Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Rank 'Em Like I See 'Em

Hunker Down Dawg Blog CFB Poll – Pre-Bowl Edition

1.  Southern Cal - A team that has not lost since early in the 2003 season has earned this spot until beaten.  However, I am not sure yet if I will pick them to beat Texas.  We shall see.
2.  Texas at Austin – I know they can score, but how well can they stop the USC offense?  I cannot wait to find out.
3.  Penn State – Solid year for the Nittany.  One “last play of the game” away from creating a BCS controversy.
4.  Notre Dame – Does it matter if I have them one spot ahead of OSU since they get their chance to prove it in Phoenix?
5.  Ohio State – See # 4.
6.  Oregon – Even though I think the Pac 10 was down some, their 10 wins were impressive.
7.  Georgia – Yes we jump Auburn and West Virginia.  That is what happens when you be-otch slap LSU for 60 minutes.
8.  Auburn – Just beat Wisconsin, OK?
9.  West Virginia – Speed.  Looking forward to this match up.
10.  LSU – Stays above VPI because they lost to a much better team than FSU.
11.  Miami – One above VPI seems right.
12. VPI.  Was that FSU’s defense from 1994?
13.  Alabama – I am sure they are better than TCU.
14.  TCU – Maybe they should play Bama instead of Texas Tech.
15.  Louisville – Not really sure about them, but will see in the Gator Bowl.
16.  Wisconsin – Good match-up woth Auburn will be fun to watch.
17.  Florida – With a bowl win will end with a nice 9-3 season under new coach, having won against 3 biggest rivals.
18.  Texas Tech – High flying offense, meet immovable object in Cotton Bowl.
19.  Clemson – I really think they are a good team.
20.  Georgia Tech – When not being schizophrenic, they are pretty good.
21.  Boston College – Boy did they get screwed with the Smurf Bowl that is normally reserved for Tech.
22.  Florida State – Welcome back defense.  How was your slumber?
23.  Michigan – What are you doing down there?  At least you aren’t Tennessee.
24.  Iowa – Interesting rematch with Florida in Outback Bowl.
25a.  UCLA – I probably shouldn’t rank a team that loses by 47 points.  Quitters.
25b.  Navy – CIC Trophy for third straight year.  First to 50 victory over Army.

Assail away if you feel the need.  

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Dawg Bones Awards

Tonight I am awarding Dawg Bones for the SEC Championship extraordinary performances. I will assume that if you are reading this that you saw the game and you already know who got TDs, interceptions, sacks, etc. If you need that information, go here. You can read all about how Georgia took charge as the preeminent team in the SEC and made the following statement loud and clear: "We are BACK and we plan to stay here awhile!" I thought our team gave an extraordinary effort from the the opening kick until the final tick. When a well-coached group of outstanding athletes gives an extraordinary effort on every play, they will be nearly impossible to stop. The Georgia and Florida State defenses both demonstrated this principle last night. Many times an extraordinary effort does not directly make the play but it creates an opportunity for another player. It is in the spirit of extraordinary effort, that I will award my SECCG Dawg Bones.

Special Teams Dawg Bone - Ramarcus Brown gets a bone for his extraordinary effort on the punt that was blocked by Bryan McClendon. You may not know it, but the blur that came from the far right side was Ramarcus slamming into the outside blocker which allowed McClendon to go in untouched and block the punt.

Offensive Dawg Bone - DJ Schockley gets a bone for his extraordinary effort in selling the pump fake that caused LSU CB LaRon Landry to bite on the double-move route that allowed Sean Bailey to blow past him for his second touchdown catch of the 1st quarter.

Offensive Dawg Bone - Daniel Inman gets a bone for his extraordinary effort to stay on blocks as long as possible and drive his man until the whistle.

Defensive Dawg Bone - Tim Jennings gets a bone for his extraordinary contribution on several plays that I especially appreciated: (1) for holding up LSU WR Dwayne Bowe on the play that Tra Battled cracked the ball loose for a fumble that was erroneously not awarded to the Dawgs in the 1st quarter; (2) for his solo sack on Flynn for a loss of 12 yards; (3) for sealing the game when he jumped the out route and took an interception back for a touchdown.

Defensive Dawg Bone - Will Thompson gets a bone for his extraordinary effort to pressure the quarterback resulting in 2 sacks and one QB hurry. He was also responsible for flushing the QB out of the pocket several times and I think he was the player being held the one time LSU was flagged for holding.

And the STAT OF THE GAME: Zero. That is the number of interceptions thrown by DJ Shockley. He showed great poise, patience and maturity in throwing the ball away several times when he eluded the rush and could have tried to force something. DJ took care of the ball and never threw a dangerous pass. His great decision making prevented the talented LSU defense from creating any big plays that could have changed the momentum that Georgia had seized early on. DJ is a Superman in my book.

Way to go you hairy dawgs. Finish the drill by whipping West Virginia and end the season 11-2 and ranked no lower than 6.

By now, you know that the Dawgs absolutely laid the wood to LSU in Shock and Awe fashion, winning 34-14. And it wasn't even that close, as they say.

There are many great things that result from this big win in addition to the obvious SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl bid. Here is my Top Ten List of Additional Benefits From Bashing the #3 Tigers Like a Top Tier WAC Team (ie. Boise State):

10. Recruiting. The Dawgs made it look like so much fun last night, what kid would not want to play for the Red and Black? Could you feel the love?
9. We re-establish the Georgia Dome as home turf for the Dawgs, which will get reaffirmed on January 2.
8. We get to hear more stories about how DJ Shockley came back for this special season instead of stories about how LSU overcame all of the Katrina adversity (which I do not deny, but, hey, I live in Florida.)
7. No SEC team can finish the season with more victories than UGA with at least 10.
6. We replace Auburn as the "Hottest Team Nobody Wants to Play Right Now."
5. We can stop complaining about Sean Bailey's stone hands and start praising his big play potential.
4. We discovered the undeniable benefits of an occasional jail break blitz.
3. No SEC team can claim more SEC Titles in the past 10 years. No need to live in the past people!
2. As eloquently stated by Kyle King, "The 80's are over." The GLORY DAYS are here and now!
1. We will no longer have to hear the phrase "Tiger Meat" after a combined score of 79-30 in our last two meetings with the Bayou Bengals.

Saturday, December 03, 2005



That is my humble prediction. In previous posts this week, I have indicated what I hope to see from our defense and place kicker. In this brief post, I will offer my flawless advice to Coach Richt for the offense.

Throw the ball to Pope!

In addition to that permanent command, I would like to see Kregg Lumpkin get a heavy share of the rushing load if he is running hard like he did against Tech. Our O-Line will have to have their best game yet to make holes for our three-headed running back to find room to scamper. The line will also have to continue to provide DJ Shockley with the solid protection that he has received all season.

Obviously, we cannot afford to drop passes tonight, especially on third down. I expect DJ to look sharp and to use his legs a little more than he did last week. I promise you that DJ will lay it all on the line to win this game. He is a great competitor and this will be his signature, career-defining game. At the end of this game, we will all be flummoxed about how we could have ever had any concerns about DJ back in the summer.

Here is how the Dawgs will get their 23 points. Field goals of 33, 44 and 48 yards. A one yard TD run by Southerland or Lumpkin. A 22 yard TD pass to Pope on a z corner route.

The Tigers will kick one short field goal. One TD will be a long TD pass in broken coverage to one of their jetpack receivers. Maybe 65 yards. The other will be an 8 play, 71 yard drive ending with a TD by Russell on a sneak.

If you want more information, for example, too much information, please see Kyle King who projects the Dawgs to win 20-16. Yeah, Kyle!

There it is. My fearless prediction. Now I can go to bed and wake up for a great day of football and much rejoicing for Navy and Bulldog fans.

For the record, I do not expect any surprises in the other games. USC will pistol whip UCLA, Texas will run roughshod over Colorado, and VPI will mercifully euthanize the Noles by only beating them by 28 points.




Navy is going to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego and that will be a sweet reward for a season with 6 wins. However, if my Middies do not beat Army today, the season will not be remembered as a success. That is how it goes when America’s favorite rivalry renews in the City of Brotherly Love for the 106th meeting. After 105 contests, the series record stands at 49-49-7. This year, the game is tabbed, “The First to 50.” The Navy team leads the nation in rushing, but Bobby Ross’s Army squad is on a four game winning streak and is looking to beat Navy for the first time since 2001. Meanwhile, the Navy seniors look to become the first group to beat Army all four years since the Class of 1977. (For the record, we were 1-3 during my 4 years at Navy.)

I love watching this game every year because I feel like I know every one of those kids out there playing. The names on the jerseys change over the years, but the type of men in the uniform does not. Many of my best friends in this lifetime all wore the Navy football uniform. I still see them when I watch the game. I know where their rooms are in Bancroft Hall. I know which table they eat at in King Hall. I even know where they park their cars out at Hospital Point. I know where they will be drinking beer Saturday night and the girls from surrounding schools who will join them. This is so much more than a football game to Army and Navy grads. It is the purest form of nostalgia. And damn if it doesn’t start to make me feel old to realize that the seniors on the field tomorrow were born the year I was a plebe on the scout team with a locker next to the great Napoleon McCallum.

I will have fun watching today knowing that Army’s offensive coordinator, Kevin Ross, was a classmate, friend, and fellow economics major and I will be hoping that he has a miserable day.

I will especially have fun watching this game knowing that one of Navy’s offensive linemen, Ryan Roeling, is at the Naval Academy because I encouraged his dad, Bill (a defensive end on the Tulane teams that played against the Dawgs in the 70’s), to steer him toward Navy and away from UCF and Tulane. This was in the spring of 2001. I had gotten Ryan’s information to Charlie Weatherbie in the summer and they had started recruiting Ryan – who was in school in Tampa. But Ryan was not high on Navy and was leaning toward Tulane. His grandparents lived in New Orleans and he had lots of ties to the Green Wave. However, after the 9/11 attacks occurred, Ryan told his dad that he wanted to go to Navy and fight for his country. Coach Weatherbie was fired that season and when Paul Johnson’s staff arrived in Annapolis, Ryan did not hear from them and assumed they were no longer interested. Upon checking into this, I discovered that former Bulldog, Brian Bohannon, had gone with Coach Johnson from the Georgia Southern staff. I had been acquainted with Brian when he was in Athens, so I sent him an email with all of Ryan’s info hoping that they would resume recruitment of this outstanding young man. Soon thereafter, Paul Johnson showed up at the high school in Tampa and assured Ryan that he was coming to Annapolis. Now, I am told that Ryan has loved his experience at Navy and his family is extremely proud of him. Here is a young man who went to Navy primarily as a result of 9/11 occurring during his senior year of high school. Indeed, all of the players on the field tomorrow will have volunteered to attend the service academies after the 9/11 attack. Think about that for a minute while you are watching the game. This is huge and I am so damn proud of these guys. Whew!

I am picking Navy to win 30-20. Oooh, aaaah. Whitewash the Black Knights.

Friday, December 02, 2005


This week's version of my Friday Random 10 is all Dawg related.

1. Oh Atlanta - Little Feat. The Dawgs won in Atlanta last Saturday over Tech. They are in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game tomorrow to beat LSU and will return to the Georgia Dome in January for the Sugar Bowl.

2. Superstition -Stevie Wonder. Like many fans, I am very superstitious and that is why I will be wearing the same pink and green boxers that I have worn for every game this year except Florida and Auburn. I will not be wearing the red "G-emblazoned" windshirt that I wore for the Florida and Auburn games.

3. Start Me Up - Rolling Stones. This is for the Dawgs Defense as encouragement for them to be ready for LSU on the opening drive and force a 3-and-out. Then "never stop" the whole night.

4. Takin' Care of Business - Bachman Turner Overdrive. For the O-Line, who need to win in the trenches so we can give DJ lots of time to throw and give the three-headed running back room to run.

5. Bad To The Bone - George Thorogood. Dedicated to the pass rushing bookends, Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson.

6. Atomic Dog - George Clinton. Can this be anyone other than Blue!

7. Hot Legs - Rod Stewart. IMHO, the difference makers for this game will be our kickers, Brandon Coutu and Gordon Ely-Kelso.

8. Superman - REM. DJ Shockley on the largest stage of his life so far!

9. Feelin' Alright - Joe Cocker. Dawgnation after the Dawgs beat LSU 23-17.

10. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad - Meatloaf. Will be the record in the SECCG for Coach Mark Richt and any Dawgs players who were onboard since the 2002 season.


The incomparable Andrew Rothschild sent me a link this morning that is certain to help you waste up to 30 minutes of productivity. Have you ever wanted a fresh Pimpalicious nickname but are way too whitebread to create an authentic pimp name for yourself. Well, fret no more, the good people at Player Appreciate have solved your problem by creating a pimp name generator.

My favorites for myself are Fadeproof H. Fresh, Deacon Dr. Hamp Flow, Mack Master H. Love, and Silicon Sick Hamp Dazzle.

Don't be a hater, ease on over to Player Appreciate and pimpify yoself.

As the Commodores almost once sang, "I feel pimpified, say pimpified, say pimpified."



With the Georgia and LSU offenses and defenses looking quite evenly matched, will the key to victory lie with the kicking game? If so, the news is good for the Dawgs. While I generally defer to the masochistical statistical overload provided by Kyle King for going inside the numbers of upcoming Georgia games, I thought I would kick around these numbers and thoughts for your perusal.

The Georgia Dome has always been a kicker friendly venue (just ask Todd Peterson of the Falcons who has made all 9 of his field goal attempts and all 15 of his PAT attempts inside the dome this year.) The Georgia Bulldogs have recently been a kicking friendly program. When itty bitty Billy Bennett becomes the all-time leading scorer of the world, you are kicking a lot of field goals. Indeed, Billy scored 409 points on 87 field goals and 148 pats between 2000-2003. His field goal percentage was 79%. This year, Brandon Coutu has handled the kicking chores for the Dawgs with much aplomb. He has been outstanding in open-air stadia, so we will assume that he can kick indoors and will hold high expectations for him tomorrow night. On the contrary, the LSU kicking duo of Chris Jackson and Colt David (with a name like Colt, you would expect to have a strong kicking leg) have been less than spectacular.

Now, for the side-by-side kicker comparisons. . .

Coutu is 21-27 overall for 77.8% accuracy. Jackson/David are 10-19 overall for 53% accuracy. On field goals under 40 yards, Coutu is 12-14 (86%) while Jackson/David are 6-9 (67%). On field goals greater than 40 yards, Coutu is 9-13 (69%) while Jackson/David are 4-10 (40%). Coutu has made 2 kicks greater than 50 yards with a long of 58 yards. Meanwhile, the Tigers have not even attempted a kick greater than 50 yards and have a long of 48 yards.

If Coutu is feeling it Saturday night, the Dawgs could almost reach for 3 every time they enter Tiger territory. Presumptively, the Dawgs have a better than 50% shot at a field goal once they reach the LSU 40 yard line. On the contrary, the Tigers will have to penetrate to the Dawgs 23 to have a better than 50% chance of a successful field goal. While playing for field goals is a good way to get beat, in this contest against the nation’s 5th best defense, Georgia will need any points it can muster and conceivably one long field goal could be the difference.

I remember when Kevin Butler was kicking bombs for Georgia in the 80’s and every time the Dawgs crossed mid-field, you were almost assured of a field goal attempt at the very least and most of those were good for points. Saturday night, I think I will have that same feeling, knowing that Coutu has the leg of Gus the Mule and will be booting within the light air of the Georgia Dome.




The Georgia defense has played admirably this season considering the holes that needed to be filled after the departures of Thomas Davis, David Pollack and Odell Thurman, as well as Coach Brian Van Gorder. Piled on top of the attrition to the NFL has been several injuries in the middle – Tony Taylor, Kedric Golston and Gerald Anderson. Despite all of this, the Dawgs defense ranks 5th nationally in points allowed per game with 14.6. All things considered, one would have a tough case to make to say that Coach Willie Martinez has not exceeded everyone’s expectations this season with the performance of his defense thus far.

However, the Dawgs defense looked like swiss cheese against Florida, Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech in the first quarter. Florida scored all 14 of their points on their first 2 possessions. Auburn scored easily on its first possession. Kentucky moved the ball well in the first quarter despite its inability to score more than 3 points. And Tech scored its lone touchdown on the first possession. In each of these games, it looked like the opponent marched down the field according to a pre-scripted sequence of plays and Georgia was helpless to stop them. In fact, the Dawgs have allowed a total of 34 points in the first quarter in 11 games - 31 of those came in the past four games. In all but the Auburn game, the defense slammed the door on the opponent after the first quarter. So, why have we allowed these teams to have so much success on the first possession? And more importantly, what do we do differently to stop LSU early, and hopefully often?

Without the benefit of meticulous film study of the Georgia games, but having seen them all twice, I believe that our defense has been predictable, strictly following tendencies in the first part of the games and teams have been able to scheme for this successfully. Clearly, our in-game adjustments have been successful and for that, we can credit the coaches and players. However, we simply cannot spot LSU 7 points before I finish my first gin and tonic Saturday night.

In my opinion, we will need to zig when LSU thinks we will zag and vice versa. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we did something revolutionary and bold, like blitzing on the first possession? What is the worst that can happen, a touchdown? Well, we are used to that by now, so it would not be so unusual. On the other hand, maybe we could confuse and surprise the LSU offense and force a turnover or an even more rare three-and-out. I frankly do not know exactly what our early tendencies have been that other teams have been able to dissect, but I wish we would treat the first possession as an opportunity to misbehave and take a few chances. You know, kind of like we did against Arkansas in 2002. Maybe a jailbreak on first down. Surely Jumbo Fisher will not have planned for something we have not done in the past 11 games. If it doesn’t work out, then we will have the rest of the game to try and play them straight up, mano-to-mano. But before we get into a toe-to-toe slugfest with this talented bunch of bengals, let’s please experiment with an element of surprise just for fun. After all, it is just a game, right?




I need some advice regarding MP3 players for a Christmas present to my ownself.  I want to get an MP3 player that is compatible with one of the music-to-go services. In the past year, I have subscribed to Napster, Rhapsody and Yahoo Music for the streaming service, but I have not yet tried any of their music-to-go services under which one may fill and refill an MP3 player with as many songs as you please.  I tend to like Rhapsody the best because it seems to have more music that I prefer.  I also like some of the features of Yahoo, but the Beta version of their music engine was a P.O.S. and was frustrating to use, so I got a refund and went back to Rhapsody.  I now hear that the new version of Yahoo Music engine is much improved.

While I am well aware of the IPOD world, I do not want to be married to iTunes forever and I really like the idea of the music-to-go.  Maybe that signifies that I am too cheap to buy the music outright.  Or it signifies that I can’t make up my mind about what I want to listen to on a consistent basis, so I like having a shitload of flexibility.  So that leaves me looking at MP3 players from Creative and Dell for the most part.  In addition to compatibility with the subscription service that I choose, the other key features I am looking for are: capacity (preferably 30+ gig), ease of use, reliability, accessories available and cost.

If anyone has any input regarding the Creative Zen Sleek, Zen Touch or Dell DJ, please enlighten me.  Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005



Ok, so I have been dark for a few days after the holiday and the thrilling win over Tech. Frankly, the game was a blur for me watching it the first time and I had only general observations, not worthy of in depth treatment. Watching Saturday night was an experience like watching two ocean freighters on a collision course, moving slowly and steadily towards each other. Knowing that every minute that passes without a change of course will make it less and less likely that a disastrous outcome will be averted. Finally, when the time to do or die arrived, the Dawgs made the move and avoided calamity. Colt Patriot was the play call that resulted in the perfectly lofted pass from Shockley to Brian McClendon that downed the Jackets for their 5th consecutive outright loss to Georgia and for their 12 straight game of record against Georgia without a win.

Tonight, I watched the replay on CSS and I have a few specific comments about the Georgia-Georgia Tech game before turning the focus to LSU.

The first half progressed according to my expectations for the Dawgs’ offense. We moved the ball on the ground and in the air for a total of almost 200 yards. We scored 7, but missed clear opportunities to make it 17 with a few dropped passes and a missed field goal. I loved that Kregg Lumpkin seemed to be back in his pre-knee injury form. I hope that he continues to gain confidence in his wheels and gets more carries in the remaining two games. I thought Shockley made great reads and made correct calls to beat the Tenuta Blitz. A few dropped passes and a few passes that were either low or behind the receivers prevented the offense from making some big plays early that should have led to more early scoring opportunities. While Shockley did many things well in this game, with just a bit more accuracy, he would have torched Tech in the first half. Instead, the Tech pressure wore on our offense and turned this game into a battle for field position that went to the Dawgs thanks to one fine return by Thomas Flowers.

The Tech defense is full of great athletes and Tenuta’s scheme is hard to sustain drives against. To beat them, you have to string two or three big plays together in a sequence like Georgia did on each of their scoring drives. That is the main reason for the disparity in the time of possession. Trying to grind it out on the ground against Tech would not have yielded any results. They have too much speed and pursuit and they were not missing many tackles Saturday night. Trying to hit the skinny routes quickly or the deep seams after eluding the first wave of rushers is the way to get into the end zone. It worked twice and was there for a third score, but for dropped balls.

The Georgia defense played as well as it has all year after the first series (which is a topic for discussion in itself – check back tomorrow). They did bend, but did not break for the most important 55 minutes of the game. Reggie Ball made his usual mistakes (one fumble, two interceptions) and was fortunate that at least two more passes were not picked off – once when Tra Battle dropped an easy ball and once when Tim Jennings broke in front of the intended receiver but the ball was batted at the line of scrimmage and knocked out of harms way. It looked like it was going for 6 the other way, but for the batted ball. PJ Daniels and Ball combined for 140 yards on the ground, but most of it was on the Tech half of the field. Tashard Choice is a punk who talked the most trash for doing the least that I have seen in a long time.

The job done on Calvin Johnson was phenomenal. Most of the credit goes to Demario Minter who was in his hip pocket all night and got burned only once on an unstoppable fade route and perfectly placed ball. Paul Oliver and Greg Blue also provided great support and I think Blue made the right decision to hit CJ on the goal line on Tech’s last drive because Calvin is the type of player that could have pulled that pass in despite the heavy traffic. Holding Calvin to only 2 catches is a feat that deserves national recognition.

My final observation regards penalties. In the past several years, Georgia has been the team to have procedure penalties on first down in the red zone, or holding on critical third down conversions, etc. Saturday night was Tech’s turn. The penalties killed them on at least two drives. Now, many of the Techies are crying about the biased officials and drawing parallels to the Jasper Sanks non-fumble. However there is one clear distinction. Jasper did not fumble, but Tech did move early, and line up with too many men on the line of scrimmage, or block in the back, or hold. On every penalty called in the game, a review of the play clearly showed the infractions. So, the Techies next line of defense is that there were too many non-calls on Georgia infractions. For example, one whiner says that there were 3 blocks in the back on the Flowers punt return. If so, I, an admittedly biased observer, did not see them on any of the many angles from which that play was shown and replayed. Nor did any of the officials. Nor did the announcers. Nor did Joe “The Most Vacated One” Hamilton. Suppose a Techie comes up with the critical piece of game film that clearly shows a block in the back, well away from the ball, that was not called. So what? That non-call would pale in comparison to the blown calls on the Sanks non-fumble in 1999 and the Joe Hamilton actual fumble in 1998. Events that were clearly shown over and over with indisputable video coverage. This “biased officials” whining does not fit the incontrovertible facts of the actual game, so let it go, Techies, let it go.

The atmosphere in the stadium was impressive. Even though I watched this one from the couch, it was obvious that the fans for both sides made tremendous noise when needed and there appeared to be a real current of electricity arcing in the stadium. This is unusual for games at the Historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium. So kudos to fans from both camps for making the television audience feel your presence often.

That is all I have to say about that.

Except this . . . GO DAWGS! G.A.T.A.

Friday, November 25, 2005


This will be my last post of the weekend because I am heading to a technological vacuum at the in-law's house in Thomaston, Georgia today.

I am picking Georgia to win this game because good should triumph over evil. Also, because DJ Shockley is playing exceedingly well right now and I expect sharp execution from our offense in this rivalry game. Sure Tech has a fast and talented defense that played terrific against Miami. However, I have not been impressed with Miami's offense at all this season. They are particularly weak at quarterback. I am also not placing too much weight on DJ's performance off the bench last year against Tech. Instead, I Iexpect to see Georgia attack with a well-balanced approach with comparable yards on the ground and in the air. Probably 200 + 200. I know this is 100 yards more than the Tech defense has given up on average this year. But I am feeling a solid performance from our offense similar to the Auburn game.

Tech's offense will move the ball with Calvin Johnson getting his catches and Reggie Ball running out of trouble on occasion. Tech may even have a fair amount of success attacking the middle of our defense with the walking wounded we have playing there. Yet, Tech will not get in the end zone enough and their kicker will not save them.

Final Score: Georgia 27-Tech 17.

GO DAWGS, GATA and GATA some more.

1. Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
2. Polk Salad Annie - Tony Joe White
3. Pusherman - Curtis Mayfield
4. Linus and Lucy with the Band - Vince Guaradli
5. Cum'on - Kid Loco
6. Find My Baby - Moby
7. Crazy (William Orbit Mix) - Seal
8. Big Calm - Morcheeba
9. Hot in Herre - Nelly
10. Just Like Honey - Jesus and Mary Chain

This mix will get your stuffed ass up and moving the day after Thanksgiving
Go Dawgs!



Yesterday, on the feel-good Thanksgiving Holiday, there was little or no nerd-baiting and Tech bashing taking place in the blogosphere. Today is a new day, and since the game is only one day away, the time is nigh to set the mood for the game and bring the clean, old-fashioned hate in earnest. It is in this spirit that the Tanners (John, Drew and Hamp and eeven Uncle Bo) have created this simple quiz for you to assess the acridity of your hatred for the poindexterly nattering nimrods from North Avenue. Please answer each question honestly, even if your boss is a Tech graduate, as we suspect he is.

1. A Tech man is:
(a) A highly intelligent man of great technical knowledge, dashing and daring, admired by his fellow man, and desired by the ladies.
(b) A nerd who doesn’t know much about football, but is the best for technical support this side of New Delhi.
(c) A sexless geek who would not know a first down from throw down. The kind of nerd that yells “Offsides!” when an offensive player moves early or vociferously complains that the Georgia receiver did not have both feet in bounds on a sideline catch.
(d)A pathetic loser entirely devoid of any likeable qualities who would best serve humanity by moving to Pakistan to manage an offshore IT consulting outfit.

2. You will pull for Tech to win a football game:
(a) In all games except against Georgia.
(b) Only against Florida.
(c) Only against Al Qaeda.
(d) Never. Do you hear me? NEVER!

3. You are driving a chicken truck (one of the better jobs available to Georgia grads) at 55 mph when you crest a hill to discover that The Wrambling Wreck has stalled in the middle of the road. There may be time for you to take evasive action, but doing so will cause you to risk losing your load of chickens. In which of the following scenarios do you take evasive action?
(a) George Godsey is driving The Wrambling Wreck holding up 3 fingers while George O’Leary waves his hands like a parade marshal.
(b) The Wrambling Wreck is full of baby girls dressed in White and Gold.
(c) The Wrambling Wreck has been commandeered by UGA cheerleaders who are frantically waving their red and black pom poms and our beloved mascot UGA is in the rumble seat.
(d) None of the above, I have always hated that friggin’ car and the so-called tradition it represents. Shame about the UGA Cheerleaders and UGA, but at least UGA can take his final resting place of honor in Sanford Stadium.

4. There is a cute elderly man in a wheel chair dressed in his blue GT blazer with a gold sweater vest underneath. Of course he also has on his gold bowtie with yellow jackets on it. You notice his wheelchair has a bumper sticker that says “To Hell With Georgia.” Suddenly, this man bursts into flames. Do you:
(a) Call 911 and leave it to the professionals to save him.
(b) Piss on him to put out the fire.
(c) Push his wheelchair down the nearest hill to let the wind fan the flames.
(d) Look for some gasoline.

5. You are like the biblical Abraham and have waited many many years to conceive a child. During this time, you have amassed a fortune in the chicken-hauling business. Finally, when you are an old man, your wife bears a son. This boy is a math whiz. In high school, he wins every math competition even though he is not of Indian or Asian heritage. He is offered a full scholarship to attend Georgia Tech. Do you:
(a) Praise your only child for this esteemed accomplishment and encourage and support him in his pursuit of engineering excellence.
(b) Use your money and influence to get him scholarship offers from MIT and Cal Poly, buy him a lifetime pass to Star Trek conventions, and offer him every video game ever made if he will go to school anywhere but Georgia Tech.
(c) Threaten to disown and disinherit him if he goes to Tech. If this doesn’t work, you have his DNA tested to see if he is indeed your genetic offspring. Then, irrespective of the DNA testing, have your name legally expunged from his birth certificate and have a court of law change his last name to anything other than yours – Arnold, as in Benedict, for example.
(d) Search deep inside the federal witness protection program for Sammy “The Bull” Gravano and hire him out of retirement for one last “job.”

Bonus Question for the women and a few of the men:

6. Which statement best represents a Tech Man in the bedroom:
(a) A state-of-the art hard drive with unlimited battery life that can reboot in minutes.
(b) A mediocre lover, but a hell of an engineer.
(c) A Tech man made me a lesbian!
(d) Can you say “3.5 inch floppy?”

Thank you for taking the quiz. Now to determine your score, use the following point values. For every (a) add 1 point; (b) 2 points; (c) 3 points; (d) 4 points. To discover your “Loathing Quotient” add up all of your points and divide by the number of questions you answered. (See, even a Georgia guy knows that a “quotient” requires a division operation.)

If your L.Q. is between 1 and 2, you probably sometimes wear yellow clothing and think that Tech has a good basketball program.

If your L.Q. is between 2 and 3, you do not own any yellow clothing, strongly dislike Tech, but most likely hate Auburn or Florida more than Tech.

If your L.Q. is between 3 and 4, every time you see yellow clothing you throw up in your mouth a little bit. You hate Tech because they are Tech. You hate Tech because your father hated Tech. You hate Tech and make no excuses about it. You can never imagine not hating Tech. In short, you HATE TECH!


Thursday, November 24, 2005



My uncle, Jeff Hollis (who I call Uncle Bo), went to Georgia Tech as an undergraduate from 1975-1979. He then went to law school at Georgia from 1980-1982. His father, Jeff Hollis, played football at Georgia until an injury ended his playing career. His uncle, Howell T. Hollis was a three-year letterman at Georgia and later became an assistant athletic director and started the varsity golf program, leading the golf team to 13 SEC Championships in 25 seasons. Uncle Bo grew up a big Dawgs fan and is a season ticket holder.

I have enjoyed Thanksgiving with Uncle Bo almost every year of my life. This year we have once again had a feast fit for kings. In an effort to keep up with the high standards of blogging exemplified by the roundtable discussions among Kyle King, Doug Gillett, Paul Westerdawg and Nathan of Golden Tornado, I thought it would be fun to interview Uncle Bo, a graduate of both schools, to gain a unique perspective on the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry.

Hamp: Uncle Bo, having been born and bred into the Bulldog nation, why did you choose Tech for your undergraduate studies?
Uncle Bo: I was always interested in engineering and wanted a technical undergraduate background. Also, I had the opportunity to start school at Tech a year early when I was 16 years old in 1975.

Hamp: While growing up in Atlanta, how many family connections did you have to the University of Georgia?
Uncle Bo: My father, grandfather great grandfather, and great great grandfather, two of my father’s brothers, my sister and my brother-in-law all graduated from Georgia. Interestingly, my father was majoring in engineering at Georgia when the state moved all of the engineering majors to Georgia Tech. He had to choose whether to change majors or transfer to Tech. He stayed in Athens.

Hamp: Any family connections to Tech?
Uncle Bo: My father’s first cousin and his children went to Tech.

Hamp: Which team did you follow while growing up?
Uncle Bo: I was definitely a Georgia fan.

Hamp: What did you think about Tech football while growing up?
Uncle Bo: I didn’t.

Hamp: So when you enrolled at Tech, what was it like during that first football season in 1975, with Pepper Rogers coaching the Jackets.
Uncle Bo: First, I was more concerned about staying in school. Regarding football, Tech was not in a conference then so the main goal was to be as highly ranked as possible and get a bowl berth. There were much fewer bowls back then. I definitely pulled for Tech that first year and I also pulled for Georgia in all of their games except when they played Tech.

Hamp: Throughout your four years on North Avenue, Tech was 24-20-1. How do you recall those years?
Uncle Bo: Every year we had great expectations, but every year we would lose at least one game we shouldn’t like Wake Forest or Miami (before they were good.) We had Eddie Lee Ivery, Drew Hill and a few other future NFL players but we never had a great season while I was there.

Hamp: How would you describe the academics at Tech?
Uncle Bo: Challenging. I thought I was one of the smartest kids coming out of high school, but I found myself in the middle of the pack. It was rigorous.

Hamp: Despite the difficult course load, how did Tech men blow off steam?
Uncle Bo: Atlanta was a big playground. The drinking age was 18. We always knew were a happy hour was going on or where to find drink specials. Also, my fraternity brothers (Phi Sigma Kappa) could always be counted on for some adventure or another.

Hamp: Where could a Tech man find members of the fairer sex to, shall we say, study with?
Uncle Bo: With an 8 to 1 male:female ratio on campus, most would be found off campus. However, we did have a few really beautiful girls on campus, one of whom was Miss Georgia at the time. Still, being mathematically inclined, we understood the statistical odds were better at places like Agnes Scott. We also made many road trips to Athens because we had high school friends at Georgia. When my Athens friends wanted to road trip, we went to Clemson, where there was some outrageous partying taking place.

Hamp: Back to football, while at Tech, what was your feeling during the week of the Georgia game?
Uncle Bo: It was a big game and a rivalry, but with the game being during Thanksgiving break, it was not as big of a week around campus as Homecoming week.

Hamp: Was there much animosity towards UGA among your fellow students at Tech?
Uncle Bo: Not that much. It seemed like a clean rivalry at that time. We had much more animosity toward Notre Dame. We also did not care much for Auburn since many engineering students went to Auburn because they were intimidated by the curriculum at Tech. Back then, Tech played Auburn every year.

Hamp: Now switching to your Georgia sweater, when you decided to apply to law school, was Georgia your first choice?
Uncle Bo: Yes, I wanted to practice in Georgia, so I wanted to attend law school in Athens.

Hamp: How would you compare the challenge of law school to your Tech curriculum?
Uncle Bo: Tech was more intellectually difficult, but law school was a challenge to process a tremendous volume of information that was not inherently difficult to understand. I was not at the top of my class at either institution, but I was proud to graduate from both.

Hamp: Did the endless stream of beautiful women at Georgia, in any way, hinder your ability to study law?
Uncle Bo: They were very motivational. Having come from Tech, where I had developed a highly-tuned radar to detect the few beautiful women, the atmosphere in Athens immediately overwhelmed it.

Hamp: You started law school when Herschel Walker was a freshman, did you have any trouble wearing the Red and Black?
Uncle Bo: Once I got to Athens, I was a 100% Georgia fan. I still pulled for Tech in their other games, but I pulled for Georgia against Tech during those three years. The Dawgs were unbeaten at home during my three years in Law School. I remember the first home game when I was a first year law student. I was walking through campus on my way to the game and poked my head into the Law Library and noticed many of my new classmates hunkered down for a Saturday spent studying. It was then that I realized that I would not finish at the top of my class in Athens either.

Hamp: While you were in law school, Georgia was 33-3, how would you describe the atmosphere in Athens during the Herschel years?
Uncle Bo: It was a truly amazing time to be there. It was a privilege to be there during those years because of football but also because of the great things going on in the music scene with bands like REM, Pylon, and Love Tractor. I felt lucky to be in Athens during that exciting time.

Hamp: Did you notice much animosity towards Tech from students at Georgia?
Uncle Bo: Not really. I had a Tech sticker on my car and never heard anything about it. The big rivalries were Florida, Clemson and Auburn during those years because they had some really great teams as well. I probably had the most interesting day of all Georgia fans during the 1980 Georgia-Florida game (the Run Lindsay miracle.) This was my first year in law school and I was unable to go to Jacksonville. So I went to Atlanta for the Tech-Notre Dame game. I picked up a free ticket at my fraternity house and watched the first half in which Tech dominated even though they only led 3-0. At halftime, I went back to the fraternity house to watch the first quarter of the Georgia-Florida game. Then I went back to Grant Field to see the Jackets tie the Number 1 team in the land. Then I got back to the fraternity house to see the fourth quarter of the Georgia game. I was the only person in the house pulling for Georgia. As you know, it was not looking good there for awhile. When Lindsay scored that touchdown, I jumped so high that I am pretty sure I hit the ceiling. And I have a nonexistent vertical leap. It was a near perfect day for a Georgia and Georgia Tech fan.

Hamp: In the 23 years since you left Athens, how have you approached the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry?
Uncle Bo: Since I am a fan of both teams, in this game, I normally pull for the team that has the most to gain from a win. I remember pulling for Tech a few times in the 90’s just so Ray Goff would finally get replaced. I always enjoy the game.

Hamp: It appears that Tech has the most to gain from a win this Saturday.
For the record, can you reveal who you will be pulling for this year?
Uncle Bo: Tech has a better bowl berth on the line, but they can’t finish with a truly special season. If Georgia can win three more games this year, it will be remembered as a truly special season. For that reason, I have to say that I am pulling for Georgia this year.

I wish to thank Uncle Bo for taking some time away from the excessive gluttony of this day to sit for this interview. I also wish to add a few notes regarding Uncle Bo and Georgia football. I was in high school when Bo was in law school at Georgia. On several occasions during football season, a few friends and I would road trip to Athens on Saturdays to see Herschel play. We would crash at Uncle Bo’s apartment after a night of underage drinking up and down Lumpkin Street. Back then, teenagers could buy booze at Bubbers Liquor Store on Broad Street and amble in and out of band parties on Lumpkin Street. It was a bit different than a typical Saturday night in Douglas, Georgia. I also went to Jacksonville with Uncle Bo in 1982 for my first trip to the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. We got to see Herschel run all over Florida in a 44-0 blowout. These days, Bo and I have season tickets side-by-side, so we get to enjoy Georgia home games together just like the old days.



Why I cannot move right now . . .

What I ate: Oven-cooked turkey with giblet gravy, turkey smoked in a Big Green Egg, baked ham, dressing, sweet potato souffle, creamed corn, broccoli casserole, green beans, roll, blueberry cake, ambrosia, caramel cake, and pecan pie.

What I drank: two vodkas with cranberry and OJ, a glass of wine, and iced tea.

Whew! Yes it is my favorite holiday, but I give thanks that it only comes once a year.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Since I think my mom is counted among the 3 to 4 devoted readers of my blog, and since it is cheaper than a phone call, I want to let her know that I will be bringing a smoked boston butt to pick and pull Wednesday night.

I have an awesome electric smoker made by some good people in Ponca City, Oklahoma. The Cookshack Smokette. The picture shows the set up I have. It is the perfect size for smoking 3 racks of babybacks, a 20 lb turkey, or, in this case, two 4 lb boston butts.

I rubbed two butts tonight and neither was my wife's! They are now cooling it in the fridge overnight and will hit the Smokette at 7:00 am with two chunks of hickory. I will smoke them for 10 hours at 225 degrees and pull them out just in time to load the car and head to my hometown of Douglas, Georgia for my favorite holiday.

Did you know that a boston butt is not from the ass end of a pig? Nope. It is cut from the shoulder. Why then, did it acquire the almost unsavory name "Butt?" I don't know the answer, but virtually everything else you would ever want to know about pork butt is located at this link. In fact, this link is to pork butt, what Kyle King is to statistical analysis of Georgia Football.

When the whole thing is done, hopefully it will look something like this picture. Moist and tender and full of hickory flavor and maybe dabbed with some Johnny Harris Bar-B-Cue Sauce. Yep. I think this will go down well with a Budweiser Select or two.


Or ...


(Idea courtesy of Georgia Sports Blog)

Yellow and Black Stormtroopers in the streets of Atlanta. Is this a sure sign of the apocalypse? Is this some sort of military exercise displaying state-of-the-art body armour and weaponry? Is this another terrorist attack drill? Fortunately, it is none of these.

To the relief of millions, it turns out that this was merely an endless procession of the world's best and brightest future bosses of graduates from institutions of lower learning throughout the state, particularly the University of Georgia. Hundreds of undergrads from UGA, Georgia State, Emory, Oglethorpe, Agnes Scott, Morehouse, Devry and University of Phoenix -Atlanta Campus turned out to get a close-up view of their future leaders and mentors.

Josh Woodside, a UGA Pharmacy student was on hand in hopes of catching a glimpse of what could be his future boss. "It is inspiring, really, to know that after many years of hard work to attain my Doctor of Pharmacy professional degree, that I will be able to work for one of these stormtroopers, or maybe a Klingon." When asked how it is that a Pharmacist will end up working for a Tech graduate, Woodside explained, "It is well known throughout the state that we will all end up working for Tech grads. This is just something that we accept. After all, we couldn't get into to Tech." But when pressed on exactly how a Pharmacist will inherently work for a Tech grad, Woodside was less sure of his answer. "I guess Tech grads own all the pharmacies?" What about the national chains such as Walgreens and CVS? "Those too, I guess."

Emily Thornberry, a junior in the UGA College of Education (Early Childhood Education), was equally impressed by her future bosses. "You know, like, we all totally know, like, these Tech men will one day be our bosses and all. Like, I am going to be a Second Grade teacher and for sure the Principal and School Superintendent will be, like, Tech grads or maybe the wife of a Tech grad. So that is nice, because they are really smart and know a lot about science and stuff and Star Trek stuff."

Apparently, this phenomenom of working for Tech grads also extends to Emory students. William Jennings is a senior theology major who plans to be ordained as a Methodist minister. When asked about a minister working for Tech grads, William made this unusual point, "You know, there may not be many Tech grads in the ministry, but our churches all thrive as a result of donotaions from our congregation. Since Tech grads are so successful, it is clear that their generous donations to churches is what keeps preachers gainfully employed throughout Georgia and beyond."

A sign of the Apocalypse? Definitely not. A show of force to be reckoned with by would-be-bosses from lesser institutions? Absolutely. For the students that were not brilliant enough to get into Tech and don the Stormtrooper gear, these Star Wars parades, Star Trek Conventions, and Dungeons and Dragon Conventions give them a chance to try and make a first impression on their future bosses. By contrast, the Tech undergrads, in an effort to familarize themselves with their future minions, will often visit Nascar events, Tractor Pulls, Turkey Shoots, pitbull fights, rattlesnake roundups, bass tournaments, and Redneck Comedy Tour Stops (they even have an insider at these in fellow Techie Jeff Foxworthy.)

(I better get back to work before my boss (obviously a Tech grad) catches me on the internet.)

Go Dawgs!

Monday, November 21, 2005


A brief spin around the blogosphere reveals much nerd-baiting. Doug, at Hey Jenny Slater, doesn't like Tech very much, but in a polite kind of way. Doug conducts a civil Q&A exchange with Nathan at Golden Tornado - a kind of touching of the gloves before the first bell.

Paul Westerdawg writes a fascinating "where are they now" expose on Tech's first Flag Boy, the Shannon Faulkner of "The Long Piss-Yellow Line." Paul also preempted the Techies by making the case for Chan Gailey as National Coach of the Year. He makes some salient points, so please check it out.

And things are looking awfully anti-piss-yellow over at the Anti-Orange page.

If you forget why you hate Tech so much, then just go lurk at The Hive for a few minutes and it all comes back to you in short order.

After an exciting weekend of CFB, this week's Top 25 gets shaken, but not stirred.

1. Southern Cal. Bush is unstoppable.
2. Texas at Austin. Shivering in shoes facing Frank-n-beans Aggies.
3. LSU. Can't go backwards after crushing Ole Miss.
4. Penn State. The Nittany wait and hope for some help like Florida got in 1996.
5. V.P.I. Nice recovery.
6. Notre Dame. They can prove it at the Fiesta.
7. Ohio State. They can prove it at the Fiesta.
8. Auburn. Still Rolling.
9. Oregon. Nice season, but still Ducks.
10. West Virginia. Last week in the Top 10?
11. Georgia. Last week out of the Top 10?
12. UCLA. Need Bush to get a high ankle sprain or sports hernia.
13. Miami. Sting!
14. Fresno State. Hell yeah I moved them up after a loss... a lot.
15. TCU. Tonsillitis Johnson would be proud.
16. Alabama. Still in triage.
17. Louisville. Two more blowouts on their schedule.
18. Wisconsin. I guess I like cheese.
19. Florida. One last chance to prove it.
20. Texas Tech. I guess OU was not back on track.
21. Georgia Tech. Yes, you get to leap frog lots of teams when you beat #3 on the road.
22. Clemson. Solid team. Another Bowden beats Spurrier. Only Jeff remains.
23. Iowa State. Like a tornado, only different.
24. Boston College. Didn't feel like moving them up. Probably should have. Oh well.
25. Michigan. So close, yet so far.

Assail away, if you wish.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Thanksgiving is still 5 days away, but for the Georgia Bulldog offense, the feast will begin at about 12:35 Saturday afternoon. Dawgs fans, tune in early because the Shock and Awe offense will explode in a barrage of points not seen by Georgia fans since... well, last year's feast on Kentucky when the Red Clay Hounds amassed 62 points on the Cats.

Once again this week, Mayor Kyle King shows that he is to statistical analysis what Chris Farley was to subtle humor. Kyle is to statistical analysis what Keith Richards was to moderate drug use. Kyle is to statistical analysis what the Internal Revenue Code is to a few rules about taxation. One more... Kyle is to statistical analysis what Louis Farrakhan is to just another guy not making any sense. (We should have a contest.)

Anyway, Kyle shows by an overwhelming preponderance of data that there truly is no d in Wil_cats. This fact coupled with the impressive play of DJ Shockley in his first game back from injury, inspires me to predict that the Dawgs will score 40 in the first half. You may murmur all you like. Murmur, murmur, murmur. (Thank you Dr. Hfuhruhurr.) I believe that The Dawgs will take the field with one thing on their minds - to have fun. This will translate into near flawless execution throughout the first half and a cavalcade of touchdowns. This will be the game that Coutu scores 13 points, but only nails two field goals. The Dawgs will do as much damage on the ground as they do through the air and Thomas Brown will have his best game of his career. Yes, indeed, the Dawgs will feast on the Cats again and I will enjoy not being tied in knots for 3.5 hours for a change.

Dawgs 55 - UK 17

Thursday, November 17, 2005


In order to overcome erroneous preconceived notions and to avoid placing too much weight on preseason rankings, The Hunker Down Dawg Blog CFB Poll will debut on November 17. Or, it could be because their was no Hunker Down Dawg Blog until November 8. At any rate, and to the extent that anyone cares, here is how I see the Top 25...

1. Southern Cal. Until further notice.
2. Texas at Austin. I hope they wear all white in Pasadena.
3. The U of Miami. The VPI win was huge.
4. LSU. Wins over Bama, Auburn, Florida narrowly edges PSU wins.
5. Penn State. Wins over OSU, Wisconsin, Minnesota.
6. V.P.I. Looked great in every win, but bad in loss.
7. Alabama. Looked good to great in most wins and good in only loss.
8. Notre Dame. Best 2 loss team. Will finish with no more losses.
9. Ohio State. Can make a strong statement with win over Michigan.
10. Oregon. Best of the rest of the 1 loss teams?
11. Auburn. Rolling into game against Tide.
12. West Virginia. I don't know how good they are, but will soon find out.
13. Georgia. It is all fun from here on out. Fireworks the next two weeks.
14. UCLA. Looked soooo good and then soooo bad.
15. Michigan. Will move up if they can beat OSU.
16. Texas Christian. Close wins over weak teams.
17. Fresno State. Upset minded? Forget about it.
18. Louisville. Up and down, but dangerous.
19. Wisconsin. Back to back losses.
20. South Carolina. Can they smoke Clemson?
21. Florida. Smarting from loss to USC, but a good 3 loss team.
22. Minnesota. Need a quality win.
23. Iowa State. Why am I the only one who likes this team?
24. Boston College. May not beat Maryland.
25. Clemson. Can solidify position as 3rd strongest team from ACC with win over USC.

Well, there it is. Feel free to cast ridicule at will.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


While reading The Mayor's post last Friday, I was amused by his observations regarding nicknames. To wit:

(As an aside, it should be noted that this proves the point often made by my former "Dawg Show" co-host, Travis Rice, that all nicknames must be organic in origin and you can't give yourself a nickname. Our old friend Dean Nava picked up the nickname "Rico" when, during an evening on which I was doing a Dennis-Hopper-to-Dean-Stockwell-in-"Blue-Velvet" you-are-so-suave riff with Dean, I called him "Rico Nuave" and the first part of the name stuck. By contrast, when another friend of ours, Robert Hawk, read about Huey Long and began calling himself "Kingfish," Trav informed Hawk politely that he couldn't give himself a nickname. When Hawk would not relent, Trav proceeded to hang a new nickname---"Catfish"---on him and, for the next couple of weeks, no one called Hawk anything other than "Catfish." Finally, Hawk abandoned that whole "Kingfish" thing and learned to live with just being called "Hawk," which, when you think about it, is plenty cool enough already. By the same token, if you go around telling people to call you "The Mayor," they'll make fun of you and some of them might punch you. If a guy who named his weblog "The Corporate Headquarters of the San Antonio Gunslingers" calls you "The Mayor" all on his own, though, well, that carries weight.)

This got me to thinking more about nicknames. Why is it that some people attract nicknames and others do not? What makes some nicknames stick while others do not? I don't know the answers, but I think that some nicknames are just too damned good to ever stop using. Some are obvious, some are clever, some are curious and unique and some are just stupid. But the great nicknames stick so well that if it were not for the nickname, the person may fade into relative obscurity over time.

My first example, comes from my post on Tuesday night about a high school teammate of mine - Andrea "Pulpwood" Smith. The former Georgia Bulldog fullback, not the obscure band from Augusta. Andrea (this is how he spelled his name throughout high school) got his nickname from Walter Huckaby (nicknamed "Huck" obviously) who coached all of us in recreation league baseball, basketball and football. When Andrea showed up in Douglas from Broxton to play baseball as a 12 year old, he was already built like a tank with muscles on top of muscles. His mother had to produce a birth certificate to prove he was only 12. The fence on the field where we played in that league was 180 feet deep and had towering pines behind it and, naturally, a creek about 100 feet beyond. When Andrea started hitting bombs into the tree tops, everyone took notice. These were jaw-dropping 250-300 foot shots. It was not uncommon for Andrea to put balls into the creek. Anyway, "Huck" asked Andrea how he got so strong. Andrea's response, "Pulpwood." Birth of a legend! Evidently, he had helped his father working as a pulpwooder and was much more powerful than his peers. From that point on, he was "Pulpwood." Now, here is the real point, how many Dawgs fans (or Bama fans for that matter) would remember so fondly the name of a running back named Andrea Smith who had 665 yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore, before becoming academically ineligible? Sure he broke two 50 yard TDs against Alabama that were Hershelesque, but really, if he was not nicknamed "Pulpwood" would his name still be bandied about from year to year? When is the last time you and your buddies talked about Torin Kirtsey or Keith Montgomery? Like Pulpwood, each led the team in rushing during a single season. For certain, their are no indie bands named Torin K or Keith Mc.

Some will remember that Pulpwood has a brother, Anthony, that was a tremendous linebacker who went on to play for Valdosta State. His nickname derived from Pulpwood's and "Chainsaw" Smith became the player you worried about when you crossed the middle against Coffee. There is a player down at Bradwell Institute that got hit so hard on a kickoff return that he still has a headache. On this same team in 1981 that was 12-2, we had a defensive guard named Kevin "Swamp Rat" Durham. Swamp got shot in the leg with a .22 the night we lost to the Waycross team led by Todd Williams. Evidently, the shooter had lost a bet on the game and inflicted his ire upon Swamp. Two weeks later, Swamp was back on the field and played the rest of the year with a .22 round lodged in his femur.

Back to the great nicknames of Dawgs. One of the all-time best has to be Eddie "Meat Cleaver" Weaver. Meat Cleaver was a dominant force on the D-Line during the 1980 National Championship team and wound up playing in the USFL for the LA Express. I have never heard about the origin of his nickname. Maybe it just rhymes and "Dream" did not sound mean enough.

Here are two names of Dawgs I never saw play, but I know their stories mainly because of their nicknames, Anthony "Zippy" Morocco and Vernon "Catfish" Smith. Catfish (pictured at right) reputedly got his nickname after biting the head off of an 8 inch catfish on a dare. Look at that face, how would you like to see this guy barreling down on you in the age of no helmets? Follow the link to read a brief impressive history of Catfish Smith. What a stud, old school.

Zippy was an outstanding receiver and punt returner in the 1950's and was UGA's first All-American basketball player. I assume Zippy got his name because he was very fast and, well, just zippy. That is an adjective that has fallen from favor kind of like "comely." Interestingly, there is a song titled "Zippy Morocco" by Vic Chestnutt.

"Wrongway" was a nickname given to Minnesota Viking and charter "Purple People Eater" member, Jim Marshall, when he picked up a fumble and rambled 66 yards, the wrong way, for a safety. Many will also rememeber "Wrongway" Feldman from the Gilligan's Island episode about the infamous pilot. However, few have heard of my old teammate Michael "Wrongway" Spivey, an offensive tackle on the Coffee Junior High football team, who picked up a fumble and got spun around by a Fitzgerald player and outran all of his own teammates into the CJHS end zone for a safety. Fewer still have heard of Leslie "Wrongway" Tanner, my wife, who ran the wrong way after her first, last and only reception during the annual Tanner Turkey Bowl flag football game held every Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Fortunately for Leslie, her miscue did not result in a safety because she threw the ball down as soon as an opposing player got within 10 feet of her. But she did look pretty in the process, so that counts for something. Ok, tell me you knew this was coming . . . Yes, there is apparently a song titled "Wrongway Marshall". I am now starting to think that all great nicknames end up as song or band titles.

Prison is a good place to pick up a nickname, or so it seems. Back in 1999, while in Phoenix, Arizona for a trade show, I was having a beer or ten at a hole in the wall called "Newman's Cocktails." This bar was located between the Convention Center and the lot where we parked our car. So, naturally, we had to stop in for a refreshment each afternoon on our way to the car. This bar was also located next door to a halfway house which resulted in a most erratic crew of boozers. One night, we met a man seeking legal advice about what his parole papers said. This man, about 40 years old, introduced himself as "2.5" and nothing else. I have heard of the name "7" from the Seinfeld episode in which Costanza recommended that their expecting friends name the baby "7" in honor of Mickey Mantle. I am familiar with the unoriginal habit of nicknaming any ballplayer wearing the number two as "Deuce." I also recall "Half Pint" from Little House on the Prairie. But "2.5" was puzzling and clearly called for a line of questioning. Turns out, according to this guy, that he was locked up for transporting $2.5 million worth of marijuana across the Mexican border. I don't know if I believe that part, but I saw his parole papers and his prison tattoes. One curious side note about "2.5" is that he told us he read the "Unwritten Book of the Bible" while he was in prison. Huh? How?

Once in Guadalajara, Mexico, my friend, William Rushing, and I were drinking beer with some workers from a factory with which we were doing business. Neither of us spoke much Spanish, but William tried awfully hard, having picked up a fair amount of Spanish while playing minor league baseball. Anyway, one of the Mexicans was called "Cuchillo" by his friends. This nickname, which translates as "Knife," was given to him in prison - where he went after cutting up another Mexican in a drunken brawl. He also had the prison tatts to back it up. During the evening, after much beer and tequila William continued trying to speak Spanish and repeatedly called this dude "Cochino" which lead to uproarious laughter from "Cuchillo's" amigoes. Upon investigation, we later learned that "Cochino" means "filthy" but is actually used to imply that a person is a filthy animal. So, unwittingly, William called a Mexican ex-con a filthy animal all night long. Fortunately, the Knife was not offended.

Despite the fact that these last two anecdotes involve drinking beer with ex-cons, this is not a habit of mine, but it does lead to generally interesting stories. The last prison nickname that comes to mind is "Be-otch", which is a nickname you would certainly not want. I am reminded of a Saturday Night Live skit with Will Farrell and Jamie Fox in a prison cell. "Yeah, you are still my be-otch. You will always be my be-otch." I hope you have seen it.

Go "Silver Britches"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Greetings fellow Dawgs fans. Many of you most likely remember Andrea "Pulpwood" Smith. He was Georgia's leading rusher in 1984, then he became an academic casualty and then became the subject of widely varied legends and speculations. I grew up with Pulpwood and played ball with him in Douglas for 6 years before he went to Georgia. He is the legend of legends at Coffee High School. Last week, a Douglas journalist, Robert Preston, tracked him down in Sandy Springs for an interview and an article that appeared in two parts Friday and Tuesday. Pulpwood's story is somewhat tragic, but he has a son in the 10th grade at Lovejoy High School who is reputedly a good student and great athlete. Let's hope that Pulpwood's son achieves the successes that could have been his so easily.


Monday night I wrote that the Dawgs lost because the football ain't round. However, there is another more plausible theory. In the fourth quarter, during one of the 10 minute TV timeouts, my Mom pointed out that the Suntrust Bank logo in the ad on our huge screen scoreboard was Auburn colors. Indeed, it was orange and blue. Then, to my horror, I noticed that the Cingular logo in the ad on our huge screen scoreboard was also orange and blue! WTF! Clearly these were bad omens, as articulately described by Kyle King last Wednesday. In a desperate effort to reverse the horrifying premonitions caused by the impossible revelation that two of the largest scoreboard sponsors at Sanford Stadium were using orange and blue (the two most reviled colors to all Dawgs), I looked everywhere for a red and black sponsor. The closest thing I spotted was a Coca Cola logo. It was only red and white with no black and was therefore insufficient to fully eradicate the insurmountable bad mojo caused by the offending Suntrust and Cingular logos. Dawgs lost by one little point. Can there be any more logical explanation why?

Monday, November 14, 2005


That is why the Dawgs lost a tough game to an evenly matched opponent with a razor-thin margin for error. Two instances of the oblong spheroid bouncing the wrong way for the Dawgs: (1) When Brannan Southerland fumbled in the fourth quarter, he was still on his feet. He started after the ball, but his momentum was going one direction and the ball bounced the other. Auburn scooped it up for a touchdown. (2) When Paul Oliver caught Devin Aromashodu inside the five and punched the ball into the end zone, if the ball had kicked to the right, it would have been out of bounds, a touchback, UGA ball on the 20 and we take a knee for the victory. If the ball bounces straight toward the back of the end zone, it likely goes through the end zone before Courtney Taylor gets to it. Instead, the ball kicks to the left and away from Auburn peril.

These two teams could not have been more equally matched. In the most replete statistical analysis on record, Kyle King deftly illustrated this point last Thursday. Both teams played to their strengths. Kenny Irons was a workhorse gaining 185 yards rushing and 2 TDs. DJ Shockley was outstanding in his most impressive game yet (20-36-304 and 2 TDs no Ints.) My man, Leonard Pope was unstoppable (8-102 and 1 TD) except by one curiously petty official ( I don't want to go there!) Thomas Brown actually had more yards per carry than Irons (5.7 v. 4.8) with 13 carries for 74 yards and 1 TD. Aromashodu looked very Reggie Bush-like on two monster plays.

The stadium was electric and the day had lined up perfectly for the Dawgs thanks to an assist from the Evil one. Auburn received a stroke of bad news when LSU outlasted the hobbled Crimson Tide in OT. The weather was a gift from our creator on this perfect night for an epic football battle. In this heavyweight slugfest, each team delivered some mighty blows and received a few in return. In the end, each team had played about as good as they were capable. The difference in the game, two unpredictable bounces that both went Auburn's way.

Since the game ended, I have heard and read varying reactions from Dawgs fans ranging from pride in the effort to utter disgust at some coaching decisions and the officiating. Paul Westerdawg has a very rational take that I agree with almost stem to stern. The Mayor has a spiritual, Christian/Zen take. A more edgy, yet hilarious take comes from Hey, Jenny Slater. That's funny right there. I don't care who you are. And then there is this take from Gunslingers that will be my segue, particularly the part about Auburn fans . . .


I believe that Vince Lombardi said, "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser." I guess that makes me a double loser last Saturday. Never have I been so comfortable and content after watching both of my Alma Maters lose.

First, for the 42nd consecutive year, Navy lost to Notre Dame 42-21. At least we covered the spread. I would normally not be distraught over a loss to Notre Dame, and this year was no different from that angle. However, as a Southern male sportsfan, I have hated two teams more and longer than any other: Notre Dame and the New York Yankees. By hate, I do not mean that I wish that their team bus would plunge into an icy river or anything. I just never, ever, ever have pulled for either of these teams to win. There was that year that Spurrier's Gators played Holtz's Irish in the Sugar Bowl and I was utterly confounded. Like when you have a violent stomach virus and run to the bathroom to throw up, but you know you will also spew from the other end and you have to choose real quick which to try first. Anyway, what I did not ever need was a reason to like Notre Dame. Well, forget about it.

Charlie Weis made me a fan Saturday. After the game, as he was walking toward the Navy side of the field and the sideline reporter tried to stop him to ask questions about a BCS bowl berth, Weis abruptly informed him that he did not have time to talk because he and his players were going to join the Midshipmen in front of the Navy band for the singing of the Navy Blue and Gold. When the reporter persisted, Weis reiterated that he was going to join the Midshipmen saying something to the extent that he and his players respect the mission of the Naval Academy and that it was important for them to show their support. I could tell that this man was sincere in his conviction and that he was not merely carrying out a publicity stunt. In fact, it seemed that the entire stadium observed the Navy Blue and Gold with the Middies.

This gesture by Charlie Weis and his players meant a whole lot to my brother (USNA 1986) and I as we watched together in Athens. After all, players at Navy are not competing for BCS recognition. They are playing because they love football. The stark reality today is that some of these athletes will take their competitive fire into the Navy Seals and Marine Infantry (as well as other specialties) to go directly into harms way. But you already know that. Suffice it to say, that despite my fine upbringing at the hands of third generation Bulldogs, I am now a fan of Charlie Weis and to a lesser extent, his football team. I am part Irish, afterall. And though he will not see this blog, I want to thank Coach Weis and his players for showing the love.

Next on my list is the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band and the Auburn University Marching Band. When the two bands formed up together, filling the entire football field to play tributes to each branch of the Armed Forces, I was truly moved. I know this sounds sappy, but I still have a tender spot in my heart for the US of A and I would go back to war for her if my country needed me. When the whole stadium sang God Bless America, I knew overwhelmingly how much God has blessed America and my family as I enjoyed a beautiful night in the stadium with my Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Brother-in-law, Uncle and about 85,000 friends. To these two proud marching bands, thank you for showing the love.

The last group on my list are the Auburn fans. I grew up in Douglas (Coffee County) in southeast Georgia and I now live in Amelia Island, Florida. While growing up, there were only a few Auburn fans in Douglas. Where I now live, I rarely encounter Auburn fans. But, I have been to Jordan-Hare Stadium twice and I have been to the UGA-Auburn game in Athens at least 8 times. That is 10 ball games that have almost all been colossal clashes. Yet, I have never had a negative experience with an Auburn fan. I am sure that there are exceptions, but I personally have experienced only classy, courteous and respectful fans at these 10 games. I have heard a similar sentiment expressed by others, including Gunslingers noted above. For a night filled with true sportsmanship on and off the field, I want to thank the Auburn fans for showing the love.

Now to show that I am no flower child, toting around a tambourine and sporting a dream catcher in my earlobe, I direct your attention to sources of some schadenfreude, the misery of the Gators and Jackets. Also, I still like to make fun of the French and Al Gore.

And I will lash out at some fellow Dawg fans with this velvety sash...


Here is the text from an email I sent to a group of friends today regarding questionable coaching decisions under fire.

Yes, Richt has booted a few crunch time decisions. Yes this is the 4th or 5th close game that we coulda woulda shoulda won that we lost since Richt arrived in Athens. S. Carolina 2001, Auburn 2001, BC 2001, Florida 2005, Auburn 2005. But, there are no guarantees either.


S. Carolina 2001, we don't get the delay of game penalty, procedure penalty and a host of other errors with 1st and goal in the 4th quarter and we do get a touchdown. Then Carolina gets the ball needing a TD to win instead of a FG. Well, as it turns out, they did get a TD. I know that we defend it differently if they must have a TD, but maybe they score anyway.

Auburn 2001, instead of running Jasper to the 3 inch line we throw a pass for a touchdown and kick the PAT. 24-24. Overtime. Who wins in OT? We will never know.

BC 2001, we don't punt. Instead we go for it on 4th down. Maybe we get the first down. We still need 50 yards and a TD to win. Maybe we score, maybe we don't.

Florida 2005, instead of the QB sweep, we throw passes on 3-15, 3-10, 4-10. Maybe we complete a pass for a first down. We still have to get a TD on a day when finding the end zone was nearly impossible.

Auburn 2005, we call a timeout and go for a 2 point conversion. We have an historical 43.5% shot at getting the 2 points. If we fail, we lead by 5 instead of 7. If we succeed, we lead by 7. Now, assuming we succeed and the rest of the game follows the same progress, Auburn is 1st and goal at the 4 with 1:52 to play trailing by 3 points (instead of 2.) Does anyone doubt that Kenny Irons could have scored a touchdown in three earnest attempts when he averaged 4.8 yards per carry? Even if they don't score a TD, a field goal sends it to OT. Maybe we win in OT, maybe not. We will never know.

Obviously, every play is mutually exclusive of the previous play and that is the shortcoming of these "what if" scenarios. Also, it is obvious that we all would prefer that our coach make what we think is the right call everytime. My point is that even if Richt had done exactly what we wanted in the 5 scenarios above, there is no reasonable assurance that we would win the games anyway.

So now, the Florida and Auburn game are history. But, with wins over UK, GT, an SEC Championship win and a bowl victory over WVU (probably) and this will be the second best UGA season since Herschel took $16,000,000 to go play for the Donald in New Jersey. (Not assuming 4 straight victories - ever- but illustrating my point and thinking that we could definitely win each of these games with DJ Shockley pulling the trigger.) If we win the SECCG, the banner that they will hang in Sanford Stadium will have no asterisk on it denoting that we should have won more than 9 regular season games. Instead, it will be the only banner of its kind for 2005 flying in any of the 12 SEC stadiums. I'll take that.

If Richt is not the best game-time coach we can get, who could we hire? Pete Carroll ain't coming here. Would you want Mack Brown? Hell no. Beamer told us no at least once before. Or how about the only two current SEC coaches with more SEC championships than Richt? Spurrier (you know you don't want this a-hole!) Fulmer (hasn't won it since 1998 and in December Richt may have as many SECCs in 5 years that Phat Phil has in 14 years.

Furthermore, do you really remember the days of Dooley? I love the man, but other than the Herschel years, we always lost at least one game per year that we had no business losing. Dooley had a 70% winning percentage and he is unassailable. Richt has an 80% winning percentage and people are griping loudly. I know Richt is not perfect, and it would be great if he would hire an OC, but he is better than almost every other head coach in the country. And if he stays in Athens 20 years, he will have as many wins as Dooley had in 25 years. I suppose it is good to be a victim of your own success.

I like Mark Richt. I think he is a solid man in charge of our program. I would not trade him for any other Head Coach in the country (excluding perhaps Pete Carroll.) If he would hire an OC, I would have almost no criticism of him and the job he is doing. Rare will be the year that any team wins them all. With Mark Richt, I like our chances of winning them all for the third time in modern history more so than with any other coach that could possibly replace him. Richt makes a lot of money and should not make the kind of blunder that was made on the two-point conversion opportunity. But, I thinkit is great that we all now have extremely high expectations for this program. That is because of Richt, not in spite of him.

Let's go Dawgs, finish strong!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Despite the rumblings and predictions of many, a thorough atmospheric review confirms that the sky has not fallen in Athens. Indeed, in a cruel twist of fate, it is another impressive and beautiful day as if the Lord created it for the Aubies to gloat in. At least I will not have to drive 6 hours in the rain one day after being Aromashodu'ed. Gesundheit. Good day Dawgs.


I will not see it because we will be out on the Hunker Down defending our Nassau Sportfishing Association Bluewater Shootout Tournament Championship Saturday. This picture shows the winning fish from the Spring edition of the tourney. I think that this is just what the doctor would order for the illness caused by the back-to-back heartbreaking losses! I assume that Georgia will beat the Cats and make it to the SECC game. But I will miss the on-the-field jubilation as I hope to be tied up to a 100 pound Wahoo.

Go Dawgs, beat the Cats.

Aaaaagggghhhhh! As Forrest says, "That's all I got to say about that.".

Saturday, November 12, 2005


It is now Saturday morning in the Classic City and it is a perfect day at this hour (11:30 am). The town was packed last night with your usual busloads of beautiful women wearing less clothes than you would expect on a chilly November night. Not an altogether bad thing. We stayed among the swarms of people until late, catching up with some old friends.

Oh crap, I just saw Corso pick the Dawgs on Gameday. Now the Dawgs will have to overcome the Corse Curse. Dawg fans, get busy right now with any mojo rituals you may have and ritualize in earnest so that we may reverse this Corso Curse!

Anyway, back to Athens... the mood in town last night was cautiously optimistic. There was a somewhat reserved enthusiasm that I am certain will turn into unabashed pandemonium 12 hours from now if the Chapel Bell rings.

Now, since I am running out of time, I want to make a few predictions on the games in which I will have the most interest.

Navy-Notre Dame
I was born in 1966. Navy last beat Notre Dame in 1965 and they have played every year. Because I graduated USNA in 1988, I have a great interest in seeing this streak broken. Navy has gotten better since Paul Johnson came in 4 years ago, but Notre Dame has gotten much better since Charlie Weis came in 11 months ago. Notre Dame has much better talent top to bottom. Notre Dame has a third string that should beat Navy. Smart money says that Notre Dame is headed to a BCS berth, Navy is headed to another Commander-In-Chief Trophy. You know, one of these years, Navy will actually upset Notre Dame. I think I will pick Navy every year until this happens (if I live long enough.) Then, when it does happen, I can gloat and beat my chest and say "I picked it." Fortunately, this year Notre Dame is giving Navy 23 points. I will take the points and pick my Alma Mater to cover - at least.

South Carolina-Florida
All of the stars in the universe are aligned against Florida today. Florida lost several key starters in last week's marathon against pesky Vanderbilt. Florida has yet to master Urban Meyer's offense. The Evil One will coach against his beloved Mighty Gators with more incentive and desire to embarass them than he harbored for the Dawgs when he took his 1995 squad between the hedges and "hung 50" on the Dawgs. South Carolina has looked very good lately and have a tremendous freshman wide receiver named Rice (no relation.) South Carolina has gotten better each week this year and Blake Mitchell has grown into a dangerous quarterback under Spurrier. The Dawgs will benefit hugely if the Gamecocks eliminate the Gators from the eastern race. But, it was never supposed to be easy and the football is not round. The Gators will put the pressure on Georgia by beating USC and stealing the headlines scrolling through Darth Visors dreams. Florida is giving 4 points, take the Cocks to cover the 4, but the Gators will win. UF 20- USC 17.

Alabama is beat all to hell. LSU is healthy. Alabama's defense will scrap, but there will not be enough punch in the Bama offense. I want Bama to win and stay undefeated. I will pull hard for them. Bama's biggest advantage is that Les Miles is coaching on the other side. When I saw him trying to call that time out against UT after an interception close to the end of regulation, I knew that he was no Saban. Still, LSU overcomes this obstacle and covers the 3 point spread. LSU 20-Alabama 13.

I am running out of time to post this before USC-UF kick off. I am glad Shockley is back. If he will throw to Pope, the Dawgs will win. Having our defense back helps us slow down the run. Go you hairy Dawgs!
UGA 23-Auburn 17.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


1994 - The Little Man's Streak is Over
In my first visit to Jordan-Hare, the Little Man, Terry Bowden, had led the Tigers to 20 consecutive victories. However, on a night when it seemed that Georgia would never tackle Stephen Davis, somehow Eric Zeier guided the Dawgs to a tie, which was a moral victory at a time when we would take any kind of victory we could get. Other than ending Deddy's Little Boy's winning streak, the game was not that memorable. What was memorable was watching former Glynn Academy great, Bobby Wilkes, scalp two tickets from a fan at face value, sell them for $50 each, then parlay that $100 into more tickets that he rescalped for $150. He did this in the span of 5 minutes while walking to the gate. Mind you, Bobby did not need a ticket, he was just grifting the Aubies for sport. This is the man you want selling your junk on Ebay.

1996 - The Game That Wouldn't End
From January to August, 1996, I took and passed the bar exam, proposed to Leslie McDaniel, graduated Law School, traveled to Europe for 30 days with fellow law grad Chris Hall, came back in time for the Atlanta Olympics and started working at the Atlanta Law Firm, Hawkins and Parnell. I don't suppose much of this is all that relevant except the year (1996) and the part about proposing to Leslie. Because I was so clearly attempting to marry up, her acceptance of my proposal was not a foregone conclusion. However, having been hornswoggled, she accepted and we set our date for December 14 since the SECCG would be played on December 7, and with a new coach (Jim Donnan) at the helm, you had to leave that date open just in case. Actually, the point of this wedding discussion is that our engagement precipitated the absurd, albeit well-intentioned, Southern ritual of having your mother's friends host several engagement parties in your honor during the weekends leading up to your nuptials. Inescapably, a party was to be held in our honor on the same night as the Georgia-Auburn game.

The game was at Auburn during the afternoon. The party was to start at a time well after the game would end...or so we thought. Instead, an epic battle was unfolding that would change the face of college football forever. The Dawgs trailed 28-7 as the fourth quarter began. My dad was sound asleep in his chair, mumbling something about "should've hired Erk, should've hired Erk." Anyway, while my dad slumbered, the Dawgs awoke, scored 21 points and forced a tie at the end of regulation. At some point, Rip Van Winkle also woke up to learn that the Dawgs were battling back. Speaking of waking up, it was during the first over-time, that Coach Donnan realized that he had Robert Edwards in uniform and inserted him into the football game, fresh legs and all. It was all Robert Edwards and Hap Hines in the four overtimes until Georgia finally emerged victorious by the score of 56-49. As a result of the long long long game, the NCAA enacted the overtime rule requiring teams to attempt 2 point conversions beginning in the third overtime. Also as a result of the long long long game, we were late for the party, prompting my wife to enact a rule that parties should never be planned on days of Georgia games unless it is a party to watch the game. I love that woman! Would you believe that she helped me devise a sneaky plan to miss her cousin's wedding in October of 2002 so I could watch Georgia defeat Alabama in Tuscaloosa? Yep, I love that woman.

Major sidenote to the 1996 Georgia-Auburn game: the greatest photograph of any collegiate mascot in the history of athletic competition was taken on this day. Auburn wide receiver Robert Baker, learned the meaning of "Let the Big Dawg Eat."

2002 - 70-X-Takeoff

Get the picture, Georgia must beat Auburn to secure the SEC East and advance to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta for the first time since its inception in 1992. Two weeks earlier, the nasty Gators had provided the only blemish of the season, erasing the Dawgs' fleeting hopes of a chance at the mythical National Title. Sound familiar? The game got off to an ominous start when Ronnie Brown scampered half the field for an Auburn touchdown. Georgia trailed 14-3 at the half and it would have been worse if Sean Jones had not picked two Jason Campbell passes. Very Hoage-ish.

During the gloomy halftime, Mr. Jerry Rothschild of Columbus, a very brilliant man, commented to me that we were getting beat at the line of scrimmage and asked me what I thought. He had a look of profound puzzlement and despair. At a loss for any existential, metaphysical, philosophical answer, I simply replied, "If we can't beat them in the trenches, then I guess they are just better than us." Upon hearing these uplifting words of encouragement, Mr. Rothschild actually smiled and said, "I had not thought of that." It was an "Eureka" moment. Suddenly, we simultaneously came to the realization that if our team was not good enough to win the game, there was precious little we could do to change the outcome. So maybe my comment was a little bit existential, metaphysical, philosophical after all. It was kind of like the final scene in Breaker Morant when, staring at the firing squad, the Brian Brown character says, "Shoot straight you bastards." We were fully prepared to face our misfortunate fate.

But the Dawgs on the field were not done fighting. Behind a career performance from Oklahoman Michael Johnson, Georgia steadily came back. Still trailing by 4, with time running out, on 4th and 15 at the Auburn 19, Richt called a play the Dawgs had never, ever, run in a game and had scarcely practiced. 70-X-Takeoff. I suppose they drew the play out in the palm of David Greene's hand, but somehow, at least two players knew what to do. Greene pump-faked towards Fred Gibson (the odds on favorite to get the ball) and lofted the ball into the left corner for a jumping contest between the 6'-4" Johnson and the much shorter Horace Willis of Auburn. We were seated in the opposite endzone, about 150 yards away with a line-of-sight right down the Georgia sideline. Sadly, I can never tell my grandchildren that I saw Michael Johnson haul in the pass because the players on the sideline all crept out a few yards onto the field and totally obscured my view. But, from the eruption of the Red and Black nation all around me, I knew that it was a night for "Old Lady Luck". The Dawgs escaped with the 24-21 victory and went on to secure their first SEC Championship in 20 years. How 'Bout Them Dawgs!

You can hear Larry Munson make the call by visiting http://www.larrymunson.com/.