Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ghosts Upon the Earth

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my favorite band live for the second time. Gungor is a band hard to classify as any genre, yet it is deeply rooted in Christianity and their music is an ode to the Christ follower in every sense.

I saw them first, last year in Franklin, Tennessee with a group of guys from church and everyone of us left a fan. I do think many people won't get what they are about without seeing them live. The music is so diverse as 14 or more musicians blend blues, bluegrass, classical, and funk into a melody so sweet that literally anyone can be soothed, moved and comforted by hearing it.

The visuals in the video and light production is every bit a part of the presentation as the music. It sets the mood, the tone, and the perspective of the composers core. When I say composer I am referring to Michael Gungor. He is a master of his craft and he leads his band with love and precision to create what is nothing short of amazing musically. The percussion is demanding and complimentary to every string of every instrument. The audience is mesmerized as if their ears are touched by the velvet wings of angels. Vocally Michael Gungor has a silky smooth and vulnerable falsetto that is mesmerizing and he is complimented by his wife Lisa who's angelic voice is sweet, haunting and unforgettable.

I was accompanied by my friend Eric and his wife Alisha who were not as familiar with Gungor. On the way down we listened to the new album, "Ghosts Upon the Earth". Their reaction was that it was "OK" and they were puzzled by why I am so nutso about this music. I must admit that I wasn't sure if I liked this new album as much as "Beautiful Things". Before the end of the opening song they understood and immediately they were captivated and I fell in love all over again. It also helped me understand why I liked it so much. You really must see them live. I have seen many concerts in many genres of music and there is NONE I would rather see than Gungor. Yes, it's that good.

"Ghosts Upon the Earth" is a journey through the scripture. It should be listened to as a whole. It is the Christian equivalent to Pink Floyd "The Wall". I think if you found a hammock to lie in on a comfortable breezy day and listened to this album from front to back that you could literally experience a morsel of heaven. It is not only some of the best music live ever but it is one of the best worship services you can attend. You certainly don't have to be a Christian to love this group, but if you are a Christian you will certainly feel the presence of God. The love this band has for Christ is undeniable. They are IN LOVE with God and because of it they make you fall in love with them.

You can find tour info for Gungor here. Go see them and you will never be the same.

If there is "Elevator" or "Hold" music in Heaven, I bet it's playing "Ghosts Upon the Earth" today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've been reading a lot about Georgia's football program this week. Many in the media are asking the question of when did the program go south and what started it. There were several good answers. For the most part they hold true. The loss of Van Gorder as Defensive Coordinator, Richt turned play calling over to Bobo, loss of physical players at the line of scrimmage, etc.

I want to lay out one thing that I see wrong and I'll describe it with an example.

Saturday evening right before Murray fumbled to give up a SC defensive touchdown the camera panned the Georgia sideline after SC had just scored on offense to take the LEAD. Our offense was about to take the field again and the camera settled on our O-line. They were on the sideline smiling and hamming it up a bit. Suddenly Richt appears and looks them each in the eye and says "DO YOUR JOB". Each of them nodded in confirmation as they cleared their faces of smiles and smirks. As they took the field I felt good because I saw Richt doing some direct and intentional coaching. He called his guys out directly. On the first play from scrimmage on that drive, two defensive linemen broke through our defenses seemingly untouched. Crowell was left alone to protect his quarterback and slowed down one of the two. SC's Clowney however was free to have Murray for dinner and he did. Murray didn't handle the situation well. He didn't protect the ball at all and we gave SC another Touchdown. There is a lot wrong with that scenario. The biggest problem to me is that we have players that don't mind losing.

I didn't have the size to play ball at this level. But I did have the privilege of playing for one of this states winning-est programs. Winning meant something to us. Strangely enough, losing meant more. We didn't know how to cope with losing. We won 95% of the time so when we did lose we didn't take it well, coaches or players. I can tell you this: if the other team had just scored on us I'd like to have seen someone on our sideline smiling so I could clean their clock. I would have laid them out on our own sideline and not a darn soul would have said a thing to me about it. ESPECIALLY if we just lost the lead when that team scored. Losing was absolutely devastating. It is NOT OK to lose. It is NOT OK to enjoy yourself in losing. A winning team should be unified in the agony of defeat. I'm not even a player on this Georgia team and it takes me days before I can even talk about it. I think a lot of this Georgia team is OK with losing.

When I see the players post on twitter the next day it is evident to me that some are devastated and some are not phased by a loss. Not surprisingly it seems to be the new guys that are used to winning that are the most devastated. So I would ask coach Richt why aren't we devastated? I don't want to hear that you're working really hard to get better. I think we are already good enough. The gut wrenching agony of defeat should fuel determination to prevent that pain from returning EVER! I think we lack the heart, the desire, and the determination to do what it takes to win. We lack the will to "not lose". Ben Jones sir, you're the big nasty on our offensive line. Why were Dallas and others grinning on the sideline after the opponents score. What could possibly make a Georgia player smile after that. Why are your team mates talking about nonsense and foolery on twitter? Why isn't our team devastated. As a friend of mine put it so well Sunday afternoon, "Why is this team so content with snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?"

Understand that I bleed red and black. I was born that way and will die that way but I call it like I see it. Unlike the image above I don't want to get used to it. I don't want our players getting used to it. I want us to be devastated by it and use that as  our fuel not to get better, but to BE better. That is all we need!

I am devastated. Are you?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Ox Is In The Ditch

It has taken me all week to get past the pain of the Boise State game to even think about putting some thoughts down in a post. I will lay out my thoughts of the Game in hindsight and moving forward into this weekend and beyond.

First lets look at last weeks game. What we saw in it's purest form is a team prepared to play and a team not prepared to play. Obviously we were the latter. We started out in a fashion that made me feel great, especially on defense, that the hype of the summer was legit. Then the offense exploded with the big play by Boykin. as awesome as that was it was quick and put our defense right back on the field and Boise continued to manage the field position battle and the time of possession. Our Bigger, Faster and stronger didn't stack up to the methodical, strategic and fundamental approach of Boise. Ogletree went down and the defense quickly began to lose traction. We were owned by a prepared offensive entity.

Our offensive line is the root cause of our offensive woes. We were manhandles by a smaller but disciplined defensive front. Their no huddle was quick and merciless. Ours looked like an open field huddle as we had to look to the sideline for instructions for every play once the defense lined up.  Murray overthrew the receiver several times. Several passes were dropped.  They were WELL coached. We, in my opinion, were not.

There were some bright spots. Boykin played with the heart that I wish the rest of the team would play with. Our young guys played great, including Crowell, who just needs somebody to block and open a hole.

I love this team. I love Mark Richt. However I have been in a funk of depression all week because we NEVER play to our potential. Things don't look good right now going into the South Carolina game. With the loss to Boise we have been exposed to several weaknesses. I never realized how fragile we are in depth in several areas, particularly Inside LB. We will potentially start a 210 lb walk-on that was cut from the team last year. That sound pretty darn desperate to me.

When I see the players on twitter they sound like losing is not a big deal. I know what it feels like for a winning team to lose and it's devastating. I want these guys to be devastated and move forward with that energy to get better. I don't care for the "oh well we will work harder" spill. It takes more than hard work.

Here's the skinny: Richt and staff have to coach UP this week. We have young and inexperienced players going up against upperclassmen with good experience. They are physical. We are loaded with talent but it won't get us anywhere if our team doesn't play with heart. We didn't play with heart last week. We didn't play with heart last year. The same ol gameplan will not work Saturday. It's time to GATA! If we don't we must end this and not waste time doing so.

I'm going to say a prayer for my Georgia bulldogs. I pray that they dig down deep. They grasp their hearts, and that the Lord will make them mighty. I don't mind losing if I felt like we were doing all we can. Leave it all on the field boys. Be champions in your heart. Your coach needs this. The Bulldog Nation needs this.
The Ox is in the ditch boys. Get down in there and push him out.....ALL of you. 

Go Dawgs!

By the Way -  Vols Suck!!