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This Looks Like a Job for Me, 'Cause We Need a Little Controversy. . . .

If there's one thing I've learned during eight months in the blogosphere, it's that one of the quickest ways for a Georgia man to provoke disagreement is for him to mention Georgia Tech.  

A pair of recent examples follow, offered in "we report, you decide" fashion.  While, as always, I encourage my readers to respond in the comments below, recent references to "Twin Peaks" have reminded me to remind you to use the diaries available on the right-hand side of your computer screen, as well.  

One shudders to think what Laura Palmer might have done had Twin Peaks had internet access in the late 1980s.  

Here are the discussions I inadvertently provoked:  

1.  Golden Tornado's Nathan has taken his alma mater to task for failing to market the Georgia Institute of Technology to potential recruits using its location in the heart of downtown Atlanta.  Writes Nathan:  

There's countless references to Atlanta or Atlanta based musicians on the radio daily everywhere in the U.S.  Atlanta (or The ATL) has become a brand in and of itself, and GT should be using that to help market the athletics programs.  There's no reason that the football stadium should only be 2/3rds full most of the year - and that I blame on us for not creating any sort of "buzz" around Tech.

I responded to Nathan's points by noting that, since "a lot of high school kids are using their athletic ability to escape the blight and despair of inner city life," many of the athletes to whom Nathan wishes to market Georgia Tech have little incentive to "go to school on a campus that, however much it might have going for it in its own right, is shoehorned in between a highway and a housing project."  

Accordingly, I concluded:  

Grant Field is the Yankee Stadium of college football:  historic, storied, and a great place to play a sporting event . . . but who in their right mind would want to go through the aggravation and risk of getting there?
Jacket Dan denounced as "just plain silly" my notion "that Atlanta is 'not a draw, but a drawback' for Georgia Tech."  Dan insists:  
Maybe when we started school ('96 for me) that was true, but it hasn't been applicable for a long time. . . .  Most of the homes in the midtown area are now going for several multiples of 100K and Tech's expansion over the connector removed several unsightly parking lots and replaced them with a high end hotel and mixed use construction.

Is Dan looking at Georgia Tech through rose colored glasses or am I behind the times?  Have upgrades to the G.I.T. campus and its surrounding environs removed any causes for concern about safety or, in spite of the progress that has been made, is traffic-snarled, smog-draped Atlanta still more burden than boon?  

If Georgia Tech is such a safe place, why do they call it Bobby Dodd Stadium at historic Grant's Tomb?  

2.  Every Day Should Be Saturday's Orson Swindle reported on Chan Gailey's new contract extension, prompting me to respond that "Chan Gailey has been a model of consistency at Georgia Tech" because he wins seven games---not six, not eight, but seven---per year.  This caused me to observe:  

If Chan ever got to 8-5, he'd get another five-year extension.  Otherwise, his reliably R.C. Slocum-like metronomic mediocrity will remain a wonder to behold.

This time, I received a retort from Doug Gillett, who noted that "Slocum at least led the Aggies to . . . Big XII titles and, if memory serves, a couple BCS berths."  

I acknowledged Doug's point about R.C. Slocum during the last days of the Southwest Conference, yet still maintained:  

Perhaps R.C. is Chan-like only in his complete lack of personality, but, given the widely divergent expectations separating Lone Star State schools (where winning is expected, even demanded) from Georgia Tech (where winning is a nice bonus, but not obligatory), I believe their records, at least toward the end, were comparable.

Is that a fair assessment of R.C. Slocum's tenure in College Station?  Is Doug right that Coach Slocum's run of four straight 10-win seasons between 1991 and 1994, coupled with his subsequent Big 12 title game appearances, places him a cut above Coach Gailey, or am I correct to treat the Texas A&M coach's run of mediocrity in his final four seasons as effectively identical to the Georgia Tech coach's record at The Flats?  

You already know what I think.  What do you think?  Let me know in the comments below and in the diaries to the side.  

And now, your moment of Fenn:  

Go 'Dawgs!