It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

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!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SEC: "Red Rover, Red Rover, send Texas A&M (and Oklahoma) on over!!.. what Longhorn Network??"

The rumors are probably a good, solid 3 years old now. And in the last 48 hours I have seen or heard more rumors about Texas A&M attempting to knock down the doors of Mike Slive's office in search of an invite to join the SEC. While those rumors have seemed to be debunked, for now, I couldn't help but to put on my "what if" goggles.....

Love the creativity, and the desire
It makes complete sense that the embers of such rumors are being fanned more than ever at this time. With only 15 days until the Big 12's "Doomsday" (aka the launch of the Longhorn Network), the remaining members of the Big 12 (is that what they still refer to themselves as?) are feeling the heat to do something drastic to keep their competitive stance as well as money in their athletic association's pockets. And what better direction for A&M to look than to the SEC? 

I think it would be nothing but a good thing for the SEC to extend an invite to A&M. With College Station geographically located smack between Houston and Dallas, the SEC would cash in greatly by adding interest in those two major media markets. I don't care who has doubts about swaying the loyalties of longtime Big 12 faithfuls to the SEC, just wait and see what happens when the UGAs, Alabamas, Auburns, Floridas, LSUs, and Tennessees begin making trips out to College Station every week. The local TV's will be locked on way before they find the Texas/Baylor or Kansas State/Missouri games. And what better way for A&M to continue their success in recruiting the state of Texas, despite the Longhorn Network, by baiting their propaganda hook with the sweet smell of playing in a SEC schedule. Convince a kid of the massive, national exposure he will be getting in comparison to the mostly regional Longhorn Network. The addition of A&M would be a very profiting one. There are SERIOUS dollars to be made here, folks.

OK's feelings on the Longhorn Network
But the SEC shouldn't stop there. Before Oklahoma gets any ideas about a "Sooner Network", a signed, stamped, and sealed invitation to join the SEC should be hand delivered on a silver platter to the folks in the front offices in Norman, OK as well. This will provide the chance to maintain balance in the SEC conference divisions, as well as reel in yet another huge college media market in the state of Oklahoma. Just like the A&M scenario aforementioned, the SEC teams paying visit to Norman on a weekly basis could easily compete with the Longhorn Network game featuring Texas vs Rice, or Texas vs whatever teams they are going to have to start scheduling after they are bound to go Independent. Oklahomans already have a nice fued with Texans, and I believe the chance to divert attention from the Longhorn Network will be appealing to the rich talent pool in the state of OK. The Sooners would be a perfect fit for the SEC, so long as A&M agrees.

With 14 teams, I would also encourage the SEC to follow the lead of the Big 10, which will begin a 9 game conference schedule beginning in 2017. The model for how to do that can be found right here...

And while the SEC is reaping the unforeseen benefits the Longhorn Network is creating, I believe it is way past due to make a simple trade with the ACC to create the true super-conference the SEC is capable of being. Vanderbilt... put away your SEC logos. You've been traded for Virginia Tech. No conference in America likes to pound their chests while bringing academic arguments into a football debate like the ACC. Just tell a Georgia Techie that UGA "owns them on the football field" and sit back and listen to how their players "take calculus and design rockets", with no football rebuttal (see: any childish blog over at the ajc). Vanderbilt, with it's rich academic attributes, more than descent basketball program, and Nashville media market would be more than ideal for the ACC! And who doesn't find it appalling that an SEC school, Vanderbilt, doesn't even have an athletic department?! The SEC would continue to pull well in that area with the statewide Vol fanbase.

would look good in the SEC
Virginia Tech being the other part of the trade, would create another large, brand new media market for the SEC in northern Virginia and Washington, DC. And with the statewide fanbase of the Virginia Cavaliers, the ACC loses little in terms of viewership in this region. Virginia Tech is a very, very rich football tradition and power, which will only grow with the appeal and lure of the SEC and the schedule which will come its way. The ACC/SEC trade would truly be a win/win situation for both conferences.

While this idea is nothing more than my football driven mind creating a scenario as I watch a Braves game, I do feel it is a bit closer to reality than most would believe. I admit the Vandy/VT trade is the most unlikely, but would be completely awesome if it ever took place.

With the SEC reshaping itself in this manor, who would really need a playoff? Because there should be very little doubt that the Champion of that SEC, should have an automatic BCS bid..... in the BCS Championship Game, that is.

24 days til' kickoff!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

ESPN... why the obsession over 8-5 Florida??

38 Blog posts in one, single, day.


SEC fans, do you accept this rose?
I know most people are at work all day. I, however, am a full time student and have not started classes yet. Therefore on a day in Georgia where the temperature was steadily in the mid 90's with humidity which could make a fish sweat, I watched a lot of ESPN today. And what a HORRIBLE day it was!!

The Bachelor, I mean Jesse Palmer, took a camera crew with one of their fancy live broadcast trucks, down to north central Florida to report on his alma matter's football. ALL. DAY. LONG. Every show I would attempt to watch, from SportsCenter, to First Take, to 1st and 10, to Outside the Lines, to College Football Live, to SportsNation, back to SportsCenter...... every one of those shows would have a "Breaking news update" from Palmer reporting live from inside a meeting, or on the practice field, or in the cafeteria.... you get the idea. And it should make you as sick as it made me.

So this evening I decide to catch up on the ESPN SEC Blog, and lo and behold, 38 (thirty-eight) blog posts about Florida!!!! I didn't even count the "Lunchtime Links" entry, which I was sure was about Charlie Weis until I noted it was about several other schools. Usually there are 6 or 7 posts a day about ALL of the SEC. Not today. Oh no. 38 entries covering a team coming off a 8-5 record, with a brand new, unexperienced coach and one of the worst QBs in the SEC.

So my question is, when will ESPN employee and UGA alum Matt Stinchcomb get to bring the crew to Athens for a day chalk full of invaluable PR and recruiting propaganda??

Not cute, ESPN. Not even a little bit.

Is Boise State the right team to be playing in 2011??

With full pads being strapped on for the first time today, it's time for UGA and it's fans to direct all focus to Boise State. But is this the right year for us to have to worry about an opponent of Boise's "caliber"??

There are several ways to view it. Will winning the the game put us back in good standing with people outside of Dawg Nation? Will losing it destroy any image of national prominence for the foreseeable future? Will losing the game add more fuel to the lazy, obsessive reporters' flame throwers of "Mark Richt Hot Seat" arsenal? Will the team prepare harder this summer camp with Boise waiting for them as opposed to Western Carolina or Florida Atlantic trembling at the thought of playing us? With so many questions, and a so called "make it or break it year" awaiting Coach Richt, is this game really a good idea or bad?

I feel the outcome of the game is no-win situation of sorts. If it were any Top 10 team other than Boise State that would not be the case. However, Boise State has been the target of the BCS chest pumpers' witch hunt since they arrived on the national scene several years ago. Everybody wants to ridicule their schedule, stadium size, blue field (???), conference, and anything to discredit their wins. So we beat them, and the only praise we get would come from the nay-sayers who will declare Boise to be a fraud who shouldn't have ever been mentioned in the Top 10 to begin with. BUT, we lose to Boise.... and all hell with break lose with our image. The Nation will be pointing and laughing at us, and declare the game has passed Mark Richt by and demand his "seat" to be officially doused with gasoline and lit up. So somebody please try and show me the silver lining in the relevance of the final score of this game.... I fail to see it.

I have no doubt the players are excited for this game. Georgia Dome. National TV. Bowl-like atmosphere. Nike Pro-Combat Unis. In their eyes, winning this game will launch us back into the championship caliber conversation. I just wish the media agreed. But the team is a close bunch this year. I have no doubt in my mind that they are preparing harder than ever before to make a statement, together. So the painstaking practices between now and September 3rd should translate into better preparation for the much more important games of the year, involving other SEC teams.

Undoubtedly a VERY serious mood in Athens

I don't always love going out to Athens on the first Saturday in September without the slightest bit of worry. Going head to head with worthy opponents is what makes mine, and most college football fans blood boil with excitement. And facing teams who we know have a good chance at beating us is the best way to get in good with that crazy BCS formula. But I feel there is WAY too much riding on this season in Athens for us to be playing Boise State in week one.

My fiance's father is a long time season ticket holder, and he was able to request, and receive, extra tickets to the Dome for us on September 3rd. I without a doubt am as excited as I have been in several years for the opener. And when I see that ticket in the next few days, my heart is going to jump out of my throat with giddiness. I just wish this game could be held next year, when Isaiah Crowell will be not be thrown straight into the fire, and the season may not be hinging on so many things that have to go right.

26 days til' kickoff!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chuck Dowdle ALMOST ruined UGA's season!!

Dowdle interviewing Richt one of hundreds of times each season
One of my favorite Dawgs was neither a player or a coach. All Chuck Dowdle did was simply graduate from UGA, and led a long, successful career covering Atlanta sports at WSB Channel 2, and the Dawgs on NewsTalk 750. There simple is no member of the media who's love for all things UGA gleams through like Dowdle. There is no member of the media I would rather listen to after a Dawg loss, or during offseasons like those of late when everybody else takes the "gloom and doom" attitude, where as Dowdle provides the most comforting, fatherlike "it's all going to be ok" tone in his coverage. 

However, Dowdle almost became one of my least favorite Dawgs when he came closer than we realize to getting Aaron Murray suspended by the NCAA for god knows how long.

On 680 The Fan this morning, Rude, Leo, and Sandra were broadcasting live from Athens to cover UGA Media Day and the first day of practice. Dowdle joined them for a few minutes, and told a recent story in relation to how the NCAA can be a bit ridiculous. Dowdle talked about how he and Aaron Murray speak often throughout the coverage process, and have become friends of sort. In some conversation, Dowdle mentioned to Murray that he should attend a Braves game sometime, and Murray showed interest. Dowdle claimed that he could get him credentials to meet some of the Braves players who are die hard college football fans. So recently, Murray called Dowdle to inquire about a certain date to go down to The Ted with him. Dowdle obliged, and set everything up. After obtaining credentials, and lining up times/transportation, etc., Dowdle LUCKILY thought to himself for a moment about all the "extra benefits" situations currently plaguing the world of college football. So THANK GOD, Dowdle decided to contact UGA director of NCAA compliance, Eric Baumgartner, to make sure the Braves outing would be ok......

Let's hope Aaron paid for this shake weight himself!!
Baumgartner told Dowdle "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!"

Close one, Dawg Nation.... close one. 

We should in no way be mad at Chuck Dowdle for almost blowing the season. He went on in the interview to talk about how it's ridiculous that Murray could not go down and meet the players, which could result in a life lesson and motivation to excel both in the classroom and the field. I happen to agree.

However, it does worry me just a slight bit that Aaron Murray didn't recognize this as a possible violation, and was ready to go forth with the "extra benefits"....

No harm, no foul. But that was WAY too close for comfort. 


"Not a game.... we talkin' bout.... PRACTICE!!"

Famous philosopher, Dr. Allen Iverson (Ph.D. in "Practice")
As once great basketball player and philosopher Dr. Allen Iverson once quoted.... "Not a game, not a game, not a game, we in hea' talkin' bout....Practice... we talkin' bout practice". 

Well, little did Dr. Iverson know that the entire SEC country is indeed obsessed with.... practice. And luckily for Dawg fans, today is the first day of.... practice!

There simply is no other league, region, or sport that enjoys news about a practice session than the SEC. Where else can you find 45k fans (90k in some cases) filling the seats in a stadium in order to watch a practice game? Where else do fans sit on pins and needles during the spring and late summer, and foam at the mouth the second they see a practice report hit the media wire? The NFL cannot even fill a third of their stadiums for practice games against hated foes! Can you imagine if Clemson or Florida State came into Athens in late spring or early summer to participate in a practice game? I assure you there would not be an empty seat in Sanford Stadium, and bragging rights as to who won the ....practice.... game would fill the blogospheres for an entire year.

So today, at 4:20pm (that get your attention Florida fans?), the Dawgs will strap on helmets, throw on some shorts and hit the practice fields at Butts Mehre. And there is no fanbase as or more giddy about that practice than the Red & Black Dawg Nation.

I would attempt to write a practice report based on the ones I read, but I guarantee anybody who looks at this blog, will have already read the exact same reports I read, seconds after they are released.

Good luck today Dawgs!! Especially to the greenhorn freshman who after today's practice will officially be christened as Damn Good Dawgs!!!

Allen Iverson "practice" counter: 15.5
This blog's "practice" counter: 14  (so close!!!!!)

30 days til' kickoff!!
Go Dawgs!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Don't Fence Me In".... Keep Sanford Stadium OPEN!!!!!

Recently, I have heard a grumbling or two about UGA being unwilling or uninterested in keeping up with the attendance war of the SEC. For years, Sanford Stadium has sat atop, or near, the SEC and all of college football in seating capacity. With recent additions by Alabama and Tennessee pushing them well over the 100K mark, does UGA really want to attempt to keep pace with the Clampetts, I mean Joneses??

In this artists' rendition, Sanford Bridge becomes irrelevant
In order to push the Sanford seating capacity from the cordial 92,746 we accommodate today, to over the 100K mark, one of two things would have to happen: A) The "600 Section" would have to be expanded to wrap around the entire stadium, creating a slew of unwanted, birds eye view seats which most people would rather vacate in order to sit at home or sit in a comfy Athens bar so that they can read the number of the ball carrier, rather than tote their binoculars and program guides six or seven flights in order to know whats going on. This could easily become a visiting teams section. Or B), we could close in the beloved and cherished Sanford Bridge, which holds a sacred place in the hearts of many a bulldawg, old and young.

The more logical step would be to enclose the open North end of Sanford, and build a towering grand-stand which would house the rear ends of several thousand rabid Bulldawg faithful, or perhaps a bunch of unwanted Cocks, Vols, Cats, Dores or Nats??..... is that REALLY what we want??  No, I say.

Neyland Stadium in Knoxville Tennessee used to be one of the crown jewels of the SEC, and college football as a whole. You used to be able to sit in your seat amongst 90K+ rabid SEC fans, all while having an amazing view of the Tennessee River as a backdrop. Then they became greedy, wanting to maximize the seating capacity, while "voluntarily" (get it?) forfeiting the amazing scenery that was already in place. Now, you can sit in the middle of Neyland, and have no clue if you are in the state of Tennessee or downtown Baghdad. All you know is that there is a football field surrounded by nauseating high rise bleachers in all directions. Do you think there is any reason that ALL ticket requests from UGA season ticket holders were granted  for the October 8th UGA/UT game from the good people of UT this season???.... unneeded capacity anyone??  And as far as Bryant-Denny stadium goes..... nobody really wanted to go to your concrete jungle anyway, let alone see the view of which could have been if you didn't decide to enclose your concreTe-Town the past couple of years..... just sayin'

With the North end of Sanford Stadium open, the atmosphere is sparred the gladiatorial effect which sprouts complaints from most programs who decide to rival their football stadium with Bristol Motor Speedway. We have, as a backdrop, the most beautiful campus that God has ever let a University build. A much welcome breeze greets us in the hot summer afternoons in September, and reminds us how much we love fall as we bundle up in the cool, crisp nights in late October and throughout November. Building a high rise in order to compete in the "capacity war" will only dilute the originality and uniqueness which we crave throughout the warm months.

Few things get a Dawg fan excited, any time of year, like taking a stroll down Sanford Drive and being engulfed by Sanford Stadium's presence and lore when they cross the bridge. I personally stop by there several times throughout the year to reminisce about the good ole' days, and intentionally foreshadow the good times in which I hope to endure throughout my lifetime. The last thing I want to greet me on that stroll is just another concrete tower, hiding the beauty and smells of the field which we all dream about.

This year, the Red Coat Band will be strategically positioned in the North End Zone, in attempts to echo their sweet melody throughout the stadium. Many have complained in the past about the noise escaping because of the poor acoustic positioning of the band in the opposite End Zone, letting their blare escape into the sweet Georgia night. Not this year, my friends, and certainly not in the future.

 Let's keep Sanford Stadium the jewel as which we know it, and avoid any unnecessary construction, only creating the ability for alien fans the chance to buy tickets to our games, donning the wrong colors and spewing the wrong battle cries. Revenue is at an all time high, and a few extra thousand seats is in no way a welcome venture in flexing our marketing muscle. KEEP SANFORD OPEN!!!

33 days til' kickoff!!
Go Dawgs!!!!