Saturday, March 3, 2012

My God! A Fifty year old!

Call me a bad blogger, but I just can't write a better post to celebrate the man that is Herschel Walker, for the second year in a row. So what follows is a repost. You can also check out these videos if you really want to do some pushups!


On March 3, 1962 Christine Walker gave birth to Herschel. So on this day 48 years ago, a legend was indeed born. Have a seat Reader and let's take just a moment to recognize and celebrate.

I'm not going to pretend to tell you anything you don't already know. Every Georgia fan has their own favorite Herschel highlight, their favorite moment and their favorite anecdote. That's what happens when you roll into town in your trans am and rack up 5,259 yards in just 994 carries and 33 games. You become larger than life, a bigger football player than the storied hedges can contain.

No, this post is not to regurgitate a bunch of highlights, memories. We can do that the other 364 days of the year. Today is for celebrating the man that Herschel is. It's his birthday. He's a 48 year old man in the body of a man half his age. To prepare for this post I attempted 10 push ups yesterday. I got to 6 and realized I would never get the opportunity to run over Bill Bates anyway.

A teammate once said Herschel marches to a different drummer....and the drummer is him. His athleticism was too immense for a football huddle and as unequaled as he was on the gridiron, he was an even bigger freak on the track. Guys his size weren't supposed to run that damn fast. And when college competition proved too feeble, yet the NFL failed to answer his call....he became the poster child for a new league.

But Athens has always been near and dear to Herschel's heart. He still makes appearances and challenges other enemy coaches to fist fights. He's been as important to the University of Georgia since he left Athens as he was when he was carrying the football for our beloved Georgia Bulldogs.

Cuz that's what legends do. To celebrate today I'm simply going to share a couple things you may not have come across in your own Herschel worship. I would love it if you would share your favorites as well.

First is Herschel's book, Breaking FreeNo matter your feelings about Dissociative Identity Disorder, it's diagnosis or it's treatment, you'll come away from this book with a greater understanding of the man who wore #34. Take this portion, where he relates showing up his first day at UGA:

By this time, I was getting a bit more antsy. Somebody else had to be pulling up any minute. I walked over to the cafeteria to peek through the window to see if maybe there was another parking lot and other guys on the team were already inside laughing at me. All I saw was row after row of tables with chairs sitting on their tops, legs poking up like petals on a flower. I looked to my left and saw a piece of paper was taped to the door a few feet down from where I stood. I walked over and read it. It was the same letter as the one that had been sent to me. I looked closely and saw that the meeting was scheduled for five o'clock. What I had failed to notice, as is probably obvious to you, was that it was scheduled for five o'clock in the afternoon.
Herschel's book is chock full of stories that not only paint a clearer picture of the tremendous athlete we've grown up adoring, but also lets us into his psyche (as much as he is able to) to gain a better understanding of what has made him socially awkward, an enigma. We all have pieces of our own puzzle that we struggle to fit into our own picture. Through his book, Herschel shows you that his pieces were ridiculously shaped and ill-equipped for helping him live a normal life.

Chances may be greater that you've read this incredible article from the Sports Illustrated vault byJohn Underwood. I know I've linked to it before and have seen it linked and mentioned on other blogs. It chronicles Herschel's life as an athlete up to spring practice before his junior season. The Athens community was not alone in their wonder of Herschel's achievements, just as they were not alone in their wonderment as to whether or not college football's greatest player was entering his final season as an amateur. Dooley's Junkyard Dawgs were at their apex, having just won their second consecutive SEC crown and the football world, most notably the NFL and NCAA braintrusts were waiting with bated breath to see what this kid from Wrightsville GA would choose to do.

Would Herschel stay a senior season at UGA, leave early for a league like the CFL that welcomed his athleticism...or take the NFL to court for the opportunity to play on Sundays.
Underwood includes great quotes from the likes of:
  • Mike Cavan - all boils down to how much of a legend he wants to be.
  • Vince Dooley - ...all rules are imperfect. They don't apply to some people. The NFL rule is a great rule for the vast majority.
  • and Herschel himself - (It) made no sense to grow up in one country and play football in another.
Lastly, I'd like to also direct you to Dawgcast's special show The Legend of Herschel Walker. In this podcast Derek reads from Joe Posnanski's now infamous HerschelI enjoyed reading Mr. Posnanski's piece. It's truly a treasure. However, I also like to hear it read and with each word Derek captures the enthusiasm and excitement with which Dawg fans embraced the legend during his meteoric rise to fame in the early 80s.

For in the end, Herschel Walker truly was and is a legend. And today, we celebrate the day he became human...for lack of a better word.

Happy Birthday Herschel! Keep Kicking Ass.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Malcolm in the huddles

For all those doubting whether or not Malcolm Mitchell should be given a shot at defensive can you possibly question a guy with this kind of attitude:
“I don’t want to come off the field,” he said. “I will put in the work to make sure I can physically withstand it all. If I get the opportunity, I would definitely take advantage of it.”
The 6-foot-1 Mitchell has put on some weight to get up to 192 pounds and would love to be thought of like another guy who was a threat on offense and defense.
Mitchell was "all in" their endzone, cuz he's all in for Georgia!
“Of course nobody could be like Champ Bailey,” Mitchell said. “He was a great player here, but I would like the opportunity to try to do a little bit of the things he did.”
He will put in the work. He would take advantage of the opportunity. Doesn't sound to me like he's afraid of injuries. Doesn't sound to me like he thinks his opportunities will get in the way of his production. After all, it was his idea.
Mitchell didn’t need any coaxing for him to help out in a depleted secondary at cornerback.
“I’m really excited,” Mitchell said. “It’s something I want to do. Not just something that just popped up. I actually approached them.”
Mitchell said he went to coach Mark Richt’s office in January when school started up again following the Outback Bowl loss.
“He said it wouldn’t be a bad idea,” Mitchell said.
The dismissals of cornerbacks Chris Sanders and Nick Marshall made that idea more of a necessity.
“The incident that happened here when we lost a couple of corners made it more to think about,” Mitchell said.
In his own words "nobody could be like Champ Bailey". But, I firmly believe that Mitchell should be in every huddle he wants to take part in. Then after about 10 years we might get another player that has the chance to say something along the lines of "nobody could be like Malcolm Mitchell".

With a Masters Degree in Business Administration you can take part in helping to manage a sports franchise with these accredited online colleges.

Dawgs-Cats lowlights

In case you were like me and watched this last night...

Who's the bigger douchebag, Jay Bilas or Rosie O'Donnell? #askBilas

Thursday, March 1, 2012

GATA Hines Ward

Ok, assuming this doesn't work as a new venture for me here at BDB...and an even greater assumption that another NFL doesn't pick up the all world receiver...well then...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

That AJC rag doesn't wag this Dawg

There's been a lot of chatter recently on message boards and social media about a certain recruiting writer for the state's prestigious flagship newspaper (ahem!) using headlines and copy that casts UGA in a negative light. For instance, a recruit committing to a rival program "over" Georgia when the courtship between Richt and said athlete had long ago cooled off.

Still trying to figure out who
Mike Campo is....
I don't read the AJC. There are times I'm sent links and even rarer occasions when I click over to see what's going on. There are even fewer times when I include a link to their online content here on the blog. It's just a different brand of journalism going on over there that I care not to involve myself with any longer.

Now, I know this Carvell guy works really hard; covering recruiting in this day and age isn't an easy task. And I don't pretend to know if he writes his own headlines or manages the Twitter account that pushes out his content. But it's clear that both the headlines and the Twitter updates are designed to grab eyes and garner clicks in masses. Does this practice irritate me? Absolutely. 

But you know what? It works. Those AJC readers race each other to be "FIRST!" (btw...WTF?) and then clamor over each other's comments. They're lemmings that are eager to provide a desperate rag clicks and page views. And if it helps those guys pay the bills in an age when journalism continues to adjust to fewer and fewer print edition readers, can you really blame them?

My advice today is the same as it has been for years. If the practice irritates you as well, don't let the tail wag the Dawg.

Richt gets lucky 7th commit in "Moose"

Deandre Johnson became Georgia's 6th 7th commitment yesterday when he told Coach Lilly over the phone ($$) that he was ready to be a Dawg. Johnson is from Newnan County GA, in close proximity to the guy that is becoming this class' #1 recruiter - Tray Matthews.
“I always like being around the Georgia coaches – that’s what I like most about Georgia,” Johnson said.
Johnson is the second commitment from Newnan in this recruiting class, joining safety Tray Matthews.
“I have always wanted the opportunity to play for Mark Richt,” Johnson said. “Georgia is the ideal atmosphere to play in. I love how they play as a team, and they have great coaches.”
Here's some highlights.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brewvival: the repour

The field adjacent to COAST brewing getting
prepped for Brewvival 2012
Before Saturday I considered myself a beer festival novice. The first one I went to was simply about drinking beer. I was able to have a few ones I hadn't had before but otherwise it was just a glorified kegger. My second beer fest was about bringing in good beer and good people and letting the event fly with that momentum. Met some great people while drinking a lot of beer I hadn't had an opportunity to taste. Great time.

However, North Charleston's Brewvival transcends all of that. I put on my big boy beer pants and tried to hang with some serious beer nerds and talented brewers. I'm proud to say I not only survived, but had a great time doing so.

Why does this event stand out? Well, for one everything is right from the tap and poured by a rep or actual brewer from the brewery. There were a few bottles I saw at the Great Divide table, but that was it. Each time you held out your tasting glass you knew you were going to walk away with something fresh and had a chance to talk to someone knowledgable about what was poured. And often what you were drinking was something that is either hard to find or relatively knew to the market. There's an air of trying to do better than the brewery at the table next to yours. Competition boils the wort and breeds success.

The runaway favorite was a brewery in Boca Raton FL that continually amazed everyone with their bold flavors and creative beers. I've told you before that I have some trouble picking up things off the nose, but I didn't have any trouble with Funky Buddha's* bold beers. More often than not you were hit with the aroma well before you even held the glass to your nose. I was smelling maple syrup long after finishing their "Maple Bacon Coffee Porter". The peanut butter and jelly dominated both my taste buds and my nose with their "No Crusts". Each tap they had was extreme and immensely flavorful. It made for long lines at their table as the event carried on, but each one was well worth the wait. Unfortunately they do not distribute, yet. So only those in the area get to enjoy these regularly.

I eventually counted about 24 new beers that I was able to taste on the day. Over the course of the weekend (and with the help of an immensely well stocked beer fridge at Ben's house) I was able to add another 8 more to that total. Not a bad weekend at all. Can't wait for next year!

Owner Ryan Sentz and Co taking orders for a
non-stop six hours Saturday
The highlights:
  • Funky Buddha - All of theirs were great, although the Ich Bein Lime is not really up my alley. But my favorite of the entire day was the very first beer I had, Last Snow. Amazing coconut with some white chocolate blended in. Great, bold flavor. Next I would put their Maple Bacon Coffee porter and then Bonita Applebaum, which reminded me of this scene from Justified just with a beer instead of moonshine.
  • RJ Rockers' Impeachment - The Spartanburg brewery will likely never win an award greater than having their beloved Son of a Peach named the official beer of this blog's Beer of the Week. But they kicked it up a notch with this imperial version of their unfiltered peach beer. The sample I had at the festival had a little too much burn, the peachiness couldn't keep up. So I tried it again downtown that night and was glad I did. More peach flavor than SoaP and boy do you feel it!
  • Southern Tier's Oak-aged Pumking - I hadn't had one of these and the anticipation was great to try it. I love pumpkin flavor and this one definitely did not disappoint. Very rich and the other complimentary flavors of cinnamon and graham crust give it the full drinkable pumpkin pie experience.
  • Westbrook's Mexican Coffee Cake - Terrific taste from this celebratory beer from a nearby brewery. There are really too many flavors to experience fully in a small sample pouring. I want this one again to get the full effect of the heat from the chilies with the sweetness of the vanilla and cocoa.
  • Speaking of which...New Belgium's Cocoa Mole - Ok, this one wasn't at Brewvival. But I had it downtown at Closed for Business later that night. And wow! Great creamy chocolate on the front that dwindle to a spicy, peppery heat on the back. And unlike most of those others, this one should be fairly easy to find around the Atlanta area
  • More than honorable mentions: Left Hand's Ambidextrous, Foothills' 2010 Sexual Chocolate, Fullsteam's Bourbon Barrel-aged Lager, COAST's Export Scotch Ale and Kona's Koko Brown (from the infamous beer fridge).
The disappointments:
  • Highland ran out of beer.
  • Allagash's Bourbon Barrel Black - perhaps I had "over-stouted" myself at this point but this one just didn't do it for me. Maybe they should have aged it a full year in Jim Beam barrels. 
  • Evil Twin's Biscotti - this one's description was a little overwhelming and produced some high expectations. Perhaps this "traveling brewery" needs to settle down...
  • And Sweetwater's Calypso - the flavor just seemed washed out. As a big Sweetwater fan I'd like to give it another shot, hopefully in a month at Suwanee's Beer Fest.
So to summarize, great weekend as expected. And if I have any readers in the Boca Raton area, go to the Funky Buddha Brewery and Lounge TODAY! Whatever you have planned this evening can wait. And if you can find a way to ship me a growler, I'll gladly spring for the dry ice.
*Here's some more info on how Funky Buddha got started a couple years ago through the dedication and hard work of Ryan Sentz, Jim Bast and Kevin Abbott.
 - an interview with Sentz
 - an article from just before they added brewery to the name in 2010 
 - Beer Drinker Rob's review of some Funky Buddha brews

On the air with Coach Fox

Coach Fox talks about the final week of the regular season that includes a trip to Lexington to meet the top ranked Cats and then Senior Day at Stegeman against South Carolina.

On the air with Coach Landers

Coach Landers discusses the Lady Dawgs' season as they head into the SEC Tourney.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Meatloaf - taking a flying leap

Did you get some Funky Buddha?
It's almost Leap Day. I was just thinking as I type this that there's a LOT of people walking down some red carpet right now I wish would take a long leap on Wednesday. Maybe someone should start a petition that the Oscars are only to be held during a Leap Year. Save us from Hollywood's exercise in self glorification.

Anyway, just a thought. Perhaps I'm in the minority, as I usually am. This will be savory, yet short as I just got back from Charleston. Normally I would forgo the meatloaf prep on a Sunday evening like this, but it was just too great of a weekend to be a Dawg, especially a beer drinking Dawg in the low country of South Carolina.

I had the pleasure of attending Brewvival for the first time. I haven't been to a lot of beer festivals. But I've been to enough to know that it'd be hard to imagine one that is better than the one COAST Brewing and Charleston Beer Exchange put on each February. I'll have my official review up tomorrow. For now suffice to say I was blown away. I was among a record number of craft beer lovers to descend on North Charleston and taste what has to be some of the best brew in America. If there's anything better, it's well hidden.

And you know what goes great with beer, some meatloaf. Here are....

A little TO at the turn...
Today's Ingredients

  • It truly was a great weekend for UGA sports. Where to start...??
  • How about on the hardcourt with the men's hoops. Coach Fox's Hounds played a complete game and beat Florida 76-62.
  • Should you want tickets for the regular season finale against lowly Carolina, you can get them here.
  • Staying on the hardwood, Coach Landers' Ladies routed LSU yesterday. Maybe Bubba Watson should lend a hand more often.
  • Coach Perno's squad now 7-0 after a weekend sweep of Winthrop.
  • Great combine on Saturday it sounds like, especially for a former Dawg. Cordy Glenn's stock is up. Way up.
  • In more pro news Weiszer reports that Boykin is setting up for UGA's Pro Day.
  • Trinton Sturdivant is moving along. He's landed on his feet more than most while on the gridiron. Here's hoping he does the same in the "real world".
  • Lastly, for all of you coffee drinkers that also like to support a red and black about some Freudian Drip from Jittery Joe's? Portion of the proceeds benefits the UGA Psychology department.

Hailing a cab is always a leap of faith isn't it? We were reminded of this a couple times Saturday as we made our way around Charleston. These guys that drive taxis get a captured audience on a meter and you're either subjected to their semi-amusing ramblings or their "creative route selection". Or both.

Bickle isn't a fan of Oscar either

Even as Scott pulled out his smartphone and checked the direction and "towardance" our middle eastern navigator was using to get us to the Brewvival gates, Punjab was insisting that he was using the best route to  get us to the event asap maximize his earning potential. He gave us his card as we unloaded so we could call when we "are done drinking your beers sir". But somehow I think Ben lost it. Unfortunate.

But the most entertaining ride was Saturday night getting back to the hotel. We crammed into 1995 Saturn owned and operated by "South Carolina's greatest non-matriculator not named Stephen Garcia" and he proceeded to tell us all the Cola bars where he used to score chicks*, especially the artsy bars. I think this dude leaped out of a psych ward sometime in the early 2000s and hasn't taken his lithium since. When I wasn't being force fed visuals of him hitting on chicks with long armpit hair and nose rings I was having visions of him taking us to his van down by the river to show us his collection of navel lint. Yeh, he was that kind of guy.

But he operated his motor vehicle just well enough to get us back to the hotel where Brook just happened to have some more beer. So, win win! And in a sense that allows me this opportunity to remind you that Wednesday is an extra day on the calendar to do so many things. You can start with hating tech, then you can do the world a favor, perhaps you can finish the day off by laughing a little harder at Auburn students' inability to spell. Regardless, fortify yourself with a hearty helping of meatloaf. Here's your fork!

*I transcribed Mr. Schizo's loose terms here to keep this post as close to PG or PG-13 as possible.

Lady Dawgs beat LSU

On Senior Day, Coach Landers' Lady Dawgs earned a 3 seed by manhandling LSU in the regular season finale. They'll play next in the quarterfinals of the SEC tourney.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

SEC fans, a different breed

It's late February. We're all really missing getting together around the coolers and the grills to talk about college football in preparation for the afternoon's game. I hope most of you have seen this terrific production from Pigskin and Magnolias. But if you haven't, this ought to quench your mid-winter thirst for tailgating and general gameday atmosphere.

Pigskin & Magnolias: 12 Days of Fandom from Joshua Locklair

Great documentary. It's honest, well put together and most of all it gives you just a little taste of what a fall Saturday is like in the South. Of course, there's no substitute for being there in person. But right now, this is all we've got.

Personally, I haven't been to all the SEC stadiums but I love going to Oxford and prefer to never set foot in Starkville again. So...other than Sanford, where do you like to spend a gameday in the Fall? 

Georgia-Florida highlights, just like football

Suck it gators.