Sunday, November 27, 2016

Two High School Football Championship Teams

                                                                                 




Forty years ago today on November 25th in cold rain the Friday after Thanksgiving my Gainesville High School Red Elephant team with over 30 seniors lost a double overtime game after a heartbreaking end.  In this game we totally dominated the Dalton team statistically in a quarter-final play-off game. We would have won on the old rules concerning as the game ended in a tie. Our goal of being the first GHS state champs in the GHSA playoff era were crushed.  In our school’s rich tradition we had over thirty players whose fathers also played together on the Red Elephant football team.  We lost what was maybe the first overtime game due to some injuries and just the way the ball bounces.

Eleven years ago today on Nov. 25, 2005 I was thrilled to be the varsity football team chaplain as well as the middle school coach and player parent for the Riverside Military Academy Eagles 2005 State Champions. We "Donkey Konged" First Presbyterian Day School 55-7 on this same date for the our state championship crown.  Both games were played the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We were even accused of running up the score even though we played our whole squad including freshman.

Scripture says in Matthew 5:45 that the Lord “sends rain on the just and the unjust.” Whatever - Today I will meet a teammate at the game in Dalton 40 years later to the day. We will pull hard for the Coffee Trojans and my nephew who was a 4 year letterman for the Gainesville High Big Red Elephants.  He is the current Coffee Offensive Coordinator Michael Perry.  We are hoping with his play calls he can help give the Dalton Catamounts something in memory of the GHS 1976 team! We can celebrate knowing GHS contributed to an  a** kicking of Dalton if not somewhat late.

My senior year ended in a great team disappointment in a the double overtime loss.  My son’s senior year ended with a dominant performance with no one in doubt who was the best football team in our classification.

To the 2005 champs.  I love you deeply.  That special time together can still lift me up in challenging times. I sign off to the Riverside Military Academy Eagle’s State Champion team with Isaiah 40:31(NIV) “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint.”
- remember you are a champion everyday, forever.


To my 1976 Gainesville High School Big Red Elephants, I see men going into the second half of life heading towards the fourth quarter.  Recently we have had funeral services for dear friends like our quarterback and a defensive linemen from that team both from our senior class. I know we are champions because of how we have remained as a team in tougher situations than a fumble running out the clock or bad weather.  I sign off with Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  - I think of Christ first and then my teammates when I read that verse. Especially in times of personal loss I'm still on a team. I still know I was and am on on two Champion teams.










                                                        Celebration after a group price was paid.


Friends and champions


                                     Fletcher Law GHS 1976 team, Graham Law RMA 2005
                                                           George Law GHS 1947 team



SEC Progress Report Week 13 Saturday November 26, 2016: Finals Week and some of you guys just flat out forgot to study



After the Thanksgiving week the teacher knows what you have been doing.
First thing - During finals week some of you guys acted like a bunch of Ole Miss ATOs and went to the wrong Library (the Library bar not the place of research and study),  or Foresters or the Warehouse or wherever you kids go today –NOT TO STUDY.
Secondly – you bring back some pitiful scores after a full semester.
 The teacher will give you a full review and its too late to study now buster. As Dean Bill Parcells once said – “You are what youare.”  Team, some of you made me do this and go all Dean Wormer on you.
Lets face the music.  No more “double secret probation, mister” this time your goose or turkey really is cooked.

LSU grade = B   Texas A&M = D
LSU 54  Texas A&M 39 -  LSU first seemed the first winner of the Tom Herman new coach hire, or was it Jimbo Fisher?  What did the Athletic Director tell Coach O? Congratulations Ed Ogeron we settled for you.  The school who is wanting to take the “next step” hired a career defensive line coach who is an ace recruiter and never had a winning season or gone to a bowl as a head coach.   He replaces a man in Les Miles who has won a National Championship and played for another.  This is a hire to move ahead in the toughest conference and toughest division the SEC West.       LSU, you might arguably be the the 2nd best team already in the West.  And this hire is supposed to take down Saban and Bama?  They played hard against a Texas A&M team that has fluctuated since Johnny Manzell left a few years ago.  The teacher was hoping that The Aggies would join the Tom Herman sweepstakes and would hire away Tom Herman to spice things up a bit.

Arkansas grade = (for crazy)   Missouri grade = A
Arkansas 24  Missouri 28 Coach – Hogs coach Bret Bielema has a smoking hot wife and a winning personality.  You feel great  at times but things go horribly wrong as in grading this is called a learning disorder.  Arkansas fans know this as the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde novel come to life.  Missouri, congratulations. To be accurate we never paid attention to you.  Did you finish all of your assignments?  You received a semester grade of I for “incomplete”, “ignored”, and “irrelevant”. Keep up with the conference or please change conferences with Oklahoma.

Georgia grade = F
Georgia Tech 28  Georgia 27 – Hey Georgia, to quote the famous educator Dean Vernon Wormer of Faber College “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life”  for a bunch of 5 stars that all the fans brag about the Dawgs signing each February.  Watching Georgia football we have seen the program go to a level of 5 star bad boys to the life alert woman.  You know, the older woman in the commercials who said “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” You do not lose to Tech –first year or not.  Dawgs stop going to The Bourbon Street Bar and instead go work out in the new indoor facility.  Also look to your heritage.  Get what Erk Russell coined at Georgia, GATA. (GET AFTER THEM AGRESSIVLY – hey this is a family blog). Also as Erk used to say “Avoid the rush, hate Tech early.” You have a lot of work to do and have lost your way.  It can be overcome by an attitude change. If not, enjoy having the GT flag and the hallowed hedges ripped out every two years. 

Kentucky grade = A+
Kentucky 41  Louisville  38 – The Kentucky Wildcats almost got beat by the  Austin Peay Governors last week.  This week the Bluegrass Cats put it on the highly regarded Louisville Cardinals.  Well done Cats.  You did what Georgia, South Carolina and Florida could not do.  You beat your SEC rival.  You beat what many felt was a playoff team led by the most talented player QB Lamar Jackson. You Kentucky Wildcats are the team of the week.


Mississippi State grade = A  Ole Miss grade = F
Mississippi State 55 Ole Miss 20 – Mississippi State dominated this years Egg Bowl to see which of these two rivals would knock the other into last place of the SEC West.  This has been a down year for State.  Ole Miss went reverse Clint Eastwood on MSU and said “We will make your day.”  They did.  Now State, in a year they were defeated by South Alabama and almost by Samford, feels they are superior to the Flagship University.  Ole Miss is a team that went from contender with some quality losses to making Mississippi State look like they are a good football team. Ole Miss leads the series 63-44-6. The School Above You still is in the lead – but did the whole program for Ole Miss really return to last place with dismal hopes for the immediate future to be a contender?   


Auburn grade = C  Alabama grade = A++
Auburn 12  Alabama 30- Auburn, you remind me of what I read on an old lady’s tombstone once . “She hat done all she could.”  Bama, I am strongly pulling for you in the playoffs.  Like a cat this is when you usually let us down- when we cheer for you.  Don’t.  Just don’t.  Alabama freshman QB Jalen Hurts is the SEC player of the year.

South Carolina grade = F
South Carolina 7  Clemson 56 – South Carolina you had it all turned around the second half of the season and then you regressed.  The only good thing I can say about you is that you added to Gainesville High Heisman hopeful Deshaun Watson’s high light reel.  To pass future tests you will need to stop being the Washington Generals to the Clemson Globetrotters.  We going to take Clemson in the SEC East and put you on waivers South Carolina if these types of performances do not change soon.  You must dominate your ACC rival to stay in the SEC!!!

Tennessee grade= F  Vanderbilt grade = A+
Tennessee 34  Vanderbilt 45 – Tennessee, what the what what???   You were going to change up this roller coaster year with a medium, start,  Florida triumph, UGA thrilling comeback, suffer 3 loses but still end up in the Sugar Bowl –NOT.  Your grounded mister.  No sugar for you.  Now get on over to Birmingham or Memphis or Nashville.
Vandy, a loss to you can cost coaches their jobs.  You have the UGA, Ole Miss and Tennessee Athletic Directors looking up the number of the coach search company.
Tremendous.  Vanderbilt improved the most of any team by far.  Commodore linebacker Zack Cunningham you are the SEC defensive player of the year. 

Florida grade = F
Florida 13  Florida State 31 -  Florida, you looked like some snowbirds dowm from up north and did not resemble a team that got dominated by your ACC rival.  Your ACC rival Seminoles did not even make it to their conference championship game. 
I never thought I would say this but- look at your big brother Kentucky and do what they are doing.
Thank you Lord for this silly game we can have fun with.  Help us have the same enthusiasm for serving you and helping others.  Help us make our families, school and country to be greater.

Lift Jesus Up!

Fletcher Law
-->

SEC Progress Report Week 13 Saturday November 26, 2016: Finals Week and some of you guys just flat out forgot to study



After the Thanksgiving week the teacher knows what you have been doing.
First thing - During finals week some of you guys acted like a bunch of Ole Miss ATOs and went to the wrong Library (the Library bar not the place of research and study),  or Foresters or the Warehouse or wherever you kids go today –NOT TO STUDY.
Secondly – you bring back some pitiful scores after a full semester.
 The teacher will give you a full review and its too late to study now buster. As Dean Bill Parcells once said – “You are what youare.”  Team, some of you made me do this and go all Dean Wormer on you.
Lets face the music.  No more “double secret probation, mister” this time your goose or turkey really is cooked.

LSU grade = B   Texas A&M = D
LSU 54  Texas A&M 39 -  LSU first seemed the first winner of the Tom Herman new coach hire, or was it Jimbo Fisher?  What did the Athletic Director tell Coach O? Congratulations Ed Ogeron we settled for you.  The school who is wanting to take the “next step” hired a career defensive line coach who is an ace recruiter and never had a winning season or gone to a bowl as a head coach.   He replaces a man in Les Miles who has won a National Championship and played for another.  This is a hire to move ahead in the toughest conference and toughest division the SEC West.       LSU, you might arguably be the the 2nd best team already in the West.  And this hire is supposed to take down Saban and Bama?  They played hard against a Texas A&M team that has fluctuated since Johnny Manzell left a few years ago.  The teacher was hoping that The Aggies would join the Tom Herman sweepstakes and would hire away Tom Herman to spice things up a bit.

Arkansas grade = (for crazy)   Missouri grade = A
Arkansas 24  Missouri 28 Coach – Hogs coach Bret Bielema has a smoking hot wife and a winning personality.  You feel great  at times but things go horribly wrong as in grading this is called a learning disorder.  Arkansas fans know this as the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde novel come to life.  Missouri, congratulations. To be accurate we never paid attention to you.  Did you finish all of your assignments?  You received a semester grade of I for “incomplete”, “ignored”, and “irrelevant”. Keep up with the conference or please change conferences with Oklahoma.

Georgia grade = F
Georgia Tech 28  Georgia 27 – Hey Georgia, to quote the famous educator Dean Vernon Wormer of Faber College “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life”  for a bunch of 5 stars that all the fans brag about the Dawgs signing each February.  Watching Georgia football we have seen the program go to a level of 5 star bad boys to the life alert woman.  You know, the older woman in the commercials who said “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” You do not lose to Tech –first year or not.  Dawgs stop going to The Bourbon Street Bar and instead go work out in the new indoor facility.  Also look to your heritage.  Get what Erk Russell coined at Georgia, GATA. (GET AFTER THEM AGRESSIVLY – hey this is a family blog). Also as Erk used to say “Avoid the rush, hate Tech early.” You have a lot of work to do and have lost your way.  It can be overcome by an attitude change. If not, enjoy having the GT flag and the hallowed hedges ripped out every two years. 

Kentucky grade = A+
Kentucky 41  Louisville  38 – The Kentucky Wildcats almost got beat by the  Austin Peay Governors last week.  This week the Bluegrass Cats put it on the highly regarded Louisville Cardinals.  Well done Cats.  You did what Georgia, South Carolina and Florida could not do.  You beat your SEC rival.  You beat what many felt was a playoff team led by the most talented player QB Lamar Jackson. You Kentucky Wildcats are the team of the week.


Mississippi State grade = A  Ole Miss grade = F
Mississippi State 55 Ole Miss 20 – Mississippi State dominated this years Egg Bowl to see which of these two rivals would knock the other into last place of the SEC West.  This has been a down year for State.  Ole Miss went reverse Clint Eastwood on MSU and said “We will make your day.”  They did.  Now State, in a year they were defeated by South Alabama and almost by Samford, feels they are superior to the Flagship University.  Ole Miss is a team that went from contender with some quality losses to making Mississippi State look like they are a good football team. Ole Miss leads the series 63-44-6. The School Above You still is in the lead – but did the whole program for Ole Miss really return to last place with dismal hopes for the immediate future to be a contender?   


Auburn grade = C  Alabama grade = A++
Auburn 12  Alabama 30- Auburn, you remind me of what I read on an old lady’s tombstone once . “She hat done all she could.”  Bama, I am strongly pulling for you in the playoffs.  Like a cat this is when you usually let us down- when we cheer for you.  Don’t.  Just don’t.  Alabama freshman QB Jalen Hurts is the SEC player of the year.

South Carolina grade = F
South Carolina 7  Clemson 56 – South Carolina you had it all turned around the second half of the season and then you regressed.  The only good thing I can say about you is that you added to Gainesville High Heisman hopeful Deshaun Watson’s high light reel.  To pass future tests you will need to stop being the Washington Generals to the Clemson Globetrotters.  We going to take Clemson in the SEC East and put you on waivers South Carolina if these types of performances do not change soon.  You must dominate your ACC rival to stay in the SEC!!!

Tennessee grade= F  Vanderbilt grade = A+
Tennessee 34  Vanderbilt 45 – Tennessee, what the what what???   You were going to change up this roller coaster year with a medium, start,  Florida triumph, UGA thrilling comeback, suffer 3 loses but still end up in the Sugar Bowl –NOT.  Your grounded mister.  No sugar for you.  Now get on over to Birmingham or Memphis or Nashville.
Vandy, a loss to you can cost coaches their jobs.  You have the UGA, Ole Miss and Tennessee Athletic Directors looking up the number of the coach search company.
Tremendous.  Vanderbilt improved the most of any team by far.  Commodore linebacker Zack Cunningham you are the SEC defensive player of the year. 

Florida grade = F
Florida 13  Florida State 31 -  Florida, you looked like some snowbirds dowm from up north and did not resemble a team that got dominated by your ACC rival.  Your ACC rival Seminoles did not even make it to their conference championship game. 
I never thought I would say this but- look at your big brother Kentucky and do what they are doing.
Thank you Lord for this silly game we can have fun with.  Help us have the same enthusiasm for serving you and helping others.  Help us make our families, school and country to be greater.

Lift Jesus Up!

Fletcher Law


Sunday, November 20, 2016

SEC PROGRESS REPORT WEEK 12 – Saturday November 19, 2016: Cramming For Finals Edition





We are heading into finals and this is how your team prepared.  Bama and Florida get an extra Turkey leg and dressing to sop that gravy.  Everybody else its green bean casserole,  gluten free everything and go to your rooms now.  You heard me Ole Miss and South Carolina.

Georgia grade = C (as in played a cupcake)
(“Louisiana”) or LA- Lafayette 21 Georgia 35  - Georgia struggled mightily in taking this simple pre Georgia Tech exam.
The Dawgs look like it would take 6 plays right now to score against air.
This is not the pretest confidence and swagger you need going against the Paul Johnson and the North Avenue “spread option”.  Do not call the Rambling Wreck offense a glorified wishbone please.  With all the “angry white men” around you do not want to set off their King Paul Johnson.

Texas A&M grade = D (as in they played a doughnut)
USTA 10  Texas A&M 23- Texas A&M took cupcake scheduling to a new level.  They found a team to play most college football fans did not know existed.  They practiced not scoring many points like they anticipate they will also do against LSU on Turkey day.

Florida grade = A+ (could have been a B for boring  offense or D for great defense)
LSU grade = D (for what Coach “O” said on the 4th down play)
Florida 16  LSU 10 – Boring Florida is the 2nd best team the SEC behind Bama.  They had to reschedule a big conference game on the road after the earlier hurricane scare.  LSU was considered the 2nd best team in the league.  I kid about the Gators. Coach Jim McElwain has done a super job with better things on the horizon. Their talent level will get better and then they will be a threat in the championship game. 
The Gator D just totally manned up on the goal line to win the SEC EAST and make LSU Coach OGERON mutter something nobody could understand. This time the Cajuns did not even understand Coach O.

Missouri grade = F  Tennessee grade = A (could have been T for too little too late)
Missouri 37  Tennessee 63 – Tennessee took out a lot of frustration against Mizzou.  Could have should have been frustration.  Butch Jones has had at times had his team play great and then mediocre, then at times awful all in one year.  Joshua Dobbs is another Georgia QB that had great success waltzing to another state to help another University have greater success than before.

South Carolina grade = B
Western Carolina 31  South Carolina 44- South Carolina won.  The 31 points by Western Carolina makes all recent improvement look suspicious.

Arkansas grade = B  Mississippi State grade = C
Arkansas  58  Mississippi State 42 – Arkansas played like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this time in the same game.  They rolled on offense and reeled on defense.  Mississippi State is so down and out they keep messing with their uniforms and are wearing grey.  This is called Ole Miss envy by psychologists when “little brother” is trying to keep up with The Flagship in Oxford.  This is not the year to do that.  Ole Miss is making every body else’s season just a little bit better right now. 


Alabama special grade = A+ or KK for King Kong
Chattanooga 3  Alabama 31 – Bama is simply the best.  Saban probably in his “process” made the team not score 100 so they will mess with Auburn more.

Auburn grade = A   (for apathy in playing this game)
Alabama A&M 0  Auburn 55 – Auburn probably played this team so they could mark out the A&M and show recruits the score against “another” Alabama.  So much for the Alabama educational system.  Unless injured Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway returns this might be the score of the Iron Bowl reversed.

Ole Miss grade = F (for - Help I’ve FALLEN and can’t get up!)
Vanderbilt grade = A (for Anchor Down)
Ole Miss 17  Vanderbilt 37 – Ole Miss cannot run the football and cannot stop the run or pass.  This harkens back to days in the mid-1970’s when the teams were so bad that nobody knew there was an Egg Bowl outside of Oxford or Starkganistan. 
Ole Miss does not play Dixie anymore for their fight song.  In the bowery and smokey clubs of Nashville they were playing The Band’s version of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.  Levon Helm from where abouts unknown reportedly protested his signature song being associated with this sad effort.


Be thankful we have fun things like football we can have fun with.
Thank you Lord for our faith, family, country and football. 



Lift Jesus Up!



Fletcher Law



-->