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Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Flesh is Weak

I'm not sure I know what my end game is. The end of the season? Until the league has made whatever I determine to be progress? Until Kap is employed? Until the Eagles make the Super Bowl and I ultimately backslide? Or am I done for good? At this point, I don't yet know. -Taking a Knee, September 2017


The Eagles are in the Super Bowl, and my NFL boycott is over, or at the very least taking a one game hiatus. I haven't watched my team play a snap all year, and the first will be in the Super Bowl. 

I could start reconsidering and rationalizing why I've decided to go back.  The truth is I've given it some thought over the course of the season, but the answer here is far more simple. My team's in the Super Bowl. I told you that from jump. I even briefly considered not watching, convinced that I was the curse and that they'd do better if I didn't, but I'm certain I've not been granted that level of cosmic sway.

And now? While there's no question to my Eagles bona fides, I'll feel almost bandwagon having not watched this team all season. Looks like I gotta brush up on my own team.

Fly Eagles Fly.

Monday, January 8, 2018

You Can't Always Get What You Want

But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.

Running a site that is so intertwined with my personal interests and passions, it's sometimes hard to tell where 80 Minutes of Regulation ends and Curtis begins. Still, when I conceptualized the trip to Atlanta for the College Football Playoff National Championship festivities, it was an 80 Minutes trip. I'd document it. I'd gather "content". I even paid for it with some of the tens of dollars I've made running this place. With that idea in mind, I was on my way.

I'll note that when I updated the tagline to "The Cadence of Gameday," it was to more accurately reflect the site's offerings. Still, I know and embrace the fact that marching bands both began as and remain my wheelhouse. The trouble? There were no bands to be had.

It was a combination of the plans I made and the assumptions I made with them. When I booked the trip nearly a year ago, I intended to be there through the night of the championship itself (though attending was never an option). I'd embed myself in the championship weekend experience, checking out all that it had to offer, but most of all the bands. A four night stay was trimmed to two, but surely they'd make a weekend of it, and there would be plenty of chance, right? Nah.

My closest analog was getting to sneak a peek at SEC's fan central a month prior, also in Atlanta. That event featured pep rallies for both teams on Saturday. However, Saturday for that event was also gameday. The big pep rallies for tonight's national championship were this afternoon, not over the weekend. So while there were plenty of activities planned for the weekend, the marching bands were not among them.

It's a huge oversight, in my opinion. If I may quote myself from an earlier piece where I suggested that any championship bid worth its salt would include a parade in the plans:
The national championship festivities should be a culmination and celebration of all that is college football, and that includes marching bands. Without them, all you have is a minor league Super Bowl.
With  all that exposition, you may think I had a less-than-great trip. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The highlight was was getting to catch a live show of the Solid Verbal. While I've spoken about them before, they're one of my favorite pieces of college football media. The live show didn't disappoint, and in addition to everything both hosts bring, their guests included ESPN's Adam Amin, Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples, and SB Nation's Spencer Hall and Jason Kirk, all of whom I've come to appreciate individually and in association with the show. Ty recognized me by name as a long time listener (and occasional writer-inner); my only regret is that at the postshow at the bar, I ended up down on the far end (and perhaps more engrossed in the Falcons game than I have been in the NFL all season) and managed to completely miss hanging out. Next time, I suppose. That said, I did manage to experience and enjoy perhaps the most on-brand beer for me: Cadence, a Belgian dubbel by Georgia's own Reformation Brewery.

Elsewhere in the Cadence of Gameday, I got to check out the Tailgate Plaza outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, featuring various brand activations, not the least of which being the Nissan Heisman House. Media Day gave the opportunity at a fly-on-the-wall peek in at some of the media interviews of Alabama and Georgia players and staff, and Fan Central featured more activities in an inside venue. I even got to hoof and Über my way around Atlanta some, including revisiting the Flying Biscuit Cafe that I had enjoyed years ago, and catching Waffle House on my way out of town.

It'll likely be quite some time before I make it down for a championship weekend again - though I wouldn't rule out a Peach Bowl trip, with or without a playoff -  but I had a great time this year, and hope to do it again.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

From FOMO to Followthrough

I love it when a plan comes together.

A year ago, I felt a Fear of Missing Out as the College Football Playoff national championship took place on my Bulls' home field. I had lukewarmly considered attending and never actually followed through. I decided that a year later, I'd do my best not to make the same mistake.

I made a hotel reservation. No real commitment - fully refundable.

I solidified plans.

And here I sit, in Atlanta, the weekend of the national championship. I won't make it to the game - I won't even make it past the weekend, but I'm down here in the hoopla.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 College Football Playoff National Championship - Alabama vs. Georgia

One corner of the country gets to chant "SEC!" regardless of who wins in the most SEC championship game since Alabama and LSU met in a rematch at the end of the 2011 season. This game has the added element of being in the home of the conference championship game. While the two have never met in Mercedes Benz Stadium, both the Million Dollar Band and the Redcoat Marching Band got to scout their venue this season - Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and Georgia in the SEC Championship.

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