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The Dawg-gone Blog
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Monday, June 30, 2008
I've never been one to handle death eloquently.  It's not my thing.  I typically don't talk at funerals, I don't share my emotion when I'm sad and I most certainly don't reach out to others for support.  Again, it's just not my thing.

When I heard about Uga VI passing, I was on a "set" shooting a short film for the 48 Hour Film Project.  It was about 9:00 a.m. or so and Ally sent me a text message giving me the news.  I immediately told Beer Blog Pong This, who was on the "set" as well.  Then, the news filtered to friends and friends of friends, and so on.  

Strangely enough, sadness wasn't the first emotion that came to my mind. Instead, I was more disappointed because I was no longer going to see the grown up puppy I had come to love.  You see I never got to see but one game under Uga V.  I was a freshman at UGA when Uga VI took over and, in fact, the "Passing of the Bone" ceremony that happened vs. South Carolina in 1999 took place just to my immediate right, about 3 rows over.  Both Dawgs walked past me, and I remember see one tired Dawg literally step out of the limelight in favor of another Dawg who had the energy to do it.  

Uga VI was the only Uga I've ever had my picture taken with...and it only happened one time.  That photo is proudly displayed at my parents' house in Perry, on the bottom of the entertainment center, just to the right.

Disappointment, not sadness.  Sadness is natural and human but it's not what I'm feeling.  Am I so torn up about it that I can't function?  Not really.  Uga VI was a great Dawg, a wonderful mascot and one of the more livelier animals I've ever seen.  However, as he got older, you could tell he was getting tired.  I remember thinking this past year that I hoped they'd retire him soon since he already had that pink spot on his eye from surgery and he just looked like every game was wearing him out.  

Now don't get me wrong, I'm disappointed for all the right reasons.  I'm disappointed because Uga VI has been UGA's mascot since my freshman year.  He's all I've really known and there's not a single football experience I can remember that he wasn't the mascot for.  Every thrilling victory, every long bomb, every time we seemed out of it and climbed back and every time we seemed out of it and never got back in it, he was there, just like me.

So here's to the oldest puppy I've ever seen.  I hope the next Uga shares the same spirit, tenacity and winning record.  

To a Damn Good Dawg.  I'm sorry we couldn't share more games together.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Well, I'm not one to blog about Georgia Baseball.  This has not only been documented by my lack of (well, let's say "non-existent") comments about the team all year long, but my reluctance to even mention the improbable run of the Diamond Dawgs all the way to the 2008 College World Series.

To say that our team exceeded expectations would be an understatement.  We went from a horrible team last year to probably one of the best in the nation this year.  We had offense and defense at all the key moments to get us in the Championship game.

However, over the past two days, it just wasn't meant to be.  UGA struggled with pitching while Fresno State enjoyed a plethora of hitting in what could be described as one of the most run heavy College World Series finals ever.  Our pitching failed at the most critical time, while their production enjoyed an over-abundance of runs at all the right times.  

I'm not buying all the "Cinderella" hype that Fresno State received.  Granted, their road to the CWS was one of the toughest, if not THE toughest, any team has overcome in a very long time, but let's not forget that this was a team ranked #20 in the nation at the beginning of the season by Baseball America, while UGA wasn't ranked at all.  There's a difference between winning at the right time and winning when you're not supposed to.  By the numbers, Fresno State underachieved most of the year, while UGA OVERACHIEVED.  Those are just the numbers, folks.  Nothing made up there.

Now, as for the absolutely suffocating hype of the "Cinderella" brought on by ESPN and any other media, I can't control that.  I wish I could but it was very well documented what the "feel good" story was and how that would translate into ratings.  ESPN and any media outlet outside of Georgia wanted the faux Bulldogs to win the CWS because all-in-all it was the "Better Story."

I can't take anything away from Fresno State.  They played lights out when they needed to.  The word "clutch" doesn't begin to describe that team and to say that they deserve a tip-of-the-hat would be an understatement.  But to say this was a flat out upset would be a travesty.  This Fresno State team is LOADED with talent, just like the UGA team they faced for three straight days.

The word of the day is "deserving."  UGA deserved to be in the CWS Championship, just like Fresno State. And, in the same breath, Fresno State "deserves" to be the Champions after playing lights out baseball in the past two games.

Let's not take anything away from tonight other than knowing the two best teams in the nation played it out for all the marbles and the team that played better won the whole thing.  From the top to the bottom, Fresno State had the pitching, defense and hitting that propelled them to the top of the College Baseball ranks and they flat-out deserve to be there.

But what the Diamond Dawgs accomplished is nothing to sneeze at.  We went farther in the CWS than what I, or any Dawg, has seen in MANY MANY years.  This team did all they could to bring an NCAA Championship to Athens, and even though they fell short, it was still leagues above what people expected them to do at the beginning of the season.

So here's to Perno and the UGA baseball staff.  You put together one helluva run when no one expected any better.  Fields and Beckham, we will absolutely miss your leadership and production, but here's to the UGA team of the present and the one of the future.  I'm very much looking forward to doing the same thing next year, except we'll bring home hardware next time.  

Mark my words.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.


Monday, June 16, 2008
There are a lot of things I just don't do.  I don't wear my Dawg Tags any time except game day or some type of championship event.  I don't shave the day before a football game.  I typically have 1 or 2 pairs of Gameday boxers and will only wear those boxers on Gameday.

I tend to be quite a superstitious about a lot of things. 

Which is why I don't write about Georgia Baseball.  I don't typically care that much about College Baseball in general and since I haven't blogged about how the team's been doing, I figured why do it now and potentially mess it up?

So what will I talk about instead?  

Well aside from The Event happening in Athens this past weekend, a host of hot shot recruits were at the Mark Richt Prospect Camp to show their stuff.  Verbal commits like Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and Austin Long were in attendance (though Long didn't participate) and guys from the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 classes were there to try and get on UGA's radar.

So far, the most praise has gone to Murray, who apparently showed fierce accuracy and skills in the pocket.  Also receiving a few nods were Marcus Lattimore, a talented RB out of South Carolina who is leaning towards the Gamecocks and Michael Bowman, who showed all around great skills at the WR position.

All in all, I think this camp was an opportunity for some kids who would otherwise fly under the radar because they just don't play on fantastic teams or go to lower-profile high schools, to get themselves in front of some UGA coaches and hope to have a good day to create some buzz.

So, no new commitments, but we did have some guys that showed out and some guys that learned a little bit about UGA.  I'll take that any day.

Pictures from Biloxi, Jeb's Wedding and The Event soon.  I promise. 

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008
I'm a lucky person.  Flat out lucky as can be.  Lucky enough to have kept friendships that have lasted more than 2/3 of my life.  Lucky enough to have a family that still supports me blindly regardless of the circumstances.

I'm also lucky enough to have the ability to drive to Athens at least once every summer so I can take the time to slow down and remember what "home" feels like.  

This weekend is the weekend of the Unofficial Official Event.  Redcoats that I marched with, marched before me and marched after me will all meet on the 3rd floor of The Village Idiot somewhere around 8:00 pm.  If you're in town, you're more than welcome to stop by and be sure to bring some $$$ to donate towards to scholarship fund.  

Anyway, last night, I went and soaked in a summer night of drinking Downtown.  I drank Jack in Coke on the rocks AND in frozen form.  By the way, last night I was asked for the first time in my life whether or not I wanted my Jack and Coke frozen or on the rocks.  THAT will take your mind to a whole new level.

So I had a good time last night.  So good that I woke up this morning feeling like $671,586.  Not quite a million, but close enough to still enjoy my day.  I got up, went and got loads of Powerade Zero, some vanilla wafers, some pop tarts and Pepto.  Then, I took a trip to the Blind Pig and am currently sitting in my nice suite at the Gameday condo waiting for the Blind Pig cheese fries to release their deadly hold on me.  Then, I'll be headed out to make it all happen again tonight.  

Good times indeed.

But it's always something bigger this time of year.  We all get so busy that we forget sometimes what's really important.  Of course the drinking is fun but I'd spend this weekend sober as the Pope if I still got to hang out with the same people and experience the same fun.  Besides, at that point, I'd probably remember more anyway.

So, I'm logging off, but I wanted to put something on the blog to broadcast to the world that right now, where I sit, I'm the luckiest person on earth.  

And there's nothing better than that.  At all.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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