Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Obvious Stuff About the Hawks

Watched most of the Hawks Wednesday night. The Spurs are tough, and the Hawks didn't give up, after falling so far behind. Didn't get any breaks, it didn't seem. Several bad decisions at the end of the third quarter. Winning on the road is tough, specially on back to back nights. Good thing they beat the Rockets. To be really good, they'll need to compete every night.

The Braves Caravan will be at the Sandy Plains Publix Monday, February 1st from 4-6:30 pm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Thrift

Friday I found a “$300.00” Mitchell & Ness 1978 49ers jersey at Goodwill for $4.66, a killer deal. Guess I can wear it for Halloween…it’s OJ Simpson’s jersey. I’ve been looking for bobbleheads at thrift stores, and I found one Saturday during Will’s baseball practice. I agonized, then bought it anyway. Mark Teixeira. Matthew is enjoying the bobbleheads these days. Turned out another baseball dad was also hitting thrift stores during practice. He drives in all the way from Temple GA so his three teen sons can play.

The Ogre took me out for a quick lunch today. We were headed to Fuddruckers but ran into traffic. Chickfila instead. I did good…got a salad.

For years I would tear out the ads from my SI’s…where both sides of a particular page were all ads. Made the SI easier to read, but that lessened whatever “value” the mag had.

I was rooting for Farve. Love a guy who’s having fun out there…kind of like Blanda.

I’ll have to look up the Lobster House…I’m not familiar with it. Ceil heard about The Gourmet Mexican Restaurant at the Taste of Roswell, so we may be going there soon. The Counter’s contest ends Friday…you can win a year’s worth of burgers. Got to enter in person…build your own burger.

My Pile of Sports Illustrated's

Started saving SI’s back in the early-mid 80’s, before I was married. Used to get the “official” SI binders to put them in. Since we moved to East Cobb, they’re packed in boxes under the stairs. No idea what condition they’re in. Now when I’m done reading one, I toss it in a box under my desk. When the box is full (once a year) I take it home. These days they’re not even in order. I keep thinking one day I’ll have a place to put them. By that time I may not want them.

Sometimes I bring home old SI’s (& SPORT magazines) that Ceil’s brother had left at his parent’s house. From these I cut out pictures and tape into my scrapbook calendar. Didn’t bring any back at Christmas.

Ceil enjoyed Carrabbas last Friday, as did I. Went to the one north of Perimeter Mall. Kind of like an Italian PF Changs, a nice chain. Ceil had Salmon. I had a pizza, instead of lasagna. Saturday we had a small group game night.

Sunday I drove Will and Joel, who had spent the night, over to John’s Creek…got there at 6:45 am. I hung around Alpharetta until the 9 am NP service. They went with Kara’s family up to Clemson & Greenville. Kara’s sister’s church was having a 10th anniversary service in the Bi-Lo Arena, combing several satellite churches. Service lasted 3 hours, they said.

Watched the two NFL games, except when I drove back to John’s Creek to pick up the boys. Last night I picked up Will from baseball and took him back to Living Science, around 7 pm. Figured I would stay, to make sure he had a ride home. Didn’t get home til ten, but I had a good time. Got to talk to Mrs. D about the skit. They’re still counting on me to write the powerful, serious ending. Guess I’m doing a good job…she said a parent had already complained! I"M KIDDING!

Matthew had his first guitar lesson today. He’s excited. Last Thursday and Friday he did a better job of getting his lessons done.

What MLB team these days HAS a free-spending owner AND 3 HOF bound pitchers? The Yankees and Red Sox don’t win the WS every year…is that what they want?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Killer Jersey

...or really the jersey of a killer. Found a $300.00 Mitchell & Ness 1978 San Fransisco 49ers OJ Simpson jersey at Goodwill, for $4.00.
Could be a knockoff...I couldn't find the jersey on the internet. The "2" in 32 is not like the 2 pictured...mine has a squared off font. Plus there is a stitched on OJ autograph on the back.
Still, pretty sweet.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Calm Before the Storm

On the “Rowland’s Office” website the say seven positions should show improvement in 2010 over 2009…yet they’re always ragging about how bad things are.

My customer has been down since mid-December, and today is when they start back. The whole time I’ve been slowly plodding, catching up, cleaning up my desk. Down to one email in my in box. I was filing a stack of paperwork I accumulated (threw most of it away) and found several old Sports Illustrateds I have yet to read. I thought some might be there, but I’m closer than ever to catching up.

Soon I’ll move desks, from the corner with a window to the inside corner of the L…smack dap in the middle of the room. Great. From the best location to, well, I won’t say it’s the worst desk…but close.

Small group tonight. Today I printed out the Carrabbas menu, to see what I might order tomorrow night. Wrote another scene for near the end of the skit, where the whole skit turns out to be a dream…like on Dallas, or the Newhart ending. Had me laughing at myself.

Anna (& Matthew) went to their first middle-school basketball game today, to see a friend/classmate play.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Life Imitates Seinfeld

We missed the GT win due to a meeting. Will was in the back keeping up with it on his cell.

Friday I’ll take Ceil to Carrabas…we have a gift certificate.

The AJC is taking nominations for Best Mexican. Plenty of people saying Nuevo Laredo Cantina, and a few for Jalisco. Several nominated The Bridge Mexican Gourmet, a place in Roswell I’d never heard of. Perhaps we’ll try it.

Life imitates Seinfeld. Since Dana quit, the long-time temp was put on full-time. A single mom, her drug test turned up positive. If she wants she can pay for a re-test. Turns out the day she took the test, she had eaten lots of poppy-seeds all day long - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hopefully she can return.

A few lines I’d written for the skit were removed, probably because the language was slightly harsh, or not close enough “scientifically” to what was desired. Quite understandable. Mrs. D had suggested the name Farrah, which I used. Funnier than Dara or Tara. Don’t know why that was changed…perhaps because the back-story was also removed. Needless info, but funny. But several changes will be funny and pertinent. Couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of one of them.

Hopefully I can help more on the skit on the Leader Retreat. I’ll be in another skit then, one I’m not writing. Hope it’s good!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Readers of This Blog

I’m always amazed that several friends actually read this junk. For this I thank you. As I often say, most of these blog posts are emails I send to friends on a regular basis: Rob and Reid. I post the emails to the blog, almost out of habit. Perhaps one day this blog will provide a timeline of family events, that can be looked back on nostalgically.

Most things I write land here. Some friends use their blog to only publish what I call “creative writing exercises.” I read about a blog when Ceil and I went to NYC. I read that blog, and that blogger’s day-to-day style became a model for what this blog would become. Some Blogspot bloggers appear to spend hours focusing on their blog, posting pictures, etc. Obviously, I do not.

This weekend Don mentioned he often read the blog, and you could tell, based on what he knew about me. I was honored! Here’s a list of the friends who I THINK has read Sac Fly on occasion (in alphabetical order)…

1. Movie morgol Bryan recently reminded me that he was a reader.

2. My wife Ceil checks up on me from time to time.

3. Just learned my longtime friend Don has been following me.

4. Blogger/writer/novelist Kelly has checked it out once or twice.

5. Writer Lang uses it as a way to keep up with me.

6. Life of the party Leah…

7. …and her storyteller husband Mark, MAY be occasional readers.

8. Fellow blogger Missy, who is now a Facebook fanatic.

9. My know-it-all sister Nita uses Sac Fly as an information source.

10. Reid’s hilarious wife Noelle has commented on it this blog a time or two.

11. Baseball dad Paul stumbled onto it after I had mentioned him in a post.

12. Emmy winning music producer Reid.

13. CPA Rob is probably my blog’s most regular reader.

14. His wife Staci may check in from time to time.

15. Just remembered former co-worker James, in Little Rock. Like everyone else, he didn't get a Christmas card this year.

16. Chuck team leader Traci commented on the blog Tuesday night. Did she mean blog or Facebook note? Since she teaches computers, I take it she meant the blog.

17. Welcome twenty-two, a policeman / baseball he can't be all bad. He's a decent blogger as well.

If I left you out, let me know!

Weekend With Will

Ceil had a rough Friday, particularly parenting Will, so that afternoon she decided to go SC after all. I had driven the Civic to work, so she came by at 5 pm to swap. I got to introduce her, Anna, & Matthew to several co-workers she hadn’t met. They put the luggage in the Civic before coming in. That night I cleaned out the van a little, and found some of Ceil’s clothes in the back seat. She called late Saturday afternoon just before her party, to see if I’d seen her clothes.

Friday night Will and I went to the Flight basketball game. I sat with Willis Norman. The coach benched the starters the entire second quarter, and the opponent came back to take a one point halftime lead. In the second half Flight couldn’t get ahead, and they only won by one, when DJ hit a fade-away with four seconds left. Will and his friend Spencer watched Pelham 123 while I typed up the game recap.

Will went to the Normans on Saturday while I cleaned upstairs, did laundry, and watched the Cate Blanchett movie “The Gift.” Later we went to the Picture Show to see “Law Abiding Citizen” – much better than I thought it would be.

After church Sunday we drove out to Hiram for a surprise 50th birthday party for Don Head. The Hurts went, as well as Jerry & Marcine. Steve Head brought his cute daughters, age ten and seven. Angela’s parents and brothers were there. Gayle Suggs came out and said some nice things…husband Rob was home sick. Everyone looked well…Don’s distinctive voice had not aged. My memories are fading…I had tried to write a Top Ten List about Don, but could only come up with three stories. While talking to him I remembered other things …different phrases we used to say, etc. A fun time.

This year Ceil, Will, Anna, & I will watch 24.

Top Ten Don Head Memories

Honorable Mention: Mighty Mite basketball, Camp SPdL, Ridgecrest Singles Weekend, & Choir Tours

10. SPdL Singles Gym Nite, when the guy ran off Peachtree and died.

9. Don’s 23 day fast.

8. Recounting the movie “The Lonely Guy.”

7. His phrase: “Just call…my mom!”

6. Hanging out with Don & Bill Teem.

5. Running out of gas late at night, & Don rescued me.

4. Watching “Brian’s Song” over & over.

3. Our phrase: “What do?”

2. Singing “Then along came Sarah” from The Love Boat.

1. Don exclaiming “My God, I’m blind!” in a dark theatre.

So Far So Good

The skit was well received Thursday night, and there was plenty of laughter during the reading. The headmaster told the group several nice things about me. The kids didn’t get one joke, a line from the Simon & Garfunkle song “What a Wonderful World This Would Be”…but all the grownups did. Kara cracked up while reading one of her lines.

One big change: Will & best friend Joel’s roles were swapped. Will now has a real big part. Joel did fine reading his lines, as did Caleb and many others. Some will need more help. Alyssa was given a bigger role, which was good.

Went to the Flight basketball game tonight, at John Smoltz’s school. His daughter wasn’t playing. Will saw him last Sunday in the West Auditorium, sitting near him in the 11:00 service. Saturday Will had a uniform fitting. Sunday we went out to Hiram with the Hurts, for a 50th birthday party for Don Head. Jerry & Marcine were there.

Lucy’s dad had to go to NC this weekend to help a friend. They planned it so they could attend the GT/UNC game.

Letter to Sports Illustrated

Your January 18 Scorecard piece “By Any Measure”, touting Randy Johnson as the greatest left-handed pitcher ever, neglected to one key measure…most wins by a lefty. Warren Spahn won 363 games…60 more than Johnson. The award for the best MLB left-handed pitcher is called the Warren Spahn Award. Steve Carlton also won 327 games.

Johnson was a feared pitcher who improved with age. I often kick myself for turning down tickets to a May 2004 Braves game, that turned out to be Johnson’s perfect game. He was of the greatest lefties…top five even. Better than Koufax, perhaps…but he has plenty of competition for the greatest ever.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

DJ Hits The Game-Winner - Right?

DJ drove inside and hit a short game-winning jumper with four seconds remaining…or did he? At least four people scored the game. To three of us it became apparent, long after the players and refs had left the court...there was a descreprency with the final score. Did Flight really win this game?

My scratchings showed:
Kings Ridge…6…21…32…54
But how accurate was that?

The 7:30 game started early, after the Flight JV Girls beat Kings Ridge so bad that the game was stopped early. Will and I arrived in time to see the last few seconds of the Boy’s first quarter tick off. I passed behind Cathy Hoffer, in deep conversation with Mrs. I didn’t bother them. I sat between Willis and Brett Smith, Connor’s dad. “Willis…where’s Becky?”, I asked. “Back there”, he pointed. It wasn’t Cathy after was Becky! Long week.

Curiously, Flight started the second quarter with a quintet of DJ, Joe, Isaac, Brendan, and Joel. Soon Kevin replaced DJ, and it took the entire quarter for King’s Ridge to come back and take the lead. The subs played hard, but got off few shots. Joe had two steals and a rebound. Isaac scored all five of the second quarter points, and he also had a vicious block. Brendan and Kevin added two rebounds each. Later we heard the coaches had benched the starters due to a lackluster first quarter effort.

Normally this is a classic Flight tactic. Instead of blowing out a lesser team, the Flight coaches have an uncanny ability to know just when to pull starters, giving everyone playing time...and still winning the game. The Barons had blown out Kings Ridge, before losing to Flight. Flight burst ahead in the first few minutes of the third quarter. A full court press led to nine quick steals. In one sequence Keon had three straight rebounds, finally passing out to the top of the key to Chris, who nailed a three-pointer. Flight outscored Kings Ridge 20-11. Chris had seven points in the quarter, DJ five, and Connor four.

Funny moment: Connor went airborne chasing a loose ball near the baseline. To me, and at least one Kings Ridge player, it appeared he had stepped on the baseline. The entire gym heard the player shout “that’s out on him!” But no whistle, and Connor was able to save the ball…flipping to DJ for a basket.

Chatting with Willis and Brett, and having missed the first quarter, my note-taking and scorekeeping wasn’t spot on. Connor’s mom Carol was right in front of me, so I never noticed that she, as usual, was also keeping score. But as the fourth quarter began I checked the scoreboard. Flight led 40-32.

The Kings Ridge rims were unforgiving. Shot after shot bounced off the firm baskets. Late in the game the Kings Ridge players’ high, arching shots kept finding the mark...scoring nine straight to pull within a basket with 5:22 left. They went ahead 45-43 at the four minute mark.

The foul calls were mostly going against Flight. Kings Ridge went to the bonus with 6:46 left, and to the double-bonus with 3:37 left. Kings Ridge hit two threes, but DJ answered with a two and a three. Connor was fouled hard and made one of two free throws. Isaac passed inside to Connor for two more. Flight scored seven straight to retake the lead…50-45.

Kings Ridge climbed back, taking a 54-52 lead. Kevin drew a key charge, but the next Flight shot missed. 35 seconds left. Connor block on the other end. DJ was fouled with 13 seconds left, but only hit one foul shot. 54-53 Kings Ridge.

On the pass downcourt, DJ went to intercept. The foul call could’ve gone either way, but it went against DJ. Both Kings Ridge foul shots were missed. Rebound Flight. DJ brought the ball down, glancing at the clock. He drove left, taking the ball inside the foul line. Five seconds. DJ pulled up, taking a fadeaway…GOOD! 55-54…FLIGHT WINS!

In the excitement, I stopped taking notes. I always remember the rest…right? As we chatted about the game, the teams shook hands. Flight prayed at midcourt, then returned to the locker room. Later they emerged and chatted with friends. The crowd thinned. Brendan’s mom approached, carrying the scorebook. She had a question: did we show the same 55-54 score?

Carol and I checked our notes. Our sheets agreed with Mrs. Lively. In the fourth quarter: Isaac hit a free throw. DJ had ten of his 15 second-half points. Connor added three points. One + 10 + 3 = 14. Add 14 to the third quarter total of 40 and you get…54. Was it really a tie?

Across the court, Willis and I saw two people pouring over the Kings Ridge scorebook. Did they see the same thing we saw? I guess we’ll never know.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Busy Day

Busy day today…I went to a quick focus group this morning, came back and went right into a meeting that lasted til noon.

At four I headed to Living Science for the reading of the skit. Some of the kids will have high expectations, since I had put together funny things on the last several retreats. The skit is a big deal…30 minutes or so for four nights. The headmaster hatches the idea and gave it to me. I took that and wrote twelve pages or so. She and her daughter (& my friend Cindy, who’s written every previous skit) took it and liked it. They re-wrote it with more/different ideas, and assigned roles…26 parts. Then I polished up that draft and wrote the last two days, based on their outline.

It’s fun to put the headmasters (husband & wife) into skits, but that’s been done several times. Their daughter & son-in-law are taking bigger teaching roles at the school…they’ve been portrayed in past skits as well. It was my idea to use the grandson instead. But then I had to write in the other three grandchildren. The re-write I got back included the headmasters and daughter/son-in-law. Not my original idea, but the students seemed to like it.

It turned out Joel Norman had the biggest role, but tonight he & Will were swapped. There are several main roles. The previous skits I’d written included Kyle playing superhero Dave Murphy…aka Krypto. Only today did I realize Krypto was not included in the script. .

My dad enjoys doing my taxes so much, but I don’t know how much longer he’ll be around. We won’t even get our W2’s until month end.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Die It

Tuesday night I worked out for the first time all year. I need to get going! I need to be under 200 by July 4th. If I stick to it, I should be at 195 then.

Thursday I’ve been invited to Will’s school, for the initial reading of the skit. It’s an exciting time for all the kids, seeing it for the first time. They find out what part they’ll play. Will thinks he’s ready for a major role…we’ll see. While I know most of the kids and have my favorites, but my co-producers better know what kind of students/studiers/actors they are…they chose the roles. DJ was the last senior boy without a discussed-about part, so I assigned him the coveted lead villain role. Most of the time I wrote the characters’ lines without thinking about the kid playing them, though I did try to give more lines to good actors. Remember the old Globetrotter confetti in the pail gag? It’s in there.

It is nice to have a run of good games to watch. I read where Whisenhunt went with a bland game plan against the Packers the week before, not showing them what he really had in mind for the Playoff game. He did experiment, showing the Pack several formations he intended to use, just to see how the defense reacted.

Another good article on the two Texas QB’s, and the night they had…how Colt wanted to return, but couldn’t throw the ball seven yards to his father. After that, he cried.

I have been scoring/taking notes on the high school games I go to, using Reid’s running score system, so I can tell which team is running off how many points in a row. I do it for my own enjoyment, and so I can write a game recap if I want. After one game some fans were saying the game was closer than it was, and I was able to verify what the lead was when the starters were pulled.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Too Cold

Thursday night M & A went outside to play in the snow while we watched the BCS. I almost emailed my boss, predicting my two team members would not show, and telling him to call if I needed to come in. Glad I didn’t. Only one didn’t show.

Arranged with my boss to take off Friday, before the weather turned out to be that bad. I was more productive at home than usual, cranking out the last two days of the skit…to the point where I sent it off in this morning. Though I didn’t write a good chunk of it, right now it’s 13,000 words / 36 pages. Usually two thousand words is long for me. Pretty funny, if I say so myself. We’ll see what the “editors” say about it.

Ceil went out once on both Friday and Saturday, but I stayed home. We all made it to church. That was about it for the last three days. I took Anna to Borders around 7:15 Sunday, and looked for you. All she does is read, school, ballet, and chat with friends.

Of course Tech beat Duke. Hard to say that’s anything but good…a confidence builder. But will they / can they play that hard / well against lesser teams? They haven’t so far. That’s what discourages me about basketball & football in general. Today’s athletes don’t play hard all the time…just when they want to. They let up against lesser teams, and it shows. Didn’t seem to happen as much in the old days. The seasons were shorter then. You can’t see the drop-off as much in baseball. Hard playing players…LeBron, MJ, Kobe, Bird, McCale, DJ, Ainge, Nash, Farve, Peyton, Matt Ryan…there are many who play hard, usually the elite athletes do so.

Watching the Hawks/Celtics Friday night, Hubie Brown talked about Mark Price for a while, who was sitting near the Hawks bench. He must not travel with the team…Reid saw him at the Duke game. Sunday I saw Price in the 9 am service. He’s not six feet tall.

Good piece in this week’s scorecard about the guy in charge of the BCS. He’s right…any changes made to the imperfect system wouldn’t perfect it. Even in the NCAA bball tourney, some bubble teams get left out.

Team of Rivals was good, but it was hard to keep in my head who was who, some of the time…perhaps because I was listening to it.

SI picked the Jets, Pats, Packers, and Cowboys…so they went 2-2.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snow Day

Right now I like Bama to win tonight (written at noon Thursday). I’ll miss most of the first half.

I’m not excited about the snow. May take off tomorrow…to use up my last 2009 vacation day. The large retention pond outside my window has been frozen over all week…it’s the longest I’ve ever seen a “lake” frozen over.

I’m sure the Braves will be happy to accept donations from any fan who thinks the payroll should be higher…it’s easy to tell other people how to spend their money. It was nice back when we had one of the higher payrolls. As a mid-market team it makes every personnel decision more critical. Why did they sign that Hinske? With those stats, couldn’t they have used a minor leaguer with a bigger upside? Guess they wanted experience to pinch hit, and play good defense…and any decent minor leaguer needs to be playing every day. They have that ex-Dodger first baseman/LF slugger as well. Guess everyone they signed may not make the team…lots of jobs to be decided during spring training.

Will’s friends Abby and Christy (teacher Sandy’s daughter) went to see “The Princess & the Frog”…dressed as princesses! A little girl in line got her dad to take her picture with them.

Saw Amy Adams on Letterman…quite pregnant. Ceil also wants to see her new Leap Year movie. I didn’t realize she was in “Catch Me If You Can”.

Anna got a Snuggie™ for Christmas.

I was thinking about the old high tube socks when the guy in KidStuf wore some Sunday. Looked like he was in the movie Semi-Tough…Burt Reynolds & Kris Kristofferson wore red striped tube socks.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

What Happened to My Chucks

The Chuck Taylors story…when we went to EC Presbyterian that Sunday after Christmas, I saw Joel Norman and complimented him on his black Chucks. They didn’t look new, and I asked where he got them. He and Will stammered, then said “uh, from you!” They were mine. Then Will had worn them a few times, and decided he didn’t want them…so I took them back. But Joel will wear them much more than me. Joel also wears a pair of New Balance shoes Will didn’t want…AND a pair of Pumas.

Will has been shooting lots of hoops outside in the cold the last few days, and hitting a little off the tee into his net. Sunday night he was chasing the ball down the hill, fell, and almost broke his arm. Last night he was out there for 30 minutes straight, around 11 pm…in his new white cords.

I didn’t have my hopes up about the GT/UGA basketball game, because Hewitt is so bad. Mark Bradley summed it up pretty good. David Norman went to the game. He facebooked “Paul Hewitt - worst coach ever.” I thought he said Paul Johnson, so I asked why. Then someone else pointed out that he said Hewitt…then I agreed.

Iowa was a good team. Their defense stuck to their assignments well. I was hoping Johnson would be able to make halftime adjustments, and he did…but it was too late. Down three points with one minute left, having missed a field goal, and only rushing for 33 first-half yards…that’s not too bad, considering Tech had the weak defense and a QB who can’t pass.

Sports Illustrated picked four key bowls, and got three of them wrong.

Books…I also want to hit them harder, remembering that article about JWBush and his buddy who read all the books. Currently I’m listening to a novel about a radio station in northern Canada, with a DaVinci Code-type book to follow. Just finished a “24” type novel, one of a series that I had read another installment. I do want to take Matthew’s iTouch (or Anna’s first iPod, that Ceil doesn’t use) and download books…that way I can be more selective about what I read.

Air & Space Museum…the one that’s part of the Smithsonian, that was in Night at the Museum 2? I enjoyed seeing that one…especially the older planes, since I was so familiar with the space capsules. Or the museum that’s out by the airport, that has the bigger aircraft? The Kennedy Space Center in Florida had a bunch of rockets, spacesuits, etc.

Walking around DC was fun. We need to get A & M up there…especially since we have those good friends in Fredericksburg.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Orange Bowl Notes

Thoughts & observations while watching the Orange Bowl, in chronological order...Typical Fox pregame show…topical subjects profiled…just not very deep. Nice into by Tech alum Jimmy Carter, though.Predictions…35-31 Iowa…Eddie George28-14 Tech…Jimmy Johnson

Appears Tech is wearing a new style jersey. Didn’t they learn last year when they wore different jerseys in the bowl game? New pants as well. As usual, Russell Athletics’ designs are years behind Nike. Iowa wins the best uniform prize, in their classic black and yellow. Whatever happened to Tech's gold pants?

The end result is all that matters…winning the game. But winning the war is made easier by winning the most battles. Like the previous two games, Tech’s weak defense means their offense and special teams will have to play an almost flawless game to win.

I like announcer Dick Stockton. Charles Davis provides good, timely analysis...BEFORE the play. Fox buys up all the BCS games, then has guys who haven’t called a college game all year. Give me the ABC/ESPN bunch…Brent, Kirk, Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, etc. Or Vern from CBS.

Coldest Orange Bowl ever…49 degrees at kickoff. Shouldn’t be a problem for either team. Coin toss is meaningless…Iowa would’ve taken the ball, Tech would’ve deferred. Kickoff was after 8:15 EST. Why? TV.

Tech’s keys…Johnson’s play-calling and Nesbitt’s execution. If he has a good game passing, making his reads and good pitches, and protecting the ball, Tech’s offense will be unstoppable. I hope Johnson keeps the ball on the ground…especially on first down. Hard to have long drives when faced with second and tens.

FUMBLE…Tech ball! Penalty…looked like Dwyer would’ve broken that one. Nesbitt gains five…good start. First pass…Nesbitt only looked to one receiver, who was covered. Tony Barnhart said that whichever offense stayed away from the third and longs would fare the best.

Looks like Iowa is going to pick of Tech’s pass defense, with quick passes. Tech will need more big plays on an interception or two. IOWA BIG PLAY. Right now I'll take a tackle! Touchdown. No big deal, as long as Johnson doesn't panic and start throwing.

BTW…Fox jinxed Tech, talking about how Tech hadn’t punted the last 2 games / 22 possessions. Now two punts in two possessions. At least we’re sticking to our bread and butter…the running game. Time out…so we’ll have commercials, a punt, and more commercials. The two punt snaps sailed left. Hopefully Tech won’t have a special teams miss-step.

Penalty…holding on Tech. Tech struggles with teams who can pass and run. UGA’s running game set up the pass. Big gain! Iowa certainly looked at that game film. Completion. Tech’s offense has got to string together some first downs. Touchdown. Please no replay of last year’s bowl game!

Jim points out that Nesbitt has all the carries so far. Chop block penalty. Dwyer is stopped…third & 22. Josh is sacked. Punt number three. Poor punt, but a good roll. At some point soon, Tech’s got to stop Iowa, and get some first downs.

Interception...TOUCHDOWN! Pick six...just what we needed! 14-7 Iowa near the end of the first quarter. Two of the biggest Tech fans I know, Fred O and Wayne Price, are at the game. Both took their sons, I think. Tech defense holds...finally, a punt. Of course, it bounces out of bounds outside the ten. Third down, and again, Nesbitt panics when his primary receiver is covered. Punt number four. Don’t know what could be the problem…today I wore the same long-johns that I wore when Tech beat Miami in 2008.

No catch, in my book. The Iowa receiver had possession, but didn't take it to the ground. Analyst is correct. BLITZ...SACK! Defense holds again...another punt!

Commercials...Taco Bell employees don't look like that. Taco Bell CUSTOMERS don't look like that...present company excluded. And the drive-through diet? Guess it worked for Subway. The funniest commercials come from FedEx, the bowl sponsor. Loved the guy who came out of the long coma, to learn Pluto is no longer a planet...and the Culture Club broke up.

The teams swap punts. Nesbitt can't bring Tech back by himself. Another good roll on the Tech punt, after another snap wide left. That's gotta throw off Anderson's timing. Time out TECH? Iowa promptly reels off two first downs. Hope that doesn't bite us.

The offense AND defense aren't executing, but the play-calling has been good. Iowa is taking away the dive and pitch and making Nesbitt run the ball. Not Johnson's fault. Hard to nit-pick the sack to end the first quarter, but why can't Nesbitt take the hail mary snap from the shotgun? By the time he drops back the Iowa defenders are on him. Josh scrambled left, but the three receivers were on the other side of the field. It's not the zero first half completions/passing yards...but down seven, Tech doesn't need to pass much.

Halftime score still 14-7 Iowa. Kool & the Gang rock. Can Paul Johnson make enough halftime adjustments to turn the game around? Tech comes out and picks up a first down. They didn't run their patented quick pitch toss sweep the entire first half. Dwyer picks up 15. Nesbitt picks up the first down, and goes over 1000 yards. Another penalty.

I understand why Tech runs outside to the short side of the field (fewer defenders to block, for one), but they run out of room fast. I would've kicked the field goal as well. Scott Blair has been streaky, and in this game against a tough opponent, this miss can be a killer.

Stockton & Davis correctly point out how the Iowa line is dominating on both offense and defense. Iowa reels off large chunks of yards, but Tech holds on third down. The Iowa field goal puts the Hawkeyes up 17-7, late in the third quarter.

TOUCHDOWN! Tech trails 17-14 after a long drive, early in the 4th quarter. Good play calling.

Iowa answers, again driving into Tech territory. SACK! Tarrant fields the punt on the three, and slips on the ten. Davis correctly calls him out, for not letting the punt hit and bounce into the end zone. With less than ten minutes left, Tech won't have many more chances. Can they drive 90 yards?

No factor as a passer, says Stockton. Davis is correct, that all Nesbitt has to do is hit a couple of big plays. But the interception and roughing the passer penalty are nails in the coffin. Also the poor tackling, not just on this Iowa "drive", but the whole game. DBs duck their heads, allowing RBs to make a move past them.

Tech foils the fake field goal, so the INT yields no damage. Is the Iowa kicker hurt? Paul Johnson teams win...but usually they are ugly wins. As Tech fans, we can take this. Speaking of ugly, Dwyer loses eleven, and almost causes a safety. Dwyer is great, but runs standing up. Unfortunately for us Tech fans, it's in his best interest to head on to the NFL.

Dropped pass, and another so-so punt with a great roll. Can the defense hold Iowa one more time? Iowa first down. Clock ticks...under three minutes. Time out, Tech. Long run...another nail in the coffin. 2:03 left...basically Tech's only chance is to hold right now.

Down three to a strong team, you've got to be proud of the Jackets. As I type, Wegher breaks away for the game-clinching touchdown. 24-17.

Wait til next year? Tech needs a much stronger defense to be able to compete on the national stage. Can the offense be as potent without Dwyer and WR Thomas? Paul Johnson's offense will really be hard to stop when they get a QB who can pass. Nesbitt is a warrior who should take his place amount the all-time Tech greats, but a passer he ain't.

Game ends at 11:39 pm...much too late. Will has been outside shooting baskets for the last 30 minutes, in 25 degree his new white cords. I love the Yellow Jackets, how 'bout you?

New Years Eve

One New Year’s party was cancelled, so we went straight to other, in south Cherokee…at the home of Will’s friend/classmate/co-Sunday School teacher Kevin. I was apprehensive, not knowing who would be there…plus, we were missing out on a third party, where we picked Will up last year. That one had been fun, and packed with good people.

I drove slow, so we’d arrive as fashionably late as possible. Still, we were basically the first to arrive. Turned out to be small but fun. One family came, then left around 9:30. I knew them, and that was enough time to catch up with them. I didn’t know Kevin’s parents that well, but turned out his dad graduated from Tech the same year as me. Sandy, Will’s English teacher, was there…she’s always lots of fun. Several other teens were there, including Kara, Lucy, and Caleb. The only other family there were the Hurts, so David and I had the entire evening to chat. No hugs or kisses at midnight.

Watched football Friday, especially the Sugar Bowl. W & A went ice skating. Didn’t do much else, besides laundry and writing the skit, which is becoming the fiasco I knew it could be.

Went to Macon Saturday. Left my parents at 6:15 coming back, but we stopped at Wal-Mart. Traffic was heavy but not brutal, but an interstate sign warned of heavier traffic ahead. I got off at exit 198 and headed to Jackson, & took 23 to Stockbridge and 675. A pleasant speed limit drive, but Matthew missed the McDonough Moes. Didn’t find a Moes until we got back to East Cobb.

Think Favors will still turn pro? He probably needs to stay at least another year, but he probably has his mind made up that he’s leaving. They’d rather get paid to sit on a bench than actually learn how to play basketball. You’d think they’d have a longer career (& make more money) if they learned to play. Sure, they might get hurt. The bad thing is that most spend all their money as they earn it. Friday’s Duke game could be ugly.

All this cold weather is driving me crazy…and it’s just starting. Hope it doesn’t snow! I’m getting a slow start on exercising, due to the cold, carpools, and skitwriting.

Leach and Craig James…it was probably bound to happen.

Drove by a Lifetime Fitness at 6 pm January 4th, and that huge parking lot was full. Picked up Will at BP…they have some tall, lean boys on the team, so perhaps they’ll be ok.

Orange Bowl: Iowa was undefeated with Stanzi the QB, in a tough conference. With GT’s weak defense, the offense and special teams will have to play another near-perfect game to win. CPJ usually passes on the first play of the game. I wish he’s call a running play.