, Peter Boulware – we can now add sophomore Fabian Walker, who has attempted exactly 8 passes in his college career and is tonight’s QB, sent into the breach with Rix and McPherson gone. I’m calling him Fab from here on out. But if Fab F’s up, we’ll have a real treat – Mr. Orange Gear from this afternoon’s The Season, starting WR Anquan Boldin (ANOTHER great name) is Walker’s back-up at QB. Fab and Dr. Orange. Loving it.
8:44 – Fab can run! Facing 3rd down Fab sprints left, turns upfield, hits the circle button on his Dualshock 2 controller and 360-spins past two defenders for the first down. Most athletic play of the day since Troupe vaulted that Michigan guy.
8:45 – Fab can throw! Hits a lovely 20 yarder and the Seminoles are on the move!
8:50 – Fab can option! Fab keeps on third, but UGA’s run D bottles him up, led by Pollack and a senior cornerback who, in an upset over Fab, takes best name of the game - Boss Bailey.
8:52 – So what is with the Braveheart-like ad for Dominoes Cinamon sticks. I’ve been waiting all day to declare a dumbest ad winner, and I think this is it. Cinamon Melto-Fat buns or whatever, delivered by an army of face-painted, insult-the-memory-of-Braveheart geeks? What? THAT is supposed to make me run to the phone? And of all the things that might sell with pizza, who thought up Cinnamon Barf Rolls?
8:57 – Georgia goes up 3-0 on a mostly harmless opening drive.
9:02 – Kick off. Question kicking around the room right now: Chevy Avalanche – for or against? Mandy’s a longtime supporter and Casey is clearly in her camp. Jeremy hates it, but he drives a Ford F150, so he hates all Chevys. I think it looks like a transformer and rank it just above the Aztek for onroad silliness, but what do I know?
9:07 – First Jeremy story: he got jobbed at Xmas. He spent about $100 each on two sets of friends, and it looks like they got him stuff worth, tops, $20 each in return. That puts him $160 down on gift value. Ouch.
9:10 – Georgia intercepts Fab. Early game jitters, that’s all.
9:12 – “Now That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!”
9:15 – Fab is back in, throwing like crazy, hitting his tight end on 2 out of 3 plays. Prior to tonight, Florida State threw to the tight end 5 times ALL YEAR. Think they were afraid Richt might be on to them?
9:20 – Fab can dump! On a roaring UGA blitz, Fab gets off a quick dump over the middle to pick up 20. FAB!
9:21 – Fab can score! Fab rolls out left and hits no less than Dr. Orange for a TD and the lead, 7-3!
9:25 – AFLAC trivia question: Georgia wears small white and black bone stickers on their helmets. What do the colors mean?
9:26 – Guesses – offense and defensive big plays. But there are way more white bones than black bones to be seen on helmets. OK, how about white for a good play, black for a bad play (badge of shame-type deal). Or maybe white for a good play, black for Game MVP.
9:37 – Georgia brings in DJ Shockley at QB (ANOTHER stellar name – and that makes sense because Georgia and Florida State probably compete for more of the same players – from the same name pool – than any 2 schools in the nation). This is standard for Georgia, going to Shockley as the game progresses.
9:38 – Not standard: On his first snap, DJ Shockley Shock scrambles and coughs up the ball directly into an FSU linebacker’s arms, elicting a hardy “Motherfuck!” from Mandy and a “Oh my word, what the fuck was that?” That’s my girl.
9:41 – Boss Bailey pretty much single-handidly stops an FSU drive.
9:43 – First chink in the armor, Fab! UGA’s Bruce Thornton picks off Fab and runs untouched for a 70 yard TD return, 10-7 UGA.
9:44 – THE SLUTS JUST GOT HERE! Out of the wild blue, three dirty little things that Jeremy seems to know just showed up in full war paint, tank tops, sub-pelvic-lace-up jeans, navel rings and – between them – zero bras. Holy shit, Jeremiah, wha’chu got in that case!
9:48 - AFLAC answer – White for good plays in a game. Black for academic achievement. The sluts, now draped over each other in the classic, mildly sexual three-on-the-couch-in-the-space-for-2 position, don’t react.
9:51 – ABC zooms in on its second really ugly UGA cheerleader of the game, as UGA punts to FSU’s 38.
9:52 – So if I take the visuals of this last ad with any kind of seriousness, then Michelob Ultra is basicly Gatorade Beer. I mean, the ENTIRE AD was vague, blue-filter, low-angle shots of kayaking, mtn biking, soccer practice and tank-topped weight lifting and the Michelob Ultra label spun in the background. Sidenote: last night at the liquor store, Mandy wanted some Mich Ultra (which is actually decent beer, ludicrious ad campaign aside) and they were out and the liquor guy said, hey, get Miller Lite. Read the label – same carbs, same calories. And he’s right. Mich Ultra has 92 calories per bottle, Miller Lite 95. Coors Lite was right there at 102.
No, these things SHOULDN’T matter when picking beer, but if they DO, then there’s your answer.
Back in Jeremy Yards, I make a crack that Mich Ultra is really “Mtn Bike Beer” and the sluts giggle. The I say “you just pour it in your Camelback and you’re good for days” and get kind of a dead-eye do-I-laugh-now? look.
Overreached with the Camelback. Lesson learned.
9:53 – Shockley hits a 38 yard TD over the same short FSU corner who got beat on Notre Dame’s infamous first play.
9:56 – UGA’s #1 reciever has 933 yards on the year – the school record! NO receiver has ever gone for a grand at UGA. Wow.
9:58 – YES! The Fab Era comes to an end and here comes Dr. Orange to line up at QB! And right out of the gate, he Seneca Wallaces his ass upfield for a 1st down.
9:59 – PERFECT 60 yard pass from Dr. Orange into the endzone goes right through a reciever’s hands. Tragic and Big O is bent over in anguish.
10:02 – The sluts just left, and they’re still in the driveway when the shittalk starts. According to them, they aren’t going anywhere. Just out to see a movie, and then stopped by to see Jeremy, which Mandy doesn’t buy for a second because they were each dolled up in full Saturday night battle gear. One is somebody’s boyfriend, but he threw her out last night. The other two – the cute one and the pudgy one (Jeremy’s word) – are sisters. “The oldest among ‘em wasn’t but 21,” says Jeremy. Mandy seems to think one of them likes him. We’ll never know. Strange little episode.
10:03 – Mandy on the sluts: “Those were beer drinking shirts. You wear those to get your free beer.” I hate chicks.
10:07 – Halftime, time of possession – FSU 22:40, UGA 7:20. Michigan and Florida showed us how much that matters. UGA, actually, scored 2 TDs in 18 seconds.
10:15 – Interview with Ken Dorsey. OK, I’ll say it. Are we sure he’s not really Toby McGuire? He even talks with that lilting almost-geek-but-cool akwardness. And – and this had been on my mind ALL SEASON – watch Dorsey’s uniform. He wears #11.
Now, there is something about the numbers on his jersey – to my eye, the “1”s appear to be the EXACT dimensions in shape (width/height ratio) and distance apart to EXACTLY mirror the dimensions of the World Trade Center. Seriously. And I’m not looking for ghosts – I’ve never seen another “11” printed somewhere and thought “Hey! World Trade Center!” Just look at his jersey and see what you think – I think the key ratios are right on.
And onto the second half….
10:30 – Worst halftime gimmick ever. A guy from Ft. Worth just won $200,000 for identifying a bunch of college mascots on a TV screen. God, was that bad.
10:32 – Jeremy Story #2 (unless you count the sluts, which would make this #3) This one’s about his buddy Mike Moran, who don’t give a fuck. This makes the SECOND buddy named Mike Moran in Georgia I know second-hand, neither of whom give a fuck. The other is Randall Wilkes’ buddy Mike Moran.
How little of a fuck does Jeremy’s Mike Moran give? Well, try this – On a dare (of course) he once crumpled up a Burger King aluminum ashtray into a ball and swallowed it. “He had to go to the hospital,” said Jeremy, “But he won the bet.”
I will miss Georgia because of Mike Moran.
10:39 – Mousa Smith, UGA’s stellar running back, breaks 1000 yards on the year, UGA’s first 1000 yard rusher since Garrison Hearst.
10:42 – UGA goes up 20-7, and we’re going home.
10:56 – Just got home and UGA tacked on a FG.
11:00 – 12 hours of football. OVER HALF OF MY YEAR! YES!
11:11 – I’m in bed at 11 past 11, and apropos of nothing, ABC takes this moment to tell us that Florida State played 11 bowl teams this year.
11:12 – Dr. Orange makes a Roy Williams-esque crossfield run for a first down.
11:13 – Dr Orange goes back to the long ball and connects for a 40 yard TD. I knew that was good the instant he threw it. NO WAY FSU’s receivers drop TWO sure-TD passes from Dr. Orange – who himself is a receiver – in the same game. No way. It’s almost a ballgame again, 23-13.
11:19 – UGA is 1/7 on third downs, which is trending like the UGA-Florida game where they went 0/13… only they just converted one to keep a drive alive, so that makes them 2/8 and Florida State is starting to slacken.
Over the next 40 minutes, Florida State obviously has no idea what to do on offense and Georgia gets bored of watching them. It’s basicly Dr. Orange handing off or Dr. Orange trying to scramble, and UGA’s defense is too fast to do either on without the threat of a pass. There is no order or method to it at all. This game is over.
MIDNIGHT – With 1 minute to play, FSU misses a 4th down and that’s your ballgame. I think Florida State would have won with a real QB. Dr. Orange knew 2 plays – throw deep or run around – and he kept it close. A practiced passing attack probably would have won this.

Final results -
Best game, by far: Michigan-Florida. And Jeremy may be right – Zook might have legitimately cost them that game in the last minute. That reverse-pass was idiotic.
Best team, by far: Oklahoma. Every inch the sumbitches we all thought would be playing – and beating – Miami in a showdown of the last 2 National Champs. Ferocious defense. At least as good as the D that won it all in 2000.
Best player: Roy Williams was tough. Grossman at times was just unbelievable. LSU’s QB was great until he got hurt. And Fab and Dr. Orange were the most fun to watch. But OU’s Woolfolk took 10 points off the board for Washington State and led the secondary that totally shuttered WSU’s passing game. Woolfolk, MVP
Next big thing: Fab! Homeboy can ball.
Special awards: WSU’s defense, which didn’t surrender until late, despite the hopeless avalanche their offense was under; Florida State’s O, for putting on a show; Fox for the worst football coverage since the Heidi game; Tampa Bay and Pasadena, tied for best weather; me, for ignoring Notre Dame for 13 hours.
Finals: Big 10 – for real. Pac 10 – pathetic. Big 12 – monster. SEC – Maybe a step behind.

That was fun. Doing it again for SC-Iowa!

No comments: