Saturday, April 17, 2010

Is Lil' Dooley's Honeymoon Over Already?

If things were bordering on absurd while KiffyBaby took up a residence in Knutsville, they're just plain wacky under new coach Derek Dooley.

First he closes a scrimmage and charges any media members $50 if they want to watch. From what I've read this is unprecedented and the voWel media is grumbling pretty loud. Granted the scrimmage was being used as a coaches clinic, and their fee was $50. Still, that's a fine line for a first year coach at a big time program.

As Climer of the Tennessean said:
When you're running a nine-figure athletics department, I guess you've got to find new revenue streams anywhere you can.
And now news that Lil Dooley has turned his first spring game into a FANTASY FOOTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA!! In short, he's chosen not to coach in it and let the seniors draft their own teams. 

In truth, I guess that sounds an equitable way to divvy up teams. I just can't help but wonder how brand spanking new QBs Simms and Bray feel about having to turn to media or university celebrity for guidance.

Then again, they don't call it Knutsville for nuttin'.

Social Media and Today's Fan

It's a crazed new world.

I grew up in a time when encounters with revered athletes were as scarce as the authentic autograph. It was as if they lived in the picture box we watched them in. To catch them in the real world off of the field was surreal. It made you rub your eyes to check your vision.

I remember as a kid meeting Glenn Hubbard (former Atlanta Braves second baseman and current first base coach) in a restaurant outside of Stone Mountain. He and his family sat at the table next to ours in a way that he was seated right next to me. The eye glances between my dad and I were not too subtle and I just couldn't get up the nerve to interrupt the Hubbard Sunday dinner....until we got up to leave.

I guess I just couldn't bear the thought of coming so close to greatness and not walk away with something. Hubbard graciously signed a corner of the restaurant's placemat. And I felt bad as I left realizing that my finally asking him had opened up the floodgates for a line to form. I have no idea where that placemat is today. But the thrill of seeing a real live athlete I admired through a tv screen was a real treat.

Nowadays the college athlete is just a login screen away. It might be an interaction through the vast webs of the internets...but it beats stalking. Trust me. 

A few weeks ago, Rex gave his unique perspective on athletes who socialize through Facebook and Twitter. As one who dabbles in these venues daily, I found it interesting to read the words of a former player about what current players are doing publicly, albeit behind a computer screen or mobile device.
It's crazy. It's like these kids think the only ones reading it are their friends and or their team mates.
There's no doubt that creations like Facebook and Twitter have only added to most coaches locks of gray. And overall I would have to say our coaches must do a pretty good job of policing it as well as everything they can to prevent disasters. For examples of some of those disasters, just read or re-read Rex's piece.

Sure, I've been a little uneasy reading some Twitter feeds of current UGA players. I follow every Athenian athlete I discover on Twitter. To date I would have to say Mike Moore has been my favorite. There's others that have provided a glimpse that maybe isn't as rosy as Moore's continually upbeat status updates. I don't know that former FU Gaytuh Ray Shipman is on Twitter, but I would imagine if he is his updates the last couple of years would be in need of a very large tube of a prescription ointment as he tried to become the Tiger Woods of Reptile College.

All in all, I would say it's a thrill keeping up with these kids through these technological breakthroughs. I feel like I get a better glimpse at their lives through Twitter as opposed to Facebook, at least the ones who tweet a lot. It's more than cool to see that they cheer for each other across the sports on campus and it's funny as hell when the football players insist that Coach Richt can control the weather patterns just before practice. But just as Rex warned of the hazards these kids face under the social media microscope, fans should check themselves just as often. And I include myself in that.

As thrilled as I was when AJ Green responded to my well wishes when his niece was born, I was equally devastated after re-reading some of my comments during the Tennessee game last fall. It read as if I had (repeatedly) used 140 characters or less to blast kids for playing a game. My frustrations may have been warranted, but my actions made my stomach turn.

After that I took my responsibility as a tweeter more seriously. Because just as much as we want these kids to represent UGA Athletics for everything that honor is worth, I want to represent the Dawg Nation just as honorably.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Conley Commits

I guess it coulda been the news that Justin Scott-Wesley had UGA high on his list that tipped the Dawgs in Christian Conley's favor. But since Coach Richt is likely to take more than a couple WRs in the 2011 class, it's more likely that Conley just wanted to wear red and black and knew he was ready to take one more step closer to Athens.

As Chip Towers reported, Conley broke the news this morning at a somewhat impromptu team meeting. It was as low-key as the state's top wide receiver could keep it.

“You know, Chris, he’s one of a kind,” Webb told me. “He’s kind of a low-key kid and that’s the way he wanted to do it. He came to school this morning and we called all his teammates down to the clubhouse and that’s when he told them.”
Conley issued a statement through his coach but has asked to be shielded from interviews until Monday so that his decision can “be a celebration within the Wolfpack family,” Webb said.
So you can tell right away that this kid is almost as sought after form what he brings off the field as what he brings to it. While Dawg fans can expect 4.4 speed and sure hands 'tween the hedges, UGA professors can expect good attendance, punctuality and good grades from Conley.

Great news about a good choice. Welcome!

More on Conley's Commitment:

"God Bless You Trey"

Thompkins is returning for his junior season, a decision made public last night at the Tipoff Club's end of season banquet. After being prompted (and prodded) by coaches, Trey simply said,
“Don’t worry, coach. I’m coming back."
Coach Fox's response:
“God bless you, Trey.”
The news fans and coaches had been waiting for even got the head coach back on Twitter.

Alan has a more in depth look at what this means for the Hoop Dawgs' 2010-11 season. In short, the lineup just got a major upgrade.

Trivial Update - Georgia Studies Durham

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 41 coming up after this PSA: Remember to file your income tax return before the April 15th deadline...D'oh!!!

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 41 "Torn Labrum 'Tween the Hedges" Welcome Tweeps to the Tax-Free Twitter Twivia Show that's in a bracket all it's own self. REPLY back your answer for a chance at a fabulous prize. Kris Durham had a stellar GDay with 3 catches for 54 yards plus a TD and is certainly a key to the #Dawgs' success this fall. How many catches did he have in the 2009 version of the Bulldogs' annual scrimmage?

Much has been written about Kris Durham's return to the field in 2010. Heck, he even made an appearance in Hale's Chat earlier this week. Like many Dawg fans, I'm looking forward to the senior from Calhoun returning to the huddle this fall. With Durham, King, WootenthaAnkleBreaker...and...someone else...oh!...and AJ running routes through the SEC, whoever drops back to pass for the Dawgs is gonna have options downfield.

As you probably recall, Durham was not able to catch any passes during the 2009 GDay as he already had his arm in a sling. You can try and tweet a curveball, but it doesn't mean @TNRLM will swing and miss. He knew the answer was zero and therefore takes home a Georgia Studies textbook from Durham's OCMS classroom.

Since it's the Georgia receiver's last day student teaching, maybe he'll even sign it.

Kris Durham on Twitter - @KrisDurham16

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Scott-Wesley Likes Dawgs, Garrett May Be Near a Decision

Justin Scott-Wesley has trimmed his list, dropped NATS and placed UGA at the top according to Carvell.
“Yes, sir, Georgia is my No. 1. With me being from (the state), Georgia Bulldogs football has always been a big thing around where I live. I really like the coaches at Georgia. They are going to be low in numbers with wide receivers, so it’s a good place to come in and play early. Plus, Georgia said they will allow me to run track.”
In a class that may bring a few WRs to Athens, Scott-Wesley sees an immediate opportunity to play. But the Mitchell Co. athlete also stressed the importance of the Georgia coaches' willingness to let him run track.

On the other side of the ball, Simmons tells us that Justin Garrett may be closer to making a decision ($$) on where he'll play at the collegiate level. Garrett is a teammate of James Vaughters at Tucker and projects to be an OLB in college.

In my mind, Garrett would be a great addition because he already possesses good coverage skills, having played safety as well in HS. With some size added on, this big time hitter could be a force on the SEC playing field.

Diamond Dawgs Down in the Ruff

Read carefully. Cuz you likely haven't ever before or won't ever again read (I hope...pray!) these words from my keyboard: I'm so glad I couldn't make it over to Athens last night.

The nerds pounded Perno's Dawgs, relentlessly. I won't post the final score, because you either have already fallen witness to it or you are among the lucky few.

After losing by just one run a few weeks ago in Atlanta, there was at least some measure of hope heading into last night's matchup with the #5 yellow jackets. Now...there's little to none for the Tuesday April 27th rematch at Turner Field.

As the season swirls closer and closer to the bottom of the bowl, it becomes clearer that this season is now about development for a young group of players. As well as changes that may need to be made.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jerry Jones Doesn't Worship St. Timmy

Ever wonder what Jerry Jones thinks of the possibility of drafting Tebow? Perhaps you've pondered further on what that would sound like had the Cowboys owner slipped a couple several vodka tonics past his facelift...CLICK!!

Either way it ain't pretty.

This kid has a future at Foley...

I think he'd look as good in red and black as he does fielding grounders and swinging that bat.

Damn. Someone should check his birth certificate. And if we can get him to pass Calculus over the summer we could use him next season.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Working the Game...Grantham's Way

Learning from Lieu of Repeating Them

Like most who witnessed GDay, I'm trying to drink in as much Grantham as possible. Yes, like most who suffered through some seasons of pedestrian defending 'tween the hedges...we are very thirsty.

So when the new DC talks about working the's like a large gulp of sweet tea on a hot summer day, right after you shut down that mower you've been trudging behind.
"What I mean by that is you've got to come over and adjust to what just happened to you. You've got to go over the play you just saw and you've got to handle it the next time."
If you were paying attention you noticed the exact play Grantham speaks to in this piece by Weiszer. The defense gave up a couple draw plays to Jackson that resembled a sieve under a kitchen faucet. And while the basic plan was very vanilla throughout the scrimmage, you have to admit the defense adjusted well.

Case in point, some tackles of the running back behind the line of scrimmage.

So back to Grantham's quote and his overall point, we are to expect the defense to drink in what they are seeing, swish it around a little and let it linger. Not just gulp, forget and steady yourself for the next snap. An offense can slip plays by you, it happens. But if you learn from it as you go, you are less likely to fall victim a second or third time.

I read that as less reactionary and more proactionary - which is a word I just made up, but hopefully you get it too. We all can remember plenty of times when a DB in recent years failed to turn and play the ball in the air. The result was either a big play or a flag most of the time. Well, I get the impression that any player under Coach Todd Grantham who isn't working the game is very susceptible to riding the pine.

Accountability is especially refreshing over ice isn't it?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Georgia's Always On Fox's Mind...but is it on Thornton's?

AJCs Michael Carvell reports that the sweepstakes for Marcus Thornton's signature have begun in earnest. In addition to Tech and Bama, Coach Fox is going up against Calapari and a slew of others that may include UTs Pearl and Auburn's new head coach Tony Barbee.

While Thornton's dad says he's surprised by all of the attention, he had glowing things to say about Georgia's hoops coach (as well as Tech's Hewitt, fwiw).
“(Coach Fox) was a very personable individual. He almost seems like a Southerner. To me, he seems like a natural fit to Georgia. When you call his cell phone, his ringback tone is the song “Georgia On My Mind.” That was very touching. Georgia had the advantage seeing Marcus a lot on the AAU circuit....(follow the link for more)
The NCAAs contact period begins April 16th.

Monday's Meatloaf - Mett Masters G-Day

This could end up to be relatively short. After spending Saturday in Athens I chose a little golf course in Augusta for some Sunday worship. Many thanks to Mac for the passes. Semper Fi ol' Dawg! It was a beautiful day to walk a golf course with your dad, even if the sticks were left in the trunk. However, the one downside to a weekend spent absorbing God's great beauties is not much free time to construct a well-shaped loaf of ground meat. But let's see how it goes.

About the only person who had a better weekend than Zach Mettenberger was the now three time Masters champ Phil Mickelson. Lefty came within a couple birdies of the course record, just one day after Mett treated receivers as if they were clay pigeons during target practice.

While many weren't necessarily surprised by the redshirt freshman's performance 'tween the hedges, it was easier to be bewildered by Murray's. I'm sure a lot of us were walking away from Sanford Saturday cautioning ourselves. Cuz as Coach Richt and Bobo ponder the depth chart there's a lot of variables to consider.

Perhaps first and foremost....does Mett get a mulligan?

Today's Ingredients
  • And by mulligan I mean, does Zach get to skip the first tee box yet still play through. That scenario is difficult to imagine. If he continues to progress and neither Murray nor Gray seize the opportunity, we may just be looking at at two (maybe three...??) headed signal caller come September. More here later.
  • Even before G-Day, CorbinDawg had a superficial reason for liking Coach Grantham.
  • Hale summarizes the QB battle while Page recaps a pretty well wrapped 3-4.
  • Although the defense we witnessed wasn't extremely tasty, I for one found the attitude and hustle very satisfying.
  • I think the Senator used my Sanford seat to take in his thoughts from the 35. Some other G-Day type posts: Battle Hymn NotesecDawgWeiszer, Dawg Stephen and Noops.
  • (cue age old soft piano intro) Back at Augusta...Longest drive we personally saw was from Lucas Glover, which pleased Pops to no end...until some kid named Sweitchel (sp?) took the same tee shot from Yellow Jasmine another 10 yards.
  • But then Freddie teed off from Carolina Cherry and outdrove the field I think from that hole. It's gotta be the shoes.($149.95 retail, fwiw. Socks obviously sold separately)
  • That knife we felt Friday slipping it's way into the middle of our collective back was only the beginning I fear. Even for Coach Dooley, blood runs thicker than Herschel's thighs. Don't say I didn't warn ya.
  • Speaking of Knutsville, they're roster is being treated like an Evite to a fall kickoff party. RSVP if your overalls still fit. Unfortunately for the HillBillys, more and more kids are volunteering themselves for a bus ticket outta Dodge. And to add insult to attrition, the new kid ain't catching on too quick.
  • 2010s QB battle aside, Georgia is after some high profile QBs in next year's class of recruits. Perhaps none bigger than Christian LeMay who spent some time visiting what appear to be his top three (Clempson, Abuurn and Georgia) this past week. As usual, Chad Simmons is over it ($$) like a dab of butter on a bowlful of grits.
  • Daugman updates us on the recruitment of Dwayne Polee, especially as it pertains to UTEP.
  • Bama safety Robby Green has been officially ruled ineligible for 2010.
  • And Mackie hit a milestone recently, evidently in large part to his better half. He makes it sound like he's retiring. If so, the FCC will be breathing a sigh of relief.

One thing that really stuck in my craw over the weekend was some of the reaction to Billy Payne's comments about Tiger. If you happened to have missed it, the Augusta National Chairman used his own personal stage to rip Tiger a new one on Wednesday. He wasn't answering questions from the media, just reminding everyone that this was his damn tournament and not a tiger paparazzi parade.

If you're keeping score at home, Tiger has adulterous affairs with all but two able-bodied women, gets caught, eventually decides to have a public pitty party for invited guests only and ultimately chooses the Masters as his coming back to Birdie party. For those unaware, this is the event that provides the greatest screen for Tiger to return...and I'm sure gives the members of Augusta National the greatest headache.

Now I get the fact that this is a personal issue between Tiger and Elin alone. But the playah can't have it both ways. You can't tell everyone they're crossing a line and then approve of this ridiculous advertisement. You can't keep that many skeletons in a closet and then cry foul when someone flips the light on.

When asked about Payne's comments after the first round Thursday, I heard Tiger say he was disappointed. After all that's happened since Thanksgiving, I still can't help but believe that Tiger is more disappointed that he got caught rather than anything else.

The reactions to the public sparring match between Payne and Woods was naturally mixed. Sir Charles called Billy an Uncle Tom while Mike Norrish of the UKs Telegraph thinks Payne did Tiger more favors than that Nike ad.

I really like Sir Charles. When he got caught with his zipper undone on the wrong side of the law, he took full responsibility. But along with Martha Burke, Barkley needs to realize that Augusta National is a private club. If you don't like their dogwoods, go sit under a pine.

And in the end Tiger couldn't catch another golfer who had the gall to take time off from the links to be by his wife's side during her battle with breast cancer. I guess in the end all the sexual rehab in Mississippi can't cure the three putt bogeys from inside six feet.

Well Reader...that turned out to be a full portion. Go grab a clean plate. There's plenty there for seconds.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

DoucheTiger of the day

After that new Nike ad with Tiger, I'm going to find it hard not to yell out DOUCHEBAG!! from the gallery today. While looking around for some meatloaf ingredients for tomorrow, I found these parodies.

For you mommas out there, you may like this one -

Did you learn anything?