It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top 5 Wish List of Wins in 2011

We are officially in the Dawg Days of summer, and news is slim. For a solo blogger like myself, fresh topics are becoming hard to come by, and will be until Coach Richt goes to meet the "other 11" in Hoover Alabama later next month.

SO what better way to push through the slow period than to make a list!!! No, not a preseason rankings list, and not a list comparing the top incoming SEC true freshmen who not a soul could predict their true impact....

Top 5 games we want NEED to win this season:

We need the cheers to shift to the left....
1. Florida 10/29, Jacksonville:  For obvious reasons, we always want to beat Florida more than any other team on our schedule. The reasons are not fun to talk about, and I will just leave it at that. PLEASE bring home a victory this year!

2. South Carolina, 9/10, Athens:  In years past, when we beat the COCKS, it is sort of a shrug it off "that was nice, but we are suppose to beat those guys" victory. But when we lose, it stings, and stings bad. This season, beating the chickens will not only put us in the driver's seat for the East, it will also erase the sting of last season, all while humbling Steve Spurrior and the newly "cocky" cocks.

3. Auburn, 11/12, Athens:  Do I need to talk about why we want to beat these guys asses this season?? Didn't think so. I hope "Evil Richt" we have had glimpses of this offseason shows up this day and runs the score up on the rebuilding War-Eagle-Tiger-Plainsmen..... my pulse increases just thinking about it......

4. Georgia Tech, 11/26, Atlanta:  It's our State Championship. While we hate these guys, it pales in comparison to how much they obsess over hating us. Watching their frustrations over Mark Richt collecting rent from their fans gives us a bit of sadistic satisfaction. Not to mention their arrogant coach has recently instructed their fans to "attack us". There is also no fanbase in the world who can win a game once a decade and delusionally think they are all of a sudden the leaders in our overall record.... just squash the nats... AGAIN

5. Tennessee, 10/8, Knoxville:  I almost feel like a Georgia Tech fan on this one. Tennessee owned us for years and years. Now every win we put together against the Vols is a good one! And since they are a bit on the down side, I have no problem kicking them hard to remind them they are down. That damn "Rocky Top" song makes my ears bleed when they are winning, but there is some sort of sweet melody attached to it when we have the advantage. In the famous words of Lane Kiffin, let's beat Tennessee this year, and we will "play Rocky Top all night long"


**Boise State, 9/3, Atlanta: This is one of those "for fun games", in a sense. The only thing riding on this is a national perspective amongst viewers who normally do not give a hoot about UGA. Winning this game will give us reason to pound our chest and declare ourselves "back", while losing will mean little, as we will still be 0-0 in conference play. Since Boise plays nobody of importance after us, they will remain highly ranked, and be considered a "quality loss" on our schedule.... but let's run those blue-broncos back west like 2005!

**Mississippi State, 10/1, Athens: We need retribution for the poor showing we displayed in Starkville last fall. We simply should have won that game, and by not doing so, we just gave our haters a bit of mix for their haterade concoction. Winning this game is crucial to our SEC run, and also for our perspective amongst the rest of the SEC fanbase

WHAT SAY YOU?? What games are most important to you?? Rank them below!!

65 days til' kickoff!

MORE PLANKING!! (for the last time, ever)

Since this fad is sure to die in the next few days (hopefully), and we are guaranteed to look back on this in late July and say "what were we thinking??", I give to you the FINAL EDITION of Dawg Day Afternoon's salute to UGA football players "planking"

The main culprit in this last edition: Redshirt Freshmen Michael Bennett, among a few others.

WELL DONE GENTLEMEN!! We hope this is how our opponents look when the leaves change!
65 days til' kickoff!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Planking" UGA's secret weapon!!

"Planking": lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location. The hands must touch the sides of the body, and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the internet is an integral part of the game. Players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play.The location should also be as public as possible, and as many people as possible should be involved.

This a sure-fire sign of the nearing Apocalypse, which began in Australia, and has swept the nation world universe over the last several months.

This fad productive practice has found its way to the beautiful campus of UGA, and introduced itself to our football players. Folks not in the know, believe it is the product of a Coach T workout. Others believe it is our football players imitating a Georgia Tech defender. But truth is, it's just the thing which makes fans, students, alumni, and mothers the most proud of our boys!!

Austin Long, Ben Jones, Christian Robinson, and Watts Dantzler seem to be the main culprits..... see if you can spot who's who...

WELL DONE GENTLEMEN!!!! Keep up the good work!!


Negative Recruiting looms large over UGA and Richt

It seems in years prior to 2009, top recruits from Georgia and around the southeast would be knocking down the arch trying to come to UGA and play for Mark Richt. Since we have hit the rough years of late, in-state recruits seem to commonly list Alabama, Auburn, and LSU as favorites early in the process.

It is a given that negative recruiting is being pumped into the heads of these recruits ever since Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz over that the AJC have become obsessed with the "proverbial hot seat" Mark Richt is supposedly perched on. I do not put it past Nick Saban, Gene Chizik, and Les Miles to spew to a Georgia recruit that "you know, the future is mighty uncertain over there in Athens. If you sign with them, you are likely to have a new coach before you get playing time. Will that coach see you as the early starter that I see you in my program?" And why not? All three of those coaches have shown that they will do whatever they can to get the competitive advantage.

Mark Richt has spoken publicly about his views on negative recruiting. In an interview back in the spring, Richt was asked how much negative recruiting he faced coming off a losing season, near the final pushes before national signing day. Richt replied:
"A lot more than any other season I've been at Georgia. We came through all the negativity that was out there. Our style of recruiting is to talk about Georgia and hope we're good enough. It's how we go about business. We don't spend time talking about the other teams."
"Everyone is friendly when courting a guy then when it looks like that one guy is leaning one way or the other, now he becomes a bulls-eye. At the start, we tell them, 'You're about to get bombarded for every reason why you shouldn't go to Georgia. If someone is talking about their school, you have to listen. If someone is talking about our school, you have to take it with a grain of salt.' So when you tell them on the front end that it's going to happen and it happens, they say 'Coach told me this.' And they really don't really appreciate it."
Anybody who knows anything about Coach Richt knows that the answer above is coming directly from his heart and character. I cannot in a million years see Coach walking into a young man's living room and telling them "You know if you go to Bama, there is little guarantee you will get a scholarship after Saban does whatever he does to trim his numbers" or "If you go to Auburn, there's a chance probation and loss of bowl eligibility  may very well be on the horizon". It just simply is not what Coach is about. It never has been and never will be.

So I for one will be VERY excited when UGA handily takes care of Boise State, pummels South Carolina, impresses through our conference schedule, and traditionally pounds the nats into the ground on Thanksgiving, getting rid of all this "hot seat" nonsense. Maybe then, when Saban, Chizik, and Miles walk into a recruits house wanting to negatively recruit them, the recruit will laugh, shake their hand, and kindly ask them to leave. <------ MUST CLICK

Let's get some wins, and see UGA as a "leader" again early in the recruiting process for the plethora of talent this state is graced with!!

66 days til' kickoff!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hines Ward a Nerd???

Hines Ward......

You just won Dancing With The Stars, what are you going to do next??? Go to Georgia Tech?!?!?!?

This is disgusting.

Oh my. It has been well known that Chad Ochocinco has been working out at Georgia Tech (for some unknown reason) during the lockout, bringing with him other NFL stars, including UGA's Mathew Stafford at one point. I guess Hines came home and decided to work out with him?? At least according to this picture tweeted by Ochocinco earlier today....

Hines, if you catch any hell from the Nerds, just remind them that you were 4-0 against them. Then show them this.....

GO DAWGS!!!!!!
To HELL with georgia tech!!

"Dream Team" May Become VERY Annoying in 2011

Whenever I am asked in the summer how I think the Dawgs will do this fall, I have a quick answer: "14-0". But in reality, one thing I am truly NOT excited about for the beautiful southern fall of 2011, is the first time UGA loses a game, and all media and hater's fingers aim directly at the "Dream Team".

For those who do not know, and those who simply forgot, the "Dream Team" in absolutely no way refers to the entire signing class of 2011. At some point in 2009 or 2010, when targets were circled for UGA to go recruit hard, Recruiting Coordinator Rodney Garner dubbed the term "Dream Team", referring to best of the best recruits who already reside in the state of Georgia, whom a sense of locational pride would be attempted to be instilled in them, so that they would want to stay home and represent the people they grew up with and the places they are from by playing for the flagship university which represents the very people and places mentioned. Got that??

So this whole "Dream Team" concept really is only a few of our incoming true freshman.... not the entire class. I am glad we settled this, because media near and far seem to lack the ability to grasp this concept.

The concept wasn't ever intended to get into the media's hands in the first place. I remember an interview early in the recruiting process where Rodney Garner seemed surprised that the media member interviewing him knew what it was. Thanks to facebook, twitter, and other social media, recruits these days have the ability to talk and be heard on a previously unprecedented level. See, this "Dream Team" concept was never intended to fuel the media the way it has.

Now, media has taken the term, misused it, and has it loaded in their negativity gun, salivating at the mouth while ready to pull the trigger in attempts to dangle it in front of Dawg Nation's face in their long attempts to exacerbate the "hot seat" myth surrounding Mark Richt. So the coined term which Rodney Garner decided to use may have gotten us a solid class of in-state talent, but the negative side will come as soon as a game is lost.

And the sad truth is, the "Dream Team" will in all likelihood have very, very little impact on the 2011 season. The crown jewel of the term is believed to be Isaiah Crowell, and ridiculous expectations have been undesirably placed upon his head. I blame this on the successful year that Marcus Lattimore  had over at South Carolina, and every team dreaming of having a true freshman come in with such "impact". But do you think if Isaiah Crowell has a descent year, and UGA goes 9-5, being completely embarrassed in the SEC Championship game and losing to an ACC school in a bowl game (which is what South Carolina did last season), the media won't be ready to declare the "Dream Team" an instant bust? I don't think so. This whole "Dream Team" thing has gotten out of hand, and truly needs to be put on the shelf, and re-assessed sometime around mid-December of 2012.

The incoming freshman class is not going to step in and carry the 2011 Dawgs. There are veteran leaders on this team who I feel are going to do that. The unfortunate souls who look in on Dawg Nation, looking for anything they can to criticize, have their "Dream Team" argument ready. But the good people who represent Dawg Nation know good and darn well that the most we can ask out of the "Dream Team" is to have the right attitudes, listen to their leaders, and truly grasp what it means to be a Dawg, and use it to the best of their abilities in the next 3-5 seasons. Not just this upcoming one.

67 days til' kickoff!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

UGA should NOT be Pete Carroll's whipping boy!!

**I am writing this entry this morning based strictly on a knee-jerk reaction. I, along with you, and every other person already casting stones, have absolutely no clue as to the full context of the topic**

So, that said, if the NCAA decides to come down on UGA and Jarvis Jones after allegations of a Parks and Recreations scandal in Columbus, GA back in 2009, there is a SERIOUS problem!!

First of all, this is in no way Mark Richt's problem. This is (unfortunately) not even Lane Kiffin's problem. The allegations include the Parks and Rec director, Tony Adams, paying for flights for Jarvis and his mother to go to and from Atlanta and Los Angeles, right after he signed with USC(w) and Pete Carroll in 2009. So to find this out now, and possibly punish Jarvis and the UGA program by sitting him, is completely absurd.

I would have a hard time believing Pete "the snake" Carroll had no knowledge of how Jarvis was funding trips from Atlanta to L.A. for his benefit. I would also not be surprised if Tony Adams got a nice USC logoed reimbursement check that never found it's way to the official USC books. With Pete Carroll's track record as a fraudulent POS coach, you cannot convince me for a second that my thoughts on this are not just a little on the truth side.

So when the NCAA gets their dirty hands on this case, and likely suspends Jarvis for the first game, and possibly second, Dawg Nation has every right to be completely livid. I doubt Jarvis had zero knowledge of the infraction, just like I doubt $cam Newton had zero knowledge of Pops McNewton shopping him to SEC programs. But when Jarvis plays the "I had no knowledge of the situation" card, will the NCAA do the same thing it did for $cam, and give him a big sympathy hug while telling him "It's okay young man. You go about your business scott-free and we will tell your parents they will have to purchase their own tickets to the rest of your games"........ doubtful.

If anything should be done, USC needs to be investigated for this matter (just PLEASE do not put it in the headlines every day for the next 7 years), and more scholarships, or practice time, or pregame meals should be taken away from them. If UGA becomes the whipping boy for a transgression that took place on USC's watch, my disdain for all things west of the Mississippi River will only inflate to epic proportions.

Do the right thing NCAA, and leave Athens alone on this matter.

68 days til' kickoff!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Isaiah Crowell Puking = EXACTLY What the Doctor Ordered

Reports of Isaiah Crowell throwing up during Coach T's strength and conditioning regime have been circling the blogosphere over the past week or so. I am here to say that this is GREAT news!!

Haters have been quick to jump on the "he is so out of shape, going to be a bust" wagon, and are attempting to use the news as just another bullet in their miserable hate-driven sports lives. But in my opinion, there has been no more welcome news recently than the info that Isaiah is being pushed to his absolute limits.

The kid is a physical freak of nature. From reports and scouting I have read, he has a natural, Herschel Walker (oops, really don't like using that comparison) like makeup, where he could go months without seeing a weight room and still bench press you and all your siblings with ease. So the fact that he is yacking during the opening days of strength and conditioning tells me he will only get better than he already is between now and September 3rd. SEC football is a far cry from the most prestigious high school football in all the land. Isaiah, and other new arrivals, are currently going through their most grueling days they will face as University of Georgia athletes. They have been told from day 1 of their recruitment that the next level will require much more, but until Coach T actually got them into his weight room, with his agenda, they had no clue and absolutely no idea how to prepare.

So think about how good Isaiah looked in high school on those YouTube videos we have all seen. Now picture him even bigger, stronger, faster, and much more conditioned than we have ever seen him. Isaiah blowing chunks is the best news I have heard since early June. If I heard any news that Isaiah was handling the transition to SEC ball without pushing himself past his limits, I would question his work ethic and the effectiveness of Coach T's program.

So again, let the haters hate, and attempt to spin any news they hear out of Athens into a negative tidbit, attempting to paint the UGA program as clueless. Truth is, Isaiah and the rest of the newcomers are going through hell right now. And that hell is helping mold them into the leaders on the field we should see very, very soon.

73 days til' kickoff

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Mark Richt Hot Seat" Actually Fueled by Haters.

I have noticed during this and the last 2 offseasons, right about this time, fresh ideas and topics to write about become about as rare as a Georgia Tech win over the Dawgs. Therefore, we have been inundated with the Mark Richt Hot Seat soap opera, created by our haters.

I find it odd, and funny, that maybe 1 out of every 25 true UGA fans and supporters I know or talk to consider the Hot Seat debate to be a complete joke. I also notice the people who are completely obsessed with the idea of Mark Richt's job being in jeopardy, come from fans of teams who have a losing record against Coach. It also seems that the teams with the worst track records against Coach, are the ones that obsess the most.

The reason I bring this topic up, is because of the articles I have been reading about Mark Richt going on a mission trip to Honduras over on the worst newspaper website known to man. The comments on those articles are fueled by and full of Mark Richt and UGA haters, trying to justify a man who is trying to make a difference in people's lives in need to be a negative thing for he, and the University of Georgia. I personally have not made a single comment on those god-awful blogs since sometime during the 2009 season, when the immature hate fest between Techie fans and UGA fans really began. I seldom read the comments, unless it is a story such as these, where constructive conversation would be so possible, yet reality doesn't allow for it.

But in my brief moments where I do take a glance beyond the bottom of an article, I notice that Mark Richt is considered this big, bad, evil man by everybody outside of Dawg Nation. So I sat for a second and tried to think of why other teams' fans could despise him so much. I could not come up with a single scandal involving Coach. I could not come up with a single comment or conversation involving Coach which would trigger anger from opposing fans. I could not come up with a single classless act in which Coach intentionally humiliated another team or its fanbase..... (well except this one, and that was truly fighting fire with fire). The ONLY thing I could come up with to support opposing fans' obsession with him being on the Hot Seat is his record against them.

Richt's record against the main culprits who obsess over his job being in jeopardy:
Georgia Tech: 9-1
South Carolina: 7-3
Auburn: 6-4
Tennessee: 6-4
Alabama: 3-1
LSU: 3-3

Other regular teams on UGA's schedule either do not chime in or simply do not count enough to be mentioned in my blogs.

Florida is not included in this conversation, because the only fanbase in the world who wants Richt to remain at UGA more than Dawg Nation is the lizards from the swamp. And unfortunately this is for reasons we do not like to talk about. Nobody was more excited to see Urban Meyer retire than Dawg fans, and that's because he was so successful against us. The effect is polar opposite in the minds of Gator fans.  And that is completely fine, because that is what makes college football rivalries so great.

So it is obvious to me that when when I read comments from Georgia Tech gnat fans, Bammer-Jammers, the War-Eagle-Plainsmen-Toomer-Tigers, or the Volunteer Fire Department from Tennessee, it is really a matter of complete respect for Mark Richt. They just will not admit that. They are honestly worried about what will become of our rivalries with them if Richt stays around another 10 seasons. They LOVE (looking at you Tech fans) to bring up the lack of a National Championship in Athens under Richt's watch. What this says to me, is that people who criticize this, fully respect and expect Richt to win a National Championship every year. And for that, I really do appreciate it!!

Since you will likely see in upwards of 5,386 articles between now and September 3rd involving Mark Richt being on the Hot Seat, and outlining what "must" be done in Athens this season in order for the seat to cool down, keep in mind who is writing those articles, and who shares the sentiments addressed. Once that soaks in, smile, and appreciate the fact that the entire argument and assumption is really created by fans who are completely terrified of the thought of seeing Mark Richt coaching Between the Hedges in..... say.... 2016.

74 Days til' kickoff!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Got Engaged Yesterday!! On the Sanford Stadium 50 Yard Line!!

I have been away from the Dawg blogosphere for a few days. Reason being, I have had about a million things on my mind. And I am proud to report: THIS DAWG IS NOW ENGAGED!! (And I did it on the 50 yard line in the exact middle of Sanford Stadium!)

How did I pull this off??

It was not very easy, my friends. I obtained the ring I wanted to give my little Georgia Peach about a week ago. I wanted to pop the question in a place that was special to us. That place happens to be Sanford Stadium, where we frequented for the entire 2009 season, right after we met. I originally planned to walk her through campus, and pause on the Sanford Bridge, overlooking the greatest sight on earth, and do the deed. But I began having larger thoughts, and decided I would do whatever I had to do to get us in the stadium. Between the hedges. On the grass. Smack dab in the middle of the 92,746 seat chapel which only worships on six or seven Saturdays every fall. But how?

On Monday, after my morning summer-semester U.S. History class in Atlanta, I told my lovely lady that I needed to go help my father with a few things around his house. It was a lie. I drove out to Athens with the lone goal of obtaining permission to access the field of Sanford Stadium to propose. I began my search at the stadium itself, at the student entrance under the Sanford Bridge. After about 30 mins of standing around and looking lost, a member of the grounds crew finally appeared. I flagged her over, and as my luck would have it, it was Kelly Baxter; head of Sanford Stadium facilities management. I explained to her what I wanted to do, and like an angel, she seemed as giddy as I was about the idea. But she informed me that she couldn't do anything without the permission from higher ups at Butts Mehre. I was so close, yet so far away.

After dancing around 3 or 4 people at Butts Mehre, it was finally suggested that I speak with Charles Whittemore, Athletics Director of Facilities. All of a sudden I find myself in his office, discussing my visions of the greatest engagement a Georgia boy could give a sweet Georgia girl. He was more than happy to grant me permission, and made sure Kelly Baxter back at Sanford knew that I had the go ahead! The plan was on!!!

I am in summer school in the mornings, and my now fiance' is a kindergarten teacher. So we have plenty of free time in the afternoons right now. I arranged with Kelly Baxter that I would meet her under the Sanford Bridge at 1:30pm on Wednesday, act like we were old friends, and she would tell my lady and I to come in and check out the field if we wish. So all I have to do is convince my lady to go spend an afternoon in Athens with me. I tell her we are going to have lunch with one of my brothers who is in town and staying in Athens (this is a total ploy). She agrees, and we are off.

I am so nervous, with ring in pocket, that I ask her to drive. She is oblivious to the fact that the entire butterfly house at Calloway Gardens has taken up residence in my stomach. Had I driven, I am pretty sure I would have just dazed out and run multiple red lights on Highway 316. However, this plan almost backfired on me. In my nervousness, I somehow told her we needed to be in Athens at 2pm, when I was suppose to say 1pm. So when we arrive in Athens at 1pm, I am feeling great about the perfect timing. Well, she decides on her own, that since we are there early, she wanted to go to the Athens Zoo, over off Milledge Ave, to kill a little time since we are so early..... NO!!!!! I don't know what to say, as my plan was to park downtown, and suggest we kill time while we wait by strolling North Campus and walk over to look at the stadium. The only thing I can think of is to fake receiving a text message from my so called-brother who is supposedly suppose to meet us, telling me he is early and almost there. It works!! She gets us back in the car and we head downtown to park.

Now, when we park, I need to come up with some way to delay the supposed brother from meeting us for lunch. I then fake a phone call with him, where I pretend he tells me he left something in Winder, and had to turn around, and will be in Athens in 30 mins. He is SO, SO sorry for the inconvenience he has caused us! My plan is looking better. I convince her to stroll the beautiful North Campus. I then randomly tell her: "I recently saw on facebook, an old friend works on the grounds crew at Sanford Stadium, and she said to come by if I am ever in Athens and she will try and let us on the field." She perks up (as do I at the thought of stepping foot on the hallowed grass), and I call Kelly Baxter (who I just met on Monday) and talk like old friends happy to hear each others voices, and ask if we can come see her. Of course, my BEST FRIEND of 2 days obliges, and we head to the entrance under the bridge to see her.

Once there, Kelly greets me with a hug. I introduce her to my girlfriend, and she welcomes us in. She shows us the field and tells us to go on out and explore. Like two kids in a candy shop, we try and pick up our dropped jaws as we stroll out onto the field of play. We were literally walking while spinning circles, looking at the intimidating number of seats surrounding us. Nostalgia for the history that had taken place on the hallowed sod which graced the bottom of our shoes was easy to feel and respect. I took her by the hand and walked out to the patch of grass in the middle of the field where the beautiful, elongated "G" would be painted if the leaves on the surrounding trees were a different color. I look her in the eye and tell her "I lied to you". Puzzled, she looks back me. I tell her "we are not here to meet my brother." I then reach into my pocket and pull out a small black box. She instantly tears up, and I choke as I fall to one knee. I think I said something to the tune of "I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me", but those details are a bit fuzzy with the endorphin rush that had taken my body over during this moment. I do remember her saying "YES!!" as she grabbed for the ring. I slid it on her finger, and all of a sudden we hear cheers from a few of the groundskeepers in the distance, as well as a couple of construction workers improving the jumbo-tron.

I did not want to leave. I was prepared to wait with my new fiance' right there at mid-field for the next 87 days until the crowds arrived. But we had to go. Kelly Baxter was nice enough to come over and take a few pictures for us, ad we left the stadium giddy, tearful, happy, and 100% in love! It excites me beyond belief that we can watch and attend football games at Sanford Stadium for the rest of our lives, and always look at that beautiful "G" in the middle, and know that that is now "our spot".

THANK YOU to Kelly Baxter, and Charles Whittemore for your help and approval to make a memory for my fiance' and I. She loved it, as did I!!

80 days til' kickoff!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Two Damn Good Dawgs, and Steak and Lobster(s)

News out of Athens this morning is a fun read. Herschel Walker graced the 2011 Dawgs with his presence, and worked out alongside them. I have not heard numbers yet, but I am willing to bet the attendance amongst the team was 100%. Also unknown, is the amount of pushups and situps Herschel made the team do. Here is a picture tweeted by Aaron Murray this morning, which could go down in history as two of the best damn dawgs in the history of the program.

On a related note, Aaron Murray also tweeted out a picture of the Steak and Lobster dinner had by the Black Team last night as reward for defeating the Red Team at the annual G-Day game in Sanford Stadium this past April. Now, take a look at that plate and tell me the Red Team's beanee-weenees didn't taste just a bit worse after laying eyes on Aaron's plate.....  (you counted right, three (3) lobster tails)

I am off to the lake for the weekend! Enjoy yours!

85 Days til' Kickoff!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This week sucks!! So here you go.........

Just a quick post today.

This is one of my least favorite stretches of the year as a sports fan. There was no god awful NBA basketball game last night, however 94% of SportsCenter is still dedicated to talking about the god awful NBA. If I wanted to watch a bunch of overpaid, egotistical, spoiled rotten prima donnas play a sport, I would at least watch the modern day NFL. And this year, the god awful NFL Lockout is taking up another 3% of each SportsCenter. This leaves us with only 2% of each show covering baseball , and the other 1% covering the daily unearthing of another Ohio State scandal.

Now, I absolutely love baseball, but it's hard to get excited about every win or grieve with every loss at this point in the season. But I still watch nightly. Talk to me about the excitement in September. (Go Braves!)

So I decided to go to the trusty ole' YouTube to try and find something to cheer me up and put me in a better mood since ESPN College Football Live is only 30 mins a day, and not until 3:30pm, and even that is plagued with Ohio State blah blah blah at the moment. I came up with this.... possibly the greatest music video of all time, by perhaps the greatest musical artist of all time (strictly opinion there), Kenny Chesney.

My challenge to you is to watch the entire video without getting goosebumps a single time. If you do get them, you are just like me, my friend. If you don't, it just means you belong in front of SportsCenter today. ENJOY! (video begins at :12 seconds, btw, .......)

86 Days til' Kickoff!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dear Isaiah Crowell, ....... Sincerely, Dawg Nation

On Tuesday, prized and star recruit Isaiah Crowell opened a car door, and stepped foot on Athens soil for the first time as an actual UGA Dawg. No player has made that step with such expectations in many, many years. Today I decided to write an open letter to Isaiah, to outline a jist of what we the people of Dawg Nation are expecting out of him............

Dear Isaiah,

First and foremost, welcome to Athens. Your time here, if used wisely, will be stocked full of irreplaceable memories and good times with people who will become the base of your friendships throughout the rest of your life. Also, and again back to the term "if used wisely", you should leave this fine town in a few years armed with a college degree which will be invaluable to your lifetime success.

Now that you are here, we the people of Dawg Nation have lofty expectations for you. These expectations go beyond anything we expect on Saturdays during the fall months. We the people of Dawg Nation are a frustrated bunch, and more often than should be in the last couple years, an embarrassed bunch as well. You have the power and ability to change perceptions of Dawg Nation from anybody looking from the outside in on our traditions which are so worthy of envy.

We would like you to learn from your new peers who are already established in the Classic City. Please listen with an open mind and ear to the mentors who will be reaching out to you from day one. These people have your successes on and off the field as a high priority in their own busy schedules. You will be given endless resources and support to guide you through the trying first months of being away from home for presumably the first time in your young life.

Learn to use negative media as a pedestal of motivation. Back before you decided to accept a scholarship from the University of Georgia, every other fanbase in the land spoke highly of you, in hopes of you gracing their football team with your god given gift of running a football. Funny how the moment you commit to UGA, the others all of a sudden doubt you and question anything they can in attempts to discredit your potential. Tack this on with the enormous expectations all media has placed upon you, and harness this as pure motivation, to silence the doubters and prove the naysayers wrong. If you learn how to do this, the sky will truly be the limit for where you can go in terms of personal character as well as a football player.

You are now representing the University of Georgia. Not just the student-athletes, not just the football team, not just the student body, fans, or alumni.... but the University as a whole. Every decision you make from here forward will be scrutinized and deciphered under a microscope of epic proportions. We ask only that you make these decisions in the best interests of yourself, as well as the University.

We look forward to spending the next 3-5 years growing with you. You are now an official member of a family which is counted in millions, who all have your back and will offer support to you through thick and thin. The only thing we truly ask of you is that you make the family proud by doing everything you can possibly do to strengthen the family as a whole. If you do these things, the successes between the hedges will naturally fall into place as a result.

Now go be a kid, Isaiah. Go enjoy college, which you have already worked so hard to reach. Go laugh and play, meet new people, flirt with the amazingly beautiful women of UGA, and establish yourself as a member of the University of Georgia. We are glad you are here, and we hope you enjoy your stay as much as we will enjoy following you.


Dawg Nation

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer: Welcome to Football Season!!!

It's that time of year! The Diamond Dogs season has wrapped up (with NOTHING to be ashamed of!), Phil Steele's 2011 edition of his magazine is on shelves, Preseason All-SEC teams are becoming the hot topic, the incoming recruiting class is settling into their dorms, the theme music from ESPN's College Football Live is taking on more meaning, and the daydreams about summer vacation are slowly transitioning into a much needed reality.

Soon, UGA and other SEC fans will congregate on beaches from Tybee Island, through south Florida, up through the panhandle, and all throughout the gulf coast. Tents will resemble a grab bag of SEC campuses, foreshadowing what is just over the horizon.... football season! It will not be uncommon to see a beautiful red UGA tent set up right next to a purple(!?) LSU tent, with conversations taking place such as: "Sure hope you guys knock off Bama this year", and "Yes sir, I wouldn't mind seeing you guys whoop up on Florida this year". Just 50 yards down the same beach, you're likely to see an Auburn tent set up right next to a Bama tent, with each party strategically positioned back to back, occasionally turning up their radios to drown out the noise pollution coming from the other. And this is what makes the unofficial kickoff to football season so great!

We have all worked hard over the past year. We have endured a roller coaster ride of emotions with last football season. But since around mid-January, when we fully realized that Saturdays will be nothing more than, well, Saturdays for the foreseeable future, we have missed our passion. National Signing Day was a nice sidetrack. G-Day was a beautiful chance to stroll through the North Campus, admiring the dogwood blooms, all while getting our fix of the sights and sounds of shoulder pads locking up over in Sanford. But since then, we have had nothing. The countdown is now under 100 days (88 to be exact), and we all know it is time to declare the games to begin!

So get prepared to enjoy your summer! While it is never too early to talk about the upcoming season, we are now within the window of acceptability to trash talk, stare down others, and evaluate our team as well as those unfortunate ones who will either pay a visit to Sanford Stadium or host the hungriest Dawgs team we have seen in some time.

And don't forget, when you see another SEC fan sunburned, to point out that it is God's way of turning them red, the color of his UGA Dawgs!!

88 Days!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Aaron Murray/Christian LeMay = David Greene/DJ Shockley????

Anybody who made the spring pilgrimage to the Classic City this past April to take in G-Day may have left surprised and feeling good after watching Christian LeMay scramble and run with the football. Many were (and still are) a bit skeptical about how ready LeMay will be to make early impact after deciding to sit out his senior year of HS ball instead of taking a half season suspension. But after watching him run a few QB draws, and gain some impressive positive yardage doing so, I was left with images of the early aughts when we would bring in DJ Shockley regularly to run a play or two while giving David Greene a quick breather.

We all know that Aaron Murray has the ability to scramble and turn nothing into something. We got to see it right off the bat in the game against LA-Laf, again against Arkansas, multiple times against Tenn, and several other times throughout the season. But the way Christian LeMay looked at G-Day, it makes me wonder if he is ready to come in and give Murray a bit of relief in short yard situations, sparring him the wear and tear that comes along with a QB running up the gut, or trying to get around the trenches.

Nobody is more exhausted from the "Mark Richt hot seat" debate than myself, but you have to keep it in mind when it comes to predicting his game strategies this coming season. I believe we have seen the kindling of his fire which will translate into a "win at all costs" philosophy between the hedges this fall. If LeMay really shows up at summer camp/practice, and shows that what we saw on G-Day is indeed the real deal, is it worth burning his redshirt to get him into the mix right away? Many argue that Richt's greatest successes came in his early UGA days when his FSU offensive philosophies were still fresh on his mind. I cannot help but think that the memories of the Greene/Shockley 1-2 punch have been resurrected with the arrival of LeMay.

Is it worth it?

Murray is entering his Sophomore season, and based on what I read about his attitude, and factoring in his size, he reminds me very much of David Greene: meaning that no matter what successes Murray has at UGA over the next two seasons, I expect to see him in Sanford Stadium in 2013 for his senior season. If we burn the redshirt off LeMay this year, it will eventually create a very similar scenario to Shockley's senior year in 2005. But how will Dawg Nation react if we wait to use him the following year, and realize the 1-2 punch of Murray and LeMay proves to be a force to be reckoned with? Thoughts of Knowshon Moreno taking a redshirt  his freshman season will come to mind, with many Dawg faithful wondering why he wasn't utilized as soon as possible.

If the Murray/LeMay combo happens, and impresses this season, where does that leave current backup Hutson Mason? It may hurt, but truth is he may want to look into transferring if playing time is of any importance to him. This would put extra emphasis on UGA signing a QB in the upcoming class. A good one to try and lock up is currently taking snaps down in Wayne County (Jesup), Georgia by the name of Greyson Lambert. He has shown interest in the Dawgs, but is being courted by Nick Saban pretty thoroughly as well, among others. If we want to implement this plan, we need to act fast with this kid.

So, what are your thoughts on a Murray/LeMay combo? Do you see it being as effective as David Greene and D.J. Shockley back in their prime? Do you think Richt realizes a combo like this could not only be deadly to SEC defenses, but could also gain a magnitude of trust back from Dawg Nation? My opinion is, go for it!! I cannot wait to watch these two work together for the next 3 seasons. It will be (as it already is) a GREAT time to be a Dawg!!!

90 days til' kickoff!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sep 10th.... 4:30pm....Sanford Stadium.... PERFECT!!!

It was announced a very short time ago that perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Dawgs will kickoff at 4:30pm on September 10th against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

This is great news to the many (myself included) who complained about the plague of noon kickoffs that infected Sanford Stadium last season. While many blamed Michael Adams for the early tee-times, reality is the product on the field just wasn't romantic enough for the big boys of ESPN and CBS to come calling.

4:30 pm kickoff........

This sits JUST RIGHT with many a Dawg die hard who love to make the pilgrimage out State Road 316E on a Saturday in the fall. This creates a much less rush-scenario to get there and set up your tailgate before the sun comes up. This allows us to relax at our tailgate and not have to worry about breaking it down at by 11am, only a couple hours after setting it up. This allows us to stroll around the most beautiful campus God has ever graced, while enjoying the sights and sounds of SEC football at it's absolute finest. This allows the game to be played while the temps are beginning to drop, instead of rise (and the alumni side to be in the shade at kickoff). This allows us to voyage into downtown Athens after sufficient tailgate time to buy an ice cold Terrapin Rye Pale Ale from our favorite establishment(s) to help support the local economy, which relies in part on 6-7 gamedays a year. 4:30pm...... YES PLEASE!!!

Now let's play the what-if game.....

What if our Dawgs look really good against Boise State, and win convincingly in front of a national audience the week before? Will that be enough to vault UGA into a....oh..... let's say top 15 ranking? I would certainly say so. ESPN, Phil Steele and many others are already giving this "new breed of Bulldawg which stands ready to take the field of battle" some hype. A win against the highly ranked Blue Broncos would certainly cement said hype.

With the Gamecocks already locked in to be a top 10 team after their first week, I would go out on a whim and say ESPN College Gameday may pay Athens a visit this day. Then I remembered about this game taking place on the same day. I doubt ESPN will pass on that chance, being that both of those teams are just darlings of ESPN, and also despite featuring them last year. But one could hold out a little hope.

After seeing the confirmed kickoff time, and thinking about the possibilities and what if's that come along with the matchup, I got very, very giddy. Fall Saturdays in Athens are what we live for, folks. And in 99 short, short days, we get to experience one... the right way!!!

What is your favorite kickoff time, and why???