I began writing this post the very day that Gailey was released as the head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and it didn't take long for my fingers to come to a screeching halt. The tap, tap, tapping on my keyboard grew silent as I realized that I honestly didn't have much to say. Sure there were topics to discuss, how we got to this point, where we go from here, was it warranted, did we act too soon, did we not act soon enough? Pretty much the same line of thinking you would have received from most other news stories reporting the firing of our six year head man. But as I typed I thought that my commentary should draw on more than the facts and figures of a traditional news report. Evoke more than a discussion on the records, the numbers, the players and the calls. I felt my adieu to Gailey as a writer should exhibit more the thoughts and feelings of a fan who has experienced the highs and lows of the last six years. The elation of victory as Calvin Johnson caught the game winning touchdown against Clemson and the pure devastation of defeat as Reggie Ball threw it away on 4th down versus UGA. We all as fans have been there, so saying good bye as a fan requires more introspective than that of a local paycheck reporter.
It's no surprise that Gailey's presence as the leader of this program was polarizing. Seldom have I seen a group of people love one thing so much (Tech football) and so adamantly disagree on it's chairman and direction. Many felt Gailey was the right man for the job, "extend his contract" they would say. The argument can be made that Gailey ran a clean ship and ran it with integrity. He kept the ship from sinking after the discovery of NCAA violations and the scholarship restrictions that followed. He recruited some high talent players to become Yellow Jackets, many went on to NFL careers. Gailey also never had a losing season and took the Ramblin' Wreck to a bowl game every year he was the coach. It turned out to be the other points that were his undoing. No wins against UGA, too many empty seats, a constant attitude of "maybe next year." Always middle of the road, always one step away. Gailey would field teams that would play lights out when least expected and then not play at all when they should have easily stomped the competition.
Of all the things that went wrong during the Gailey administration his NFL like attitude towards his players opened up many missed opportunities. Nineteen year old kids are not professional players, they need constant coaching and motivation and in that regard I feel that the teams inconsistent play could most times be directly linked to this hands off approach. My feeling is that in years of 7-5, 4 of those 5 were usually the result of that which I described above and likely the nail that sealed his doom. Obviously if those 7-5 records were instead 9 and 10 win seasons then we are not having this discussion. Injuries can be overcome, schedules fluctuate in difficulty, talent can be recruited, and luck is a fickle lady. She giveth and she taketh away. But attitude, well attitude is in your control and attitude comes from the top down.
So why now, after these last few months do I decide to revisit that which is in the past. We've moved on, new staff, new era and most of what I could say has already been said. Move forward, not back, but not at the expense of forgetting. Saying goodbye, moving on, change. It can be hard, but there are times in which it's a blessing. I originally stopped typing months ago because I wasn't sure how I felt, what I thought or what to say. I decided that time was needed to reflect, that time has come and gone and even still I'm at a loss. Then I'm reminded of the childhood fairy tale of the little blonde girl that pulled the home invasion on the family of woodland bears. A story that is not what it seems. Appearing to proclaim the consequence of those things that best fit the situation, instead a tale of tepid options, things that seem "just right" but aren't. The bed and chair were "just right" but that also meant there was no room for growth, while lukewarm porridge inspires nobody. Those in power at the time felt that the choice of Gailey to lead the program was "just right" not knowing it would lead to a watered down fan base that became passionless and matter-of-fact about their plight. This is perhaps the most telling piece of evidence regarding the last few years. The simple fact that after six seasons so many fans were left feeling unenthusiastic, uninterested, and unmotivated.
As Tech fans are injected with hope, eagerly looking towards a new day, Coach Gailey has moved on. Recently hired as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs and back in the NFL where I feel his heart lies. I have no doubt that Gailey worked hard for Georgia Tech, and I'm sure many of these players and coaches became family. We wish him well as we say goodbye, believing he has found a position that is "just right" for him.
You may have noticed that the main page of MOTG has been missing it's blue and gold background recently. I finally was able to track down the source of the problem, one little space in the code caused the whole issue.
Cloverfield This review of Cloverfield is safe to read, no spoilers here. "Three chords and the truth." All Along The Watchtower. U2 made it famous, Bono's added live lyrics to the Dylan classic. That simple formula holds true today and all too often it's pushed a side, ignored in favor of "bigger, better, faster, more." More notes, more instruments and more volume. All of which do not necessary make for a better song. The same can be said for film. Overly complex plot lines, bigger named stars and expensive sets are favored over the most important aspect, storytelling. Simple is better and Cloverfield is a three chord symphony.
A highly enjoyable thrill ride that should receive a standing ovation for not making the critical mistake of attempting to be more than it is. So often films today push to be all things to all people, Cloverfield didn't make this miscalculation. It's a monster movie and makes no apologies. Maybe I'm jaded, but I fully expected that the script would get bogged down in some X-Files like conspiracy involving Japanese energy corporations and environmental sanctification. Thankfully all that which was leaked during the viral marketing campaign was ignored if favor of a few well played notes, simple three chord melody. No mention of Tagruato and Slusho only appears on a character's t-shirt. Don't expect answers, there are none, and in my opinion that's a good thing. The lack of background regarding the history, creation or awakening of the Cloverfield monster is much like the contents of the briefcase from Pulp Fiction, useless information.
From the beginning the film banks on an "is this real?" approach. Never deviating. Presented much like cataloged Department of Defense footage. Declassified amateur video of case designate "Cloverfield," camera retrieved at incident site U.S. 447 area formerly known as "Central Park." Not documentary style film making, but discovered home video and it works extremely well. Invoking the ghosts of the Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield wipes away the traditional voyeuristic quality of the third party approach and places you inside the film. It's hard to believe that the filmmakers could deliver a better version of MonsterVision.
Denzel Washington said recently (paraphrasing of course) that "movies are not real life, a 30 piece orchestra doesn't play when I walk down the street." He's correct, and using that philosophy helped Cloverfield add to it's authentic feel. There is no soundtrack, no backing score. The only music in the film outside of the credits take place in real life, caught on video. Dancing at the going away party is a prime example. It's one of the details that you wouldn't notice unless the opposite were true.
The sound is superb, the visual effects are top notch and the story is simple and effective. It's cast of unknowns do their part but understand that this is not an actors movie. You'll also get prime front row seating views of the monster itself. Cloverfield will get it's share of criticism mostly from those who hate these type of movies. You'll hear things like "lack of character development" or "suspension of disbelief," just ignore it. Cloverfield is exactly what it's supposed to be, one of the best monster films made. A simple three chord symphony, played with precision and amplified ten fold through a Marshall stack. It's a must see at the theater, a rental DVD will not do it justice.
Yep, I figured it out. It took hours of heavy meditation, weeks of fasting and constant study but I've done it...The CLOVERFIELD monster is...(wait for it)...GAMERA! That's right folks, buddy to Godzilla and favorite among Maryland fans everywhere. So let's all join hands and sing along to the Gamera theme song in honor of my discovery.
Also, it wouldn't be complete without a Mystery Science Theater 3000 rendition of this catchy little tune.
OK, maybe not. But it was a reasonable guess that the makers of Cloverfield would try to sneak one in on us and have our favorite amphibian (oops, I mean reptile) launch an all out attack on Manhattan. Why invent a new monster when lovable old Gamera has been wreaking havoc for generations.
I have to admit, I'm pretty stoked about Cloverfield. Probably because I'm just a kid inside and nothing says childhood like an old fashioned monster movie. A special effects extravaganza featuring unearthly creatures feasting on our fine town. Just seems to make me young again.
So, lets take a moment to examine the phenomenon that is Cloverfield. J.J. Abrams, producer of televisions LOST and writer of Armageddon, opens his mysterious monster opus in theaters Friday. What do we know??? View the tailer below and then we shall discuss. (higher resolution version of trailer LINKED HERE)
• Well Cloverfield is a monster movie. Whatever happened to the Statue Of Liberty in the trailer is not the work of terrorists, a gas leak or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It's the doing of an tried and true creature from beyond. So I have to say that my dear wife, who made the comment shortly after seeing the trailer that "it better not be some stupid lizard," is not likely to get her wish.
• It can't live up to the hype. Actually, I disagree with this notion. I see that Cloverfield has received less press and marketing than the Simpson's Movie. If there was a large inflatable CF monster gracing the roof of the local Burger King, CF Happy Meal Toys and and constant barrage of advertising then I'd say CF has already busted the hype bubble. But the makers played it smart. The trailer does what most trailers today fail to do, it's gets you interested without telling you the entire story of the film. This is one of my largest pet peeves and thankfully CF didn't follow this path. What the makers of CF did do is release a strategic internet viral marketing campaign which has worked well for word of mouth without overexposing the general population.
• So what have we learned? Honestly the campaign at times has been nearly too vague. Blurring the line between reality and fiction. Begging the question of how much of this viral campaign is true advertising and how much is largely unrelated. Perhaps this is a good thing. Leaked photos, Japanese energy companies, global video news reports of unexplained attacks on drilling stations, even frozen drinks made from an undisclosed deep sea ingredient. It's even been said that every piece of the Cloverfield puzzle that has made it's way out to the internet blogs in some way contains clues to lead you further down the rabbit hole.
Here is a rundown of some of the mysterious info out there...do with it what you will.
TAGRUATO a collective of top scientists, engineers, and businessmen specializing in groundbreaking deep-sea drilling technology, energy resources, medical research, advanced technology production, and consumable product. WEBSITE: http://tagruato.jp
The website is convincing and when you add medical research, deep-sea drilling, energy and advanced technology it can only mean bad things.
TIDOWAVE if Tagruato was Exxon, then Tidowave would be Greenpeace. WEBSITE: http://tidowave.com
Basically a blog running down the evils of Tagruato
SLUSHO owned by parent company Tagruato, Slusho is a tasty blue drink made from an undisclosed ingredient that can only be found deep in the ocean. WEBSITE: http://www.slusho.jp
The interesting thing about Slusho is it keeps popping up in odd places. It's even shown up in several episodes of Heroes, but you have to be looking for it. How it's truly related to Cloverfield is anyones guess. Take a moment to read the history section of the site. Here is their latest commercial and a screen shot from Heroes showing Kristen Bell sipping some Slusho.
Finally, there is video from around the world of the destruction of the Chaui Station. A drilling station in the mid Atlantic owned by none other than Tagruato. The company released this statement in response to the drilling station basically disappearing into the ocean.
“There has been an altercation at the Chaui Station. Although details are limited at present time, be assured that Tagruato is taking every measure necessary to ensure the safety and well being of all staff and crew. Specialty teams have been deployed, and are working aggressively to restore harmony at the site. The cause of the problem is currently being investigated, although it is suspected that an eco-terror cell is responsible for the disturbance. top investigators We have on our side . Everything will be resolved shortly, and all problems will be fixed. If you have any questions, please contact us at +81-3-5403-6318 for further instructions.” You can also view news reports of the incident (attack) below.
There you have it...what we know. Or at least what I know. Good luck filling in the blanks. I'm catching an advanced screening of Cloverfield tonight, so I'll have you an early review tomorrow. Until then, I'm going to stick to my original theory that the monster is Gamera....or maybe a mutated Verne from Over The Hedge.
I keep hearing a lot of Chicken Little talk out there, we've lost a few recruits and have a few players interested in transferring so it seems the sky is going to come crashing down on our heads. Raining fire and brimstone from the heavens above onto the campus of Georgia Tech. Don't panic, this is expected and can even be good in some respects. Let me explain.
Thus far we know of only one actual transfer, Tight End Colin Peek is on his way to Bama. He was granted a release from Paul Johnson and we wish him well. It makes sense, why would he stay? Johnson's offense doesn't use the Tight End in the traditional way, if at all. The positive? Wouldn't this free up a scholarship for a good walk on or maybe a incoming freshmen who fits Johnson's system better? Every player we can get that fits the system equals depth.
There were many rumblings that D.J. Donley would be making the leap to South Carolina due to his belief that CPJ's offense doesn't use big NFL type wide receivers. We can argue that idea, but lets be honest and understand that we really don't know how Johnson will use our bigger NFL type wide outs until spring practice comes around. And it seems that D.J. has decided to take a wait and see stance as well. He has been granted a release but we'll know the true status on Donley after spring. For now, D.J. is a Jacket and don't count out the possibility of him switching sides and playing some defense.
A few players in the last few weeks have dipped their toes into the uncertain waters of the NFL. Both Michael Johnson and Andrew Gardner have decided to come back for their senior seasons. The NFL will be waiting and lets hope that a successful senior campaign can up their stock.
Yes, we have lost a few recruits since the coaching change. QB Sean Renfree, LB T.J. Pridemore, and WR Chris Jackson. But we've also gained a few including QB Jaybo Shaw and recent addition in the big 6'7" 322lb Defensive Tackle T.J. Barnes.
This is to all be expected after a such a large change in personnel and philosophy, it doesn't mean the end is near. Coach Johnson and his staff have hit the recruiting trail hard and many prospects have come to visit Tech's campus. In the end, things will shake out and we will get the highest quality players that we can under the current circumstances and build from there.
Juno It all began with a chair. A chair and the the old adage that you don't talk about politics or religion. Sadly in our highly administered politically correct society that list has grown to include many other topics. Juno takes that idea and blatantly ignores it, and a standing round for doing so. The latest from director Jason Reitman, who most recently brought us the satirical comedy Thank You For Smoking. Reitman makes no apologies for how the film handles it's delicate subject matter, at times you may think they are candy coating such serious issues as teen pregnancy, abortion and adoption. Until you understand that Juno stays true to form in describing it's highly volatile and life changing concepts. It's a comedy and to attempt to be anything more would simply come across as an After School Special. It could be said that comedy would the the only way to handle such topics.
New comer Ellen Page plays Juno MacGuff, the cynically sarcastic 16 year old that finds herself with child and without direction. Page is great in the roll and shines in several scenes but I have to admit there were times I was curious if she was just playing herself with well written dialouge. Seeing that I have no other performances to compare it too, only time will tell. The remaining quirky ensemble cast supports the story without competing for attention. Contributers include Jason Bateman and Jennifer Gardner as the potential adoptive yuppie parents. Michael Cera of recent Superbad fame who is always good as the passive nerd / boyfriend / sperm donor, all in a very lovable way. And finally the always wonderful Allison Janney as Juno's step-mom. Who is thankfully missing the filter between her mouth and her brain.
Juno is an interesting combo between Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine, framed by a 3 cord tone deaf soundtrack, not to say that's a bad thing. Surprisingly unsentimental, Juno is fun, witty and intelligent without being patronizing and is well worth a trip to the theater. It didn't take home any Golden Globe's last night, despite being nominated for several, but I do expect a few Oscar nods as the Academy loves independent films that have orange Tic-Tacs and blue Slushies as cast members. Wizard.
I've been watching some of the Presidential Debates lately and I starting thinking they would be much more fun if they sounded something like this. Can't you just see a heated debate between Mitt, Ron and Rudy over Health Care using only this one important and highly expressive word?
I know some of you out there already have your favorites, some of you are still giving it the thought it deserves and will make that decision later. I happen to like a lot of what Ron Paul has to say....plus everything is better with Legos.
I Am Legend & National Treasure - Book of Secrets Yeah I know, you come here looking for Georgia Tech news and commentary and I give you goofy videos and movie reviews, as if anyone cares what my opinion is regarding Will Smith's latest. Oh well, the season is over so I'll try and make a better attempt to bring you Tech info as it becomes available...until then, I bring you Will Smith's latest.
I Am Legend is a film that I have been waiting for, the compositing effects looked sweet from the trailer and there is something oddly intriguing about painting the picture of a post-apocalyptic world. Legend is a combination of Stephen King's The Stand and 28 Days Later. Maybe with a little Castaway thrown in. Sure it's got it's thrills, and there were times where I found myself leaning in my chair to attempt to see around dark corners but over all the film is a study in loneliness not fright. The idea that humans need humans. That routine is not confining to the human sprint under extreme circumstances but instead adds familiarity and a sense of security in an unsafe world.
Will Smith is the last person alive in New York City after a virus wipes out most of the worlds population, he does a superb acting job especially considering he's the only person on screen for 80% of the film. Over all I really enjoyed Legend, it's not nearly as "scary" as some have said and that's ok with me. A well written story stands on it's own without resorting to Hollywood's traditional horror formula. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a horror film.
National Treasure - Book of Secrets is part 2 in the Nicolas Cage American History adventure series and I expect to see a part three soon. Over all BOS is exactly what it should be, a good time. If you make a point not to expect much more then you'll enjoy the film. In many ways this series reminds me of Pirates Of The Caribbean...lots of adventure, lots of laughs, little believability and in the end, that's ok. It was interesting to see so many Oscar winners and past nominees confined in what amounts to a comic strip movie. It was also nice to see them having fun and not taking their star status too seriously. That list of names include, Harvey Keitel, Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren and Ed Harris. National Treasure takes huge liberties with it's interpretation of history, but if it gets 3 kids interested enough in history to pick up a book then it's well worth it.
Here are the results of the recent poll regarding the hiring of Paul Johnson as our new head coach, most seem to like the idea with a few 'wait and sees.' I've placed the Whistle Poll back up and would like to get some more response from it before I pass the info along to the powers that be. In case you are new to MOTG, awhile back I wrote about the history of The Whistle and threw out some ideas of how to get it's high pitched scream more involved in the game on Saturdays. You can read that article here. We'll move on to another topic as soon as I think of something else worth to asking.
OK, so I'm a day or two late...but a belated wish is going to have to do. I know it's not Chinese New Year yet, but I do know that it is the Year Of The Rat, which I guess is fitting since we have a presidential election this year. Anyway, it's time to make and break those resolutions...
Here you go, looks like we kept 3 from Gaileys staff, added 3 from Navy and the 3 from the outside.
Paul Johnson (Head Coach)
Brian Bohannon (Quarterbacks/B-Backs Coach) from Navy
Brian Jean-Mary (Linebackers Coach) from Tech
Charles Kelly (Cornerbacks Coach) from Tech
Jeff Monken (Slot Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator) from Navy
Buzz Preston (Wide Receivers Coach) New Mexico
Mike Sewak (Co-Offensive Line Coach) formally of Ga Southern
Giff Smith (Defensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator) from Tech
Todd Spencer (Co-Offensive Line Coach) from Navy
Dave Wommack (Defensive Coordinator) from Southern Miss
I guess you can see that Kelly moves from Special Teams to Defense now handling the cornerbacks. Kelly did a great job at Tech turning around the Special Teams, but Monken also helped Navy become one of the best Special Teams units in the country where the Midshipmen ranked 6th nationally in kick returns and 13th in punt returns.
Johnson had this to say regarding the staff:
"I am excited about the coaching staff that we have assembled," Johnson said. "They are all tireless workers who will hit the ground running, with recruiting being our main focus at this time."
There you go, it's a good staff with a ton of experience. Only time will tell.