Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Atlanta Braves: One Run Away...Again.

The Atlanta Braves found a way to lose their ninth one run game of the year to the Nationals 3-2 in 12 innings. They are 0-9 in one run games this year. The only team in the majors that has not won a one run game. Unbelievable! Sure, they have had more than their share of injuries in April. Serious injuries to key personnel. But they have lost more games due to poor play than to guys being on the DL. They are literally finding ways to lose games. In the 12th inning of tonight's game they have the lead-off man in the hole 0-2, and end up walking him. They make an error on a hard hit double play ball to first, and a possible DP ball to the pitcher loading the bases. Both the tying and winning runs score on walks. All this after clutch hitting in the top of the 12th to take the lead 2-1. I have no idea how professional ballplayers react to losses when they know they are playing a 162 game schedule, but this loss has got to sting some. Not because it's their 4th in a row, but because of the way they lost it. They gave it away. The Braves are 3 1/2 games back in the division with virtually an entire season to go. There is plenty of time if the caliber of play improves. And we find some "one runs"!

John Daly: Enough Already!

John Daly is a likable guy. He's kind of like the Dusty Rhodes (WWE) of the PGA tour. You know, The American Dream: "The man of the hour, the man with the power, too damn sweet to ever be sour"! John's got the big gut, he guzzles his beer from a can, he chain smokes those cancer sticks, he marries his women but they never seem to stay around too long, he gambles money away with total disregard, etc., etc,. Just like your stereotypical, dues paying country club member, right? All golfers and/or golf fans can identify with at least one of these qualities. Or at least understand them (see, I gave you an easy "out" on that one). He's like a big, cuddly bear. But most of the time with JD, you don't know whether to give him a bear hug or a stiff kick in the butt. It's a fine line with John. So much unfulfilled potential. Too many distractions. So many 'episodes'. He's been fired by swing coaches, dropped by sponsors, and disqualified from tournaments. At some point you just shake your head, and the word 'sad' comes to mind. Should we care when it seems like he does not? Pro coach Butch Harmon said the most important thing to Daly is getting drunk. Harmon agreed to work with Daly, but would not be a part of all the circus act that is Daly the majority of the time. He chose to disassociate himself from John. You certainly can't blame Butch Harmon. So much talent wasted, primarily because he can't be managed from the shoulders up. He is barely ranked in the top 600 golfers in the world. A guy who has won 2 majors, and it's fair to say he should have won more. He has, or had, the game to win at Augusta. He had more than a couple of positive British Open showings. He really is a fan favorite. However, when you drink away your chances of making the cut at the PODS Championship, your chances of even making it into the prestigious events are not very good. Think about it: wasting your time and talent doing shirtless interviews sure makes it difficult to imagine you doing an interview in a 'Green Jacket'. Come on John, enough is enough.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roger Clemens: Not Again...

I really want Roger Clemens to be innocent. Innocent of whatever he is accused of now, as well as what he might be accused of later. And who knows when or where this merry go round will let him get off. I will admit, I want to believe he did not take Performance Enhancing Drugs more for baseball than for Roger. I want baseball to be clean. I want baseball to clean up. I want the integrity of 'America's Pastime' restored. Baseball is bigger than Roger Clemens. Bigger than Barry Bonds. Bigger than Mark McGuire. Bigger than Jose Canseco, for goodness sakes. I want to believe he did not have an extramarital affair with a country singer. But I want to believe this more for his wife and family than for Roger himself. Regardless of what you or I think, I am convinced that Clemens believes in his mind he is not guilty of any wrong doing. He is steadfast that no steroid allegation is going to tarnish his career. Whatever he did or did not do, he actually believes his career numbers are beyond reproach. No needle in the rear end, and no affair extra or otherwise, will keep the 'heat throwin' Texan from his appointed destination. Of course, that would be Cooperstown, which was once guaranteed. At least not in his mind anyway. It is said that everything is bigger in Texas, and Roger thinks he is larger than life. The thing that continues to puzzle me is the reason Brian McNamee continues to put the heat on Roger. Granted, McNamee probably isn't on a whole lot of Christmas card lists. His credibility can certainly be questioned. But why is he so adamantly after Clemens? I don't buy into the money answer, because he'll burn most of that up in legal fees anyway. It isn't for the headlines, they are too fleeting. Is it payback of some sort? Do you suppose Clemens did something to McNamee that deserves this type of payback? The accusations continue to mount: first the steroids, now the affair. Is this worthy of the "where there's smoke there's fire" cliche? Why all the 'hobnobbing' on Capitol Hill (sign a ball to save a set)? Do photos really place you at Jose's now infamous party when you denied being there? Was there really no intimacy when you were alone with the country singer all those times? Can we believe Roger Clemens? I want to believe him, and this time for no one but himself.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Character That "Bonds" a Family

This entry is from the heart. It is about heart. It is heartwarming. It is soul touching. It is TRUE. It will humble you. It will help you put things in perspective. It will give you a greater appreciation for what you have, and perhaps you won't be as tempted to dwell on what you don't have. I truly hope you will want others to read this. Not because I put it on here, but because we all need to realize that there are these kind of terrific people around us. This is the other side of the 6:30 evening news. This is the good stuff. Here goes....
I have a friend who is a high school football coach in central Georgia. He's the kind of man you would want your son to be coached and taught by. Heck, you'd just want your son to be around this guy. Something good would have to rub off on your kid. The man exudes character with a capitol "C". We hear that adversity builds character. Well, this man can write you a book on that. He has fought (and fights) his own battle with another "C" word. Cancer has never had such an adversary as it has with this man. When people ask me if my friend has cancer, I tell them yes, and that cancer has had just about enough of him! He is a man of Faith. He can talk X's and O's with the best of them, but he can also talk John 16:33! I trust I've given you a good idea of the kind of person I'm referring to. But we're really just getting started here. In his tremendous family resides a wife and three children. Triplets no less! And "Terrific Triplets" I might add! But we have to refer to yet another "C' word again, this time cerebral palsy. You see, one of the three has CP. And he handles it with the same courage and character as his Dad does his "C" adversary. In fact, if you ask the father, he'll tell you the son displays the most character and courage. And fight. And heart. And fortitude. But that's the kind of man the dad is. And that's the kind of young person the son is. In fairness, it really is hard to ascertain who is doing the 'role modeling ' in this family. The wife/mother sees all that happens in this family from a perspective than only a wife and mother can. She throws herself into doing "whatever it takes" for her four. I assure you: "whatever it takes" is no cliche with this lady. She certainly took no back seat when they were passing 'character' out. And Faith. And energy. And focus. That's the kind of person the mother is. Don't forget, if there were triplets, there must be two more! The brother and sister are there all right. They love. They support. They protect. That's the kind of kids the brother and sister are. These are active kids who love and participate in sports. Why wouldn't they? Their Dad's a coach. Notice I didn't say "these TWO kids", because I was referring to all three. One of the three plays in the Miracle Baseball League. It gives kids with disabilities an opportunity to play baseball. We're going to bring back that good "C" word again, because the only requirement for this league is that ya gotta have CHARACTER. No problem for this young player! He's just the right height to ride this pony, Mr. Fair Man! One Saturday morning as the son was getting dressed for his game, he told his dad all he wanted to do was be on a team, wear a uniform and hold a bat. A humble request by an 11 year old who just wants to participate and be a teammate. The attitude of an ultimate team player. You know, big TEAM, little me. The attitude of yet another "C", this time CHAMPION. I've learned from this father/son tag team that an ample dose of the good "C's" can go one heck of a long way in overcoming the bad "C's". Thanks for the lessons guys, and please keep teaching. All FIVE of you!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Durant Brooks: Extraordinary Punter and Person

I promise you: it is not easy for a 'Dawg' to give kudos to a 'Bee'. It isn't normal. It isn't the thing to do. It isn't right. I've never had any problem showering the Jackets in an unflattering manner. That is the thing to do! But this is a little different. Durant Brooks is a good guy. Didn't you see him holding for Brandon Coutu in the Senior Bowl? That's what I like to see: a Tech man working FOR a Georgia man. As the old saying goes, "it does a body good"! Now on to other positives. His mentor is the legendary punter Ray Guy, also a product of the great state of Georgia. Brooks gives Guy credit for much of his success. He began going to Guy's camps as a high school junior, and the two have had a great relationship as teacher/student/friends since that time. Durant credits his mom, LuAnne, for 'planting the seeds' of his introduction to Guy. He still visits the former Oakland Raider for 'private sessions' when the need arises and the time allows. How fitting that Durant would win the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter after last year's stellar senior season. Durant is now in anticipation of the NFL Draft this weekend. Some projections have him going as high as the third round. No punter has been selected that early since the 2oo4 draft. Scouts are impressed by the placements of his kicks, his 'big leg', and the hang time of his kicks. Durant also possesses the intangibles of work ethic, demeanor, and character. Regardless of the round, he will be a great selection for some NFL franchise. Whether the team is San Francisco, Green Bay, Washington, etc., I hope he goes early and signs a huge contract. After all, those Tech guys would hate to see him working for a Dawg again! Good luck Durant, because you really are a good guy and you deserve it! (And now I can go back to being a 'Tech-Basher'. Yea, now that feels right!)

Andruw Jones: In the Tank!

Andruw Jones has a two year $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of last night, he was batting a cool 'buck fifty nine', with a single homerun and 3 RBIs. He is being booed by the Dodger faithful as mercilessly as one wearing the 'Blue" can be. He is trying to hit every pitch he sees 500 feet. Going with the pitch, using the entire field, and just trying to make contact are not options Andruw is interested in at this point. The only three options "Druw" is interested in are: pull, pull, pull. Hitting coaches Mike Easler and Don Mattingly are putting in extra sessions with Jones. He's been diagnosed, but he hasn't been cured. Don't forget that even though he hit 26 home runs last year, his numbers were down (everyone expected him to have a breakout year in the final year of his contract). He didn't have a great spring, so the start of this season is just a carry over from last year. Speaking of "carry-over", he looks like he just might be carrying a 'few' extra pounds (10+ I believe I read). However, the 10 time Gold Glove winner has shown no diminishing skills in center field. He might not be in a class by himself as a fielder, but it can't take long to call the roll in that class! Perhaps most of the 30 mill was for defense? Whether Andruw's lack of production is due to sickness, slumping, or breaking down at this point in his career won't be determined until later in the year. He has had a remarkable career, so I hope he turns things around and gets the Dodger fans off his case. If he doesn't, they might need those west coast Richter Scales to measure the fall out of a wasted 30 Big Ones! And the beloved Scott Borus won't be able to put this 'Humpty Dumpty' together again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

John Smoltz!

3,000+ Career Strikeouts!

John Smoltz Joins Elite Group

In the 3rd inning of Tuesday night's game with the Washington Nationals, John Smoltz recorded career strikeout number 3,000. He becomes just the 16th player in MLB history to accomplish this milestone. The last pitcher to do so was Pedro Martinez in September 0f 2007.
Nolan Ryan is chairman of this elite group with an amazing 5,714 strikeouts. Smoltz's 1st strikeout victim was Darryl Strawberry of the Mets in July of 1988. John has 210 wins and 154 saves to go along with his 3000+ strikeouts. Because of those years working as a closer out of the Braves bullpen, the 40 year old hurler won't make it to 300 wins. Nevertheless, the Hall of Fame numbers have already been achieved. I've always thought that when you watch the movement of his pitches from the centerfield cameras, you're really watching a master at his craft. The lifetime Brave usually shows tremendous velocity, great location, and good movement. He's always been a class act off the field as well, having won both the Roberto Clemente and Lou Gehrig awards. The awards are based primarily on a player's character. Hats off to John Smoltz! Keep sittin' em down and we'll keep countin'. For years to come!

Awards: 1992-NLCS MVP 1996-NL-CYA 1996-NL-TSN Pitcher of the Year 2002-NL-Rolaids Relief 2005-ML-Lou Gehrig Memorial Award 2005-ML-Roberto Clemente Award

Monday, April 21, 2008

College Football's Best Uniform

Back in The Sports Illustrated Vault again! The week before the above picture, SI ran an article picking the 10 ugliest uniforms in college football. The week of the above picture they selected the 10 best uni's in college football. The University of Georgia was listed at #1! I could not find the date of the issues, but they had to be in the last 3 years. The player above is from a middle Georgia high school who gave up his football career before the 2007 season. He was only on the team two years before that. Anyway, it wasn't last year, because those "Black Out" jerseys would have won the Dawgs both 1st AND 2nd place!

Bulldog Baseball!

Georgia's baseball team currently leads the SEC East and is also ranked 13th nationally by USA Today/ESPN. Heading into Sunday's game against LSU, the Dawgs had won ten straight SEC clashes and were gunning for their 3rd consecutive series sweep. Believe it or not, Sunday's game ended in a 10-10 tie after 12 innings. There are no ties in baseball! Apparently, the SEC has a travel curfew rule and LSU/UGA could not begin another inning after the 4 P.M. cutoff. Hence, the tie after the Bulldogs had rallied back from a 10-3 deficit in the 7th inning. The Georgia squad features All-America closer Joshua Fields. The senior hurler has recorded a UGA and SEC record 34 saves, with an unreal ERA of 0.00. It comes as no surprise that he is on the watch list for the national Stopper of the Year Award. Starter Trevor Holder has a 5-2 record and sports a 2.15 ERA. Shortstop Gordon Beckham has blasted 19 home runs and is hitting at a cool .424 clip. The junior is a National Player of the Year candidate. Overall, Coach David Perno's squad is 27-12-1.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A First For Tom Glavine

For the first time in his major league career, Tom Glavine has been placed on the Disabled List.
After 22 years and 303 victories, a strained right hamstring will force the left-hander to miss a few starts. Glavine is 42 years old, and last year with the Mets he struggled late in the season. Perhaps this early stint on the DL will buy the Braves a few more productive games from him during the latter part of this season. It might not be realistic to expect 200+ innings from him at this stage in his career. In fact, 175 or less might be the case. That would translate into 5 or 6 innings per start, and if the majority of those starts are productive, Glavine could end up with 12 to 15 wins. If this comes to pass, the Braves would probably have a good shot at the post season, and Glavine's one year contract would turn out to be a good deal. It does appear that the 2008 Braves club is one capable of putting runs on the board, so this may bode well for the veteran pitcher. Everyone knows how Tom loves to nibble away at the corners of the plate, so umpires who will give him those strikes on the 'black part of the plate' are also crucial for his success. During his first stint with Atlanta, I loved that type of guy behind the plate. But when he pitched for the Mets, I hated to see the ump give him that 'outside strike'. It will be interesting to see Glavine's form when he returns from the DL. Here's hoping that his control is sharp, and that his stamina improves as the season progresses. We're looking for those liberal strike zone umpires in The A-T-L; Glavine's not a Met anymore!

Danica Wins in Japan!

Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history by finishing first in the Japan 300. This initial win came in the 50th race of her career, a career that saw her win Rookie of the Year honors in 2005. In that year she also finished 4th in the Indy 500, the best finish ever by a female driver. This win also erases one of the biggest criticisms of her, that being her inability to win a race. Around racing circles, it was widely believed Danica was more interested in marketing her looks, as opposed to her driving. She did appear in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition. With that pose and this victory, it looks to me as if she is now successful at marketing both!

Friday, April 18, 2008

'Bama's St. Nick

I've always liked Alabama. I've always wanted them to beat Auburn. I respect their gridiron history. And, I promise, I have tried to like Nick Saban. He just won't let me. I'm fully aware that he could care less if I, or anyone else for that matter, likes him or not. I can understand that. No problem. I watch his press conferences, and he takes arrogance to a whole new level. And these are press conferences with Crimson Tide people asking questions. People who are on his side (for now at least). ESPN replayed a segment of one conference Wednesday night. He was asked a question regarding the number of scholarships available versus the number of high school players Alabama signed in February. Evidently, they signed more kids than they had openings for ( I don't keep up with 'Bama, I just know my Dawgs are o.k. with the 85 limit). So, St. Nick goes on a tirade with the questioner. He tells the guy that no one asks about scholarship numbers, and he doesn't need to ask either. At one point he said that the fans don't care about scholarships. Whoa! You had 90,000+ show up last spring for a scrimmage and you don't think they care about scholarship numbers. Not only do they care, they already know all about it. I could care less about 'Bama's numbers. I just wonder why Saban seems to always be on the defensive. The above incident was only one scenario. He's confrontational at some point in the majority of tapes I've viewed. What Gives? Is he that insecure? Is the pressure on him to be the next Bear Bryant that enormous? I've heard he's a control freak, but lighten up Nicky! You don't own Alabama YET. You actually just share most of it with the UA people. Sometimes you even make Les Miles look like a choir boy, for goodness sake. Get some help. See a shrink. But if you continue with your little rants and raves, I hope Tubberfield kicks some of that arrogance out of you every December, and you've made me not like Alabama that much anymore. But I do thank you for one thing: You've made me appreciate Mark Richt even more than I already do. And that's one heck of a lot. By the way, he'll see you "Between the Hedges" on September 27th.
Perhaps we can give you an excuse to be a jerk with the media. After all. talking about a butt kicking will make you show your own butt!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dale Murphy, #3

I just read that Dale Murphy's son is hopeful of being selected in this month's NFL draft. So I thought it might be a cool idea to take another look at 'Murph' back in his Atlanta Brave days. Speaking of drafts, Murphy was a first round selection of the Braves in the 1974 amateur draft. Pretty good pick, huh? He became a 2-time National League MVP and hit 398 career home runs. Incidentally, his highest salary with the Braves was $2,000,000.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Heros Are People Too

When I first heard about Herschel Walker's new book 'Breaking Free', I really didn't think too much about it. I knew it was about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a malady that Herschel suffers from. I suppose my impressions were: just another book by another athlete. I had not seen Nightline's interview with Walker, so I was unaware the magnitude of his disorder. I had not heard about the dozen or more different personalities, the incidents with a pistol, the insecurities, and the memory lapses. For example, Herschel states he does not remember receiving the Heisman Award, nor does he recall putting a gun to his former wife's temple, as well as being unaware of breaking his hand at his counselor's office. To his credit, he doesn't deny these negative situations, he just can't remember them. As a UGA alumni, Herschel Walker is, and always will be, THE BIG DAWG. It's no problem for me to accept the fact that a high profile athlete has a significant problem. They have no exemptions or free passes in the real world. They get cut, they bleed. Just like you and I do. I stopped the 'Hero Worship' mess a long time ago. But as a 'Dawg", I can't just dismiss this as 'routine'. I wish for Herschel a healthy emotional state to go along with that tremendously healthy body. He is revered by the "Bulldog Nation". The next time he visits Sanford Stadium, and there will be a next time, the ovation he will receive will be momentous. The best college football running back wore an 'Oval G' on his helmet. And like we say: "Once a Dawg, ALWAYS a Dawg"! Get well Big Dawg!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sports Illustrated's Vault

Talk about a great web site for sports lovers! Check out Sports Illustrated's "Vault". You can pull up any issue from the past, check out its cover, turn the issue page by page, and read any article you desire. Use SI's search engine to find an issue, article, or photograph of your choosing. Scan through the covers and bring back memories of great performances or events. Go see this site for yourself and enjoy being taken back through the world of sports. It will be the best history lesson you've ever had! But always remember to come back and check out "An Opinion On Sports"!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tiger's Is Not the Only Game on Tour

Tiger Woods is the #1 golfer in the WORLD. No questions, end of discussion, subject closed. The things he does on a golf course, and the ease with which he does them, is sometimes almost unbelievable. Golfers from duffers to pros find his shot-making and putting in crucial situations to be remarkable. The game just isn't as easy as he, and the other pros as well, makes it seem to be. I won't get into a deliberation of Tiger -vs- Jack; different era, different golf ball, different equipment technology, etc.
Even though Tiger is the greatest now, he cannot win every tournamnet that he enters. When he gets on those streaks and wins several weeks in a row, just know that is very special. Golf is perhaps the most difficult of all sports to be 'very good' every time you play. The golf swing is just too complex for that kind of consistency. It is too fickle. You have it all together and all figured out this week, and next week it just will not come to you. But now to my point: It's o.k. if Tiger dosen't win every tournament. In fact, it's probably good for the Tour and for golf in the long run if he dosen't. But it seems like golf commentators have a hard time accepting the fact that TW is going to have a hard day at the office sometimes. Guys, you don't have to force Tiger down our throats. There are some other guys on tour that can straight out play. Give them their due, their day in the sun, and their time on TV. You don't have to act like you're just waiting for them to blow it. Give them credit for stepping their games up another notch. Look, Tiger is going to win more than his share, and he's going to win at least 2 majors every year. When he isn't 'on his game', give the other Pros some justice. Give them their games on the tube. It dosen't ALL have to be about Tiger. Give them some love too. There's more than enough to go around!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

2008 Masters Champion

2007 Masters Champion Zack Johnson(L) applauds 2008 Champion Trevor Immelman. He is the 2nd South African to secure the coveted green jacket. The first to do so was 3 time Masters Champion Gary Player. Immelman's 75 Sunday was good enough for a 3 shot victory.

It Just Wasn't the Same Without You

Fred Couples missed the cut at the Masters this year for the first time in 24 years at Augusta National. Couples won the coveted green jacket in 1992, and now shares the consecutive cuts made record with Gary Player. He missed this year's weekend field by just a single shot. He was at 4 over par 148 after opening Thursday with a 76.
Couples carries the nickname "Boom Boom" for his busting drives, but he is perhaps best recognized for a seemingly effortless swing and the results it produces. Maybe it was a game that came too easy and a chronically bad back that kept Freddie from being the elite golfer we wanted him to be. I suppose 'elite' means more wins, more majors, and more dominating performances. We certainly thought he had the game to accomplish these feats. Couples is a graduate of the University of Houston, where one of his roommates was CBS commentator Jim Nantz. Nantz has been accused of giving Fred a few "homer" calls, but I don't blame him. After all, Couples is one of the most popular golfers on the PGA tour. He has been named a President's Cup captain for the 2009 USA team, and as he approaches his 49th birthday, I expect we will see less and less of Boom Boom on the links. But Freddie has been, and is, a class act in his profession so it will always be good to see him tee it up in any tournament. And not to worry. he'll be back in Augusta next year. It will be time to begin that new cuts made streak!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hey Brett, Thanks For The Memories!

At this point, no one knows if Brett has retired for good or not. He had so much difficulty saying good bye this time, that I wouldn't bet the farm against seeing #4 on the 'Frozen Tundra' again. After pondering retirement after each of the last few seasons, many people don't put too much stock in this announcement. The media has had a field day with Brett's stay or go dilemma. Especially the loud mouth Steven A. Smith. He has been unmerciful in his bashing of Favre. I don't know what #4 did to get SAS on his case so badly, but on his case he is. Maybe Favre declined to go on his show, maybe he said something negative about Smith's beloved NBA, or maybe he didn't do anything. Nevertheless, Smith is his 'public enemy number 1'! It's hard to figure for a guy who played the game with such enthusiasm, with so much fun, and with tremendous success. He holds NFL career records for passing yards, passing attempts, completions, touchdown passes, and wins as a starting quarterback. And don't forget the Super Bowl ring he owns. Needless to say, his Hall of Fame induction is merely a matter of time. If Brett stays retired, I will miss his love for the game. I'll miss the reckless abandon in his all out attempt to make a crucial play. I'll also miss all those emotions he 'wore on his sleeve'. He was the kind of 'old school' ballplayer who showed up every game ready to lay it all on the line; the kind who would still play even if the paychecks stopped. And speaking of paychecks, he has given back to the game with both his money and his time. The charities and fund raisers he is involved with are numerous. Stay retired Brett Favre and enjoy your beloved Mississippi! You've earned it, but we'll still miss 'ole #4!

Friday, April 11, 2008

M & M & The Yog!

No Steroids in This Bunch! Roger Couldn't Spell Fame, Mickey Couldn't Spell Curfew, and Yogi Couldn't Spell Anything! But Man Could They Hit.......

Good Bye Sam?

Georgia, as well as other schools, calls its strongside linebacker the "Sam" linebacker (weakside = 'Will' & middle = 'Mike'). However, as offenses around the country continue to run spread formations, the Sam position is being used less and less. Defenses are having to replace the strongside linebacker with an additional defensive back who is better at covering receivers. With the Sam in the game, the defense is forced into zone coverage, as opposed to man to man. Thus: Advantage Offense. Now the strongside linebacker is learning both of the other two linebacking positions, as well as defensive end in some cases. This versatility on the linebackers part keeps their minutes on the field up. Finding a player who is big, strong and quick to fill these new roles dosen't necessarily mean a change in the type of high school player colleges will recruit. The young men colleges have been offering scholarships to in recent years are already physically gifted like that. Combined with really good high school coaching and year-round weight training, so many kids now give college coaches the flexibility of trying them at more than one position anyway. It could mean however, that just in a numbers game, there will be a need to increase the number of DBs being recruited over LBs.
But colleges already sign "athletes", a lot of whom end up in the defensive backfield, so recruiting probably won't change noticeably. They will always recruit the top players at their respective positions. Anyway, Sam won't disappear completely. He just might have another name!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


There are Some Things the University of Florida can't even mess up!

23 in a Row and Waiting for 24!

I've been wanting to vent this since November, so here goes. How in the world do you make an interception for a turnover in OVERTIME and still lose? Because you are Kentucky football! How do you become the negative part of the longest active winning streak in major college football by one team over another? Because you are Kentucky football! Why would you give your coach a $50,000 bonus for winning FIVE games against SEC opponents(why not win your division, Coach)? Because you are Kentucky football! O.K., O.K., I know this is sour grapes on my part because your loss to the Vols kept Georgia from winning the SEC East. But come on guys, you had it first and goal from the one to win it in regulation. You had the above mentioned turnover in overtime. You let a field goal get blocked in overtime. No wonder you've lost to these guys 23 STRAIGHT TIMES! Maybe you should try letting all the 'Cats run onto the field after your first touchdown (if you score one) next year against UT. It seems like I've I heard of that being done before. Hmm....
And you've already named a successor to Rich Brooks when he retires. Man, what an honor! And his name is "Joker"? Make sure you tell him this losing streak 'ain't no joke'! Do you think he will still be your HC when Tennessee lays number 30 on you? Finally, the venting is over - And I feel much better! But I'll continue to pull against you where it really hurts you: against your basketball team. But at least they know which side of a "winning streak" to be on!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

#30 Bruce Kemp

After learning during the broadcast of G-Day that on each players locker is the name of every UGA player who has worn that number previously, I thought you might enjoy a look back at this October 13, 1969 SI Cover. It features Bulldog tailback Bruce Kemp and was titled "The Wild Southeast". Subtitled "Georgia's Bruce Kemp Overruns South Carolina". Nothing like 'old school'! By the way, listing past players on today's lockers is a pretty nice touch, Marl Richt!


Just Not Cuttin' It, 'Cut'!

Some things that happen in this tremendously interesting world of sports, especially off the field, just leave me going "Why?" at times. Case in point: Why would David Cutcliffe want to be the head football coach at Duke? I understand that most assistants desire to be head coaches. I can also understand why Cutcliffe would want to return to those ranks. But to leave the SEC, the best football conference in America, to go to the ACC, the best basketball conference in America? And to the lowest of the low in ACC football: DUKE. Talk about a challenge at this stage of your career. I admit, 'Cut', I wouldn't want to work for the Big Pumpkin either, nor would I want to wear Tennessee orange, but ACC football? From being the OC at UT to becoming the HC at DU just dosen't hit me as a step up. I'm sorry, I'm trying. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you're out of the SEC East. You can flat out coach, and you're going to need every bit of that ability with the Blue Devils. And while I'm smashing Duke, I'll go ahead and divulge that I don't like Coach 'K' very much, and I think the school sold out the lacrosse team before the kids had a chance to be exonerated. Just as I posted yesterday, all that glitters isn't gold! Even though you won't have the talent you had at Ole Miss, must less in Knoxville, I wish you the best. After all, there are several teams in that conference I'd love to see you beat, starting out with the Insects from Atlanta, the Indians in Tallahassee, Bobby's boy at Clemson, etc. You can do it, after all it's only the ACC!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Yield to"Bubba"!

Tony Barnhart has a post today on concerning the possibility of Steve Spurrier relinquishing some of the play calling duties at South Carolina. Seems as though The Head Ball Coach might want to take a page out of Mark Richt's book and devote more time to the overall aspects of his football team. The designated play caller might turn out to be "Bubba" Spurrier, Steve's son (Yea, you read it right: Bubba). Talk about a way to weaken family relations! But maybe he's getting ready to pull a Bobby Knight and set Junior up as the future"Head 'Cock". Hey Bubba, Pat Knight is still trying to figure out how to say 'No Deal' with that team he has at Texas Tech. So down the line remember: all that glitters might not be gold! It is South Carlina you know. Wake up Bubba, it's time for a reality check. Perhaps Pop really does need to be able to keep closer tabs on all his little roosters. They certainly have their own penchant for fun. He might even find it eye opening to sit in on some of his teams defensive meetings with some of the extra time he just might have. Or just maybe he's actually ready to scale down a bit. You know what they say: "South Carolina is where old coaches go to die"! He can go out with a Palmetto and a putter.

Monday, April 7, 2008

One Last Look Back at G-Day

Georgia's 2008 version of G-Day has now come and gone. Since the scrimmage, I've managed to read most of the Georgia Blogs and newspaper sports pages. I've also 'You Tubed' a couple of player/coach interviews. After ingesting and digesting all of the above, I've been able to form my own opinion as to where we are as a football team at this point:

*Matthew Stafford is an experienced, battle-tested QB, and he is making great strides towards becoming a QUARTERBACK in every aspect of that position.

*Our depth chart at running backs and wide receivers is solid. We just have to stay away from the drop-pass syndrome.

*Even though we lost a signing day deflection, as well as a transfer out, we're still o.k. at the tight end position. After all, we've been known as "Tight End U" lately.

*Now to the offensive line. Athletically, we're sound; Executionally, we're not there yet. This unit is probably the key to the success of the entire offense. Find confidence in the fact that the talent is there, the depth is much better, and we have arguably he best offensive line coach in the country.

*We are strong on defense, and Coach Martinez earned his due with his game plan against Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.

*By the time August 30th rolls around, we will be well on the way to having solid special teams. We have to be more consistent in this area to be all that we want to be this year.

With all of this said, we will be very good and we do deserve some of the hype we're already receiving. But not so fast my friend! Remember, we do play in the SEC East and our overall SEC schedule is brutal. Thus, we will get 'beat-up' and we will incur injuries; that's just life week end and week out in our conference. This will be where we get to see what we are made of. This is where the intangibles come into play. You know, things like character, poise, leadership, etc. But you have to like our chances. We've ended spring drills with a lot more question marks than we have now. The Dawgs now just have to 'gel'. and keep finishing the drill!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Carolina: Could You Please Learn to Play "D"?

Dear Roy: Although I do bleed Red & Black, I also hold Carolina's basketball program in very high regard. The history of the Carolina program is legendary. The names we associate with the program are without question a college basketball's "Who's Who". You had the talent on this year's team to bring the National Championship back to the lovely college town of Chapel Hill. But Roy, the 'Heels gotta play some defense! Anyone who has followed your team this year knows that has been your 'Achilles Heel'. You even spoke about that 3/4 through the season, stating how hard your kids were drilled on the fundamentals of playing good "D", and your kids did improve for a few games at the end of the ACC regular season. But they never seemed to have that blue collar attitude on defense. That's hard to imagine because they have a kid on the floor with them who plays every play like it might be his last one. Come on boys, get nasty with me...but they couldn't do it when they had to do it. Speaking of Mr. All Out #50, or Psycho T, he's the epitome of college athletics, but he's not quite ready for the next level. He must get stronger and continue to work on his game a little more. If indeed he does stay for his senior year, you should have everyone back Roy, plus a talented class coming in. You'll be ranked pre-season Top 4 again, and you'll win a lot of games again next won't win it all until your kids sell out to playing defense night in and night out. Nothing would be finer than to see "the Big D" in Carolina"!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


It's G-Day in the Classic City! This marks the completion of spring practice with a glorified scrimmage between the famed 'Hedges'. It is expected to be attended by 25,000 to 35,000 of your closest friends, this of course depending on the weather. Most of these above mentioned thousands have followed spring drills through the states news publications as well as UGA blog sites (I have some great ones listed for you under 'Links' to the left), and now they are ready to check out new players, the progression of older players, and the overall state of the Dawgs on the field. Some fans attend to get an early look at a particular newcomer (perhaps Caleb King) , others to see the status of a unit (perhaps the offensive line), still others just to be in Athens, tailgate, and see the Dawgs again. I personally would like to see Caleb King showcase that enormous talent, see the offensive line execute without mental mistakes, and see freshman running back Richard Samuel. All of this of course, injury free. However, when all of this is said and done, the best thing about G-Day is that it brings us closer to summer camp, and ultimately August 30 versus Georgia Southern. I, along with thousands of my closest friends, can't wait!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Say it Ain't So...Mike!

The Atlanta Braves are taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the final game of a 3 game set at Turner Field in Atlanta Thursday evening. Not a big deal, especially this early in the season, except for one reason; Mike Hampton is scheduled to make his first start for The Braves in more than 30 months - yes, 30 MONTHS! We count down to 'T minus 5 minutes and counting' and Mike Hampton is scratched from his start. What? Not again. What else can happen to this guy? This time it is reported to be a strained left pectoral muscle, so back on the DL we go. The Braves were/are counting on him to be an integral part of the rotation this year. They need Mike Hampton to be on the mound every 5th start. He had a very good spring in Florida and all signs pointed to MH being back. Yea, he's back. Back on the 15 day disabled list. I realize the guy can't help getting injured and I know he wants to be out there again badly, but at what point do the Braves toss in the towel with him? If I'm not mistaken, his contract runs out this year, so that may be when the towel come off the rack. Management's patience is rivaling that of the Cubs with Pryor and Woods. It once was said of the Braves: "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain". Now it might become: "Glave and Huddy, where's your Buddy?"

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The San Antonio Showdown!

2008 is the first year that all four #1 seeds have reached the Final Four. Strangely enough, some pre-season polls even had North Carolina, U.C.L.A., Memphis, and Kansas ranked 1 thru 4. This should make for an exciting FinaL Four. After all, there have been some rather unexciting contests thus far, so nail-biters and barn-burners would be a justified pay-off for the fans. Consider that none of the Final Four teams have lost more than 3 games this year and their combined winning percentage is .941. It really is hard to see any of these teams being blown out at this stage of the season and tournament. CBS has to be licking its chops in expectation of record ratings for this group. I personally would love to see Hansbrough and Love match up in the final, but Memphis just might prohibit that from occuring. I expect Carolina to be there, so you pick 'em: North Carolina, Memphis, U.C.L.A. or Kansas. I'm taking the Tar Heels over the Bruins for the National Championship!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Integrity for America's Pastime

I was listening to the Mike & Mike Show as I was driving into work this morning. Their guest was Phillies great and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. He was asked if it bothered him that his stats were diminished by the numbers put up the last several years as a result of performance enhancing drugs. His reply was that baseball fans are very knowledgeable about their sport and they know what the inflated stats are attributed to. I understand his answer because those years will forever be alluded to as "The Steroid Era" in baseball. Since this is in fact the moniker attached to those years, it is a black eye for baseball. Any player who used performance enhancing drugs to elevate his game, not only CHEATED on his competition, but he tampered with the integrity of the game. Baseball must clean up its game, and I believe it is trying, but it will take time. It is the most statistacally oriented sport there is, so the fan has to be assured the stats are legitimate. Be persistent MLB, you MUST restore the integrity back to "America's Favorite Pastime".

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Red Sweater and A Red Rose!

Bobby Knight resigned from his position as head basketball coach at Texas Tech before the conclusion of the 2008 season. Subsequently, he was hired by ESPN as a college basketball analyst for the duration of the season (and perhaps longer). I only read/heard one comment about Knight quitting on his Red Raiders, which in fact is what he did. I've often wondered why the media has seemingly held Knight in such high regard, or why they have afforded him such leeway. I realize that he is highly successful (just look at his win total), his players graduated, and his programs ran free of infractions and probations. But so many times his irrational behavior has been condoned, overlooked, down-played, or you-pick-a-term. This has been true of actions on the court as well as in the interview room. He seems to so many times come out "smelling like a rose". One former player has said something to the effect that the way he was being told to behave and act, was nothing like what his mentor was displaying in public, and at times it was somewhat difficult to understand. It is probably true that his methods of intimidation have probably come from the tongue, more than from the fist or the foot. Perhaps it could be argued that BK is just misunderstood; or perhaps we should all idolize him like Dick Vitale does. Whatever the case, if you smell an odor around, it isn't Bob Knight. Remember, he always comes out smelling like that rose!