Archive for December, 2011

Corbindawg the Soothsayer

The 2012 SEC Schedule is going to be released today, in about 45 minutes.  It is being widely reported that the South Carolina game will be moved to October 6 to make room for Missouri the second week of the season.  Also, Alabama will be moved to 2013. 

Georgia’s schedule will shape up very well for the Dawgs in 2012.  I am going to predict that Carolina folks are going to cry foul, but where were these folks in 2008 when Georgia had to play LSU, Alabama and Florida in the same season? 


I am going to say that UGA will have a very good year in 2012.  It is hard not to believe that when you look at the talent coming back and the more favorable schedule in 2012 than we had in 2011. 

The thing is, I predicted as much over a year ago.  If  you have been to the movies this holiday season, you have seen posters for the re-release of some Star Wars movies in 3D.


Merry Christmas From The Grit Tree Family

Today marks my office’s annual Christmas Party, then the wife and I are off traveling to Birmingham via Northwest Georgia to see family over the next several days.  Probably won’t blog much again until next week, but in the mean time, we would like to continue what has now become a tradition on our thrid Christmas on the Blog:

Merry Christmas the Grit Tree Family!

Warren Belin Was A “Special” Coach

Last year, most of us were disappointed that Warren Belin left the UGA coaching staff after one season for the Carolina Panthers.  Going from college to the NFL was an upgrade, and if there was one defensive coach who earned an upgrade in 2010, it was Coach Belin.   Now, Kirk Olivadotti has done a tremendous job coaching the inside linebackers this season.  Absolutely tremendous hire by Coach Grantham. 

Even though Coach Olivadotti has done a great job with the inside linebackers this season, Warren Belin’s influence has been sorely missed.  I caught a lot of crap around here for saying this, but I thought that after last season, the 2010 team played better football than the 2009 team.  Sure, the win/loss record was worse, but look at the stats.  The 2009 team was BAD and was the recipient of some very close victories (South Carolina, Arizona State, Georiga Tech). 

The 2009 UGA squad was last in the SEC in turnover margin, kick off coverage, and penalties.  They were much worse than the 8-5 record indicated.   The 2010 squad improved to 2nd in kick off coverage, 2nd in turnover margin, and 3rd in penalties.   The 2010 squad was two games worse.  That was one reason I was optimistic about the 2011 season.  You could see a team in 2010 that was playing much better than their record indicated, and the dumb, undisciplined, self inflicted wounds  that haunted the team throughout the 2009 season had been addressed. 

This past year, I think we can all agree that Special Teams was the biggest problem.  We won’t get into Blair Walsh.  There is only so much you can do about a kicker.  Either he makes it or he doesn’t.  He has talent; Blair Walsh’s struggles were in between his ears.  Not much a coach can help him.  Let’s look at kickoff coverage.  In addition to the inside linebackers, Coach Belin’s special teams responsibility was kickoff coverage. 

Georgia ranked last in the SEC in kickoff returns in 2009 and 2011, but 2nd in 2010. 




Warren Belin’s departure wasn’t felt on the defense, but boy it sure was felt on Special Teams. 


*stats courtesy of

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Christmas Moose Smooch

Christmas Moose Smooch

I was driving along and listening to Christmas carols on the radio, and I started thinking back to those wonderful days when I was a kid and we used to draw names for the annual class Christmas party.

What a blast that was. What fun to share Christmas gifts with your classmates.

A bunch of cheap, ungrateful toads, all of them.

In the third grade Alvin Bates got my name. Alvin Bates was the kind of kid who would bring a candy bar for afternoon recess and then lick it all over before taking a bite so nobody would ask him to share it.

In the third grade Alvin Bates gave me one of those stupid wooden paddles with the balls and the rubber strings attached. You hit the stupid ball with the stupid paddle and the stupid ball, attached to the rubber string, comes back and you hit it again.

Terrific. Fun for any awkward child under six. For fifty-nine cents, which is exactly what Alvin Bates shelled out for the paddle and the ball, he could have brought me something useful and educational, like a copy of Stag magazine they kept on the back shelf at the drugstore.


was nothing compared to the magazines they have today, but in 1954, seeing a picture of a lady in a girdle could make your month.

Later I reaped revenge. I drew Alvin’s name in the fourth grade, and I gave him a subscription to Boy’s Life. Anybody caught reading Boy’s Life was obviously a complete a) mama’s boy, b) nerd, c) sissy, d) wimp, e) fruit, f) several other things I can’t mention here.

“Hey, Four-Eyes,” we used to taunt Alvin on the playground, “what’s the centerfold this month in Boy’s Life? Picture of a pup tent?”

Alvin spent most of his fourth-grade year crying.

In the fifth grade, Frankie Garfield, the school bully, drew my name.

Having your name drawn by Frankie Garfield was both good and bad. The bad part was Frankie’s usual gift wouldn’t exactly fit under the class tree.

The good part was Frankie’s gift was a promise he wouldn’t beat you up for at least a week.

“I let you live, Duck-Face,” Frankie would say.

The worst thing that ever happened to me, though, was in the sixth grade when Cordie Mae Poovey, the ugliest and meanest girl in my school, drew my name.

Cordie Mae was from a poor family, and she never had much money to spend on a gift. A pair of socks, I figured. Or a box of peanut brittle.

Worse. I opened my gift from Cordie Mae, and all I found was an envelope with a note inside that read, “Merry Christmas. I give you the gift of love. One (1) kiss and (1) hug. Meet me after school. Cordie Mae.”

I’d kiss a pig first. And Cordie Mae was as strong as she smelled. She could break a couple of ribs.

After school I ran as fast as I could, but she finally chased me down, hammerlocked me, and then planted one right on my mouth. Smmmmmmmack!

“How’d you like that, big boy,” asked Cordie Mae.

“Ever smooched with a moose?” I answered.

“Ever been run over by a herd of reindeer?” replied Cordie Mae, who had no sense of humor whatsoever.

The swelling in my nose went down in a couple of days, but it was a week before my eyes opened again.

NCAA, Can You Explain A Few Things?

Senator Blutarsky linked to an AJC Story that listed several secondary violations committed by the UGA coaching staff.  I have a question for the NCAA based on these violations. 

Dear NCAA,

Hi, how are things?   The Univeristy of Georgia, my alma mater, recenlty self reported several secondary violations that I am sure you are aware of.  I have a few questions regarding these violations.  One, head football coach Mark Richt gave money from his personal checking account to persons on his staff who he felt deserved more compensation.  How does a a coach giving money from his own pocket give a school a competitve advantage for student athletes?    He was simply doing what his administration wouldn’t do (although if you saw the play of the linebackers under Coach Jancek, I am not sure what he did to deserve the pay increase, but that is neither here nor there). 

I don’t think you should be involved in the scandal a few hundred miles north of Athens in State College, PA, but I am curious.  How can you find fault with a coach taking it upon himself to financially help his assistants and suppport staff, when another head coach was taking it upon himself to take care of his former assistant by turning a blind eye to child molestation?   If there ever was a case for “lack of institutional control”, Penn State fits the bill. 

Another instance of violation, UGA provided two meals valued at around $20 to the 5 year old brother of a recruit.  Again, UGA bought the meal for a child, and that is wrong.  Penn State’s Athletic Department, due to turning a blind eye to illegal and morally wrong activities that were going on in the team facilities, ruined the lives of countless children.  Buying a meal for a child-> violation.  Covering up child molestation-> no violation. 

Thank you for taking time review my questions, and feel free email the blog with your response.

Merry Christmas,


Auburn Family: How Long From All In To Fold?

Auburn entered the 2003 football season ranked #6 in the AP Poll and had Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown.  After starting the season with two lopsided losses to Southern Cal and Georgia Tech, Auburn was also beaten by Ole Miss and beaten handedly by LSU and UGA.  Due to the unraveling, the infamous secret meeting with Bobby Petrino took place (just for fun, click on the link and read some of the quotes by Petrino.  He truly is a snake in the grass.).

The prognosticators were a season off, and 2004 Auburn stormed through the SEC to a 13-0 undefeated regular season.  Tommy Tuberville didn’t raise the crystal football, but came awfully close. 

 6 years later, Auburn was 14-0 and this time, the defensive coordinator on the 2004 staff got to hold up the “whatever sponsor’s name it is this  year” trophy. 

After Auburn went undefeated in 2004, Auburn had a few decent seasons in 2005 and 2006, before struggling in 2007 and the wheels falling off the wagon completely in 2008.  You see this a lot in sports, but Tuberville was at Auburn for 10 years.  Fatigue had set in.  The administration had already tried to run him off.  85-40 and 10 years was enough to make everyone ready to part ways.

Auburn went:  9-3 in 2005, 11-2 in 2006, 9-4 in 2007 and 5-7 in 2008.  That is 16 losses in the four years since Auburn went undefeated.

Gene Chizik has a 29-10 record at Auburn, but 14-0 with Cam Newton and Nick Fairley and 15-10 without.  But regardless of whether or not Auburn cheated, which they did, to win the National Championship, they still won a National Championship.  And in college football, the way we determine a coach’s merit is based on if they win a national championship, even though the criteria to win one is not uniform from year to year (Mark Richt and Tommy Tuberville in recent memory). 

Gene Chizik has 5 losses since going undefeated (with the potential for 6).   Tuberville had 16 since his undefeated season before getting fired/force to resign/however you want to sugarcoat it. Chizik is already 1/3 of the way to getting to Tuberville’s loss total.  With the mess going on at the Plains right now, next year may not be any better.

This is not a commentary to say whether or not Tuberville should or shouldn’t have been fired or how long Chizik should have before his “hot seat” talk starts up.

I just want to ask a question to the Auburn family:  Last year, Gene Chizik was like Maeby Funke, the cousin you wish wasn’t your cousin. 

How much longer will it be before Gene Chizik is like the meth addicted cousin you run away from at family reunions?


Maybe The SEC Isn’t As Great As We Thought

I had incorrectly likened the SEC to the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.  The SEC puts on the best contest, has the best personalities, plays a little dirty and is the most prestigious and lavish of all the other conferences.  The SEC has a bunch of  limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ sons of a guns.   With the conference expansion and other conferences trying to compete with SEC with the TV deals, it is like other guys want to be with us, and if they don’t, they want to be like us.

Despite the fact the SEC is about to win its 6th consecutive National Championship and its 7th since 2003, I am starting to have my doubts about the conference’s influence on a national stage. 

You’d think that since the SEC has been a winner, has had 3 out of the last 5 Heisman Trophy winners, huge TV Contracts, the pundits would have a better understanding of what goes on down here.  Though no SEC school has green officially in their colors, but the SEC’s official colors should be green becuase of all the money the conference has and becuase every one else is green with envy.

But I guess the national media, namley the “northeastern” media, hasn’t paid much attention to the SEC in recent years becuase of all the attention now on Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow. 

Even in last night’s GOP Debate, Rick Perry made allusions to being the “Tim Tebow” of the Iowa caucus (h/t Blutarsky). 

Last night on Sportscenter, there was an analyst talking about how much of a polarizing figure Tebow is, and how unpopular he is in some circles.

Either you love Tebow, or you hate him.  Most fans in the SEC outside of Gainseville, namley in Athens, aren’t the biggest fans. 

I made the mistake one day of listening to Sean Hannity and he was talking about how people don’t like Tebow becuase of his religion and asked why do we in America villify someone becuase they are open about their faith.  I have heard Rush make similar complaints. 

The anit-Tebow crowd is nothing new in these parts.  And it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact he is open about his faith.  There is no doubt he is a great leader.  He is talented.  That is not why folks dislike him.  It is the crying, the celebrating after 3 yard runs, the  haircut, the overall douchebag-ness of Tebow that drives folks crazy. 

I understand why the media latches onto him.  Denver was 1-4 pre Tebow, 7-1 post since he started.  He is the hot story in the most popular sport in the United States, professional football.  But you would think that if the national media and ESPN have paid as close attention to the SEC as I thought they would have, they would know that Tim Tebow had his critics from the 11 other fan bases in the SEC.  It should come to no surprise that people outside of Denver find him annoying. 


PS:  It takes real talent to tie in Tim Tebow AND Ric Flair, two polar opposites, in the same post. 

Looks Like I Was Right About Malzahn

I posted this after the Iron Bowl.  I believed it three weeks ago and believe it now.  Gus Malzahn did himself no favors professionally when he decided the return to Auburn following the National Championship game last year.  His stock was at an all time high.   Malzahn will take the Arkansas State HC job and take around a $450,000 pay cut to per year to do so (or, Mike Bobo’s salary). 

Fans say all the time, I would trade one great year for several bad years.  I have said that before.  Auburn fans, let me know how that works in a year or two. 


1,051,200 minutes-How Do You Measure, Measure A Career?

I agree with Kyle King about Isaiah Crowell.  An old saying someone used for their senior quote at my high school rings true to most of us, especially Crowell:  You have to be young and stupid before you can be old and wise.  In spite of being hurt legit some of the time, being “hurt” most of the time, and coming and going from Coach Richt’s dog house, Isaiah Crowell still managed to have a good freshman season and showed flashes of why he was the #1 ranked runningback a year ago.  I get all that.

What frustrates me about Crowell is there is so much talent there, and it is not being applied properly.  Am I writing him off?  Hell no.  But unfortunately we have seen this story more often than not.  All Isaiah Crowell has to do is trust the coaches and give the program 2 more years.  He doesn’t have to stay for 4 years and doesn’t have to graduate.  We are asking for 2 more years.  If he can improve just slighlty on his production this year, and get 1000 yards a season over the next two years, he will be a rich man late April/Early May 2014.  2 years.  731 days (leap year in 2012-I caught it!).  1,051,200 minutes.   63,072,000 seconds.

Crowell just needs to give UGA and Coach Richt two years more years.  It is not that long, in the grand scheme of things.   

Here is a personal message to Crowell:  Suck it up, stay in the games a little longer, maintain a C average in your Health and Physical Education major (it’s not Chemistry here, dude), don’t smoke weed and don’t get arrested.  If you do this, Isaiah, if you just do those 5 simple tasks, you could make more money than you  ever would imagine in your wildest dreams without even playing a snap of professional football. 

Crowell’s has a choice to make, and it is his choice alone.  His career can go down 3 paths:

1.  Follows the Knowshon Moreno example.  He sucks it up for the next 2 years, does the 5 steps I outlined above, improves slightly over his freshman year, gets close to 3,000 yards in his career, and gets drafted in the spring of 2014.  He makes beaucoups of money.

2.  Follows the Washaun Ealey/Jasper Sanks example:  He continues to have a bad attitude, Joe T. II works the crap out of him, he doesn’t buy in to what the coaches ask him to do, and he transfers to a small school and never realizes his full potential.

3.  Or he stays on the team, but doesn’t contribute much and never makes an impact.

The choice is Crowell’s.  It can end up very well for him, or it can end badly.  He has to realize that with him or without him, Georgia will still be Georgia.  UGA just signed another #1 RB, has plenty of weapons at QB and wide receiver.  Sure, having a fully productive RB will  make it much easier and I would rather have Crowell than not, but Crowell must realize he needs UGA and Coach Richt more than Coach Richt and UGA need him. 


PS:  And I promise, this will be the last reference to “Rent” or any other musical here on TGT.  Don’t wory.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

One of my favorite sounds of the Christmas season is the ringing of bells by Salvation Army people. 

They normally station themselves at entrances of shopping malls, and the idea is to ring the devil, if you’ll pardon the expression, out of their bells in order to entice shoppers to donate money. 

I interviewed one of those bell ringers for a column several years ago. I asked if he ever got tired of ringing that bell all day long. 

“I hear the thing in my sleep,” he said. 

I bring this up to introduce the rather strange situation that developed up in Rome the other day. 

According to the report I read, two Salvation Army workers got themselves fired because they were unable to get shoppers to throw enough money into their pots. 

I’m serious. These two ladies, Dorothy Clark and Debbie Stuart, got a job ringing bells for the Salvation Army during the Christmas season. They were to be paid $3.65 an hour for their trouble. Mrs. Clark said she and her co-worker were told they had to bring in $100 a day. When the ladies failed to meet that sum, they were axed. 

Giving from the heart 

Army Lt. Ray Tuno, their boss, “told us if our relationship with God was what it should be, we would bring in the money.” 

“But people give from the heart,” Mrs. Clark went on. “What does he want us to do, hit people on the head with the bell to make them give more?” 

Naturally, the Salvation Army is stonewalling and refusing detailed comment on this situation. I get the feeling the Salvation Army is embarrassed, as well it should be. 

It never ceases to amaze me how television preachers – and now in this instance, even the Salvation Army – seem to use the threat of God when they ask for funds. 

I don’t know and I don’t care what Dorothy Clark’s and Debbie Stuart’s relationships with God are, but I do know it didn’t matter one red cent when the two women were out there ringing those bells. 

A threat from on high

This is something right out of the handbooks of Oral Roberts and the like. I will never forget a letter BrotherOral sent out after Jesus had come to him in a vision and told him the exact amount of money his “prayer partners” should donate to him. 

The threat was there: Don’t give the money, my children, and God is going to be very, very mad. 

I think Mrs. Clark’s comment was right on target. What did Lt. Tuno want them to do, hit people in the head with their bells to make them give more? 

I also think I know what the answer would be to such a question: 

“If you can’t get their cash, give ’em a bash.” 

Such thoughts as these always bring tons of letters from people who ask what right I have getting involved with God’s work. 

I don’t mess with God’s work. But I also don’t want a bunch of jerks using God’s name to frighten people into parting with their cash. 

It should be the personal conscience, and only that, which guides a person when he or she gives. 

The trouble is, I’m not certain if some of the takers still have a conscience to guide them.