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The Dawg-gone Blog
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Before I begin, I'd like to thank Dr. Russell for making an appearance in the comments section to the previous post.  I hope your students enjoy their PR Campaigns class as much as I did and, subsequently, learn as much as I did in the process (though I have no reservations that they are). And for the record, Dr. R, I took the Dismantling Persistent Poverty campaign with Dr. Sallot (Fall 2003). I'm not sure what PPA is, but if that's what it's being referred to now, then yes, that's the one I took. Please tell Dr. Sallot I said hello.

Moving on, I wanted to touch briefly on what it means to be a head coach nowadays in the world of college football.  The title of "The Father Figure" stretches farther than many could have ever imagined merely 20 years ago, and the job of leading a team to be ready for a game week after week entails much more today than it ever has.

You see, in today's world you have athletes from zero stars to five stars who come from great homes and many who come from broken ones.  All too often you read about a guy like DeAngelo Tyson, who came from a foster home and used his God-given athletic ability to make something of himself on the gridiron, so that maybe one day he can enjoy the fruits of a college education, or in the best case, an NFL (and life-changing) career.

When Mark Richt recruits these kids nowadays, he's not recruiting kids to be the next starter at the Cornerback position.  He's recruiting kids.  Kids like you and I used to be.  Kids who never thought they could make it to a school like the University of Georgia. 

Since I was a child, my parents equated going to the University of Georgia to winning some sort of lottery.  It's not that I came from UGA money.  It's more like I didn't come from hardly any money at all.  When I got that UGA acceptance letter, it was a day unlike any birthday or Christmas I can remember.  

Now its unfathomable to put myself in the position of A.J. Bryant, whose dad hung on to life until he found out his kid was going to play at UGA, and then passed the next day.  Or in the case of Michael Lemon who accepted a scholarship from UGA only to lose his mother in a very tragic way.  And let's definitely not forget about kids like DeAngelo Tyson who's had no idea what it's like to even have a family, PERIOD.

For Coach Mark Richt, and for many coaches across the nation, it's their job to turn high school pros into collegiate stars.  However, for a select amount of coaches (those that choose to do so), they have a heavier burden.  One that means guiding, chastising and leading these young men into becoming grown men.  Ones that are ready for life on and off the field.  Ones that have experienced the thrill of victory and the life lesson that comes with an agonizing defeat.  

Sure, some of these kids have come from fantastic families. Some of them have a blood-bond support structure that rivals that of what you would see on Extreme Home Makeover. However, for every good one, there is a bad story.  A yin to every yang, if you will.

It's in times like these, where kids make bad decisions, that they need that "father figure" the most.  I know I'd be less than half of the half of the man I'd be today without a family (and particularly a father) that showed me what it took to be a productive member of society.  To stand up for what's right even when you don't want to and to grin and bear it when times get tough, because by-God, the night is darkest before the dawn.

So I write this today with respect for our program and respect for the men that run it.  Now, more than ever, we have to applaud the actions of a few grown men who have been given the daunting task of raising 85 scholarship, and countless others not on scholarship, kids who need to know more than when to turn their hips before being burnt deep on a post pattern.  This is a salute to the men who say "Son, you had a bad game.  How's your family?  What can I do to make you a better man off the field?"

To those men, all across the NCAA, and definitely the ones at UGA, I salute you.  I understand and appreciate that football games are still just games.  What I hope we never lose site of are the times where a young man becomes a man, and learned it from someone who cared enough to spend to the time to teach it after practice.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008
I won't apologize for my lack of blogging lately.  It's actually been way out of my hands since the internet signal I've been "borrowing" for the past month basically disappears and reappears on a whim.  Things will be better by August 1, which is when I move into a new apartment with a friend of mine and that will mark the glorious return of cable TV and household internet.  Woot, indeed.

Anyway, so much has happened lately that I'd like to try and touch on as much as possible and even some future stuff in the length of one post, b/c I'm not sure I'll be around to post tomorrow or the next day given the "type" of internet situation I'm in. 

So let's get started:

  • Countdown to Kickoff -- I got a nice e-mail from Ms. Rachel T., who is currently in a PR Campaigns class at UGA.  I took the same class while I was in school and we handled a UGA Initiative on Poverty.  Anyway, I digress.  She asked me to put a mention out there for Countdown to Kickoff for this weekend.  It's hosted by the Stinchcomb's and David Greene and all proceeds benefit multiple Children's Charities throughout Georgia.  It's a great event, not just for the causes, but because of the up close and personal interactions with past & present Dawgs.  I should be going myself and am really looking forward to it. Three things:  1) For more information, click the hyperlink at the beginning of this bullet to go to the main page. 2) PWD at the Georgia Sports Blogs has two great posts on the event where he talks about the event and then has an interview with Matt Stinchcomb.   3) And finally, Dr. Russell, give Rachel an "A" on this one.  She reached out to a blog community (not just myself, but other bloggers as well) to drum up support for this.  It's "out of the box" thinking and will probably sell 100 or 200 extra tickets due to it being out on teh interwebs. I say job well done.

  • On the arrests -- I was applauded/blasted on The Dawgvent when I wrote that we do not have a team discipline problem.  I really truly believe that we don't.  I know we have STUPIDITY problems, but discipline is not one of them.  Yes, I've heard over and over again about "SEVEN ARRESTS! SEVEN ARRESTS!" but honestly, six of the seven were nonviolent offenses and one charge as already been dropped due to the classy way it was handled (Lomax).  Now, Lemon is in deep sh*t as of right now and he has been dismissed from UGA per the AJC.  The rest of the stuff though, is kids doing really stupid sh*t. Drinking and driving is one of those type of issues where 90% of us have done it and 90% of us agree that it was f*cking dumb to do.  When you do it you put yourself and others' lives in danger.  There is no excuse.  So, my final advice for the Dawgs going forward is "don't drink and drive, stay the f*ck away from downtown, don't beat up kids when you're a 6-4 260 lb. wrecking ball and don't touch pregnant women."  Can we all do that?  

  • Toby Jackson doesn't qualify -- Poor Toby busted his ass as much as he could, got a stellar grade on the ACT (which was flagged for being a stellar grade from a sub-stellar student), took the ACT again and fell one point short.  Right now, he's trying to appeal so he can take the test one more time, or he's Hargrave bound.  Now, I know there's a need to make sure students aren't cheating constantly and that the kids we signed are the kids that take the test.  But if a kid has actually taken the test himself and you can't find any hard evidence that he cheated, I say chalk it up to experience and figure that he just worked his ass off and had a good day.  I think an accusation without evidence is a true injustice, especially to a kid who's doing his best.  Oh well, whatever happens, it will work out for Toby and he'll be a Dawg, whether he's there by this fall or by next January.  No worries.

  • Dawgs get another commit -- We picked up another commitment in a CB out of Virginia in Jordan Love.  No one really knows much about this kid except that he's happy he's chose UGA and he's got some good reach on him.  Looking at his frame and by reading his comments from the commitment article, this kid really reminds me of Asher Allen.  He's definitely got his head on straight and knows what it takes to be a Dawg.  Welcome, Jordan Love.  If someone hands you a beer, just say "let's drink this the dark...and hide my keys."
Well, that's all I've got for right now.  If the signal stays (see: unlikely) then more to come soon.  If the signal keeps going in and out (see: likely), then it is what it is.  

Also, since February, I've been blogging on my Mac, which means I haven't had my PC (my Munson Mix Maker) fired up.  Once I move into the new place, I'll knock the dust off the old Dell and fire off a new mix or two before the season.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for tunes.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Of course I'm kidding.  But, I'm not going to discuss Sturdivant, Anderson and Lemon's arrest until more comes out about what exactly they did (or in the case of TS and JA, "didn't do").

In other news, those who follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook know that I took part in a short movie over the weekend.  Aside from being absolutely exhausted after the shoot, the experience was a blast and the final product is very well done. 

To give you the 5 peso version, I was lucky enough to take part in the 48 Hour Film Project with two friends I met in Vegas who have subsequently moved to Atlanta.  Aaron and Mel S. have put together one fine "uber drama" titled It's A Boy.  Before I provide a link, I'd like to pass on a few tidbits from the experience that I remembered once I saw the final product:
  • Aaron and Mel S. are superb at laying out an idea and shooting to fulfill that idea.  They were warriors all weekend long in staying up all night on Friday after the brainstorming session to write a script, shooting all day Saturday and then editing all Saturday night.

  • Putting together a seven minute-30 second movie is a helluva lot of work.  I can't imagine what it must be like to shoot a movie that will last anything over an hour.  We probably had an multiple hours worth of film, but a lot of scenes were shot in multiple angles to best tell the story so a LOT always ends up on the cutting room floor.

  • I'm much fatter on film than I'd ever like to admit to in real life.  The camera adds 10 pounds and all that, but even if the camera added zero pounds, I'd still be kicking myself for looking like that on film for the rest of my foreseeable days.

  • Drama is a good genre for them, but the truth is that a comedy really fits their style based on what I've seen.  We did a TON of laughing on the set and the wit from the people in the room is absolutely stunning.  This is probably the reason why Backlot Insiders is still one of my favorite short films period.  
So, with all of those things out in the open, I present to you It's A Boy.  I hope you like it as much as I did.

The screening is on Thursday.  I'm too lazy to type out where it will be screened, so please visit Beer Blog Pong This' blog to see where you can see it if you're in the Atlanta area.

More stuff coming soon.  It looks like I'm going to have more time on my hands due to the lack of budget and hopefully doing less eating.  

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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