Archive for July, 2012

Coach Richt Has a Funny Bone

Dan LeBatard is a doofus, but his interview show had Mark Richt as a guest.  This is a very softball interview, but it was neat to see a lighter side of Coach Richt.  I think he spends most of the time laughing.  We’ve heard the Jim Kelly and John Elway stories before, but it is still funny.  The story at the end of the interview about how he proposed is good stuff.

Pour One Out For Peaches Fine Foods

I was alerted yesterday that my favorite Soul Food place in Athens, Peaches, will close its doors for the last time on Friday. 

Weaver D’s has tradition.  Food for the Soul was an all-you-can-eat buffet.  5 Star Day was not all that great to me.  But Peaches had the quality.  It was the best.

Fridays were the best days to eat at Peaches.  They had “Seafood Friday”, and the Cajun fried shrimp was a great treat.

I don’t live in Athens anymore, but if I did, I would eat at Peaches today or tomorrow, one last time.  If you live in Athens, I urge you to go by there and enjoy a fried pork chop or the fried shrimp and mac and cheese for me.  Take a little longer lunch break if necessary. 

Because it is worth it.



43 years ago today….

Allow Me to Say This On Recruiting

Jeff Schultz does it again.  This little gem from his most recent column is just baffling:

The problem now is that too many of the players Georgia is recruiting should be red-lined. The line of risk needs to be pulled back.

The problem is, if Richt hadn’t gone out and signed Crowell, there likely would have been riots outside his house last season afters starting 0-2.  NSD in 2011 was a joyous day for the Bulldog Nation.  Can you imganie, if fresh off the Liberty Bowl loss to UCF, if Georgia had whiffed on Crowell and he had gone to Alabama.    Then, followed that up with two losses to begin the season? 

You never know how college will change someone.  In high school, I was a straight A student who never skirted the rules.  I never partied, was not one of the “cool” kids.  In college, I discovered I liked the taste of cheap, cold beer.   Especially Natural Light.   

So you know, you have to recruit the kids that the gurus out there say you have to.  And if you are not recruiting them, then there will be hell to pay.

When addressing the discipline problem at UGA, you can write columns about how Coach Richt’s message isn’t getting through, and how after so long people stop listening to the same thing.  You can write about how Georgia has stricter rules and a more open policy for reporting infractions.  You can talk about the over zealous UGA PD and the clown Jimmy Williamson.  You can write about how the active nightlife in Athens can help turn someone from a dweeb to Frank the Tank.   

But please spare me on how Coach Richt isn’t a strict enough disciplinarian, or how Georgia needs to recruit different players.  Both of those are just dumb things to say.


If You Are Going To Bring It Up Again, So Will We

I know Steve Spurrier likes to talk a lot.  He especially likes to talk when he knows he has a good team.  And judging by the amount of BS coming from Spurrier, you can tell he likes his team in Colombia.

Spurrier’s biggest gripe this offseason has been scheduling.  Coach Spurrier is not an idiot.  He knows that it will probably be a two team race in the SEC East-Georgia and South Carolina.  He knows he has a good team, probably a more complete team than Georgia.  He also knows that South Carolina’s schedule is more difficult than Georgia’s in 2012. 

Georgia got fortunate of the addition of Missouri and now doesn’t have to play Alabama on the road this season.  We get to finish our home and home with Ole Miss but only draw Auburn and Ole Miss from the West. Georgia’s slate is very manageable.

South Carolina, on the other hand, has to play LSU.  Here is their 5 game stretch beginning October 6:  Georgia, at LSU, at Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas.  They have to play 3 teams that will probably start the season in the top 10, a decent Florida team and a Tennessee team that is going to better than the experts think.

I know this has been covered before, but since Spurrier is hell-bent on bringing it up constantly to whoever will listen, let’s cover it again.

Back in 2008, Georgia was preseason #1 in the Country.  Georgia had to play Alabama and Florida-both of whom went through the regular season undefeated.  Georgia also had to travel across the country and play Arizona State the week before playing Alabama.  And though LSU was down, Georgia had to make a trip to Baton Rouge and play the defending National Champions.  You certainly don’t hear many Georgia fans complaining about the difficult schedule in 2008 as a reason why we didn’t live up to lofty goals. 

That season, when each Eastern team played 3 teams from the West, South Carolina had to play Arkansas.  And Arkansas was not near as good then as it is now, with Bobby Petrino in his first season as head coach.  Yes, South Carolina did host LSU, and lost to a mediocre LSU team 24-17.  Guess who else South Carolina played that season?  Ole Miss.

The 2008 season also saw Spurrier’s team lose to Vanderbilt, and they limped to a 7-6 record.

Where was Spurrier at in 2008 complaining that Georgia had it worse than the Gamecocks?  He was busy eating his humble pie. 

Also, why can’t Spurrier explain why his team lost to a medicore Auburn team at home last season, only scoring 13 points against a team that Georgia defeated 45-7?  If South Carolina had taken care of business against Auburn and not pulled a Georgia and wet the bed, they would have gotten the chance to get destroyed by LSU in Atlanta. 

So while Spurrier will cry to reporters that his team has it unfair this season, it is absolutely, 100% sour grapes. 


Now Will The Big 10 Change Their Division Names?

There is nothing in all of sports as pompus, arrogant and condescending as the Big 10’s two division names, “Legends” and “Leaders”. 

Ohio State and Penn State are in the Leaders Division (much like the ACC’s Divisions, I couldn’t remember and had to look it up).

Wood Hayes at Ohio State was fired after punching a Clemson player in the throat during a game! 

Now the Freeh Report proves some very damning evidence against Paterno. 

Can we just rename the Divisions to East and West and be done with this facade?


Steve Spurrier and Bear Bryant: The SEC’s two Best Ever

I am a sucker for some numbers, charts and statistics. And I am not really a Math or Science guy, so I find it a bit odd that my love for numbers only applies to sports. This is a big reason why I love the Phil Steele magazine.

So, when ESPN put a chart up featuring each college football team and their record minus their winningest coach’s record, I was intrigued. If you like numbers and haven’t seen it, I suggest you take a look. Make sure and read the Ivan Maisel piece that explains the chart.

Bear Bryant is the best coach in the history of college football. I don’t think there is much debate about that; perhaps someone from up north might try and tell you Woody Hayes, but that is laughable. The Bear is the best.

A testament to Bryant’s greatness? He won at Kentucky. He is Kentucky’s all time winning coach.

The same now can be said by Spurrier. Spurrier needs just 10 more wins to be the all-time winningest coach in South Carolina history. A program whose only league championship was the 1969 ACC Championship, what he has done at South Carolina is remarkable. Just think about Florida football before we went there. Plus, Spurrier won at Duke.

Saban might have won three National Titles at two different schools. Urban Meyber might have won two National titles in 3 years while at Florida. Spurrier does have one crystal ball. But I have said time and time again, you absolutely cannot judge a coach soley on the national titles they have won. If you did that, then Gene Chizik would be an equal coach to Tom Osborne and Vince Dooley, and would be better than Bo Schembechler.

From Duke to Florida to Carolina, Spurrier has won at three programs that have had little history of success. That is pretty amazing.

As much as it pains me to say it, of all the great coaches in the history of the SEC, I’d place Spurrier behind the Bear.


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

Today’s Screen Heroes

One of the major problems facing the American male today is his inability to emulate even in the slightest the current movie hero.

The previous generation of men had no problems doing George Raft, Jimmy Cagney, Cary Grant, or even Bogie, where all you had to do was dangle a cigarette from your mouth and react to most everything with a general unpleasantness.

And if you could swagger and win an occasional fistfight you even could remind yourself of John Wayne.

But not anymore. The box office biggies these days are men such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, who make movies in which they single-handedly wipe out entire civilizations.

Stallone makes movies by the number. There were Rocky No. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. and “First Blood Part 2,” or was it “First Part, Blood 2”? I forget. Bogie did “The African Queen.”

Schwarzenegger does things like “Conan the Barbarian” and “Commando.” Cary Grant did “Father Goose,” for crying out loud. A tad of aggression

I haven’t seen all these macho men movies, but I did happen to catch Schwarzenegger in “Commando” on cable the other evening. Usually, I spend my evenings in quiet meditation, but this particular evening I was feeling a bit aggressive and roguish so I clicked around the dial of my television until I found something to fit my mood.

Right away, I discovered I don’t eat my red meat out of the same trough as Schwarzenegger.

I won’t bore you with the plot of “Commando,” if, indeed, there was one, but among other things our muscular hero Arnold did in the movie were:

Jump off the landing gear of a jet as it took off at 200 miles an hour. He wasn’t scratched.

Face roughly 600 guerrillas firing machine guns at him, never so much as getting winged.

Kill the 600 guerrillas firing machine guns at him, not to mention a fellow airline passenger and several scumbags who had kidnapped his daughter, one of whom he dropped off a cliff, and two others he managed to impale. I’m a complete zero

I hadn’t seen that caliber of impaling since the quiz show “Jousting for Dollars” went off the air.

The point is, American males always have attempted to take on at least some of the characteristics of our screen heros, but who can even come close to these brutish dynamos?

I never could jump off the landing gear of an airplane. The only brave thing I ever did on an airplane was attempt to go to the restroom before the captain turned off the fasten-seat-belt sign. On the way, however, a flight attendant tripped me and slam-dunked me back into my seat. And when I had to collect bugs for my 10th-grade biology class, I had to get my mother to stick the pins in them so they would stay in order in my cigar box. As an impaler, I’m a complete zero.

In fact, the only thing I ever did that was really mega-macho was once I trie d to buy a pair of undershorts like Jim Palmer models.

The sales girl snickered and showed me instead a pair of boxer shorts with owls on them, the kind Cary Grant probably wore in “Father Goose.”

Running Back Woes Just Par For The Course In Athens

Ronnie Powell.  Michael Cooper.  Tony Milton.

Until the end of the 2003 season, the Georgia Bulldogs relied on these three players to carry the load.  I admittedly don’t remember much of the 2003 season (it was my freshman year, you figure it out why), but I certainly don’t remember Ronnie Powell at all.  Who was he?

I do remember that Kregg Lumpkin came on towards the end of the season.  The heralded running back who was the second best tailback in the 2003 class, behind one Reggie Bush, was hurt during the next fall camp and had to miss the 2004 season.   He was really never quite the same after that. 

Going into 2004, Danny Ware was the starter, but Thomas Brown eventually became the team’s leading rusher.  In 2005, Danny Ware, Thomas Brown and the returning Kregg Lumpkin again split carries.  Of the three main tailbacks in 2005, there were 314 carries for 1563 yards.  Brown accounted for 46% of the carries and 47% of the yards. 

2006 saw Thomas Brown’s season cut short due to tearing his ACL.  Lumpkin had twice as many carries as Ware and roughly twice as many yards. 

In 2007, Knowshon Moreno emerged as the team’s primary back, but split time with Brown pretty evenly early in the season before Brown was sidelined with a shoulder injury.  Upon Brown’s return, he served as a nice complimentary back to Moreno.  In 2008, Knowshon was the primary tailback.

In 2009, Caleb King and Richard Samuel were going to be the stars, but it wasn’t until the LSU game that Washaun Ealey got the chance, and in both 2009 and 2010, Ealey became the primary back.  In both these seasons he got in the 700-800 range of rushing yards. 

2011 saw Isaiah Crowell get the lion’s share of the carries early in the season, but injury and suspension caused backs like Ken Malcome, Carlton Thomas, Brandon Harton to get significant playing time.  Even Brandon Smith got the start at tailback against Georgia Tech.

Even in Richt’s first season, injured Musa Smith had to be replaced with Vernon Haynes for a good bit that season.

So looking back, only in 2002, 2007 and 2008 did Georgia have a primary tailback who would get the bulk of the carries in a game. According to Phil Steele, UGA has only had 3 tailbacks to go over 1,000 yards in a season since 1992 (the aforementioned seasons).  That was Musa Smith (2002) and Knowshon (2007-2008). 

So why tell you all of this?  It just illustrates the point that aside from when Thomas Brown was here, there really hasn’t been a settled back in Athens in a long time.  In 2003 there were a bunch of scrubs going out there.  2006 saw an injury to the most consistent player in that position.  2009, 2010 and 2011 saw injuries off the field trouble dampen what could be successful and consistent seasons.  Even with Ealey, he was a locker room cancer and always seemed to fumble in key moments (Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississppi State losses come to mind). 

The fact that again in 2012 there are questions surrounding the tailbacks should come to no surprise to anyone who follows the Bulldogs closely as we all do. 

Back to Thomas Brown:  how much do we miss that guy?  Came in, got 700-800 yards per season, excpet when he got hurt.  But he worked hard during his rehab and came back quicker than expected.  He was never in any off the field issues.  He just worked hard and ran the damn ball.   And wore clear tennis shoes and different colored socks. 


Maybe Richt does indeed have control issues…

As The Senator has noted, Mark Richt’s problems controlling the players started long before he arrived in Athens.

No word on if CMR was pulled over going the wrong way on a motorscooter and caught with an expired license. 

I mean seriously, how in the world can CMR control his own program when he got in trouble at The U? I mean this is the freaking U, when Michael Irvin, Bennie Blades and Lamar Thomas somehow evaded the phantom ‘violations to team rules.’

Lugnut Dawg