Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More cool LOST links...one week to go!

- Part 2 (or, as she named it, The SQUEAKUEL!!) of the Mo Ryan interview with Damon and Carlton is HERE. Lots of time travel stuff, and some thoughts on the writing process for Season 6 and how the process has changed in general since the first season.

- I don't often link to Doc Jensen's stuff on EW, because his theories are usually too wild and "out there" for me to actually give credence to, but this one was pretty good, and makes enough sense that I think he may be on to something. Particularly concerning the dynamic between Jacob and the Man in Black.

- And last, but most DEFINITELY not least...a great song parody addressing the many, MANY questions still left unanswered. It's hilarious, but also a little overwhelming and frightening...there's no way all of these can be answered in one season, I don't think, but I'm trusting Darlton that all of the "Big Ones" and enough of the "Little Ones" will be addressed. Before the season premiere (NEXT WEEK!!) I hope to post what I consider to be the "Big Ones". (Note - The "Hurley Bird" is not one of them).

h/t to DarkUFO


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another awesome LOST link

The crash of Flight 815, in real-time...."24" style:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LOST links

The season premiere of the final season of LOST is only two weeks from tonight. Here are a few links to whet the appetite:

- Hilarious Onion.com video that hits a little TOO close to home:

Final Season Of 'Lost' Promises To Make Fans More Annoying Than Ever

- Part one of what promises to be a typically great interview with Damon and Carlton with TV critic Maureen Ryan is here.

- And another interview here...one of the things I love about this show is how smart and funny and connected with their fans Damon and Carlton are. They spend most of this interview going back over the Season 5 finale, with the typical Darlton flair.

h/t to DarkUFO

- Zap2It Lost has become one of my favorite LOST sites...a great mix of in depth analysis and fun features. They recently listed their Top 25 Moments of All Time, and it's a pretty comprehensive list. The only addition I would make is when the Island disappeared, but that's the great thing about this show...we could probably all come up with a Top 25 list and none of them would be the same.

More to come later, as we get closer to the premiere, as I'm sure we will be inundated with promotion.


Couple of random football thoughts

- Outside of Brock Lesnar, is there any athlete in the world that is more obviously taking steroids than Keith Brooking? The guy is bigger than he has ever been, in his 13th year in the league, and he's running around acting like a crazy scary buffoon on the sidelines, which he never did in Atlanta. I guess he figured he only has a couple of years left in the league anyway, so there are no real consequences, and he REALLY wanted to be a contributor on a team that had a shot to win the Super Bowl.

Steroids or not, some things remain constant...he is and will always be an overrated Techie who racks up tackles 8 yards downfield.

- In this week's Monday Morning QB column (a weekly must read for football fans), Peter King has a pretty gloomy forecast when it comes to the current labor negotiations in the NFL. In fact, it sounds like he would be very surprised if there was not a work stoppage in 2011, to the point where he says, "You'd better savor the 2010 season, because it could be the last football we see for a while."

As a football fan, this sucks.

As a Dawg fan...maybe the silver lining is that we get a senior season out of A.J. Green?

Monday, January 18, 2010

My thoughts on the Grantham hire

Sorry for the delayed response...busy weekend

Big picture, I was just happy to finally see the DC search come to an end…between the muckrakers at the AJC and the rapidly plummeting IQ level of the average message board fan, I basically had to force myself away from some websites. I could just feel myself getting stoopider

I honestly believe that Coach Richt had a plan, and we saw it materialize at the only time that it could…after the national championship game. Kirby was always the first choice, and Grantham was the fallback position. Obviously, there were conversations with Bud Foster and John Chavis, but I don’t believe they ever progressed to the point of an offer being made. If either of them really wanted to leave their current position, then maybe the talks would have been escalated, but I don’t think it ever got past a “feeling-out” situation.

I’ve made my thoughts on the Kirby Smart situation pretty clear…bottom line, I never expected him to leave Alabama, but I also never expected him to use his alma mater as leverage. Guess “Once a Dawg, Always a Dawg” can be applied selectively. He’s dead to me.

My thoughts on the Grantham hire:

- With a name like that, you just know he’s gonna be successful. :-)

- If you haven't had the chance to check out Coach Grantham's teleconference quotes, do yourself a favor here.

My favorite quote? “I think what you want as a defense is, after the game is over, the team you just played, they're happy they don't have to play you anymore.”

Awesome. That is the mentality that I believe we have been missing over the last few years…our defense was not instilling fear into anybody. We were never dictating to the opposing offense, we were always instead reacting to what they were dictating to us.

Sounds to me like Coach Grantham is looking to install a swarming, aggressive, eleven hats to the ball, Junkyard Dawg mentality. We’ll probably give up some big plays, especially early on, but in the long run I think this will be the style of defense Dawg fans have been hoping to see for YEARS.

- Like a lot of people, I was initially concerned about the switch to a 3-4 because we have run a 4-3 for so long that I was afraid there would be a rebuilding phase as we switch over. But the more I look at the roster, the better I feel about it.

One of my biggest concerns from a personnel perspective has been how thin we were getting at defensive tackle, with the top three in our rotation all graduating this year. Well, in a 3-4 you only need one DT. So between Tyson, Wood, Jones, Geathers, and Lott returning, Garrison Smith already committed, and hopefully at least one more (either Thornton or Whitaker, preferably), I think we should be able to put together a pretty good 2-3 man rotation.

There has been some concern that we don’t have the prototypical space-eater nose tackle, and that concern probably has some merit. But Coach Grantham’s current nose tackle, Jay Ratliffe, is in the 290-300 pound range and he’s playing in the Pro Bowl this year. The important thing is that the NT be able to occupy two blockers, and you can do that with technique and quickness off the ball if you don’t have the size.

T.J. Stripling was born to play outside linebacker in a 3-4. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Justin Houston and/or Cornelius Washington stand up and convert to OLB, either.

In other words, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at how well are personnel translates to the type of defense that Coach Grantham is probably going to run.

- I love that we got a coach with NFL experience…I think that will be a great recruiting tool. I will love it even more if he brings former Dawg and current Saints assistant Travis Jones into the fold as well.

If that means we lose Rodney Garner, so be it. I have tons of respect for Coach Garner, and I think he may be underrated as a position coach, but whatever we lose from a recruiting perspective in Coach Garner I think can be made up. John Lilly is also one of the most respected recruiters in the South, and he is already on the staff. Coach Bobo and Coach Searles are establishing their own reputations as solid recruiters. And I think that Coach Grantham has the potential to be a strong recruiter as well, with the combination of his attitude and NFL pedigree.

If you can’t tell, I am excited about the hire. I think Coach Richt and Damon Evans deserve a lot of credit, both for how the process was handled and for the result.

So…honeymoon’s over, Coach G. Time to get to work.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Couple of quick UT/Kiffin thoughts

- Initial reports are that Kiffin's contract at USC is $20M for five years. That is so absurd that I can't even wrap my mind around it.

Off the top of my head, the other coaches whose salary is in the $4M range are: Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Mack Brown. That's seven national titles, if you are counting. ***EDIT (thanks to the ever-present Anonymous: That's FIVE national titles. I originally had Carroll and Les Miles included for comparisons sake as well. The point is still the same: USC has lost their mind).***

Kiffykins has less than two years head coaching experience: a disaster in Oakland and seven wins at Tennessee last year. He has a career coaching record that is less than .500.


- If I'm Tennessee, I call Phil Fulmer and offer to make him my interim coach for 2010. Rather than try and sift through the leftovers this late in the hiring season, I see if Fulmer will sign a deal that guarantees that it is a one year arrangement. He could provide stability, probably salvage a good bit of the recruiting class, and then UT could spend the next year conducting a coaching search at their own pace.

Wait, what am I doing? Ron Prince for UT!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My reaction to the Kiffin news


It's the time...of the season...

It's that time of the year again...the time when this space becomes less football oriented and centered more around some of my other passions, mostly TV related. The content won't be completely sports-free, it just won't be so sports-centric. Hopefully, those of you who have been kind enough to visit here to view my Dawg related ramblings will stick around and join in the other conversations...if not, I'll see you in August (hopefully)!

So consider this something of a transition post...first, some quick football thoughts and then some pre-Idol and LOST stuff...

First a couple of points on the defensive coordinator search:

- Kirby Smart is dead to me. Not because he chose to stay at Alabama...my thoughts on why that is a perfectly rational decision are in this post. My problem is with him using his alma mater to get more money, as well as possibly going so far as to sign an offer sheet and then back out (that part is still alleged). Pull that crap on Texas or Virginia if you wish...but pulling it on your alma mater is pretty low.

- As worked up as we all are right now about how this search is going, six months from now it's not going to matter. All that will matter at that point is that we have the right coach in place to restore some Junkyard to the Dawgs, not whether the blogosphere was happy about the announcement.

Bottom line is that Richt needed to make a change on the defense, and he has. To pretend that we can grade who the hire is before he's even had a chance to field a team is totally asinine, and the type of stuff that gives message boards a bad name.

Oh, and Brian Van Gorder is not coming here for less than a million a year. I love the guy, but that is not the direction I want to see the program take.

OK, on to the non-sports stuff...

- Idol is back tonight! Much like last season, don't expect too much in the form of recaps for the audition rounds. I hate the mentally ill and delusional portion of the show, and only watch the audition episodes for the 15 minutes of quality singers who we might actually see again among the two hours of mostly crap. Once we get to actual performance shows, I will be doing the regular recaps like I did last season.

- The big Idol news today is that Simon Cowell is going to call it quits after this season. He will certainly be missed, but I'm not one of the Idol fans who thinks that this will be the death of the show.

Actually, I think this may be a good opportunity for the show to fix some of the things that are broken on the show. In particular, the show has become at least as much about the judges as the performers, and that is not what the show is supposed to be. If they are going to constantly scream "THIS IS A SINGING COMPETITION", then they need to go back to being about the actual performers. Last year's disasters are well documented, but nothing was worse than when they actually cut songs in the later rounds because they couldn't get the judges to shut up.


- Sorry, just want to say it again....


- So I am in the middle of rewatching as much of the previous seasons as I can before February 2. I finished the season 2 finale last night, so I still have three more seasons to go. Probably not gonna make it.

But I am being reminded of some stuff from the first couple of seasons that I hope we get answers to. A couple of the main ones are:
  • Why these people? The show went to great lengths to point out the connections between the passengers of Flight 815. Was that just some kind of statement on how we are ALL connected? I hope not...I'm hoping we get some sort of insight into how all these folks fit into whatever the big picture is. I'm thinking Jacob probably has something to do with it...
  • What is up with Walt? Him being a "special boy" was drilled into our heads over and over again for two whole seasons...we better get some closure on that (and Aaron, too, while they're at it)
  • What was the deal with the Hurley bird? You know, the big bird that was flying through the jungle, screaming Hurley's name? See, look...

OK, we probably won't get an answer to that one...

- Today was the LOST panel of the Television Critics tour...some interesting stuff, of course. The best recap is probably Sepinwall's, located HERE.

I still stand by my belief that The Incident at the end of season 5 has led to some sort of time loop/reboot. Some evidence:
  • Carlton Cuse making statements about viewers of season one being in good shape if they want to jump back in, and also him not wanting to answer ANY questions or show ANY clips about the S6 premiere. I think this is because the Season 6 premier looks so much like the Pilot that it would be obvious what they are doing.
  • Damon Lindelof's answers to questions about character development. He wants to show the audience the characters the way they are in Season 6 and also remind us how they were in Season 1.
  • The multitude of returning characters.
  • Emilie de Ravin's (Claire) response to her favorite memories today on the panel. She talked specifically about doing scenes with the "original cast" and how they were doing a lot of that again in season 6.
I could be completely wrong, or partially wrong, or whatever...that's part of the fun of the show, after all.

Guess we'll know in three weeks!

(Yeah...probably not).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

I just want to take this time to publicly thank my parents.

See, I grew up in Georgia, but neither of my parents went to school at UGA or Georgia Tech. So the decision as to which of the major state schools that we would support was not an automatic one.

But as far back as I can remember, our house was always predominantly a Bulldog house. I was six years old in 1980, and I can still vividly remember watching games with my dad and his friends during that championship season, and Herschel Walker was my first sports hero. My dad doesn't hate Tech like I do, but he doesn't really pull for them either (especially now that my brother and I have grown into such avid gnat-haters).

I myself did not go to UGA, for reasons too long and stupid to go into here. But I have always been a Bulldog.

Because I was raised one.

On days like today, I feel especially blessed.

Hoop Dawgs 73, Hoop Gnats 66
Hawkeyes 24, The Perfect Option 14