Archive for the 'Fans' Category
I was born just a few weeks before Herschel ran over Bill Bates on a hot late-summer night in Knoxville, so when it comes to the height of the Georgia-Clemson rivalry, I have very little memory of it. Oh sure, we took on the rock petters off and on in the early 1990s and as recently as 2002 and 2003, but it wasn’t a matchup of two even teams with high hopes of themselves.
For Georgia fans my age, we have no real feeling of the hate between Georgia and Clemson. It’s a lot like younger fans see Tech. If you have been a Georgia fan only since Mark Richt’s arrival, it is easy to question if Tech is a rival. But if you had to suffer through three losses in a row to the NATS in the late 1990s or Tech somehow winning a share of a national title (do those even count?), you understand that Tech is a very very serious rival.
Fans my parents age see Clemson in the same way. To us, Clempson is an ACC school that has a lot in common with Georgia. But for folks my parents age? They may as well be on the level of Florida or Auburn in terms of great dislike.
In the early 1980s…these two teams HATED each other. And you’re seeing friction get kicked up again thanks to Sammy Watkins. These poor rock petters. They somehow think that they have arrived as a program thanks to beating teams in the Almost Competitive Conference and slipping past a very average LSU team. If beating average LSU teams made coaches great, then Jim Donnan is a legend.
What the renewing of this rivalry has done is this – bridged the generation gap between Georgia fans of different generations. I was told stories about Clemson growing up but never had a full dislike. Thanks to this game having so much on it, that has changed.
And there was also this story. Which explains my Lugnut Dawg’s mom cannot stand Clemson.
My parents attended the 1984 Georgia – Clemson game. After Kevin Butler’s long field goal caused Larry to exclaim “Oh my God! Oh my God,” my folks eventually made their way to their post game tail gate spot. After a while, a Clemson RV pulls up right in front of them. Before leaving, the driver of the RV dumps its sewage out, fully in front of my parents group.
Needless to say, my mom greatly dislikes Clempson.
I was raised in a small rural Georgia town. I still live in a small rural Georgia town. This is by choice. I love my hometown, just as many of you love your hometown. There’s something about “home.” Small rural Georgia towns offer things that larger cities don’t. For better or for worse, if you love your small rural Georgia town, you think it’s the greatest place on earth. My friends here at TGT and I have a lot of fun with this. They don’t find my small town to be quite as delightful as I do. For some reason, Corbin doesn’t like the fact that our high school football stadium overlooks the Dollar General. But he never turns down a meal at Scott’s BBQ.
Something I think is fairly unique to a small rural Georgia town is the intimate sense of community. Everybody knows everybody, and for the most part loves everybody, even if you don’t like everyone. Kind of like family- you can talk about your own, but nobody else can. Country music songs are written about small rural Georgia towns. You’re also proud of your own. Very proud. When somebody does something good from your hometown, everyone shares in the sense of accomplishment. High school sports are HUGE in the small Georgia towns that dot the rural countryside. Not saying they aren’t huge in the larger cities- clearly they are- but it’s just different. If you’re from a small rural Georgia town, you know what I mean.
Right now, Cochran, Georgia is Wichita State Country. Native son Carl Hall and his Shockers have made an amazing run through the NCAA Tournament. Businesses around town have signs out front encouraging and congratulating Carl. You can’t go anywhere without someone bringing up the topic of Carl and his Wichita State team. For a small town like Cochran (Bleckley County has a population of less than 12,000; Cochran less than 6,000) it’s a really big deal to have a hometown kid to be playing in the Final 4. It’s a huge deal. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often to small rural Georgia towns. Kids from Atlanta play in the Final 4 every year. They play in BCS National Championship games and in all of the major professional leagues. But towns like Cochran don’t have this opportunity very often. That’s why, when it happens, it’s a really big deal. Again, if you’re from a small rural Georgia town, you know what I mean.
Tomorrow night, everyone in Cochran will be tuned in to watch Carl Hall and his team take on Louisville. This is the biggest stage, and Cochran is sharing in Carl’s success. It’s fun, and it gives us all a sense of pride. To many, this is just an exciting Final 4 game. For the community of Cochran, it’s more than that. It’s a chance to see one of our own do something incredible. We’re proud of Carl and are having a great time watching him play on national television. This is the kind of thing that unites small towns and brings everyone together.
We’re wishing Carl and his team all the best as they get ready for the biggest game of their lives. Win or lose, we’re proud of you Carl!
It’s been played out far more than needed on how ready for the SEC Mizzou and Texas A&M would be. On the field this past fall, it’s safe to say the school with the second-best J-School in the conference (behind UGA’s Grady College of Journalism, of course) also lags behind on the gridiron.
If there’s one thing you learn in the SEC, its how to handle run-ins with local authorities when you are on the road. Well, according to this linkage from Outkick The Coverage, Mizzou’s fans still have some things to learn thanks to this first-person account.
Still, give these fans credit for living by the mantra of famous stock car driver Delma Cowart of Savannah
- “He never won a race, but never lost a party.”
A few of the highlights:
After being heckled as creepy Missouri fans peeping around sorrorities, we were put in the cruiser and eventually a paddy waggon with a true motley crew of characters. Our favorite being the Canadian kid in town for a wedding vomiting all over himself and blaming it on the guy next to him. If Canada has a version of Locked Up Abroad, he has to be on it.
we are given a bag of prison goodies to go with our jump suits and orange crocs. A guard leads us down several hundred yards of hallways before we are corraled into a pod of cells. To a couple of suburban fraternity boys, this is Alcatraz.
We watch the game winning field goal from a holding cell and are then released to my friend’s parents like a couple of dogs with our tails between our legs. Missouri just had their one shining moment of a dreadful first season in the SEC, and we watched it from a jail in Knoxville for a couple thousand dollars a piece.
The entire trip home the next day we keep asking ourselves, “Why is public intoxication such a big deal in Knoxville?”
As I walked out of Sanford Stadium Saturday, with the losing feeling that has become the norm thick in the air, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by Georgia fans not booing the team off the field, no screams (at least from where I was) for Mark Richt to be replaced by Tuesday.
And then there was the video of the fan holding the poster shown on ESPN which I was upon riding home – “UGA Alumni Support Richt’s Work.”
So let me get this straight – there are alumni which support a team that has gone from a top five program to one which has won 14 of its past 28 games. That’s a .500 winning percentage for you non-math majors like myself.
As Georgia fans, we love to ridicule programs like Georgia Tech for its lack of high success, but that is exactly where this program is – an average program which makes excuses when it fails to win a big game.
Look, I’m as proud as anyone of the team’s effort against USC. But to quote a line from “We Are Marshall,” – A Great Effort is not enough.
Moral victories were something which seemed to be the norm under Ray Goff, I’m not sure we need to go into more detail than that.
I love the Bulldogs and I love the University of Georgia.
If you have a UGA diploma on your wall or if you claim UGA as your team, it is fully expected and should be encouraged to want this program to be more than average.
Georgia’s fans deserve better than average, and moral victories won’t accomplish a goal of restoring its program to where it should be.
I’d encourage you to take a few moments to watch this beautiful singing of the National Anthem, sung by 10 year old Lily Anderson of Cumming Georgia a few weeks ago at the Braves game.
Goes to show that there really are some things more important than a game.
I am glad that Corbin is an optimistic Dawg fan. He’s like a kid in a candy shop when Phil Steele comes out each year. He’s even fun to be around that first week of the season. There is no person in the world who genuinely thinks UGA has a chance every year quite like our close friend. Some folks don’t like the optimism, but I find it refreshing.
That said, I’m not as optimistic year in and year out as Corbin. Some years I get pretty hyped up, but others I border on pessimistic. This year, as Phil Steele has come out, I’m a little “on the fence.”
I know what PS says and I like what I read. Our schedule really is much more manageable than it has been the past few years. And yes, I do think that we’ll be better than last (we dang sure better be.) But I’m not ready to anoint us #9 in the country.
I think PS the best in the business. However, I question his appointment of UGA this year as SEC East winner. Primarily because he does not list a single UGA player on 1st or 2nd team Defense and that he is mighty confident that our phenom freshman running back will be just that. On the defense, I understand that Alabama has a lot of those positions locked up and that it’s a unit thing; I just hope our defense plays well enough to win 9-10 games this year. Maybe the slightly softer schedule will allow it. The thing is, there’s really no such thing as a soft schedule in the SEC.
I hope Corbin and PS are right. I’m not saying they’re dead wrong, I’m just a little more cautious. Either way, go get your copy so you can get your giddiness on this summer.
March means madness, and this year’s tourney has been one for the ages. Everyone fills out brackets and talks as if they know what on earth they’re talking about. Then, after the first weekend, everyone who tries to sound smart ends up looking foolish. After the second weekend, 99% of Americans are left to just enjoy basketball, having their brackets blown to the heavens. Your humble author is in the 1% eagerly awaiting the Final 4 anticipating a big pay day.
I want to use this space to air some grievances temporarily, while rubbing some salt in the wounds of you silly Duke fans who persistently think this overrated squad will win the tourney each and every year.
First, the thing that drove me crazier than any other comment in late February and early March was the constant “fact” that UConn would be tired from their Big East tourney run. For all of you who said this, COME ON! Think back to when you were 18-20. You were never tired. Now that we’re all old and washed up, we get tired just watching a game. But when you’re a bright-eyed youthful athlete you don’t get tired. Adrenaline fuels you, excitement pushes you, and you just go with it. I could do things at 20 that I couldn’t dream of now. Thus, I picked UConn and my man Kemba Walker to win it all, fully confident that they would, in fact, make it all the way. This One Good Pick has rocketed me to the top of the leaderboard in every pool I have entered. While everyone else picked Kansas, Duke, Ohio State and Pitt to meet in an all-chalk Final Four, yours truly knew that this wouldn’t happen. Sure, I picked Kansas to join them, and I didn’t foresee Pitt making the early exit they made, but I never once bought in to UConn being tired and not being able to play basketball for three more weekends in March.
I will admit, UConn is my only Final 4 team left. But that doesn’t matter, because March Madness is all about relativity, and my single Final 4 pick is relatively better than your o-fer.
To you Dukies out there-yes, you Royal Dawg, I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not. Did you really think that Duke would make enough 3 pointers to get past the Sweet 16? Duke gets all the love, all the time, and perennially let the “crazies” down. I only wish my boys from Connecticut had gotten the chance to beat them, but the conservatives from Arizona handled the task nicely. Kansas let me down…I thought they had the makings to go all the way to Texas, and they almost did. I wasn’t surprised when Ohio State lost (I picked UK correctly there.) I actually had Pitt and Florida playing, with Florida winning that match. I was one of the many who underestimated Butler again, but I don’t mind losing a few points in a bracket to watch Florida lose to a Bulldog. Too bad it’s another breed of Bulldogs who can beat them. I can’t say enough good things about VCU. I was one of the 68 team haters, and I was wrong. VCU played poorly down the stretch, but have gotten white-hot in March and thoroughly deserve to be where they are today. To knock off KU the way they did is awesome. I can’t wait to watch the Butler-VCU game.
We have, in my opinion, a great Final 4. Two traditional powerhouses and two “Cinderella’s” facing each other for a chance to cut down the nets. That’s what makes March so great.
So, after all the rambling, I get back to my initial point. One Good Pick can make all the difference in the world during March Madness. Brackets are as bad as I can remember, with all the chalk losing so early. I stuck with my heart with UConn, and with a victory over UK this weekend I am in line for a big payday simply because I picked one team correctly. My bracket as a whole is nothing to be proud of, but compared to yours it smells like money.
Have a great rainy Monday.
p.s. I fully expect UConn to let me down now that I am in a position to win it all. But I’ll bask in the limelight for a week anyway while I still have a dog in the hunt next weekend.
Welcome aboard, Ray Drew!
This was another HUGE pickup for the Dawgs today. If we’re able to wrap it up with Crowell on Wednesday, this could truly be a special class.
Richt and company are doing what they need to do- wrap up the in-state talent. We’ve literally sealed the borders this year and have a boatload of in-state recruits coming to Athens in the fall. The persistence and drive shown by the entire staff is good medicine to disgruntled fans. The new facilities these guys are stepping into are just icing on the cake.
There has been no shortage of complaints fired Mark Richt’s way in recent months, and rightfully so. 6-7 is simply unacceptable. However, a number of these recruits cite Richt as the reason they chose UGA.
I am unhappy with how the past two seasons have ended, but I also want Richt to have a great year in 2011 and stay on the sidelines. He is the kind of face that, if winning, makes UGA a unique situation in college football. Quite frankly, if he gets UGA back to our winning ways, he is a huge reason why we can be a top 5 program . He’s a great face for the program, recruits and parents love him, and he doesn’t compromise the reputation our university has.
Fans, being the fickle people we are, don’t always see it that way. I’m guilty, you’re guilty, we’re all guilty. But if this “Dream Team” materializes and he’s around long enough to see it play out, many of these same Richt bashers will be singing a different tune. I just hope we do well enough in 2011 to see how this class does for him in 2012.
I have been upset at things, even to go so far as to say I wouldn’t mind if Richt were gone, but I think we can all agree that if Richt can get us back on track that there is no better man to lead our program.