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Mailbag 9/14

Can I still call myself a fan if I can no longer watch our fair sport on TV?

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Michigan David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Can I still call myself a fan if I can no longer watch our fair sport on TV?

To explain, literally, I cannot take the repeating commercials overload any longer. Outside of F1, baseball, SailGP, and tennis, I’m not watching any sports infomercials where every once in a while somebody chunks a football around.

I have taken to checking some highlight video of important to me games the next day, but I won’t waste anymore of my rapidly passing life struck in some automaton’s doom loop of fast food, cell phone, retirement investment, pizza, car and gambling ads.

Knowing that this is the business model for the NFL, I’m saddened that CFB has gotten so dragged down into this commercial/sales/influence model that OUR game has been tarnished and cheapened.

Sign me: Old man yelling at the clouds.

Ben: Well, people were fans long before TVs started showing games, so I don’t see why you couldn’t call yourself a fan. Truth be told, a good radio call will give you better personality more often than not anyway. That doesn’t help with the repetitive ads, but the only way to do that is to just go to the games in person, which isn’t always feasible or desirable.

Jeff: I understand where you’re coming from and I know plenty of fans for another school who can’t tell me where Athens is or who is on their roster but still bark the following week. I was actually in favor of the new clock rule like the NFL has but was not aware in place of the game we would get extended ad times. I couldn’t help but feel it took the whole day to watch a single game last week.

Logan: To the point of your question, yes you can still be a fan. You’re still technically watching the games, it just sounds like you’re cutting through all the nonsense and watching the important parts to you. It sounds like you still like GT football, you just don’t like some of the nonsense associated with watching it live.

gtbadcarma: So far, Sanders has done what he said he would do at Colorado(should get third win this weekend). Do you think the way he approached this turn around is the “future” of college football and do you think it is healthy for college football? Would you approve of what he did if he had been hired as Techs coach?

Ben: I’m torn on this. Yes, Sanders has done an admirable job of winning so far. But in the process, he alienated every single player that was on the team before he got there, pulled scholarships, and implanted his son as the starting quarterback (sure, he’s a good QB, but that was always his plan, and I hate coaching nepotism). Looking into the games that he’s won, the only one that is moderately impressive is TCU, but they also lost their generational offensive coordinator and their quarterback. TCU still managed to score 42 on them. There’s some smoke at Colorado now, but I don’t think they’re suddenly the best team in the world. All this being said, although I would love to have the instant success that Sanders has had, I don’t know that it will last, and I don’t think it’s worth what he did to get there.

Jack: I was talking with someone about this yesterday, and I think I have a little bit of regret not seriously considering getting him here. Of course, we had no idea this was going to work as well as it did, so I’m not going to retract anything we said after we fired CGC. This approach only will work for very, very few people. His magnetism as a coach is only shared by Kirby and Saban in college football. After this year, he won’t need the portal. This feels like a blip in the history of his coaching career, the mechanism that made most sense to win immediately at a new location. Surely the same thing would’ve happened here, and maybe even more considering the talent surrounding us.

Jeff: I was a young kid when Primetime was drafted to Atlanta. I was a huge Deion fan and even had a dark moment in my Atlanta fandom when he left for Dallas and by bed covers turned to silver and blue with a big star on them. Fortunately, I got right with God and returned to my roots once he moved on. All that to say there is only one Deion Sanders. His ability to attract players, coaches, and eyeballs is solely about him. What is going on at Colorado can only be done by him and never replicated. If Colorado can create a good platform to move forward then great, but the circus will come crashing down once he leaves or the novelty wears off. I do think he has done a good job as a head coach in getting a completely new team and staff to perform at the level they’ve shown. The two teams he has beaten aren’t great though and I’ll reserve any judgment on where Colorado now stands once they play through their Pac-12 schedule.

Logan: So first off, the only reason Colorado is getting so much hype is because Coach Prime is driving it. Colorado has won 2 games, they’re certainly a good team, but I would reserve judgement on how well Prime has done until the end of the season. Regarding what he has done and how he achieved it, I think Coach Prime brought a pro football mentality to things. Coach Prime is being paid to put together the best football team possible, and I don’t think he cares to much about who was on the team previously and where they were in their education. This can be good or bad based on your perspective. Personally I would not have enjoyed all of that happening at Tech, but its also hard to say how I would feel if we looked as good as Colorado does on the field.

Pkaltman1: What are your favorite little things about sports? For example, I love when, after a toe-tapping end zone catch, an official runs up nodding and after a second or two throws up a touchdown signal. Completely inconsequential, but something that makes the sport that much more enjoyable for me.

Ben: I love a good marching band! I remember when I went to GT-Georgia Southern in 2014, Southern’s band played a piece called Festive Overture that I played when I was in band in high school, and that was just a really cool moment.

Jack: Blooper, the Braves mascot. Pennant reveals. The starter at The Open Championship.

Jeff: Smelling fresh cut grass, marching bands, network jingles for the intro to the games (this is the best), and hearing players or coaches yell when the ref's mic isn’t turned off.

Logan: I like players, refs, and coaches just being silly and chatty with each other. I tend to notice it the most in baseball because there is down time where the players just chat with each other in between pitches. I just kind of like seeing these guys act like goofballs and be reminded that despite their crazy athletic ability they are just humans who like to laugh and play too.

DTGT: Can GT be improved and still not win more games this year?

Ben: Absolutely. I already believe this is a better team than it was last year, at least overall. There are some groups that are better and some that are worse. That does not mean we will win 6 games. Losing to Louisville definitely put a bit of a damper on things, but I think this team is still capable of going to a bowl. Those games are just harder to find now.

Jack: Yes, I think there are ways that can happen. If we have a couple bad injuries, I could totally see us being a better team, but just without the weapons that actually put us over the top via no fault of their own.

Jeff: This team has already improved overall but some deficiencies in key areas could keep the win total from getting them to a bowl. I am still optimistic they can achieve that but letting Louisville come back really hurts.

Logan: Yes, although I don’t know if that will be what the fanbase as a whole wants to hear.

DTGT: Are UNC and Miami for real?

Ben: I feel like we play this game every year. Neither of them have played a team worth a [Steely Dan], so it’s too early to tell.

Jeff: UNC is real with what they have at QB, but every other part has been sporadic so they are on a game-to-game basis. Miami did look good against Texas A&M but I am not sure why A&M keeps getting overhyped like they do. The Canes have done this before so it is hard to make a decision.

Logan: The Canes have proven nothing to me, beating Texas A&M is just not as impressive as it used to be. Canes could be middle of the road. UNC is at least at the same level as Clemson, but that does not necessarily mean they are going to win the conference or anything and won’t stop them from running into an upset down the line. In short, too early to tell... side note, how come no one is asking if Duke is for real after they beat Clemson?

DTGT: What food says gameday to you? I like to smoke meat and make sliders and what not. Im smoking a whole brisket and making ribs for this Saturdays game. Lets hope its not the only good thing about the day.

Jack: If you go to a Georgia Tech tailgate, you’d have no other choice but to think it’s Chick-Fil-A. Their food is everywhere.

Jeff: If I manage to get the day off I like to make a huge plate of smothered nachos I can eat on over the course of the day.

Logan: For me its either pulled pork or chick-fil-a nuggets. Either of those foods get me in a game day type mood.

TkTheGoat: Is Texas back or is Bama falling?


Jeff: Texas is steadily improving and has a really nasty defensive line this year. They should be looked at closely for making the playoffs. Alabama I think finally had a year where they are still really good, but they don’t seem to have an NFL starter at half their positions. They will still win at least 9 though. Remember what Saban has done will probably not be repeatable. What uga is hooping and hollering about the last two years was the norm for Alabama.

Logan: I think Texas could achieve some very impressive things this year with the talent they have at QB and on the defensive side of things. So yeah... Texas might be back. Bama isn’t at a “stick a fork in them” point right now. The season is still young, and I don’t think Bama is bad. In all likelihood Bama is still going to win the SEC West, so don’t expect one loss against a good team to be the end of all things Bama this year.

Notwima13: Who do you think will be the kicker?

Ben: It will probably depend on how practice went this week. Gavin Stewart and Aidan Birr were listed as co-starters this week. I know Stewart is capable of being a good kicker (as evidenced by his performance last season), but he’s struggled with field goals this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Birr take the reins.

Jeff: Birr made his kick and I think he will get the start until he shows otherwise on field goals. Stewart is probably entrenched as the kickoff specialist.

Logan: Gavin may get another chance, but for now I expect Birr to retain the spot.

YankeeJacket: Who was coach Keys yelling at during the game? What are the details?

Ben: Honestly, I have no idea, but a coach yelling at someone in a football game doesn’t seem like news. I personally don’t remember seeing this during the game, but I also watched a bit intermittently.

Jeff: I do recall the play you are talking about but I can’t remember the details. I want to say it was an offensive lineman.

TkTheGoat: Is it possible for a triple-option team to win the national championship?

Ben: Probably not while running it from the flexbone, but option concepts exist in virtually every style of offense nowadays, whether it be RPOs, zone read type stuff, or more traditional triple. Will a team running CPJ’s flexbone-style option offense win a national championship? Probably not because teams don’t run it anymore. Could they? Sure, if a resourceful team like Alabama or UGA started running it, yeah, I could see them winning. But offensive and defensive systems aren’t magic pills that make or break a team. It’s more about personnel, development, and deployment.

Jeff: If Paul Johnson had the defensive roster of some of the SEC schools he probably could have won it in 2008, 2009, 2014, and could have made a good push in 2016. I’m not sure anyone could run the flexbone as well as he could.

Submitted via email: Hey guys,

hope you’re doing well this week. I’m having a good one after our win last week. Things looked good on the field for the most part. There is always room for improvement but the ball moves and we won by a fair margin.

Question this week. Going on the road to the land of chandeliers in tailgating tents makes me think of all the fun tailgating I’ve participated in my life. Do y’all have a favorite tailgate food, either Atlanta specific or in general? Sublime donuts are great, but I’m always a big fan of Chick-fil-A nuggets in general. Any thoughts? Till next week, take it easy.

- Guy watching you from inside the Chuck E. Cheese costume

Ben: I will say that I have not been a big tailgater in the past, but personally, I prefer barbecue. I don’t have a particular style or meat preference, but I just love good smoked meats, and that hits the spot right before a big game.

Jeff: I haven’t done a lot of tailgating but when I do watch parties I enjoy the typical hamburgers and brats.

Logan: It’s gotta be something with a lot of meat. BBQ is the preferred, with either pulled pork or brisket being the top priority. Maybe Fox Bros or DBA BBQ if you’re in Atlanta, they make for a good tailgate.