Archive for July, 2016

Lewis Grizzard: Great Moments in a Would Be Father’s Life

Great Moments in a Would Be Father’s Life

To my Son, if I ever have one:

Kid, I am writing this on September 3, 1984. I have just returned from Athens, where I spent Saturday watching the University of Georgia, your old dad’s alma matter, play football against Clemson.

While the events of the day were still fresh on my mind, I wanted to recount them so if you are ever born, you can read this and perhaps be able to share one of the great moments in your father’s life.

Saturday was a wonderful day on the Georgia campus.

We are talking blue, cloudless sky, a gentle breeze and a temperature suggesting summer’s end and autumn’s approach.

I said the blessing before we had lunch. I thanked the Lord for three things: fried chicken, potato salad and for the fact he had allowed me the privilege of being a Bulldog.

“And , Dear Lord,” I prayed, “bless all those not as fortunate as I.”

Imagine my son, 82,000 people, most whom were garbed in red, gathered together gazing down on a lush valley of hedge and grass where soon historic sporting combat would be launched.

Clemson was ranked number 2 in the nation, and Georgia, feared too young to compete with the veterans from beyond the river, could only dream, the smart money said, of emerging three hours hence victorious.

They had us 20-6 at the half, son. A man sitting in front of me said, “I just hope we don’t get embarrassed.”

My boy, I had never seen such a thing as came to pass in the second half. Todd Williams threw one long and high, and Herman Archie caught it in the end zone, and it was now 20-13.

Georgia got the ball again and scored again, and it was now 20-20, and my mouth was dry, and my hands were shaking, and this Clemson fan who had been running his mouth the whole ballgame suddenly shut his fat face.

Son, we got ahead 23-20, and the ground trembled and shook, and many were taken by fainting spells.

Clemson’s kicker, Donald Igwebuike, tied it 23-23 and this sacred place became the center of the universe.

Only seconds were left when Georgia’s kicker, Kevin Butler, stood poised in concentration. The ball rushed toward him, and it was placed upon the tee a heartbeat before his right foot launched it heavenward.

A lifetime later, the officials threw their arms aloft. From 60 yards away, Kevin Butler had been true, and Georgia led and would win 26-23.

I hugged perfect strangers and kissed a fat lady on the mouth. Grown men wept. Lightening flashed. Thunder rolled. Stars fell, and joy swept through, fetched by a hurricane of unleashed emotions.

When Georgia beat Alabama 18-17 in 1965, it was a staggering victory. When we came back against Georgia Tech and won 29-28 in1978, the Chapel bell rang all night. When we beat Florida 26-21 in the last seconds in 1980, we called it a miracle. And when we beat Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl that same year for the national championship, a woman pulled up her skirt and showed the world the Bulldog she had sewn on her underbritches.

But Saturday may have been even better than any of those.

Saturday in Athens was a religious experience.

I give this to you, son. Read it and re-read it, and keep it next to your heart. And when people want to know how you wound up with the name “Kevin” let them read it, and then they will know.

 

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Goodbye

Change is a good thing.  Today will mark the last day we will be posting on the Grit Tree.  This doesn’t mean we are going away; we have a great opportunity to partner up with the fine folks at Bulldawg Illustrated and will start providing content on the blog at their site.  It will still be labeled Grit Tree, so you can still find us over there.  We are excited about all the possibilities our new home can offer.  But you won’t find content at this site any longer.

We started this blog on September 1, 2009.  We all sat around and talked football year round, and decided, “Instead of just talking about it, why don’t we do a blog?”  When coming up with a name, we wanted to do something different to make ourselves stand out from the dozens of other Dawg blogs out there.  We all decided our blog would be more than Georgia football; we wanted to pay homage to Lewis Grizzard.  We also wanted to do reviews of BBQ restaurants.  Having BBQ Thursday-and going around the state eating good BBQ-was more fun than writing anything about the Dawgs.

We found inspiration from his famous column Great Moments in a Would Be Father’s Life¸ and it became a tradition of ours to post it the Wednesday before the first football game.

This isn’t technically our last post. The final post here will be the Lewis column that gave us our inspiration so if anyone ever stumbles on www.grittree.wordpress.com, they will see Lewis’ best article, and the one article that accurately sums up what it means to be a Bulldog.

It has been a fun ride here.  Thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting our little hobby.  We look forward to continue posting very soon over at our new home at http://www.bulldawgillustrated.com/.

Go Dawgs!

The Grit Tree

Win or lose, it’s all moving ahead

It just seems like an alternative universe these days on the recruiting trail.

Even a year ago, the hope for this Georgia program was to maybe, if it was lucky, snag one or two four or five-star guys. Now, especially on the heels of Andrew Thomas signing on, getting the high-caliber guys is expected and not a shock.

Maybe it’s the reveling in the energy that Kirby Smart has brought that has trickled down all over the far reaches of the program, from coaches to the fans.

Perhaps it’s an energy we didn’t see out of Butts Mehre since pre-2005.

Sure, part of it is novelty. But the bottom line is that Georgia is getting more and more high-caliber guys than I can even remember. I’m not a recruiting fanatic – I try not to get hung up in star ratings.

But when you are beating the Alabamas of the world instead of the USC Jr.’s for players, that speaks MAJOR volumes.

Bottom line – this team could be scary good – which is why if this team goes 8-4 this year I won’t be too bummed.

That’s a far cry from the previous regime.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

 


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