Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Terminal Technique

So is this sort of how it went in the TV production truck during the Georgia-Oklahoma game?

"Hey, something happened."

"Okay, let's show Baker Mayfield."

TigerBlog's question is why? An Oklahoma player would score? Show Mayfield as he ran down the sideline. A Georgia player would score? Show Mayfield as he dropped to the turf.

It's way too simplistic. And predictable.

Short of the over-infatuation with pictures of Mayfield, there really wasn't much that anyone could complain about from that game. In fact, in a world where hyperbole is rampant, it's factual to say that the national semifinal game between the Bulldogs and the Sooners was definitely one of the very best college football games TigerBlog has seen. Ever.

TB was rooting for Georgia. He's always liked Georgia, ever since the Bulldogs had Herschel Walker and then later, when MotherBlog lived in the state. 

The game - Georgia would win 54-48 in two overtimes - had everything.

There was the first half, when Oklahoma looked unstoppable. Then there was the kicker with horn-rimmed glasses (someone tweeted that he thought the kicker used to pitch for the Cleveland Indians; if you saw "Major League," then you laughed - who nailed a 55-yard field goal just as the first half ended, making it 31-17 Sooner and basically putting the entire game on the first drive of the third quarter.

That's when Georgia finally got a stop on D, and in a blink, the Bulldogs were up 38-31. Then it was 45-38 Sooners. Then it was a late drive to tie at 45-45 for Georgia. Then it was the first OT, when both kicked field goals after very conservative play-calling. Then it was a blocked field goal, and then it was the game-winning run out of the Wildcat formation from Georgia's Sony Michel.

It was an incredible game. As TigerBlog thinks back to the greatest college football games he's seen (non-Ivy versions, of course), there was Miami 31, Nebraska 30 in the Orange Bowl in 1984, when Nebraska was on the verge of being crowned the greatest team ever. There was the game where Doug Flutie threw a ball 65 yards in the air for a touchdown on the final play to beat Miami 47-45 in 1984.

There was USC's 34-31 win over Notre Dame in 2005 when the Trojans had a long winning streak going and then the win by Texas over USC in the BCS championship game the following January. If you like a bit of obscurity, there is the 1980 Holiday Bowl - BYU 46, SMU 45.

For all of those games, TigerBlog would say the game Monday night was better. In fact, he can only think of one that was better than Georgia-Oklahoma, and that's the best college game he's ever seen: Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Next up for Georgia in the final will be Alabama, the IBM of college football, which took apart Clemson in a game that maybe nobody watched past halftime.

TigerBlog saw several people tweet that the Georgia-Oklahoma game put an end to the question of what will be the best game of 2018, even though the year was only one day old at the time.

Hey, maybe it'll prove to be true. It certainly will take a lot to top it.

If the best game of 2018 can be played on Jan. 1, then the best social media post of 2017 could have come up on Dec. 31.

TigerBlog will put this up there with anything he's ever seen on social media before. This is great:
Terminal Technique. Told you it was great.

That's wrestling associate head coach Sean Gray, who is deadly serious as he gives a wrestling clinic near the gate in O'Hare Airport as the Princeton wrestling team prepared to return from the Midlands event at Northwestern. The video probably doesn't even do it justice, considering all the people whose reactions weren't captured in the background.

Princeton, by the way, had four medalists and a team-best eighth-place finish at the prestigious event. Every year, Princeton wrestling does things that long-time observers of the program never would have imagined would be possible. Like, you know, sending seven wrestlers to the NCAA championships a year ago.

Maybe the key to the success of the wrestling program is seen in that short video.

Princeton's staff, with head coach Chris Ayres, Gray, fellow associate head coach Joe Dubuque and assistant coach Nate Jackson are very serious about what they're doing with the team. If you don't believe TigerBlog, come down to E level any afternoon and see for yourself.

At the same time, they're not taking themselves too seriously. When not competing, they are always laughing, always upbeat, always likeable. In other words, they're exactly how they appear to be in the video.

And that's why they've been so successful in turning around Princeton wrestling.

On the mat, and in the terminal. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that was the same move used to deplane the recalcitrant United passenger...who later scored a major reversal.