Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gus Malzahn: CPJ 2.0

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn is Paul Johnson version 2.0. Both can get mean and ugly on the sideline. Both say what they think (though I think one tries to hold it in more). Both are offensive geniuses. Gus had taken the option into the 21st century (or backwards to the single wing) by placing the QB in the shotgun, where he can run the option or pass. The defense might not have to protect against the fullback dive, and short yardage plays from the shotgun are counterintuitive. But there’s so much else you can do in Gus’ offense. A Cam Newton can run it to perfection, but the offense can be tailored to the talents of a running QB or a passing QB like Stidham.

Johnson recruits speedy QB’s other colleges would make into defensive backs. Their passing ability isn’t the best. Still, Johnson passes the ball 15-20% of the time. Gus recruits big time dual threat QB’s who can throw half the time. He appears to have hit paydirt with Stidham. I was hoping Auburn would be on this week’s Sports Illustrated cover so UGA could benefit from the jinx, but it was not to be. Last Saturday Louie was caught on the sidelines again.
Johnson will run variations of his option all day. If the ground game is working he’s happy not to pass. Still he throws the ball far more than Pepper Rodgers did when he was coaching the wishbone at Tech. Pepper beat Notre Dame in 1976 without throwing a pass, and would rarely throw more than two or three times a game.     

I ordered our Christmas cards Sunday night, and I may get them this afternoon. I did it all by myself, so hopefully they’ll turn out ok. You will see. Of course it says Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays. You’ll be happy to know that I had to crop Will’s dog out of the picture. I haven’t written my Christmas letter yet, so you may be receiving it separately. I tried to get Anna to help, but the girls in her house in Athens are sending out a group Christmas card.

I wish I could lose weight. Gonna hit it hard in January. No cheating. Monday night C cooked spaghetti and salad. Passed on the noodles. Nothing much on TV last night so we watched the Hallmark Channel. Also a MLB Network special on Ken Harrelson. Didn’t realize what a good golfer he was. I also played on my laptop.

Tuesday: Left work at 6:15 and stopped by Trader Joes. C cooked boneless chicken breasts in a tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, and spinach. Finished eating at eight. Watched a rerun of The Middle, some of The Voice, and a new episode of Fixer Upper. Saw bits of the Tech game. Forgot about the bowl rankings show at seven. At ten C went to bed and I watched some of Sleepless in Seattle.

Did I tell you that I pulled a muscle in my hip? Painful, especially getting in and out of the car. Guess I better not get that little two seater after all.

I did see a replay of the end of the GT/NW game. I was listening to the pregame show on the radio while driving home from work. Interesting that Chris Collins is the NW coach. They said the NW AD and head football coach were at the game. Maybe the coach was in town recruiting.

Worked past six Wednesday night. C went to JFBC. I stopped by CFA. Long line both inside and at the drive thru. My chicken strips were heavily breaded and crunchy, but still hot. Not huge, actually on the small side to get three in the little box. The biscuit I’d gotten that morning at the same CFA was also crunchy but hot. Both times I could taste some of the peanut oil still baked inside. Later C came home with strips from the East Cobb CFA. Hers weren’t breaded as heavily, but slightly bigger and still hot. Interesting the variation between different CFA restaurants.
Chicken strips seem to be the in thing these days. Both Wendy’s and McDonalds have recently added them to their menu. The strips we got from KFC Saturday night were loaded with breading, making them “extra crunchy.” The breading made them bigger than they actually were. The meat was not melt in your mouth good. Overall too dry and crunchy. I haven’t had Zaxbys strips in a while, but in my mind they’re bigger and better. Perhaps I’ll go to Zaxbys tonight – C is going out with her girlfriends (M and I went to Moe's).

So last night I rested, with my body still hurting. Deleted a few emails. Been getting more than usual now that we’re in the Christmas gift buying season. Not much on, so we watched Modern Family and American Housewife. I like Designated Survivor, but I went to bed at 10:30.

Now Matt Lauer has been fired. If Hollywood and the media are going to fire someone every time they’re caught in the wrong, where will it end? None are perfect – all sin. But standing by the Word of God can get you fired these days as well. The thinking in the world today messed up.

This Saturday night we have to go over to a couple’s house for dinner, so I’ll miss the end of the SEC game and the beginning of the ACC game. Next Saturday we have a company dinner at a FANCY steakhouse at the NW corner of Old Milton and Peachtree Parkway in John’s Creek. I guess I’ll order steak, though the angus burger looks tempting. Ten couples.
I’m reading a fictional account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, where a 19 year old college coed is recruited to be the co-between back channel communicator between Kennedy and Kruchev. Back Channel, by Stephen L Carter. Written in 2014.

El Felix is open in The Battery near the Braves stadium. Also a big Christmas tree and ice skating ring.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Total QB Rating Week 13

I wouldn’t share these Total QB Ratings every week, but I continue to be amazed at how young Mr. Fromm has comported himself throughout the season. After twelve regular season games Jake ranks seventh in the country. SEC freshman of the year? All-SEC QB? I’ll have to compare him statistically to Jarrett Stidham.

1. 94.1 Khalil Tate, Arizona
2. 92.5 Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Sr. Heisman favorite
3. 85.8 Lamar Jackson, Louisville junior/Heisman finalist?
4. 84.3 Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State senior
5. 83.7 JT Barrett, one loss Ohio State (senior)
6. 82.8 Jalen Hurts, one loss Alabama (sophomore)
7. 81.9 Jake Fromm, one loss Georgia (freshman)
8. 79.6 John Wolford, Wake Forest senior
9. 79.2 Kelly Bryant, one loss Clemson (junior)

10. 79.0 Trace McSorley, Penn State
11. 78.5 Danny Etling, Louisiana State
12. 78.2 Ryan Finley, NC State
13. 77.8 McKenzie Milton, undefeated UCF
14. 77.0 Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (injured)
16. 76.3 Brandon Wimbush, three loss Notre Dame
17. 75.6 Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss
19. 74.9 Jarrett Stidham, two loss Auburn

22. 74.0 Drew Lock, Missouri
23. 73.6 Will Grier, West Virginia
25. 73.3 Sam Darnold, USC media darling (except Herbstreit)
26. 73.1 Jake Browning, Washington beat Wash St

32. 70.5 Eric Dungey, Syracuse
34. 69.5 Kenny Hill, Texas Christian
36. 69.1 Malik Rosier, one loss Miami
38. 68.0 Stephen Johnson, Kentucky
39. 68.0 Alex Hornibrook, undefeated Wisconsin

40. 67.6 Josh Rosen, UCLA
43. 64.7 Quinton Flowers, South Florida QB turning heads
45. 64.6 TaQuon Marshall: junior broke GT QB rushing record
47. 63.8 Jake Bentley, South Carolina
48. 63.8 Kyle Shurmur, Vandy dropped from top ten
49. 63.6 Charlie Brewer, Baylor

50. 63.3 Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech
68. 56.6 Anthony Brown, Boston College
73. 53.3 Conner Manning, Georgia State
77. 51.7 Kurt Benkert, Virginia beat GT
79. 50.8 Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
81. 50.3 Chazz Surratt, North Carolina freshman
91. 47.6 Daniel Jones, Duke beat GT

101. 42.4 James Blackman, FSU freshman
107. 38.7 Feleipe Franks, Florida freshman
112. 34.0 Zach Smith, Baylor
125. 22.2 Shai Werts, Georgia Southern

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Black in Black: Part 3

This past Sunday the Falcons wore their fauxback uniforms again,
so again I'll post a few pictures. 
Above: the Falcons enter the field from the southwest corner of the field,
running out toward the open eastern "window to the city" end zone.
Above: taking the shotgun snap from the wildcat formation, former high school quarterback Mohammed Sanu lets loose on a bomb... 
 ...that Julio Jones catches as he tumbles into the end zone.
Below: another angle of Jones' stretching touchdown.
Tiny Taylor Gabriel (#18) throws a block.
The unis are called fauxbacks instead of throwbacks because they do not accurately depict a specific era of Falcons history. The jerseys are close to the year two jerseys worn by the Birds, as well as the Glanville-era jerseys (when black helmets were worn). 
But grey pants were worn in those early 90's years.
White pants were only worn back in the early red helmet years. 
Since the Falcons now wear black lids, by NFL rule (for safety)
the same helmet shell must be worn in every game.
This week for the first time I noticed how the stadium roof
is reflected on the player's helmets.
The Falcons official website is a great place to borrow game pictures.
Looks like someone had my idea to snap a pic looking up from the goalposts.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Falcons: Are They Back?

I didn’t do much on Saturday. Took Barney out a couple of times. Helped Ceil cut greenery. Cleaned out my emails and played on my laptop. Worked up my blog posts for both Saturday and Sunday. Drove C to Pageland to get KFC on Van Lingle Mungo Blvd. But mostly I watched football all day.

You may have missed the opening kickoff of the GT/GA game. UGA kicked off south to north, a high short kick. The sun was right in the freshman return man’s eyes, and he raised his hand to block the sun. The ball bounced past him into the end zone, but the returner had touched the ball on the way past. He went back into the end zone and grabbed the ball, and was tackled on the one yard line. Dumb stuff like this happens too often at Tech.

But the Jackets caught a break. The play was reviewed to make sure it wasn’t a safety. By rule, since the return man had signaled for a fair catch, and he didn’t control the ball until he was in the end zone, that’s where the play ended – a touchback. Tech got the ball on the 20 yard line. In all the confusion Paul Johnson forgot to call a pass play as the first play of the game.

After that Tech didn’t play too bad. UGA was content to run the ball the entire game, mixing in a touchdown pass here and there. Not sure why Tech plays Georgia so much better in Sanford Stadium.

Auburn is on a roll. They took Bama out of their game, and towards the end Bama made several bad plays: not getting out of bounds, not stretching for a first down, and the two early snaps. Add in the bad no catch call in the end zone and the botched field goal attempt, and the game was closer than the score indicated. A little similar to the Georgia game. With Auburn’s depleted running back core, the SEC Championship Game could be closer than people think. Coach Gus seems a little cocky, which might come back to haunt him. Still can’t figure out why Auburn fans wanted to fire him after they lost a close game to #1 Clemson.

I thought South Carolina would put up more of fight. Clemson controlled every part of the game. That should take Muschamp out of the running for SEC coach of the year. The SEC penalizes Auburn for their fans running out on the field, but does nothing about the SC students throwing bottles at Clemson players – except penalize Dabo for complaining. Clemson will face a much tougher opponent Saturday night in the ACC Championship Game. After their loss, Miami will be looking to rebound.

The Tigers are peaking at the right time – both Clemson and Auburn. My predictions (but I would not be surprised if any of these games went the other way):
SEC: Auburn stops Georgia in overtime
ACC: Clemson edges Miami.
BIG10: Wisconsin beats Ohio State
Sugar: #1 Clemson edges #4 Wisconsin
Rose: Auburn beats Oklahoma (OK Clemson)
Jan 8: Auburn beats Clemson in Atlanta

Left Jefferson at 10:30 Sunday morning. Made good time driving back. Traffic was heavy but ok. Stopped in Covington for Moes. Got home and gassed up Anna’s Jeep and Ceil’s CRV, and Anna headed back to Athens. She had studied most of Saturday. C went shopping and I rested. Sir fry for supper. Watched The Middle, Fresh of the Boat, and some Hallmark Channel.

Missed the Falcons game. Over 500 yards of total offense. They’ve won three straight to go to 7-4 and have a firm hold on a playoff spot. Guess all those “fans” who were done with the team when they dropped to 4-4 are now jumping back on the bandwagon. But it will be tough for the Falcons the rest of the way, with a game with the Panthers and two with the Saints. Minnesota is playing well, and the Falcons always seem to lose in Tampa.

On a sunny day like yesterday you can see the reflection of the Mercedes Benz logo in the roof on the Falcons black helmets. The translucent roof makes days games look brighter than games in other domes.  

Poor Jacksonville lost on a last second 57 yard field goal. They still lead their division.

From author Tim Sanders: Success is not a destination. No matter what you accomplish, you won't feel finished. Success is a direction. And that direction is forward. Always build value. You win by helping other people get what they want.

Find ways to improve your resume annually by learning new things. Grow your network of relationships. Improve your ability to share knowledge and network other people together. That's the secret to lifelong success at work. You move forward by adding value to other people's lives. But you can't do that without building value every day of your life.

What's the point of developing so much value? It's about having something you can share that helps other people be more successful. When you are adding to your knowledge bank and network all the time, you'll never hoard them like so many people do. It will change your personality as well as your perspective.  You'll believe you have enough to share, and that will make you a generous person who stands out from the crowd.

There will be no magic moment where you've arrived. Work life is a series of little wins that often come from investments you've made in yourself, with the intention of sharing them with others.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Dawgs Roll Past Tech

Georgia cruised to an easy win in Grant Field yesterday.
Chubb, Michel, and Swift ran for touchdowns, and Jake Fromm threw for two more. Rodrigo added a field goal. The Dawgs have not lost at Bobby Dodd Stadium this century.
After a near safety on the opening kickoff, Tech didn't play too terribly. The Jackets wore white jerseys and pants against Georgia for the first time ever, though it didn't help. The green stains on Tech's unis made it obvious that the field had been painted.
Two loss Auburn easily beat Bama - the Tigers' second upset of a top ranked team in the past three games. Beating Georgia again is a fait accompli, so hand Auburn the SEC Championship and punch their ticket to the Playoff.
Clemson easily defeated in-state rival South Carolina, despite obviously one-sided officiating. Instead of penalizing the Gamecocks for the dozens of bottles SC students threw at Clemson players, the refs penalized Dabo for complaining.
Earlier in the day Georgia State lost at home.
On Friday Pitt upset number two Miami.
Next week the Canes meet Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
Friday night South Florida's talented QB almost engineered an upset of undefeated UCF.
With a win in next week's conference championship game,
UCF gains a spot in a major bowl game - probably the Peach.
On Thanksgiving Day the Vikings bested the Lions.
The crippled Cowboys beat the Chargers
in a rare blue on blue match-up.
Eli couldn't rally his Giants Thursday night in Washington.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Three Thanksgivings

Wednesday Ceil cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the six of us. Very good. Turkey, dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, apple pie, homemade rolls. Other stuff. I did lots of dishes and had a sure back after being on my feet all day. Before dinner I helped as Will changed out a light on Anna's Jeep (below). The day before W had changed the oil in his Camry. Wed am Will had run 5 miles and then played 18 holes of golf.
After dessert the kids played a game. I collapsed on the couch and was the first to go to bed.

C had also cooked homemade sweet rolls for Thursday am breakfast. I did more dishes. C, Barney, and I left for Macon (above), and Anna and MC and Will followed about 30 minutes later. At the last minute I loaded a lot of leftovers into the car. Picked up Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrell: the turkey and ham and biscuits were pretty good. Dressing wasn't good at all. Sweet potato casserole was just ok, as were the collard greens. The baked apples got eaten up. Mac and cheese was good. The kale salad was good too. Pumpkin pie for dinner. My brother was working in Orlando, so there were only ten of us for dinner.

I got a little praise from Ceil and my mom for arranging the dinner, but my sister was the real hero: picking up her father in law, helping my mom get ready, getting the table set, and fixing the mashed potatoes and green beans.
Missed all the football games. Some year I'll get to see Dallas and Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. Later W&MC headed back to Atlanta. Around six Ceil, Anna, Barney and I drove to South Carolina, arriving in Jefferson after 10:30. Even with the Diet Mtn Dew I drank to keep me awake, I slept well.

Friday morning C headed to the grocery store. I helped her get ready for the big lunch, taking out the trash, getting the ice, watching Rusty cook the turkey, deleting emails, etc. Had 19 people for lunch: C's mom, brother Rusty, Kelly, Ben, Katherine, Jordan, Uncle Lennie and Aunt Corrine, Teresa, Beau, Vic, Dic Dac, Debbie, Chase, Grant, Daddy D, Ceil, Anna, and me. Turkey, dressing, gravy, salad, salsa, dip, tomatoes, fruit salad, a pumpkin dish, mac and cheese, pecan pie, butter cream pie, cookies, and more.

Plenty of football: Miami lost. Exciting UCF/South Florida game, and now VA/VT. Just hanging out deleting email and playing on the laptop. Saturday morning after the first ten minutes of ESPN College GameDay, Auburn and Alabama's helmets were switched (below). Perhaps the higher ranked team goes on the left.
Last Wednesday I was talking to coworker Dennis who was headed to NOLA today for a cruise debarking on Sunday. He is ex-Army, so I asked if he was going to the museum. His face lit up and said he wanted to, but didn't know if he could talk his wife info it.
Good shot of last Monday's Georgia Dome implosion, with Stone Mountain looming in the distance.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Total QB Rating Week 12

1. 93.8 Khalil Tate, Arizona
2. 92.0 Baker Mayfield, #4 Oklahoma Heisman frontrunner
3. 86.5 Lamar Jackson, Louisville another record year
4. 84.1 Jalen Hurts, undefeated #1 Alabama sophomore
5. 83.8 Mason Rudolph, #19 Oklahoma State
6. 83.5 JT Barrett, #9 Ohio State senior
7. 83.3 John Wolford, Wake Forest
8. 80.2 Ryan Finley, NC State
9. 79.3 Kelly Bryant, #3 Clemson junior

10. 79.0 Jake Fromm, #7 Georgia true freshman
11. 78.6 Nick Fitzgerald, #14 Mississippi State
12. 78.1 Brandon Wimbush, #8 Notre Dame most improved
13. 78.0 Trace McSorley, #10 Penn State
16. 74.4 Danny Etling, #18 LSU
18. 73.4 Jake Browning, #17 Washington
19. 73.4 Will Grier, West Virginia

23. 73.1 Sam Darnold, #11 USC was supposed to win Heisman
24. 73.0 Jarrett Stidham, #6 Auburn top 2 loss team
25. 72.9 Malik Rosier, undefeated #2 Miami
27. 71.4 Drew Lock, Missouri

32. 69.8 Eric Dungey, Syracuse
33. 69.5 Kenny Hill, #12 Texas Christian
34. 69.5 Stephen Johnson, Kentucky can’t throw downfield
36. 67.2 Josh Rosen, UCLA top NFL prospect?

41. 66.2 Jake Bentley, #24 South Carolina
43. 65.0 TaQoun Marshall, Georgia Tech
45. 64.3 Alex Hornibrook, undefeated #5 Wisconsin
47. 62.7 Ben Dinucci, Pittsburgh

52. 60.9 Shea Patterson, Ole Miss
53. 60.7 Josh Jackson, #25 Virginia Tech
61. 58.3 Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt
63. 57.6 Sam Ehlinger, Texas
64. 56.5 Anthony Brown, Boston College
65. 56.4 Charlie Brewer, Baylor
67. 55.1 Cole Kelly, Arkansas
69. 54.3 Conner Manning, Georgia State

76. 52.2 Kurt Benkert, Virginia
80. 50.9 Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
81. 50.8 Chazz Surratt, North Carolina freshman
92. 46.7 Feleipe Franks, Florida freshman
96. 44.8 Daniel Jones, Duke made GT look bad
99. 44.2 Shane Buechele, Texas

103. 42.7 James Blackman, FSU freshman
112. 34.5 Zach Smith, Baylor
123. 23.2 Shai Werts, Georgia Southern

Thursday, November 23, 2017

GT vs GA: the Uniforms

With just a few recent exceptions, Tech and Georgia wear the same uniform every time they meet. Tech wears white jerseys and gold pants at home and on the road. Georgia wears red jerseys and silver britches at home, and they’re happy to wear them on the road if needed.

With the record of the rivalry game so one-sided in recent years, I wondered if the uni-tweaks recently pulled by Tech has made a difference. Last year the Jackets wore their honeycomb helmets in Athens – and won. Unlike UGA, Tech can wear white pants, navy or black jerseys. I’m looking back 40 years to my freshman year at Tech.

In the past 40 years Georgia has worn red jerseys and Tech white jerseys and gold pants a total of 30 times. Drop shadow numbers and various fonts have come and gone, mostly by Tech. Georgia has won 28 of the 40 games. The Jackets wore white over gold in eight of their 12 wins – including seven at home.

Tech has won three of the past four times they wore white pants (all on the road). Georgia has won 4 of the past 5 times they wore white jerseys. So Tech should wear white jerseys and pants. Bet they won’t.

16 @GA Kirby’s 1st year GT wins in white pants  
15 @GT GA wins
14 @GA GT wins in OT in white pants (FG & INT)
13 @GT GA wins
12 @GA GA wins GT in honeycomb jerseys
11 @GT GA wins
10 @GA GA wins GT in white pants
09 @GT GA wins
08 @GA CPJ’s 1st year GT wins in white pants. Roddy’s long run (above).

07 @GT Dawgs win in white, GT in gold jerseys & white pants
06 @GA Dawgs win
05 @GT Dawgs win in white, GT in gold jerseys & white pants
04 @GA Dawgs win
03 @GT Dawgs win
02 @GA Dawgs win
01 @GT Dawgs win

00 @GA GT wins
99 @GT GT wins
98 @GA GT wins
97 @GT UGA wins
96 @GA UGA wins
95 @GT UGA wins
94 @GA UGA wins
93 @GT UGA wins in white, GT in navy jerseys & white pants
92 @GA Dawgs win GT in white pants.
91 @GT Dawgs win

90 @GA GT wins
89 @GT GT wins
88 @GA Dawgs win
87 @GT Dawgs win
86 @GA Dawgs win

85 @GT Jackets win in black jerseys & white pants
84 @GA Jackets win
83 @GT Dawgs win
82 @GA Dawgs win
81 @GT Dawgs win in white jerseys (GT wore black)
80 @GA Dawgs win

79 @GT Jackets win
78 @GA Dawgs win
77 @GT Jackets win

In 1969 Tech wore gold jerseys and UGA wore red jerseys.

65-41-5 UGA leads the series
27-26-5 GT led before Dooley took over at UGA.
39-15 UGA since 1964
12-10 Bobby Dodd
19-6 Vince Dooley
13-2 Mark Richt
3-6 Paul Johnson

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Braves Penalized

Braves: any thoughts on the penalties? You know me: I don't think the loss of 13 prospects will be as earth shattering as everyone thinks. All are super young and 4-5 years away from the majors. The Braves will have plenty of time to adjust. The loss of $17 million investment is rough, to be sure, and the top (#9) prospect could be a loss, but he only hit 240 last year. No guarantee he'll turn out great. I saw other averages of 250 and 265, and ERAs of 3.65 and 6.50.

This won't effect next year's team, except the front office is stronger. Losing the prospects and the millions of investment is nothing to sneeze at, but those players were several years away. Many fans were acting like the impact would be immediate. Sure the three years going forward will hurt and the Braves will miss out on some prospects, but they'll just have to concentrate on domestic players for the time being. I trust Dimino's opinion, and he thought it is a big deal.

Rob: You are right, there is no immediate impact, but they will start to see the impact in a few years when there are (probably) no Latin prospects in the high levels of the farm.  It will put more pressure on them to 1) get things right in the domestic draft, 2)  make wise choices in free agency and 3)  get trades right when they are trading away prospects.

I was pretty mad about it yesterday, but I have a little more perspective now.  One of the bright spots out of this, I believe, it that it forces them to move away from this "Braves Way" concept that Schuerholtz had forced down on the organization.  I believe the organization desperately needed a new voice, and got one with Anthopoulos (AA).  I think that Coppy was good at assembling young talent, but I was not convinced he could construct a major league club.  I think Hart was in the way in the front office, as were JS and Bobby Cox.  It seemed like too many voices, and as we saw, little oversight or accountability.

I thought it was very telling that during the AA hiring press conference, it was only McGuirk and AA sitting at the table.  I know the Braves won't publicly address JS role in this, but my guess is that Liberty told McGuirk that both Hart and JS needed their roles in the organization minimized.

I always felt that the 14 straight division run was both a blessing and a curse.  Being competitive for that long was a blessing, but the organization's inability to let go of the past has been a curse.  Hopefully now we can move on from that.

ME: Worked past 5:30 Monday afternoon. Ceil cooked a chicken pasta dish. Anna was home. After supper we went to Home Depot to get a Christmas tree. Later we (I) watched David Letterman receiving the Mark Twain Prize on PBS. Also The Voice, Leno's Mark Twain show, and some of the Falcons.

All the people thinking the Falcons have righting their ship after winning two games aren't looking too close. They beat a depleted Dallas team, and were lucky to get out of Seattle with a win. Devonte Freeman is out again this week, and they might be facing Tampa at a good time. But the Birds have yet to put together four quarters of championship football against good competition.

I think the Falcon game in Seattle was on WSB for all the people that don't have cable. Also ESPN and the NFL Network I think. I knew they had the lead. Matt Bryant kicked a short field goal to make it a 2 score game, then the Seahawks drove 75 yards in 45 seconds, thanks to two dumb Falcon penalties. I went to bed after that. Sounds like I missed some. I did see the Marist highlights last Friday night.

Tuesday was busy at work. Left at 5:20. Anna had Josh over. Matthew was home for dinner, so we all had a good time. C cooked Mexican, then later chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate. Later we watched Chicago Med.

Josh said there were so few student tickets for the SEC Championship game that not all the seniors got tickets. Anna is supposed to run a half marathon in Athens next April with a friend. We'll see how that goes…she's only run one Peachtree Junior as a kid.

Wednesday: not much traffic this week, which has been great. Plenty to do at work, considering that so many people are out for Thanksgiving. In my immediate area eight of 14 people are out. Everyone brought food to eat, including Chickfila biscuits.

Tonight we're having our East Cobb thanksgiving with our entire brood, including W&MC. Tomorrow we all drive to Macon, then later we all drive to SC for a big gathering on Friday (except M, who has to work both Thursday and Friday). The Clemson crowd leaves Saturday morning for the game in Columbia, and we'll come back to Atlanta on Sunday. Ceil's mom has been in and out of the hospital. My mom had surgery last week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mark Twain Prize: Biased?

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to American humor. While every recipient so far has been worthy, the order in which recipients have been selected is confounding. Living comedians appear to be favored over the deceased. Based on who’s been selected so far, you’d think the process was political, and liberal at that. A definite bias towards Saturday Night Live alumni, as at least eight of the twenty recipients have been affiliated with the show. Three comedians in their 40’s were selected before the legendary Carol Burnett was honored in 2013. In her acceptance speech Burnett quipped “thank you for FINALLY giving me this award.”

Perhaps emphasis is put on performers with friends who would put on a good show, because the production is must see television viewing.

The prize winners, year inducted, and age when they won:

1998 Richard Pryor 58
1999 Jonathan Winters 74
2000 Carl Reiner 78
2001 Whoopi Goldberg 46
2002 Bob Newhart 73
2003 Lily Tomlin 64
2004 Lorne Michaels 60 (born & raised outside the US)
2005 Steve Martin 60
2006 Neil Simon 79
2007 Billy Crystal 59
2008 George Carlin 71 (posthumous)
2009 Bill Cosby 72
2010 Tina Fey 40 (youngest recipient)
2011 Will Ferrell 44
2012 Ellen DeGeneres 54
2013 Carol Burnett 80 (below)
2014 Jay Leno 64
2015 Eddie Murphy 54
2016 Bill Murray 66
2017 David Letterman 70

Future recipients: Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Jimmy Fallon.

What about Dan Ackroyd, Woody Allen, John Belushi, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, Jim Carrey, Johnny Carson, Tim Conway, Larry David, Jeff Foxworthy, Robert Klein, Groucho Marx, David Murphy, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Harry Shearer, Red Skelton, Bob Uecker, and Robin Williams? Foxworthy is certainly deserving, but in this political climate his induction is highly unlikely.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Football Recap

Tech stunk. Has the team quit on Paul Johnson? Duke had lost six straight before lighting it up against the Jackets. Outscored GT 23-0 in the third quarter, before a scoreless fourth quarter. Tech only had six offensive plays in the third quarter. Say what you will about the defensive coordinator, but Tech needs better players. They haven’t had a decent the entire time Johnson has been there. TaQuon Marshall rushed for 140 yards but only went 3-13 in the air. Jeune dropped another pass. Missed extra point. Pressley threw a pass (incomplete).

If Tech can’t beat Tennessee or Duke, there’s zero chance they’ll beat Georgia. Any Tech fan who says otherwise is bonkers. As I’ve said for years, I’d rather Tech win the games they’re supposed to win (like Duke) than win those they’re not (like Georgia). Look for UGA backup QB Jacob Eason to perform mop-up duty Saturday afternoon at Grant Field.

When Miami fell behind 14-0 at home against Virginia, the announcer in the booth at Clemson quipped that Miami had lost focus. How did he know? Did he know the details of the game, or just the score? If the Canes lost focus they got it back real quick, closing out the game scoring 30 unanswered points.

Heard a few similar comments when the Dawgs didn’t score five first quarter possessions against 7-3 Kentucky. Shows you how much those people know about football. It ain’t that easy.

UGA beat Kentucky decisively. Early in the fourth quarter the Wildcats had given up trying to pass downfield, and instead just ran the ball, not to score but to run out the clock. Running on obvious passing downs. Kentucky just gave up. Does that mean they know they can’t compete with Steven Johnson at QB?

The Dawgs weren’t perfect. Freshman sensation Jake Fromm has thrown interceptions in his last two games, but Saturday against Kentucky Fromm had his longest run from scrimmage all year. Georgia didn’t shut down the running game, something they’ll need to improve on before Auburn or Bama comes to town.  

Saturday night ABC announcer Kirk Herbstreit blasted USC QB Sam Darnell, saying the underclassman was far from ready for the NFL. Darnell is great at throwing to his primary receiver, but if the first option is covered he pulls it down and runs. That won’t work in the pros. Darnell needs to come back to USC next year to learn to better spot his second and third options.

While pro scouts love the tools UCLA QB Josh Rosen brings to the table, there are plenty of QB’s in Darnell’s boat. Kentucky’s Steven Johnson and both of Clemson’s top two QB’s as well. These days QB’s just throw up deep balls and pray their receiver and out jump the defender for the ball. Whatever happened to a QB hitting the receiver in stride, so the receiver doesn’t have to slow down to catch the ball? There seems to be a dearth of good QB play all across the country.

The exception: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield. Some compare the Heisman Trophy frontrunner to NFL flop Johnny Manziel. Let’s hope Mayfield is a little more dedicated at the next level than Johnny Football.

Not sure what Clemson will do next year with four talented QB’s on the roster. First year starter Kelly Bryant has shown flashes of brilliance but often misses receivers with his passes, throwing behind, too low or high, or overthrowing deep balls. Against the Citadel the backup was often off-target as well. It’s doubtful Dabo would start a true freshman, but I’m not sure how long the kid from Cartersville will be content to sit and watch. At least one of the two backups may transfer.
Tom Brady looks as strong as ever. New England’s kicker nailed a 62 yard field goal that would’ve been good from 70. He also had a 50 yarder later in the game.

Great lineup of games this weekend:

Thursday: Chargers@Cowboys, Vikings@Lions, Giants/Redskins, and the Egg Bowl (Ole Miss@Miss State).

Friday: Miami@Pitt, Virginia Tech@Virginia, Missouri@Arkansas.

Saturday: UGA@GT (noon), Bama@Auburn (3:30), and Clemson@SC (7:30).

Sunday: Tampa@Falcons

If the Chargers wear their powder blue jerseys Thursday we could see some nice uniforms on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys will look good whether they wear their normal unis or their line star jerseys. I think the Lions will wear throwbacks, and the Vikings will be passable in their purple pants. The Giants and Redskins always look good.

We know what Bama and Auburn will be wearing. Clemson will wear their orange “championship” britches, since it’s the state championship game. No telling what South Carolina will wear. Not sure the Tigers can put a whooping on SC as bad as UGA did. Clemson better watch out. Could be a nail-biter.

This week I’ll try to do a study of the various uni combos Tech has tried out against UGA, and how successful they were. With few exceptions, the Dawgs have worn red jerseys against Tech going back to the 60’s and earlier. Herschel did wear his white jersey in his only Grant Field appearance.  

It was a typical weekend for us. Left work just after 5:30 Friday afternoon. C and I went to Home Depot for a new extension cord. The new blower was too powerful and blew out my old cord. Then we went to Moxie Burger for a chicken sandwich and fries.

Saturday morning C went to the YMCA. I cleaned and started the laundry. Watched a little of the Clemson/Citadel game then went outside and blew and raked leaves. Came inside for GT/Duke and GA/KY. Later we watched the Hallmark Channel and USC/UCLA.

Sunday School and worship at JFBC. Bryant Wright’s son preached. Stopped by Whole Foods afterwards to see Matthew. C bought a baked chicken for lunch. Later she met Anna downtown. Anna had supper with Josh’s family. I watched a movie and the Patriots/Raiders, then Stranger Things and C’s PBS show. A girl on Stranger Things had been in M’s class at Living Science.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Our Gang

The gang at work showing off the EZGo customer service award we recently received. L-R Kevin, Eric, David, Brad, Rodney, Angie, Rachel, and Shane. Friday Kevin and other company dignitaries rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, in celebration of our company's 175th anniversary.
Got in the habit of reading the newspaper while living at the Georgia Tech Baptist Center. On Saturday mornings whenever I'd wake up I would go upstairs and get the paper, and read it on the front steps if the weather was nice. Late Saturday night we'd all pile in a car and drive over to the Krispy Kreme on Ponce to get several dozen doughnuts for the people catching van rides to churches on Sunday morning. We'd eat the hot doughnuts Saturday night, more doughnuts for breakfast Sunday morning. When we got back from church we'd watch the Falcons, eat more doughnuts, and read the Sunday paper. Then it was time to go back to church for choir and the evening service.

Worked until 6:45 Thursday night. C had worked out, gotten a haircut, and took Barney for a haircut and shampoo. She found steaks in the freezer to cook for dinner, but they were tough. I ate salad and later cooked popcorn. Watched Young Sheldon and Designated Survivor. Took Barney out and M came home. M popped popcorn for the second straight day. Was nodding off so I went to bed. Woke up at 11:30 at C was still downstairs with M.

Barney was in a good mood Thursday night (he usually is in a good mood) but his big day must've worn him out - he slept downstairs all night so he wouldn't be disturbed.

Had a 7:30 meeting Friday morning and also a lunch meeting with Spiced Rite BBQ.

M has some friends working in movie related businesses - costumes, etc. The AJC used to have a celebrity spotting column. They probably still have it.