Archive Page 3
During the weekend, it was hard not to be happy to see Mercer’s upset of Duke, especially for those of us at TGT residing in Middle Georgia. Plus, who can’t enjoy Duke losing. It does not get much more American than that.
But there’s one thing about Mercer’s big win against Duke that sticks out, and it should rattle the cage of anyone with an interest in UGA basketball. Consider this excerpt from Seth Emerson on Friday.
In fact, Mercer is a model for what Fox hopes to have at Georgia very soon: A team built not on five-star recruits, but experience and chemistry. Georgia starts one senior, one junior and three sophomores this year.
“One of the goals we’ve had is to eventually have an older team. And when you have an older team and an experienced team it works to your advantage,” Fox said. “We’ve not really had that, because of early entries. We haven’t had a lot of that. But we’re getting closer. And hopefully next year we’ll have a stronger flavor of that experience.”
Let that sink in for a second. With all the resources that Georgia has, it is pretty much looking at the model of Mercer as a barometer.
At what point do the excuses run out for the basketball program in Athens as a whole? Having a down year in talent doesn’t hold water…these are the guys that Mark Fox recruited. Sure, the NIT is nice and all, but I’m sure you won’t find any team in America starting the season saying, ‘NIT or bust.’
I remember during a TV broadcast once that Dick Vitale recalled telling Jim Harrick that when he took the Georgia job that he’d never be in a better situation in terms of being able to compete. You have a loaded in the coffers athletic association and you are in the backyard of one of the biggest hotbeds of basketball talent. I’m not saying you should outrecruit Duke or Kentucky for players…for teams like Florida State and Georgia Tech should not beat you out time after time.
For a very long time, basketball at Georgia has been a side-deal. Being competitive and making an Big Dance ever so often was accepted, unfortunately.
Imagine for a moment if the UGA football program started averaging 8-win seasons with a bowl game every three years. Would that be acceptable.
This basketball program can be great. But it’ll only be as great as its fans and the UGA Athletic Association demands of it.
Let’s throw it out there. Mike Bobo is a massive lightning rod when it comes to the UGA football program. Mention his name and you’ll either have fans talk about how great he or how he needs to lose his job (which I still fail to understand, for what it’s worth).
Georgia, however, is running a high risk of neglecting Bobo. There was recent news that Bobo received a contract extension, but a pay raise was not included.
Look, I get the fact that the defensive staff has to be offered more to lure them in, and I have no issue with that. If Pruitt and Company produce, they are worth every penny.
But when you have a coach such as Mike Bobo, whose offense is the only reason that this team was a national title contender two years ago and made itself a factor for Atlanta again this year, you have to, as they say, “Pay the man.”
And then there is the fact that Georgia’s upswing in South Georgia recruiting has a lot to do with Bobo.
Bobo is a loyal guy to both Georgia and Mark Richt. But when you underappreciate someone long enough, the end result is that person making an easy decision to leave.
Let’s hope it never comes to that.
Look at it this way, it’ll be easier to see replays of Muschamp’s head exploding next fall in Jax.
The Russians Out in the Code
I didn’t find it all that newsworthy to learn that the Russian and American governments often used bugging devices to find out what one another is doing/and or saying.
I always had taken this as a given. Wasn’t the first thing Bill Cosby and Robert Culp did when they checked into a hotel room in “I Spy” was to search out the bugging devices, which always were located in the flowerpot? I also figure both U.S. and Soviet operatives are smart enough to know how to say things in code when they are being listened to by the other side.
My stepbrother, Ludlow Porch of WSB/Radio in Atlanta, who happens to be an ex-marine and quite the patriot, was along with me on a trip to the Soviet Union a couple of years ago and we often carried on sensitive conversations in our respective hotel rooms.
We certainly took for granted our rooms were bugged, especially after one KGB “maid” asked him, “How are you enjoying your stay in Soviet Union?”
Before Ludlow could answer, she said, “Please speak directly into flowerpot.”
After that Ludlow and I devised a brilliant code to use each time we knew somebody out there was listening.
Now that we are both safely out of the country and plan never to go back, here is one of our typical conversations while in the Soviet Union, followed by the translation:
Ludlow: “‘Rosebud’ in the third race at Pimlico.”
(I’m so tired of Russian food, I could eat a horse.)
Me: “This little piggy went to market.”
(Before I left home, I went by the Piggly Wiggly supermarket and picked up a couple of cans of pork and beans for the trip. Want some?”
Ludlow: “Is a bear Catholic?”
(In the name of God, yes.)
Ludlow (again): “Are you going to watch “Sanford and Son?”
(Are you as sick as I am of looking at all that junk in Russian museums?)
Me: “Roger. The big polar bear walks late.”
(Dang right. I’m going over to a bar tonight at a hotel where they are supposed to have ice.)
Ludlow: “Is the new Sears Roebuck catalog in yet?”
(You got any toilet paper left in your room?)
Me: “Pass the Charmin.”
(A little, but I’m in big trouble when that’s gone.)
Ludlow: “Does Bonzo have the key?”
(Do you think President Reagan is correct in thinking these people are a major threat to the security of our nation?)
Me: “A flush beat a straight.”
(Are you kidding me? A country that still can’t master the flush toilet couldn’t hit its own foot with a guided missile.)
Ludlow: “Shoot low, boys, they’re ridin’ Shetland ponies.”
(Have you noticed how squatty-looking all the Russian women are?)
Me: “The elephants are marching.”
(They all have big fat ankles, too.)
Ludlow: “When the bird of paradise flies away, Santa’s belly will roll like jelly.”
(When we finally blow this place, I’m going to be one happy fat man.)
Me: “Hey, Mabel, Black Label.”
(I’ll drink to that.)
Ludlow: “Now’s the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”
(Isn’t it a little silly for two grown men to be sitting here talking like this?)
Me: “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.”
(You can’t be too careful when the security of your country is involved.)
Ludlow: “Loose lips can sink ships, Jarhead.”
(That’s the first thing they taught us at boot camp in Parris Island.)
Today’s is Herschel’s birthday.
Thank you, Mrs. Walker.
Josh Harvey-Clemons’ time in Athens is officially over, with him being kicked off the team for a ‘violation of team rules.”
You’d assume that he did something similar to the previous teams that he was suspended. If that is the case, JHC needs help, and it is best to leave Athens to get it.
It’s for the best that JHC is no longer in Athens for everyone involved. JHC and UGA need to move on. Inevitably, this was going to happen soon, so it’s very good for Georgia that it was prior to spring ball so that some other guys can get looks such as Tray Matthews or Corey Moore.
For JHC, it closes the book on a highly touted potential that was never realized. When you come in as a five-star recruit with signing day drama, the onus is on you to deliver big, and those expectations are hard to match (see Crowell).
JHC not only will never live down an errant tip on the plains, but also that he had all the talent in the world and pissed it away.