Archive for July, 2011

A Funny Story on Thomas Brown

I thought the addition of Thomas Brown to the S & C Program was an excellent thing.  He was a hard worker in Athens, had an injury and fought hard to come back, and even was willing to play second fiddle to the rising star his senior year.  Epitome of a team player and a DGD.

Seeing this story that the Senator linked to comes to no surprise to me.

I had two experiences with Thomas Brown I thought were very funny.  I may have shared before, so if I have, please forgive me.

Both involved UGA Campus Tranisit.  I drove the UGA buses during my time in Athens.  It was a great job that was easy, paid very well, and I listened to 960 The Ref 4-8 hours a day. I would actually pick up shifts during football season so I could listen to The Ref and absorb football information.

In addition to the buses, I drove the disability vans, and transported students in wheelchairs or who had broken legs who needed help getting to class.  From time to time, I would have to transport football players who had injuries.  Brannan Southerland was very friendly, by the way.

I got a call from my dispatcher and was told to pick up Thomas Brown from East Campus Village and take him to Baldwin Hall.  I knew it was the Thomas Brown, since he had just tore his ACL.  I pick him up at the appropriate spot and he gets in my van.  I noticed he was wearing Nike Air Force Ones, but they were clear plastic and therefore see through.  He was wearing, and I remember very distinctly, yellow socks.  I asked him “Are those plastic shoes?”  He responded, “Yeah.  I can wear a different color pair of socks and make it look like I have a differnt color pair of shoes.”  Very economical. 

A little while later, I was driving the bus.  I believe it was the summer prior to the 2007 season.  I was parked at the East Village Commons (now Joe Frank Harris Commons) and parked waiting for passengers to get on my bus.  I didn’t see anyone leaving the dinning hall so I began to close the doors to my East-West bus and move on along.   All of a sudden I heard someone yell “stop” as the doors came to a close.  I quickly opened the doors back up and realized I had closed the doors on none other than Thomas Brown, now off his crutches.  I watched as he left the bus to make sure he didn’t have a limp, caused by yours truly.  I could see the headline in the next day’s Red and Black:


Luckily, that was not the case.

Anyway, glad to see Thomas contributing and, hopefully making a connection to the younger players.  Let Joe T. II motivate in his ways, and let Thomas Brown motivate in his.


A Great Opportunity

Last night, I was privileged last night to attend the thrilling Braves-Pirates game.  A close series with the Pirates brought back memories to the early 1990s.  Like Florida fans who hate Lindsay Scott and Buck Belue, I sense that Pirates fans still had Sid Bream.  I saw a Pirates fan wearing a shirt last night that said “Sid Bream Still Sucks”. 

I was even more privileged to sit in the 755 Club.  It was an amazing experience I don’t forsee happening again anytime soon, and I glad I was able to witness a W.   JJ pitched about 114 pitches and played some great defense.  Beside ffrom giving up that solo shot in the 6th, it was near perfect game for the Braves.  The offense continues to struggle, but the crazy thing last night was the Braves got some hits.  They just couldn’t drive anyone home. 

Jason Heyward is ineffective, Chipper is falling apart, and  Brain McCann is probably out 2-3 weeks.   While all the injuries, the Braves are in contention for the NL East and have a pretty strong handle on the NL Wildcard.  I think the Braves should make a move to try and get Hunter Pence, but I even if that is not the case, the Braves are in good shape.  David Ross is more than a capable back up catcher, Dan Uggla has been doing very well the last three weeks, Freddy Freeman continues to impress, and Martin Prado is back in full swing. 

Go Braves!


Well, Now Georgia Tech Will Be 4-0 To Start Season

The same day that UGA is in beautiful Oxford, Georgia Tech plays host to the North Carolina Tar Heels-who just fired thier coach.  Last month I pointed out  some more of North Carolina’s shenanigans.  I was surprised then how Butch Davis could continue as an employee of the University of North Carolina.  I guess I wasn’t the only one.  But I totally agree with Pat Forde that while this was warranted, the timing was bad

And speaking of Tech, has anyone really looked close at their schedule?  They have 3 winnable games early, then they play the Carolina schools.  One is breaking in a new coach and the other is breaking in a new QB.  Then Tech has to play Maryland, Virginia and Miami.   Tech could be 8-0 heading into the Halloween weekend tilt versus Clemson on the Flats. 

Georgia  Tech will win 9 games this season.  Mark it down.


The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

This is a way I want to start organizing my thoughts on different subjects this upcoming football season.  Media Days are here upon us, so let’s give it a shot with a wierd story to come out yesterday:  UGA wearing Nike Pro Combat unis. 

The Good:  It shows that Georgia is still a relevent team.  I know last year, Nike used teams like Pitt, Miami, and Oregon State, but they also used Florida, Alabama, Boise State, Ohio State.   I guess it is good that Nike thinks enough of Georgia to do this.  It is like recruiting-I like to see what other schools are going after him also.  You are always good to be judged by the company you keep.

The Bad:  I thought we were done with changing up uniforms for a while.  I know Greg McGarity said it was not a gimmick.  I believe that, too.  This isn’t some “fake juice” like wearing black pants and helmets.  It is driven by Nike.  Lots of other schools with “traditional” uniforms are wearing these-Alabama, Ohio State, Navy, Army.  But still, I want our Red tops and Silver britches.  I like the black tops, ocassionaly.   I think that looks really sharp.    I think it is neat when a school beaks something out unique.  For example, Clemson and the Purple, Florida State and the Burgandy pants and tops, Florida wearing Orange pants, Notre Dame and the Green tops.  I wish the Black jerseys didn’t have such a negative stigma attached to it, because I think it would be cool if we wore them every so often for fun.  But I don’t want to make a big deal about what the team wears.  I want to make a big deal of them winning.

The Ugly:  Those uniforms are ugly.  Look at some of them, like Alabama and Florida, and they pretty much like the normal uniforms.  But Virgina Tech last year was ugly.  I think some of the other ones were ugly. 


Love and Luck

With a little love and luck , You will get by
With a little love and luck , We’ll take the sky
In this mangled modern world , You’ve got to try
Try a little love and luck , And you’ll get by

-Jimmy Buffett

Someone sent me a link the other day to a Rivals site that had the top 10 teams the last decaded based on recruiting rankings.  Not surprisingly, Georgia was near the top of the list.  The most troubling thing to show is that 6 of the 10 teams have won a National Championship during that time (and played in multiple BCS National Championship Games), and Georgia, the #2 ranked team on the list, obviously has not.   Here is the top 10:

  1.  USC
  2. Georgia
  3. Florida
  4. LSU
  5. Texas
  6. Florida State
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Auburn
  9. Michigan

9 (t). Tennessee

Georgia has underachieved the past decade, but especially the last three years.  The overall talent may not have been there in the last couple of seasons, but that 2008 team was built to win it all.

But look at Georgia’s resume compared to those teams on that list…it has the 10th best winning percentage during the decade, tied with Florida.

What this list does not account for is luck, and therefore, I contend that judging any school or coach based solely on National Championships in College Football is inherently not fair.  Some years, like in 2009 when Alabama and Texas ran the table,  luck does not factor in who plays for the BCS title.  Some years it does.  Ucheedawg does not believe in good luck or bad luck.   But some of those years, Georgia has just not been lucky.

Look at the 2003 season…Oklahoma plays LSU for the BCS title.  In 2003, LSU had a strong defense led by a quarterback who didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes.  The only blemish on their record was a7 point loss at home to a Ron Zook coached Florida Gator team.  In 2002, Georgia had a strong defense led by an offense and quarterback who didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes.  Their only blemish was a 7 point neutral site loss to a Ron Zook coached Florida Gator team.  And Oklahoma didn’t even win the Big 12 Title. 

2004…you had three teams that went undefeated…Auburn, Oklahoma and USC.  Yet Auburn was left out.  Do you think Tommy Tuberville’s legacy at Auburn would be defined differently if the BCS had not screwed him?

2005…two undefeated teams so no complaint. 

2006…A one loss Florida team plays Ohio State.  You had Urban Meyer lobbying on ESPN on why he thought the Gators (deservedly) belonged in the BCS Title game.  See above…what is the difference between a one loss team in 2006 and one loss team in 2002?  The difference is what other teams do!  The fate is determined by other schools.

2007 was a crazy season.  LSU and Ohio State benefitted by not one but two schools losing the final weekend of the season.  #1 ranked Missouri was upset by Oklahoma and #2 West Virginia was upset by Pittsburgh in the backyard brawl.  Now, I was not one who thought Georgia deserved to play in 2007-we didn’t win the East.

But for LSU, who was ranked #7 at the beginning of the day Saturday needed a lot of breaks to go their way.  First, they needed to take care of their own business against Tennessee, which they did.  Then they needed other teams to lose.  And lose those teams did.  If just one team had lost, Ohio State was ranked higher and would have moved up.  The 2007 BCS Title Game could have very easily been West Virginia vs. Missouri, Missouri vs. Ohio State, or West Virginia vs. Ohio State.  LSU needed a lot of HELP FROM OTHER TEAMS to make it to the BCS title game.

And let’s look at LSU’s resume in 2007.  They finished the season with 2 losses (both of which in overtime) and an SEC Championship.  In 2005, the Georgia Bulldogs finished the regular season with 2 losses by a combined 5 points, and beat a higher ranked team in the SEC Championship more convincingly than LSU did in 2007.  I would dare say the 2005 Georgia resume was just as impressive as the 2007 LSU team. 

Why did Georgia not play for the BCS Championship in 2005 and LSU did in 2007?

Why did Georgia not play for the BCS Championship in 2002 and Florida did in 2006, and LSU did in 2003?

To be fair, why was Auburn left out in 2004, but in other years these other teams got to play for it all?


Recently, Alabama, Texas, Auburn and Oregon have made it pretty clear who the two deserving teams were.  No questions.  They have made it where they control their own destiny.  But several years this decade, for a team to play in the BCS National Championship Game, they have had to get lucky and benefit from outside influences and play some scoreboard watching the first weekend of December. 

Now, Georgia has grossly underachieved in recent years, there is no denying that.  There is no excuse for turnovers, special team mistakes, and other mental problems that have caused Georgia to be 14-12 the last two seasons.  Mark Richt has to turn the ship around, and if he doesn’t, he will be held accountable.  If there is not significant progress made, even Richt homers like myself will find it hard to want him around.

But isn’t it unfair to just judge someone (Mark Richt or Tommy Tuberville) solely based on their lack of National Championships when the system that determines the National Champion is inconsistent?

I am not making excuses for Georgia’s troubles and recent shortcomings, however I feel it is overly simplistic to look at just National Championships in the great sport of College Football.


What Is Going On At The AJC???

First, the AJC lets a major news story about Georgia Tech going through a NCAA investigation slip through the cracks until the day of the announcement.  Now, they are just reporting that Carlton Thomas is suspended for the first game versus Boise State (h/t Blutarsky).  This is the kind of story the AJC loves-delinquent UGA football players.  If the AJC is just now reporting the Carlton Thomas suspension after a few months of the incident that led to said suspension, then Tech facing NCAA violations doesn’t stand a chance.  Someone needs to step it up…we can’t be informed about the rouge UGA football program if you don’t let the people know! 


This Sums It Up

I am sure many of our readers aren’t from Macon, so I hate to bore you with local stuff.  This will be the last post from the Grit Tree advocating Robert Reichert for Mayor of Macon.  But this post over at Peach Pundit really sums up why we should vote for Reichert.  

Also, the Macon Telegraph endorses Reichert for Mayor.

This excerpt is about right:

We look forward to another term for Reichert, while he won’t give us as much to write about as the other candidates, that is a good thing for the city.


Going to Jacksonville?

I was a freshman in the fall of 2003.  My five falls in Athens (yes, it was carefully planned that way from the very beginning) were from 2003-2007.  I saw a lot of great football games.  I had some great memories, and few bitter pills.  My first true road game was the Tennessee game in 2005 where buypropertyucheedawg and I decided at 8:30 the night before on the raquetball courts in Ramsey to drive to Knoxville, not having tickets be damned.  We got free tickets from Granite’s dad eventually, and I only missed two away games the rest of my collegiate career (Kentucky 2006 and Vandy 2007). 

I loved going to Jacksonville for the Florida game.  In 2003, we stayed 18 deep in a crappy hotel in South Jacksonville.  20o4 and 20o5, I stayed with my girlfriend (future wife) who was in Valdosta.  2006 and 2007, we stayed in Jekyll.  In 2008, I was gainfully employed, and had taken a few days off to go the LSU game the week before.  I had made the tough decision that financially, I would live it up in Baton Rouge and make a fun trip to Death Valley.   Since that trip is every 5 years and Jacksonville is every year, I decided that we should be responsible and not go to both in back to back weekends.  Well, we handidly beat LSU and were in the Top 10 going to face Florida.  I called 2008 pivotal-we just whipped the Gators the year before.  We had one (ugly) loss, and so did the Gators.  If we had beaten Florida, we would have wrapped up the East.  Two top 10 teams meeting on the banks of St. John’s River was too much for me to overcome, so on the Thursday before the Cocktail Party, I bought some extremely too exspensive tickets and had a friend pick them up for me in Athens.  I don’t want to tell how much I spent per ticket, but let’s just say it was over $100.  I didn’t care; it was worth it by God. 

We know what happened in 2008. 

I was so pissed off that in 2009, I flat refused to go to Jacksonville.  I held strong.  I caught hell from others in our group for not going, and still do to this day.  It has been my only missed game, but I guess since I didn’t go and everyone else did, I won’t ever live it down.  But I was tired.  I was tired of going down there, getting excited, having a fun tailgate, spending all this money, just to be miserable on the northbound drive home on Sunday. 

I stayed at home on that  Halloween and watched a team dressed like Grambling let turnovers do them in.  I was disgusted.  I did decide last year I would go. 

Every year, I think we are going to win.    In 2005, we were going to have Shockley, and then I thought JT III would be a special “Rudy” story.  In 2006, I thought Stafford would pull an upset.  In 2008, we had momentum, star power, and something to prove after getting embarrassed by Alabama.  Last year, we both sucked so why not.  As a matter of fact, the only years I thought we didn’t stand a chance to win in Jacksonville was in 2007-I thought we were going to get killed (maybe I should be down like that every time…).

I think we can beat Muschamp and Wies.  But I am not excited about that game becuase more often than not, I am let down.

I am sure I am not the only who feels this way now, BUT to get some excitement about the 2011 Cocktail Party, I read this post by Bernie.  Then I re-read it, and read it again.  All he needs to do is throw some “Wooos” in there, and the Nature Boy would be proud.  It got me pumped up for 100 days from now, and right now I am ready to get down there and gives those damn Gators the business. 


Georgia Tech’s Arrogance Cost Them

The cover up is worst than the crime.  We heard that about Richard Nixon and Watergate, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and Jim Tressel and Ohio State.  Now, we see that partially in the Georgia Tech news.

How the Athletic Departments in Athens and Atlanta hanndle their business should be a text book example of what to do and what not to do if the NCAA comes calling. 

I don’t often do this, but I have to agree with Jeff Schultz on this one.  Georgia Tech must take down their ACC Championship Banner and are fined $100K.  Pretty harsh for $312, but if you think about it, it is not so bad.  No loss of scholarships, no bowl bans or anything of that nature.

But the reason they are in this mess is not becuase of the $312 worth of stuff that was or was not given.  It is they were not honest with NCAA investigators and did what the NCAA told them not to do.  The NCAA told them they had two players who they were investigating, and not to tell.  What does Tech do?  They play the aforementioned players, and tell them about it.

Look at how Georgia worked the A.J. Green situation last year.   The NCAA let UGA know about the possible infraction, and Claude Felton, Mark Richt and A.J. Green were all mum on the case.  For the UL-L game, Georgia didn’t play A.J. Green.  They hadn’t heard anything and had a choice:  take a gamble and play him, or play it safe.

Georgia Tech gambled and won short term, but eventually lost.  Like all arrogant, free wheeling gamblers, their risks caught up to them.


A Disgrace To BBQ

I think this just speaks for itself.