Monday night in Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium, the TCU Horned Frogs had about as much chance against the fired-up Georgia Bulldogs as an armadillo has against a steel-belted radial. I’d repeat the score here, but the children might still be up.
And they say, boxing is brutal. If Monday’s game had been a fight, the referee would have stopped it sometime late in the second quarter and awarded Georgia a TKO. Save for diehard Georgia fans, it was tough on most TV viewers to see the thrashing continue. It would take a very hard heart indeed not to feel sorry for the TCU players being humiliated, especially the seniors whose last college football experience will be this Cat-5 butt-whipping. And, for heaven’s sake, their mothers were watching.
But football games are 60 minutes long and both teams had to keep playing until the fourth period when the stadium time clock read “0:00.” While Georgia could not take their foot off the gas just because the game was put away early, I have to say that sportsmanship and plain humanity would dictate that when the score is already 52–7 and you score yet another touchdown, DON’T CELEBRATE IN THE ENDZONE! Just flip the ball to the nearest official and go back to your bench. Defeating an opponent soundly is one thing, rubbing their noses in it is quite another.
Those looking for a competitive game Monday were sorely disappointed. TCU was clearly the underdog, and some were referring to them as the Cinderella team for how they fought their way to the Big Game. Alas, this Cinderella had no fun at the ball. The Prince went home with a Georgia cheerleader and Cinderella had to hock her slippers to pay for a cab ride home while her fairy godmother was chanting, “How bout them dawgs?” Bibbidi-bobbiti-bummer.
There are few positives that non-Georgia fans who tuned in can take away. Be thankful that you don’t own a sports bar in Fort Worth, home of TCU. What a depressed scene that must have been. Talk about tears in your beer. A country song could be written about that night. In fact, the incomparable George Strait does sing the worthy country song, Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind. This one, appropriately for country music and for Monday night’s debacle, is about yearning and loss.
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV put on a magnificent performance Monday night, with strong, accurate passing, smart play decisions, and a running game as a bonus. Since the game, many football “experts” are speculating that the lad doesn’t have what it takes for the NFL. They question his arm strength, making me question whether they watched the same game Monday night as I did. And they say that at 5 feet, 11 inches and 190 pounds, he’s small to be playing with the big boys. Fair point. It’s hard to connect with your receivers if you can’t see over your own linemen. NFL quarterbacks tend to start at 6 feet, 3 inches and 225 pounds for a reason. But in every sport there are intangibles that can’t be captured by statistics or tape measures. One would have to be inattentive in the extreme not to see these intangibles in action Monday night. And those of a certain age will remember that Doug Flutie enjoyed some fine NFL moments. And he’s five-foot-nothing. His biggest challenge wasn’t finding his receivers, it was finding a helmet that looked like it fit him.
Then there’s SoFi Stadium. (How long would it take to find an Angelino, even one living in the shadow of the stadium, who knows who or what SoFi is?) Am I the only one who noticed that the SoFi playing surface is some kind of rug that looks more like the top of a pool table than a football field? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, nothing in Hollywood is real. When a ball carrier winds up with his face planted firmly on the playing surface — an occupational hazard — he should come up picking grass and dirt off his face guard. But that’s just a grumpy old football purist talking. Also a long-time fan of the sweet science who thinks maybe football could benefit from introducing the TKO. It would save embarrassment for a lot of players and their mothers.
Through it all, let’s not forget to tip our hats to the Georgia Bulldogs for their great repeat championship season, and their dominating performance last Monday night.