Friday, November 18, 2005

Better late than never.

You know how when the refs in basketball make a bad foul call on what actually is a great defensive play, the guy usually misses the foul shots, and fans chime in, "The ball don't lie."

Georgia fans have a similar feeling today as Donnan era losses to hated Georgia Tech in 1998, 1999, and 2000 are magically erased from history.

Though alcohol has dimmed our memories, few have forgotten Jasper Sanks' phantom fumble after he was already down near the goal line in the final seconds of the 1999 edition of Clean Old Fashioned Hate. The game was tied, and we only needed a FG to win it. Not only did the refs blow the fumble call, they also blew the aftermath. The Tech player recovered the ball on the 1-yard line, then ran backwards into the endzone and was tackled. Safety, right? Dawgs up by 2 with 7 seconds left and Tech has to kick to us, right? Wrong. They call it a touchback, and Tech kneels on it. The hits just kept on coming from the refs in overtime. After some hardfought exchanges, Tech lined up for the winning field goal on 3rd down. WE BLOCK IT!!! But alas, the refs rule that since the ball never crossed the line of scrimmage, and Tech recovered, they get another chance on 4th down. They got the call right under Rule 6, Sec. 3, Art. 1 (a) & (b), but it's a bad rule. The only reason to kick on 3rd down is in case there is a bad snap; once your foot hits the ball, your possession should end no matter by whom or where the blocked ball is recovered. After that game, the entire crew of [WTF! SEC] referees were suspended, and we not-so-coincidentally now enjoy instant replay. But Tech could still claim the victory...until now.

The 1998 "loss" that now never happened was also controversial. The Dogs scored late, going up one, and went for the 2-point conversion to make it a 3 point lead. Quinthy Carter appeared to cross the goal line, but the refs said no. Later, Tech's Heisman runner-up Joe Hamilton lost the handle on the ball and the Dawgs recovered! Nope, the refs ruled that he had not fumbled, when replay showed that he had. Tech retained possession and moved the ball, and kicked the winning field goal. 21-19 Tech? NSFMF.

In 2000, the Jackets just whupped us 27-15 (it was 27-3 at half), for which we should thank them because it justified the axe-job of Coach Sleepy Head. Now they can't claim that victory either.

Karma's a bitch.

FN1. In addition to vacating the games, the almighty NCAA dealt Tech a number of hammer blows including remitting to the NCAA all TV revenues over 7 seasons. That's no small potatoes.

FN2. Tech might be having the worst week in college football history. Heaped on to the above sanctions:
(1) Their inaptly named AD gave Chan Gailey a lengthy contract extension, conceding that GT is just always going to suck;
(2) They can't even cut their thugs. A judge sticking his proverbial camel nose under the tent ordered them to reinstate a player who is under felony indictment for conspiracy to sell $60,000 worth of dope, alleging also that he took his two-year-old daughter to the deal; and oh yeah
(3) They're gonna get #3 Miami's man-train run all up in 'em on Saturday.
When we play them next week, I might actually feel bad mentioning the student body is made up of nerds and ugly women.