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February 14, 2017

Sanford Stadium Expansion

You've seen the news. A couple of observations:
  • I like the new gate under the scoreboard, allowing fans to come into the stadium off the bridge.
  • The new video board will be 100'x52'. That's up from the current 75'x46'. That's cool, but unless you improve the sound system and the sounds coming out, meh.
  • It looks like the new seating for recruiting will be pretty front and center. That will provide a great visual of the whole stadium, but not a great view of the score board. Not sure that means anything, just an observation.
  • With the Athletic Association looking to raise about 85% of the cost from new donations, there are a lot of naming opportunities.
Overall, the only thing that'll change the game experience for most fans is the new scoreboard. However, the recruiting lounge area looks very cool, especially if they put students on both sides of them.


I'm Going Over the Edge to Support Children First

Some of you may know that for nearly four years, I was the Executive Director of Children First, an Athens non-profit working with children in the foster care system. Their programs, Athens-Oconee CASA, Family Time, SafeCare, and SPARC, helps over 200 families a year with guardian ad litem, therapeutic parenting, counseling, visitation, and other services, all at no charge to the families.

The work Children First does provides over $1.5M annually in services to those families, on a budget of $400K. This is in addition to the long term benefits associated with children and families remaining out of the foster care system, in healthy family relationships, and with stable home lives.

Next month, my wife and I are teaming up to go Over the Edge for Children First. As Kristin put it when she registered us:
Neither Tony nor I want to repel off of a building, but Children First is an organization that does so much good in the areas surrounding Clarke and Oconee Counties to serve the needs of children and families involved with the foster care system that we feel driven to participate. Since we couldn't decide who would 'go over the edge' we decided to make it a competition and let your donations decide. If the donations received begin with an odd number, Kristin will go over the edge, if the first number is even, then Tony will. 
You donation will support the staff and volunteers of Children First working for the families they serve. The best investment you can make to improve your community is in the community's people. This is a direct investment in people.

The event is on March 18th in Athens. Neither of us go over the edge until we reach $1000. While I'm not excited about repelling off a building, I'll happily do it if we get to $2000+. Please consider supporting Children First.


WSLS Ep. 083: When will we get a championship

We are finally in the same room again! With bourbon!

We talk signing day, baseball, basketball, and other things that have happened in the past.

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February 7, 2017

WSLS Ep. 082: Super Bowl Disappointment

Frankly, I don't want to talk about it.

January 31, 2017

WSLS Ep. 081 - Falcons and Hoops

We talk the Falcon's appearance in their second Super Bowl and get into Georgia Hoops. Will is off the chain.

January 29, 2017

Emerson on Georgia's Basketball Program

Excellent read. Pay particular attention to the parts about fans and recruiting.


ED NOTE: After re-reading the article, there is one bone I have to pick, Jeff Goodman's assessment:
“To me, I think if you’re going to the tournament twice every four years at Georgia, that’s pretty good,” said Jeff Goodman, a national basketball writer for ESPN.
Look, I get that looking at past performance is a way to assess such a thing, but there is no way Goodman would say that about, say...Florida. Prior to Billy Donovan, Florida had been to three NCAA tourneys. All of those were in the late 80s, immediately before Lon Kruger's hiring, which kicked off the rise of Florida basketball as a national power more than an SEC schedule filler. I'll grant hiring Donovan was a game changer, as Florida made 14 NCAA tourney in 19 years (and won it twice), putting them in the National Power category. However,the availability of talent, facilities, and overall funding available within the athletic department at Georgia is at least equal to Florida. It remains my view that Georgia can and should be going to the NCAA tournament more than half the time.

WSLS Ep. 080: Interview with Creature Comforts CEO Chris Herron

Scott sits down with Chris Herron, CEO of Athens' Creature Comforts.

January 11, 2017

WSLS Podcast Ep. 078: Live from Tampa, Clemson Beats Alabama

Will gives an instant update on the National Championship game live from right as Clemson is snapping the ball to end the game, which they won.


Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Coaching Edition

A little nugget caught my eye out of Dabo's day after the National Championship game interview:
“Five seconds, yes, we run the same play,” Swinney said. “I felt like it was going to be a four-second play. It’s going to be in and out. I felt like I could get a timeout with one second. Less than (five seconds remaining), we kick the field goal, and we go into overtime and see what happens.
“Our mentality was to play to win. I was trying to hang on to a timeout. I was just kind of guarding it with my life. That’s why we clocked the ball with 22 seconds, because I didn’t want to get in a situation where we’re having to run what we call red field goal. The clock is running, you try to run your guys out there on a red field goal situation. It’s a long way to go, guys coming off the sideline, and I just didn’t want to get into that situation, so I was trying with everything I had to keep one timeout.
If I had to say there is one thing I want to see out of Kirby before I'm ready to say he's a step up from Mark Richt is that level of preparedness and thoughtfulness about how you approach a play that is yet to happen. 2009 Dabo wouldn't have been there. 

January 8, 2017

WSLS Ep. 077 - Georgia Wins the Fight and the Game

Scott and I give a post game review of Georgia's win over Missouri, one that was spurred by a half time tussle between two coaches, Georgia's Kent Davidson and Missouri's Steve Shields.

Good times.


January 5, 2017

Why Special Teams Matter

After reading Blutarsky's take, I wanted to make a stronger point for the need for improvement in special teams play.

There has been plenty of ink and air used to outline the precieved trinity of Why Georgia Had a Disappointing Season - offensive line play, unimaginative offensive play calling, red zone defense - and deservedly so. There has been a lot less on the most glaring of issues, IMO: special teams play.

Let's start with the numbers from Bill Connelly
Special Teams

Special Teams S&P+-1.097
FG Value (per kick)-0.1694
Punt Success Rate38.2%124
Kickoff Success Rate74.6%61
Punt Return Success Rate43.5%92
Kick Return Success Rate55.6%18
As Blutarsky put it 
"the absolutely putrid yardage numbers turned in by the kick returners (anyone who returned a kickoff out of the end zone committed return malpractice)." 
That is book-ended by the actual coverage stats. In eight games, we gave up 20+yards/return, meaning if we didn't get a touch back out of the deal, the opposing team was likely starting beyond their own 25 yard line.

This ineptitude was on full display during the Vanderbilt game. Terrible coverage scheme/execution resulted in Vandy getting a 4 yard field for their first possession, resulting in a TD. Then we field a directional kick at the 3 that was 1) going to go into the end zone and result in a touch back and the ball at the 25, OR 2) go out of bounds, resulting in the ball at the 35 yard line. Said kick fielder promptly stepped on the out of bounds line resulting in the ball being spotted on the 3. After three plays, for added bonus, we managed a decent (41 yard) punt, but gave up a 17 yard return resulting in Vandy ball at the Georgia 27 yard line and already in FG range. That is how you lose to Vandy at home. You could make the argument that the loss to Tennessee, and how close the games against Nicholls and TCU were are directly related to that.

This is only a sample of what was a season long slink into bad special teams play. While having better athletes on the field will help, fixing the coaching and structural/scheme issues will be necessary to make the Dawgs a top tier special teams program again.

January 3, 2017

WSLS Ep. 076 - Post Liberty Bowl

We talk Liberty Bowl, CFB playoffs, and a get a Tommy Boy reference in.

December 30, 2016

A New Hope

Fitting last post of 2016, IMO.

If you want an idea of what Kirby Smart's vision of Georgia football is going to be, look at Georgia's second half possessions:

UGA      Fumble        T00  07:08 *TOUCHDOWN     12-52   6:36
UGA      Kickoff       T13  13:27 *FIELD GOAL     7-56   3:33
UGA      Missed FG     T00  02:48 *TOUCHDOWN      9-70   5:09
UGA      Downs         T31  00:00  End of half    4-25   1:14

If you are keeping score at home, that's two drives that come off defensive wins (fumble recovery and missed FG), a game winning drive, and game sealing drive. Not to mention three drives of 7+ plays and over 3:30+ possession. Say what you want, that's been the plan all along and it wasn't a terrible way to end 2016.

Go Dawgs.

December 23, 2016

Waitin' Since Last Saturday Ep 074 and 074.5 - Talking Bowls and Hoops

In Ep 074, we talk recruiting, Beef O'Brady's, and the Liberty Bowl. In the special episode, Will and I are live from Atlanta immediately after Georgia's 60-43 win over Georgia Tech in basketballs. No hedges were harmed in the making of that second podcast.

December 6, 2016

Waitin' Since Last Saturday Ep 073: Liberty Bowl Bound

We head downtown to Tailgate Georgia on Broad Street to talk AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Hoops, CFB Playoffs, and of course, uniforms.
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