Saturday, August 9, 2014

Early Registration for Georgia-Florida Golf Classic Running Through August

From Robbie Burns, because it's never too early to plan for the next GA/fla game:

JEKYLL ISLAND, GA - The Georgia-Florida Golf Classic is two months away, and early registration remains open through August 31 for the 35th annual event that is played on Jekyll Island's three 18-hole golf courses, October 29-31

Early registration is $250 per person and participants receive a practice round on Wednesday, two tournament rounds, Wednesday night Tailgate Party and Thursday night Rockin' Seafood Feast.  On tournament days, breakfast is included and Bubba Burgers will provide lunch.

"During Georgia-Florida week, The Classic is the premiere event on the Golden Isles," stated Johnny Paulk, PGA Professional and the event's founder and director. "You cannot find another tournament that offers more for the price.  The Classic fills up fast, so spots are limited."

Annually, The Classic averages between 350-400 players hailing from more than 10 states.  Again this year, 16 former Georgia and Florida football players, eight from each school, will serve as The Classic's celebrities.  Last year, the group was highlighted by former Super Bowl champion Rodney Hampton (UGA), and longtime NFL wide receiver Willie Jackson (UF).

To register, please visit

Net proceeds from the event benefit the Jekyll Island Foundation and supports the conservation, preservation and education efforts on Jekyll Island.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday headers - the Gruetter Bear, the Sine and the Cosine

Having suffered through ten months of senioritis, all I knew was that I was one exam and a few hours from graduating high school. I had exempted most of them. And while I wait for you to stop laughing I'll also add that they had adjusted the school's schedule to accommodate final exams on the last few days.

via Friends of Neal Gruetter
So on the last day of my high school career I strolled into Mr. Gruetter's classroom about mid-morning, ready to transmit my knowledge of trigonometrics (or whatever...) onto paper. However, my addled and diseased brain, having suffered through prolonged exposure to this terrible disease that afflicts so many 18 year olds, eventually surmised that I had the right classroom but not the right class. Gruetter briefly stopped teaching the young eager minds that were seated in front of him and looked over at me standing stupefied at the door.

"You're a day late [Bernie]."

I'm not a mathematical person. And while I wait for you to stop laughing I'll also add that I have used a calculator to check my kids' math homework since they were in kindergarten. I'm not ashamed of that. There's a reason Al Gore invented handheld computational devices that can add and subtract and multiply all of the other things high school math teachers asked of us.

No, I'm not proficient with numbers. And I had not exempted Gruetter's final. But thanks to his magnificent and magical chalkboard I had a grade that was good enough that I basically just needed to show up and sine the exam. And yet, sitting here typing this a couple decades later, I don't remember much at all in terms of trigonometry. But I remember I could hear a pin drop after he told me I was very, very late for his final.

You see, Gruetter had a tremendous sense of humor. But he could stop it on a dime. His face was stern, austere. And all I could think about at that moment was how I was going to have to go home and tell my folks that I wouldn't be walking across the stage at Stegeman that night. I was doomed. Life was over. My lifelong dream of one day developing into a mediocre blogger was in ashes at my feet.

It was about then that I saw the faintest glimpse of a smirk (After all, he was in a room full of teenagers that still had at least a year left on their k-12 contract. The man had to keep up some modicum of abject authority.) Then he motioned to an empty desk and handed me the test.

"I hope you at least brought your calculator." I quickly fished it out of my jean pocket.

He'd taught me so well.

Today's headers:
- Kimberley explains why she doesn't think the Hutson Mason arm story is anything to worry about, but that it's not going away anytime soon either. Somewhere I bet Joe Cox is nodding.
- Tyler runs through the Sanford Stadium upgrades.
- Kolton Houston had just met Phillip Lutzenkirchen hours before that fateful crash that also claimed his good friend Ian Davis. And for some reason he decided not to get in the car that night.
- Spencer sheds some beer truck sized tears while remembering Bill Stewart.
- With a measure of cautious faith in Isaiah McKenzie's legs, MaconDawg ranks Georgia's special teams 5th in the SEC.
- But perhaps he should've ranked Sakerlina's punter higher...
- Richt not talking injuries has DudeYouCrazy positively giddy!
- Meanwhile, BI's Morgan Weeks has yesterday's defensive update.
- Blutarsky runs through The Autonomy Decision by throwing plenty of links down the Hatch.
- And if you haven't yet, check out what Malcolm Mitchell added to his resume over the summer.

Sunday, Neal Gruetter passed away.

There are over thirty years of former students who would cosine and relate to you similar stories of him as a teacher, mentor, and coach, as the one I gave you up top. I can't speak to the other schools where he taught, but at Cedar Shoals Gruetter was larger than life itself. He was Gruetter Bear. He was the guy that could relate to everyone in the building on their level, from Mr. Mac all the way down to the kid whose locker wouldn't open. He was the teacher that refused to give up until you understood how his piece of chalk arrived at a negative number. He was an educator of mathematics, and a master at being human.
via Friends of Neal Gruetter

If he became frustrated it was because you weren't meeting his expectations for you and were slacking off while occupying one of his desks. When he laughed it was because he recognized that there was more to life than numbers. He never lied to us and said that understanding those equations was necessary to be a productive member of society. But he also never lied to us and said that was a reason to give up and just skate by with a D in his class.

In fact, what I remember most about Gruetter was that, much like my own parents and other teachers I hold dear, I didn't want to disappoint him. I worked hard for my grade to not just be a good reflection of my knowledge in Trig, but also a good reflection on him as a teacher.

Given how many times I've been back around Athens since Dooley left the sideline, I regret not going back to the old math wing at Cedar Shoals and telling Mr. Gruetter thanks. If this somehow reaches Mr. and Mrs. Pappas, Ms. Hobson, Coach Lawson, Mrs. Franklin, or Coach Goodwin, you can expect some form of thank you soon. Like Gruetter, you taught us all so much more than course content. At times the learning was an arduous and seemingly insurmountable task. But it was always a pleasure to use one of your desks for an hour each day.

For the rest of you, let's remember that summer is over and school is back in session. So while you're thanking you local school teachers for finally taking your kids off your hands for several hours each day, it might just be a good time to go back in time and thank some of the ones that taught you how to navigate those equations of Life.

Hope your weekend adds up to something special Reader. Godspeed Gruetter!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Whoa gatuh.

I hate it for Hargreaves. He's one of the SEC's best. But this might be the most Muschamp thing ever.

Swann's song

Hard not to be happy for Damian Swann. After his sophomore season, if you had told me he'd be around for the 2014 campaign I would've been surprised. Glad he is. And even more pleased he gets a fresh start with this guy:
“Who wouldn’t want to play for Pruitt?,” Swann said. “He’s done it before.”
The player and coach seem to be a good match so far.
Pruitt, speaking earlier this week, named Swann as the only player so far in the secondary playing “the way it’s supposed to be played in the secondary.”
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Swann has played cornerback and the star nickel back position and Pruitt said he’s capable of playing anywhere in the secondary.
“Damian’s very smart,” Pruitt said. “Football comes easy to him. He’s got a very high IQ for football. He’s very instinctive. He’s got good ball skills. He’s got good initial quickness, can change direction. He’s got a chance to be a solid player.”
After all the attrition back there and with all the young faces, I sometimes picture Coach Pruitt as trying to herd kittens. Hopefully that mental image is greatly exaggerated. Regardless, I'm sure the new defensive coordinator is glad to have someone like Swann showing those guys where the bar is set to clear if they'd like some playing time.

IPFs. OMG! and IMO...

IMO, donkeys are pretty much worthless. Especially when they're airborne.

Let me summarize: Richt has wanted an indoor practice facility before that moving van rented out of Tallahassee even pulled out of his brand new driveway back in December 2000. Back then we didn't even know what a hobnail boot was? (Actually, do we even know what it is now? Except that it tastes like HillBilly tears.) He infamously and fruitlessly pandered for one during the Damon Evans era anytime it rained. He then became a part-time weatherman and promised everyone he'd shut it on the subject of IPFs and was happy with the Butts-Mehre expansion.

Meanwhile, traction for new, shiny things has gained solid footing. Players have tweeted. Renovations and upgrades on campus athletic facilities that actually needed them have been done, mostly. Fans have bitched and moaned that we're somehow losing recruits because God insists on pretty flowers at the Botanical Gardens. Revenue grew and grew until it all collided together and the Board decided to entertain the idea of softening up our football players.

So here we are, as Groo says, one step closer. I once again invite you to blast me in the comments. After all, you've done it before. But to all of you with such a hard on for a roof over our players' heads:

  • Will you complain when it's rarely used? At least by the actual football team.
  • Will you complain when, one day, the team actually does use it to avoid some sprinkles a few days before leaving for Jacksonville where it pours harder than nickel night at Ho Malley's back in the late 1980s? 
  • (Because that will happen. Maybe or maybe not during Richt's tenure. But there are coaches out there made of sugar. So I've heard.)
  • Then again, maybe you're the kind of guy that sprints through a drizzle to get into Target as dry as possible so your coat doesn't drip on your wife's box of tampons. To each his own.
  • Better yet, will you complain when the team uses it to avoid the August heat just weeks away from playing in Hell's cockpit, Columbia SC?
  • (Because that will happen. Maybe or maybe not during Richt's tenure, but there are coaches out there that grew up well north of the Tate Center. So I've heard.)
  • Have you thought about what your new and improved excuse will be when UGA loses a high profile prima donna recruit after the construction is complete?
Lastly, have you emailed AD McGarity yet about having to eat soggy nachos? Nevernind. I bet you just sit at home if it rains on fall Saturdays so you can get an early start the next day on the NFL Sunday Ticket, where there are teams that actually play tackle football indoors.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mark Richt is damned as he does

I thought Blutarsky typed it pretty succinctly the other day. And I guess CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler reads the good Senator's blog too, because he elaborated on the issue yesterday. What follows is my two pennies.

Look. Outsiders kick Richt over player arrests. Insiders kick Richt for player arrests. Everyone kicks Richt in the nads over player arrests. And they all do it while their own kids are probably sniffing glue in the basement while instagramming pics of their private parts and brokering deals for AK-47s on Craigslist with locally embedded terrorists.

Which is why I applaud the way Richt handled the reality of the situation while addressing the true nature of the story, which is that UGA doesn't have a discipline problem because the head coach actually instills true discipline into his own program.
"Just because we've got guys suspended isn't evidence we have a discipline problem," Richt said. "It's evidence that we discipline our players. It's evidence there's accountability. ... Sometimes when you make part of your discipline playing time, it becomes a very public thing. Some of your dirty laundry gets out there in public. I'm willing to take that risk if the process will help these guys grow into men. If we ignore stuff they do and act like it didn't happen and sweep it under the rug, let them get away with it or whatever, what are we teaching? We are setting them up for failure down the road."
When you look at the issue of player arrests and off field misbehavior against the national landscape, the man on the sidelines in Athens GA isn't the problem. The problem is young boys still developing into young men (and especially while mentally and physically separated from the structure and support their coaches provide) are apt to make stupid mistakes and follow through on dumb choices. And while the meme that Coach Richt has lost control of _____ can be used both lazily and sarcastically, the truth is he's fully in control. Or at least as much as one man can be of a program that oversees the lives and development of 115 men.

Off field incidents provide us with visible content that is alluring and readily clickable. That's the nature of today's society - eager to digest TMZ style reporting while they wait in line for their $4 triple non-fat latte. It's all very sexy and transmits into the paychecks of guys like Mark Bradley and Dan Wolken:
To me, that sounds like a guy who's not only lost control of his own keyboard, but has never had the pleasure of attempting to predict and control the behavior of 17-20something year old men.
Damned man walking away.

There are a number of things you can say about Mark Richt. Many of which may even be truthful - he's Georgia's winningest coach in the history of its tackle football program, he balances family with work better than most, he's never won a national championship, he recruits the same players as his rivals, he once evaded my question completely, he doesn't exchange Christmas cards with Penn Wagers, he loves him some Nacho Libre, and has a pretty smooth back flip off the high dive.

Richt will never win the public over to the fact that there isn't a discipline problem in his program. He won't ever do that because most of the writers and media the public feeds from are lazy and largely incompetent. Publicly he's damned as he does. But privately, I doubt he really gives a shit.

And neither do I.

Humpday Hilarity - Little League players and Major League potty mouths

At one point during a game, the coach called one of his 9-year-old baseball
players aside and asked, "Do you understand what co-operation is? What a team is?"
"Yes, coach", replied the little boy.
"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win or lose together as a team?"
The little boy nodded in the affirmative.
"So," the coach continued, "I'm sure you know, when an out is called, you shouldn't
argue, curse, attack the umpire, or call him a pecker-head, dickhead or asshole.
Do you understand all that?"
Again, the little boy nodded in the affirmative.
The coach continued, "And when I take you out of the game so that another boy gets a
chance to play, it's not good sportsmanship to call your coach a dumb ass or shithead is it?"
"No, coach."
"Good", said the coach. "Now go over there and explain all that to your grandmother!"

(h/t Mac)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In August, injuries are news even when there may not be one

What I love about August is the return of college football as teams return to the practice field to prepare for the upcoming season.

What I hate about August is the return of college football as there is rarely any positive injury news. Ever.

What a conundrum.

  • So Ramik Wilson sat out yesterday, but appeared to be walking around just fine.
  • Hutson Mason didn't throw during the media session. But that was probably a precaution against arm fatigue. 
  • Leonard Floyd was in a green non-contact jersey but didn't have any limitations.
  • Jay Rome was back at full speed after seemingly aggravating his foot injury Sunday.
  • Chris Conley left the field with Ron Courson, but is probably okay.
  • Shattle Fenteng suffered some kind of hand injury.
And then there was this:

- One injury that didn't occur was to Quayvon Hicks. The junior fullback fell to the ground while trying to haul in a short pass, but got right up. Richt, who was watching the drill, used it as a chance to compliment Hicks.
"A lesser athlete wouldn't have got up," Richt said.
Gosh. You think Coach was talking about us?

August, from a Coach Richt point of view

Is it just me or does this year's hat look a little more...GQ?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ray Drew: "..everyone is going to play a vital part this season."

This guy is someone who has to be invested in Pruitt's new system. Drew is with his third line coach in four years and is coming off a season where he had eight tackles for loss and six sacks.

"He can make plays that short people probably can't make."

You have to love quotes from the practice field that find their way into reporters' mics.

So far, Shattle Fenteng, who stands at a very rangy 6' 2", and true freshman Malkolm Parrish are standing out in the secondary. Granted, we're only three practices into August, but still...this is newsworthy.
Parrish, a freshman from Quitman, is playing both the star position and cornerback. The man ahead of him at the star position, sophomore J.J. Green, had high praise for his backup.
“Malkom Parrish is standing out. Dude’s a baller," Green said after Sunday's practice. "Malkom Parrish, because he plays the same position I play, and I get to teach him up, so he goes out there and makes plays too. I really want him to play in the fall."
Green also had good things to say about Fenteng, the junior college transfer from Grayson. Green said Fenteng, a cornerback, is doing a good job of "learning coach (Jeremy) Pruitt's plays."
Fenteng was also mentioned by cornerback Aaron Davis, when he was asked who had stood out.
But what stands out most about Fenteng is that, well, he stands out: He's 6-foot-2 and lean.
“He’s long, man. He’s longer than most corners," Green said. "You see his size and think: He plays corner? He’s rangy, he’s lean. He can make plays that short people probably can’t make."

JJ Green - "Safety is hard..."

The former running back talks about his transition to the defensive backfield and sounds eager to play against Clemson.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Coach Pruitt's challenge

Pored through a lot of post-practice stuff. Couldn't find anything more fitting than the quote CRob put up on Instagram.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is our off season in a nutshell. If you want to play, and you can go about it The Georgia Way, Coach Pruitt is up to the task of getting you ready.