Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chuck Oliver, clown of college football

On Thursday Chuck Oliver stood before the media and answered questions prior to the SEC's big media announcement. Here is a picture of him after someone asked which number comes after three.

I was also in attendance, so I posed a couple questions.

Bernie: “There are some people, whether its clueless lemmings that listen to your drive time drivel or whomever else, that may want to make further conclusions about you or your cheap sportscoat, specifically regarding the big sweat stains. Would you have any response to those people?
Oliver: “My favorite color is fun to say...PURPLE!! Oops. I spit a little bit. PURPLE!!!
Bernie: “Ok. Well, you're an idiot and your microphone smells of onions. There will be people who say that you and anyone that cohosts a show with you specifically come up short on the biggest Atlanta radio frequencies in the choicest of time slots. Also, you're a mouth breather and your knuckles are bloody from dragging the floor. There are some who believe you had to have purchased your Auburn diploma because there is no conceivable way you could construct enough cogent thoughts to achieve the goal on your own. Also, I believe you to be dipshit sir. Shall I continue or do you have any response to that?
Oliver: "I once burped and farted at the same time. Heh."  (Pauses to breath through his gaping orifice.)

Bernie: "Your employer must be so proud. You claim to have something called 'sources'. Who is your source in Athens?"

Oliver: "A Golden Pantry frozen burrito? I named him Tommy."

At this point he began wandering aimlessly around the room and repeatedly saying "It's good to be the king! It's good to be the king!". After he returned to the stage and sat in Saban's chair he was never seen again.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fish rarely get bigger than Broadarious Hamm

The mammoth freshman from Spalding High would be a huge catch for any program in a few years. But what really caught my eye when reading the story of Coach Wilson's offer from the Dawgs was this:
Hamm said he did not grow up as a fan of any particular program, but would like to hear from LSU and Georgia Tech.
Now surely Coach Johnson doesn't have a bigger fish to fry than the 6'3" 292lb Broadarious Hamm. Surely.

DICKSAMIV to try out with Falcons this weekend

(h/t BassinDawg)

Richard Samuel IV will be in Atlanta over the weekend. He's one of several players to try out for the team in hopes of being picked up.
Samuel saw his share of position changes while at Georgia, seeing time at running back and also training at linebacker and fullback. He was a five-star recruit out of high school but ran 214 times for 833 yards and four touchdowns with the Bulldogs.
Best of luck to a Damn Good Dawg!

SEC Network: so awesome, remote is optional

Exciting news (or not really news, since we kinda knew already what they were gonna lay out in front of us) yesterday. Mike Slive bestowed upon us a remote control that is coated in 24 carat gold.
Mike Slive’s Southeastern Conference is in its “golden age.” 
That’s what the conference commissioner said Thursday when he and ESPN president John Skipper announced that the SEC Network will launch in August 2014 and will carry 1,000 events each year.
Slive said 450 events will be televised and 500 will be distributed digitally each year. Forty-five football games will be carried each season, three a week for 13 weeks, with an early game, a mid-afternoon game and a night game.
Giddyup! I've already told my HDDVR to clear all the singing and dancing reality shows the hell out. But the most interesting part is the fact that this SEC TV thing will last until I'm too old to remember the 2010 Liberty Bowl. Take it away Groo.
* – this is way off-topic, but you start to wonder what the product will look like in 20 years. Will athletics be one of the few physical remnants of universities that will have otherwise moved online? Will safety concerns transform the game of football into something far different? Will some of this money begin to trickle down to the student-athletes and bring a whole other set of equity questions that reshape college athletics? Will the success of these major conference networks further pry apart the top schools from the rest of the NCAA?
 If my seat in Sanford has a flask refill station nearby I'll be ecstatic. GATRemote y'all!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Todd Gurley reveals secret to his clean getaways

Just in case he ever gets an unsightly grass stain on his elbow or something, it looks like he's got a plan.

Also might explain why the ladies are so keen on him.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Georgia's top talent eluding Coach Richt? - part two

(Second of two posts. Part one is HERE.)

So in the last eight signing classes, Coach Richt has brought in 25 of the state's best 80 players. That's 31%, even without Jarvis Jones who eventually wound up in Athens. Perhaps he should count as two himself. The most productive year on this abbreviated list is clearly 2006. Georgia was coming off its second SEC championship since those guys had started high school and Mark Richt had clearly elevated the program into national discussions as well as dinner discussions around the state of Georgia.

Just in terms of recruiting however, perhaps 2011 was the best year. Coming off a dismal 6-7 season, Richt was answering questions about his job at the same time that he was putting together a "Dream Team". Certainly Crowell was both the cherry on top as well as the biggest disappointment. Still, Malcolm Mitchell and Damian Swann are clear starters and All-SEC caliber players while Ray Drew and Jay Rome could certainly break out this season.

But back to Crowell for a minute. In terms of production at a level commiserate with the recruiting stars, how many others like him are on that list? Hard to see that completely, but we certainly didn't miss out on the likes of Daniel Franklin who never started a game for the Sooners or Josh Jarboe who never really started his career there before getting kicked off the team.

And that is what begs the question: is the talent eluding Richt or is some of the talent not worth the paper the scholarship is written on to begin with? I look at that list and remember the disappointment in losing some of them like Ju'wuan James who we clearly could've used. Hell, what might have been if we'd had someone like Johnathan Dwyer in the backfield after Knowshon left?

No, I think the problem is with us - the fans. I'm sure Richt looks at that list and remembers a number of ones that got away. But that's the nature of recruiting now. Teams are on television a minimum of three days each week each fall. There's constant exposure that state lines cannot possibly keep out like they used to, back in the days before ESPN had daily coverage and South Carolina was playing on Thursday nights of all things. For instance, Conrad Obi's decision to go all the way to Colorado was made even easier by the fact that nowadays the world is much smaller and can be manipulated with just a mouse and a keyboard, or a handheld device. Years ago Obi would've had to wait for a mail carrier to come all the way to Grayson GA with the requested information about the University of Colorado and what the campus had to offer. Instead, he could just point and click and get the information he needed instantaneously. Boulder became a neighboring destination as much as Athens was in actuality.

We have to recognize that as much as coaches do. Questions about how much access to airplanes and gas cards and game film our coaches have are legitimate. Blaming them for losing players that would rather play elsewhere is not. Questions about signing another offensive lineman as opposed to a diminutive running back ill-equipped for Division I football are perfectly pertinent by my estimation. Gnashing our teeth about how we're going to keep these Georgia kids from signing with Saban when we were within an eyelash of beating him on the actual field are not.

Of course, Richt admitting that he recruited Cam Newton as a tight end is hard to fathom. And there were a fair share of "lucky losses" on that list like Da'Rick Rogers and Markeith Ambles. Additionally, 31% may seem awfully low for a program that's been as successful as it has under Richt in a state where he should have his pick of the litter. But again, recruiting has expanded exponentially as much in resources available to coaches as it has in coverage and premium subscriptions doled out for daily updates. Even coaches from fertile recruiting grounds such as Georgia have to get used to recruiting against programs far and wide as well as visiting destinations unknown by their predecessors. Dooley never had to recruit a quarterback from Dallas. Richt would've been admonished had he not pressed hard for Matthew Stafford. Understandably so.

And while that might sound like more work (and it is), it also gives Richt's staff the luxury of passing on a certain kid if they believe he's not a good fit; on the field, off of it or both. And given the way UGA manages its roster compared to say Alabama, Richt has to be more discriminating when it comes to offering and then catering to these high school celebrities. It's akin to the difference between asking a girl on a date as opposed to marrying you. With one, if it doesn't work out, only one party gets hurt. While with the other there is much more energy and time spent on the relationship and its status.

To close, it's true that some of the top talent in the state of Georgia is eluding Richt. But it is only fair to say that he is also eluding some of the baggage that comes with it. Maybe you're like me and remember tuning into some livestream radio coverage of Greg Reid's announcement prior to the 2009 signing day. The picture in my mind was of a local talent about to make one big time college program happy. A kid with top level speed who was projected for great things at the college of his choice was also about to disappoint a couple other programs. Not to mention thousands of fans overloading the small town radio's server.

Four years removed, would we be glad to have had Greg Reid in Athens? The same five star defensive back that ran afoul of FSU rules and the law in general too many times, so much so that he was finally dismissed before his senior season? Perhaps he would've thrived in a different environment. Maybe. Hard to say. There are too many variables to factor in and answer that question soundly. But that's where we are these days with recruiting. In state players leave. Some of those go on to disappoint you and some make you glad they chose a different hat. As fans, we need to evaluate the Georgia football program as a whole based more on actual team results and less on how many players didn't take to Richt's message.

Tennis draws announced

As expected, the men's tennis team will host a regional to open play in the NCAA Tournament. They'll kick things off next Friday against America East Conference winner Binghamton. Joining them in Athens will be Wake Forest and Northwestern.
"It's extremely rewarding for the guys [to host first and second rounds]," said head coach Manuel Diaz, who has guided the Bulldogs into the NCAA Championships in each of his 25 seasons. "They've put in a lot of work and had some great results this year. We are pleased with where we are, but we know we have a big challenge in front of us beginning with Binghamton. We know we can't look past anybody. It's the postseason now and we are only as good as we play today."
To hear Coach Diaz speak about the competition and the focus heading into the tournament as well as freshman Ben Wagland and sophomore Nathan Pasha - CLICK HERE. For the complete bracket, click here.

Meanwhile the women will also play host as they take on Winthrop in round one, with the winner playing either Oklahoma or Arizona State in the second round.
Georgia is 7-5 all-time against the Cougars, last facing them in 1997, a 9-0 win. This season, Georgia posted a 7-0 win over Clemson in Athens on Feb. 26 to take a 23-19 lead in the all-time series. Georgia is 2-1 all-time against Arizona State with the Sun Devils winning the last meeting 5-4 in 1997.

"It's exciting to know that you're going to be playing your first two rounds at home," said head coachJeff Wallace. "It's a huge honor and its great to be in your backyard playing at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. You can't overlook anyone. They've all had good years because they're in the NCAA Tournament so we're just excited to get that first one going."
FOr video commentary - CLICK HERE. To see the complete women's bracket, click here.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Georgia's top talent eluding Coach Richt? - part one

This turned out to be quite lengthy, so I'm cutting it into two posts. (I'll thank Brad for that as he has definitely sparked a curiosity here.) The second of which I'll clean up some tonight. But one of the holdover discussions after signing day almost every year has been Coach Richt's (and his staff) inability to close strongly. Depending on the year, that can been seen just as an innocuous claim or something extremely harmful to the program and its current roster. In this past 2013 class for instance, most of the signees were sewn up well before signing day, which made for a rather dull day in terms of excitement. Then when we missed on some "day of decisions" it really didn't hurt the roster as much as it did our heightened expectations and emotions.

Of course, that can be argued both ways in any given February. But the fact of the matter is that Richt has brought in plenty of talent during his tenure. And still we wonder why some kids cross the borders to wear different colors. The popular conclusion is that Richt isn't aggressive enough within the state. This battle cry rings out over social media and every message board out there. And it is as loud today as ever, despite signing some of Georgia's top players each year.

So for arguments' sake, here are the last eight years with the top ten players in the state listed (according to ESPN 150) with UGA signees in bold. Spend a few minutes looking over it this evening and then we'll compare conclusions tomorrow.

2006 2007 2008 2009
Marcus Ball Eric Berry Josh Jarboe Greg Reid
Reshad Jones Allen Bailey Brice Butler Branden Smith
Jermaine Cunningham Israel Troupe Richard Samuel Eric Fields
Carlos Brown DJ Stafford Terrance Parks Darren Myles, Jr
Justin Anderson Caleb King Omar Hunter Prince Kent
Asher Allen Cameron Newton Brandon Thompson Chris Burnette
Darryl Gamble Johnathan Dwyer DeAngelo Tyson Jarvis Jones
Quintin Banks Ted Laurent Jamoris Slaughter Washaun Ealey
Brandon Wood T-Bob Hebert Daniel Franklin Gerald Demps
Toryan Smith Conrad Obi Toby Jackson Donovan Tate
2010 2011  2012 2013
Storm Johnson Isaiah Crowell  Josh Harvey-Clemons Robert Nkemdiche
Markeith Ambles Ray Drew   Brandon Greene Carl Lawson
Ja’wuan James Jay Rome  Geno Smith Montravius Adams
Alec Ogletree Xzavier Dickson  Johnathan Taylor Alvin Kamara
Da’Rick Rogers Gabe Wright  Dillon Lee Shaq Wiggins
Mack Brown Quan Bray   Mike Davis Trey Johnson
Antonio Goodwin James Vaughers   Jordan Jenkins Vonn Bell
Adrian Hubbard Malcolm Mitchell  Ricky Parks Demarcus Robinson
Tai-ler Jones Avery Walls  Vadal Alexander Tyren Jones
TJ Stripling Damian Swann Joshua Holsey Kelsey Griffin

What stands out to you? I'll go ahead and let you know that it wasn't nearly as alarming to me as some comments I hear and read from people upset about great young football players leaking out across borders. And also, I'm glad some of these guys went elsewhere. Ya know?

It's Bama or Georgia for Dante Sawyer

Nabulsi tells us the defensive end from Suwanee GA has narrowed ($) his list down to the Crimson Tide and the Dawgs. Sawyer is considered the seventh best DE in the country and visited Athens most recently for GDay. Until then Alabama was considered his top choice. Now it seems to be even.
“I am going to decide in the next two to three weeks,” Sawyer said, “I am not sure which one I am going to pick, but it is down to Alabama and Georgia.” 
And momma might be the tiebreaker as he plans to make his next visit(s) with her before he decides in the next few weeks. So put on that winning smile and those dancing shoes Coach Richt. Glad the hip is feeling better.

Tennis draws announced today

The NCAA will announce the fields of 64 for the upcoming Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships tomorrow, Tues., April 30. The men’s selection announcement will begin at 5 p.m. ET followed by the women’s announcement at 5:30 p.m. Both will stream live on 
Complete team brackets – including regional round sites – will be posted on the official NCAA websites ( and after the completion of the show. The fields for the individual singles and doubles portion of the tournament will be announced the following day, on Wed., May 1. 
First and second round regional action will be played May 10-12 at 16 campus sites. The later rounds as well as the individual singles and doubles tournament are set for May 16-27, to be hosted at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center for the first time in history.
For what it's worth, the men finished the season ranked 3rd behind Virginia and UCLA. The women are also 3rd behind North Carolina and Florida.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Georgia. Clempson. Gameday.

Big, if true. Hope Kirk accepts my pre-game invite to relive the 1993 Citrus Bowl.

Monday's Meatloaf - but at least my name's not Michael F. Adams

Time to address the elephant in the blog space. You’ve been very kind to keep your questions at a distance while I mourn this loss, this abject failure that will tarnish my legacy as a Georgia Bulldog and UGA alum for years to come. I appreciate your consideration. Let’s muddle our way through this shall we?

(steps up to podium wearing wrinkled golf shorts, his Lebowski t-shirt, wife’s terrycloth robe complete with cheese puff dust and UGA slippers. Readjusts vintage ray-bans and speaks uncomfortably into microphone…)

"Who's the guy outside in house slippers
with a bullhorn?"
If you come here often and/or are one of the unlucky and incredibly misguided souls that follows me on twitter, you know that I launched a campaign to become Prez Adam’s successor. It’s been a longtime ambition of mine, dating all the way back to the time the office of the president was disgraced by a pair of high water lady jeans swinging a leg unathletically in the direction of a rubber ball. In the years since I have been laying in wait, readying myself for the time in which I could restore order to our beloved campus. I planned to put grits back on the menu. I was going to bring morale back even faster than the Timberpond fella brought sexy back. Y'all would be invited to my box at Sanford…anytime. Because that’s where I would live. It has a shower right?

Anyway. It was to be a dream come true. Out with the old fat yankee; and in with the blogger that has wifi and a half empty highball. So long you pestilent pig; hello you long lost Athenian with hundreds of dollars of unpaid parking tickets. Hand over the checkbook you money grubbing freeloader; here’s the key to the executive bathroom Mr…ahem...President Bernie.

But lo, it was not to be. A number of semi-egregious and somewhat shameful transgressions led me to withdraw my candidacy, albeit quietly and with little to no CNN coverage. I will enumerate some of these sins below in an effort to purge myself of the foul taste and the errors of my ways. But before I did that I wanted to thank you for your support and beg y'all to give incoming President Jere Morehead your full support. He may not be able to blog, play cornhole, swill bourbon from the still, cook a grilled cheese sandwich, operate a blender, skim wifi, eat a grilled cheese sandwich, bark, tweet, pour a Guinness correctly, nap on an Orbit bus, or crush souls with his air guitar the way that I can. But he is our new president. And his name isn’t Michael Adams. 


Today’s Ingredients
- Speaking of that guy, Blutarsky will miss Adams' penchant for administrative douchebaggery. Although I think he typed that with his tongue in his cheek.
- BigRedBaller catches up with one of Georgia's newest commits - Jeb Blazevich.
- Evidently Tyler spent the last four days with Mel Kiper and a Costco-sized can of hairspray. He runs down the first three rounds, the last four and the undrafted free agents.
- Lady Sportswriter looks at Baccari Rambo's past and future after being selected late by the Redskins.
- More draft stuff from CCRider as he grades out the first round. Have to agree that the EJ Manuel pick by the Bills and the trade up by the Falcons to get Trufant are two very big mysterious decisions.
- Yesterday Mother Nature was kind enough to replace the Hogs' brooms with umbrellas.
- I was about to call bullshit on this piece by Spencer Hall as I was travelling through Grayson GA this weekend, but then I realized that yes...their Blockbuster Video is going out of business too.

Some of my most trivial and unilaterally embarrassing transgressions, ladies and gentlemen. Exposed to you like an English bulldog rolling around on his back next to the famed hedges, I bear to you my soul and only ask that you not hold these sins against my family. They are but innocent bystanders here, as they unpack the boxes that were marked for the presidential estate and let loose the dreams of living between Sanford Drive and East Campus Road. Just above where the trumpet sounds and Dawg hunkers down.

Some of these may seem overly cryptic. Most names were redacted because I enjoy using the word redacted out of context.

He's a little bit taller. But other than that...
*My second junior year at UGA I broke the rope on the Chapel Bell, injured my leg on a rusty nail and had to get a tetanus shot. *After all these years, and considering myself an Athenian, I still don’t particularly care for most of REM’s music. Plus, having met them, they’re assholes. Except Peter Buck. He casually acknowledged my presence.  *I once resorted to dangerous levels of taunting mixed with intense hatred and grotesquely high levels of alcohol in the blood stream, embarrassing myself and my school for telling a Vandy fan to bark like a Dawg. I mean, it’s Vanderbilt dude. Let it go. *This one time, at band camp… *South Carolina peaches are better than Georgia’s. (Dear God that hurt out loud.) *I never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, even back when that seemed to be the popular thing to do. *I have a filthy vocabulary and recently had to pay a fine for absolutely no %$#!@ reason.  *JASPER’S KNEE WAS DOWN GODDAMNIT!!! *During my first sophomore campaign I was caught taking sandwiches out of Bolton Dining Hall one Friday evening. I was on the five day plan, not the seven. This made for some intense hunger pains on Sunday nights while Homer chastised Flanders about not drinking Duff beer. Still, I knew it was wrong. *In yet another Chapel Bell incident Fred, Nama and I were scolded by undercover UGA cops pretending to make out for ringing it too late in the evening. WTF? *I hate gators too much. And yet not enough. Both at the same time. I’m flawed people. Turn your heads in shame. Please! *Recently, while on a boat, I molested a mic stand while singing Jesse’s Girl. (Mrs. Bernie is so lucky.) *I’ve worn orange inside of Clempson’s Death Valley. I was very young and it wasn’t my fault. But it was real and it happened. (Shit. Someone please stop me!) *While touring Italy, I photographed David in all his glory even as the guards screamed at me “NO FOTO! NO FOTO!” In my defense, duh! I don't speak Italian. Can't they recognize a tourist taking pictures in a museum? *Later I also posed as David in all my own glory. But I was not accustomed to drinking fermented grapes. Still, this is my burden to carry for my lifetime of agony. *Never once did I invest money with Coach Donnan. That’s "guarandamnteed". *Lastly, and most painfully, while enrolled at UGA my GPA once rose to a level higher than my BAC. Oh God! The shame!

Come to think of it, that might be why I graduated so early after only eight years.

So there it is. A festering wound exposed with one rip of the band-aid. Take a good long look people. Cast your judgmental eyes upon it and pretend that you have no such wound of your own. As the philosopher once said "Hating people will engage themselves in hating behavior, repeatedly." While I'm proud of each one of these acts individually, collectively they have lead to this much deserved and costly consequence. Forever I will be known as the guy that failed to replace the lying, cheating bastard as UGA President, all because I rarely manage my drunk and don't care for "shiny happy people". With the office of president within my grasp, my past came back and ripped it from my clutch before I could cross the goalline. I'm so sorry y'all. I so totally Jordan Reed'd this whole campaign. I can hear Gary Danielson and Uncle Verne countlessly recalling my epic failure.

Quoth the raven, "You suck dude. Eternally."

Well, until the day Morehead gets caught pulling some semblance of a Damon Evans and my alma mater needs a leader to step in. Of course, that Kyle King guy probably will be out of weblogging rehab retirement by then. Anyway, here's your fork Reader. But no napkins today. I used them all to try and clean up this mess.


Kwame goes west

Great weekend for Coach Richt and staff as they had eight former Dawgs drafted and at least two more to sign free agent contracts after the NFL Draft's conclusion.

One of those undrafted signings was Kwame Geathers who signed with San Diego. The Chargers need bulk in the middle of their 3-4 alignment and they'll get that with Geathers. At six and a half feet and 350+ pounds he eventually settled pretty well into Grantham's scheme.

The knock on Kwame (who if you'll remember bounced around a bit on Richt's roster) has been staying low. And that's going to continue to be a challenge for him as the the opposing blockers he goes up against will only get better. He's a gifted athlete with super human size and he has great hands. Understandably, many felt he should've stayed another year at Georgia to improve his game to more than just a first and second down tackle. Hopefully he continues to craft his skill and makes the Chargers' roster.