BOREDOM IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO EXPLODING CARS

"Boredom is not an appropriate response to exploding cars." --Hugh Laurie

We tried to make a model of a nuclear reactor for a sixth grade science project. It was plaster of paris RBMK-1000, something we were very careful to highlight to our teachers. You assume stupid things like this when you are a kid: that the teacher will know what you are talking about, or care, and that they did not end up teaching middle school science in Tennessee public schools because they hated humanity for killing their vague and stupid dreams, and that this would be their revenge. We assumed it mattered. It did not.

We brought it to class and presented. If videotape existed, it would show a fat child droning on about the fatal flaws of the Chernobyl reactor for ten minutes. This child would go on to have sex with more than one reasonably attractive woman in his life. This is either testament to the durability of the human spirit, or an indictment of the female gender. We choose to believe the former.

Someone pointed to the model and asked "What's that?"

"What's what?" A key part of our public speaking persona at the time (after a nervous breakdown upon first attempt the year prior) was deciding we hated everyone in the room. It still may be. 

"That crack?"

Nothing will deeply upset a perfectionist like pointing out a mistake, but doing it with an audience? Oh, that's master's level trolling there, but he was right. Along the wall of the shed building, there was a huge crack that had formed sometime between toting it from home to school.

Our answer: "That's supposed to be there. It's because of the accident, you know." 

We had publicly declared a mistake to be a feature, and turned random incompetence into design.

 

This is year one of a completely new football team. We said that a lot sitting in the upper deck watching the Gator offense attempt its latest entirely new, fundamental-free attempt at an offense. Against Alabama, it was improv night with open casting; against LSU, there was this retro 2010 thing going on; and finally against Auburn, there was a scrimmage for an off-Broadway production of Gisele's Angels: the Story of the 2001 Patriots. We say off-Broadway because no one could remember their lines, someone shot someone with a fully loaded theater pistol (not blanks, y'all!) in the third act, and the lighting rigging fell down and ended the performance before the end.

This one-week engagement of the Florida offense this week as some kid of empty-set run-and-shoot done without the run and with misfiring bullets for the shoot element. Edit: not misfiring bullets, but instead a whole range of failed ordnance. Chris Rainey dropped one TD, but you can't blame him: Brantley shouldn't have thrown that ball covered in delicious avocado oil. The worm burner quick outs Brantley missed time and time again? The weighted footballs filled with sand will never be a good choice for long 3rd downs no matter what your strength and conditioning coach has to say about developing arm strength. The worst were the balls covered in epoxy that stuck to Brantley's hand. Without those, Georgia probably only gets four sacks instead of six.  

(In the ongoing attempt to explain everything through N64 games, Brantley's passes were the question mark cube from MarioKart 63, but all you got were bananas more bananas, and mostly the ones you accidentally threw in front of your own car to run over. WAAGHHHHH [spins out])

Doing this with fitful attempts at sweeps, no power run game, and no real experience running anything like a pass-first spread offense is a recipe for suicide, but "death wish" and "Charlie Weis" are two terms very compatible with each other. Stuck for answers, Weis continues to believe in his ability to repackage the same horrendous ingredients in different packaging and make it work. That's the really infuriating part about watching the weekly quick-change: it arrogantly assumes that the thing that other team has been doing is easy, so we'll do it, and then yeah victory titties and beer. 

Take going for it on 4th and long. Florida hit a lottery shot to Jordan Reed for the TD in the first half on 4th and 13, but on what? What was the base play of the offense? The answer is that there is no base play, and that in itself is damnable because it means they can't do one play well, and thus have to do 30 of them horribly to make up the difference. This has been Limp Biskit attempting a concept album, and then a collection of Burt Bacharach standards. This is an offense that is currently outranked by Temple's to the tune of 27 spots. This is an exploding car with a cartload of puppies inside that you get to watch burn every Saturday. 

As Hugh Laurie says, boredom is not the appropriate response to it, and may not be the most accurate one, but it's the closest neighborhood to where we are watching Florida right now. The defense has been the same week in and week out, and that may be a backhanded tribute to the superior side of the ball right now. At least they've been consistent in getting blown off the ball on the line in the same way every game, and then assiduous in getting beat in single coverage when it hurt them most. The product has not varied, which says to us that at least we can count on solid if mediocre effort from them on a weekly basis.They lose the same way each time, which is in itself a kind of carefully cultivated anti-skill.

 

There are explanations: depth chart issues, youth, and the inevitable mention this being year one in a transition from one regime that did things very differently to another. All of those are true. What's also true is that good coaches make it work, and get something more than embarrassing production from their pieces no matter the case. If Muschamp is a Rodriguez, then Weis will be his Greg Robinson, and we wouldn't be sad to see him go.  He can work in the right context, and that context is most likely the warm embrace of an NFL coordinator's booth, far away from having to teach people how to do things in simple terms that can work within the limited practice times and spaces of the college game. That is a premature statement, but not necessarily an inaccurate one given what he's done at the college level.

But don't say this is all necessary. It's not. Meyer's struggles in his first year got him to nine wins. [NAME REDACTED] learned and unlearned basic arithmetic on the job and still won seven games. This team will lose to Vanderbilt. This team will lose to South Carolina. This team will lose to Florida State, and they will miss a bowl game for the first time since the pre-Spurrier era. That is not good coaching. That's failure, and boring, depressing failure at that. At least fight James Franklin at the fifty when you're done losing to Vandy, Will, and thus give us something to cheer about. Gut a reporter mid-question, or sleep in a tree stand on campus and when someone asks you what you're doing, whisper "hunting, son. Hunting."

Go mildly insane just to keep us all awake. Don't go pointing to a crack in the model and tell us it's a goddamn feature. That's bullshit, and there's enough of it on the field to feed us all for the next year or so with ease.

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