Thank goodness the regular season is over. As a die-hard Dawg fan, I can't recall a time when I was so glad to see a schedule completed. It just hasn't been a lot of fun watching Georgia play this year. One tires quickly of mediocre football, and that's the type of football team the Bulldogs are. Mediocre at best. When I mentioned a completed schedule, I also look at it as a schedule totally wasted. Think about it; our rotating teams from the West side of the conference were as weak as we will see. I'm aware of Arkansas' record, but we caught them at a good time and blew a great chance to win that game late. Mississippi State isn't quite a feared program yet. That should have never been a conference loss, even on the road. In the East, we'll never see the Gators this weak again. We missed a fantastic opportunity to turn that series around in Jacksonville. Even though South Carolina won the SEC East, playing them early when we did was actually a good time to catch the 'Cocks. Another blown opportunity on a weak schedule. Georgia Tech is as bad as Paul Johnson has fielded in a long time, even at Navy. What turned out to be a scary night for the Dawgs down to Tech's last possession, should have been at least a seventeen point victory for Georgia. It's just another game of watching Mark Richt's team play poorly. That's why I'm glad the season is over, Liberty Bowl notwithstanding. There's always next year, right? Or will it hold just more of the same? It will unless significant changes are made. We'll see...
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Just as we did last year, An Opinion On Sports wishes each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We'll also take our second crack at an old tradition of columnist Furman Bisher and jot down a few things we're especially thankful for:
- I'm thankful for the American Veteran, who cared enough to risk all.
- I'm thankful for lemon pepper wings cooked on my own grill.
- I'm thanful for a wife who still considers me her "Boyfriend".
- I'm thankful that there's a new book out about my all-time favorite Mickey Mantle!
- I'm thankful for Pat Conroy, who can paint a masterpiece with words.
- I'm thankful that Vanderbilt is always on Georgia's gridiron schedule.
- I'm thankful when Bobby Goodson and the 'Swamp Loggers' have a good day!
- I'm thankful for 'Talking Tom'; that cat, with help from my son, is one funny dude!
- I'm thankful that even in a season like this, it's still great to be a Georgia Bulldog!
Thanks again for reading An Opinion On Sports. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Just like everyone predicted, the Cam Newton story just won't go away quietly. There might not be any wrong-doing discovered when everything is all said and done, but a lot of entertainment will sure have been derived from it. Flim Flam By Damn, Cam!
It is true that the Georgia State football team never quit Thursday night in their humbling loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. But, actually, they never should have started. Not this game anyway. I realize GSU needed the payout from a Division I school, but why begin with the defending National Champions? Georgia State has been in the football business only a few months; Alabama's been in it a 100 years. The Panthers were intimidated from the beginning, not to mention being out-manned, over-matched and overwhelmed. Use all the 'outs' and 'overs' you want to imply. I can't see that either team got anything out of this game, other than revenue. I don't fault Bill Curry for daring to dream big, but I do fault him for not being more selective. For instance, it would have been a much closer game to just stay in Atlanta and take on Georgia Tech. Closer travel and closer score. Just saying...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Northwestern University will play a "home game" against the University of Illinois at historic Wrigley Field Saturday. Why not? For 50 years Wrigley was home to the Chicago Bears before they made their move out to Soldier Field. There is legitimate concern about a couple of 'tight spots' with the field layout, but officials don't see them as a big injury risk for the players. It should be a great atmosphere for college football at the venerable old stadium. It's good to see the two schools agree to playing there. A sell-out crowd of 40,000 is expected to be on hand. It should be good for college football.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The Georgia-vs-Auburn annual gridiron slug-fest is the South's oldest and longest running football rivalry. It has always been known , pretty much, as a 'friendly' rivalry. It has been thought of as a clean, evenly matched series between two long-standing SEC foes. In the past, the two institutions have traded coaches with each other. Vince Dooley played at Auburn, then was head coach at Georgia. Pat Dye was an All-American while playing for the Bulldogs, and later became the Tigers head man. They have also traded in-state players with each other. Auburn has more than twenty Georgia kids on their football roster this year alone. UGA has only one player from the state of Alabama. Auburn kind of needs the state of Georgia in order to play football, wouldn't you say? The two institutions are connected in a lot of ways. However, in the smoldering aftermath of Auburn's victory Saturday, some of the cordiality seems to have been removed from this rivalry's storied past. The questionable (tactful word, huh?) play of AU's Nick Fairley has not only riled up the Bulldawg Nation as a whole, but has cast Auburn in somewhat of the same light as a camo-wearing Miami team of years ago by those not affiliated with the Bulldogs as well. The continuously hovering cloud of the "pay-to-play" scenario with quarterback Cam Newton has done nothing to enhance the Tigers image either (I'm not suggesting Auburn is guilty of anything here, just talking about perception). But who knows, by this time next November, all may have been forgotten and forgiven. And the rivalry that is known as Georgia-Auburn that will take place "Between the Hedges" might once again be a game among friendly foes(?). Time will tell...
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Auburn's Nick Fairley might be the best defensive lineman in the country. He also might be the dirtiest defensive lineman in the country. And he doesn't need to be. He's good enough to not be out of control. But he is out of control, and he is a dirty player. He can dominate the line of scrimmage and overpower any offensive lineman he faces. He doesn't have to commit late hits on quarterbacks in defenseless positions. But is does, because he is a dirty football player. He's a great college football player, but he's a college football player with no class. His game needs no refining, but his act sure needs some cleaning up. I wonder if that's possible.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Take the time to thank a Veteran on Veteran's Day. We designate it as a day when we honor those who served our country. Remember that all gave some, and some gave all. Also, never forget that only two defining forces have ever voluntarily died for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died to save your soul, and the other died to preserve your freedom. Happy Veteran's Day from An Opinion On Sports.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
South Carolina visits the Swamp Saturday to take on Florida for the SEC Eastern Division title. This is a news bulletin to the entire Gamecock Nation: You will lose this game to the Gators, thus blowing the best and only chance you will ever have at making it to Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference Championship. It's sad to say but Carolina fans thought for sure this was going to be their year. Nope, not, and never. It will be many years before the SEC East is this weak again. The 'Lamecocks' will fall this weekend to one of the worst Florida teams in over a decade. South Carolina is very close now to being the best they can and will be. It just isn't going to happen for them, just as it isn't going to happen for Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Florida, Georgia and Tennessee will all get better. The Gamecocks will not, and that starts Saturday.
Les Miles was on the proverbial 'Coaches Hot Seat' not too long ago. Now he's just making the seat a little hotter for all the other coaches in the Southeastern Conference. Last Saturday, Miles reached into his bag of tricks and called a 4th down double-pitch reverse against mighty Alabama to clinch a victory over the Crimson Tide. Love him or hate him, Miles comes out every Saturday to W-I-N. In the resounding words of Herm Edwards: "You play to win the game", and Lucky Les does just that. I know he needs to wear a cap a size or two bigger, but I guess the little headwear just adds to his unique, if not marred, persona. Perhaps only Tommy Tubberville, when he was at Auburn, took more 4th down gambles than Miles. His intensity on the sidelines is no masquerade; he's definitely in it to win it. His 8-1 Tigers have two more SEC games remaining on their schedule. Stay tuned for the Mad Hatter's next stunning move.
Did Cam Newton receive money to play football at Auburn University? Probably. Bo Jackson likely did also. Herschel Walker was likely to have been slipped a few dollars to attend Georgia. It would be no surprise to learn that practically every Division I school has paid top-notch recruits in order to entice them to attend their school. I'm not saying it's right, just saying it happens. When overzealous alums get involved, the dollars tend to flow. Nevertheless, this Cam Newton saga just doesn't seem to want to go away. I have no idea if there is fire accompanying this increasingly thick cloud of smoke, but it sure is hard to ignore the fog. Will it have an effect on Newton's on-the-field performance? Not a chance. Football is all he knows. Once he steps on the practice field or the Saturday stage, nothing else matters to him nor registers with him. It's all about football. Tunnel vision. He's got the blinders on. Not a problem. The only time any of this might garner his attention would be if it escalated to the point of taking away his college field of dreams. But even that scenario would not be cause for alarm, because the pro game eagerly awaits his arrival. And payments in that league are all on top of the table.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
If you're at all familiar with this blog, then you know I love taking shots at NASCAR. I like to say it's the WWE of motor sports. For sure, it ain't your Granddaddy's NASCAR. My latest jab at them concerns Jimmy Johnson's pit crew being pulled during a race and replaced by the number 24 crew of Jeff Gordon, who had already crashed and burned out of the race. Now the good 'ole boys of NASCAR have only two races left in their "chase" for the points championship. Johnson, finding himself in second place at this point, has announced he will keep Gordon's crew for the remaining two races in order to enhance his chances of winning the crown jewels. He's saying your guys are better than my guys. It is worth noting here, I guess, that Gordon and Johnson both belong to Hendrick Motorsports and are, thus, teammates. My problem with this is that a team shouldn't be allowed to change its pit crew during a race. Like the old expression goes, "you got to dance with who brung you". The word "TEAM" is just what it implies, a team. After the race, make all the changes you want, but not with another car's crew. Replace or revamp you own, not one that belongs to your "teammate". If I were a member of Johnson's former crew, I think I would tell the 48 bunch to put it in another zip code (that was tactful, wasn't it?), and if I was Jeff Gordon I would say my crew is my crew. Go work out your own problems. Isn't NASCAR a joke?
ESPN has announced that the long time telecast team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan will no longer be the voices of Sunday Night Baseball. The pair had been doing SNB for 21 years. As far as I'm concerned, that was twenty years too long. A new crew, yet to be named, in the booth will be a welcomed change next spring and summer. Better late than never, I suppose, ESPN.