It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Dawgs loss will NOT dilute the 2011 turnaround.

I have heard many Dawg fans say this past week that they "don't care if we lose to LSU this weekend".

While I do not completely agree with their sentiment, I do understand what they are trying to say.

I ALWAYS care if UGA wins or loses. A UGA win, whether it be against Coastal Carolina or LSU, makes me sleep easier at night. A UGA a loss, whether it be against Colorado or Bama, sends a dagger straight into the pit of my stomach which continues to stab for days, if not weeks.

But please recall what so many of us, myself included, said during this past summer. Raise your hand if you also declared that "As long as the Dawgs are in the hunt for, or make it to Atlanta in December, I will be happy." Well here we are, preparing for our second leg of the "Dome to Dome" mantra which was coined by our players during summer camp.

Jarvis Jones is a HUGE upgrade on our defense.
So will you be disappointed if the Dawgs come up short this Saturday? I certainly will. However, I foresee being able to take a potential loss with an unusually positive attitude. I may even possess the abilities, which are foreign to me, to be able to watch the night games after our Dawgs come up short during the afternoon. I've never been able to do that, no matter who is playing.

Just look where we were this time last year. A 6-6 record, with the humiliating and super-frustrating loss to Auburn still stinging. Not even our annual whipping of the Nerds made us feel better after that game. Our entire fanbase pretending to get pumped up about being sent to Memphis for New Year's. The media had about peaked on its 5-alarm fire they set under Mark Richt's seat. The team completely embarrassed by the amount of arrests that had recently taken place...... All while two other teams prepared for the spotlight in the Dome, while we bickered on any blog/message board we could get on. A looooong offseason was ahead of us, and we knew it.

You think we'd see this image ever again last December?
Now look where we are today. 10 wins in a row after losing to two very respectable opponents earlier in the season. A defense that has us as giddy as we have been since the train tracks gang cheered for Erk Russel on our sidelines. A record season by Aaron Murray, which makes us feel VERY good about the next two seasons. For the first time since 1981, we beat Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and the Nerds (and beating rivals is FUN). ESPN is actually giving us positive press throughout the day. We have (though injury prone) a running back which we see a bright future in. A seemingly resurrected Mark Richt, with the media discussing a likely contract extension...... Good days seem ahead in Athens!!

So this weekend, to many Dawg fans, is indeed just icing on a cake we weren't fully expecting to get to eat this season. While a loss will certainly hurt the hearts which beat for Saturdays in the fall in the great state of Georgia, there is simply too much optimism around this program to let us spiral back to those dark days of bickering amongst one another. It should not be hard to tip our hats to the respectable #1 team in the nation, and ask them to represent the SEC well in the BCS National Championship game.

While I certainly am not hoping for or expecting a loss this weekend, I can honestly say that win or lose, we will have done it respectably. And that is exponentially more than we could say this time last year.



Monday, November 21, 2011

The Voice of God

I feel I would be an irresponsible blogger if I failed to write a piece on the passing of Larry Munson. But I am having trouble finding the words to jumble together which wouldn't mirror the sentiments already written by so many similar to myself.

I need not tell you that Dawg Nation lost one of the unmovable members of the Mount Rushmore of UGA last night. I need not tell you that emotions are running very high throughout the state of Georgia, and all of the college football world. All of those things have been written more today than perhaps ever before.

I heard a phrase when I was younger, which I tend to mentally reference in certain situations. "Do not cry because it is over. Smile because it happened". I can think of no situation or person more worthy of this phrase than Larry Munson, being called home.

When I heard the news last night, an overwhelming warmth came over me, knowing that we had been so fortunate for the Munson family to share their son, father, husband, and brother with the world in the manor in which they did. Larry's life was one which touched so many people, that while mourning is a certain step in the process, a celebration is so much more appropriate.

So like you, I let my fingers type in multiple searches on YouTube last night, letting the voice of God re-live those moments which have been cemented into the minds and hearts of Dawg Nation. Throughout today I have soaked in all of the links and articles written about Larry, and smiled while absorbing each one.

I am unsure what I can write here, that you have not already been pleasantly inundated with today. All I can offer you is the confirmation that we share the same thoughts and feelings about the wonderful life of Larry Munson. It makes me giddy to think that as I write this, Larry Munson and Lewis Grizzard are likely sitting together, swapping stories and catching up on time missed. What I would give to get my hands on that piece of audio.

I look forward to the tributes which are due, and well deserved. I would like to make the trip to Sanford Stadium whenever an official memorial is organized.

I would like to extend an idea to the new radio voice of the Dawgs, Scott Howard, to allow the opening kickoff, as well as the first offensive play this Saturday, to go "radio silent", as we all know Larry will take care of it for us. If any of my readers know Scott, please pass this idea along to him for me.

We all have our envisions of what the voice of God will sound like. And I believe the millions of family members who make up Dawg Nation can agree, that the voice has just returned to the appropriate place.

Rest peacefully, Larry Munson. You are gone, but will NEVER be forgotten.

Go Dawgs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Todd Grantham has found the joy in Mudville

Does anybody remember which team struck out Mighty Casey?

Mudville, known for a short time as "Athens"
I do. It was the 2008 version of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Starting on January 2nd, 2008 (the day after UGA destroyed Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl), the morale and joy steaming out of Athens was at a Herschel-like level. With a dominating defensive showing against what was suppose to be the best offensive attack the Dawgs have seen in years from the Warriors, Dawg Nation felt pretty giddy about what the next fall would have in store. Throw in the fact that we had a more-than-proven, dominating quarterback and running back tandem coming back, and you couldn't keep hats or car stickers with the red "G" on the shelves.

The 2007 season was one of fun. Mark Richt uncharacteristically showed that he could light a fire under a team like none other. They danced in the endzone in Jacksonville, and painted Athens black on a memorable night in November. The fanbase and the team was having fun, and winning as a result of it.

The summer of 2008 brought with it an unwelcome guest to Athens: the injury bug. Like ducks in a row, it seemed every day we would learn of another ACL being torn, or a bone being snapped. But all was well.... we still had our offensive threats healthy, so panic refused to set in.

The season started as well as it could have, except for yet more injuries to starting lineman, and the media darling Trojans of USCw taking over our #1 spot despite us winning in convincing fashion. Then came the night we were suppose to confirm to the world what we felt: that we were unstoppable.

September 27th, 2008: Tide 41, Dawgs 30. And it was NOT as close as it looks.

The Dawgs went on to win 10 games that year. But nobody had fun doing it. We had blown our chance. The 18 season ending injuries we accumulated from summer through fall proved to be too much burden to lay on the shoulders of a star quarterback and running back.

Then came the dreaded post season press conference. Mathew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno decided they were ready for the brighter lights of the NFL. And just like that, Athens turned into Mudville. And I need not have to remind you, that there was no joy in Mudville, for Mighty Casey had just struck out.

So for the 2009 and 2010 season, Dawg Nation tried to find whatever joy they could, still hungover form the premature drunk of the successes desired, but never delivered by those 2008 Dawgs. But conference loss after conference loss, and embarrassing arrest after embarrassing arrest began to take its toll. The media conjured up the "Mark Richt hot seat" obsession, and fans began to turn on the program and each other. If it were possible, more mud had been slung all over Mudville.

New age Mighty Casey

But this year, Mighty Casey seems to be quietly resurrecting out by the arch and between the hedges. And Mighty Casey happens to have another name, going by Todd Grantham.

Grantham seems to have solved one of the most frustrating facets of our SEC minded fans, and delivered back to us a Junkyard Dawg defense. Now ranking 5th in the nation in overall defense, Dawg Nation has rekindled their joy, and feel confident going into battle with anybody. A championship is one single game away. The buzz accumulating from Dalton to Savannah, and Lake Hartwell to Columbus is finally back on a positive note.

Mudville was never going to concede all its pride and traditions for anybody, no matter what some of the local and national media wanted you to think. Mudville may have had a few sleepless nights over the last years, and those nights seem to remain sleepless, but for reasons coming from the other end of the spectrum... excitement!

This Saturday Mighty Casey steps back up to the plate, attempting to seek retribution for the huge strikeout in 2008. Hit a homerun on this day, and he gets the chance to do it again in the Georgia Dome on the first Saturday in December, with the nation watching.

Even the best case scenario of winning out this season, finding a way to win in the Dome, and winning the Sugar bowl will not yield with it a national championship. However, doing so will create a buzz worthy of comparison to the spring and summer of 2008 for next season. And Mighty Casey has the chance to give this to us starting this Saturday.

Though it may go against everything you thought you knew and believed.... there IS joy in Mudville, and it seems to be going nowhere anytime soon!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Mark Richt shows his class in "blowout" of Auburn

Urban Meyer would have called 2 timeouts in the final minute. Steve Spurrier would have openly promoted the "revenge factor". Nick Saban would have called pass plays throughout the 4th quarter.

Could have been SO MUCH worse
Not Mark Richt. Throughout the entire week leading up to this year's installment of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, despite countless media attempts to have him talk about it, you would have never known that there was bottled up anger in the Dawgs after the fashion in which Auburn won last year. If I need to remind you of the snide, classless, and dirty manor in which Auburn spanked our Dawgs on the plains last year, then you have stumbled across the wrong blog.

So after the most dominate 1st half of football played against a "worthy" SEC opponent since the 2007 version of the DSOR (original blackout game), and the scoreboard reading 35-7, there was plenty of chatter in my section, and I am sure your's, about the want and desire to hang a solid 70 on the war-tigers. I am sure there was plenty of this raw emotion and feeling amongst some of the upper-classmen in the locker room as well.

But instead, the Dawgs defense continued to do its thing, while the offense kept the ball on the ground and only put up 10 points in the 2nd half. I believe I read a stat that our final 24 or 25 offensive plays were of the rushing variety.

Was this a sign of respect to Gene Chizik, who danced and visually attempted to pump up his players and fans last year when that despicable ruckus broke out in the waning minutes of the game? I sincerely doubt it.

Taming the,
Instead, this was Mark Richt's way of showing the Auburn coach, players, and their fans that he is just simply above the shenanigans which so many others are willing to partake in. Coach Richt knew that he had sent a message to Coach Chizik through the form of a solidly played, respectable football game. And the fact that is was a total and utter domination of the eagles tigers sure didn't hurt.

Take a look around college football at the moment, and soak in the types of behaviors being exhibited by coaches who have seen success. Would you trade Coach Richt for the chance at being an ESPN media darling, and the promotion that comes along with it, if it meant being in the situation Penn State is in right now? Do you want every weekly press conference Richt conducts to constantly provide bulletin board material for the upcoming opponent's locker room? How would you like to see Richt slamming down his headset and slobbering all over the officials faces during a tirade? How would you like for a blowout win like the one we saw on Saturday, be overshadowed the entire next week with talk of how classless he was by hanging 70 points when it was not necessary?

The little red devil on one of your shoulders sure does provide a tempting sales pitch at times, trying to get you to do things which you know will be instantly satisfying, but bring with it lingering regrets. And one thing Coach Richt sure seems to have mastered, is listening to that white angel on his opposing shoulder instead........ well, except this time ------>  Georgia/florida 2007  (click link for good memories)

Consider yourselves lucky Auburn fans.... You know good and well as I, that this could have, and should have been a WHOLE LOT worse!!

And one more thing..... There seems to be a missing item report filed for a "hotseat", that once belonged to Coach Richt. If you see it, ignore it, as it is no longer a relevant conversation piece. Welcome home, Mark. Welcome home!!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Tomorrow epitomises what Dawg Nation lives for.

For a great amount of us, UGA football inhabits a large percentage of our daily thoughts. In the south, especially, college football is not just a sport which takes place in the fall, but rather a way of life and religion. We plan our family outings, weddings, and even delay a birthday party by a day or two depending on who and where the Dawgs are playing on those glorious fall Saturdays. It often makes me sad when I do the math, and realize that only 3.3% of a calendar year is a gameday And only half of those take place in the Classic City. And in that depressingly low statistic, only one (or two if we are lucky) of those gamedays brings with it the magnitude of what a Saturday in the south is truly about. Tomorrow in Athens, happens to be one of those days. 

Tomorrow is suppose to be sunny with highs in the low to mid 60's. For those of you living in a tunnel, or are just simply blind, northeast Georgia is experiencing  one of the most glorious fall foliages I can remember, thanks in part to summer drought-like conditions and a colder than normal October. If there is one place in the state to witness the beauty and majesty of the season, outside of the mountains, Athens is that place.

A common scene around the state
Every fan of every sport longs and yearns for the games which have championship implications riding on them. Such a slim number of those fans ever get that opportunity. For Dawg fans, tomorrow's Athens sunrise brings with it the most important day in the past six seasons. For the first time since 2005, a game between the hedges is being played in November, with UGA being in control of its own destiny in the SEC Eastern race. And there is no better way to play that game than to do so in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry fashion, with Auburn paying visit.

Even though all the Dawgs need to do is win in order to keep control, the day will be made even better with the fact that help may be handed to us in a game taking place before Brook Whitmire declares on the Sanford Stadium speakers that "It's Saturday in Athens". Even if it does require a win by the treacherous alligators of north central Florida, that game will be an added spice to an already buzzworthy day. So hopefully you, or somebody you know has a tailgate equipped with a satellite TV, so you can keep abreast on the wonderful sport which drives our lives.

For those who will not be blessed with mobile television waves, please do not be shy and poke your head into a downtown Athens bar, and open up your wallet. While the downtown restaurant and bar industry thrives just fine on the (over 21.. *cough, cough) student body year round, the six Saturdays a year when 100K+ migrate in is an added bonus, helping drive the places which possess and cradle so many of our memories. So get in there and enjoy a little bit of the early games, while the anticipation in your stomach slowly takes wings and grows restless.

There is simply nowhere else in this world I would rather be tomorrow than Athens, Ga. We are so truly blessed as a fanbase to have such a magnificent place of congregation, even if it is so seldom throughout the year. So few towns and campuses across the country are as fortunate as the Dawg Nation to be faced with a day like the one which stares at us tomorrow. The Classic City is a siren in our heads year round, and tomorrow her seductive melody will be calling our hearts more than ever, leading us to a great battle between the hedges, like none we have bared witness to in years. Answer her call, and come join your brethren in the greatest place on earth, on one of the finest days imaginable.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheer for the Gators????????

It goes against everything I stand for as a UGA Dawg.

My hatred for Florida is actually older than my undying love for UGA. See, when I was a child in elementary school back in the early 90's, Florida State was one of the suave, chic, young, and "swaggered" (as the kids would say these days) teams out there. So being a sports junkie as long as I can remember, I took a liking to the Seminoles, who took over all the national broadcasts during this confused time in my life (remember, Goff was in Athens and there just wasn't much to get excited about coming out of the Classic City). So being a Seminole "fan", I DESPISED the alligators from Gainsville. I actually remember crying whenever the alligators would beat the Noles.

It wasn't until around Middle School, at age 12 or so, when I began to realize that the players on the University of Georgia football team were indeed MY home team, representing everything I knew and loved about the great state of Georgia. So throughout my transition to eventually become as big a Dawg backer and supporter this world has known, the one constant was the fact that the alligators remained the team of Satan, who as far as I am concerned, sympathize with General Tecumseh Sherman's idea to burn the state of Georgia into an oblivion.

Look at Sherman's uniform.... told you!
All of a sudden, this Saturday, the basis of all things I know are being challenged, even if it is for the better of my Dawgs. I doubt I need to explain to you that if the alligators beat South Carolina this Saturday morning, the Dawgs will be playing for the East Championship immediately following. And by damned, I think the University, its fans, and its loyal supporters deserve this very scenario after all we have gone through the last several years.

Before somebody points it out, I am fully aware that if South Carolina beats the alligators, we can still beat Auburn and Kentucky and win the East. But I cannot think of a more special day Between the Hedges than clinching our division against the team which we have salivated for revenge against over the last 365 long days. I cannot think of a better buzz in Sanford Stadium amongst our players and our loyalists than a 3:30pm, peak of a beautiful southern fall kickoff, knowing how big a win would be for our program. And in order to make this dream scenario a realistic one.... well..... one thing MUST happen......

So I plan on utilizing my time before kickoff in Athens by pumping about $20 of my own personal money stash into some lucky downtown bar while watching the Cocks and alligators play football. And I want nothing more than for my dream Saturday scenario to play out as I want it to......

But I 100% REFUSE to utter the words. So I am going to let Ms. Corrine Brown say it for me......

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Atlanta media WILL NOT ruin my week; And a mysteriously missing Israel Troupe

This is how I've felt since Saturday around 7:30pm
Between school and wedding planning, I haven't even had the opportunity to write a good, fun-filled article about the Dawgs whooping up on the alligators. But it seems now that that would just be inappropriate, according to many. 

And by many, I mean the Atlanta media, who from my car ride to school Monday morning, were already attempting to discredit the UGA victory because we won "ugly". And now they are so disgruntled at the fact that they were unable to break the story of our 3 tailbacks being suspended, that they have reduced themselves to conspiracy theorists.

We are all aware of the circumstances by now. Rumors buzzed Dawg Nation last Friday about a possible suspension of somebody. Isaiah Crowell and others play on Saturday in the most important game of the last few seasons. Weekly press conference occurs Tuesday with Richt being mum on tailback's statuses. Twenty minutes after press conference, press release issued regarding Crowell, Thomas, and Malcolm's suspensions for New Mexico State game this Saturday.

So obviously since nobody was suspended for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, it is a proven fact that UGA and Mark Richt hid something isn't it?!.... Or was nobody suspended??

Israel Troupe was mysteriously absent in Jax
Does anybody find it strange that Israel Troupe didn't even make the trip to Jacksonville? On Friday, October 28th, when the rest of the team was arriving at their hotel in St. Augustine, Troupe tweeted out "I'm in Buckhead at my boy's house". The news wasn't issued from UGA until nearly kickoff Saturday that Troupe was "hurt" and didn't make the trip. While I have no reason not to believe this, the overall trend this season  is for the Dawgs to stay extremely mum on any and all disciplinary actions, unlike in recent years. It was only a few weeks ago when  we had several UGA players tweeting about their runs in the rain at 5:30am. And that, for once, wasn't the top story on the sports page. I have heard from more than one source that the reason we never saw Ray Drew hit the field until the Coastal Carolina game was for disciplinary reasons, unbeknownst to any and all media. And who on earth heard a thing before (or after for that matter) Isaiah Crowell did not see the field at Vanderbilt until the first play of the 2nd quarter?? Why should the Israel Troupe situation be any different? Telling the media he is "hurt" is a way to avoid a plethora of unwanted questions on a day when your team needs to be focused the most.

I have read and heard more than a few times that drug tests in the NCAA are administered and sent to a lab, with results coming back 4-5 days later. Apparently the tests administered to our tailbacks took place the Thursday before Jacksonville, with results returning yesterday (Tuesday). Whether Mark Richt knew about it before or after the press conference is his business. He was in absolutely NO WAY obligated to bring it up during, and the media around the Atlanta area is just sorely pissed off that their viewer/readerships found out from other sources before theirs. Hence the witch hunt of phantom information which could lead to bigger bumps in Athens, giving the media the opportunity they so merely missed.

This should be an extremely joyful week in the Atlanta and Athens areas for Dawg fans. We just beat the alligators, who have been the biggest thorn in our tails since the USFL taking Herschel early. It doesn't matter how down they were, or how ugly our win was... we beat them!!! And I do not know a single Dawg fan who isn't giddy about that. This week is our homecoming game, which will take place on a sunny afternoon during one of the most beautiful fall seasons I can remember as a lifetime Georgian. We shouldn't have to stress a thing  about or during the game itself. We should be chins to the sky after the final seconds tick off the Sanford Stadium scoreboard, as we head home to be Razorback (not Petrino) fans for a night, as a win against South Carolina puts us in sole possession of first place in the East. We should be able to enjoy flipping back and forth with that game, to get a preview of the challenging task ahead with Bama and LSU going at it.

But the Atlanta media refuses to let that happen for us. Instead they want blood. They cannot stand the fact that we as a fanbase have been giddy since Saturday around 7:30pm. Most of them are from the north, and don't understand the southern religion of college football beyond the angry callers whom they love to antagonize.
Going to be a TOUGH week at practice, Isaiah

So until I hear directly from Greg McGarity or Mark Richt that some shady antics took place, I have ABSOLUTELY zero reason to believe anything other than what they have already said, which is that the drug tests were administered Thursday, and results back on Tuesday.

Isaiah, Carlton, Ken...... I hope you puke your guts out during practice this week. You deserve it. You are all boneheads. You all need to learn from this, and understand what your coach means when he says "it will make you better men". And when you prove this week and next that you are indeed worthy and capable of doing things the "Georgia Way", I will be in Sanford Stadium along with 92,745 of my best friends screaming "GO DAWGS!!!!!"

Fans, enjoy the week!!! WE DESERVE IT!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Free Aaron Murray!!

This entire season I have felt like something is missing when I watch Aaron Murray's QB play. But I hesitate to place blame on the young man, more than I place blame on Mike Bobo.

"Trust me coach......"
If there ever was a time for Mike Bobo to free Aaron Murray, this is that time! We all saw glimpses of it last year, when Aaron seemed to take games over, and execute plays the way he wanted to. But more times than should be this season, I have felt a Joe Cox like presence from Aaron, making up his mind what he is going to do on a given play, with absolutely zero chance of taking glances at option B or C. I feel as if Mike Bobo is feeling the heat of the oh-so-old coach's hot seat chatter that the local media continues to obsess over, and making sure plays are being executed the exact way the X's and O's say they should be.

Aaron has thrown more than one pick that I can think of this season, trying to thread a needle, while another receiver or two were much more open. I cannot help but point my fingers at the ultra-conservative play calling we have come so accustomed to from Bobo. It is as if Bobo has drilled it in Aaron's head that "this is the play we are going to run, and this is exactly how we are going to run it".

Does anybody remember last year in Jacksonville, when the Dawgs were backed up against the wall in the 4th quarter and needed some big plays? Does anybody remember the improvisational plays that Aaron and Orson Charles put together? Aaron and Orson have been working together since their Plant High School days in Tampa, FL. There is no doubt in my mind that the chemistry those two have created over the years working outside of monitored practice, was the reason for the Dawgs at least pushing that game in overtime last year. That, is what Aaron is more than capable of doing..... if given the chance.

Aaron and Orson, a DEADLY, intangible combination
I admired the hell out of Aaron this past summer, about the time when fall camp had yet to begin, but the players had all reported to campus. An article came out about how Aaron had reported to Bobo or Richt one, that "This Mitchell (Malcolm) kid is the real deal! Where did he come from?" This was a tell all sign that Aaron makes an effort to work with his receivers on his own time, at least attempting to create the gel he has with Orson, with all others. Aaron knows where his receivers are going to be, where they are going to turn, and where they are going to go if a defense happens to sniff out the original plan. It is LONG overdue to give him the reigns of his own receiving corps, and show the world what he can do.

Although Mitchell is "doubtful" this weekend, Aaron is more than ready to step up and create plays when plays simply aren't as obvious to others. I hope to see Bobo relax on him, and stop treating him like a child "learning the system", and start letting him "revolutionize the system".

Less than 48 hours til kickoff!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Auburn game looms MUCH larger than the WLOCP

Nobody in the great state of Georgia wants to see the Dawgs beat the luxury purses and designer shoes out of Will Muschamp's alligators this weekend than I. However and unfortunately, I have been trained throughout my young life to look at the scenario of the Dawgs winning the East based on coming up short (once again) in Jacksonville. Especially considering all 3 times we have played on the first weekend in December, we fell short to the alligators earlier that season.  

So like the dog who drooled when Pavlov rang his bell, I too am going to go ahead and assume we will come up short this weekend based strictly on seeing the word "Florida" on the schedule....... So what after that???


The biggest win for UGA this season had nothing to do with any points we put up, or points not given up by our defense. The biggest win came two weekends ago about the same time Vanderbilt's coach James Franklin decided to call out Shawn Williams, and then took a good finger pointing and tongue lashing from Todd GrAnThAm (<----- see what I did there?). During the over hyped exchange between these two, the newly despised Auburn War-Tigers did UGA the biggest favor they've done for us since giving us Vince Dooley. They handed the alligators their 3rd SEC loss.

This may end up playing HUGE for the Dawgs, assuming my pessimistic attitude about the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party once again proves true.

Great kid, unfortunate circumstance, but good for Dawgs
So, when if we mentally collapse and lose to the alligators this weekend, all eyes need to go straight to the 7:15pm kickoff in Knoxville, where the Cocks of Carolina will be playing the Vols. I don't think I need to tell any of you that a kid named Lattimore will be in sweat pants instead of shoulder pads for the remainder of this season, and possibly spring. I also need not remind any of you that a loser named Garcia has been unseen or heard from for the last 3 weeks. And if our orange clad neighbors can incessantly play that damn "Rocky Top" to the point that the newely inexperienced Cocks fall short, it will be just as if Saturday NEVER took place. And personally, I like the Vols' chances!

This will mean two VERY important things. 1) The Dawgs MUST, MUST, MUST beat Auburn on November 12th in Sanford Stadium. 2). The Cocks MUST MUST MUST lose another game. And since they are going to be on the road against a strong #8 Arkansas, and at home against an alligator team who will most definitely have their starting QB back in Brantley, I can see them easily losing one of or both of these games. And the silver lining is, if the Cocks somehow manage to beat the alligators.... well... that will be loss #4 in the SEC for the alligators. Either way, UGA benefits from this game. 

I will go ahead an put a W in the win column for the Dawgs against Kentucky on November 19th. If you thought Washaun Ealey's 5 TDs in Lexington was something last season, just wait and watch Isaiah run against this year's Kentucky D.

The lights shine bright at night in Sanford
So this scenario makes the game on November 12th the ABSOLUTE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR for the Dawgs. No matter who wins and loses what over the next couple of weeks, if we do not beat Auburn, the chances of seeing a sea of red in the Georgia Dome in December will be hanging by a thread. I personally hope the networks realize this, and put us under the lights in Sanford Stadium. A 7:30pm, ESPN kickoff would suite the Dawg faithful just fine if you ask me. Get our boys fired up! Get the crowd loud and crazy! Because that revenge we have longed for since last November, when Nick Fairley tried to kill Aaron Murray and the War-Tiger's professional rent-a-QB took us to the shed, is going to have a WHOLE LOT more meaning in the big picture.

But it sure would be nice (and easier) if we are the ones smiling come 7:30pm this Saturday in Jacksonville......

GO DAWGS!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

**BREAKING** Mike "Big Dawg" Woods under NCAA Investigation

You read the headline right......

While I was enjoying one of the finest days the city of Knoxville, TN has ever bared witness to this past Saturday (ending with a Dawg W), I stumbled upon a story from a very well know and loved Dawg which I found very interesting, as well as a bit sad and pathetic.

Mike "Big Dawg" Woods
We all know the friendly face head of Mike "Big Dawg Woods". (If you would like to get to know him a bit better, click this link ----->  Raycom Sports Mike "Big Dawg" Woods documentary ) Some of us may also have heard a snippet or two about the puppy used in Isaiah Crowell's signing day belonging to Mr. Woods.

Well, this past Saturday, in Knoxville, Mr. Woods graced our tailgate for several minutes, and was open to talk about any and everything with the lively crowd. I took it upon myself to ask him if he would tell us how his puppy ended up at Carver-Columbus High School, in the hands of the most sought after recruit many of us can remember in some time. And so he spoke.......

Come to find out, (And Mike "Big Dawg" claimed it was the first time he had spoken on the matter to anybody) that the NCAA had just, within the last couple of weeks, closed an investigation into the dealings of the puppy. Mr. Woods, Isaiah Crowell, and UGA escaped a major violation by much less than you may know....

Mr. Woods began his story on the eve of signing day, when his phone rang from a number he was unfamiliar with. The voice on the other end claimed they were a representative of Isaiah Crowell, and they heard Mr. Woods had some puppies that that would fit what Isaiah wanted to hold during his much anticipated announcement the following day. Mr. Woods was taken a bit back by the inquiry, and told the voice on the other end that he would call them back in ten minutes. Mr. Woods went and found a puppy that was suitable, a ten day old, all white pup, and returned the call. Mr. Woods, for reasons unknown, was unable to drive to Columbus the next morning, so he told Isaiah's representative that he could pick up the puppy in Athens the following morning if they so wished. Mr. Woods made arrangements to meet outside of The Blind Pig in Athens for the pickup. The following morning, as planned, the representatives arrived on time and picked up the puppy.

These two pups almost got in serious trouble
So no harm, no foul... right? I mean it's a cute little puppy used on a day in which 18 year old boys get to pretend they are signing multi-million dollar contracts, and out-showboat their cockiness to every other Div1 signee. Not according the the "we have nothing better do do sometimes" NCAA....

What you, myself, and the rest of Dawg Nation never found out until now, is that the NCAA put a full fledged investigation into how the puppy got into the hands of Crowell, as they considered it an extra benefit and major violation.... even if only borrowed. Luckily for Dawg Nation, the representative of Isaiah, who called and came to pick up the puppy, happened to be Isaiah's cousin. And for those of you who have had your heads buried in the sand for the last year, the NCAA has yet to figure out a way to enforce and punish "benefits" given to family members of athletes, so long as the athletes "don't know anything about how the benefits got there".... Just ask a church down in College Park, Ga, run by a Pastor Newton, with a shiny new $180,000 steeple.

Had Mr. Woods driven the puppy down to Carver-Columbus himself, a major violation would have occurred, and the eligibility of Isaiah Crowell would be unknown today. There is a VERY good chance the two touchdowns he scored this past Saturday would have either been scored by somebody else, or not at all. Can you imagine the morale of Dawg Nation right now if we only had Carlton Thomas running laterally while losing his helmet, and Richard Samuel slamming into the backs of his blockers? Isaiah has shown he is the real deal and Dawg fans all over are giddy with the possibilities of what we may see from him for the remainder if this, and at least the next two seasons.

Mr. Woods informed us that newly hired UGA Compliance attorney Mike Glazier, who you may remember handled the Jarvis Jones case a few months ago, handled all the legal work with dealing with the NCAA Compliance Department. Luckily everything was worked out, and nothing will result from the matter.

Find better things to worry about, NCAA

Now I don't know about you, but I feel the NCAA has much bigger items to worry about other than a puppy being borrowed for a National Signing Day exhibition. I felt the same way when the NCAA stuck their noses into the presence of past Dawgs at Ray Drew's announcement a few months prior to Crowell's. With all the sketchy re-aligning going on throughout the NCAA, and Nevin Shapiro unofficially turner the Miami Hurricanes into a NFL team competing for the highest payroll, I feel a ten day old puppy on loan for a few hours should be the absolute least of their worries.

Mike "Big Dawg" Woods is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I would go out and predict he has never turned a fan down for a picture, or just the opportunity to shake his hand and share a "Go Dawgs!" The NCAA needs to leave him alone, and realize that they are just making themselves look like major bullies, as opposed to the major college sports administration they should be.

On behalf of Mike "Big Dawg" Woods, and the rest of Dawg Nation, I only have one final thing to say to the NCAA.... GO DAWGS!!!!!!

**I would like to note that Mike "Big Dawg" Woods, did not ask me to write this story, and I failed to ask him permission to write it before he left the tailgate. But I consider it to be my duty as an aspiring journalist to share stories that come across my knowledge with people who share a common interest in the University of Georgia Football Program. This story is in no way created to shine any type of negative light on Mike "Big Dawg" Woods, Isaiah Crowell, or any other area of UGA. There is the possibility of misconstrued information, as the story I was told was not recorded on anything but my memory.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Age Junkyard Dawgs Straight Invaded Rocky Flop

Minus 20 (-20) yards rushing given up.....
Dawgs feasting on a creamsicle

Not in a single set of downs. Not by 1 single player. Minus 20 yards rushing allowed by the Junkyard Dawgs Defense over the ENTIRE game to lowly Tennessee. Oh, and not between the hedges, but while baking in a pot of tacky orange at Neyland Stadium!! I speak for the entire Dawg Nation when I say "YES SIR!!!!!"

Big hats off to the Dawgs D this weekend, and an extra bark or two for Junior ILB Mike Gilliard for claiming the SEC Defensive Player of the Week in the effort. I do not like reporting stats, but MG had 12 tackles, 1 big time sack, and 1 pass breakup. GATA!!!

So this new wave of defensive production has me feeling a bit cautiously optimistic. And to think, that we have yet to see Sophomore Alec Ogletree, who drew more praise than anybody on that side of the ball during camp. Am I the only one who cannot wait to see him rip apart whichever underachieving Gator quarterback decides he wants a piece of our D in 3 weeks?? I thought not....  Also, do not forget we did this on Saturday night without Cornelius Washington, who will also return from being a bonehead in time for Florida.

Enough about the D. All you need to know is they are looking like DAMN GOOD DAWGS, and I expect no let up anytime soon.

Granthams "secret" to success
I was extremely fortunate to attend this game, which was the first time I have ever ventured away from the Hedges to watch the Classic City Canines. I was far from disappointed. I met several fellow bloggers, whom you need to read if you are not already.... Hedges2Hardwood, ADamnBeast, DawgStephen. GO! Read them, and love them.

A special thanks to the Hedges2Hardwood crew who threw a pretty awesome tailgate for free-loaders like myself and some other tweeps (who you also need to go follow... @Ludakrisi @Dawgfan_1980 @BulldogBrock @Genxdawg @gadgetdawg @dawgstephen, and of course @hedges2hardwood) Good food and drink were shared by all!!

We had a very special treat during the day-long tailgate, when Mike "Big Dawg" Woods stopped by and hung out for a while. He told us a very interesting story about his dog being used at the Isaiah Crowell signing-day announcement, which I am still debating if I should write up or not...... for those there, consider yourselves extremely fortunate to have bared witness to his words.

So Neyland Stadium was impressive in size, but they truly are wasting an opportunity to have one of the most incredible views in all of sports being nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River. But they chose capacity over character... and somewhere an already rich chancellor doesn't regret it for a second. Also, I thought the Tennessee band incessantly played that damn "Rocky Top" song in Sanford Stadium.... HOLY CRAP are they obsessed with that annoying little jingle in Neyland. I honestly wasted about 6 minutes of my life in bed trying to go to sleep, while that song continued to make my inner ears bleed.

Tennessee is not a bad place to go to in October

Possibly my favorite part of the day, was leaving the stadium amongst that tacky sea of orange fans while all Dawg fans high-fived and screamed out "Go Dawgs" and other anti-orange slurs. The Vol fanbase was down... REAL down. You almost felt sorry for them, until you realized that nobody forced them to wear that color that day but themselves. And besides, it was their fans/students who decided to start a "F--- you Georgia" chant during a long official replay in the 3rd quarter.... just sayin'

Overall, a WONDERFUL trip was had to Knoxville. The ride home through the Great Smokey Mountains on Sunday wasn't half bad in itself. The foliage is quite nice up there right now.The people I met are just awesome, and I cannot wait to do it again!

Go Dawgs!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hobnail Boot: 10 years later.... Where were you???

 10 years ago, Britney Spears held a giant snake, Harry Potter became a major motion picture, the world was shaken by terror, Barry Bonds (with a little assistance) popped 73 homeruns, Enron hired some sketchy accountants, and Aaron Murray was entering the 5th grade.

10 years ago TODAY, The Dawgs stood 1st and Goal from the 6 yard line of Neyland Stadium, down by 4, only 10 seconds left on the clock. 

And then a term which will forever stand amongst the greatest in Bulldog lore was born. Nobody to this day knows exactly what a "Hobnail Boot" is. But the term is one of the most widely used when old and young Dawg faithful reminisce about their favorite memories. 

For a long time, I have thought a good coffee table book would be the personal accounts of Dawg fans describing where they were when Verron Haynes was on the receiving end of a perfectly floated David Greene pass, giving a young Mark Richt his first signature win as an SEC coach. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? How did you celebrate? What were you drinking on? Did you think, even for a second, of naming your first born "Hobnail"......??

Once upon a time, I considered this a "good beer"
My account: I was 18 years old. I had just recently graduated high school, and instead of going straight to college, I decided to "work for a year" (which ended up being 9 before I actually went back to school....) but was between dead end jobs on that October day. So I had nothing to do but watch the Dawgs on this day from my Dad's house in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I remember feeling so much promise in the first half, and then my feelings being absolutely crushed as Tennessee miraculously put up points to take the lead late. I had consumed about 5 bud lights, which for an 18 year old is a pretty hefty buzz, and was cussing and moaning as the Dawgs had a mile of field in front of them in order to score. But all of a sudden Randy McMichael (the forgotten one in this amazing drive) gave us back to back great catches, setting up a feeling that this might actually happen! I had Larry Munson on the radio, which gave a slight delay, but was obviously worth it. I stood in the middle of the living room, all alone, as that David Greene pass seemed to catch wings and glide straight into the hands of Verron. I jumped so high, that the ceiling fan may have given me a slight haircut. I ran out into the front yard and turned a victory lap, followed by a celebratory Camel Light which I had stolen from my older brother's carton which he stashed under his bed. I then called my best friend, who was off at college in Carrollton (West Georgia), to revel in the moment. I would give anything to re-live those few moments in all of its glory.

So your turn: Please give us your account in the comments below! It's always fun to put your words into your fingers, and re-live a day/play which you will undoubtedly have playing on the "Best of Larry Munson Calls" CD during your funeral.... don't deny it. And pass this blog on to your other Dawg fans, and let's generate some amazing reading material for all!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where the falling satellite SHOULD land

Rivalries and trash-talk are one thing that makes college football so wonderful. It can be a fun slap in the face to your hated opponents who are down, or it can be the the hot coffee spilt into your lap when you're already having a bad morning if your team falls short. I (most of the time) try to stay away from it on this blog, and focus on the things I love more than the things I hate..... BUT..... we are faced with a rare opportunity to exhibit our hope for a little help in our hatred of others, courtesy of NASA, circa: 1991

To set up this list, you first need to know that YOU ARE NOT SAFE at the moment. A 6 ton Satellite which has been spinning out of control for the better part of 2 decades is scheduled to come crashing down to earth sometime Friday, or Saturday, or even before.... And we have NO CLUE where the pieces (or the whole thing) will hit.

So why not use this opportunity to voice our desires as to where exactly we wish for this thing to land, and obliterate* the immediate surroundings.  (* and by obliterate, I mean while nobody is physically there, only major structural obliteration)......
Cheerleaders perform for the Georgia Tech crowd at Bobby Dodd
Click to enlarge to see all the fans!!

1. Bobby Dodd Stadium: Atlanta, Georgia
Home of the gnats, a giant piece of the satellite would be doing great justice by demolishing this piece of crap stadium which was recently outdone by Grady High School a couple miles away. Those people hate us, and by golly, we hate them just as much (we are just not as vocal and obsessed over it). How amazing would it be for the "Rambling Wreck" hunk of metal to be parked midfield while the satellite comes screaming down like a comet and destroys the entire lot. It would then be appropriate for the nerds to go play their home games at Grady High, so they can know what it feels like to play in front of a sellout. The atmosphere will also suite the High School level talent they host on a regular basis. And wouldn't it just plain be appropriate and ironic for a fanbase who likes to pretend all their football players go on to work for NASA, to have their stadium annihilated by the wrong-doings of.... NASA.

2. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Gainsville, Florida
Even though the Dawgs do not ever play here (ok, except for 1994), it still couldn't have a more appropriate nickname.... "The Swamp". In fact, I consider the entire town of Gainsville to be one giant swamp, minus the beautiful cypress trees, but crawling with people resembling Glenn and Mitchel, the famous brothers on Swamp People. A benefit of getting rid of this should-be condemned piece of land, would mean moving the Gators to their "other home field" in Jacksonville full time, meaning the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party would have to be moved to the Georgia Dome, or just a home and home like it should be.

3. Jordan-Hare Stadium: Metro Opelika, Alabama
By knocking this stadium into smithereens, the Auburn War-Tiger-Eagle-Plainsmen could officially stop trying to impersonate Sanford Stadium. In the new stadium they would have to build, they can bypass the eerily similar hedges surrounding their field, and perhaps come up with a fight song that doesn't sound so much like Glory, Glory.. also played in Sanford Stadium. The way things have been going on "the plains", perhaps "Jailhouse Rock" or a nice thugged out song by T.I. would be better suited. And while they are at it, don't put in glass which your Tiger-Bird might attempt to fly through.... (too soon?)

Nobody is here, because nobody likes being cooked alive

4. Williams Brice Stadium: Hell, South Carolina
Only because it's too damn hot there. I am pretty sure if we moved this series to Thanksgiving weekend, they would set the kickoff time for noon, and the temperature would still be 113 degrees. May they build their new stadium with a roof and a thermostat. 

5. Neyland Stadium: Knoxville, Tennessee
I really do not hate Neyland Stadium. I just don't like it nearly as much as I used to. All the satellite needs to do, is knock out the eastern side of the grandstands, to re-create the beautiful view of the Tennessee River, which they wanted to cover up for some reason.

6. The Horseshoe: Columbus, Ohio
Mainly just so they can have something else to blame on the SEC.

Leave the cowbells to the pros, MSU
7. Davis Wade Stadium: Starkville, MS
There really is no need to hate this place, but the hope here is that the impact will cause every cowbell within 100 square miles to immediately malfunction beyond repair. Build a new stadium that holds a SEC-like 70 or 80 thousand, and beat a SEC team regularly other than Ole' Miss in order to fill it, so you can stop crying because your fans cannot generate as much noise as the rest of the SEC, trying to justify your bells.

8. Pro-Player/Landshark/Dolphin/Sun Life Stadium: Miami Gardens, Florida
Because it will take nothing short of a falling satellite to take the attention off Nevin Shapiro at "The U"

9. Kyle Field: College Station, Texas & Faurot Field: Columbia, Missouri
By landing on both of these places, it will render Texas A&M and Mi(zz?)ou football-stadium-less, and should automatically disqualify them as suitable additions to the SEC, and we can continue to keep the SOUTHeastern Conference a "Southern thang".

Jesus is actually showing the satellite where to land
10. Notre Dame Stadium: South Bend, Indiana
By falling here, there is a good chance the fans and alumni of the Irish will stop feeling like they have the "luck o' the Irish" on their side.... since they are indeed in Illinois, United States... not in... well... Ireland. And in a related effect, the holier than though attitude might go away since we could just as easily claim that Jesus pointed the satellite at them, as much as they claim Jesus wants them to win on Saturdays.

Your Turn: 
Where would you like to see this rabid satellite land in order to drastically improve the landscape of college football?? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Isaiah ALREADY better than Knowshon

NO WAY Richt knew how good #24 would be
Knowshon Moreno was a name not too many had heard of at the start of the 2006 season. He literally showed up at UGA's doorstep during his recruitment process, after putting himself on a train from New Jersey to come let the Dawgs know he was interested (true story!). He landed his offer, accepted it without hesitation, and came to the great state of Georgia to play close to some of his family. 

One thing many of the Mark Richt pessimists love to reference is the redshirt which was left on the back of Knowshon Moreno back in 2006. What these pessimists fail to mention, however, is the Dawgs were dealing with one of their deepest RB squads the hedges have ever laid eyes on. Topping that list were already proven Danny Ware and Thomas Brown. And if you know anything about the Dawgs of the aughts, those boys could move the damn football!

So with the depth already at the position, and a season which didn't exactly go the way Dawg fans and coaches would have liked (losses to Vandy, UT mid season), there was very little need to burn the shirt off of Knowshon's back. Nobody had a clue what he would progress into, and there was certainly hope he would be a 3 or 4 year starter beginning in 2007.

I blame NOTHING on Coach Richt for the decision to keep Knowshon on the bench. This is just the way college football works. In fact I don't think Knowshon would have gotten any better by playing in the 2006 season, rather than just competing in practice and gaining multiple Spring Practices before he saw the big field.

And today, the hedges are feasting its eyes on Isaiah Crowell, who has already reminded me of Knowshon... but better!

Expect this a LOT, from #1
Isaiah got more attention during his recruiting process than Knowshon could have ever imagined. Isaiah was on the Dawg's radar long before he took his first unofficial visit. Isaiah played in his first game as a true-freshman. And when I look at Isaiah run the ball, I see what I saw from Knowshon, half way through his red-shirt-freshman season. I have absolutely no doubt that at this point in Isaiah's career, he is better than Knowshon was as a true-freshman.

Then to stop and think, that the bursts of greatness we have already seen from Isaiah have arguably come against the best 2 defenses he will see all season. The skills are already there. And like Knowshon, he will get better in time. We have a VERY special kid in Athens, folks.

While I will never declare ANYBODY the next Herschel, I will gladly go on record to declare Isaiah the next Knowshon. As an always optimistic Dawg fan, I have never been this excited to watch an 0-2 team, and I get giddy thinking about what Isaiah is going to look like come Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.

There is a taste of fall in the air today. And there is a sense of change in Athens right now that goes well beyond the colors in the trees. And the best way to sum it up is from our favorite raspy voice in all the land.... "My God a Freshman!!!!"

less than 24 hours til the next kickoff!!

ps...  I have not had much time to write recently, with school back and session, and as my twitter followers know, my fiance has been in Emory Hospital for the last couple weeks with kidney failures. We feel we are very close to a certain diagnosis, but a long road is ahead for us with treatments and rehabilitation. Thank you guys SO MUCH for outpouring thoughts and prayers sent our way!! She is a Damn Good Dawg, and will fight through this!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hate On, Haters.

For anybody who spends time reading anything online which allows comments, it has become painstakingly clear that UGA football has its fair share of haters. And so many have come out of the woodwork to revel in UGA's misfortunes the last couple of years. 

But I would like to remind the haters who love to talk crap, that at the end of the day, what you speak is just that.... crap.

In the past, I have been more than guilty of exchanging unpleasantries with fans of other programs. It was hard not to after Georgia Tech won the sloppy, rainy game in Athens a few years ago, when every, single, one of their fans decided to overtake any UGA blog or article to remind us of the final score. It got extremely annoying, and words were exchanged back and forth which I far from regret, but which I am glad I have grown out of.

Every college football fan has some sort of die-hard allegiance to one program or another. Many are based on where they went to school. Others base it on where they are from. Some just base it on which teams have been winning lately. Not a single one of them are wrong for it. Having any inkling of passion for a team is what makes the sport of College Football so wonderful for all.

So as the season is about to get revved up, I would like to remind the haters who are chomping at the bit for UGA to slip up, that there is not one damn thing that can make my undying passion for the Dawgs fade. Not the least bit. So you can hold your breath when it comes to letting me know your joys after any loss or any other hiccup this season.

I personally expect some early hiccups this year. We have a lot of inexperience which is about to be thrown into the fire. While this very well may translate into GREAT success either later on this season, or next, the early games are susceptible for disappointment. I expect to be 1-1 going into week 3, but like every other Dawg die-hard, I am hoping and praying for 2-0.

So when such a hiccup happens, haters, just keep in mind that there are no words you can speak which could EVER take away the feeling I get when I think of Athens, GA on a fall Saturday. There are no words that could ever erase the chills I get when the lone trumpeter plays their solo to begin the Battle Hymn of the Bulldawg Nation. There are no words which could dilute the memories I have of Larry Munson calling the plays of the Red and Black during my upbringing in north eastern Georgia. There are no words which can make me feel less at home when I take my seat inside Sanford Stadium with 92,746 of my closest friends and family. There are no words that can take away the emotions I get when I see the silver britches break through that beautiful, elongated G to enter the field between the hedges while the redcoat band plays "Glory Glory to ole' Georgia". No words can take away the spark that ignites inside of me when the redcoat band plays "Krypton Fanfare" before the start of the 4th quarter. No words could ever replace the joy I feel when hearing the Chapel Bell being rung after victory. No words can make me less excited to read whatever news or blogs comes out regarding MY Georgia Bulldawgs. 

So save your breath, haters. I don't care if UGA doesn't win a game for 10 years. I will still proudly wear my G, while counting down the hours until the next kickoff. I will still look forward to the good times spent with friends and family that comes along with college football.

So each of you haters who wish to chime in on my Dawgs, I am sure you have some allegiance for one reason or another to a rival program. So I ask you kindly, that while I pledge allegiance to mine, and you pledge allegiance to yours, please do not try and change my mind, as I surely am not trying to change yours.

Because frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

6 short days til' kickoff!!
Go Dawgs!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The 2008 #1 ranking ruined UGA (for a moment)

When the 2008 Dawgs were ranked #1, I believe it ruined the attitude of the football team in Athens.

hard to see here, but their heads are HUGE
Granted, we had about 36 season ending injuries before that team ever hit the field. The blackout fiasco didn't help them much, either. By the time they got to Jacksonville, they lacked any ounce of confidence. And by the time Tech came to Athens, they simply didn't care anymore.

But the worst thing that came out of that (underachieving) season, was the sense of entitlement that lingered over the program for the next couple of years. Without naming any names, there were more than a healthy handful of players who felt they were just bigger than the program. They felt the entire world bowed down to them even if they were not producing wins.

The media can be your best friend, and your enemy. And the effects from positive and negative media can work adversely. When every media outlet in the nation declared the 2008 team "preseason national champions", I feel the positive media negatively effected the attitudes of many. As time would prove, many "cancers" that lingered from that 2008 squad continued to let the combination of the media's effects and the lack of caring at the end of that season inhabit themselves and the ones around them beyond that year.

"And now a new breed of bulldawg stands ready to take the field of battle"

I strongly feel that the 2011 Dawgs have successfully ridden themselves of the lasting effects of that 2008 team, which was also the core of the grueling 2009-10 teams. The media has been tilting toward the doom-and-gloom stance for some time now, and the new leadership on this team is sick of it. The adverse effect of this seems to be an entirely new attitude lining up between the hedges.

Aaron has been an impressive leader on and off the field
Aaron Murray is fastly becoming my second favorite (David Greene) UGA quarterback of all-time. Coach Richt refers to him as a "coaches dream". Players have come to UGA simply because Aaron did (Orson Charles), because they have been well aware of his leadership and drive. Tagged along with Christian Robinson, referred to by many as the "quarterback of the defense", the team is under some of the best leadership it has seen in some time. As a bonus, Ray Drew has been outspoken as a leader of the freshman class, and an avid recruiter of future Dawgs to come. I feel the team is in mighty fine hands at the moment.

I am excited to see how much the combination of "addition by attrition" and new leadership will translate into performance. I have to be completely honest, and admit that I am more willing than most to accept some hiccups this year, especially early. But the team is on a completely different track than it was this time 3 short years ago. And that track looks to be leading us back to brighter places, in the media and on the field.

10 short days til' kickoff!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jerry Jones will move the SEC Championship Game to Dallas.

Clark Griswold would definitely take the fam here
Reports yesterday all but squashed the rumors that Texas A&M was a lock to come to the SEC. And today more rumors are emerging making it sound as if A&M could indeed be SEC bound.....   Who knows what to believe anymore....

So let's go ahead and say that Texas A&M joins the SEC. Maybe next year, maybe the following, or perhaps even 3 or 4 years from now. As we discussed previously, that would likely mean an Oklahoma or Missouri comes along with them for balance reasons.

So would this mean the SEC Championship game held on the first Saturday every December is safe in Atlanta? Jerry Jones has built himself a pretty big playground out in Dallas. If When the Texas Longhorns do indeed go Independent, and Texas A&M and others bolt from the Big 12, there will no longer be a Championship Game hosted by Jerry World. You cannot convince me for one second that Jerry Jones will not have a mighty-fine sales pitch for the SEC to move their championship showdown to the Lone Star state.

Jerry Jones already couldn't stand seeing the Georgia Dome host the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games the past 3 seasons, and has created his new Cowboys Classic game, beginning this season with Oregon and LSU. You can be assured that more television sets across the world will be tuned into that Top 5 matchup than the game our Dawgs are involved in at the exact same time. And don't look for that trend to change next year, even though there will be 2 games (Auburn/Clemson, Tennessee/NC State) held in Atlanta, because Jerry Jones has already secured a matchup of Alabama/Michigan for his 2012 Cowboys Classic. Where do you think ESPN College Gameday will go that weekend, along with the majority of interest and coverage??

I love to think of Atlanta, Georgia as the capital of SEC football. It's the place a large majority of SEC graduates congregate for work, as well as the central location for all school's destination hopes in December. I think having Texas A&M in the SEC will be a good thing, but I hope what comes to mind when  the SEC is mentioned is southern hospitality, shrimp and grits, peach cobbler, and the true deep south. I would hate for the image of the SEC to transition into deserts, big hair, cattle drives, and John Wayne.


19 days til' kickoff!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1 picture, 1,000 emotions.

I came across this picture the other day, and it made me stop and sigh, while yearning for the temperatures to cool down, and the Redcoat Band to warm up.

the perfect Sanford Bridge picture??

Sure, it is just another picture of an empty Sanford Stadium from the historic Sanford Bridge. We have all crossed it, and we have all stopped to admire its majesty and lore. But this particular picture was the perfect anecdote for my late summer blues. With Georgia temperatures in the mid to upper 90's, matching humidity percentages, and no clouds to provide the slightest glimmer of relief, I was able to obtain comfort getting lost between these frames.

After surviving a brutal Georgia August, the gray skies in this picture seem more than welcoming. The fact there are no leaves on the trees is a tell-all sign that the photographer is snuggled in their favorite blue jeans and soft, warm hoodie.

I would like to believe that this picture was taken on a late friday afternoon, sometime in late November, preparing to host Auburn or Georgia Tech the following day, with some sort of championship hopes on the line.

Yeah, that's where I would like to be today. I would like to be be the person snapping that picture, at that very moment.

23 days til' kickoff!!