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Rooting Interests

Tonight is the big night. One day we will experience what Clempson and Bama fans are experiencing in the desert right now. Until then, we’ve got to choose sides. 

I’ve long contended that Clemson was our sister school and that they are more SEC than SC, Vandy and Kentucky. They’re the land grant institution in the Palmetto State, have a similar alumni base, and are generally comparable to UGA. I normally don’t admit it, but today is as good a time as any. I’m a closet Clemson fan. They’re my “2nd” team. I pull for them every time they don’t play us. I long for the day when we renew the annual rivalry with our sisters to the east. It’s the perfect way to open a season. 

That said, I’m all in on Clemson today. IPTAY. Beat Bama. Go Tigers. You can find detailed analysis elsewhere. I’m just a fan today.  


  We’ve got some dear friends who are Clemson alumni. They’re in the desert and having a ball. We promised to share pictures, so here are a few. Happy watching. 


Hey there, Charlie

There are two blogs in Georgia that set the bar. Thanks to the Senator for hosting one of these. The other is not focused on all things UGA, but if you like southern culture and southern politics, then you’re familiar with Peach Pundit. 

Icarus, now known as Charlie Harper, has been my blogging role model for eight years. Charlie took a fork in the road and has taken his talents to a new home, I’ll miss what he and his gang did at Peach Pundit, but I’m certain this new venture will be even more fun for all of us. 

This post was to say “Thank You, Charlie” for the great times at PP, but also to encourage you to check out his new site. This is the time of year to talk Georgia politics, and Charlie is the best. 

Stay warm my friends. 


Richt to Continue His Mission

We should not be surprised…we should not be sad…we should only be happy for a coach who is fulfilling his calling.

During Richt’s Monday farewell press conference, fans witnessed a man who was weary from the coaching grind and was looking forward to taking some time away to spend more time with his wife Kathryn.  “I’ve been coaching for 33 years straight, and that’s a long grind.  It can wear a man out a little bit, especially sitting in the head coach’s chair.  We are very excited about our future.”

Then the calls came from current and former players, even ones he had dismissed.  They thanked Richt for making them a better husband, making them a good father, making them into a man of integrity.  And at that moment, Richt knew his mission was not yet complete.

Since 1986, when Richt gave his life to Jesus Christ, Richt has served someone greater than himself.  And when he saw the responses from Charlie Ward, DJ Shockley, Brandon Boykin, Mohamed Massaquoi, Aaron Murray, and even players he dismissed such as Sheldon Dawson. Richt knew relaxing by the pool or spending a month on a long deserved hiatus was not the Lord’s intention.

Heading back to his alma mater, The University of Miami (“The U)” is a nice conclusion to a fantastic coaching career mostly spent as an offensive assistant at Florida State and head coach at Georgia.  But don’t let the trees get in the way of the forest.  This is not about closing out a  great coaching tenure where you played your college football.  This is about Richt completing his spiritual journey, and it is far from complete.

Godspeed Coach!


Lies, Lies, Lies

Greg McGarity has lied to you.  He lied to me.  And he lied to the man who he fired that was sitting next to him in the press conference Monday.

It is being universally reported now that Kirby Smart will be the next head coach at the University of Georgia.  This is not at all surprising.

Greg McGarity said in his comments at the press conference he would retain the services of a search firm.  He said that on Monday morning.  Some 36 hours later, it was reported that Kirby would take the job.  For an athletic department that took 20 years to decide on building an indoor practice facility, and takes time to make other routine decisions, I have doubts about this.

In 36 hours, a search firm was hired, all the candidates were vetted, made an offer, and said offer was accepted?  In 36 hours?   For the arguably the most important job at the University of Georgia?  For arguably one of, if not the most, high profile jobs in the entire state?

McGarity also said that the decision to make a move on Coach Richt was made driving home from the Tech game.  That is a lie.  You don’t make major, multi-million dollar decisions on an hour and half drive home.  You just don’t.

This decision was made after the Florida game, if not earlier.

I understand not being bombastic.  I understand not saying a whole lot.  I don’t agree with that approach; McGarity could have been a little more open and forthcoming.  Instead, he came off like a weasel.  But I understand why he wouldn’t say a whole lot.

But to sit there, and flat out lie to us all?  Even worse, to insult our intelligence?  It is one thing to lie and be deceitful.  It is another thing to lie, but have everyone know you are doing it.

I’ve said it before a million times but I’ll say it again:  the success of the football coach will hinge on if changes are implemented in Butts-Mehre.

I wish Coach Kirby Smart the best of luck for a long, successful career at the University of Georgia.

I can’t say the same for his boss.





Why Go After The Sure Thing?

Back in college, I had a roommate for two years. One of my best friends, a groomsman in my wedding, and we still talk regularly.

Like most college guys, we were never going to be considered poster children for cleanliness. However, anytime my roommate cleaned up, and I’m talking mopping, vacuuming, the whole nine yards,  I knew one of two things: he had a test and was procrastinating studying, or he was going to go out and had intentions of bringing a girl home.

He was a good looking guy, had charisma, and of course always had good luck with girls. When he would go out, he would go out with lofty ambition, and go for the hottest girls. Sometimes, though, old lady luck wasn’t smiling down on him. But he never came home empty handed. He had a couple of “sure things” he would call upon.

I had another friend. He didn’t care. He just went after the first girl that gave him any attention. His standards were lower and it was about quantity. I’m sure any of you can relate and have had similar friends in your group.

I say all that not to reminisce about the good ole days.

If Georgia’s stated goal is to win championships, and (justifiably) just fired a coach like Mark Richt because he didn’t win enough championships, why are we targeting the sure thing?

Like the Senator said this morning, Kirby Smart is the frontrunner. Hell, he appears to be the only runner. But…:

McGarity knows he’s offering a plum job and that if Smart can’t bring himself to shake hands – and that wouldn’t be the first time Kirby’s walked away from Athens – there will be plenty of other candidates willing to step up and take his place.

But there are risks for both, too.  Smart’s waited for his opportunity at Georgia for a while, and now Mark Richt is gone.  If he doesn’t take the job and Georgia’s next choice turns out to be a good hire, that opportunity may be gone forever.  Is that something you really want to risk?

If Georgia is in fact this top place, why start out with the sure thing? Why not go to Brian Kelly, Jimbo Fisher, Mark Dantonio, David Shaw, etc… , offer the keys to the kingdom, and make them tell you no? If this is such an attractive place, why start with the sure thing?

Everyone has their “source on the inside”. Everyone knows someone. I am 100% convinced the next UGA head coach will be Kirby Smart. Everyone from the janitor’s third cousin once removed’s wife to ESPN is saying Kirby is the guy. I will support him and hope we do well.

But I wish Georgia would shoot for the moon first before just settling for the sure thing. Like my roommate in college, sometimes it works out pretty well.



Face The Facts About Coach Richt

Bulldog fans fall in one of three camps today:

  1. You are sad/angry about Mark Richt’s departure
  2. You recognize it was time for Mark Richt’s departure
  3. You are thrilled about Mark Richt’s departure

I relate to #2.  I said after the Tennessee game that it was time for Coach Richt and the University of Georgia to part ways.  If you are in camp #1, I won’t argue with you.  I won’t ridicule you.  I was with you until very recently.  However, things change.

But regardless of where you are at, there are some things that are facts that we all need to agree on:

  1. It was time for Mark Richt to go. He was given a second chance after 2010 to turn things around.  He did.  He signed Dream Teams and Ring Team classes.  There was talent brought in.  We were right there.  So excruciatingly close.  Things took a step back, and no coach deserves a third chance.   Just since 2008, look at some of the players that have come through Athens:

a. Matthew Stafford

b. Knowshon Moreno

c. A. J. Green

d. Todd Gurley

e. Jarvis Jones

f.Justin Houston

g. Drew Butler

h. Nick Chubb

i. Aaron Murray

These players are either in the conversation as all-time greats at UGA or the SEC, and/or are having successful NFL careers.  No SEC titles with these players.  You can say, “Yeah, but…”  No quarterback.  Good recruiting class coming in.  Catastrophic injuries.  Lacking administrative support until recently.  I get all that.  But losing games Georgia shouldn’t lose, and losing games in the way we lost them the same way over and over again isn’t a good look.

  1. His accomplishments should be celebrated. This is not like we are firing, say, a Will Muschamp, a Ron Zook or a Mike London.  Coach Richt elevated the program.  UGA had the most sustained success in its history under his leadership.   This is not a joyous day for UGA.
  1. It shouldn’t have ended this way for Mark Richt. It should have ended with him hoisting a crystal football.  It should have ended on a happy note.  He deserved that.  The fans deserved that.  But it had to end.  And it had to end now so we could get ready for the future.
  1. Kudos to Greg McGarity to have the cojones to make the tough decision. Even if you were the most ardent anti-Richt person, you are being disingenuous if you think firing a coach who wins 9.6 games per year and has dominated most of your rivals is an easy decision.
  1. But I really have strong doubts that Greg McGarity will make the right hire. And until some of the obstacles are removed from an administrative stand point, I’m not sure any coach will have as much success as Richt has had, or the success we covet.  There needs to be total, sweeping change in Butts-Mehre.
  1. I fully expect us to one day in the near future look back and say “What were we thinking?”
  1. Ultimately, bad coordinator hires doomed Coach Richt. He lost all the good will he had built up with Willie Martinez.  Brian Schottenhiemer was the nail in the coffin.
  1. Finally, Georgia will be great again.

You can be glad that there is a change, yet recognize the unfortunate circumstance this is.

I am reminded of the Greek myth of Icarus.  Icarus was warned not to fly too low or fly too high.  His ambition made him fly higher and higher, until his wings melted and he crashed down.  I hope that in chasing the Sun, we don’t crash down.

But, you have to try and get there.

Mark Richt was the coach of the program that I love.  As much as I wanted to see Coach Richt succeed, I’ll love Georgia football without him.    This is a sad day for the Bulldog Nation, but maybe the next coach can inspire the hope that Coach Richt once did 15 years ago, or hell, just three years ago.



Only one thing matters

Will Mark Richt be the head coach here next year? Yes, despite what Bill Shanks wants to have to say about it.

Will Brian Schottenheimer be packed up the U-haul soon? Hopefully

Will Jeremy Pruitt be in Athens next year? Hopefully.

But none of the that really matters.

One thing matters right now, and it’s the same thing that matters now matter how good or bad that a season is.

Freaking Beat Tech.

I was in Athens last year. I had to watch the enginerds gleefully prance out of Sanford with a once every seven to eight years victory.

Some of you in the Atlanta area – and others on Facebook had to endure Techies crawling out of the woodwork.

Any time Georgia loses to Tech, it stings, because it should not happen on the football field. That’s why it means so much to GT when it does – because it does not happen often.

If you call yourself a Georgia fan, there can be no part in you that does not despise Georgia Tech and all that it stands for. And let’s not get into the Joke By Coke…

Has this season been a hard road? Absolutely so.

Let’s not make it worse by losing again to the maggots.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg






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