Sunday, December 02, 2007

Jackets Headed to Boise

It's official - the Jackets are headed on a return trip to Boise, this time for a little redemption against Fresno State (8-4). Now, there is every reason for Jacket fans to think we will get spanked - going to a "west coast" bowl, it's cold, their coach is fired, spirits are down - you name it. There will also be a contigent of fans asking if we should even go. Let me remind you of a few things:

  • Of all the bowls GT players have been to in the past 5 years, most will tell you the most fun they had was the last time we went to the H-Bowl in Boise (at least the players who were there). Many of them saw snow for the first time, rode snowmobiles or snow-boarded for the first time. The give-aways / freebies for players were actually better for that bowl than many others (electronics, gift certificates, often worth than $1grr).
  • By the way, I live in Clemson territory and they made a trip to Boise in the last few years, and they had the same experience - it was a blast and they loved it.
  • Bowl games are a chance for players to get extra practices. Never underestimate the value in developing young players by giving them more structured practice time. It is an important way to get ahead in the development process, not unlike getting 1-2 freshman per year to arrive early in the spring - only the whole team benefits.
  • As part of a money-making entity, you don't EVER turn down a bowl invite, unless there's a darn good reason (like a better invite).
  • Oh yeah - why on earth would anyone want to pass up one last chance to see our Jackets in action? One last chance to see Tashard Choice carry the rock. One last chance to see Philip Wheeler crush a QB? One last chance to see our O-Line open up major holes? One last chance to see Robo in the backfield tackling someone for a loss? Might we see the return of Rashaun Grant? Folks, we only 12-14 chances a year to see them play. Let'em play!!!
  • Attitude. If there's one x-factor that makes the biggest difference in terms of winning a bowl game - it's attitude. That's why I worry about our bowl game with the coaching situation. Our experience at the Nut bowl 2 years ago should be enough proof. Fans grumbling we got jipped. Players grumbling. Nobody wanted to go out west (except my buddy Walt who goes to all our west coast bowls). Then what happens - we get slaughtered by Utah. Got to get our attitudes right this time - which will be doubly hard without knowing who our leader is or will be.

Anyway, I guess with all the craziness going on - it's really time for one group to step up and create some order in the chaos - the seniors. It's time for leadership to shine. This team is watching their entire leadership structure crumble before their eyes. As Taylor Bennett said - it's all going away. They are watching the people the gave their word to disappear into the night, and they are left right now to pick up the pieces. Every single player on that team made a commitment to Chan Gailey. Each has to find that place within himself that knows that they also made a commitment to Georgia Tech. They wear the colors. Their names will be written in the media guides and record books forever. What legacy will they leave?

What's it going to be guys? Seniors - time to step up and take command here.