Archive for the 'Fast Times' Category

New Blood

Amidst these exciting times in the state of Georgia, our humble spilling place is proud to welcome a couple of new contributors to The Grit Tree. Join us in welcoming CornDawg and PappyDawg to the blogosphere. Both are recent graduates of our esteemed University, and we’re excited about the fresh takes these guys will bring on UGA athletics, Georgia bbq and southern culture in general. Happy reading folks, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours.

How big of a deal should off-field issues be?

It’s with a great sense of pride that in my office at my real job hangs a nicely framed diploma trumpeting the fact that I’m a proud alumnus of the University of Georgia. 

So any time you see headlines, such as Saturday morning, that two players from the football program have been arrested within a two-week span, it is initially unsettling. 

But in the big picture, as far as competing for a national championship, how much of an issue should off-field issues be? Sure, if you have friends of other SEC teams or worry about drivel being pushed forward by the likes of a Corbin Dawg’s favorite radio sports talk host, bearing criticism of the program can be unsettling.

I want to be very direct. I’m not defending what Jonathan Taylor did. You NEVER have an excuse for assaulting your wife/ girlfriend (we’re looking at you as well, Ray Rice). 

But 18-22-year olds will be idiots, and they do so all over the country. Why they tend to do so in Athens? Who knows? 

But if this team wins the MNC or wins the SEC title, what do you think will be remembered more? Off-field issues or the season results?

Jake Scott is one of the most iconic players in UGA history and had a spotted off-field record. Some 30 years ago, some of the team leaders faced team discipline prior to the season. Half a year or so later, that same team won a National Title. What do you think is remembered more?

Once the season starts, off-field issues will hopefully fade.

Pre-season camp cannot begin soon enough.

Lugnut Dawg



But, but…that doesn’t happen at Alabama!!

The national and regional media in addition to the Jerry Springer rejects on Paul Finebaum would have us believe that nothing bad ever happens with Alabama’s program, that no players ever, ever run afoul of the law, because when you play for the great Nick Saban, you just don’t want to even think about doing anything close to breaking the rules.

These players, I guess have forgotten that they are not allowed to get arrested 

I pity the lowly student assistant who had to break the news to Saban…I can imagine a scene from Star Wars of Darth Vader using the force to neck-choke someone. 

As we know all too well in Athens, you can instill all of the good things in 18-22 year olds you  want, but at the end of the day they are just that, 18-22 year olds. 

I’m waiting on outlets like the AJC to plaster across the front of their home page that Alabama players have been arrested and for columnists decrying the like of control of the program under Nick Saban, and accusations that the program is nothing but thugs running wild out of the control.

It’s ok, we’ll wait. We have plenty of time.

Lugnut Dawg


Why a Playoff is a Good Thing

Last night solidified why a college football playoff is inevitable. The sport has gotten so big that we virtually have to enter into this unchartered territory. I had been on the fence about this topic, but last night my mind was made up.

We were one sleazy coach and a tattoo parlor away from having witnessed The Ohio State University and Notre Dame play an incredible football game for the 2013 MNC. No doubt, that game would have been epic. It also would have been akin to watching Ole Miss and Vanderbilt play for all the marbles. Alabama proved, once again, that the SEC is the elite college football conference in America. So, to sum up that thought, a playoff will bring us year-in year-out what almost didn’t happen this year.

There is zero doubt in my mind that if we had a 4 team playoff this year, Notre Dame would not have been playing for the MNC. There is zero doubt in my mind that if we had an 8 team playoff that Notre Dame would have made it out of the first round. You can bicker about how many teams and who those are, but I guarantee you Alabama would have made it into the title bout. Had Ohio State not been on probation, the best team would not have won the National Championship, and that’s a shame. In a world of transparency, we need a clearly defined winner. A playoff is the only system that allows that.

Stumbling slightly off the beaten path, I’m fairly certain that if we had a 16 team playoff that allowed multiple schools from the SEC to play, you would wind up with at least 3 in the final 4 if scheduling allowed such an event to take place. Point is, and I’m not trying to be SEC homer guy, but the SEC is the home of the best football in the nation. To have any type of scenario where an SEC school doesn’t have a fair shot at playing for the MNC at the current day in age is a travesty. I know how that sounds, but it’s the truth. Notre Dame can’t play with SEC schools, but had a place in the big game when more deserving teams did not. It’s not just Notre Dame. I don’t think Oregon, Stanford, Ohio State, Kansas State, or others are in the same class as the big boys of the SEC. I believe the two best teams in the nation played on December 1 in the Georgia Dome. I believe the best team in the nation won that game and walked to a much-too-easy win against a team that shouldn’t have been in Miami.

Lots of rambling thoughts, but bottom line is I do believe last night proved the need for a playoff system, and I’m glad we’re moving in that direction. We’ll argue about that format for years to come, but the good thing is we won’t be stuck with 4 teams for very long. It will get to 8 and then 16 within a decade, and to me, that’s a good thing. 

Go Dawgs!


So much promise, such a sad ending

And with that, the Isaiah Crowell era, one with so much promise, is over.

Crowell’s career at Georgia being over is sad – partially for UGA, but more so for Crowell. It’s not known what really happened Thursday night in Athens – Crowell has a side to the story not heard. But regardless, it’s the best for both Crowell personally and the University of Georgia that Crowell no longer be part of the program.

Georgia’s program will be just fine, largely thanks to the recruiting efforts which brought in Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley.

Think back to National Signing Day, when Crowell heaped expectations upon himself he’d likely never meet by using a Bulldog puppy as a prop to announce he’d be signing with Georgia. There was a reason so many of us were excited about Crowell was committing to Georgia – he had the makings of being something special.

During his rough and tumble freshman year, there were many highs and lows. The lows being the ‘suspensions’ and exiting from games in a manner which didn’t endear him to fans. The highs being the South Carolina loss and later in the season, Auburn game. In that second half, Crowell ran the ball hard and with a mentality that someone had pissed him off and challenged him to a fight. That was the Crowell the Bulldog Nation had hoped for on signing day.

With that much promise, it’s why Crowell’s exit is sad. Crowell had the ability. But there’s so much more to it than that in the toughest conference in college football. It’s a sad time for Crowell, who has gone from a possible first-round draft pick to facing possible prison time. And it’s a sad time for his family too, who is going through things I wouldn’t wish on any individual.

Here’s to hoping that Crowell gets things straightened out and realizes his enormous potential – hopefully against a team Georgia isn’t playing against.

Lugnut Dawg

Professional Golf

This is a huge week for golf, simply because of the US Open. It’s probably my second favorite tourney of the year. Everything about it is great.

Something else happened this week in the world of golf that is even more special, to me anyway, than the US Open. A young man from middle Georgia won his first professional golf event when he shot a collective -10 at Carolina Lakes Golf Club as part of the Carolina Summer Series on the Hooter’s Tour.

Joe Young, a recently turned pro, won in his 3rd event since turning pro. Joe played four years at GC&SU, winning several honors there including All American. A native of Cochran, GA, Joe currently calls Cuscowilla his home course,  though Uchee Trail is where he learned the game.

If you enjoy golf I’d encourage you to follow the Hooter’s tour. There are some exceptional golfers out there grinding it out every week, and Joe is one of these. Here’s to wishing Mighty Joe all the best the rest of the year and beyond.


Chicken Wing Tour

In case you haven’t seen it, the Coach Richt/Coach Fox road show kicks off today in Savannah. They’ll be travelling the state on an eleven stop trip. The full schedule is here.


False Identity

I know that many of you readers of the blog use pseudonyms. I’m sure there are some of you who also pretend to be someone you’re not. That’s ok, we all use pseudonyms as our names, for a variety of reasons. It’s all fun and games, the wide world of the internet, right?

Well….sometimes that gets taken to a different level. Check out this fascinating story. Our state senate is……………..(finish that thought yourself.) One of my favorite blogs, Peach Pundit, had the story also.

You can’t make this stuff up.



It just gets better.

Dukes of Hazzard Meets Mayberry Meets Twiggs County

I really didn’t have a good title for this post. And I really have nothing to add. You’ll just have to read it yourself. Good work, Twiggers. Don’t mess with rural cops, lawyers or judges. You’ll always “be had” in the end.


It’s About That Time

Ahh, the Thursday before Georgia-Florida.

I was on 341 yesterday, from Macon to Jessup and back, and saw droves of Dawgs headed towards the coast as they got their weekend started off early. There is simply nothing quite like Georgia-Florida. It’s the best weekend of the year. It was therapeutic seeing the UGA flags blowing in the wind as Bulldog Nation relocates for a weekend. I just love Georgia-Florida.

We’re getting a slightly later start than normal this year, but we’ll all be on SSI as normal, and head down to JAX bright and early on Saturday.

Safe travels for those of you headed down today and tomorrow. Go Dawgs! Gators wear jean shorts!