Archive for May, 2012

Senator Blutarsky Must Have Tapped My Phone

This morning, I was talking to Kensington over the phone and we addressed many of the same points that Senator Blutarsky addressed here.  As a matter of fact, it was right about the same time that he posted this blog post, so how freaky is that?   

Great minds think a like, I suppose.

Blutarsky is right that there is a double standard-both among the fans AND administration- between the approach in baseball and David Perno and football and Mark Richt.  Now, I know there is some difference.  Football drives everything, is a traditional power, and most fans (including yours truly) really cares more about the Braves than UGA baseball.  Well, outside the years when the Dawgs make the CWS, when then everyone is an expert on UGA baseball. 

I am a big picture guy and not a “what have you done for me lately” kind of person.  David Perno has done some great things while in Athens.  3 trips to the CWS and making it to the finals in 2008 was great.  Outstanding.  But an overall .500 winning percentage is not too great.  It is the definition of mediocre. 

Mark Richt has career winning percentage of over 75% and has had tremendous success in his career-and all of it was in the SEC.  Why would the administration hedge on Richt but adamantly defend Perno? 

Another comment about Richt and the soap opera that is his contract extension.  Richt makes $2.9 million dollars per year.  Richt is the 10th highest paid coach in the country but sixth in the SEC.  I get Miles, Saban, even Chizik making more.  They all have the crystal footballs.  And I know UGA has been down lately.  But Richt should have made more than Petrino and certainly more than Muschamp.   When Muschamp signed on for $3.2 million a year, Richt should have right then demanded to make more.  Georgia prints money.  Why can’t they just throw Richt another $500,000 to make him paid more than Ron Zook 2.0 down in Gainseville?



Commit to Baseball and Make a Change at Head Coach

I think the UGA fan base has it wrong with regards to the expectation level of this program. With regards to whether Perno should be kept or let go 23 point to our lack of participation in the CWS since 2008. Georgia should want a program that competes at the top of the SEC year in and year out. Most UGA fans are thrilled when we even make the NCAA tournament. Georgia fans should be pissed off when we are not HOSTING the regional every season. Our fans love to bash Danny Hall because he’s a Techie, but I would take a coach like him anyday because most years he has his team in a position to make it to Omaha. When we make it to Omaha, we follow it with years of below average baseball.

UGA baseball has for years been the program that has lacked the most support from the athletic office while in my view having the most potential for success. Since 2007 half of the first round picks in the MLB draft have come from four states (California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia). Are these picks likely going to college? Of course not, but it speaks to the depth of high school baseball talent in this state. And with this talent there is no excuse for not competing year in and year out at a high level.

Of course we must first make a commitment to baseball at the athletic department. I really hope McGarity will do what his mentor Jeremy Foley at Florida demanded which required 0every program to compete at the highest level while giving them adequate resources to do so. And yes Georgia has plenty of resources so that’s not an issue.

It’s utterly embarrassing that the athletic department has allowed the baseball facilities to deteriorate so badly. It is no excuse for Georgia Tech to have a top flight baseball facility while UGA has something that is worse than some high schools in this state.

I do believe it is time for a change at head coach. The hitting has been subpar for a few seasons. Our struggles with men in scoring position are not something new. In 2007 Perno pulled in one of the best recruiting hauls maybe in school history. He had two 3rd round picks (Zach Cone and Chase Davidson). He also had signed a stud pitching staff with Palzonne and Cecil Tanner. The result 0 regional hosting, 0 Super Regionals, 0 trips to Omaha. Oh, and we missed the tourmanment COMPLETELY two out of the four years (assuming we are left out this year).

Let’s look at some of the players in that class. Peter Verdin a 17th round pick was great signee as well as Christian Glission, Mike Freeman and Colby May. Cone, Verdin, May and Davidson never reached their potential. He ran Glission and Freeman off (they both went on to star at Valdosta St. and Clemson respectively). Tanner was a head case. The running off does not stop with the players as Perno showed the door to quality pitching coaches Butch Thompson and Roger Williams.

I go on and on. However, UGA should be after consistent success with its baseball program. That happens with a quality hire head coach which CAN happen with promise of an athletic department committment to the program.


Can UGA Protect Its Name and Reputation?

Ahhh.  It is good to be back.  I have been on a brief sabbatical, but after nearly driving 2,000 miles in 10 days, I have had a lot of time to ponder and think about good blog topics. It is not that I haven’t had time to actually blog, it is I haven’t had time to think about topics which aren’t being covered elsewhere.

But driving through scenic Northwest Georgia last week, I had a thought. When I was in college, I saw several upstart teams come to Athens to play Georgia and try to make a name for themselves.  The idea, from their point of view was, if they could come in and beat (at that time) an elite, traditional SEC program like Georgia that will put them on the national stage. 

Georgia, at one time, stopped the smaller schools and the “let’s try and beat Georgia to make a name for ourselves” meme.  Boise State in 2005 and Oklahoma State in 2007 are two good examples. The Bulldogs have sent some of these upstarts back home with their tail between their legs, but overall, it seems that if a school wants to make a name for themselves and beat an SEC school, or beat a team to give them momentum as they begin their rise to national relevance, then a trip to Athens or a game against the Dawgs is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

I can’t attribute the source, but you always hear people saying to “protect your name and reputation, it is the only thing you have.”  UGA has got to protect its name better. 

Let’s take a painful walk down memory lane, shall we? 


*West Virginia showed they could play with the big boys and was ready for national respect when they beat Georgia 38-35 in the 2006 Sugar Bowl in Atlanta.


*Tennessee had cut ties with OC Randy Shannon and brought back David Cutcliffe, and the Volunteers put a whipping on the Dawgs in front of a raucous Sanford Stadium crowd at a night game, and ended up being on the cover of Sports Illustrated the next week.

*The following week on homecoming, Georgia was upset against Vanderbilt.  Vanderbilt had been dangerously close to pulling off upsets of many SEC schools.  Under Coach Bobby Johnson, the Commodores had moderate success and were a well-coached, discipline football team.  Vandy came into Athens on Homecoming and beat the overrated defending SEC Champion Bulldogs with a last second field goal, finally giving them the marquee win that had eluded them for so long under the Johnson regime.

*Kentucky this season was the same way.  Sure, Georgia was breaking in a true freshman Quarterback.  Sure, Georgia didn’t have a kicker.  But Kentucky beat Georgia in Lexington for the first time ever and celebrated by tearing their goal posts down. 


*The Nick Saban era at Alabama didn’t get off the fast start fans in Tuscaloosa had hoped for, but in his second year things got rolling and the Crimson Tide hasn’t looked back.   The game that got Alabama kicked started?  The 2008 Blackout against Georgia.


*Against Oklahoma State in the return game from the 2007 encounter, it was the same verse.  The Cowboys were seeking relevancy on the national stage.  After several years of “this will be Oklahoma State’s year”, the cowpokes finally came to national prominence after beating a big time opponent in their stadium, and this big time opponent was the, you guessed it, Georgia Bulldogs.


*In year 3 of the Bobby Petrino era at Arkansas, the Hogs were desperately seeking a win against an SEC school on the road and to take the proverbial “next step”.  The previous year in 2009, the Hogs went 0-4 on the road in SEC play, so a trip to Athens to face a hapless Georgia team was just what the 12th ranked Razorbacks needed. 


*This time around, the Boise State Broncos had beaten Oklahoma and Oregon, and were sheik favorites to be National Title contenders.  They had all but proven themselves to the ESPN pundits, but what they have not done was play and beat an SEC team.  That was the feather missing from their cap.  The redemption seeking Bulldogs hosted the Broncos in the Georgia Dome and were beaten in a game that was never really in any doubt.

*The Michigan State Spartans were embarrassed by Alabama in the Capital One Bowl in 2011, and on the first day in 2012, the Spartans were playing for conference pride and wanted to show that the Big 10 was worthy and deserved to play on the same field with SEC speed.  After being the laughingstock of major college football below the Mason Dixon Line, the Big 10’s second best team finally beat a team from the superior SEC.


Why do I open up these painful wounds?  Why do I subject myself, and you the reader, to such torture?  Well, there is another game coming up in just a little over 3 months.  The Missouri Tigers will play their inaugural SEC game, and it won’t be hosting against Vanderbilt or the Mississippi schools.  It will be against the reigning SEC East Champions.  It will be against a team that brings back 10 starters on defense, and a team that should be a National Title Contender. And it will be against a team, that when tested over the last several years, has crumbled and has let the upstarts defeat them.

I have previewed what Missouri brings to the table.  I think, even with a depleted secondary, Georgia is capable of beating the Tigers.  But can the Dawgs handle the adversity that comes with playing a team that wants it bad?  Can they handle the pressure of playing a team that wants to make a statement at their expense?

Can the Georgia Bulldogs protect its name?  Recent history has shown it cannot.


Malcolm Mitchell Will Be A Leading reciever in 2012

I know there is a lot of talk about Malcolm Mitchell playing both ways in 2012.  He will certainly be a major contributor on defense at the beginning of the season and when Georgia travels to play Missouri.  But I still think that Mitchell will be a signifigant contributor on offense, especially when Commings, Smith and Rambo return from their suspensions. 

I would be surprised if Mitchell isn’t one of the team’s leading receivers in the Missouri game. 

I could be wrong, but I have a hunch we won’t notice Mitchell’s absense on offense at all…becuase he will still be a major contributor on that side of the ball.


And you thought the AJC had it for UGA…

Give the cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader this much – he’s got some guts to post this

The reader responses are predictable and entertaining.

The majority of Kentucky’s fan base and its program are a pure example of what’s wrong with college basketball. They hire Calipari, a known cheater, and any time it’s brought up that the best one-year team money can buy will have to vacate its title one day, either no one cares or accusations of info being made up are made.

Lugnut Dawg

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

Possible solution to our ills: Be sweet

Whenever I left my late mother’s home, and we are talking a period of over 40 years, she would always end her goodbyes with these two words:

“Be sweet.”

When I was a child on my way to a friend’s birthday party, I suppose that meant not to stick my finger in the cake or do a lot of whining and crying.

In my teen years it meant not to steal any hubcaps.

As an adult, I guess now she was beseeching me not to rob a liquor store, engage in any insider trading, and to go out amongst them each day with a smile and agreeable disposition.

I can’t recall sticking my finger into too many birthday cakes, but I very likely ignored the part about no whining nor crying when things didn’t go my way on occasion — such as when I pinned the tail on the donkey’s esophagus.

I never stole a hubcap. Not one.

As an adult I’ve never robbed anything nor have I engaged in much of any kind of trading that was profitable.

But that other stuff — the daily smile, the agreeable disposition — well, I’ve had my failures.

I notoriously have not been sweet to such individuals as waiters and waitresses I’ve deemed slow or unable to service correctly what I considered to be the simplest of orders.

Many a rental car clerk has known my verbal wrath, not to mention motel housekeepers who bang on my door too quickly after the first crow of morning, people I don’t know who address me as “buddy” and liberals.

Yet, my mother’s words, so simple, were so implicit:

Be sweet.

We have recognized the terror that is the violence amongst us today.
Television has moved it out front of eating disorders, Satan worship, and women who run with wolves, which is a certain sign it is presently the No. 1 discussable public issue.

The drive-by shootings. Another kid shot dead in the school. The yellow police line tape and pools of drying blood on a mean street on the 11 o’clock news.

The money we will spend, the hours we will study and discuss in an effort to find a solution.

But isn’t it right there in Miss Christine’s words — Be sweet?

We aren’t sweet. The truth is we don’t honor sweet. We don’t even like sweet. Sweet is weak.

Women go to classes to learn not to be sweet.

Men. We’ve got an entire generation of young toughs out there who are drunk and dying on their own testosterone.

Being sweet can get you killed in that group.

It’s a manhood thing. An Atlanta Falcons football player, Andre Rison, decides somebody has challenged his manhood outside an Atlanta nightclub.
So he goes to his car and gets his gun.

There’s this “dis” thing. It’s street talk for “disrespect.” I’ve got dis big gun here. Respect me or I’ll shoot you.
No. No. Be sweet.

Be kind and be gentle. Be tolerant. Be forgiving and slow to anger. Be tender and be able to cry. Be kind to old people and dogs and don’t cut off any part of anybody else’s anatomy.

Be loving. Be tender. Share. Don’t pout. Don’t be so loud. Hold a puppy. Kiss a hand. Put your arms around a frightened child.

Make an outstanding athletic play and then don’t do The King Tut Butt Strut to bring attention to yourself and point to the inadequacies of the vanquished. Be sweet. The wonders that might do. The wonders that just might do.

I can still hear you, Mama.

The Main Library, Frisbees, and Michael Adams’ Jeep: One Fun Afternoon

Like most in the Bulldog Nation, the news that President Michael Adams announced his retirement effective June 30, 2013, was met with gleeful response.  This announcement was long overdue, in my opinion.

The stories are out there about the two sided coin that is Mike Adams.  You can’t talk about his achievements without addressing his controversy.  I will give the devil his due.  While the HOPE Scholarship brought the best and brightest to the University of Georgia, Adams oversaw a 15 year reign that by all accounts was very successful. The University of Georgia is a well respected public university.   A degree from UGA means something more than just you know how to party in the numerous bars in downtown Athens. 

Sure detractors will say he was just the right guy at the right time.  But like critics who say that Bill Clinton inherited good economic policies from Ronald Regan and Clinton’s presidency saw no periods of prolong wars, there is a lot to be said of someone who doesn’t screw something up.  Adams inherited a good thing, for sure, but he also hasn’t messed anything up. 

His athletic decisions and controversies are well documented.  I thought he should have been removed after the Dooley saga.  Not that he was wrong; Dooley should have been removed from AD.  As much as we love Coach Dooley, and as good of an Administrator Dooley was, it was his time to bow out and ride into the sunset.  I can respect Adams for standing his ground and making a difficult decision, but he also should have know you don’t pull on Superman’s cape.  Adams was stupid in getting into a PR war with Vince Dooley, and that lack of good judgment should say a lot.

But the fact remains, that in my opinion, Michael Adams is a scoundrel, a crook, a fiend, and an overall SOB. 

I have this cartoon cut out from a Red and Black  from my time in Athens.  It sat on a corkboard by my desk in my room in College, and it sits by desk today.  Time has made it hard to read, but the premise  is President Bush is calling Michael Adams and asking him how he deals with the fact that nobody likes you.  Funny stuff.

With that said, I had an encounter with President Adams’ car one time.  The spring semester 2007, I was in my first semester of my Senior year (I did the 4.5 year plan).  This semester was  a difficult one; I had 3 classes that were all upper level classes that had no test but a TON of long research papers to write.  I never studied or went to the Main Library, but this particular semester, I did frequent the Main Library a lot.  I found it quieter and easier to get work done without all the hassles of the SLC.  I also found this enjoyable; I could take a break and walk around through beautiful North Campus in the spring. 

One day, I had just got to the Library and was about to start writing a paper about some boring topic.  I was notorious for waiting until the last possible second to write a paper.  I was going to spend all day in the library researching and writing.  I got a phone call from a friend.  He had two Frisbees in his book bag and wanted to toss the Frisbee around.  Looking for an excuse not to work, I gladly obliged.

We decied to play Frisbee golf on north campus, with different landmarks as our targets.  We would say, for example, “The bottom step of Terrell Hall, Par 3.” 

We would throw the Frisbee to a target, pick it up, then look around and decide another target, alternating who would decide the target and how many throws we should use to get there. 

I had the brilliant idea of a target-Mike Adams’ Jeep Cherokee. 

So we hit his Jeep with our Frisbees. 

Sophomoric and immature, I know, but damn if it wasn’t fun.


That’ll do it for Mikey…

Late yesterday afternoon, I could still something important was going on, judging by the number of times by phone vibrated with text messages.

Yes, there was much rejoicing in the Land of the Bulldog Nation with the news that as of June 2013, Michael F. Adams (we’ll let you all come up with guesses of what the F stands for) will no longer preside as President of the University of Georgia.

As far as how President Adams will be remembered, it depends on what perspective you approach it from.

From the standpoint of a University Alumnus, there’s no denying that under Adams’ tenure, significant growth and generation of raised funds has undergone. As the one presiding over UGA during that time, Adams by default receives at least some credit. 

His legacy was also shaped by fate. He came to UGA in a time when Universities and athletic departments became more run like businesses than ever before. And when President Adams decided that its the job of a president to meddle in the business of the Athletic Department, his legacy was forever shaped in the minds of Georgia fans, and not for the better.

Look, I’m not going to be an Adams apologist here. But one of the more head-scratching comments I have always heard is that he doesn’t care about winning football games. Yea, I’m sure he doesn’t love the millions of dollars in bowl revenue and all of the money that flows into Athens six Saturdays per year.

Adams is a sports fan. Its when he decided to be more of a fan when he earned treatment from Georgia fans comparable to the bad guy at WCW Wrestling matches.

Obviously, the main thing coming to mind is the ousting of Coach Dooley. Judging by the state of the Athletic Department programs with mediocre programs in the sports of baseball and men’s and women’s basketball, a change was long overdue at the head of the University’s Athletic Department. The blunder for Adams, however, was how that change was made.

Oh yes, and then there’s basketball. President Adams offered up Georgia student-athletes at the sacrificial altar of personal gain so he wouldn’t invoke the wrath of the NCAA on himself, with no regard for the student-athletes whose dreams of playing in the NCAA tournament he personally snatched away.  

Now, let’s all hope that the Board of Regents gives The University of Georgia a president it deserves, not one worse than Adams.

Lugnut Dawg



Lewis Grizzard Wednesday, the video version

Lewis on the cultural movements of the 1980s…