Saturday, July 31, 2010

Living Legends: My Top Five

Herschel Walker...Dominique Wilkins...Theresa Edwards...Charley Trippi...

That's just a few. And every Dawg has their own favorite, assuming they can narrow the list to one. But who is the greatest living legend in Georgia Bulldog sports history? What name is most synonymous with UGA Athletics?

There are a number of ways to take on this challenge. You could argue first that football is the biggest of sports in Athens and that Vince Dooley roamed the sidelines 'tween the hedges for a quarter century. Or maybe you prefer to talk impact for his/her team. If so, it'd be hard to argue against either Walker or Edwards.

For me however, I choose to look at impact over time. Who is the historical Dawg figure who's bark is as distinctive as their continuing contribution? Here's my top five living legends in Georgia Bulldog history:

5. Sonny Seiler - this should likely read the Seiler Family I guess. They're singularly responsible for the world's greatest mascot. And Uga is as steeped in Georgia Bulldog lore and tradition as...well, as anyone or anything. Much more so in fact. The mascot is adored by fans, but will always be first and foremost the Seilers' labor of love.

4. Herschel Walker - UGAs greatest athlete is also one of its greatest ambassadors. He left us a year early and craving for more, but has never forgotten his roots. He's the type of player the sport of football only glimpses once in a lifetime, so it's hard to argue against him being in the top five. His mere presence 'tween the hedges may have been decided by the toss of a coin, but it also brought to Athens the greatest three year run in Georgia football's storied history.

3. Vince Dooley - he's a legendary coach that gave 40 years to UGA. His 25 years as head coach will almost certainly never be matched. He started his career by out-coaching Bobby Dodd and never really looked back. By the end he had tallied 201 career victories and six SEC titles.

2. Larry Munson - the gravelly voice helped us get the picture for 42 seasons and is legendary in itself. But the words Munson chose during those years were what made him unequalled, remarkably unique and adored by so many. Great plays on the Georgia football field are not simply known for their athleticism and grace, but also the voice that brought them to life over the airwaves. In my mind Munson stands a bit taller than all except one man...

1. Dan Magill - Plain and simple, Coach Magill is UGA Athletics. He not only embodies the spirit of being a Dawg, but he's been around the campus for decades, nearly a century to tell the truth. He started as a bat boy but has since been an athlete (tennis and swimming), coach, SID, Georgia Bulldog Club secretary and longtime historian. He even had two Ugas named after him. What bigger honor is there than that?

To put it plainly, whenever the time comes that Dan Magill is no longer in the midst of the Dawg Nation but has ventured on to bark with the Ugas named after him, Lewis Grizzard, Francis Sinkwich, Wally Butts...and a host of others, there will be a resounding sigh among our legions of barkers. The loss will not garner the headlines that some others would, but his absence will be a chasm that no other could fill.

So there's my five. What are yours? What's wrong with mine? Who'd I miss? In other words, it's your turn...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Trivial Update - Amp'd Up!

#ThursdaysRTrivial ep 53 is coming up right after this PSA: Sex in an Italian restaurant's booth is for meatballs.

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 53 "Walker is to Ground, as _____ is to Air" Good evening tweeps! It's the Twitter Twivia show coming to you live from Bernie's Tweetdeck. Who will break @Stuff_of_Legend 's three week streak?!? REPLY back your answer for a chance at a fabulous prize. I starred in football, basketball and track in high school to prove my athleticism. And while Herschel led the world in rushing in 1980, I led the team in receiving. Who am I?

If you didn't catch it earlier today, click here to get the third installment of my Dawg relic series of GATA. As I said this earlier this morning, it was hard finding web based information on Anthony Amp Arnold. But here's something from my own memory banks.

When I was 10, I went to a summer football camp at Cedar Shoals. Amp ran the receiving drills and one day my group was with him right before lunch. He said we couldn't break until someone caught a go route over the shoulders. That may sound harsh, but in Amp's defense we had pretty much sucked around all morning.

And naturally it was my turn. I ran as hard as my tired legs would take me then waited for the ball to appear from the sky. When it finally did, I was sure there was no way I would catch up to it. He had thrown it too well and I was absolutely positive I was too tired to find another gear. I tried...I reached...and I caught it!! The cheers were loud and the water was really, really cold.

So let's see how my tweeps handled their own go route:
DawgGoneBlog - @BernieDawg Lindsay Scott?
TNRLM - @BernieDawg Amp Arnold?
matthall5 - @BernieDawg: Amp Arnold#ThursdaysRTrivial
Rex_Robinson5 - @BernieDawg Prolly A.A.
There were various other tweets involving Italian restaurants and a television show named That's Incredible. But that's the gist of it. I would've gone with Kit's guess (yeh, that's Kit's newest handle. Follow him there as well if you're not already). Scott seemed the logical answer. But Amp outgained him. By season's end Arnold had collected a whopping 20 catches for 357 yards and four TDs.

Modest numbers, sure. But more than enough to make a Thursday trivial.

So, TNRLM hauls in a varsity Cedar Shoals letter jacket. Hope it fits. matthall5 catches a 1975 game ball from the Classic City Championship where Arnold returned 6 punts for TD and had 399 yards receiving as well as 32 tackles (not to mention that he drove the bus and directed the band at halftime)** for the Cedar Shoals Jaguars in defeating cross town rival Clarke Central 21-0. Rex...gets a plate of pasta primavera...

Lots of intrigue heading into next week's TrT show. Did Scott survive his date night with the wife? Can he get back into his trivial groove? Will Matt's Tweetdeck download finally put him into 1st place? Where's Ally? And who knows, maybe Karen Sypher will get another 15 minutes of fame...??

UPDATE: If you won't to get in on the action Reader, try this: how is it (albeit fictionally) that Amp could've driven the bus to a home game against CCHS...?? Hmmmm....

**stats embellished, but the score is for real!!!

GATA Amp Arnold

It's was hard to find video of Amp Arnold, but I was determined to have this third installment of my GATA Dawg relic series (here's Nat Hudson and here's Frank Ros). And this one's a little closer to home for me as Amp Arnold was also a Cedar Shoals product like myself...he just produced more Jaguar records in football, basketball and track, whereas I simply produced naps in Coach Watson's government class. But I do digress...

However, I was able to find this video from noted Dawg historian Patrick Garbin's YouTube channel. It doesn't show Amp's infamous catch and subsequent two-point conversion to beat the ramblin' wrecks back in 1978. But it picks up just afterwards when a seldom used backup defensive back preserved the lead and eventual victory.

If anyone else knows of a video or story I've missed on Amp, please correct my faulty research in the comments. And come back later today, when Amp is also the subject of my weekly Trivial Update and I provide readers with a little known Amp Arnold anecdote. Until then check out these related links:
  • Hometown Hero from an ABH story a few years back.
  • Garbin catches us up on that 1978 game clinching INT by Archer, a true One Game Wonder. Great, great read for the rest of you Dawg historians.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Agents: Jumping the Shark..??

The Dawg Nation is breathing a lot easier than we were this time last week when suddenly AJ Green was the newest (and brightest) college football star to be named to a Miami agent thrown party. Now we're just waiting on the fallout.

It could be a long wait.

I thought PWD did a good job of separating the small potatoes from the main dish. The truth is that, although there will be consequences to come from this investigation, this and the recent USC sanctions are a very clear warning shot to every athletic program that operates under the NCAA.

And I also think this piece by Matt Elder sheds some interesting light on the agent world's underbelly. If you're uncertain about their certification and training, reading it will definitely help you out. But the most interesting part I think comes in the last paragraph where Elder's anonymous source agent says that 75% of agents are clean.
I do want to clear up a few more things though and that specifically was in relation to all agents being 'dirty'.  It was never my intention of painting with such a broad stroke that says that 'all' agents are dirty. In fact, when I spoke with the anonymous agent and asked him what percentage of agents he thought were clean, he said about 75%, which is an overwhelming majority.  Now my last question to him was if this incident, which could be as big as multiple first round talents being suspended, was enough of a slap in the face to force the NFLPA and the NCAA to do something drastic and to make big changes?  His response was, “I hope so, that’s my honest answer, I hope so. There are a majority of agents that do this the right way that have been waiting for something like this to happen to actually force the NFLPA to do something about dirty agents. All we can do is hope.”
So that leaves us with a couple things. First of all, as we have known for some time, the proverbial ball is and has been in the NCAAs court which resides in the NFLs playground. I'm not gonna hold my breath that the NCAA and the NFLPA actually start scratching each others' backs. But if the shockwaves from this Marcus Austin mess are immense, then enough programs are going to feel even more vulnerable. Then, we might see more thorough protection of student athletes' eligibility and the programs they play for.

Second, if 75% of agents are clean it's a lot more than I thought. However, 25% of the agents dallying in the colossal gray area of NCAA rules is a large number. And it really only takes one single rotten apple to make some serious headlines. The kind of headlines that make last week's ones about AJ Green seem closer to child's play.

If there's one thing we can take from the mess out west that KiffyBaby just stepped knee deep into, it's that agents can easily make a career fishing in the NCAA waters of talented amateurs. College football fans can only hope that the Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo saga was this story's version of jumping the shark.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dawgs...Off Balance...and Ready!

I read this piece by Dean Legge yesterday and couldn't help but wonder...what better way for Coach Richt to prepare young men for life than to pull the rug out from under them?

Take this portion:
For too long the defense, in particular, has done a pitiful job reacting to turnovers. They have been put into some terrible situations time and again, but for the most part they have surrendered touchdowns rather than field goals and fields goals rather than punts. That needs to change. Fans can beat their chest all they want about Todd Grantham, and he is good, but if he doesn’t get the defense ready for sudden change and adversity then the problem won’t get any better.
The man makes a point. You can't prepare a team for a season without helping them feel what it will be like when Alabama has their right cleat on their throat before the 2nd quarter begins (, say...2008...) or the HillBillies have an outer team experience and are kicking your ass down each end of the field (2009).

A long college football season brings its own turds. Flushing them as soon as possible can mean the difference between a crappy win and a schatty loss.

Look, I trust Coach Richt. I truly do. But we're hearing that he's got a new focus. He's the same man but a different coach. I'm sure he's felt he's prepared his past teams for adversity. Maybe this season he should roll a different set of dice. Ruffle some feathers. Jerk the Dawg chain in a different direction.

If nothing else, take Legge's suggestion:
Have a fire drill clear out the bottom floors of the Butts-Mehre building and then go have an impromptu matt drills session. Let them think everything is ok, and then spring one on them, or do it multiple times.
Whatever it takes. Prepare to finish the August.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GATA Frank Ros

In a continuing effort to pay tribute to the signatures on my new found Dawg relic, today we honor the captain of the '80 National Championship team, Francisco Ros.

It's hard to find videos from way back in the Glory, Glory days. But this one from the ghostoferkrussell's vault gives a fitting tribute at the 2:44 mark.

Great video. Nearly as spectacular as Loran's coat.

Today Ros is Assistant Vice-President, Latin Affairs for a little company known as Coca-Cola. He works to help connect the company to the Latino community, and from what I've read does a bang up job. His son Bryce was following in his dad's footsteps on Woodruff Practice Fields until he was forced to give it up due to a foot injury.

Ros may have been born in Spain, but he got after it just like any other Dawg!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday's Meatloaf - Scattered Memories

Some Mondays are just like the others. But most Mondays need more than a coffee maker to get you through. Maybe today you should chain chew some donuts as well.

I used to ridicule my mom for keeping every seemingly insignificant piece of my history and cramming it into a scrap book which was in turn shoved into an attic. Her response was always the same: Some day you'll thank me. Now go take the trash out!

So when the folks came for a visit this weekend with a box full of scraps in tow, I was a little underwhelmed. The first night went okay and had relatively few embarrassing moments to explain to the wife. As I packed everything back up and prepared for bed, Mom pointed out that we were about and halfway done.

Yup, I still had one more night of reminiscing to go. Another 35lb tome full of birthday cards, pictures of bad haircuts and report cards with hand written notes like If Bernie continues to blog during mathematics I'll have to hold him inside during recess.

And Saturday night started more than a little tense. Mom turned one page and there was a ticket to the first Clempson game my IPTAY parents took me to. Her finger lingered over a program from a Tiger/Duke game as well, as if trying to goad me into a bark or something. But then...on the next page...a Dawg relic.

Even growing up in a rival home, the fact that we were in Athens in the early 80s made it hard to avoid the junkyard. And so in the middle of my early to mid 80s scrapbook was a somewhat yellow, partial sheet of notebook paper with the autographs of Frank Ros, Nat Hudson and Anthony "Amp" Arnold.

Whoa Whoa Whoa! I said as mom tried to continue on a little too fast. Even among my scattered childhood memories I had discovered a little Glory Glory. Just more proof that one kid's junkyard a future man's treasure.

Thanks Mom!

Today's Ingredients

  • Starting to get that Away Game Fever which always compounds the usual Football Season Fever. It's way past time to start combating this with Munson's Greatest Calls and endless YouTube vids of Greg Blue and Thomas Davis knocking the schat outta kids. 
  • While we're away from home, I told you to start following the UGA at CU 2010 blog recently. Last week Cheri posted that Tailgate tickets were on sale. 
  • Back in conference...according to Jeff Schultz, Georgia will play two teams with no place to go but up and only one of the looking down on the villagers.
  • Dan Magill tells us John Kasay (the former Dawg guard, not his son the kicker) has retired to the Pennsylvania mountains.
  • Bulldawg Illustrated salutes the end of SEC Media Days.
  • Hinton looks at the '10 WLOCP and sees the window as slightly open for the Dawgs.
  • Streit found a gem of a video with high school footage featuring two SEC gunslingers.
  • John Isner lost to Mardy Fish in the Atlanta Tennis Championships final Sunday.
  • Could a decision by Damian Swann come in the near future ($$)? 
  • Exile puts the SEC Media Days in a nutshell. Guess which one Coach Caldwell is under?
  • And while the new Vandy coach was the runaway winner in Hoover, can he win over the Nashvillians?
  • Meanwhile KegsNEggs has the first chapter in of the new book The Tide Has Turned.
  • It's been 6 months since the mattresses lay in a smoldering heap, and yet KiffyBaby still graces Tennessean headlines more often than Nu'Keese Richardson. Go figure...and color the Senator  shocked.
  • Clarkson outlines exactly how Coach Fox has taken it up a notch.
  • I couldn't help but notice that Hale had hardly unpacked his typewriter before Philly's hitting coach was fired. And yet it took him two seasons to fire Coach Willie....?? WTH?
  • Got a kid leaving for college soon? Check out this website where he/she can get the answers to the questions that you've been preparing them for...for like 18 years.
  • Lastly, it's PopQuiz it tacky regifting if you use a movie theater giftcard your wife gave you for your anniversary to take her out on her birthday? Or is that just thoughtful husband regifting? (Happy Birthday Lady!)

Speaking of taking it up a notch, yesterday was a another blast from the past for me. No, I didn't find my old Six Million Dollar Man with the telescopic eye. Guess even Col. Steve Austin was no match for a late 70s yard sale.

Yesterday was a blissful throwback to the year 1996. A year just before marriage and well before kids. A year when it was just me, my dog and my beer. Yeh, the kids were stowed away in dad's backseat early. Shortly after the wife left for the afternoon as well. Granted I'm a lot smarter than I was back then, and the dog we have now isn't nearly as bright as ol' Jake. Still, it took me back.

But there's a reason I left that life behind. By dinner time I was almost hoping to hear an argument over a Zsu Zsu Pet or a all out fight over the remote control. I almost wanted my wife to subtly suggest hit me across the temporal lobe and tell me to TAKE OUT THE TRASH!! (hmmm, wonder where she learned that?). 

Marriage is bliss and kids are a joy. I guess you can reach a point in your life when peace and quiet are both overrated. But it sure is nice to get a taste of it now and then. Here's your fork Reader. Thanks for stopping by for your own taste. Have a great Monday.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

GATA Nat Hudson

...or perhaps you know him best as #65...

I'll have more in tomorrow's meatloaf on why exactly I'm honoring this Dawg. But with all the recent talk about what if?...and flukes...why not start with the guy that made the block, that helped create the time for the pass, that created the opportunity for the completion and third down conversion...that turned into so, so much more.

What a great play. Daugman recently let us know that Nat Hudson had been inducted into the Rome Sports Hall of Fame. Great honor. Damn Good Dawg.