Archive for the 'South' Category

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: He up and died and broke my heart

My dog Catfish, the black Lab, died Thanksgiving night. The vet said his heart gave out.

Down in the country, they would have said, “Lewis’ dog up and died.” He would have been 12 had he lived ’til January.

Catfish had a good life. He slept indoors. Mostly he ate what I ate. We shared our last meal Tuesday evening in our living room in front of the television. We had a Wendy’s double cheeseburger and some chili.

Catfish was a gift from my friends Barbara and Vince Dooley. Vince, of course, is the athletic director at the University of Georgia. Barbara is a noted speaker and author. I named him driving back to Atlanta from Athens where I had picked him up at the Dooley’s home. I don’t know why I named him what I named him. He was all curled up in a blanket on my back seat. And I looked at him and it just came out. I called him, “Catfish.” I swear he raised up from the blanket and acknowledged. Then he severely fouled the blanket and my back seat.

He was a most destructive animal the first three years of his life. He chewed things. He chewed books. He chewed shoes. “I said to Catfish, ‘Heel,'” I used to offer from behind the dais, “and he went to my closet and chewed up my best pair of Guccis.” Catfish chewed TV remote-control devices. Batteries and all. He chewed my glasses. Five pairs of them.

One day, when he was still a puppy, he got out of the house without my knowledge. The doorbell rang. It was a young man who said, “I hit your dog, but I think he’s OK.” He was. He had a small cut on his head and he was frightened, but he was otherwise unhurt. “I came around the corner,” the young man explained, “and he was in the road chewing on something. I hit my brakes the second I saw him.” “Could you tell what he was chewing on?” I asked. “I know this sounds crazy,” the young man answered, “but I think it was a beer bottle.”

Catfish stopped chewing while I still had a house. Barely.

He was a celebrity, Catfish. I spoke recently in Michigan. Afterwards a lady came up to me and said, “I was real disappointed with your speech. You didn’t mention Catfish.”

He got his own mail. Just the other day the manufacturer of a new brand of dog food called “Country Gold,” with none other than George Jones’ picture on the package, sent Catfish a sample of its new product. For the record, he still preferred cheeseburgers and chili.

Catfish was once grand marshal of the Scottsboro, Ala., “Annual Catfish Festival.” He was on television and got to ride in the front seat of a police car with its siren on.

He was a patient, good-natured dog, too. Jordan, who is five, has been pulling his ears since she was two. She even tried to ride him at times. He abided with nary a growl.

Oh, that face and those eyes. What he could do to me with that face and those eyes. He would perch himself next to me on the sofa in the living room and look at me. And love and loyalty would pour out with that look, and as long as I had that, there was very little the human race could do to harm my self-esteem.

Good dogs don’t love bad people.

He was smart. He was fun. And he loved to ride in cars. There were times he was all that I had. And now he has up and died. My own heart, or what is left of it, is breaking.

On Georgia Southern

For the record, I think Georgia wins. But in possibly an indictment of how uneasy things are amongst the fan base, I could also see Georgia losing as well.

Living in Middle Georgia, you live among a good mix of fans, and with its proximity, that includes Georgia Southern fans. To me, GSU has always been a rural version of the Georgia Tech fan base. Georgia should not lose to them on the gridiron – and when it happens, it is MAJOR deal.

And don’t discount the dislike for the Bulldog Nation either. Asking people on campus not to wear red all week because they are playing UGA? That’s North Avenue Trade School inferiority complex stuff. Heck, you can almost argue that a Georgia loss would devastate UGA’s fan base more than any other group.

We’ve talked in this space before about Georgia enabling programs to get a signature win. You think winning at the The Swamp was big a few years back? That’s absolutely nothing compared to what it’ll be if the Eagles pull off the win. It’d be more revered than any of Georgia Southern’s 1-AA titles. A state of Willie Fritz would be commissioned within three days.

Georgia has talked big in recent years about ‘running the state.’

A loss to Georgia Southern means taking a back seat going forward to GSU. Georgia, and Mark Richt cannot allow that to happen.

Bottom line – if Georgia has multiple three and outs and relies on defense and special teams on Saturday, it’s a recipe for disaster and one of the most infamous home games in Sanford Stadium history.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Has the Tennessee rivalry lost a step?

Rivalries are a funny thing. You highly dislike them and want to be beat them and beat them bad. But once you do it too much, can it lessen the rivalry.

To a degree, that’s where the Georgia-Tennessee rivalry is right now.

Unless you live up near North Georgia right now, Tennessee has taken on the look of another game on the schedule. The Vols have fallen on hard times (if you have had to endure UT fans, you shed no tears over it). To a point, you want to do a combination of laugh and pity them (maybe a small amount). That’s how it goes when you regularly beat someone.

There’s a part of Georgia’s younger fan base that wonders why UGA and Tech still play, and do not have a genuine dislike for the maggots. But the ‘old school’ fans…or those of us who lived through the 1998 to 2000 Tech wins, see Tech as a massive rivalry.

Tennessee is the same way. As Macon Dawg noted earlier this week, if you think the Bama fans (aka, the guy who saw Bama play on TV one time when he was 9 years old) are unbearable, you didn’t have to deal with the Tennessee fans in the 1990s.

This is a fan base that, and still does, shove the greatness of Peyton Manning down our throats. This is the program that got away with Nick Fairley-style cheap shots game after game with guys like Raynoch Thompson. UT took full advantage of UGA being mediocre in the 1990s and 2000s. If there was a recruit in the Atlanta area, the Volunteers and Phat Phil usually got them. You want to talk about lucking into a national title? UT took the cake in 1998 when Clint Stoerner inexplicably fumbled the ball right into Tennessee’s hands. And of course, there’s the engineering nightmare of a stadium in Knoxville. The capacity of that place needs an asterisk by it – it’s easy to cram 100,000 plus in with seats that narrow.

Oh, and then there’s that idiotic song that oddly enough was written by a Georgian.

Time has healed some dislike of Tennessee. Other than Lane Kiffin, there’s not much much to hate about Tennessee recently.

There will be if Butch Jones takes UT a step forward Saturday.

Somewhere along the way, the intensity of the rivalry has lost some steam. It needs to get back to the dislike of a bad guy wrestling in WCW.

Saturday’s kickoff is early, there is no doubting that, and Tennessee could benefit from a flat, late-arriving crowd (it did so in the 2004 upset).

If you’re heading to the game, get there early. The Bulldog Nation needs to get back to treating Tennessee like an old hated rival again.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Wearing Black and Gold

I was raised in a small rural Georgia town. I still live in a small rural Georgia town. This is by choice. I love my hometown, just as many of you love your hometown. There’s something about “home.” Small rural Georgia towns offer things that larger cities don’t. For better or for worse, if you love your small rural Georgia town, you think it’s the greatest place on earth. My friends here at TGT and I have a lot of fun with this. They don’t find my small town to be quite as delightful as I do. For some reason, Corbin doesn’t like the fact that our high school football stadium overlooks the Dollar General. But he never turns down a meal at Scott’s BBQ.

Something I think is fairly unique to a small rural Georgia town is the intimate sense of community. Everybody knows everybody, and for the most part loves everybody, even if you don’t like everyone. Kind of like family- you can talk about your own, but nobody else can. Country music songs are written about small rural Georgia towns. You’re also proud of your own. Very proud. When somebody does something good from your hometown, everyone shares in the sense of accomplishment. High school sports are HUGE in the small Georgia towns that dot the rural countryside. Not saying they aren’t huge in the larger cities- clearly they are- but it’s just different. If you’re from a small rural Georgia town, you know what I mean.

Right now, Cochran, Georgia is Wichita State Country. Native son Carl Hall and his Shockers have made an amazing run through the NCAA Tournament. Businesses around town have signs out front encouraging and congratulating Carl. You can’t go anywhere without someone bringing up the topic of Carl and his Wichita State team. For a small town like Cochran (Bleckley County has a population of less than 12,000; Cochran less than 6,000) it’s a really big deal to have a hometown kid to be playing in the Final 4. It’s a huge deal. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often to small rural Georgia towns. Kids from Atlanta play in the Final 4 every year. They play in BCS National Championship games and in all of the major professional leagues. But towns like Cochran don’t have this opportunity very often. That’s why, when it happens, it’s a really big deal. Again, if you’re from a small rural Georgia town, you know what I mean.

carl hall

Tomorrow night, everyone in Cochran will be tuned in to watch Carl Hall and his team take on Louisville. This is the biggest stage, and Cochran is sharing in Carl’s success. It’s fun, and it gives us all a sense of pride. To many, this is just an exciting Final 4 game. For the community of Cochran, it’s more than that. It’s a chance to see one of our own do something incredible. We’re proud of Carl and are having a great time watching him play on national television. This is the kind of thing that unites small towns and brings everyone together.

We’re wishing Carl and his team all the best as they get ready for the biggest game of their lives. Win or lose, we’re proud of you Carl!

Go Shockers!


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

It’s unwise to try to stand between a true southerner and his beef. Lewis was no fan of activist seeking to substitute other products for beef. One can only wonder what kind of gems he’d have for the PETA crowd today…

Here’s The Beef

In protest for what I consider to be recent unfair attacks on beef, one of my favorite meats, I went out and had myself a thick, juicy T-bone at Long Horn Steaks the other night.

It was great, as usual. I would have eaten two if my stomach would have held another because we beefeaters need to do all we can to tell the wimps and weenies who have put themselves in charge of our lifestyles to go eat a bucket of worms (a.k.a. sushi).

It’s cow meat they’re after now. One group says we’re being cruel by killing cows and chopping them into steaks.

There’s a book out about the evils, both social and physical, of eating beef as well. I refuse to name it here and give it any publicity.

And then, I read a story in the papers about a report from the American Chemical Society saying the natural substance that gives beef its meaty taste has been synthesized in the laboratory and may be used to turn tofu into a substitute for beef.

Do what?

I asked a health nut to tell me what tofu is. It sounds to me like a ballet dance step.

“It’s soybean-based,” she explained.

So let me see if I have this straight.

Some scientist has come up with something in his lab to put in something made out of soybeans, and I’m supposed to eat that instead of beef?

The magic ingredient is BMP. Said the article, “BMP could be used to make imitation beef with little or no saturated fat similar to the way fake crab meat is made.”

Fake crab meat? What’s going on here?

In the first place, I once ate a soybean burger. Another friend of mine, also a health nut, said, “Try this, you might like it.”

Somebody once said the same thing to me about marriage.

The soybean burger was awful, so I went to Wendy’s and got myself a double with cheese to get the taste out of my mouth.

In the second place, when are those self-appointed jerks going to stop jacking us around about our food?

Remember when you were growing up how important it was to eat eggs? “Eat the rest of those eggs, young man,” my mother would say, “so you’ll grow up big and strong.”

Not anymore. Now they say eggs cause diphtheria, not to mention shortness and weakness, so somebody has come out with a fake egg.

I bet a chicken could tell the difference.

Pork has been put down as unhealthy. Some chickens have tumors in them and fish have mercury, and I never knew there was such a thing as fake crab meat until now.

So what’s left to eat? Nothing much. If what we read and hear is true, we’d all be better off if we didn’t eat anything at all, never had sex, abstained from drinking, smoking and gambling, and died on the operating table instead of getting a blood transfusion that could give us AIDS.

Life used to be fun. Now, it’s just one big Don’t.

But I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to eat beef and everything else I like. I will never walk into a Long Horn and say, “I’ll have the tofu T-bone, please.”

If doing such a thing kills me, it’ll just have to kill me.

I think I’d rather go suddenly from a beef overdose than live long enough to get really sick and wind up croaking in a hospital bed where they’ve been keeping me alive by feeding me through a tube.

There should be the basic right to live free from as much worry as possible. But how can you, when not a day passes that we aren’t told what’s the latest thing that’s bad for us?

Eat, drink and be merry, I say, for tomorrow you may choke on a big piece of broccoli.

Auburn photos!

Wow! What a weekend in Athens! As far as gamedays, they don’t get much better – a beautiful fall day, time with friends and a smackdown of West Opelika!

Here’s a few photos from the biggest win over the WarTigerPlainsmen in around 50 years, courtesy of Andy Harrison.

Joke of the Day

This was sent to me from my accountant. Enjoy!

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman as well as the first female Georgian as president.

A few days after the election the president-elect calls her father and says, ‘So, Daddy, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?’

‘I don’t think so. It’s a 16 hour drive, your mother isn’t as young as she used to be, and my arthritis is acting up again.’

‘Don’t worry about it Daddy, I’ll send Air Force One to pick you up and take you home. A limousine will pick you up at your door.’

‘I don’t know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?’

‘Oh, Daddy’, replies the president-elect, ‘I’ll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom made by the best designer in Washington.’

‘Honey,’ Dad complains, ‘you know I can’t eat those rich foods you and your friends like to eat.’

The President-to-be responds, ‘Don’t worry Daddy. The entire affair is going to be handled by the best caterer in Washington, I’ll ensure your meals are salt free Daddy, I really want you to come.’

So Dad reluctantly agrees, and on January 20, 2017, the first woman and first Georgian is being sworn in as President of the United States. In the front row sits the new president’s Dad and Mom. Dad notices the Supreme Court Justice sitting next to him and leans over and whispers, ‘You see that woman over there with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States.’

The Justice whispers back, ‘Yes I do.’

Daddy says proudly, ‘Her brother played football for the Georgia Bulldogs.’


Closing the Book on the 2011 Masters

Sunday at Augusta proved once again that you can simply never tell what’s going to happen at the Masters. Further, the tournament, as they say, doesn’t start until the back 9 at Augusta.

A few thoughts….

–        I couldn’t have been more wrong in my prediction early Sunday. I stated that it was Rory’s to lose and that one of 3 names would have to get white hot to catch him. Well what do you know…Tiger made his early surge and by the time everyone was on the back 9 there was a field of 10 or so golfers in the hunt. At least I was somewhat correct in saying that Choi or Scott could be in it; they were very much in contention all day on Sunday.

–        I can’t say enough about Tiger. He gave the game of golf exactly what it needed on Sunday. I came unglued when he made his eagle and continued to be amazed as he torched the front 9. I only wish he had held serve on the back 9. But my did he put on a clinic that front 9. I said all year long leading up that Tiger would factor in to The Masters tournament, and did he ever.

–        I did not see young Schwartzel birdieing the final four holes to go on and win. He deserved it, was a gracious winner, and I am very proud of him.

–        Phil disappointed me. All week. But it’s still fun to watch him play golf, and it was fun to watch him slip the Green Jacket on Schwartzel in Butler Cabin.

–        Back to Tiger…did you see the 3 wood he hit? Wow!

–        Rory McIlroy, poor kid, just had a rough day. But the talking heads of the media world need to lay off. The kid is 21 years old. 21! He will get his one day, and I’ll be pulling for him. He’s a great kid and an even greater golfer. This implosion WILL NOT affect his game negatively. He’s too young for that to happen. The sky is the limit for Rory. He won’t ever be a Tiger Woods, but I predict he will win at least 4 majors in his career.

–        Sunday at Augusta was exactly what it should have been. An absolutely perfect day for golf, coupled with drama you can only find at Augusta National.

–        Adam Scott and Jason Day both played like they deserved to win down the stretch. Jason Day played 18 like a Masters Champion, and Scott was just incredible.

–        I say it every year, but this Masters was one of the best I’ve ever watched. Can’t wait for 2012.

–        One more thought; I thought it was neat with the Japanese amaeteur at the end in Butler Cabin. Golf is truly an international sport today and will only become more so.

Congrats again to the 26 year old Charl Schwartzel for winning The Masters and to Chairman Payne for running another wonderful event. What a tournament! Hope you enjoyed as much as I did.


Masters Sunday

Masters Sunday is perhaps the most exciting day of the year. In fact, it ranks just below Easter as my favorite day.  This Masters Sunday should be no different.

The anticipation and drama that we so often see on the back 9 at Augusta National on Sunday may not be there this year if young Rory McIlroy continues to play golf the way he has the prior 3 days. Some folks say that the Masters begins on the back 9 on Sunday, but this year it could be finished before the last group even gets to No. 10.

I was mistaken about Phil; I thought he’d be in it this year but he simply couldn’t follow up last weeks performance. Doesn’t help that I’m hitting my driver better than he’s hitting his right now. Tiger both suprised and disappointed me yesterday. I fully expected a 68 out of him to stay just on the fringe of McIlroy’s lead. I’m afraid he’s out of it too.

The only drama I see potentially playing out today is if Cabrera, Choi or Scott just get white hot with the flat stick and Rory shoots even or worse on the front 9. Scoring is going to be impossible today unless you get a few lucky rolls on the green, so I honestly feel that all Rory has to do is hold ground. Cabrera has been around though, as have Choi and Scott to a lesser extent, but they know the grounds well also. 4 and 5 strokes are not too much for these guys to get back on Masters Sunday.

Tiger nor Phil are in it to win it this year, but there’s plenty to watch for (and listen to for all you Jim Nantz fans.) Go to church then sit back and enjoy Masters Sunday.


Masters Saturday

He who doubted Tiger raise your hand.

After a beautiful round of golf yesterday, Tiger is, as Verne says, on the prowl. Young McIlroy is playing spectacular golf though, and if he keeps this up no one will catch him. Unless Jason Day fires off another 64 of course.

Each day at the Masters gets better and better. Today will be the best round yet. Moving day, as some say. Tiger made his move yesterday, you can bet a bbq sandwich that Phil makes his today. Phil will tee off 2 hours before the leaders and will probably post something for them to shoot at.

I love Masters Saturday. Today the tournament really begins. Me, well I’m headed to the country club to squeeze in 18 before Phil tees off. Enjoy your Masters Saturday.