Friday, April 1, 2011

Public Relations, GDay and whatever else needs dusting off

Some Spring cleaning. Time to air this place out a little.

Leaving for the coast tomorrow. Thinking seriously about taking the wife and kids too. If you're on I-16, honk atcha blogger so I can show the family just how popular I am.

With the travel...the peeling of the shrimp...and the rinsing of the sand between my toes, there probably won't be a whole lot to read around here. At least until Monday morning when I'll have your Monday's Margarita shaken to perfection bright and early. Or at least in time for brunch.

Until then, here's some thoughts to pass the time. Don't forget to put in your order for salted rim or no salt.
  • New poll up today. Who gets the most carries at GDay? I think it'll be King. He's the most complete back. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Malcome emerge from the pack. Regardless, exercise your right to click.
  • Your dichotomy of the day: the UGA and AwwBarn PR departments. In Athens they take a hit for unplugging the website on the last Hartman Donation Day. On the plain little village, well...another day to forget.
  • In related news, the WarDamnTiglesmen I often come in contact with each week were either MIA or mighty quiet the last few days. Huh. That's peculiar given how well their vocal chords have been working as of late.
  • And in regards to, don't get hooked into that it's all IMG's fault nonsense. I'm sure there's someone in Butts-Mehre responsible for that domain renewal. And they caused a lot of Hartman donor headaches yesterday.
  • Back to GDay, how much does the scrimmage being aired impact your decision to go to Sanford? Personally, I'd rather be in Athens than anywhere else in the world. But Spring Saturdays do get busy. Between a kid's soccer game and a dinner party that evening, it'd be easier to use the remote.
  • But I'm sure I'll be too eager to tailgate around some simulated football to miss it once it gets here. Plus, I'm dying to get into the rotation at nose tackle.
  • Go VCU! I wouldn't be upset if Butler played Monday night though. Just hope whoever wins tomorrow's early game is the last team to cut down the nets. In short, I want to see both UConn and KenYucky lose just one more time this season.
  • Lastly, Weiszer mentioned the other day that he ran into former Dawg Michael Lemon. You remember him right? Well, he's started his own landscaping business. If you live in the Raleigh area, look him up.
Hope you dropped by earlier for some Mike Campo Cake. If you didn't, your shoe laces are untied.

Happy Mike Campo Day, 2011!!

Two years. 730 days. It goes by so quickly. Seems like just yesterday young Mike Campo was learning how to ride a bike...

Need to catch up? Here's the quick of it:

Two years ago today Terence Moore was still getting paid for his douchebaggery journalism. On April 1, 2009 he wrote an "article" urging Damon Evans to make some calls regarding the Georgia basketball coaching position that was open at the time. To sum it up, Moore had half-heartedly moved on from promoting Michelle Obama's brother to endorsing Tubby Smith.

What ensued was hilarity, hijinx and near pandemonium in which a certain commenter baited the mental midget into sharing some knowledge of his craft. Here's a transcription:

Mike Campo 4/1/09, 11:38am - Mr. Moore, I am 12 years old and love reading your articles. I think they are great! Please keep writing and inspiring the youth like me to write!
Chief Craptastic 4/1/09, 11:48am - Mike Campo - Thanks for the kind words. Since you’re 12 years old, I’m sure you’ll change your mind several times in regards to what you want to do in life. But keep studying hard in general, and I’m glad you enjoy writing. The more you write, the more you’ll enjoy it, and the more you’ll develop your craft. Having the ability (and the will) to write effectively will help you in whatever you decide to do. So, Mike, keep listening to your parents and to your teachers, and you’ll be just fine. 
Mike Campo 4/1/09, 11:51am Just kidding, your writing and opinions suck 
Chief Craptastic 4/1/09, 11:51-12:02pm - silence....
Mike Campo 4/1/09, 12:02pm - Sorry, my dad typed that. He doesn’t like you and says you are racist. i don’t know what that means. he want’s me to ask you when you are moving to another state? He says he’ll buy me a new bike if you go. Please hurry up and move far away.  
As Hale typed at the timeit's stuff like (this) that the internet was invented for. Wherever you are today Mike Campo...male or female...young or old...Schwinn or Huffy...we salute you!

Happy Mike Campo Day!

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Other readings to help you celebrate:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where's Ware?

As the saying goes...the ball is in your court Kevin.
The University of Tennessee has released Class of 2011 signee Kevin Ware from his National Letter of Intent, according to the Vols' compliance office.
Ware, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., is ranked the No. 56 player in the nation by
Ware, who requested his release after former UT coach Bruce Pearl was fired on March 21, sent the following messages from his Twitter account Thursday afternoon:
"i wanna thank Coach Martin and UT for releasing me, Im looking forward to the next couple of weeks and getting my recruiting process going.
UPDATE: Carvell has an update with direct quotes from Ware.

Fox's Paycheck, one step forward

If you went to any home games this past season, you surely saw Greg McGarity sitting at the end of the officials' table. An awkward front row seat indeed. But a telling one nonetheless.

On Saturday, Mark Fox will celebrate his two year anniversary as Georgia's head basketball coach. The workings of a new deal will make it a little sweeter. 
When it happened two years ago I said that the Fox hire was symbolic of where the hoops program is on the national landscape. AD McGarity working out a new deal for Fox is the next step in the right direction. 

Sure this is a no brainer, but it doesn't mean we can't pick it apart a little:

What coulda been. On the surface this season fell below many expectations. I look back on it and think we never saw a complete 40 minutes except for a handful of times (read: Auburn in GA Dome). The players seemed close to knocking the lid off several times, but goshdarnit!! the rules insist on playing the entire second half.

Despite those frustrations, if the Dawgs had made a little run in Charlotte and perhaps gotten a little lucky...Fox would be inking an even bigger deal. On the other side of things, it's important to recognize that had UGA not made the tourney the huddling between McGarity and Fox would be bigger news. For that I think it's important to appreciate that we not only have a coach who's taking the program forward, but he also knows what it takes to get a dance card in March. In short, that February 8th loss to Xavier sure tasted sour but it put our team in front of a Selection Committee member.

What it is. An SEC East foe just rehired and is at the edge of a steep dropoff. Our chief in-state rival just rehired as well. Giving a successful coach a raise ensures stability and gives these high profile recruits he's visiting something to cross off the Cons list. I don't expect McGarity to empty the wallet too much here. Instead, providing a salary commensurate with the SEC and regional hoops fraternity is in order.

The next step. There's a lot of pieces in play for next season. I once thought there was no way we'd keep Thompkins and Leslie. Now I would be surprised if Leslie left and think there's a fair longshot Trey does too. Then there's the remaining scholarships to delve out and Fox is in the running for some quality kids that would need little development. It's just a matter of how many we need and how many we can get. More on this later.

All that to say that it's the next contract negotiation that's really important. It's the next job openings that tie Fox's name to them that really spice things up. He was never going to leave UGA for NC State.

But...if he keeps making strides we could be real happy with where we end up. If he can keep the letters U-G-A in the mouths of the Selection Committee members, he'll also keep those same letters in the mouths of big time AAU players.

That is when the 40 minute salary contracts and headlines mold together. That's when Coach Fox proves me right...he is our hardwood hero.

Gulf Coast 2.0: John Jenkins

In this piece by Gentry Estes, future Dawg DT John Jenkins is compared to former Gulf Coast Community College transfer Terrance Cody.

And we all know how that turned out.
Those are strong words, considering the addition of “Mount Cody” was one of the key pieces that led the Crimson Tide to a 12-0 regular season in 2008 and an SEC and BCS championship the following year.
But they makes sense. A generally accepted rule of 3-4 defenses is that it is essential to be strong up the middle. At nose tackle, you want a special player, one formidable enough to hold the point and withstand double and triple teams, thus freeing up teammates to make plays. That player doesn’t have to be massive in size, but it definitely helps, so long as he remains mobile enough.
Cody played near 350-360 pounds while at Alabama. Jenkins is projected to be around 340 pounds or more during his upcoming career at Georgia.
“John is quicker, a little more mobile than Terrence,” Campbell said. “Terrence may be just a tad – just a tad – stronger. I’d say what Terrence had in weight, John makes up for with his added mobility.”
And really, size is just the beginning of the similarities in the two situations.  
For the past three seasons, Alabama has finished among the top five in the country in total defense. But it wasn’t always that way.
While Georgia allowed 147.23 rushing yards per game last season. Alabama was at 141.15 in 2007, Saban’s first season back in college. With that new 3-4 defense, Alabama was forced to use Lorenzo Washington (an Atlanta-area native) after converted offensive lineman Brian Motley broke his ankle in practice.
Washington, at less than 300 pounds, was probably better suited to play end, but he gritted it out at nose while his overall defense struggled, especially late in games and late in the season.
Sound familiar?
Insert the name DeAngelo Tyson for Washington and Justin Anderson for Motley and you could basically say the same for Georgia in 2010.
It sounds as if Jenkins could have an even bigger impact in Athens than Cody did his first year in Tuscaloosa. More importantly, that's just what Geathers and Thorton need to hear just as the dogwoods and azaleas are starting to bloom.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Practice Notes, 3/30

Despite the stormy weather around the state of Georgia this week, the clouds are lifting for the Georgia defense so far this Spring. Grantham's unit continues to shine and get the notable coach quotes.
"It was a very good day for the defense," Richt said. "They really got after it today and they pretty much shut down the offense. We're still installing and that's part of the process, but I'm seeing lots of competition."

Defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos said much of the defense's progress can be attributed to the players having a full season of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's system under their belts.

"We're seeing a lot of energy, and that's what you like to see in the spring," Lakatos said. "Guys are competing and running hard to the ball. Having played a year in this defense is important. You can't think and play fast at the same time. With their experience, they can react and play fast."
The big news was Ealey on a stationary bike. He evidently has a hamstring issue. With G-Day still three and a half weeks away, I hope he's able to get back in there soon and compete with the other three. Weiszer has a quote from McLendon, who said that Caleb King, Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas are all getting first team reps so far.

The punt return position is an open competition at this point. Wooten, Tavarres King, Branden Smith, Thomas...and Brandon Boykin are all getting serious looks at Munson's 4th down safety spot.
"We've got to try all those guys; that's what spring is for," said McClendon, who coaches the punt-return unit. "Hopefully somebody is taking that job over pretty soon here."
And Page has the rundown ($$) on how the O-line is shaping up thus far. Sounds like Glenn's move to tackle is already paying off.

"I still have fear, but I'm not afraid."

Pretty eye-opening disclosure from former Vol Erik Ainge. If you've never known someone who's bi-polar, it like a frantic roller coaster ride of pain, suffering and confusion. 

I've never had a very high opinion of Phil Fulmer, obviously. But it reached it's lowest yesterday. You can't read Ainge's story and truly believe his head coach didn't know about his QBs growing addiction. Sure, I'm connecting two dots by typing that. But they're so close together it barely makes a mark.

The irony is that Mark Richt is perceived to be soft, when in fact Ainge wouldn't have had much of a senior year were he at UGA. If any at all. In contrast, I think Richt (and UGA's drug testing program as a whole) is pretty tough on issues like these. But deep down, our coach isn't the type of man to turn a blind eye when a young man under his watch needs help.

And Ainge certainly needed help. But his campus, his teammates and his coaches failed him. Instead of forcing him to face his demons they helped him to continue to keep them at bay. Do the Georgia Bulldogs have drug problems on their football team? I'm sure we do. Statistics would say that's more than a safe bet. But there's a difference in ignoring the problem and owning up to it.

At some point those people around Erik Ainge the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers decided to ignore the problem. They were afraid to confront it for fear of the consequences in the loss column, despite the increasing possibility of finding Ainge a tragic victim of his own misdeeds.

Luckily, this morning Ainge was able to wake up and continue to face his fears. And this Dawg wishes him the best on his road to recovery.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Longo to take medical redshirt

Reserve DE Jeremy Longo is hanging up the helmet. After a knee and shoulder injury he consulted with doctors and coaches before deciding his playing days were behind him. As per NCAA rule, he will continue to receive his athletic scholarship but will not count against the limit of 85 total.

Here's a rundown of Longo's brief career:

2010: Earned one of team's Outstanding Special Teams Awards.
*Appeared in four games recording a tackle vs. Louisiana.
*Recipient of the J.E. and W.S. Hickey Football Scholarship.
*Earned Athletic Director's Honor Roll distinction for spring semester.
2009: Appeared in three games recording two tackles
*Played vs. Florida, Tenn. Tech., and Texas A&M.
*Athletic Director's Honor Roll and Dean's List for summer semester.
*Suffered shoulder injury during spring practice.
*Recipient of J.E. and W.S. Hickey Football Scholarship.
2008: Redshirted.
*Named to SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
*Suffered shoulder injury during spring practice, will be limited at start of fall drills

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday's Meatloaf - Cotton Candy Highs

Sorry about the small servings today. Entertained twenty 1st graders yesterday while holding Mother Nature at bay. By the time things settled into evening, I was just as exhausted as my new 7 year old.

Just before the invasion
of the 7 year olds
Seriously, there were more fires to put out in preparation for this party than there were shoes gathered haphazardly around the entrance to the inflatable jumphouse. Personally, I thought we were doomed when the dude that showed up to set up the party was wearing a floriDuh cap. At first I didn't recognize his allegiance because he was still in his winter wear, no jorts...full length dungarees and an Abercrombie sweatshirt. But the orange F on the hat that was cocked to the back gave him away.

And of course I wasn't surprised when he tried to talk me into getting two extra hours with the cotton candy machine, the paint flinging spin-art device and the lawsuit waiting to happen castle of air. What do I look like chomp chump? A HillBilly? You come get this stuff at 4:30 as agreed upon so I can quit kid-sitting and catch the last installment into the Final Four.

And luckily my little angel didn't see the guy at all, or else she probably would've called the whole thing off. My girl doesn't stand anything reptilian. Her young eyes have seen the Glory and there's not a scripted helmet within miles.

Today's Ingredients

  • Big shout-out to Virginia Commonwealth University on crashing this year's dance. I love watching teams that pass a lot and Shaka Smart's squad hasn't disappointed yet. All of this from the team that wasn't supposed to dance at all.
  • How great is that Butler-VCU game going to be Saturday? Those are two coaches any program should dump a truckload of money towards. Well, any team that has more than ten girls on campus.
  • Staying on the hardcourt, Landers' Ladies went down hard to Texas A&M last night. Ouch.
  • The HillBillys have their new man, Missouri State's Cuonzo Martin. Now we wait to see what Kevin Ware decides of this new development...and what the heck those helluva engineers do.
  • And the jackets seem to be reassessing after Richmond's Chris Mooney said no thanks. UPDATE: Dayton's Gregory will take the job on North Avenue afterall.
  • On the diamond, Perno's Dawgs made the most of a twinbill and a break in the weather yesterday to take two in the series with LSU.
  • Dean Legge gives us a look at Coach Richt's newest commitment, TE Ty Smith out of Colquitt Co.
  • If you impress both the Senator and PWD you're doing something. And Kwame Geathers (and by proxy, the S&C program) has done...just that.
  • Streit has the top ten games in the upcoming SEC season.
  • Bama once again will have to face more rested, bye week opponents than any other SEC teams.
  • Meanwhile the water around Columbus OH only gets hotter for Jim Tressel, who evidently can show Bruce Pearl a thing or two about wagging the dog.
That's gonna do it for today. Just one last piece of advice: when assigning job duties at your kid's b-day party, it's probably not a good idea to put a granddad in charge of the cotton candy station. My Pops was handing those things out faster than I could peel the kids off the ceiling. I never knew he worked the know, other than the family one in our house growing up.

Here's your fork Reader. Grab a cupcake too on your way out please.