Collage 3
The Dawg-gone Blog
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Hello again everyone.  Again, I apologize for being a bad blogger, but hopefully this will get you guys through until the next time I can blog again.  For those wondering, the new job is going great and trust me when I say that while I miss blogging, it's nice to focus on work for a change and not get pissed off.  That's not to say I won't be picking up the slack again soon.  I have a good feeling that I will as soon as I get my sea legs in this new career.

Anyway, I wrote a series a while ago about the Top 5 Away Games I'd ever attended.  In that series, I promised I'd write about the Top 5 Home Games at a later date.  Well, I did, but I never got around to publishing it.  So I figured no time like the present, and am giving it to you now for you guys to enjoy.  

Games #5-2 are profiled below.  The #1 home game (followed up by a repost of an honorary #1) will be up in a couple of days.


5. Arkansas 2001 –
The first game after 9/11. Not much you can say after that. The Redcoats held practice the next Wednesday following the attack as practices for the previous week were suspended along with all the sporting events. That Wednesday, we were told that the upcoming Saturday was not about football as much as it was about getting 92,000 back into their 9/10/2001 mindset. We had a special pre-game show that included common USA tunes and if memory serves me correct, UGA or Arkansas never ran out on the field. I believe it was the first time a Dawg team had watched the Redcoats perform live…not that it’s important or anything, but a random stat for you. I remember doing the Rooster Call that day and had printed out an American Flag on some paper and pinned it on my marching overalls under my uniform jacket. Once I got to the steps of the Tate Center, I took the jacket off and the crowd went apeshit. You couldn’t pay me to remember what I said, but it was as emotional as I have ever been. The “Money Shot Memory” comes when, during pregame, the Athletic Association had arranged to play Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” I’ll be honest, I’d never been a fan of that tune (and I still don’t think it’s the coolest thing ever), but on that day I listened to it on the field, crying, with my hand over my heart. Then I looked to the stadium and everyone was holding up those posterboard American Flags they were given as they headed into the stadium. It was the first time that I realized that as much as I love UGA and UGA football, that it was still just a game. For what it’s worth, we ended up winning.

4. Georgia Tech 2006 – UGA fans knew what was at stake with this game. Georgia Tech as good a team as they have been years and it was the last time Reggie “Incognito Dawg” Ball and Calvin “Can’t Catch When I See A ‘G’” Johnson were facing the Classic City Canines. Even though the Dawgs had kicked the sh*t out of Auburn the previous week, the Nerd Herd came out in force thinking the Dawgs were still down and they were ready to get to kickin’. On the line for this game was the Chick-fil-A bowl, which boasted a beefed up payout and the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd. The game was a defensive one as the Dawgs held the Jackets pretty much in check except in regards to the running game. We were getting very tired very quick and even though our offense had a certain “something” to it, we really weren’t clicking on all cylinders. Finally, a couple of defensive stops led to one of the weirdest defensive scores I’ve ever seen (Tony Taylor plucking the ball from the middle of a pile for the score), and put the Dawgs within striking distance of winning this one. Tech came back to score and things were looking bleak again. If you know anything about me, I HATE Georgia Tech with a passion and I can’t stand losing to them. I was getting a little worried, but I had faith in my Dawgs. The “Money Shot Memory” begins as UGA begins driving towards the South end of the stadium. A couple of key plays put us within scoring range and it was time to go to a 4 WR set. Stafford gets the snap, scrambles a little bit, and fires to a jumping Mo Mass for the score. The place goes crazy, we convert the two-point conversion, and the Nerds sitting behind us in the UGA student section mysteriously disappeared. It was a shame, too, because I wanted to have a small conversation with them about the game.

3. Georgia Tech 2002 – Thrilling victories? Last second scores? Yes, these are the things that make what one would call a “classic,” but hanging 51 on your top rival is definitely something that sticks around in my mind. From what I remember, it was a pretty cold day and I was looking at never marching in Redcoats again. For all intents and purposes at that time, I had enough disagreements with the staff within the RCB and I just didn’t know if I’d come back for my (second) senior year. I was hoping to go out with a solid victory and Georgia Tech is one of those games that gets my blood boiling at somewhere around 1000 degrees Kelvin. You know, somewhere around the temperature of the sun. Anyway, it was a real nice day. Not too cold, not too hot and I think it was a bit overcast, which is always nice because I didn’t have to wear sunglasses. The Dawgs were just way too hot early on and quickly forced turnovers and found the endzone like it was their job. And why wouldn’t they be kicking the snot out of the Nerd Herd? I mean this was the 2002 team of destiny that was on the outside looking in for a National Title shot, but was still very much in the hunt. We were out to make a statement and we did. The “Money Shot Memory” began in the 3rd quarter when you saw the Yellow River (written by I.P. Freely) start heading for the exits. Very quickly after halftime was over it was apparent that this was a game of men vs. boys and it turned into an excuse for some key reserves to get playing time for next year…for both teams.

2. UT 2000 – Can you say “long time coming?” UGA had been getting killed by UT for years, losing what I believe to be 8 straight in the series. Not since the Herschel days had we dominated any UT team. Phil Fulmer was 2 seasons out of a National Championship win and subsequently the world’s first BCS title. It was time for us to get a win and time for Jim Donnan and Quincy Carter to live up to the hype. The Dawgs were touted at the beginning of the year to be a very successful team after years of solid recruiting. All week long there was talk in the Red and Black about tearing down the goal posts. ESPN jumped on the bandwagon as well and picked up the game to be televised at night. So let me get this straight…1) talk of tearing down goalposts 2) ESPN night game 3) TONS AND TONS of hype all week long and finally 4) Some genius from UT talked some trash earlier in the week and it was prime bulletin board material. You put all this together and you’ve got Dawg fans that will not take a loss, and they will drink as much as necessary to make sure a victory is guaranteed. The score would indicate it was a close game the whole time, but UT was never really in it to begin with. UGA scored often enough and UT stalled offensively pretty much the whole game. The “Money Shot Memory” begins with a little less than 2 minutes left. A score plus onside kick plus another score is the only thing that’s going to give UT a “W” and the students have started gathering on the sideline. In Larry Munson’s words, “The athletic department is about to lose $11,000.” The common security you see at every game starting around 5 minutes left is nowhere to be found and it’s almost time to celebrate. UGA kills all of UT’s hope on a 4th quarter stop and the students begin pouring out on the field. Flash bulbs are going off, people are running to the goal posts….and the game isn’t over. The Dawgs start chasing students back. Coaches and fans are screaming at the top of their lungs for these idiots to move back out of bounds so the clock can run out. The crowd is seemingly uncontrollable and I can remember thinking to myself, “we might have to forfeit this game with 1:40 left.” The Redcoats begin chanting “GET OFF THE FIELD!” over and over again until finally the intoxicated mob realizes that it’s over when it’s OVER…not before. Order is restored, Quincy takes a knee (and not because he dropped his joint on the ground), and time runs out. Then, the hedges are destroyed, the goal posts come down, the Dawgs are mobbed, the scene turns ugly, a girl gets trampled to the point of hospitalization, and my roommate loses my UGA hat that he borrowed. In his words “it got knocked off as I was climbing the pole.” I miss that hat.

Well, there you have it. #1 should be up sometime in the next few days.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Monday, February 18, 2008
One of those days where everything went right and you still ended up pissed off?  What the f*ck is up with that?  

Around the Blogosphere:

The Good Senator keeps us up to date on clock rules, Britton Colquit's inability to stop drinking, and anything  else related to college football.

The King lists his Blogger Awards votes.  Oddly enough, I'm not listed on his best SEC blog nominees, nor his funniest blogs.  I need to step my game up.

Finally, PWD breaks down the UT game as well as the increase in ticket prices.  Can't disagree with his assessments in either post, though I do think that whatever Mark Richt wants, Mark Richt should get.  If the man wants an indoor practice facility, it's better than him pulling a "Tubber-licious" and using his winning percentage for a pay raise.  

In non-Dawg related news, I started a new job in advertising last week.  For those of you who don't know me very well, this is a major step in my life.  I've always wanted to work at an advertising agency and through some hard work, plenty of prayers/good thoughts, and some luck along the way, I think I've found a home for me for a very long time.  

Here's to me finding a way to turn a hobby into a career.  Thanks to all my family and friends who have supported me along the way.  It is appreciated in a way that you cannot imagine.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.  

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Thursday, February 14, 2008
In a post that I put up just last night (that was actually started last Friday...that's how busy I've been), I said that we have problems with our basketball program.  Now, in Hey Jenny Slater fashion, I'd like to pose the question of "care to amend your statement?" to myself.

Do I think UGA is a bad basketball team?


Do I think Felton is a bad coach?

In areas.

Do I care to amend my statement?


You see, what we have here is a team that is as night and day as a team can be.  Our one bright spot is the will, determination, dare I say heart, of a few players who HAVE bought into Felton's system and are willing to play basketball to the best of their abilities even throughout tough times.

There should not be a person out there who can question Sundiata Gaines, Dave Bliss, or even Jeremy Price.  Those three guys have proven they can play ball and can put all they have into what's happening on and off the court.

I have said repeatedly that Felton's teams always play good defense, but have been inept on offense.  Sure, we might score points like we did last night, but it hasn't happened often.

There are bright spots, though.  The meat and potatoes of Felton's recruiting is currently sitting on the bench earning redshirts and the class for 2008 and 2009 have some big-time guys in them.  I'm not saying Felton is doing a bad job.  There are just areas that need VAST improvement.

We're already out of the NCAA tourney.  It'd take a SEC tourney win to even come close to sniffing the field of 64.  Are we out of the NIT?  I think we are, but if we can rattle off a huge home win against UT this Saturday, and make a remarkable (and damn near impossible) run towards the end of the schedule PLUS pick up a couple of SEC tourney wins, then MAYBE we get a look at the NIT.  With the SEC being so down this year, however, it seems that most of our conference's teams are looking to be in the second-best tourney which would leave us out.  

So, do I care to amend my statement?  Again, I do not.  I still don't think this program is focused enough on and off the court to really get things where we need them to be.  With Felton's defensive mind, if we could get some offense, we'd be dangerous as hell.  But until we find THAT kid who can take our program to the next level, we're not going to be feared.  We're respected because of our defense, but it will be our offense that will turn this program around.

Anyway, it's a great win for the Dawgs and The Bulldawg Blawg has a good post that is not related to mine, but makes you feel better for the time being.  

Let's just hope we come out with a win against UT on Saturday.  If we do that, then who knows?  The train might just find its way back to the tracks.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.


Friday, February 08, 2008
It seems that our basketball program is fading slowing into the night, with a do-not-resuscitate order in place and no one to make us more comfortable. To say that I’m frustrated would be an understatement of grand proportions, and I really have no idea where the program goes from here.

It should be noted that what happened off the court with Humphrey is not the fault of Dennis Felton. Billy made a “mistake” when he had one stiff drink downtown and jaywalked. Of course we’re talking about Athens, where jaywalking and having only one drink will land you in the slammer. What’s concerned me most, however is how Billy really doesn’t seem to care about his situation. To summarize from the AJC article, Billy knew he wasn’t healthy enough to play so he wasn’t going to play the next few games anyway. The whole attitude seemed very “you guys weren’t going to have me anyway, so what’s the big deal.” That’s very troubling to say the least. If he doesn’t care about the fact that he’s not playing, regardless of reason, then he doesn’t have the drive to be effective on this team anymore.

PWD shares my sentiment that our program could have (and possibly should have) been in much better condition in the amount of time that Dennis Felton has been the coach there. Trust me, I understand that he took a thankless job with a program facing NCAA regulations where he knew up front he would be short on scholarships after he arrived. I agree with most when they say that he took a chance on us and he has earned our benefit of the doubt.

However, his out-of-pocket maximum regarding his benefits is coming dangerously close to being achieved. There are two things undeniable when summing up his tenure at UGA:

• His teams are offensively inept.
• His players are constantly at odds with him and the program.

When you look at those two things on paper you basically come to two conclusions:

• You can’t win if you don’t score.
• You’re always rebuilding if you’re always losing players.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for Felton’s head on a platter. There are things about his coaching that I have always admired. He’s a great defensive mind, he expects his kids to be great on and off the court, and he rules with an iron first. However, he has got to make some changes at the end of this year, or he may be looking for a new job come the first few games into next season.

What boggles me is that he has recruited well, but he hasn’t kept the studs he’s gotten on campus. You can’t count Louis Williams as a UGA player, Mike Mercer was dismissed, Takais Brown was dismissed, Billy Humphrey is a frog's hair away from being dismissed, and the hits just keep on coming. With Felton’s eye for talent, why can’t he keep his great players on the court? It doesn’t really seem to be a problem anywhere else, so what am I missing?

Some people believe that Felton deserves another year in order to have the “correct” amount of time in regards to building a program. I say “correct” amount, because you really can’t count his first two years of being at UGA since we were fielding a team that was similar to duct taping an airplane wing. Maybe Felton should get another year. Again, I’m not calling for his head, but there are significant issues with our program that are undeniable. Felton MUST get an offensive mind on his staff at the end of the season (which can’t come soon enough at this point). He also must get production out of a VERY young group next year, which starts by playing these kids today. Plain and simple, if he doesn’t double (possibly triple depending on how bad this season gets) his SEC wins next year, I think he’s gone. We’re too much of an athletic university and we have too much to offer to not field a respectable basketball team. It used to be the second most popular sport on campus. Now, I’d venture to say you’d find more students at an intramural underwater basket weaving contest than at our games.

Oh, and if the University is smart, they’d let people in for free against UF and UT. We’ve got to do whatever it takes to get asses in seats and bring some life back to this program. Felton can’t recruit if he can’t win. It’s mighty tough to win when no one notices you even exist.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008
Signing Day 2008 has come and gone and UGA has brought in another stellar class. We signed 24 kids, most (if not all) will actually make it to Athens, and some of the talent in this group is ready to contribute from day one. All in all, I’d say we had a very successful day.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to focus on the 10 stories from yesterday that are worth talking about. Every Signing Day has drama and even this one wasn’t without its own share, but I think when the dust settles, these are the 10 things we’ll really remember.

The Top 10 Stories from Signing Day 2008:

10. 24 Commitments stuck to their word – With the high-profile kids we had committed to this class, it was going to be a challenge for us to fight off other schools for their commitment. However, very few of the recruits had any sort of “I’m committed to UGA right now” type of drama. Most importantly, the highest profile ones (A.J. Green, DeAngelo Tyson, A.J. Harmon) all committed, stuck to their word, and were some of the first ones to come across the fax yesterday. At least A.J. Harmon had the good sense to de-commit before signing day, giving Clemson some time to find another player for that scholarship.

9. Nerds hate us – We beat Georgia Tech in everything, you know? Football, basketball, recruiting. It’s just a non-stop ugly-fest when we go against them in anything. Check the quote from GT QB signee Tevin Washington. Washington let us know what’s on his mind when he said, “I hate Georgia.” Sure, you do, kid. You can’t stand us. You know why? Because we didn’t offer you a scholarship. You’re just not good enough. Sorry, but we don’t have time to see every single kid who can run fast and maybe can throw the ball. Paul Johnson does, but we’re too busy winning to even notice. This is eerily reminiscent of another QB Tech had at one time that couldn’t stand (or beat for that matter) Georgia. I’ll give you a hint. He couldn’t count to four. Alright Washington, you called down the Thunder. We’ll see you in November.

8. We’ve got a kicker – Kickers rarely get love, but at UGA they have been a very integral part to our success. If we never had Brandon Coutu or Billy Bennett, we don’t win two SEC Championships and have three appearances in five years. It just doesn’t happen. We also don’t go 11-2 this season. It just is what it is. Right now, UGA only has two kickers on scholarship and they are both punters. We are in bad need of a reliable place-kicker and we got one in Blair Walsh. 3-stars, 4-stars, 5-stars, 0-stars, this kid’s got a leg and I’ve seen the video to prove it. Whether or not he can keep his head in the game and be clutch for us is yet to be seen, but at least we know he’s got the talent to be good. We just have to get him where he needs to be mentally.

7. Mark Richt gained some national face time – It’s rare for us to be all over television, but with the class we compiled and the way we finished the season, a lot of major players were all over Mark Richt yesterday. I was able to listen in on his ESPN2 appearance and even though nothing major was said or done, it’s still nice to know that your team is now becoming part of that “elite” category. Couple that with Richt’s always classy approach and all you can do is sit back and just admire what we’re doing on and off the field.

6. Even when frustrated, the staff still keeps its head up – Here’s a quote from Richt that’s just gotta make you respect the man. In reference to the Dwayne Allen saga, Richt said, “We do things a certain way here. We don’t really have the glitz, glitter and bling. We choose to be as realistic as we can be when we talk to these kids so they know what they are going to get. We don’t want them showing up and saying, ‘That’s not what you said, coach.’ We’re always going to be honest with them. We’re not going to promise anyone a starting position, or say you might play for us this year. We don’t say anybody’s going to start as a freshman, no matter what.” Well, at least we know WHY Dwayne Allen left. Be sure to laugh like hell when he redshirts.

5. Xavier Avery may just be a Dawg yet – One of the best athletes of the entire class is Xavier Avery. He has starred in football, baseball, and track and could be the most gifted athlete to come through UGA in a long time. He has the physical makeup and the grades (4.0 GPA) to learn the system quickly and contribute immediately. One thing that’s scared UGA fans; however is that he is a premier baseball player. Much like Israel Troupe, this kid WILL get drafted in June, but he will go much, much higher than Troupe did. Some have even said that he’ll never see the field and that UGA should have pulled his scholarship. One thing is for sure, if he does leave college for the MLB, then it will take some convincing. Avery said yesterday, “I cannot wait to spend the next four years in Athens…It will take a lot for me to leave Athens (for baseball). I would be giving up a lot to play Major League Baseball, so they would have to make up for that.” Whether or not he ever steps on the field is yet to be seen, but at least the kid’s got his head on straight.

4. Richard Samuel is a BEAST – The kid is an absolute physical monster, he hits the weight room hard, and he plays even harder on the field. Couple that with the fact that he is only 17 (yes you read that right…and he JUST turned 17) and you have a recipe that, with the right training, will turn him into a flat-out baller. If you’ve never watched his highlight video, you need to make some time to YouTube him. He is very physical, has good balance, is tall with long arms, and he sees the field well. Once he fine tunes some of his skills (I think he tends to over-pursue tackles), he’s going to be a leader of this team. Also, don’t be surprised at all if he winds up at linebacker. He’s good as a running back, but he loves to hit people and he’s too good at doing that to ignore it.

3. Jim Rome continues his douche-baggery – This was passed on to me from Ally. Here’s Jim Rome’s comments from yesterday about Mark Richt’s recruiting strategies: “Georgia coach Mark Richt has spent the last couple of months in the ‘convincing parade’ to get All-Americans to become Bulldogs by bringing them to his ‘crib’ to play ping-pong!...No wonder Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are getting over on him! Ping pong?! I don’t think I’m speaking ‘out of school’ when I say there are two things and only two things these kids want when they take an official visit. The way to get loaded! And they want to see some of the local talent…Again, I applaud Richt’s tact…at least he’s not greasy! But I guarantee Herschel Walker didn’t pick Georgia because of a knock down, drag out game of foosball with Vince Dooley.” Let me just say that I can’t f*cking stand Jim Rome, first. Second, all I have to say is that Nick Saban and Urban Meyer didn’t get over on Mark Richt last season, did they? Expect more of the same this year. Jim Rome can eat my @ss without the added benefit of grape jelly. If anyone wants to know what they can get me for a belated birthday present, it’s five minutes with that guy.

2. We missed Omar Hunter by THIS much – Trust me, the one that got away played on the defensive side of the ball. Our coaches commit to a kid until he de-commits from us. However, when he does so, everyone else is fair game. When DA left us for Clemson, it left us with an extra scholly that we promptly faxed to Omar Hunter. However, his LOI was already sent to Florida 30 minutes earlier. If Dwayne Allen mans up and even de-commits that morning when he woke up, then we snag Hunter. How do I know this? Check out this quote from Hunter himself: “When I de-committed from Notre Dame, Georgia was definitely the favorite at the time. I really like Georgia, it’s a great school in the state, but they really didn’t have a scholarship for me. Florida kept recruiting me and they became my No. 1…I went in last weekend looking at Florida and Georgia. They were two outstanding schools, and I really loved them both. But unfortunately, Georgia didn’t have a scholarship. It was just bad timing for Georgia.” All in all, I wish the kid the best. He wanted us and we wanted him, but it wasn’t meant to be. As long as he never plays in a WLOCP, I’ll root for him.

1. DeAngelo Tyson has a home – If you don’t know much about DeAngelo Tyson, you should do your best to find out real soon. This is a kid who has bounced in and out of foster homes his entire life and has worked extremely hard to get where he’s at right now. This kid appreciates the opportunity he’s been given and I guarantee you he will not disappoint off the field. On the field, I expect him to be a monster, but sometimes football just isn’t that important. This kid is getting an opportunity for a quality education that he earned through hard work, perseverance, and a desire to better himself and his situation. He deserves our respect before he’s ever donned a UGA uniform.

So, there you have it. I think the biggest question mark is which of these kids will redshirt and which will play, but we’ll have to wait until they’re all on campus and practicing in order to determine that.

Oh, and after signing this class, if you’re not excited you’re just not a UGA fan. Plain and simple.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Every year there's signing day drama. This year was no different when Dwayne Allen switched his commitment from UGA to Clemson. I guess the kid felt more at home there, didn't like the depth at UGA, or whatever. I have said before that I can't stand it when grown men bash kids, but it would be nice (even though it is a very difficult decision) for a kid to take his time with the process, take his visits, and then decide and stick with it. What's particularly frustrating about the Dwayne Allen situation is that he committed to UGA TWICE and still changed his mind.

Either way, our class is solid as a rock from top to bottom and even though we were the #5 recruiting class in the nation by, as far as addressing needs, our coaches should get a solid A. It would've been nice to have Allen, Hunter, Sanders, etc., but the truth is we just didn't have room for kids who were wavering. We've had absolute studs give us their word and stick to it the whole time. I'd much rather have a class of kids like that than one athlete who can't figure out if it's a good business decision for him or not.

Besides, with Allen's departure we have an extra scholarship to give away next year in a recruiting class that is going to be tight on available slots. We have some needs that we absolutely must address in the '09 class and one more kid to add to that list would be ideal.

So, I may or may not write a long piece about this recruiting class since others will most likely do the same, but what you need to know right now is that we've addressed our needs, we currently have an extra scholarship to give away, and we have a damn fine football team in the waiting for next year.

I'd say the future is bright, but I've already got my shades on.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008
Ok, I just finished watching today's contest against the Wildcats and there are a few observations to make.

The Pros:
  • Offensively, we showed vast improvement when compared to the last two games.
  • Defensively, we still continue to keep the pace of the game at a tempo we're comfortable with.
  • We called timeouts.  
  • Dave Bliss
  • We actually went on a scoring run.  17-5 at some point, I believe.
The Cons:
  • Not enough offensive improvement for me to sit back and say we had an offensive gameplan.
  • We're still not experienced enough defensively to play man coverage effectively.
  • We lost.

I'm sure there are many more things to touch on, but I haven't followed this year's team close enough to really be able to break things down like I normally would.  I'm sure PWD is going to take care of that, so be sure to run over there sometime in the next day or so and check it out.

Me personally, I know Felton is recruiting like his mind is bad, but unless we find a way to run an offense, we're always going to have sub-par seasons.  Things missing from this team include a dominant big man, consistent ball movement, and a clutch shooter.  Some of those will take care of themselves with the gained experience and the solid recruiting.  However, if we don't find an offensive identity soon, I don't know if Dennis Felton will ever get to coach these kids he's bringing in.

Until next time kids.

Be safe. 

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