Archive for April, 2013

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: A Georgia Lifespan

Life Span In Georgia 
A recent study showed that Georgia is near the bottom in a ranking of states according to expected life span of both men and women. 

Hawaii and Minnesota were the states where people live the longest. Hawaii, of course, features a warm tropical climate where people sit around drinking various exotic concoctions made with pineapple juice and watch lovely young girls in grass skirts move their sensuous bodies to ukulele music. 

The only drawback to living a long time in Hawaii is you get very old and your eyesight eventually goes, so you can no longer see the young girls move their bodies, but you still have to put up with all that ukulele music. 

As to Minnesota, nobody really lives a long time there. It’s so cold it just seems like it.  

Plenty to worry about 

Being a Georgian, I naturally was concerned upon discovering I can’t expect to live as long as people from other states. 

Georgia is a marvelously diverse state, with mountains and seashore and charming small towns, and, of course, bustling exciting Atlanta. 

So what makes us die earlier than other Americans? I put some thought to this question and came up with the following: 

ATLANTA TRAFFIC: Other cities have traffic jams. Atlanta has traffic wars. Sherman burned this city. The highway department is dismantling it, piece by piece. 

There is so much highway construction in Atlanta, motorists have to wear hard hats. Rather than face another day in Atlanta traffic, a lot of people simply die to avoid it.  

A South Georgia hazard 

GNATS: Gnats, tiny bugs, are the cause of a number of deaths in South Georgia each year. Some of these deaths have been attributed to swallowing a large number of gnats while talking or eating. Some also think the reason a lot of South Georgians disappear and are never heard from again is they are carried off by giant swarms of gnats and drowned in the Okefenokee Swamp. 

KUDZU: Nothing grows faster than a kudzu vine. It has been known to cover entire homes in Georgia where the families are asleep for the night. They are then trapped inside and can’t get to a convenience store, so they starve. Those who try to eat their way out of kudzu quickly have their innards entangled in the vine because no matter how much you chew it, the blamed stuff just keeps on growing.  

Football’s not safe either 

THE FALCONS: The Falcons lost a game to the Chicago Bears 36-0 and the Falcons coach blamed it on poor officiating. The Falcons have been big losers most every year they’ve been in Atlanta, and a man fell out of the stadium during a Falcons game once and was killed. I think he jumped after another Falcons’ holding penalty. 

LIVING IN BUCKHEAD: Buckhead is a tiny section of Atlanta where approximately 11 million white people under the age of 35 live. Each evening, all 11 million get into their Mercedes and go to trendy Buckhead bars and talk to one another. Here is what a Buckhead bar conversation usually sounds like: 

“I was like, `Wow!’ and he was like, `Really?’ ” 

These people might die from wearing their designer jeans too tight, becoming choked on Hearts of Palm while eating their salads and being trampled in a bar or by a polo pony. 

The study further revealed at what part of the year the most Georgians die. It’s when the state Legislature is in session.


David Perno: Look At the Man In The Mirror

Allow me to preface this with I don’t really follow UGA baseball all that closely.  Sure, I followed it when I was in school and back in 2008 when the Dawgs were just a game away from winning the CWS.  But by and large, I am mostly indifferent to the Diamond Dawgs and care more about the Braves.

But make no mistake about it, even a casual obvserver like me knows how bad the UGA baseball team sucks.

I’ve given Coach Perno a pass for a while.  More bloodthirsty fans wanted him gone a few years ago, but he had good success here and was a former player and a local guy.

“Give him a little bit of rope,” I said.

But now its come to where I think we need a new skipper.

And being an self-righteous asshole doesn’t do anything to help you either.

We’ve heard the news of the UGA baseball player dismissed from the team, but this quote from David Perno got me going this morning:

“Just the thought that the night before the biggest doubleheader of the season and he puts himself in a situation like that. He doesn’t care about this team or this program. He’s dismissed,” coach David Perno told the Athens Banner-Herald after the Bulldogs split the doubleheader Saturday. “That makes my decision easy. I think our kids couldn’t care less. They’re disappointed, too. It’s unfortunate. It’s probably why we’ve sputtered as much as we have because we’ve probably had some guys that haven’t been with us. They’re just front-runners and don’t have what it takes to be successful at this level. I hate it for J.T. But he made it too easy.”  (emphasis added)

No, Coach.  The reason the team has sputtered is becuase you suck.  I think it is you who doesn’t have what it takes to be successful at this level.  Stop blaming the kids on the team, and start taking accountability for the systemic mess your baseball program has become.  It hasn’t turned into this over night.

Defiant to the very end.



Surprising Baseball Standings

I am not one to get worked up over baseball standings in April (except that the Braves are 13-2 and have the best record in the Majors), but I was looking over the standings this morning and a few things surprised me.  But something really jumped out at me:

AL East

1. Boston        11-4   .733   –

2.  New York 8-6     .571  2.5

3.  Baltimore  8-7  .533  3

4.  Toronto  7-9  .438  4.5

5. Tampa Bay  5-10 .333 6


It is still very early, but I had thought that this would have been inverted, with Tampa and Baltimore atop the standings and New York and Boston at the bottom.  It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.



What Does KCP’s Departure Mean for Mark Fox?

I never blogged about the basketball team this season.  Whenever I could get a chance, my thoughts were conveyed by Tyler Dawgden or others in the blog world, and it wasn’t topical.

In short, I think Coach Fox is an excellent coach.  He makes some curious end of game managment decisions, but as far as Xs and Os, I think he is one of the better ones. Also, after a dismal start to the season, the team rebounded (no pun intended) to have a decent showing in SEC play.  I know that the SEC was weak, but anytime you can win 5 games in a row-something that hasn’t happened in a decade-you are doing something right.  Even after a poor start in SEC play, the team played hard and never quit, even in games where they got down early and came back (LSU in the SEC tournament).  The players still played hard for him.  But it is evident that he has to recruit better.

If the team had played better early on, and they should have, then maybe by the time they got to SEC play this team could have had shot at a postseason birth.  A young team got better as the season progressed.

I am not one to want him fired, as I think he is a good coach and should be given time.  We don’t want to be a program that is constantly hiring and firing coaches every 3 years.

But…that still doesn’t give him a free pass.  With the talent on the team continuing to develop, and this was hinging on KCP returning in 2013-2014, my expectation was the Dawgs had to make the NCAA tourney next season for Fox to keep his job.

With KCP departing, I can almost guarantee the Dawgs won’t make the Tournament.

There are many reasons I feel like UGA men’s basketball is not successful.  Not all of it can be pinned on Coach Fox.  However, although I like Coach Fox and as mentioned above don’t want to cut and run like other programs, there is a point when we’ve seen enough.

Next season was that time and it seems that time has passed.

When is enough going to be enough?  When can we stop making excuses and just win?  I am afraid that now with KCP’s departure, Mark Fox is a dead man walking.


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Tech Stadium Empty

Sanford Stadium just held a concnert, and it drew more people than a Gerogia Tech home game.  Hell, G-Day drew more people than a Tech home game. 

Lewis tells a story about getting tickets to a Georgia Tech game.


The Story of Mark Richt and Common Trends

Last night, my newborn daughter was being extra fussy.  I think it was a combination of gas and being tired, and I felt sorry for her.  I’ve been there too (tired and gassy) and have just wanted to cry.

One thing that soothes her in times of discomfort is me walking her around the house, talking to her.  I don’t know what type of converstation you are to have with a 10 week old, so I just started talking to her about important things in life.

Like the History of Mark Richt at UGA.

You may laugh, but it works.

Last night, I figured I was on Part III.  Parts I and II were covered several weeks ago after we first brought her home.  Part I was Richt’s life as OC at FSU and up to his interview at UGA.  Part II was the 2001 and 2002 seasons.  This is nothing written down, just in my head as I go along.  Some folks tell fairy tale bedtime stories, but that is too cliche.

Last night, we ended the career of the Davids in 2003 and 2004.

I noticed a trend in my bedtime stories, and knowing the rest of the story, I sensed a lot of foreshadowing.  A couple of weeks ago when discussing the 2002 Florida game, I used the phrase a “far superior UGA team lost to an inferior Florida team.”  When talking about the 2003 offseason, I used the phrase “beginning of a trend of off the field issues” and “Richt’s teams often over perform when not much is expcected”, and when talking about 2004 “Richt’s teams often under perform when expectations  are high.”

It is those last two that I want to talk about now…Richt’s teams often over perform when not much is expcected and Richt’s teams often under perform when expectations  are high.

Specifically, I want to talk about these statements as how they relate to the 2012 season.  In many ways, the Bulldogs had high expecations and, although they didn’t win the SEC or play for the BCS title, I don’t think you can say they drastically fell short of expectations.  The Bulldogs were expected to be a great team, and were 5 yards short of beating Alabama.  2012 was one of the few seasons where the Bulldogs were expected to do great things (2004, 2008) and actually did. After the Kentucky game fans were ready to proclaim the season as a failure, but upon a fair review it was a success.

But what about 2013?

With a lights out offense, rebuilt defense and a tougher early part of the schedule, what are our expectations in 2013?

I mean, I of course expect greatness.  But aside from the Florida-Alabama battles in the early to mid 90s, no team has played in 3 consecutive SEC title games, and only a few have played in two back to back.  Can UGA do something that hasn’t been done in 17 years and play for a 3rd straight SEC Championship?  Is it reasonable to assume Georgia will contend for a National Title again?

I don’t know these answers.  I am still trying to figure it all out.


Happy trails to KCP

Not that it was unexpected, but KCP is leaving school for the NBA Draft and will hire an agent. This team was respectable thanks to KCP this year. I’m already dreading what this team will look like, unless the unthinkable happens and a solid recruit or two comes on board.