Saturday, August 30, 2008

Georgia Defeats Georgia Southern

I hope you didn't expect Georgia to hang 50+ on Georgia Southern this afternoon in Sanford Stadium. I wanted us to win big because of the national picture, but realistically I knew we wouldn't just blow the Eagles out. Historically, we just haven't been that kind of team. It's not a Marl Richt trait, we've been that way since through the Vince Dooley years. It seems we tend to "play down" to our competition's level, and I mean no disrespect to Georgia Southern here. But we did have such a talent, as well as depth, advantage today that the score really should have been around 56-10, rather than the actual 45-21. We just did not look like an over-powering, preseason number 1 football team. I know, it was the first game, but I just walked out of my den and Alabama isn't playing like it's a first game (first half vs Clemson). Georgia must be the kind of team that gets better each week it plays. If they can be that kind of team, they can show themselves worthy of their lofty ranking. If not, those "Ford Tough" Georgia Saturday's might turn out to be "Root Canal Tough".

Durant Brooks: New Redskins Punter

It's now official, The Washington Redskins have cut Derrick Frost and named Durant Brooks as their punter for 2008 (and probably a lot of years after that!). The 'Skins made Brooks their 6th round selection in this year's draft, but he certainly was not promised the job just because of that (just ask his Mom! O.K. LuAnne, you can relax a little now.). Durant went out and earned the job in a very close competition. He showed a tremendous amount of poise for a rookie, being able to stay consistently good, even if not spectacular. I think you will see him settle into this role as a starting NFL punter, and just get better as the season progresses. He was so adept at Georgia Tech at being able to turn the field position game around for his team with his booming kicks. I think Washington will soon enjoy that same benefit from the leg of Brooks. It isn't always that you have a young punter who is the total package that Durant Brooks is. He has the strong leg capable of booming those 60 yarders, he has fantastic hang time that results in great coverage, and he has the touch to drop those pouch kicks inside the red zone. Congratulations, Durant! You've worked hard and you deserve to be an NFL punter. Here's to a great rookie season!


Today before the Georgia - Georgia Southern game, UGA VII will be officially crowned and join that famous group of English Bulldogs who have represented the University of Georgia so well! UGA VII weighs in at a rambunctious 56.5 pounds, and is said to be "a spitting image of his father". Sounds like another 'Damn Good Dawg' to me!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Georgia Saturdays, Built Ford Tough!

Georgia coach Mark Richt appears in a Ford truck commercial on Georgia network stations. A couple of his players who have seen it say it was "pretty cool". Phil Mickelson and Toby Keith have nothing on Coach Richt. His Ford commercial stacks up pretty well against theirs. The spot does a good job of bringing the identity of the University into it, and at the end Richt says "Georgia Saturdays, built Ford tough". Maybe Ford should make a limited edition UGA VII model. The slogan could be: "A Damn Good Dawg deserves a Damn Good Truck!".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ESPN: Make a Few Cuts...Please!

We all know that ESPN is the "Worldwide Leader in Sports". Wall to wall sports coverage. Innovative, progressive, powerful, encompassing. There wear all the superlatives well. Except for one thing. They have too many ex-jocks trying to be commentators. Heck, many of them can't even speak the English language correctly. I understand taking advantage of their expertise in their given field, but they fail miserably when they attempt to be broadcast journalists. Why so many trying to say the same thing? I noticed yesterday on an NFL segment, there was one "ESPN guy" with three retired players. When they do that, I get the impression they are all trying to outdo the other. And to say they over-analyze is a tremendous understatement. Did you ever wonder what the payroll is at ESPN? It has to be astronomical, but it could be cut back easily. One of my first 'cuts' would be 'Ole Loose Bolts (Lou Holtz). Why on earth does the network keep him around? Temperamental Bobby Knight would be gone, along with the biggest mouth in all of the world of commentary, none other than Mr. Stephen A. Smith. I realize he's not a jock, but boot him out with the rest. Speaking of Smiths, Cowboy #22 Emmitt would have to go also. He's much better at dancing and running than he is at enunciating. What's up with Marshall Faulk behind a microphone? Give me a break! I could go on and on with this list, and I know you have a list of your own. (And I bet it includes Joe Morgan!). Post your comments and let us see some of the names you "love to hate". And ESPN, cut us some slack...PLEASE!

Alabama -vs- Clemson

Two Top 20 teams square off in a 'Neutral Site' contest that could end up looming large for both programs this season. Clemson is expected to win the light-weight ACC, as well as be a factor in the national picture. It will be a huge test for Nick Saban's Tide as they roll into Atlanta seeking to escape with a win for the SEC. I believe Alabama will wear their underdog role well and play the Tigers extremely tough. Nothing would suit Bama better than to start the regular season by defeating a group of Tigers, and to end it the same way by dumping the Tigers of Auburn. Clemson's Tommy Bowden realizes he has to start changing the perception of his program from under-achieving to playing up to the level of talent and capability that his teams have. The game, which is being played in the Georgia Dome, is the first of what officials hope will become an annual Kickoff Classic between the SEC and ACC. This year's battle will also showcase two of the top recruits in the country in Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones and Clemson defensive end DaQuan Bowers. Two programs with storied histories, two big name head coaches, and two teams with much to gain. Those are the ingredients for a high-powered showdown that could blow the roof off of the Dome in the A-T-L!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Georgia -vs- Arizona State

Georgia versus Arizona State in Tempe on September 20th has been listed as one of top ten non-conference games in the country. The Bulldogs, preseason ranked number one, have the Sun Devils sandwiched between conference foes South Carolina (away) and Alabama (home). Georgia has not traveled outside the South for a non-conference regular season game since the sixties. This Arizona State team, coming on the heels of a tough Carolina bunch, will test the Dawgs early. Hold on 'Dawg Nation', this UGA schedule is tougher than a cheap sirloin!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beijing National Stadium

I posted this because I thought it was a terrific shot. The "Bird's Nest" is certainly an awesome sight with that reflection off the water. Now time will tell the legacy of the Beijing Olympics.

Knowshon Moreno: SI Pre-Season All America Team

Knowshon Moreno has been selected as a pre-season All-American by Sports Illustrated. No surprise here regarding that news. His name and picture sure have been popping up a lot lately!

"UGA" - Number 1 Mascot!

O.K., get the picture: Georgia's Mark Richt ranked in the Top 5 coaches in the country. Dawgs defense ranked number 3 in the country. Bulldawgs offense ranked number 5 in the country. Georgia is ranked number 1 preseason by several polls. Now to top it all off, "UGA" is ranked as the TOP mascot in the country. Numero Uno! UGA VII will have big shoes to fill, but he'll have the entire "Bulldog Nation" behind him. No doubt here that he will be another one of those great English Bulldogs we'll all call: Damn Good Dawg!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rookie Matt Ryan Named Falcons Starter

The Atlanta Falcons have named rookie quarterback Matt Ryan as their starting QB for the season opening game against the Detroit Lions. Ryan was signed to a six year $72 million contract after being the third selection in this year's NFL draft out of Boston College. I guess the Falcons want Ryan to start earning that salary immediately. Houston's David Carr was the last rookie to start his team's opener back in 2002.

Georgia Bulldogs: Top Rated "D" and "O"

Our last post was about Coach Mark Richt being ranked in the Top 5 college coaches. Now we follow that up with Georgia's Top 3 defense and its Top 5 offense. Names such as Gino Atkins, Jeff Owens, Rennie Curran, Dannell Ellerbe, Reshad Jones and Asher Allen are reasons to expect that the Dawgs defense will be a dominating force in Georgia's season. There is experience , depth, and talent on that side of the ball for the Bulldogs. Of course the offense features two legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates in quarterback Matthew Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno. The receivers feature returning starter Mohamed Massaquoi and highly touted true freshman A.J. Green, along with a host of talent and depth as well. The offensive line has incurred a devastating loss in left tackle Trinton Sturdivant, but the unit as a whole is in much better shape to overcome such a setback than in recent years. Coaching, offense, and defense are three solid reasons expectations are running so high for the Georgia Bulldogs this season. They are at the top of several preseason polls. However, we all know it's one thing to be placed high in the rankings and quite another to stay there, and there's one more Top 5 list we haven't mentioned here: Georgia's schedule is perhaps the toughest or second toughest in the country. Just thinking about having to play four consecutive ROAD games against LSU, Florida, Kentucky and Auburn is mind boggling. But there's one good thing regarding this entire scenario: Just one more week and all the conjecture can subside. Kickoff is literally just around the corner!

Mark Richt: Top 5 Coaches

Mark Richt was named as one of the Top 25 college football coaches in the country. Georgia's Richt, named in the top five, was joined by five other SEC coaches on the list. Florida's Urban Myer was slotted in the number one position. The other four were Auburn's Tommy Tubberfield at number eight, Alabama's Nick Saban at number nine, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier at the eleventh spot, and Les Miles of LSU at number twelve. Paul Johnson, the new head man at Georgia Tech, occupies the seventeenth position. I would have thought Butch Davis at North Carolina would have made that list, but I'm not surprised that the Bowdens, Bobby and Tommy, were omitted. Phillip Fulmer wasn't on the list and should not have been, but Sylvester Croome at Mississippi State just might climb into that mix if he continues to build on the good job he's doing there. Mark Richt's record at UGA of 72-19 is fourth best in the country in winning percentage among active coaches. Quite impressively, his teams are 25-4 when playing in an opponents home stadium. That amazing when you consider that includes playing at LSU, at Alabama, at Tennessee, at Auburn, at South Carolina and others. He is one of only nine head coaches in Division 1-A to record 70 or more wins in his first seven seasons. He is also one of only five SEC head coaches to record four straight 10 win seasons. And at the age of 48, Mark Richt is just getting warmed up!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Just "Manny Being Manny"...Again!

Only Manny Ramirez could put a bat through his head! Great photo by Victor Decolongon! (And how many inches did he say he cut off of his locks?)

Rafael Furcal: Have You Been Drinking?

An interesting tidbit of information regarding former Atlanta Brave Rafael Furcal: When Furcal was coming up through the Braves minor league system, his birth date kept showing up differently several times. The difference was always covered by the span of four years. Finally, it took a brush with the law to straighten his age ambiguity out. When Furcal was arrested for suspicion of DUI and was being charged with underage drinking, he quickly admitted his "real" age was 22. Now that was a close call at the plate Rafael! It sure is strange how the pressure of the law can assist a man in becoming an honest individual!

Michael Phelps and All the Perks

" To the Victor Belong the Spoils"! Winning an unprecedented eight Olympic Gold Medals has afforded Michael Phelps more perks than a coffee maker. Above, he eyes one of those many perks. Go ahead Michael, take your pick and pucker up!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Knowshon Fields Punts in Practice

Georgia coach Mark Richt has confirmed that Knowshon Moreno has been working with the punt return team in practice. However there have been no definite reports that he will actually see game action returning punts. Nevertheless, he has been fielding punts and taking reps with that specialty unit. I'm betting here that we certainly don't see him in this role during the first two games, and the practice field might be as far as this 'experiment' goes. Obviously, no player has stepped up and outright taken over this job. The other candidates are Asher Allen, Logan Gray, and Carlton Thomas. This possibly could turn into a rotation group until someone jumps out of the group and takes over. The downside to Moreno as a return man is very simply the risk of injury. The upside is of course giving as many touches as possible to your most explosive offensive player. We all know how tremendous he can be in the open field, so the temptation must be very enticing for the coaching staff. As I've already stated, don't look for him before Carolina, but if he makes an appearance "back there" then, look for him to appear in all the other games at least once. That is, if the game is close and he could be the catalyst to break it open. On the other hand, if the numbers two and three tailbacks aren't performing well, Knowshon might have all the workload he needs out of the backfield. I'm glad it isn't my decision to make, but then I suppose that's one reason they pay college coaches all those big bucks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 Must-Visit Sports Locations

Sports Illustrated Vault has a gallery of 10 must-visit sports locations. It's pretty interesting and has a couple of surprises, as well as omissions, as for as Opinion On Sports is concerned. SI's list includes: Fenway Park (of course), St. Andrews (shown above, definitely), Beijing National Stadium (?), Wrigley Field (absolutely!), Lambeau Field (yes), Allen Fieldhouse (Univ. of Kansas - maybe), Churchhill Downs (definitely), Florida Field ( Univ. fo Florida - heck no SI, too many other college football venues you could have selected), Daytona International Speedway (o.k., but wouldn't you select Indianapolis first?), and Madison Square Garden (no argument there).
I'm sure some of you are thinking Yankee Stadium, The Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of UNC, Wimbledon, Augusta National, Pauley Pavilion at UCLA, Pebble Beach and others. So with all the choices, SI didn't do so bad after all. O.O.S. gives 'em a B-!

Whitey Ford: This Day in Time...

Whitey Ford Day was held in Yankee Stadium on August 20, 2000. The venerable southpaw still holds Yankee team records for victories (236), innings pitched (3,170), strikeouts (1956), and shutouts (45). The "Chairman of the Board", as Ford was known as , was elected into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1974, along with his longtime friend and teammate Mickey Mantle. The Yankees retired his #16 jersey and dedicated a plaque in his honor in Monument Park at the Stadium. His plaque calls him "one of the greatest pitchers to ever step on a mound".

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gerogia Tech Has New Uniforms...

If it looks like a Jacket, acts like a Jacket, and plays like a Jacket, then it must be a Jacket. New uniforms or not. What's all this racket with the Jackets anyway? New Head Coach. Brand new offensive system. Now new uni's. And you didn't even have to sign with Under Armour after they courted you. I guess it took that kick in the butt for Russell Athletic to come off that stale look they've had for years. Speaking of butt kickings, that consecutive losing streak you've got mounting up against the Dawgs wouldn't have anything to do with this face lift would it? You wouldn't be trying to top those new black jerseys over in Athens would you? Of course not! How silly of me! You know you'll always be the 'stepchild of the state'. But I will give you credit for trying. Next time try changing the school's colors. That vomit gold just ain't gittin' it done!

Shawn Johnson: What A Kid!

Shawn Johnson got her Gold Medal. And she got it in the last event of the women's gymnastic competition, the balance beam. And she did it with a bad headache, but she also did it with that ever-present enduring smile. The 16 year old finally got to the top step of the medal podium after occupying the second step while earning three silver medals in Beijing. She has trained for this since she was a little girl. Her family has sacrificed too, and they have been by her side for the entire journey. Now she is a very deserving Olympic Gold Medalist. Gold and Silver medals are nice, but her smile, personality, and attitude are the attributes that Shawn Johnson will be remembered and rewarded for.

Usain Bolt: Or "Insane Usain"?

Usain Bolt has no competition at the Beijing Olympics. Except for maybe the timing devices. He sprints with a smoothness and ease and gracefulness that not every sprinter possesses. He has already won the glamour event of Track and Field, the men's 100 meter dash. He set a new world record in the process, even though the did not go 'all out' the entire 100 meters. I was thinking: how fast could you have gone in the final? I also wondered why anyone would 'coast' in any Olympic final? That's the insane part. The Olympics only come around every four years, so put every ounce you have into them. You can celebrate after its over. Haven't you trained your fanny off to reach the pinnacle of your sport? What better place to showcase that talent than in an Olympic setting. Don't waste this opportunity. Sure you won easily, but your time wasn't the best it could have been, and you don't get to do it over. You might not even be in the next Games four years from now. You will of course be in the 200 meter final. You will be the favorite again. You will have a shot at Michael Johnson's 19.32 record set 12 years ago. I'll venture to say you won't get that one if you ease up at the end. And if you do cheat everyone, including yourself, by not busting your tail, I hope you miss the record as well as the Gold.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mark Spitz: A Ton of Class!

I didn't know what the reaction of Mark Spitz would be to Michael Phelps tying his seven gold Olympic medals and ultimately passing him with eight. What I found out was that Spitz has been just as impressed by and mesmerized by Phelps as the rest of us have. He stated he was happy to be in the same company as Michael Phelps. He termed the accomplishments of Michael as "epic". Spitz called him the greatest swimmer of all time, the greatest Olympian of all time, and perhaps the greatest athlete of all time. Who can put up much of an argument with those accolades at this point? And I have to tell you, I'm almost as impressed with the graciousness of Mark Spitz as I am the fantastic accomplishments of Michael Phelps. Spitz told Phelps he and all of America were tremendously proud of him. Hey Mark Spitz, we're all proud of you too! Again.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Atlanta Braves: A Cycle Won't Prevent a Sweep, Even From Row 10!

I spent last evening at Turner Field, or perhaps I should say 'Wrigley Field South', because there were probably more Cubs fans in attendance than Braves fans. If not outnumbered, we were certainly out vocalized. But then again, they have a product to be vocal about. We just want football season to begin. And quickly. The Braves are just a 'lame-duck' team right now. They are ready for football season also. They want to put an end to all the misery. They are not a very good team at this point. The caliber of baseball being played by the home team at "The Ted" is strangely inadequate. We aren't accustomed to this after all those consecutive years of division titles. The Cubbies not only swept us, they obliterated us. The Richmond Braves would not have fared much worse. But my excursion to the A-T-L was not all in vain. My seats were fantastic, row 10 behind the right-hand batters box! Awesome! It was like having those court side seats at a hoops game when you can actually hear the 'squeaking' of the Nikes (or Adidas, or Reebok, or PF Flyers) on the court. And I got to see Mark Kotsay hit for the cycle. He's the first Brave to accomplish this feat since 1987. You just don't see a guy hit a single, double, triple, and homer at the ballpark every day. That was pretty special. I also was witness to one of those 'bench clearing brawls' that MLB stages every so often. You know, where some guys hold back the two initiators and all the other guys run on to the field and inquire about each others families. Not quite the WWE, but just as harmless. Not to mention the fact that it gave all of the fans a reason to stand up for a few minutes. I got to see Tom Glavine pitch. He didn't pitch very well (and that's being very kind), but it was a treat to see a future Hall of Fame pitcher live from those row 10 seats. I saw Chipper Jones make a fantastic bare handed play at third base. Right in front of us from, you got it, those great row 10 seats! The Cubs fans were even impressed with that one! I just can't believe it did not make Sports Center's Top 10 Plays this morning. It was certainly worthy of that status. Nevertheless, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate by trip to the game a 10. Having to pay $6.50 for a beer almost kept it from being a 10, but getting to do all this as a father-son combo was a 10 in itself! Now I'm really ready for some football...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

SEC Top 10 Players

Dannell Ellerbe joins Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno as three selections of the Top 10 players in the SEC, as compiled by SI Galleries. Georgia was the only team with three players, followed by Florida with two. I wanted to post Dannell's photo above to give the defense some 'love', since it seems the offense is garnering all the headlines. Ellerbe is a 6-1, 232 pound Senior middle linebacker full of agility and hostility! He and his defensive mates will end up with just as many headlines, if not highlights, as their offensive counterparts.

Richt and Dawgs Cool Down (Just for Now)

Georgia coach Mark Richt gave his Bulldogs the morning off from their regular practice schedule and allowed them to enjoy themselves in the pools at the Ramsey Center on campus. Coach Richt got the morning underway with a dive off of the 10 meter platform. The Dawgs were treated to this occasion last year, so it might become an annual rite of summer camp. I don't think Michael Phelps has anyone to worry about from this group!

Mickey Mantle: This Date in Time

This date in time: August 13, 1995, Mickey Mantle dies at the age of 63 from cancer of the liver. Flags were flown half-mast at Yankee Stadium in honor of the Yankee great. I've posted this here before, but I'll always imagine what he could have been without all the significant injuries and the self-inflected abuse to his body. As great as he was, his full potential was never utilized. He was certainly one of the greatest athletes the game has ever known.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trinton Sturdivant: We Will Miss You Greatly "Big Guy"

Georgia Bulldog left offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant suffered a season ending knee injury in the Bulldogs first preseason scrimmage Monday. Sturdivant was our best and most experienced lineman who operated out of our most crucial OL position. This is a huge, huge loss. I didn't say it was one we couldn't overcome, but it is close to being termed devastating. I'm not trying to cry about this loss or blow it out of proportion, but I am trying to relate the significance of this injury at this position. As most fans are aware, we have been lacking in experience and depth on our OL for the last few years. The situation is much better now, so we do have some options in regards to replacing Trinton. But now we are forced to move everyone around to cover for this shortage and then you wonder about the depth situation again. But hey, injuries are as much a part of football as the bounce of the ball. Every team suffers them, and every team has to adjust. You just really hate it when it's season ending for a young man who has worked so hard and expectations are so high. But he will recover and rehabilitate from his reconstructive knee surgery and be back for three more solid years. I hate to remind all of us Dawg fans, but this will not be the only hurdle we will face between now and December. We will get a chance to see just how good we are in many aspects. By that I mean character will play as big or bigger a part than talent. The really great teams have a combination of both.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ole Miss: The "Spoiler" in the West?

I look at Ole Miss in the SEC West in the same way that I look at South Carolina in the SEC East. I don't see either one of them getting to Atlanta for the conference Championship any time soon, but I can see both of them having a 'say-so' on who does go from their respective divisions. Incidentally, these two teams meet each other on October 4 at Ole Miss. When Houston Nutt arrived in Oxford to take over the reigns of the Rebels, he inherited a team that returns 47 lettermen and 17 starters. So he does have a veteran squad and some talent with which to build around. The cupboard is not bare in the land of the Rebs. In 2007, Mississippi lost to Florida, Alabama, and cross-state rival Mississippi State by a combined total of 12 points. They have to learn how to come through in the clutch. They have to win the close games, and they aren't quite there yet. But they are at the point that if you take them too lightly, they will give you all you can handle on a given Saturday. That could possibly translate into an upset that could cost a contender a shot at the conference crown (just as the Gamecocks cost the Bulldogs last year). There's always a festive atmosphere at the Grove for pregame, but this year Nutt's seasoned Rebels might make the post game festive for a change.

Jon Richt: The Color Orange

Jon Richt is a freshman quarterback at Clemson University. Not really that big of a deal except for the fact that his father, Mark, is the head coach at Georgia. So orange has replaced red as Jon's primary school color. In case you were wondering, Georgia and Clemson don't play each other again until 2013. Assuming Jon redshirts this year, he and his dad will escape facing each other by one year. Here's hoping Jon gets a little bit more collegiate playing time than his dad got! Here's also hoping he turns out to be the man his dad is!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Tribute to John Mark Stallings

John Mark Stallings, son of former Crimson Tide head coach Gene Stallings, died this week at the age of 46. John Mark was born with Down's syndrome and suffered with health problems related to a congenital heart defect. He was a tremendous Alabama fan who touched the lives of so many in the Crimson Tide family with his courageous attitude. In 2005, the football equipment room was dedicated to him and aptly named the John Mark Stallings Equipment Room. Coach Stallings once said that because his son struggled to do so many things, he gave him a greater appreciation for the player who perhaps didn't have the most talent but was willing to work hard to succeed. Conversely, he had much less tolerance for the gifted player who was not willing to work to be all that he could be. An Opinion On Sports extends its sympathy to the Stallings Family and to the Crimson Tide faithful who loved and were loved by John Mark Stallings. God speed John Mark!

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Brett the Jet"

The Brett Favre "Out of Retirement" saga has come to a close. Brett is now a New York Jet. Let the games begin! I have no problem with Favre wanting to play again. Michael Jordan retired and chose to come back. Reggie White did also. Magic as well. Heck, in everyday life people retire from their regular jobs only to come back, or even enter a new line of work. It is a choice that a lot of people have. But I do believe Brett could have done a few things differently to keep the "drama" down a bit. First of all, he should never have announced his retirement last March if he felt pressured to do so by the Packers. I'm Brett Favre, I wrestle with this retirement thing every year, it's nothing new, I'm going fishing, good-bye. But since he indeed did announce his retirement, when he made up his mind to play again, he should have called the Packer front office and said, "I just faxed my reinstatement request to the commissioner's office. When he approves it , Ill see you in camp". At that point he would have held all the cards. If the Pack actually had moved on to Aaron Rogers, there's no way they would have let Favre hang around long. His mere presence would have triggered a quick trade, probably to the team of Brett's choosing, if not his outright release. Their only other move would have been to make him the starter and put Rogers back on the shelf for a little(?) longer. That would have been Brett's, as well as the Packer Nation's, first choice all along. Whatever road the team chose to take, they would have taken it with haste. Now, odd man out, and odd man in. The odd man in is definitely Aaron Rogers. He will have to approach perfection to win over the Green Bay faithful. After all, he's trying to replace a living legend. One day he will be the answer to a sports trivia question: who succeeded Brett Favre as the Packer quarterback in 2008? I promise you, not many football fans will remember the correct answer. It isn't going to be pretty in the land of the"Cheese-Head". The odd man out has to be Chad Pennington, whom the Jets released after signing Favre. I'm sure he thinks he got a raw deal, but Chad would have to admit he's had plenty of chances to secure that job over the years. No one to blame but himself. But on the other hand, this release might just be the best thing that ever happened to his career. I think it was time for him to move on anyway. So, once Pennington is signed by another club, the 2008 season can begin to play itself out for these three quarterbacks. In a perfect world, it would be a win, win, win scenario. But the NFL is far from a perfect world. In baseball, one out of three is considered a success, but I don't think that average will fly in this football thing. Oh well, I guess we will all just have to follow the season and see have it plays out. At least for now, we don't have to deal with the soap opera anymore.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Are You Tailgate Ready?

Tell me you couldn't do some serious tailgating with any of the above! I'm sure tailgate parties all across America will be the scene for many such "impressive" units. My 'ole Char Broil has a long way to go to catch up with these 'bad boys'. (But it still gets the job done!). So get ready to "Fire 'em Up", football season is on the horizon. Let the grilling, and smoking begin! And in the South, you know we won't forget the boiled peanuts!

The 2008 PGA Championship

I like Phil Mickelson, but as the PGA Tournament gets underway tomorrow, I am wondering what he will do to cost himself another Major where he is again one of the favorites. I am saying that he will not win the 2008 PGA. I am saying he will again self-destruct on the course. What I am not saying is how it will happen. It could be "Driver Gone Wild", which leads to some ridiculously imaginable recovery shots, which eventually lead to doom and gloom. It could be those 3 to 5 foot putts that he sometimes has more trouble with than those 25 footers. These lead to unsaved pars and even the dreaded bogey. It could be his course management , or lack thereof. Sometimes Phil just drifts off on us. Everything leaves the course but his body. This leads to a golf game fit for the portable potties. And this kind of golf game leads to yet another golden opportunity gone to waste.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh Brother, Dawgs On The Cover!

It's not enough that the Dawgs already have those "Bulls Eyes" on their backs after being ranked number 1 in several pre-season polls, they will now have to overcome the infamous Sports Illustrated "Jinx" for appearing on the cover of the popular sports magazine. Regardless of the "jinx", making that cover is still pretty 'sweet'!

Stafford and Tebow: The Best of the Best

Georgia and Florida are the only two schools in the Southeastern Conference already set at the quarterback position. They are also the two conference schools who find themselves in the top 5 of all the pre-season polls. Matthew Stafford and Tim Tebow return as established veterans. Look for Stafford to have a breakout year and be the type of quarterback he was projected to be coming out of high school. He has always had the 'tools', but now he has the poise, maturity, and surrounding cast to take his game to the next level. Tebow has shown what kind of numbers he can put up, but at some point one would think that defensive coordinators will challenge him with new looks and schemes to test the guy more. Every other SEC school either has to replace a departed QB or get firmly settled and committed at that position with a guy who played sparingly or inadequately last year. Every school has question marks going into a season, but at UGA and UF the QB question has long been answered.

"Dawg Power": Another Number 1 Ranking has the Georgia Bulldogs sitting at the top of their pre-season college football poll. The Dawgs are followed in order by Southern Cal, Ohio State, Florida, and Oklahoma. LSU and Auburn are two other SEC teams rounding out the top 10 of this poll.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bum Phillips: Yea, He Said It!

(About how he was spending his retirement) "I ain't doing a damn thing, and I don't start until noon."

(When asked if he played college football) "I thought I did until I looked at some old game films."

"The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline."

"Two kinds of ballplayers aren't worth a darn: One that never does what he's told, and one who does nothin' except what he's told."

"You don't know a ladder has splinters until you slide down it."

An expert is an ordinary fella away from home.

When asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, responded "Because she is too damn ugly to kiss good-bye."

"When I coached, players carried a six-pack. Now they have a briefcase on one hand and a lawyer on the other."

Dale Murphy: On This Date...

Eighteen years ago on August 4, 1990, the Atlanta Braves traded the ever popular Dale Murphy to the Philadelphia Phillies for three players. "The Murph", a seven time All-Star, never did look right in a Phillies uniform! He finished his career with 398 homers, and was a two-time National League MVP. I sure wish he could have hit just two more 'dingers' to reach that 400 mark. I believe that accomplishment would have him in the Hall of Fame already. He's long overdue!

In The "Doghouse" Dawgs

The Georgia Bulldogs made national headlines by being tabbed the number 1 ranked college football team in the Coaches Preseason Poll last week. Less than 48 hours later, some of those same Dawgs made the headlines by being arrested in conjunction with a bar fight early Sunday morning. All of you have figured out by now that I'm a Georgia graduate and a huge Bulldog fan, but this is a classic case of "stupid is as stupid does". As a player you work your 'can' off all year long. You have a great opportunity to play college football. You are in a great college environment. You play for one of the finest head coaches in the entire country. You know he doesn't tolerate unacceptable behavior. You have seen him use loss of playing time as a disciplinary measure. You know the deal and the drill. Yet certain players continue to jeopardize a really great experience by doing STUPID things. The Bulldogs now have six players suspended for at least the opening game of the year. I realize that "regular students" get in trouble just like scholarship athletes do. I realize that jocks at other universities all over the country get in trouble also. I understand all the rationalizations, I just wish some athletes understood the ramifications. You're in a fishbowl, you're under a microscope, you represent a state university. More is expected of you. As Joe Friday might say, "That's just the facts". It's time for the Georgia players to hold a team meeting and say to each other: "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way"! Cut out the incidents. Quit the stupidity. Grow up quick.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Skip Caray: "Thanks For The Memories"

Long time Atlanta Braves announcer Skip Caray died Sunday at his Atlanta home at the age of 68. The second generation sportscaster had battled health problems for the past year or so but was doing better, although he was not feeling particularly well as of the last few days. Caray began doing Braves games in 1976, and was named Georgia Sportscaster of the Year six times.
He was named to the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004. I'll always remember part of his famous call after the Braves World Series win in 1995: "Yes! Yes! Yes! The Atlanta Braves have given you a championship! Listen to this crowd!" Skip had witnessed and broadcast a lot of really bad Braves baseball over the years leading up to that call, so he certainly deserved to be at the mike for that moment. Thanks Skip, and tell "The Bud Man & Cubs Fan " hello for us!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Coaches USA Today Poll: UGA #1

The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked number 1 in the USA Today Coaches' pre-season poll. We all know the post-season poll is the only one that counts, but it's a plus to begin the season in that number 1 slot (just ask LSU last year). This is the first time the Bulldogs have held this elite pre-season ranking. Southern Cal is ranked in the number two position, followed by Ohio State, Oklahoma and Florida.