Thursday, December 29, 2005

Emerald Bowl!

I really should be excited about the Emerald Bowl this afternoon, GT has a very good shot of finishing 8-4 and in the top 25, with our seniors going out on 3 straight bowl wins. I'm just not feeling it though, at all. For some reason a Thursday afternoon bowl game against a team from the MWC in a baseball stadium in the rain in San Francisco just isn't what I expected coming off the close of the season, and I haven't been able to get into my normal celebratory mood as a football game approaches.

(Bizzaro World football)

Games like this is why the Chan Gailey era has left a bad taste in some people's mouth, it's not that we're a bad program (patently not true), but in the end it's the same routine each year. Groundhog Day had a less predictable plot than our recent football seasons. Win a game we shouldn't, lose a game we shouldn't, go to a bowl game in the middle of nowhere against an inferior team. Quick, which season did I just describe? (A: 2003, B: 2004 or C: 2005). You can't, heck I'm not even sure which one I was talking about - they are all running into each other. There's an excitement about the program that just doesn't exist, partly because we play a fairly boring and bland brand of offense and because nobody feels "this could be the year" - instead it's "this is going to be the same year" and that's breeding some apathy.

There are a ton of bright spots I'd be lax to mention though, in my moody view of the world today - attendence is up (and with Notre Dame in BDS@GF this coming year, it will stay up - you can bet that's a minipack game). We beat 2 top 10 teams, on the road. We have a couple of truly dynamic players returning on both sides of the ball in Calvin Johnson, KaMichael Hall and Philip Wheeler. We have some youngsters who look like they have a world of potential, guys like Vance Walker. All of these are good things that are happening to GT football, the program is on a very gentle upswing (no, BuzzOFF! folks - we aren't getting worse), and I'd be blind or a fool or just unbelievably bitter to deny them.

However, there's two things hanging over Chan's head and they are slowly poisoning a portion of the fanbase and leading to some of the malaise that is clinging to what should be one a preseason top 15-20 team next year. He's got to beat Georgia and we've got to play in a southern New Year's Day bowl that we can get 25-30k fans at and really get people fired up for. 9-3 with a win over Georgia and a trip to the Gator Bowl next year and suddenly the floodgates open and people begin buying into this program. 8-4/7-5, a 6th(!) straight loss to the pups and another trip to a WhoCares.com Bowl somewhere cold and west and you'll see fans sink even farther into the realm of just not caring. It's easy to cheer for a winner, it's even easy to cheer for a team that looks like it's building into a winner, but it's very hard to cheer for a team that can never get over the hump. Nobody wants to get too excited just to be let down, and thus you get ... GT football right now. I know it's horribly unfair, and probably speaks poorly of my character as a fan - but finishing 8-4 with a win over a bad MWC team in a bowl game that only GT and Utah fans are going to take time off to watch on TV isn't exactly getting my heart pumping.

As for actual game analysis? GT should be able to run the ball all day long, hit CJ deep once or twice and drive the young Utah QB into making a couple of costly mistakes. This game really shouldn't be much different than the Tulsa and Syracuse games, where a decent GT team takes an inferior opponent to the woodshed. Utah is inferior, make no mistake about it - all the NFL talent that allowed them to go to the Fiesta Bowl last year is gone and they are pretty raw. This would be a painful game to lose, little gain to win unfortunately.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Matt Glaude said...

3 1/2 hours of Pam Ward and David Norrie....

My deepest sympathies.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

It's 20-0 and Pam Ward is just icing on the cake. It's pretty obvious the team cares even less than we do, what a crappy bowl game. The field is even more wattered down than USC @ ND - this is just shameful.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

The fact that you got the Pam Ward ambush is about the only thing that stopped me from three hours of Nelson Muntz impersonations. At least when you have a nooner on the Deuce, you know what's coming to you. This was just cruel.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GT sucks more then a atlantic city prostitute, and in the immortal words of the ute fans at the fiesta bowl, "overrated!"

9:17 AM  

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