My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Postcard from Memphis: Brrrrrrrr

MEMPHIS - Ah, the bowl season, the perfect chance for a festive, warm getaway.

As long as you’re close to the heater.

It was a balmy 26 degrees on Monday morning when the Georgia Bulldogs took the field for their first Liberty Bowl practice. If only they had waited until noon, when it vaulted all the way up to 32.

More than a few staff members brought hot coffee with them out to the field. Mike Bobo had straight black coffee. No cream, no sugar, no nothing for the hardy offensive coordinator.

“It keeps my figure,” Bobo said.

Memphis native Marlon Brown pointed out that the weather back in Athens had been rather frigid for the first portion of bowl practice. That didn’t save Brown from some ribbing.

“The Florida guys are giving me grief because they went home and it was like 70 degrees. And they get mad at me because it’s cold here,like it's my fault,” Brown said.

The one consolation the Bulldogs were taking was the weather was supposed to improve by Friday – if 60 degrees and rain, the current gameday forecast, can be considered an improvement.

“I’ll take 60 degrees and rain rather than 20 degrees and 15 mph winds,” head coach Mark Richt said.

The weather around the East has been bad in general the past few days, causing almost everyone – other than Brown, who lives five minutes away – to get to Memphis later than planned. In fact, two players still hadn’t arrived by Monday’s practice.

Sophomore tight end Arthur Lynch, flying out of New England, couldn’t get out on Sunday, and with the blizzard hitting the northeast, was still having trouble as of Monday.

Freshman cornerback Jordan Love had his flight out of Washington, D.C., canceled on Sunday, and he wasn’t able to get another flight into Memphis until the next morning.

(I was on Love's canceled flight, so I guess I was luckier than him in getting re-routed to Memphis. But if Love's luggage arrives with him, he was better off than me. Even as I type this I’m still wearing the same clothes I wore all of Sunday. Which is just awesome.)

Then there were the three players who missed the game because of academic issues.

Head coach Mark Richt expounded a bit on the absence of Caleb King, who violated a school policy by missing five academic meetings. Richt made clear he had no qualms with the policy, which has been in effect for most of his 10-year tenure at Georgia.

“We have a plan for them, and if they follow it they’ll be fine. If they don’t, then they’ll have to suffer the consequences for it,” Richt said. “It’s not the policy’s fault, it’s Caleb’s fault for not following through on his responsibility.”

A few other tidbits as Georgia began its week in Memphis:

- The team picked quite a place to hold its practices: The Memphis University School isn’t a university, but the prep school probably has nicer facilities than most non-Division I schools. And maybe some of those too.

The buildings have pillars, the field has a pretty good press box, and there's a sport and fitness center. In general the campus looks like the kind of place where the parents have bumper stickers that say “My other car is a 100-foot yacht.”

“This is a nice place,” Richt said, in the kind of understatement that would make him sound almost British. “You couldn’t ask for a better facility.”

One of the reasons the Bulldogs picked it was because it has a turf field, just like the Liberty Bowl. Richt said he’d heard that other teams had used this field after bad weather, so they figured they might as well make it their home base.

- Brown and Austin Long, a freshman offensive lineman who is also from the Memphis area, each recommended one barbecue joint:

“They said that we had to eat Rendezvous barbecue, so that’s what we’re doing for lunch today. So we’re ready,” Richt said.

- Bobo was sporting a goatee, which he was awaiting word on whether he’d be able to keep for the game.

“It was something we were doing before we left. We’ve gotta decide if we’ve gotta shave before the game. Coach Richt hasn’t given us the verdict yet,” Bobo said. “The only time I had any growth this year was South Carolina. We lost, so out of superstition I’ll probably shave.”

I’d offer to let him use my razor, but that was in my luggage.


Anonymous said...

Well, Mike, if you like the goatee, you might as well keep it. Georgia lost plenty of games where you were clean-shaven, too.

Anonymous said...

Another really good reason to win more football games: Bowl games in Florida/Domes.

Anonymous said...

Seth.... You gotta take a carry on, dude. I made the mistake once and after two 18 hour days in the same clothes and having to get a lady speed stick deodorant and disposable toothbrush from the glorious Comfort Inn Hartsfield-Jackson, I always take a carry on.

Anonymous said...

Seth, do you know the last time we were underdogs in a bowl game, it feels like it has been a while.

TomReagan said...

Anon #4 -- I'm seeing that we're 6.5 point favorites, not underdogs.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to imply that we were underdogs this year. I was just curious as to the last time we were.

Anonymous said...

And to think you paid the airline a bag fee to lose it.

BCSAV said...

2006 Chick-fil-a Bowl. Va Tech was a 3 point favorite.