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Musings from a fan of football

I was holed up in a hotel room in Kingsland, Ga., Friday night while the wind and rain did their thing. Unlike most Georgia-Florida revelers, I was not out on the town twisting in that wind. I was clinging to a laptop listening to the Thomson-Harlem game on the worldwide web. Dennis and Ralph were crystal clear until the middle of the third quarter and out they went. The scary part was Harlem was threatening Thomson's 13-0 lead at the time. I was relieved to get a call with the 25-0 final.

This Bulldog victory was Defensive Coordinator John Barnett's 200th as an assistant coach. Congratulations to Coach Barnett. Most assistant coaches get very little recognition, especially in the high school ranks.

It is quite a feat in and of itself for Coach Barnett to hang in long enough to accomplish this milestone. Coach Barnett sat out of coaching for six seasons from 1993-1998 until Coach Welsh returned. He never seriously pursued a head coaching job elsewhere and was not considered for the Thomson position in 1993 at a time when he was most interested in the Bulldog's top job. I hope everyone realizes how important Coach Barnett bringing stability to the coaching staff has been.

The magnificence of cell phones allowed me to hear about the officiating of one Vic Johnson while I was over 200 miles away. Maybe Vic was being partial since he is a Harlem guy, but in reality he just loves to throw his flag. My brother-in-law was once the head coach at Bulloch Academy, and I personally witnessed Vic call five pass interference penalties in one of their state championship games. He pitched in a couple of long distance holding calls to boot. Somebody must have told him that football fans pay at the gate to see pharmacists release their frustration by slinging yellow rags.

This week's Cross Creek game is huge. A Thomson victory will lock up a playoff spot for sure. Hopefully that, and a win over Washington County next week, will give the Bulldogs home field advantage. This region's two traveling representatives in the state playoffs will have to cross the state to play either in LaGrange or Columbus in round one. That's a trip everyone would prefer to avoid.

Danny Verdun-Wheeler got a significant amount of playing time in the second half of the Florida game. In fact, on the first play that he scrimmaged, he made the tackle. It was interesting to me that he was on the field during crunch time when the Bulldogs were trying to hold the Gators and attempting to catch up and win the game. I did not notice the man that Danny replaced being injured. That would leave you to believe that Danny must be the best player for his position.

While the Georgia Bulldogs will not be in Atlanta on December 2 to defend their SEC championship, it looks like Georgia Tech may well be headed to Jacksonville that day to play for the ACC title. The Yellow Jackets would have to totally collapse not to make it. I wonder if a matchup between Tech and say Boston College, Maryland or Wake Forest would fill Alltell Stadium.

A tip to Tech fans; when you go to that game, stay in Kingsland, Ga. Its 25 minutes from Jacksonville with plenty of nice hotels and restaurants. Leave your money in Georgia.

And finally, did you watch the World Series? If you did you were practically by yourself. I've read that the television ratings were at an all time low.

I think between the late starting times and the heavy saturation of football on TV folks have kind of lost interest in watching baseball. It does move painfully slow too.

Speaking of painfully slow, that's the way my brain has been working of late. Forgive me for being redundant talking about nothing but football lately. Nothing but football? Ain't nothing painful about that!

Web posted on Thursday, November 02, 2006

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