Archive for October, 2013

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: God Is A Bulldog

We’ve posted this before, but few of Lewis’ pieces are more appropriate than this one for WLOCP week.

God Is A Bulldog 

Jacksonville, Fla. – Dorsey Hill, the world’s biggest Bulldog fan, left here Sunday afternoon, bound for Auburn, Alabama, where Georgia’s undefeated football team next appears.

“I don’t think you can get from Jacksonville to Auburn,” I had said to him.

“You can change buses in Waycross and Columbus,” Dorsey answered.

“You aren’t going home first?”

“Home?” He screamed back. “I haven’t worked since Texas A&M, and I haven’t slept since Clemson. You expect me to go back home when we play Auburn in only six more days?”

I lost my head, I suppose.

A lot of people lost their heads here Saturday afternoon. Georgia played Florida. Georgia won the game, 26-21. It’s a lot more complicated than that, however.

Georgia came into the game ranked second in the nation. To continue to compete for its first Big Banana ever, the national championship, Georgia had to continue its winning streak. Florida (“bunch of swamp lizards and beach bums,” according to Dorsey Hill), wanted to step on Georgia’s dream.

Dorsey arrived here Thursday afternoon with thousands of others who made the early departure south from various points in Georgia. Many of those individuals were as drunk as five eyed owls by the time they reached the Florida line.

As local wit Rex Edmondson says, the Georgia-Florida game is the “annual celebration of the repeal of prohibition.”

Dorsey waited until Friday to get into his serious pre-game drinking, however.

“I stopped at the New Perry Hotel Thursday for lunch and filled up on collards,” he said. “It’s hard to drink on a belly full of collards.”Preview


Now that I have had time to digest all that did eventually happen in college football Saturday, I think I can say without fear of charges of blasphemy that the whole thing was a religious experience. “Deacon Dan” Magill, the “Baptist Bulldog,” read a prayer to the Georgia faithful in which he beseeched the Almighty to help the Bulldogs “smite the Florida Philistines.”

Then there was the game itself. Georgia behind 21-20, ninety-three yards away, time running out.

“We need a miracle!” screamed Dorsey Hill, now fortified with more than collards.

Georgia got its miracle. Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, for ninety-three yards and the winning touchdown with only seconds remaining. If that wasn’t enough, there was the astounding news from Atlanta. Georgia Tech had tied No.1 Notre Dame. Surely, Georgia will be ranked first in America when the ratings are released.

“A tie was a gift from Heaven,” said Dorsey. “Notre Dame gets knocked out of number one but Tech doesn’t get a win. God is a Bulldog.”


I must make one confession here. I did it, and I must suffer the consequences.

I gave up at Jacksonville Saturday afternoon. Florida had the ball. Florida had the lead. There was only three minutes to play. I left the stadium. I was in the street when the miracle came.

“You are a gutless disgrace,” Dorsey Hill said to me later.

He detailed my punishment: “We’re going to a tattoo parlor in this very town tonight,” he began. “And you’re going to have ’26′ tattooed on one of your cheeks in red. And you’re going to have ’21′ tattooed in black on the other cheek. I don’t want you to forget what you did.”

I won’t, but which cheeks is between me and the tattooist.

Could Trey Burton Be A Factor Saturday?

Something I am worried about in this game, as I mentioned earlier in the week, is Florida using the bye week to insert some wrinkles in their anemic offense. Could they find a way to tweak their offense enough to catch us off guard early in the game?

One player I am afraid of is Trey Burton. Under Muschamp, Burton hasn’t been much of a factor. He made a few big plays for the struggling 2010 Gators-and had his best game ever against Georgia. He had 17 rushes for 110 yards, including a long one of 51. It seemed like in that game if the Gators need a first down, #8 was automatic.

Can Muschamp and company find a way to use Burton effectively? Haven’t done so yet. If there is one weakness that the Georgia defense has, it is containing a mobile quarterback (it was hard narrowing it down to one).

Keep an eye on #8 Saturday.


Looking Back at 1985

Although we tend to focus more on wins over Florida in the CMR era as well as the Belue to Scott play, the 1985 win was a pretty big one to. Although Florida was on probation, it still was gunning for an unbeaten season and share of the national title.
The Dawgs changed that at the WLOCP.

The positive of all these injuries?

Let’s get right to it. The injuries that this team have suffered have been crippling to any hopes this team had of a MNC. Take them away and this team has a good shot to beat Clemson and does not lose to either Mizzou or Vandy.

But the injuries have happened, making the offense a shell of itself, a bad combo with Grantham’s sieve of a defensive unit.

But in the middle of all of that, there’s a silver lining, oddly enough.

As unfortunate as it is, it has taken the last few games for it be glaringly obvious that this team has issues that were shielded by tremendous plays by guys like Jarvis Jones. Now that talents like that are gone, it’s becoming more and more clear that this team has serious things to fix, especially defensively.

The good news of all that is that Richt essentially has a mulligan. Did the defense fall flat this year so far? Yes. But thanks to the injuries, there is something to pin those setbacks on.

Georgia, thanks to injuries basically has a throwaway year. It may not have met expectations so far, but now those shortcomings open the door wide open to reevaluate everything under the cover of injuries.

Without injuries, this season would be a dumpster fire. But due to them, it’s chalked up, so far, as one where unreal adversity threw this team off course.

Lugnut Dawg

Never Gets Old

This video is now becoming as big a part of my GA-FL week as stopping to get a Church’s Chicken Biscuit at the Jekyll Island exit Saturday morning.




Feels Different

I am not sure how well I can articulate this.  But I am going to try.

Looking at the team this year, looking at how Coach Richt has acted on the sideline, and reading what he has said, there seems to be a different feeling.

Have you noticed it?

Even though the record may not reflect it, there just seems to be a more, for lack of a better word, bad ass demeanor coming from Coach Richt.

I don’t know.  It just seems like Richt is more direct, almost grumpy.  He has been yelling at officials.  He has shown emotion.  He hasn’t made excuses for anything, though there are plenty that could be made.

Just seems to be a different feel to things coming out of Athens.  I don’t know what it means and don’t know if it will matter on Saturday, but it is just something I have noticed.

Am I the only one?


Preview For Florida: Start the Drill, Finish the Drill

Taking off on Thursday to head down to Golden Isles, and will be traveling a good bit this week and playing cathcup on some things at work and home before beging gone this weekend.  Plus, next week, I’ll be traveling for work.  So when I leave Middle Georgia for SSI, I’m going to be going with a bag packed for a whole week. That is never fun.

So, I am going to go ahead and give you my preview for the Florida game early.

Here is the Reader’s Digest version, with longer explanation below:

Start strong.  Finish strong.  No turnovers.  That is it.

Think back a few years.

In 2005, the Florida Gators were led by first year coach Urban Meyer and came into Jacksonville not really lighting up the scoreboard in SEC play.  They piled on against inferior competition, but against Tennessee (16), Alabama (3) and LSU (17) the Gators and that new spread offense hadn’t taken off.

Their offense was struggling and came into a bye week.  They used the extra time to do some new wrinkles in offense, coming out running a lot of plays under center and using a tight end and fullback.  Before you knew it, the Dawgs were facing a 14-0 deficit before the end of the first quarter.

The Dawgs attempted a comeback, but it was not enough.  Aside from a razzle dazzle trick play where Joe T III caught a pass for the lone Georgia touchdown, the Dawgs didn’t have enough firepower on offense due to injury to overcome an early deficit.  The game was nothing spectacular, with neither team doing much good on offense.

The Dawgs and Gators are both in a similar boat this season.  Florida has had a week to revamp some things on offense, according to Muschamp.  And the Dawgs are suffering through some injuries, but hopefully Gurley and Bennett will be back to help bolster the team.

Can you see a similar scenario play out Saturday that happened 8 years ago?  Florida gets the ball, comes out with some new wrinkles on offense, and catches our maligned defense off guard, putting Georgia in a quick hole?  I sure can see that happening.

The key to victory Saturday for Georgia is simple.  Keep on the gas.  I mentioned in an earlier post, I selfishly want to see Georgia win a big one in dominating fashion against the Gators.  But I’d take any victory.

But the Dawgs can’t fall behind early.  After so many emotional games already this season, and several comebacks to win and a couple that have fallen short, I am afraid an early deficit might be too much for the Dawgs to overcome, emotionally and physically.  And if they Georgia does manage to get a lead, they can’t afford to get conservative.  We’ve seen with this team, no lead is a safe lead.


Saturday Is a BIG Game

Despite the fact that neither Georgia nor Florida are both ranked going into the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party for the first time since 2010, and despite the fact that this game (if we are being completely honest with ourselves) really won’t have that much bearing on the SEC East race, this game is  still a big deal.

Though being broadcast on the prime 3:30 CBS slot, it might not have the national importance like last year’s match up had; it is still a big deal.

It is a little different this year because neither team has bigger aspirations beyond the game itself.  This is the only time outside 2010 neither team is really competing for a National Championship or SEC title.  Every other year since 2001 one or both of the teams have been vying for something bigger.

There have been big moments in recent years.  Terrance Edwards dropping a wide open pass.  Georgia only going 1-2 against Zook.  The Endzone celebration.  Meyer’s revenge.   The ugly helmets.  Comeback to overtime before falling short.  Rallying back in 2011.  Winning a thrilling game last year.

But the game itself is a big deal, and don’t let anyone tell you differently or shrug it off due to our subpar record or the injuries on the team.

The biggest reason this game is important is the opportunity to turn the tide in the rivalry.

Losing 17/20 has been well documented (to put it lightly).

But Georgia has an opportunity to win 3 in a row for the first time since the late 1980s.  Georgia has currently won 2 in a row and has 4/9.  If Georgia wins Saturday, they have the opportunity to win 5/10.

That would be huge in turning the tide against the Gators.

In Florida’s 5 victories since 2004, they have margin of victory of 4, 7, 39, 24 and 3 points.  Georgia’s 4 victories have a margin of 7, 12, 4 and 8.  The blowout losses came when they had Tebow and company, so I tend to think even if the Gators win, it will be close.  But, selfishly, I want to win by a large margin. But, I’d take any win.

A win Saturday will salvage the season for Georgia.  It is big in context of the season.

A win Saturday will make the rivalry even again.  It is big in the context of history.

It is big, period.

Resist the urge to stay on Saint Simon’s Island and party it up.

Show up, be loud, and help our guys hunker down one more time.


Another Comment on Injuries

I don’t think I want to keep on beating this dead horse about injuries, but another thought popped in my head.

I think the widespread injury situation has caused a lot of damage to the season.  Some of the more blood thirsty fans out there will say it is an excuse, but I think there is a lot to it.

Here is something I have heard a friend of mine say in regards to the injuries:

Yeah, but injuries are part of football and you have to have guys step in and make plays.

To the credit of the players and the coaching staff, they are not using injuries as an excuse.  But I am a fan and I can do so.

Yes, injuries are a part of football.  Every team has to deal with an injury at some point during the season.  Georgia dealt with injuries at wide receivers last year. Alabama lost their All-American Safety Vinnie Sunseri.

But here is the thing I think is getting lost in the mass injury grave…Georgia already dealt with injuries this year and was able to do just fine.

How many teams could lose a dynamic, explosive playmaker like Malcolm Mitchell?  He was one of the most explosive players in the SEC. He was injured on what, the 4th play from scrimmage for the Georgia offense?  Georgia’s offense did just fine in his absense and scored 40 against Carolina and 44 against LSU.

Todd Gurley missed 3/4 of the LSU game.  How many other teams could lose their starting runningback, much less the best runningback in College footabll and the best runningback to play at Georgia in 30 years, and still put up a win against LSU? Yet Georgia did so.

So, again, injuries are a part of the game.  But I think it is only fair to point out that Georgia already had enough injuries to critical positions to last them a whole season.

The situation now is just unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

So if you get a hold of a fan who says all the injuries are an exuse, remind them that our depth at skill positions in the first place is the only reason we were able to beat South Carolina and LSU.


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Saying Grace

Saying Grace

The five-year-old boy who lives in my house is learning to say the blessing.

“LET ME SAY THE BLESSING” he bellows as we sit down to the table.






My stepson is the only person I know who prays in a primal scream. Not only does God get the message, but so does everybody else within six blocks of our kitchen.

The “Yea, God!” blessing is his favorite because it is more a cheer than a blessing, and the child is a human megaphone.

But tolerance is very important here because it is a big deal to learn to say the blessing before the family meal. And it’s not that easy, either.

First, you have to think of something to say. I remember when my parents first asked me to say the blessing:

MY FATHER: “Say the blessing, son.”

MY MOTHER: “And don’t mumble.”

ME: “ThankyouGodforthemashedpo—”

MY MOTHER: “You’re mumbling.”

ME: “—tatoesandthegreenbeansandtheporkchopsandthe—”

MY FATHER: “Amen. That was very good, son, but you don’t have to thank God for EVERYTHING on the table.”

I wasn’t going to mention the rutabagas.

After mastering a nice little blessing your mother thinks is “cute,” and doesn’t hold your old man away form the grub too long, you move into the “clever” blessings stage.

Everybody knew this one:

“Son, would you please say grace” your mother would ask, bowing her head.

“Grace,” you would reply, howling at your genius.

“Whaack!” would be the sound of the back of your father’s hand across your face.

Then there was the old favorite:

Good bread,

Good meat.

Good Lord,

Let’s eat!

That was good for the backhand across the face AND getting sent to your room without any dinner.

If you got really brave, you could use this one:

Bless the meat,

Damn the skins,

Back your ears,

And cram it in!

That could get you reform school.

When it came to smart-aleck blessings, my boyhood friend and idol, Weyman C. Wannamaker, Jr. a great American, had no peer.

His all-time classic was the following:

Thank you, Lord, for this meal,

We know you are the giver.

But thank you, Lord, most of all,

That we ain’t havin’ liver.

Weyman’s father tried to send him to reform school, but the warden was afraid he would be a bad influence on the other “students.”

Soon, my stepson will be in the stage of saying “clever” blessings, but I am not going to whack him across the face.

I am going to make him eat liver, smothered in rutabagas.