It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

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!