Saturday, March 9, 2013

The drive to the bucket was tipped.

I (thankfully) missed the first 27 minutes of the game. But what I did get to see was the very feisty and determined Georgia team we've come to know the last couple of weeks. Fox's team played hard and scrapped their way back into it. With mere seconds remaining the game was tied and we had a chance to hold for the last shot and steal the win.

Instead, the Crimson Tide did their thing. Just like football.

And I think CK put it best -

Never really had anything against the Tide. Growing to hate them.

Yes. The hate is starting to boil for real.

Clempson: next game in an old rivalry

Recently I was asked...
Other than Herschel, who is your favorite Bulldog and why?

Scott Woerner. Although I grew up in Athens, I was raised in a Clemson household. Dad often took me to their games when I was young to show off his alma mater. But Woerner single-handedly beat Clemson in 1980, returning a punt 68 yards for a touchdown and an interception 98 yards to set up another score. He's the player I've looked up to the longest as a fan of college football. I love to watch my dad twitch uncomfortably in his seat when I simply mention Woerner's name. Number 19 played with skill, smarts and a ton of heart. Damn Good Dawg!*
Tuesday's news really got me amp'd up to tell you the truth. I'm excited that the opener is a nationally televised contest. But we pretty much expected that with two teams that will be highly ranked, most likely. Still, it was like a rich echo in the cavernous valley of the off season, chanting my name and telling me that college football will be back soon. (soon...soon...soon...)

Of course the reality is that it is still 176 (??...I think) days away. But I'm probably as excited for this opener as any other in recent memory. Playing Clemson means playing against family. Nearly my entire immediate family lives up there. I made my parents sign a four page contract before they could have my daughter there for the weekend, unattended. To this day there are still pictures floating around somewhere that my lawyer has yet to successfully subpoena. I'm sure of it.

Yes, this rivalry is deep rooted. Although I grew up within minutes of Vince Dooley's house on Milledge Circle, it was Clemson games blasting from the radio on Saturday afternoons as dad worked in the garage or in the back yard. Of course Munson's voice found its way through the house as well.

Which is why this is so big for me. And why I'm already so excited. More so than usual. Are you with me? Of course you are. Let's go touch that rock and GATA!

*Many thanks to the folks at BulldawgIllustrated for the acknowledgement.

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Neener Neener" to replace "Rocky Top"

The Volunteers have turned the tide on an Bama alumni group. And I had a smile on my face the entire way through this article (h/t AHD). Right up until I envisioned Coach Richt holding a Butts-Mehre door open for Paul Johnson. Or Coach Dooley asking Spurrier if he had a good night's sleep at the Georgia Center.

Last year, when the parent of a prospective UT student told school officials he’d heard the loud Crimson Tide cheer while visiting with his teen, UT decided the rival alumni group had overstayed its welcome.
“We’re sure the fine folks at Alabama would not want us singing ‘Rocky Top’ in their admissions office,” said Karen Simsen, a UT spokeswoman. “We want our visitor’s center to be all about UT, campus traditions and what it feels like to be a student here. So we had to talk to the (alumni group) about how we have a new use for the building.”
HillBillys, methinks thou doth protest too much. Or perhaps not enough. Regardless, it comes across as sour grapes from not winning the game on the field and reluctantly flexing some administrative muscle instead. (Alabama has won six straight in the series and seven of the last eight. During that span Tennessee has averaged just over 10 points a game to the Tide's four touchdowns.)

My own ignorance about the intricacies and apparent intimacies of the Third Saturday in October notwithstanding, how does something like this even last four decades? Started off innocent enough, but Fulmer once skipped SEC Media Days to avoid getting served a subpoena by some Alabama lawyers for God's sake. The hate is there and I just assumed it had long ago seeped through the entire fanbases.

Come to think of it, Fulmer's quote in 2008 after finally being served said subpoena might work with this "alumni crossing borders" situation too: "This is not the place for that kind of thing. There are great fans that have great passion about the Southeastern Conference that are not interested in that kind of (nonsense). And I would have some other choice words if there weren't so many cameras in here."

Like Momma says, Bless their hearts.

Wildcats only 80 proof

I thought Forrester put it best when he said this -
Dear Kentucky -- your bourbon is better than your basketball team. Celebratory drink!!  
GATA! Thanks to all who showed up and sent the "sea of blue" streaming out into the Athens night earlier than they anticipated. Now, hopefully Bama's five buckets short!

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Freshman Nick Wood on Recovery Rd.

A couple of weeks ago freshman Nick Wood was well on his way towards competing for a consistent starting spot in the UGA Men's Tennis rotation. Wood is a former standout high school player from Knoxville, Tennessee. The kind of player Coach Diaz seemingly plucks off tennis trees around the world.

But now Wood is nursing a bum ankle (the specifics of the injury are somewhat of a mystery, but we can rest assured Wood is in the best of care). I happen to subscribe to Diaz's YouTube channel and yesterday this video posted. I immediately felt like an ass for complaining about playing in cold temperatures when this kid is hitting ground strokes from a chair just to get work in.

Dedication, pictured in a quick 18 second frame. Looking forward to seeing this guy blast some smoking passing shots in the years to come. GATA!

Jarvis' stock dropping?

Saw where draft guru Mel Kiper has dropped Jarvis Jones from 1st to 5th on his board. We all know this projecting and guessing is not an exact science. Arian Foster went undrafted after all.

And I don't think this "news" necessarily means teams are incredibly concerned about Jones' medical situation. If you were paying attention a few days ago you probably heard Jones and members of his "team" come out of the blue and give some sound bites about how healthy he is and how there are no concerns about his spinal stenosis. 

Personally, I think this was an over reaction. I believe some teams are just not interested in Jones, for reasons completely unrelated to his neck. Looking at the top five teams there is reason to believe that they have more immediate needs than a pass rushing outside linebacker that may or may not fit their scheme. For all of Jarvis Jones' talent and accolades (all of which are plenty and much deserving) he has yet to prove himself as an every down type NFL linebacker.

In that regard, despite the incredible talent, he's still a risk at the top spots.

With all that being said, I expect Jones to have a great Pro Day in Athens in a couple weeks and solidify himself as a top ten pick. Perhaps this "uneasiness" about his long term health will motivate him to do even more while in Athens in front of scouts. We've all seen the opposite, where a guy has little left to prove and wisely chooses to sit out some drills.

For Jarvis we know what he can do when motivated. He's spent the last few years proving people wrong. I certainly don't expect him to stop now.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Practice - looking at outside linebackers

While a lot of the attention is centered on Chase Vasser and Jordan Jenkins as the players to get most of the snaps Jarvis Jones left on campus, it's a sophomore from Jenkins Co. that is getting a lot of the early attention at outside linebacker (note that Vasser will miss most if not all of spring drills while he recovers from shoulder surgery).

DeLoach and JCHS teammate Johnathan Taylor
signing with UGA. (via)
James DeLoach is up to a whopping 270 pounds and is ready to prove to his coaches that he's ready to play.
Jones’ departure has opened up a starting spot for the Bulldogs. DeLoach is working at first-team strongside linebacker and could join another member of the 2012 signing class, Jordan Jenkins, as starters at outside linebacker
“It’s going to be a big spring to prove to the coaches that I can be out there with the best of them as a starter,” DeLoach said.
“I think he’s a really big, athletic guy,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “I’ve been really impressed with him in workouts. … We’re going to play him at SAM linebacker and let him be a physical presence there. I’ve been really pleased with his progress, his movements. He was in the meeting room last year so he kind of understands all the things, he just hasn’t done it as much as other people. …He’s a guy that we’ll be looking for him to be a contributor for us in the fall.”  
The other day we talked about some of the size differential expected with the defensive changes specifically. Considering Jarvis played at about 245 and Vasser is about ten pounds lighter, that holds true. But with DeLoach's size and Jenkins who is now up to around 260 lbs, the "SAM" spot could be getting bigger. Hopefully the competition can produce Jarvis-like numbers.

Speaking of the competition there, Brandon Burrows is working out at the SAM as well. Don't forget about this guy as he has suffered from some shoulder problems as well. This would seem to be a good move from his inside spot where Ryne Rankin and Reggie Carter are getting early looks. Burrows may be a bit of a question mark still, but he can push DeLoach and Jenkins this spring.

Outside linebacker is shaping up to be one of the top spots to watch come GDay...ONE month from today!!

Hines Ward - on being better than Tebow

(those are my words, not his)

I watch this video and two things come to mind: 1) I'm lazy. Like, tree slug on hallucinogens lazy. And 2) this is like a huge "How ya like me now?!?" to every team that passed on drafting Ward as well as every team that passed on signing him as a free agent. Plus that peewee coach that picked the quarterback with the rocket arm.

Enjoy. And there's more info on Hines and the got chocolate milk? campaign here. (h/t AHD)

Humpday Hilarity - nuptials and fatty acids

Last week I saw a young couple lining up for an obvious wedding ceremony on the deck of the boat we were on. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to push him overboard in time to save him a lifetime of pain, suffering and mental anguish.

I'm kidding. Of course. No really. I am. But if you're married and haven't at least questioned the sanctity of the union on occasion, you're either doing it wrong or you're the poor bastard on the ship that hasn't finished the honeymoon yet.

This one comes from Mac. The joke may not be his but he laughs the way that I do so I'm sharing it.
A Doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa. "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.

Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

After several seconds of quiet, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said, "Wedding Cake."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Advanced Trolling - Mark May plays the sitar, and other things

So, in the wake of all the Les Miles hysteria I have a new plan for taking this internet identity thing to the next (more popular) level. This plan will naturally commence once all the lemmings have all but forgotten about the LSU coach's scandalous affair with a coed. Because that is the time to strike. While the iron is hot as they say! And while everyone is once again bored beyond all hope.

Because it is our duty as interweb chieftains to make each and every off season as colorful and eventful as possible. I accepted this pledge and this challenge years ago. I will do my part, implementing this easy seven step system designed to take me to perpetual stardom. Or just get me a few thousand more followers. Whatevs.

Regardless, step back son. Let your neighborhood blogger take it from here.

Step One
Choose target carefully. You can't pick someone too squarely in the limelight (read: Stephen Garcia in his heyday of laying chicks with daddy issues and guzzling Keystone by the case) or too far outside of it (read: whoever took over the quarterbacking from Stephen Garcia). And it should be someone I have at least a moderate working knowledge of so that I can pass my diction along as real talk y'all.

Other qualifications: edgy bordering on hated by the masses; within the city limits of College Football USA, because that is where most of my readers reside; beyond what we all see on the tv screen, Twitter or other places of the internets, this person should be relatively obscure and unknown. We don't necessarily need a paragraph on his/her Wiki page addressing their militant vegan lifestyle or their brief dabble with Hinduism. Just the basic, flat, public persona will do.

It'd also be nice if they played the sitar. Because I hate listening to the sitar. But perhaps that's too random.

"Swag swag swag on you..chillin' by the
fire eatin' fondue..." (via)
Anyway, this is naturally subject to change, but right now I'm leaning towards Mark May. I'm already blaming him for such vile acts as the Makers Mark fiasco, the reason the tower in Pisa leans, Lou Holtz still having a job that assaults my ears with the crazed intensity of a thousand daggers, as well as North Korea's nuclear armaments. Yes, Mark May would be my prime target for this covert op via IP address. Perfect.

Well, either him or noted pop artist and casual sitar instrumentalist George Harrison. But he's dead so that would probably just make me look like an asshole.

Step Two
Wait. A while. Like at least until next Wednesday when there's nothing on tv but Duck Dynasty, cuz we all know everyone tweets their asses off during Duck Dynasty because Si actually runs his twitter and will one day respond to their message - "You're so funny Si. I'm a big fan man! (PS - please RT!!)" 

Step Three
Find my twitter enabled device underneath stray pieces of popcorn, Cheez Puff curl dust, IBC root beer bottles and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Power it up and open up the Tweetbot application conveniently downloaded and displayed on my iPhone's first page right beside Shazam! - which is still the smart phone app that blows me away the most. I mean how in the name of all things Mayberry does it take a snippet of Cathedral, instrumental track #3 on Van Halen's Diver Down, send it to some "Name that Tune" server out in Silicon Valley where George DeWitt (who I am fairly certain is dead,  at least that's what they had us to believe) types out the answer into some Lost 1960's style computer before sending it back to my phone where the screen refreshes and not only tells me what exactly I'm listening to, but who it is, when it was recorded and gives links to share this miracle as well as purchase the song on iTunes? Wow.

But I digress...

Step Four
Carefully type out the following message to my follower:

Can't believe Mark May was seen in a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt handing out 
condoms at a Justin Bieber concert y'all! #BeaverFiebers

Step Five
While waiting on the potential and downright possible fact to go viral, it is imperative to begin constructing response tweets to people that will surely question the proclamation's validity. I'm certain Schlabach will ask me for a source and Deadspin will be all jealous and say something like "Pic or it didn't happen Bernie." And then someone at the AJC, maybe Carvell but probably Bradley, will say something about it was likely actually a One Direction concert since they are actually playing in a city that is actually near where Mark May actually lives. You know, because they're actually journalists and can actually fact check at the same time they actually drop a deuce. Or maybe Clay Travis with his eternal hard on for being the sports entertainment industry's biggest douchebag will point out that Bieber doesn't even have a scheduled concert that night.
"Well done Bernie. Nicely played." (via)

What a whiny bitch. Whatever. Doesn't matter. All I need is someone with a shit-ton of followers (preferably Alyssa Milano, but I can't say for sure if she even knows who Mark May is...or maybe a pseudo morning tv star like Al Roker if he's even on twitter...or just one of May's ESPN colleagues - like Van Pelt or even Rece Davis - eager to defend their compadre while also laughing their ass off that they've indirectly publicized this mess to the entire world - high five!) to tweet me a question or comment or some vitriol laced with venom and then I'm set.

Step Six
Cue up some Little Guitars on my tune player app thing which is right beside Shazam!, crank it up (but not so loud that the wife wakes up) and watch the brilliance unfold with Kate, Chrissy and Hannah at my side. Yes! Watch the hunnerds of dollar bill$ roll in while people like ^finger quotes^ Muggsy in Morning ^/finger quotes^ and Maury Povich line up to interview me and show the ENTIRE WORLD my blog site!!! HAHAHAHAhahahahaHA!

Take that Mark effin' May! How ya like me now bitch?

Step Seven
Learn to play the ukulele like a normal person.

Touch that Rock under the tractor lights!

March 5, 2013
ATHENS -- The Saturday, August 31, football game between Georgia and Clemson in Clemson, S.C., will be televised by ABC TV with kickoff set for 
8:00 p.m. ET.

This will mark Georgia's 73rd appearance all time on ABC.  The Bulldogs own a record of 44-26-2 when playing on ABC.

Scott Woerner approves of this message! Go Dawgs!

Georgia's defense, (not) on square one again

I understand the feeling many have regarding the defense in 2013. I really do. It wasn't that long ago that we knew we had a new coordinator, new scheme and personnel only somewhat equipped to fit into it. And now we've seen virtually every key player leave campus.

But part of the reason I've adopted a glass half full attitude instead of a whoa is me one is that this time we're re-filling roles instead of rebuilding from the ground up. And that is what makes this a good read by Ching.
But unlike 2010, Grantham at least has the advantage that the defensive staff and the vast majority of his players already understand the concepts involved with his 3-4 scheme. For them, it's simply a matter of sharpening that knowledge to the point where they can step into larger roles and play with competence and confidence.
"We've got some guys that have been here for a while that it's their turn to show what they can do and we've got some guys that came in midyear. As coaches, we're excited to get started," Grantham said. "The big thing that we always go back to is one, fundamentals at our position, and two, learning to compete and play aggressive. I think you have to win a position before you can help us win a ballgame. And then finally learning what to do.
"If we can get those things done, I think that carries over to the fall because when we play aggressive and compete and get after it, we create turnovers and we're hard to score on -- and those are the things that we've done pretty well the last two years."
Again, let the naysayers and nearsighted talking heads blather on and on about losing guys like Jarvis and Rambo and Jenkins and Commings. These new guys are listening. And I believe they're hungry.

Coach Fox teleconference

Fox talks about upcoming game against Kentucky, Thursday 7:00pm at Stegeman.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday's Meatloaf - plugged back in

Getting my land legs back under me. It was really nice to get away, but the pile of junk on the desk only got exponentially bigger last week.

Of course at first the feeling of not being able to access internets, phone service and twitters was a little weird. But it didn't take long to just take a deep breath and use the iPhone as a paper weight...for all the receipts being charged to the room.

Sloth like Cecilth. Verry much likes CeCILLLLsth!!!1
Seriously, one bottle of bourbon listerine smuggled onto a ship isn't enough for even a two day cruise. Luckily our waiter knew exactly what we wanted as soon as we walked into the dining room. And Antonius will keep bringing the double Makers and ginger ale as long as you keep raising your hand. Which was a lot, and very necessary.  Especially to put up with some of the crazy characters they force you to eat with while floating along. Ol' DeWayne paid a pretty penny to get on the boat with his common law wife and spend five days trying to pick up Nascar from his cabin television. (A much prettier penny than he used to get those caps on his teeth...from his dental buddy's basement...just a guess...)

But DeWayne was easy to deal with compared to the Abuurn mouth breather that insisted Gene Chizzy could coach circles around Richt all day long. Plus he continually insisted we should have spiked the ball because he knows a ton of shit about football and wants to dump it all in my ear!! OMG dude. Go back and sit with your lovely girlfriend that somehow goes out in public with you while you sport a third grade education and only basic mastery of the English language.

Coach Ricktz nice guy and (blah blah blah) and Cecil Newton [insert ambiguous NCAA reference] and spikes the ball...BLAH BLAH BLAH!! Ugh. Plus all the spittle and violations of personal space. It was all I could do to keep Mrs. Bernie from kicking him in the Eric Ramseys and punching him in the Pat Dye.

Today's Ingredients
- For you beer drinkers, be sure and check out Kyle's recap of another event I swam through while away, Brewvival. Always a great beer festival. Always.
- Did you watch last night's SEC Storied? It's the one that covers the 2008 SEC Tornado Tournament. It was a great hour of reminiscing the craziness as well as some behind the scenes commentary on how they managed the whole thing.
- And Kevin noticed something I failed to while watching: the Miracle 3 episode of the series was dedicated to Kevin Brophy, former UGA player that died in a 2006 car crash. Nice touch. Very nice.
- Lots of news in UGA Athletics. Let's start on the hardwood where the men took down Tennessee much quicker than a bare-chested Bruce Pearl could.
- And Tyler wants the students to act like they've been there before.
- On the Lady's side, they (mostly) eased through their Senior Day tilt with Vanderbilt and now head to Duluth GA for the SEC Tourney. First round bye means they play on Friday night against the Auburn/LSU winner.
- Tickets for the women's tournament games can be purchased here.
- Perno's Diamond Dawgs swept UAB over the weekend, out-scoring the Blazers 33-6. They host Western Carolina Wednesday and Liberty this weekend.
- Of course the best way to get the scoop on what's happening in UGA Athletics is from NCT's Beyond the Hedges. Here's the latest edition.
- In case you missed it, Mr. Sanchez runs down what Richt and staff will need in the 2014 class.
- Speaking of which, in today's LHB recruiting thread BigRedBaller has film of the tall kid that spent time with Coach Richt at Saturday's practice.
- Lastly, would you like a copy of Bob Knight's new book...for free? The Lady Sportswriter might just have you covered.

So back in the saddle now. I'll have you covered without much interruption, at least for another three months when another paradise calls. Until then let's enjoy some of the finer moments Gene Chizik provided the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

Hey WarDamnSlothTiglesman...83 - 7!! EIGHTY-THREE to seven bitch!


Spring Practice - early observations

Haven't read much about the offensive line just yet, but that will remain the top position to watch if you ask me. However, sounds like Josh Harvey-Clemons got plenty of work at safety ($) along with Tray Matthews. In terms of size this appears to be the best fit and those two could be our opening day starters. Still, we can expect to see Harvey-Clemons moved around quite a bit.

Something else I found interesting was that Brandon Burrows was getting work at outside linebacker. He's still listed as an inside linebacker on the roster, but it sounds like the coaches want to get some looks at the new kids (Rankin and Carter) there as well as Burrows rushing the passer.

Lastly, as Blutarsky pointed out, not really sure how to read this yet.
Richt said he sees Mayes, John Taylor and John Atkins as sizable players at the position, but trimmer.
“We are definitely not as big up front, but we’re pretty quick and athletic,” Richt said. “It will be interesting to see how we’ll hold up against a smash-mouth team as the season goes on. We certainly have some guys that can really run.”

Sunday, March 3, 2013