The week had set up so well. We had just returned from visiting Adriene’s parents in Savannah and had a great Christmas with them. When we got home, I renewed one of my favorite post-Christmas traditions, the Atlanta Playstation Smackdown. I joined some of my Cornerstone friends to play Rock Band late into the night (pretty much the same as always, bass-hard, guitar-medium, vocals-medium, drums-easy. Holy cow, I stink at drums.) Once again I delivered my Micheal Stipe impersonation with “Orange Crush” and gave everyone nightmares with my version of “Epic” by Faith No More. After that, it was out to my parents’ house to drop the girls off with them for a couple of days so we could celebrate the Chick-fil-A Bowl in style.
The day itself even went so well. Even though it was cold and windy, Adriene and I enjoyed the parade with friends. We went to the FanFest and had a great time there. After a nice dinner, it was off to the Georgia Dome for the game. What could possibly go wrong?
When LSU drove the ball down the field on the first drive, I wasn’t too worried. Tech scored a field goal at the end of the first quarter and it looked like we were in for a good game. The second quarter ruined everything. At the start of the second quarter, LSU moved down the field again and scored another touchdown. LSU then caught Tech off guard with an onside kick and got the ball right back. Another touchdown made the score 21-3 and now it was time to get a little worried, but things really went downhill from here. I’ve been pretty pleased with Paul Johnson’s play-calling all season, but with the ball on their own 22 on 4th and 8, Johnson made an egregiously bad call to fake a punt. I guess that’s the gambler in Johnson, but he came up snake eyes here. I didn’t like the call at all and naturally it set up LSU with a short field which resulted in another touchdown. By the time LSU scored their fourth touchdown of a nightmare quarter, I was wishing this game was on my Nintendo so I could push the “reset” button. I was pretty much resigned at that point that we were going to lose and badly.
In the third quarter, I stood up and announced to everyone (perhaps with some profanity) that I had paid a lot of money for these tickets and I was going to have a good time no matter what. After all, Adriene and I only get something like one night a month away from the kids and I wasn’t going to let a football game ruin it. So for the rest of the night, we pretty much treated the whole event as a black comedy, taking particular humor in all the Tech fans that had given up on the game and developed more interest in throwing paper airplanes onto the field. That’s the last time the Chick-fil-A Bowl committee allows paper in their gift bags, I’ll bet. This is what happens when engineers get bored.
I didn’t even get mad in the second half until LSU’s Head Coach Les Miles decided that apparently a 35 point margin wasn’t enough and started to rub it in by keeping his starters in the game and continuing to throw the ball downfield. The fake punt that he called in the 4th quarter was bush league and embarrassing. I have no idea what he was trying to prove, but it sure torqued me.
Oh well, no matter. After all, there was New Year’s Eve to celebrate. Joined by some of my old friends, we closed out the year in a hotel downtown. It was good to see everyone as many of my friends I don’t get to see very much and we even got a surprise appearance from a friend overseas. Of course there was champagne and inevitably, board games. Even though I just watched my favorite football team get their pants pulled down on national television, I couldn’t complain too much when I was closing out the year with good friends. Here’s to 2009.