I wish I could just start with the upcoming college football weekend but I feel I must weigh in on what is transpiring in the NFL. Let me start by saying that being opposed to people disrespecting the flag and National Anthem DOES NOT mean we are opposed to racial equality. I cannot say this emphatically enough, work, pay your share, obey the law and pull your own weight and I could not care less about the color of your skin. It is not the message that offends us it is the method of delivery. Kneel before the anthem and then stand up and respect the anthem and I’m right there with you. In fact, get me access to the sideline and I will kneel with you as long as we stand for the anthem. And please spare me the “it’s not about disrespecting the flag or anthem or country” lie. That is EXACTLY what it is about or you wouldn’t be choosing that three minutes of a three and a half hour event to present your protest. If it means that much to you, at least own it. You want us to buy tickets to football games, buy jerseys and memorabilia, watch games on TV so advertisers can make enough money to pay YOU a lot of money. AND you want us to do that based on one reason, loyalty to a football team. Then, you get upset when we display loyalty to the nation we love. I am going to repeat that so you can process it in your mind. YOU want US to remain loyal to a damn football team but YOU also want US to completely disregard loyalty to our country. I’m sorry, but that thought process requires a special kind of stupid.
Rant over. Last week in college football we learned a few things. The Georgia Bulldogs look like a very good team and the beast of the East at this point after dismantling Mississippi State. Meanwhile, the Florida Gators still struggle without nine players who chose to help themselves to someone else’s money but somehow head coach Jim McElwain and his team find ways to win. The Gators are 2-0 in conference play. I must give McElwain credit for keeping the Gators alive in the East with all that he is dealing with in Gainesville right now. Vanderbilt came into the weekend feeling great about themselves and being talked up on sports shows. The Commodores limp into Gainesville this weekend still rubbing balm (who told you to put the balm on? I didn’t tell you to put the balm on) on their blistered rear ends. Alabama got tired of hearing about the challenge Vandy would present and took them out behind the woodshed (He’d kill you Barn). There are not a lot of premier type games this weekend but here are a few.
Florida vs Vandy: The Gators are coming off two last second wins over Tennessee and Kentucky. Vandy is coming off a 59-0 thumping by Alabama. Florida will turn to quarterback Luke Del Rio in attempt to right the ship on offense. Del Rio lacks the arm strength and upside of Felipe Franks but has the experience and knowledge of the offense to allow coordinator Doug Nussmeier to utilize the entire playbook if he can remember it. The Gator defense is not as dominant as it has been in recent years but is good enough to keep winning if the offense decides to join the fray (Welcome to the party Pal). Gators win by a touchdown or more.
Tennessee vs Georgia: The ONLY way Tennessee wins this game is if the Bulldogs get full of themselves and spend too much time reading their press clippings this week after thrashing Mississippi State. Meanwhile, the Vols fought valiantly to pull off a 17-14 upset over vaunted UMass. The game IS at Neyland Stadium (So you’re saying there’s a chance?). Georgia has a solid defense, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and a bright young quarterback in Jake Fromm. Tennessee has Butch Jones. Bulldogs by three touchdowns.
Georgia Tech vs North Carolina: The Yellow Jackets field less talent than most of the teams they face every week. However, Paul Johnson’s junk offense is seen so rarely that few teams are prepared to defend it. The problem with that triple option offense though is that you tend to fumble the ball a lot and Tech is perfecting that art. North Carolina has lost to Cal, Louisville and Duke. Tech has lost to Butch Jones. I’ll give Tech the three-point home field advantage. Yellow Jackets by a field goal.
Ole Miss vs Alabama: Just kidding.
Florida State vs Wake Forest: Wake Forest is 4-0. No folks, that is not a typo, the Demon Deacons are acdtually 4-0 (They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues). The Seminoles are trying to find a quarterback. And their way. The Demon Deacons are ready to prove they belong in the discussion, any discussion. Wake Forest has defeated everyone they have played. But, they haven’t really played anyone. FSU has defeated nobody. Noles get their first win of the season.
Post script: I love sports. I always have from the moment I first stepped onto a little league field as a kid. Between protests, arrests in college football, bribes in college basketball and the politicalizing of every aspect of our lives, it is getting difficult to remain a sports fan. Would it be too much to ask athletes and coaches to just follow the law, show some signs of a moral compass, save the world on their own time and leave us one last escape from the horror that is the world around us these days? Any chance we can get back to the good ole days (whatever happened to Fay Wray). Yeah, that would be great.