It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Friday, September 3, 2010

The calm before the storm

Thanks to my friend Alaina, who works the luxury booths in Sanford Stadium, for taking this photo tonight of "The calm before the storm". Just hours away now!

What's the delay, NCAA??

On the eve of the much anticipated opening kickoff, Dawg fans still don't know if they will see A.J. Green's #8 streaking the sidelines tomorrow. And that is not acceptable.

Back in early July, the college football world was introduced to "AgentGate" A lavish party held sometime earlier this summer, in Miami, FL, by an agent seeking to gain the future business of some talented NCAA football players. It is perfectly okay for a student athlete to talk with an agent, but not okay for said student athlete to accept, in any form, gifts or special treatment involving the purchasing of ANYTHING for them from an agent. The questionable items that arouse from the party, is who funded the traveling to and from the party, and what exactly they were given while there.

Nobody even knows for sure who was there. Some players have admitted their presence, and others only stand accused, while they deny their presence. Green falls into the accused/deny category. While God knows who accused him of being there, Green has blatantly said he was not only not there, but has never even been to Miami. These allegations brought with them the dreaded phone call to Athens from the NCAA, telling them they were going to snoop around a little and see what they can find out.

Green claims to have been in his hometown of Summerville, SC, and also claims to have pictures of he and family that are date and time stamped proving he was there. The allegations also drew a Tweet from former Bulldog's WR Michael Moore saying "These accusations of A.J. are hillarious. That country boy has never been to Miami!"  

This was 2 months ago. And still no word. The NCAA has already deemed Alabama's DE Marcell Dareus ineligible for the first 2 games of the season for his roll in AgentGate. South Carolina's TE Weslye Saunders, who has not denied being in Miami, is currently suspended from all team activities for breaking team rules. But no word on him from the NCAA. South Carolina played their first game last night. What's the delay?

So a big question for Georgia Coach Mark Richt tomorrow, is "do I believe A.J., and play him in full confidence that nothing will come from the investigation?" or "do I sit A.J. just in case something comes of it, and he is ruled ineligible and we have to go back and forfeit the game he played in?"

Georgia should win the game tomorrow against Louisiana-Layfayette regardless of A.J.'s playing status. But that doesn't matter. This is an issue that needs to be resolved, in one way or another, NOW. Not tomorrow, not a few days from now, not next week, but NOW. If the NCAA already has enough information on AgentGate to lay down punishment on some, they need to let everybody in question know. This is very unfair to any program in waiting, not being able to lay out their full game plan for their opening games and being able to find their groove for the upcoming conference schedules.

So it's on you now, NCAA. If you aren't ready to announce, come out and say it. Stop leaving these teams and players in the dark, and forcing them to make the decisions to play or not on their own. It's simply not right.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

UGA/UF twice?? No!! OSU/MICH twice?? Shame on you Big 10.

As a Dawg fan, how would you like to make the annual trip to Jacksonville, whoop up on the Gators, only to have their fans saying "no biggie, we'll return the favor in a few weeks"....... I thought so.

Essentially, this is what the Big 10 has created for one of the most storied rivalries in our great game, Ohio State vs. Michigan.

Nobody was more thrilled to see the addition of Nebraska to the Big 10 this offseason than me. This gave the Big 10 their 12th team (confusing, I know), FINALLY allowing them to create a Conference Championship game. I don't think there is a soul outside a 40 mile radius of Columbus, OH who wasn't sick of watching Ohio State win the conference, and get to sit down and rest while most other conferences were hosting Championship Games. This was giving OSU about a month and a half off and a cakewalk into a big-time BCS Bowl. Thank the good Lord, now they will have to earn their way in, playing the first week of December.

But the Big 10 did Ohio State, Michigan and the rest of college football a major injustice yesterday, with the announcement of the two created divisions, who's champions will face off in the Conference Championship game. OSU and Mich were NOT put together.

Nothing could have dilluted "The Game" (as dubbed by many fans of both teams) more. Now when the two schools meet every November, they have to know that this could just be the first time they meet this season.

Extreme rivalries in college football, like those of UGA/UF, OSU/MICH and ALA/AUB are a major part of what makes college football so special. There is nothing like the feeling you get the morning of playing your most hated foe. Unique to college football, the teams truly do not like one another. They are playing for the unbreakable pride of their respective schools, not to be outdone by the other. In the NFL, when rivals play, such as Dallas and Washington, Green Bay and Minnesota or Atlanta and New Orleans, you see the players fraternizing on the field before the game, and shaking each other's hands during. They likely take one another out to dinner after the game since they rarely get to see one another. You won't see this on the college gridiron, without a doubt making rivalries much more special.

Yet, these college rivalries I speak of, should only come around once a year. Bragging rights and Border Wars are such a wonderful part of ther game. I could not imagine going the whole offseason bickering with Florida fans, saying "yeah you beat us the first game, but we got you the next". It just doesn't work like that. After seeing my team leave it all on the field, and raising our helmets in victory, that's it. 364 days of bragging rights coming my way! Not 35 days. Not 21 days.....

You made a big mistake Big 10. You should have taken a note from the SEC, when they expanded and broke into divisions in 1992. I am pretty sure the thought of splitting Georgia and Florida never existed. Now for Ohio State and Michigan fans, the morning of "The Game", can only be looked at as a potential scouting trip to see what they may bring your way in a couple weeks, when they could possibly play again. Fans of both teams, you should be shaking your heads this morning. You were just robbed of something very, very special.

GO DAWGS!!! 2 days til we tee it up between the hedges!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Hello. My Name is Russ. And I'm a Damn Good Dog"

On April 28th, 1997, Sports Illustrated released it's Top 50 Jock Schools. Gracing the cover was none other than Uga V. In the issue, SI declared Uga V the Country's Best Mascot. Said SI, "If you can't appreciate the swaggering gait and Churchillian physiognomy of Uga V, the Bulldogs' bulldog, you must be a cat lover."

In 1956 a second year UGA student named Sonny Seiler brought his white English Bulldog to the first game of the year vs. the Florida State Seminoles. Former UGA Sports Information Director, Dan McGill, took note, and suggested to then football coach Wally Butts that Seiler have his dog attend all the games as the official team mascot. Thus the greatest mascot in all of sports was born.

Since 1956 we have had 7 Ugas. Each has been the son of his predecessor. Each have been hand picked by Sonny at his home in Savannah, Ga. The Uga legacy has even been made into a documentary, called "Damn Good Dog"

On November 19th, 2009 the University mourned the sudden death of Uga VII. It was deemed a heart attack. The following Saturday Uga's doghouse was left empty, displaying a wreath. This night we also witnessed an epic 2nd half meltdown, turning the ball over 4 times in a loss to the much lesser Kentucky Wildcats. The following week, we traveled to Atlanta to play an overachieving Georgia Tech team, then ranked #7 in the Nation at 10-1. Just before the game, Russ was introduced to Bulldawg Nation.......

Russ is the 5 year old half-brother of Uga VII. He has a brown ear, and much of his back and little wrinkled, furry butt sports some brown as well. He is just as adorable as any of the Uga mascots.

In his debut, Russ witnessed a 30-24 upset of the Bugs from North Ave, and traveled with UGA to Shreveport, La to take on the Aggies of Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl. Russ was once again victorious in a 44-20 stomping of the Big XII school. Russ was also present two weeks ago for UGA's fan picture day held in Sanford Stadium every year. Embraced by Bulldawg Nation, and loved by all, shouldn't Russ continue his reign as the Country's Best Mascot?

Not according to Sonny.

Seiler’s goal is to find a mascot who can handle sideline duties for 8 to 10 years. At 5 years old, Russ is too old to become a permanent replacement. Seiler has recently claimed that there are a few candidates who have the potential to be UGA VIII.

“We’ve got several puppies that we can consider that are the offspring of the Uga line,” Seiler said. “You have to have at least two months before you can get a feel for the dog’s stature, his bone structure,”

Seiler hopes to announce a permanent UGA by the homecoming game against Vandy on Oct. 16th. Until then, Russ will bring his brown butt to every game. He will set up shop under the Sanford Bridge prior to the game to accomodate the swarm of fans trying to get a glimpse or picture of him. He will roam the sidelines, defending his dog house from the Cajuns, Hogs and Vols who wish to come and take it. While Russ knows his time of reign is numbered, he plans to put on his red sweater every week, and sit atop the mascot kingdom, continuing to make the University proud. Because Russ, the Temporary Mascot, is a Damn Good Dog!!

3 Days til we tee it up between the hedges!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!