Archive for May, 2013

Uniform Drug Test Policy Needs To Happen

Though it won’t pass, I am glad more attention is being given to the lack of unfiorm drug testing policies in the SEC.

Mike Slive needs to grow a pair and make this happen.  Clearly, allowing schools to self reuglate themselves puts other schools with strict policies at a competitve disadvantage.


Why The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry Matters, Vol. 2

Yesterday, I wrote a long post on why the Georgia-Auburn rivalry matters.

Today, here is another reason why it matters.

Mark Richt has owned Auburn.

Before Coach Richt’s arrival to Athens, Georgia had lost 4/6 to the Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen.

After a crushing defeat his first year, Georgia has gone on to win 8/11 contests with Auburn.  The series record was 46-50-8 beofre Richt’s arrival.  The series record is all knotted up now at 54-54-8.

As Mark Richt has said, he undersands the importance of the rivalry with Auburn.  For all of the failures in Jacksonville, you cannot fault Richt for being able to handle Tech and Auburn.

Two of the four losses to Auburn can be somewhat excused.  In 2004 and 2010, the Tigers crushed Georgia.  But those seasons were undefeated seasons for Auburn, and no one else was able to beat them that season either.  Really, I think the you can give him somewhat of a pass on the first loss…it was his first year and he messed up with clock management.  The only truly damning loss to Auburn was in 2005 when the Bulldogs let a long 4th down conversion lead to Auburn milking the clock down to set up a last second field goal to win by 1 point in an exciting, back and forth game.  A game which Georgia should have easily won.

There have been some close, epic games, but 5 of the 8 victories have been by double digits.  Of the 5 double digit victories, the closes margin of victory has been 19 points.  The last two years the combined score has been 83-7 (and could have been worse if Richt hadn’t called off the offense in the 4th Quarter last year).

Yes, Georgia has struggled against Florida, only going 4-8, although Georiga has gone 3-3 the last six contests and finally are in a 2 game winning streak.  A blemish on Coach Richt’s resume is the inability to beat the Gators consistently, especially in the Zook years.  But the dominance over Auburn in our closest, most historic rivalry can’t be ignored.


One Point For Being Smart, Minus 2 for Being Stupid

If I said it once, I’ve said it a million times:

If you are going to be stupid, be smart about it.

Let’s look at Josh Harvey-Clemons as the latest example.

I will give him a point for being smart while making a bad decision.  Yes, you know UGA has strict drug testing policies.  You’ve seen teammates get suspended and loss millions of dollars in potential NFL money due to failed drug tests.

Give him credit.  I’ve said before, the best time for the athletes to take a last dance with Mary Jane is this time of year.  The coaches don’t have official contact with you, so there is not threat of being called to take a drug test.  So, light up a blunt in May, June and July, and then you still have time to let it get out of your system in time for summer camp and when the threat of pissing in the cup is the highest.

BUT…if you are going to smoke reefer, DON”T DO IT ON CAMPUS.  IN YOUR DORM ROOM.  THEN, when the police come and search your room, find nothing and it is clear you won’t be arrested, DON’T ADMIT TO IT.

Since there was no arrest, I don’t think he should be suspended.  He should just run like hell.  But, since Mark Richt is so soft on discipline, then I suppose that is what you will expect.



All I can say is…damn.


Why The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry Matters

Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken, then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

-John Prine

Progress is a funny word. As a society we want to be progressive in our thoughts and actions, but often the term “progressive” has negative connotations (at least for me, it does).

One area where progress is bad is the ever changing world of college football. I understand the importance of TV and the money it brings, and how the lust for more money has made conference expansion a joke. Times change and sometimes it is good, but now you see the causalities of expansion and progress.

One casualty was the Big East and all of the rich history of basketball and their rivalries. We’ve seen long standing rivalries like Oklahoma-Nebraska, Texas-Texas A&M cast aside like an old pair of shoes. Many in the SEC have been indifferent or not raised much of a fuss, because while we are robbed of interesting match ups, it boils down to this progress of man hasn’t really affected us down here in the southeast.

But now, the looming playoff structure that no one really knows how it will operate has two of the SEC’s most storied rivalries in jeopardy, unless the conference moves to a nine game slate.

College football is different than any other sport. The passion fans have is unique to the sport. Also unique to the sport are the traditions, the pageantry of a game day and the rivalries that permeate through the sport across the different regions.  If you cut out the traditions and fun of college athletics, you then have the NFL.  There is a reason why I obsess over college football and not the pro game.  Many of the same reasons many of you do the same.

Sure, no matter what, the big ones will exists.  The Red River Shootout, the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Michigan-Ohio State, The Iron Bowl will all remain intact.

But there are other rivalries that shouldn’t be cast aside.   Coach Richt gets it.

The one thing I will say I would vote on is to continue to have a rivalry game with Auburn,” Richt said. “Does that involve an eight-game, a nine-game? I don’t know. If (the Auburn game) goes away, then does an eight-game change in my mind compared to nine? I think one of the keys to this whole thing is whether the rivalry games stand. That can change how people think about the big picture.

The Third Saturday in October is one.  And the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is another.

Now, an outsider may not put much stock in Georgia and Auburn’s annual tilt.  It doesn’t have the prestige (to outsiders) as some of the other big ones in the sport.  But it doesn’t mean it is any less important.

One, the one of many Auburn’s mascots was named in the first ever game against UGA.  The series is tied 54-54-8.  The total point scored is nearly even (I know you all know that, I don’t have the time or will to look it up).

In modern times, no school has had a dominant run over the other one.  Georgia is enjoying a nice run now, winning 6/7.  Coach Richt has owned Auburn, winning 8/12 against our neighbors. Until Cam Newton and Nick Fairley acted a damn fool, it was a very civil, friendly rivalry.  In modern times, Auburn’s 4 game winning streak to close the 1980s is only matched by Georgia’s 4 game streak from 2006-2009.

Auburn is Georgia’s BEST rival.  Some may say Tech is our biggest rival.  Can’t really argue that.  I say that Florida is our most hated rival.  Can’t argue that point either.  But in the truest sense of a word, a rival is someone who is your equal.  When I was a kid, I saw a painting of two civil war soldiers.  One in Union blue and the other in Confederate gray.  They were standing in the middle of the battlefield, shaking hands before battle commenced.  I’ve always viewed Auburn as our friendly, worthy adversary.

This game is late in the year and usually has all sort of implications on the line, and is usually Georgia’s last SEC game.

Plus, all the shared family between the schools.  Pat Dye played for UGA and coached at Auburn.  Vince Dooley played for Auburn and coached at Georgia.  Shug Jordan was an assistant at UGA before being HC at Auburn. And so on, and so on.

I am younger than most folks who probably read this blog.  So I guess I don’t have as much context.  But in my formative years in high school and college when I really started paying attention to such matters, the Georgia-Auburn game is full of great story lines.

1996-the first OT game in SEC history

2001-Auburn escapes on a goal line stand in which Richt made a costly tactical error he still references 10 years later

2002-Georgia comes back and wins in dramatic fashion to clinch a trip to Atlanta for their first SEC Championship in 20 years, and provided in my opinion the best Munson call

2004-Auburn whips Georgia on the back of Cadillac Williams to have a perfect season

2005-A great night game in Sanford Stadium where Auburn wins on a last second 4th and forever TD

2006-Matthew Stafford’s coming out party, leading an upset win over the big favorites


2010-Cam Newton shows his ass

2011 and 2012-Revenge

The game appears safe for now, and the SEC will inevitably move to a 9 game conference schedule.  Right or wrong, you can decide that for yourself.  But it is completely short sighted, stupid and ignorant for SEC coaches and administrators to toss aside the long–standing traditions and storied rivalries that make the conference great just in pursuit of the almighty dollar.  Because the reason the SEC is so great is not the crystal footballs.  It is great because of the tradition of excellence this conference has seen.  Championships will come and go.  Dominance is an ebb and flow.  But when the run of trophies comes to an end, the Conference will still be the best in the land.

Because of tradition.


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Goodbye Old Soldiers

Goodbye, Old Soldiers 
It’s happened to me before, running into men who served with my late father in World War II. 

This time I was in Greensboro, N. C., at a bookstore. I was signing copies of one of mine. 

I noticed the old man at the first of the hour. He stood at the entrance of the store, looking at me. 

After the hour, the signing was over. Meekly, the man walked to where I was sitting. 

He had one of those faces that said, here’s somebody’s beloved grandfather. There was a lot of knowledge and caring in it. 

Without another word, he said, “Your daddy was my first sergeant in World War II.” 

I’ve studied my father’s record as a soldier closely and I know he was in France, then in Germany, and I know he later was sent back to Korea. 

“He saved my life in Germany,” the man continued. “He saved a lot of lives, and they gave him a battlefield commission.” 

According to a copy of the citation I have, the colonel had been killed and the unit was under heavy German fire. Sergeant Grizzard reorganized the company, running in the open where the bullets flew, and saved himself and his men from certain annihilation. 

“If it weren’t for your daddy,” the man said, “I wouldn’t be here today.” 

How do you respond to something like that? I certainly was proud of my father at that moment – to think this man had carried for half a century the memories of what my father did that day. And to think he would come to me after all this time. It was like he was trying to thank me for something my father did 50 years ago. 

I think I managed a “Bless you,” or a “Thanks for looking me up.” 

We shook hands and the old man walked away. My eyes teared as he did. 

My parents’ generation, I sincerely believe, had more to bear than any other in this country’s history. Their lives were affected – and some were ruined – by World War I, the Great Depression, World War II and Korea, and some lost children in Vietnam. And, now, the last of them are fading into the shadows cast by the young they brought into this world. 

A national magazine, noting the passing of the presidency to someone too young to have had the World War II experience, offered a spread titled, “Goodbye, Old Soldier.” 

George Bush was the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy during World War II. 

Now he has gone to his retirement, having been replaced by one with no military experience whatsoever, one whose dealings with the draft system still has a number of unanswered questions. 

The Old Soldiers have moved out, and the Baby Boomers have moved in. 

That is unsettling to me. The country’s leadership, save a few veteran members of Congress, is in the hands of those never tested by fire. 

Few of my generation really know the meaning of sacrifice. What did we ever want for and couldn’t have? When have we ever been hungry? When did most of us ever have to run through a hail of bullets in a foreign land in order to save comrades? I never have and neither has Bill Clinton. 

After the man in Greensboro had walked away, I realized I had made a mistake by not sitting with him and asking him to tell me what happened that day in Germany. I would have liked to have known about it from a survivor, not from some document. 

But you know how it is. We’re all in a hurry. We just don’t know where it is we’re hurrying to. 

Goodbye, Old Soldiers, and thank you. 

You are the very best of us.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

Just Walk On By That Gas Station 
We could walk a lot more in this country. That’s what I said. We could actually walk more. 

If we walk more and drive our cars less, then maybe we could become less dependent on foreign oil so when some sheik of the burning sands decided to take over Lower Oilrichabia, we could ignore him. 

There wouldn’t be any need to send over our troops and planes, no reason to worry about chemical warfare, no reason to bug Henry Kissinger for interviews, no reason to bring up that nasty word “Armageddon,” no reason to have to pay $87.50 a gallon at the neighborhood Texaco, and no reason for Dan Quayle to say, “Please, George, don’t die on me now.” 

I used to walk all the time. Before I got a bicycle, I had to walk practically everywhere I couldn’t convince an adult to drive me. 

If I got thirsty and my mother said, “Walk, it’ll be good for you,” when I asked her to drive me to Cureton and Coal’s store for a big orange, I’d have to hoof it a half-mile to the store and back. 

I even walked all the way to Bobby Entrekin’s house one day. It was two miles both ways. He had invited me over to play cowboys and punk rockers. 

But it was a pleasant, enlightening experience. 

On the way, I saw a dead opossum in the road, I found a pointed rock that could have been an arrowhead, I kicked an empty pork and beans can at least a mile, and I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do when I grew up. 

I decided the next time an adult asked me about it, I would say, “I want to star in porno films” and see the look that would bring. 

But after I got my bike and then got old enough to drive, I gave up walking, as have many of us. 

Two of the three times I got married, I drove down the aisle. The other time, I took a cab. 

I probably would drive between rooms in my house, but my car won’t fit through the front door. 

We are slaves to our automobiles and the juice that makes them run and that gets us into harm’s way and allows oil companies to make us all feel like a bunch of dipsticks for what we have to pay for gasoline. 

Let’s all start walking more and driving less. We could start with me. 

The convenience store where I buy pork and beans and copies of the Enquirer is less than a half-mile away. I could walk there. 

I could walk to the Waffle House for my weekly cholesterol I.V. 

I could walk to the video store to rent “Naughty Female Attorneys” and “Debbi e Does Fargo, North Dakota,” neither of which I had a part in, incidentally. 

I could walk to a friend’s house to play cowboys and rap groups, and I could walk to my ex-girlfriend’s house when I forget I am an insensitive, arrogant, selfish jerk and need to be reminded. 

Join me, America. Let’s go for a walk and give Ahab the Arab and John D. Rockerperson a bad case of gas.

Perno’s Goff Legacy

At some point, you knew the day was coming. Fans like Kensington Dawg have wished for this day for a few years.

In a sport like SEC baseball, you are judged against your peers in the now, not the past. And David Perno’s past wasn’t enough to keep his job in the present.

As for his replacement? Greg McGarity should have little trouble attracting a strong field of candidates. You are an hour and change from one of the most fertile recruiting grounds on baseball and compete in the premiere conference in college baseball. 

But what about the one who this coach replaces? What is Perno’s legacy?

To me, Perno is a lot like Ray Goff with a bit better circumstances and without coming up with ways to use the word ‘adversity and character’ frequently when describing his team.

Both coaches are what can be very accurately described as DGDs. Neither were the top choice when they were hired, but stepped into the roles and did as best they could. 

Getting quality players, at times, helped both coaches. 

While Perno’s teams made a handful of trips to Omaha and would have won a national title had a few breaks gone Georgia’s way, Goff nearly won an SEC East title in 1992 – who knows where things would have turned if that would have happened?

And then there was Tech. When it mattered most, Perno’s teams got the best of more talented teams at Georgia Tech. Goff, for his part, knew how important it was to beat Georgia Tech, and it showed. 

In the end, Perno met a similar fate as Goff. The league in which he was in moved forward, and through various factors, he was unable to keep pace.

Perno’s legacy? To me, he is and will forever be a true and loyal Bulldog. That’s a fine approach to be a head coach at a mid-level high school somewhere. But in the SEC, it does not hold water.

To compete for championships at the level of play in the SEC today, though, you need something more than a loyalist who loves the program. Georgia saw some good times, off and on, under David Perno. But it has the potential to see some great times depending on who Perno’s replacement is.

To whom much is given, much is expected. 

Lugnut Dawg

At least the Nerds are creative

Sadly, this offseason has become the offseason of coaching staff (unfortunately) discovering photoshop programs.

Since winning can’t lure recruits in, the Techies have resorted to this very bizarre tactic

Look, convincing players up north to come down south to play is a great plan and all that, but that’s until these players realize that they’re part of the student body at the North Avenue Trade School. 

Bernie Is A Stronger Man Than I

I went over to Bernie’s Dawg Blawg today and saw that he is going to re-watch the SEC Championship Game.

All I can say to that is pour a stiff drink, brother.

I have not watched a single replay from that game.  Everytime it came on Sportscenter that night, I turned the TV off.  I haven’t gone back and watched any highlights on YouTube or from Prsonmike’s channel, like I normally do.

As far as I am concerned, that game never existed.  But it did, and I am still not able to bring myself to watch it, and am barely able to talk about it.  Aside from telling folks in passing “Yeah, that was a good game with a suckie ending,” I have only discussed it indepth with my dad and a couple of friends.  But I had to wait a week to even do that.

So, Godspeed Bernie.  You are a stronger man than I am.