Alabama – 35
Virginia Tech – 10
August 30th, 2013
I attended this game with my lovely bride, my sister and her husband. We drove to Atlanta on Saturday morning, stopped off to check-in at the hotel and hit the Georgia Dome with 70 minutes before kick. MARTA, at this point, was our game day partner. She was cool. She was happy and congenial. Yep. Smooth sailing! <sinister music>
Here’s my vantage point. I don’t know why people love the 50 yardline. Corner seats give you all the angles. This one had a fine view of the field and the rings of Saturn.
Actually, they weren’t bad seats at all. This was just a bit higher than I’m used to. Whatever, I’m a snob. Don’t judge. Sit in a box a few times and you’ll be right here with me. Caviar anyone?
Right. The game. Before you can say Christion Freaking Jones we’re up 7-0.
Then things got sleepy. That’s the word I kept coming up with all night. We just looked sleepy. After my hotdog and watery $7.50 domestic beer even I was sleepy. Within 20 minutes of actual game time, I was concerned that I would have enough energy to watch LSU. It was strange. We’ve all been to games like this, but typically it’s against much lesser opponents. This was a big game by all definitions and we just looked… sleepy.
At halftime my wife asked my opinion about what we’d witnessed. I said something about the O line just needing some time. That we were a few plays away from putting it away. That I think most of our fans are really horrible. If everyone would stick to the “one logo per outfit” rule, we’d be a much better group to be around.
Pick six, long pass and yada yada yada and we’re up by enough to where I started thinking of a late dinner. The game was never in doubt and I was bored. I’ll admit it. We were playing uninspired and I was observing in similar fashion. At the 13 minute mark in the 4th, the wife and I headed for the exits.
We arrived at the GA Dome MARTA station and stood on eastbound platform with a few dozen other folks. About 10 minutes later a huge crowd of people came in right behind us. Apparently lots of people had a similar idea. Then the platform started getting really crowded. Then really really crowded. Then MARTA police closed the platform. We’re now shoulder-to-shoulder. After about 20 minutes, still no train. Did I mention that it was 170 degrees and we’re all pouring sweat?
By the time the train showed, everyone was hot, pissed and close to panicking at the thought that this one train would be the last one for another 20 minutes. When the doors flew open, it was like Black Friday at the Gadsden Wal-Marks. The wife and I made it inside, but not without a few thrown elbows and screaming, “excuse me, EXCUSE ME!”
Of course we had to switch trains, so 3 minutes later we had to do all of this over again. Holy craps. If you needed more evidence why every sizable game should be held in New Orleans, I give you a simple acronym as further food for thought – MARTA. Things down there are cool when things are cool, but when things get real and 70,000 people suddenly rely on you to actually perform your job, that dumb bitch MARTA shuts down. MARTA is the Atlanta Braves of public transport. Yeah.
Durn, this game was a snorefest. We looked apathetic. But we also looked amazingly talented. Even in a disapointing offensive sleepwalk, we put up 35 points. Leaving a game where nobody is telling you how good you are will probably a huge blessing for this team. What if we’d blown out Va Tech and everything clicked in perfect harmony? What could Saban possibly say to this team to get them to take the next 13 critical days seriously? No, I like that we looked rusty. More work to be done. The battle against complacency got easier, not harder because of what happened in Atlanta.
Now we look to Texas A&M. On the other side, you have Johnny Manziel doing things that will make facing him a real pleasure. One more game like the one against Rice and even Alabama haters will want to see him humbled. All this is best case scenario if you ask me.
Additional Miscellaneous Takeaways (AMTs)
If you were at the game you know that Chick-Fil-A really got their marketing money’s worth. Every break in the action, and I mean EVERY CONCEIVABLE PAUSE in the game was filled by a firehose of Chick-Fil-A branding directly to my cerebral cortex. Cow videos, cows being parachuted from the ceiling, cows in costumes on the field, a giant cow blimp flying in the stands… it was amazing. And horrible.
If I didn’t basically worship the entire Chick-Fil-A menu, I would vow to never consume their food again. Unfortunately, I plan to be buried with a box of 8-count nuggets and a chocolate shake so I’m willing to forgive.