Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Competition brings out the best in everyone."

Emerson is out in Kansas City catching up with the Chief's roster of former Dawgs. Here he asks Aaron Murray about the QB competition back in Athens.
He’s never met Lambert, the Virginia transfer. But he was in the quarterback room with Bauta for two years, and with Ramsey for one.
“Both great kids. I think a little different quarterback-wise,” Murray said. “Brice is a very pure thrower. That’s probably one of the most beautiful releases you’ll ever see from a quarterback. From day one I was like: That man can throw a football. Good kid, works hard, smart kid.
“Faton, he’s more athletic, can run, bigger kid, can do a lot with zone option read, running, does things like when things break down being able to run. Can also make all the throws as well.”
As Emerson points out, Murray can relate as he went through a competition for the job back in 2010 and then spent four years looking over his shoulder at Hutson Mason. And currently he's the third string quarterback for the Chiefs.

Of course, the paycheck is probably some consolation.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's August and Erk just ripped another page off the calendar.

My first instinct was to drop a hype video or one of those highlight montages here for today. But I think I'd rather keep things simple...clear headed...except for maybe a few drops of blood.

Yes, I think it's time to get a big neck.


Open the door and take a whiff. That's August sunshine in your face this morning. If you want the team to keep their minds right, set an example. When most of the SEC elite players were at PCB during spring break, Nick Chubb was back in Cedartown working out with his high school. That's old school. No fake juice. No rap-induced hype video. No half-assed effort to raise the bar back up.

Just another day to get better. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Remember the squib kick. Never forget.

There was evidently a replay of the last edition of "Clean Old-Fashioned Hate". (h/t Weiszer)


Yes, that's the official engiNerd Twitter account and their radio guy in response. Maybe they were the only ones watching. But then again I didn't bother to click on the "THWG" hashtag.

Anyway, just a cautious reminder as to why this rivalry is important. And what it feels like when that blind squirrel gets their nut.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Nick Chubb vs the 585lb squat

From Lucas Rogers of BulldawgIllustrated...
Damn.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Woerner! Woerner! Woerner!"

Y'all know I hate following recruiting. But this bit of news from Kipp Adams makes my Dawg heart proud.
Top247 prospect Charlie Woerner (Tiger, Ga./Rabun Co.) has committed to the Bulldogs, Dawgs247 has confirmed. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect visited Georgia with his team for the Mark Richt 7-on-7 in June, and returned for Dawg Night last weekend.
Woerner, considered the No. 13 prospect in Georgia, No. 19 wide receiver in the country, and No. 119 prospect in the 2016 class by the 247Sports Composite, chose Georgia over offers from Alabama, Clemson and others. His addition gives Georgia 14 commitments, and should push them past Michigan State for the No. 10 class in the country.

Spurrier vs the World, jumping the shark edition

Like most of you I'm sure, I spent part of last night on Steve Orr Spurrier's Wiki page trying to find the sentence that confirmed for me that the man had indeed obtained a degree in journalism from Florida. I didn't find it.

Same old Spurrier right? I guess. Has a bit of a different feel to it though. Probably because of this:
Regardless, the OBC can't make me feel sorry for Hack McBradley. And it's hard to bark too loudly as he's definitely made the annual rivalry against us...well, an actual rivalry.

But since the old guy is down, why not get in a kick or three.





Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday's Meatloaf - "I'll see you at graduation tonight, son."

Those weren't the last words I ever heard Mr. Mac say to me, but they were perhaps the most meaningful. Most educators will freely admit that they, at least partially, go into the field for those precious two months in the summer. If you meet one that says otherwise, they're either lying or fresh out of college. Probably both. But I feel comfortable speaking for those of us who are also very dedicated to making young lives better equipped for their future, that our hearts are anchored in our career.

And if you were to condense his (estimated) five foot nine, three hundred pound frame into one thought, that was Mr. Mac. I was saddened with the news of his passing earlier this month. So glad he had 77 years on this Earth to enrich the lives of everyone that came within his orbit.

My two most vivid memories of Mr. Mac are bookends to my high school career. As a freshman at Cedar Shoals someone broke into the locker room. While Coach Scott blew his whistle and as we expertly performed fitness drills in the gym, the thieves made off with some misdemeanor type valuables. I lost a grand total of five dollars and a belt. It was traumatic. Guess that new Yes album would have to wait. 

The next day I was called into the principal's office. Even though my dad had told me Mr. Mac was the gentlest of giants, I was petrified. The principal's office? I hadn't done anything, but obviously I was at fault for something. I remember sitting there in the chair across from his desk, waiting for whatever punishment it was I was there for to present itself. "I hadn't done anything!", I continued to scream inside my head. I'm sure y'all remember how the teenage mind can relentlessly torture its host in every way imaginable. And my imagination was in overdrive.

Mr. Mac finally walked in and introduced himself. "You're Dr. B's son right?" Immediately I was struck by his kindness. He came across as the most down to Earth school principal I'd known in all my years of formative education. Then again, he also seemed as big as the Earth itself. In the end, I had no idea how true that thought was.

The rest of conversation was lost in a blur of a heightened heart rate and the type of nervousness only a teenage boy of fourteen who is not wearing nearly enough anti-perspirant can understand. After a few moments he reached deep into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet, grabbed a five dollar bill, and handed it to me as he stood up.

He then smiled as I took the bill from his large hand. "I'm sorry my belt won't fit you." He winked as he said it, just to make sure I was completely at ease. I'm sure I thanked him in some awkward manner. And I hope some measure of sincerity was transmitted.

Today's Ingredients
- My dad told me that one March, Mr. Mac showed him a stack of papers bound together. Each one represented a home visit he made for a CSHS student who was in trouble of some sort. Here's a fund set up to continue such efforts for the Cedar Shoals community in his name, if you're so inclined.
- Hope you caught our tailgate roundtable. If not, here they are in order of appearance: quarterbacks, center, receivers, defensive standout, Coach Pruitt, schedule, and overall feelings.
- August isn't even here yet and Tyler is already looking at some cupcakes in November. I see his overall point, but Georgia Southern stands above the rest of those he clumps together. They've taken down Florida and gone toe to toe with Bama in Tuscaloosa.
- They also came as close if not closer than the Dawgs at taking the "State Champs" stamp off of Tech's shiny new 2014 rings.
- Speaking of the engiNerds, the AJC may have missed the latest chapter in Reuben Houston drug story, but Blutarsky didn't.
- And speaking of non-conference scheduling, G&B Attack looks at the Gamecocks' future slate.
- MaconDawg has a look at Coach Richt's new 2017 commit, DeeJay Dallas.
- "So many people.Weiszer writes about the spectacle Dawg Night has grown into.
- Over at Field Street Forum there's a challenge that, should you choose to accept it, could drop a lucrative prize into your lap. (No, not Bama in Sanford tickets. I'm talking about "BRAGGING RIGHTS" son!)
- I'm as much a sucker for a sucker punch at Coach Nicky as the next guy.
- Jason Isbell is a master at lyrics. Here are some words regarding the new album that I found rather astute.

Both literally and figuratively, I was ready to put Trigonometry in the rear view mirror. It was the last exam that stood between me and life beyond the last 12 years of formal education; one final hurdle before I cranked up my 1967 Malibu Chevelle and conquered the world.

(not an) Actual picture of me performing some mathing
I resisted the temptation to speed through the parking lot. As the rest of the underclassmen finished their last day of school, I was heading home mid-morning, with nothing to do but go back to sleep...after setting an alarm that would allow me to (possibly) brush my hair, (potentially) brush my teeth, walk across the stage, and accept my ticket to adulthood.

Yes, every ounce of me wanted to punch the gas and crank Telegraph Road one last time as I peeled onto Cedar Shoals Drive. But I was also compelled to savor the moment. And I was glad I chose the latter.

At the end of the one way conduit from the student parking lot to the front drive beside the school sat a metal chair doing its best to contain a man better suited for a La-Z-Boy. Even as a soon to be graduate, I wasn't one that was familiar with the ins and outs of leaving campus before the final bell. While I wait for you to stop laughing I'll simply add that based on my limited experience there was a 50-50 shot of getting the security officer as opposed to clear passage. I'll also add that the seniors had been reminded (repeatedly) that if we intended to leave campus early we were to bring a note from home.

"Good morning Mr. Mac."
"How'd the trig final go?"
[What?!? How'd he know? Oh God, I'm doomed to go spend four hours in the library shelving books or something. Damnit! DAMNIT!!!!]
"Um..good Mr. Mac. I, um..."
"You forgot a note didn't you?"
"Yessir. I just.."
"I'll see you at graduation tonight, son."

Suddenly I was that awkward 14 year old again - overly excited and equally amazed by my principal's ability to relate. He moved his steel chair from the middle of the lane to the side so that I could pass and gave me a wink.


It was the same wink Doug McLaughlin gave me later that evening when I crossed the stage at Stegeman Coliseum and received my diploma. My formative education was done. That one wink, just as his incredibly firm handshake and every single slap on the shoulder he gave me and thousands of other students that passed him in the hall on the way to their next class, told me that what was waiting for me tomorrow was greater than anything I could leave behind in a trail of gas fumes and a Mark Knopfler solo.

Mr. Mac always had the bigger picture. I'm proud to have shared a few frames in it.

Have a great Monday y'all!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seniors

Been stewing on this for a couple weeks. My biggest takeaway from the UGA SEC network take over day, was from the 2005 SEC championship game against LSU. They kept talking about how Georgia was not expected to do well that season. Uncle Verne et al continually attributed our success to the seniors on the team.

Now, think back. This was a team that was really one knee injury away from a potential national championship game. This was a team that had exceeded even its own fanbase's expectations. They used a stingy, aggressive defense. And an offense that took whatever the defense offered. Add in a quarterback that had been chomping at the bit, and you had an SEC East team ready for mayhem.

Sure. The seniors under 2005 Coach Richt are different than the ones under 2015 Coach Richt. Back then the roster was set based on some kind matriculated status as opposed to talent. But the basic premise is the same. At least that's what I believe. You have to have good leadership to make it to Atlanta in December. 

So, we had it then. Do we have it now?

Much has been made about Chubb being left off this morning's private UGA charter to SEC Media Days. Last year we took two seniors (Ramik and Conley) and a junior, Todd Gurley. Sure, Nick Chubb is the key to the season. But is it really so bad that we leave him at home?

I don't think so. I think the 2015 Georgia Bulldogs will rely on young talent to make plays. But Richt will always rely on senior leadership to drive the bus. And if you look at the roster, we have upper classmen all over ready to lead. That's going to become important somewhere down the road.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Penn Wagers, Karma, and kitten sweaters

I was going to tweet something like this last night:
This morning I let nearly 30 people into traffic north of Myrtle...on a Saturday morning....after Waffle House...and one last visit to "Whales". AND...this afternoon I switched out my aunt-in-law's pre-1980s thermostat with a new fangled programmable wifi-enabled one. 
Successfully.
I think I've garnered enough Karma to power the Dawgs through a mid-September road trip to Nashville.
On one hand it's like 5000 characters and twitter allows a mere fraction of that.

But also, the last time we were in Nashville, the referees lost their gotdamn mind.


Now, you can believe what you will about Penn Wagers [supposedly] "retiring". But the word "returning" is remarkably close in spelling and I just refuse to believe that bastard has given up ways to screw Mark Richt in places and means that are ill-suited for Saturday afternoons.

So until I see him in a SEC Network teleconference in the Fall from Spokane Washington while he knits sweaters for his kittens and sips Earl Grey tea from a World's Greatest Kitty Momma mug....I'll be saving all the Karma I can get.

Because Wagers is the biggest cat person to ever officiate in the SEC.

Tailgate Roundtable - prognosticating 2015

Last day. Thanks for joining us. We wrap up the series with our overall feeling about how the season will play out.


Okay. Here in July, what is your overall feeling about the upcoming season?

AHD - There is not anyone on our schedule we can't beat. Stay healthy, catch a few lucky bounces, and we are in Atlanta! And we will be 8-0 at Mark Richt Field after this year. ;-)

Robert - I am not very optimistic.  That may very well be a good sign, because for the last 10 years I have predicted UGA going 12-0 and playing for a national title.  There is a lot of potential if they find an answer at the quarterback position and he plays above everyone’s expectations, but the schedule is challenging.  Road games at Tennessee and Auburn will be huge challenges, and I learned my lesson not respecting the Florida Gators last season.  Combine that with Alabama coming to town, but the truth is, they are the least of our worries.  It isn’t all doom and gloom for me though.  I expect to see improvement overall.  I think we will cut down on some of the mindless mistakes we made last season. I think we will see this team play with more intensity.  I think the defense improves as a whole.  We are recruiting at a new level.  Overall, UGA is on the rise!

BDB - My optimism really rides on the feet of Chubb and what I think will be the best Georgia defense we've seen in about a decade. Still, we're young at some key spots. And I agree with Robert that there are some key challenges in this schedule. Even though I'm one of those old guys that hates the cupcakes, this is one of those seasons I'm kind of glad we open the season slowly. Getting to Atlanta will be a difficult row to hoe, but it's one I could see this team navigating. So I'll go with 12-3, a trip to the Dome, and just outside the CFP.