Introducing a new writer to BIG HAIRY BLAWG:
Welcome, Expat Jack!
EXPAT JACK 1:
Touchdown Jake Fromm! Beware of the Icarian flight.
It’s postgame, and he’s surrounded by a gaggle of local college football beat writers. The chiseled Warner Robins native with superhero jawline, and gorgeous bushy eyebrows, fields questions about his team’s performance against Vandy. There’s a beautiful blonde flanking his right shoulder, fondling a microphone head, and watching his mouth myove. The former Little league World Series slugger fields their softball questions without a hitch. It’s pitch and catch. He’s a natural in front of the camera, and when he not doing his “aw-shucks” routine, he is an exceptionally well spoken young man. He is the ultimate all-everything Georgia boy. Oh spotlight! What would your happiness be without Jake Fromm to shine on!
And yet it’s not only the area locals that gush praise upon him, the national media has called him a winner, a gamer, a baller with the ‘it’ factor. And Jake was exactly all of that on Saturday. The one thing he wasn’t was an elite quarterback for four quarters. But, alas who is? Well, two former Georgia quarterbacks come to mind. During the Vandy game, the color commentator for ESPN declared Jake Fromm a “5 star beater,” yet, both quarterbacks that Jake beat out looked a lot better than him on Saturday.
It may be too soon to tell, but one has to wonder if “the competition” between Jake and his fellow 5-star teammates was more like a little league competition for shortstop against the coach’s son. It appears that the real competition has just begun. And Dawg fans may soon have to grapple with the question of why coach Smart chose the least talented of the three. We saw electric superstars, in historically good new school debuts, from both Fields and Eason. In contrast, Fromm showed us an uneven performance.
So far, the legacy of Fromm has been that he is a field general, or a game manager that has had some big wins, but also has had some pretty notable team collapses. In the SEC championship game against Alabama, with 12 minutes left in the 3rd, Fromm was well on his way to having an elite game, when he threw the perfect pass to a well covered Riley Ridley in the corner of the end zone. The Dawgs were up 28-14. Jake raised his hands triumphantly, and then his whole body shook with victory. The CBS commentator declared, “Jake Fromm is an elite thrower, not a game manager.”
But then something happened. While Georgia was congratulating itself and hoping, Alabama stole the game. The Dawgs offense stalled, and they finished the rest of the game 0-7 on 3rd down, instead of finishing-off Alabama. The Vandy game looked eerily similar on the offensive side of the ball, with what seemed like two different Georgia teams taking the field, and a 1-7 third down conversion rate.
Smart defended a statistically mediocre yardage performance by Fromm, suggesting that we should focus our attention on the little things Jake does to manage the offense.
Smart’s defense doesn’t speak to the completely uneven performance that Jake Fromm-led offenses are apt to have. It may be that the real Fromm offense is the elite one we saw on the first three possessions of the Vandy game. Georgia can’t strictly run the ball effectively and win the national championship.
Jake may only have to learn the lesson of Icarus: never fly too high, and never become self-complacent and fly too low.
Let’s hope we see the elite Jake sink his cleats into the newly christened Dooley Field for all the time he is on the field this weekend, and when he feels that shudder of triumph run through his body, let him go back to the 2017 mantra of “chopping wood.”
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