Friday, April 3, 2009

Bubba Does Basketball

Well, the University of Georgia has taken the plunge and hired a new basketball coach. This hire is very intriguing for me and let me start by saying that this is an opportunity that I can get on board with. Yes, it is very easy to say “Who is this guy?” and other than the fact that Trent Johnson coached Kirk Snyder there, that’s all I know about the University of Nevada besides the fact that it is in Reno, ugh:

Back to Dr. Naismith’s game and the positives that I see out of this hire:

First, UGA needed a change, plain and simple. Mark Fox gives the Bulldogs this opportunity right out of the gate. He has no prior notions about the basketball program being a Midwest guy coaching towards the West Coast. This, in my opinion, gives him an opportunity to change the culture of the players and change the image of how UGA basketball is run. It is easy to be concerned with the fact he has no current connections to the Southeast, but the man has been successful at winning basketball games and getting talent to play at Nevada. He had to build relationships over time to get strong personnel in Nevada and judging from his success over the last 5 seasons, I believe that he has the ability to build superior relationships in Athens. His mentor from Nevada, Trent Johnson, had no prior connections to the Southeast and won 27 games at LSU last season. UGA definitely does not have the recent record of LSU nor does it have their roster, but this should give Mark Fox some insight as far the job that he has taken and the work that he must do.

Second, it looks to me that Coach Fox has the ability to develop players. UGA has not developed the skills of its players throughout the tenure of Dennis Felton. Mike Mercer was an undisciplined mess and he, along with Takais Brown, took whatever Felton had built over his first few years and threw it out the window when they were kicked off/left the team. Sundiata Gaines and Dave Bliss were the only two players that I can honestly say I saw get better during their time at UGA. I hate to speak poorly about Coach Felton because he is a good man and worked hard for the University, but his way was no longer working. There is enough talent in the Classic City to be competitive in the SEC and field some semblance of an offensive game plan. Trey Tompkins, Dustin Ware, and Travis Leslie (if eligible) have individual unique talents. Barring their transfer, and it will take one helluva sales job to keep the current roster intact, Mark Fox with his record, can build a team with those young players. Over 40 players were in the NCAA tournament this past season on non-Georgia teams, get one to two of those players a year and you are moving in the right direction.

Thank You Coach Felton, at least someone won a Title on the Trade School Gym Floor, ba da boom!

Third, Bobby Knight wasn't and would never be the answer. Simple question, where does Bobby Knight leave you in two to three years when he is sick of coaching? Yes, he won 20 games every full season but 2004-2005 at Texas Tech, but he is burnt out. Do you as a fan really want to end up with Pat Knight as your coach after he is fired by the brass in Lubbock? Personally, I don’t. Mark Fox is fresh and hungry while Bobby Knight is probably still in that bunker at the golf course (caution, extreme language):

Fourth, this is funny:

I think he could hang with Steve Newman (Sorry Steve, but you were not good).

In closing, is Mark Fox the splash that Anthony Grant would have been? The simple answer is no, but for two guys coaching at the same mid-major level, they have been equally successful. Grant ultimately didn’t have the interest in UGA that our fans had in him. The Parker Executive Search firm put UGA in a position to hire an experienced coach that UGA, for all intents and purposes, probably never would have considered. A coach that is a new direction for a program in turmoil and I see nothing wrong with a new direction. Damon Evans is not an idiot and is one of the bright young minds in college athletics, like Damon, let’s give this guy a shot.

Good Luck Coach Fox and welcome to the best nation on Earth, Bulldawg Nation.

A Bulldog Weekend

Just a quick, unneeded reminder that there is a huge weekend of SEC baseball taking place at Foley Field. I will be in Athens Saturday and Sunday watching the games along with some of the other B'NE guys and will likely have my butt planted in left field next to the gate and the bullpen:

Knowshon is looking to Dial up a Dawg domination on the Diamond.

If you happen to see an portly guy in a red UGA Sea Island visor with a Styrofoam cooler full of Bud Light, come over, say hello and slap me in the face (Yes, this is a very vague description of guy in Athens. I will have Yuengling as well, which doesn't help at all).

Oh, we haven't given an 80's Music video to you in a couple of weeks so here is After The Fire with the 1983 cover of a Falco song, Der Kommisser:

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bringing Back Traditions: Dominating in Jacksonville

Georgia and Florida first met on the gridiron in Jacksonville, Florida in 1915. Georgia dominated that day, winning 37-0. Georgia would go on to 15 of the first 19 games played on the banks of the St. Johns River. In recent years, we have seen a reversal of this trend, as the Gators have taken 14 of the last 17. However, few people fail to realize that before the Gators' recent string began in 1990, the Dawgs had won 15 of the previous 19. What does this all mean?

It means it is time for the Dawgs to get back to the tradition of winning in Jacksonville. In recent days, there has been a lot of talk about moving the game to Atlanta once every few years. While it would be nice for Georgia fans to have the shorter drive every once in a while, I do not think moving the game to Atlanta would change the outcome of this series. It has always been a series of domination and in recent years it has swung the Gators' way.

When the Dawgs won in 2007 (in a game that was not as nearly as close as the 42-30 score indicated), I thought the series was finally going to turn around. While the result of the 2008 game was horrible, it does not mean that the Gators will continue their recent dominance. The WLOCP is a rivalry again, thanks in part to Evil Richt and Trinton Sturdivant's dancing With the 2008 game passed, the Gators have now had a 19 year period of dominance, the same length as two Dawg dominated periods in the series history.

It's over, Urban.

Here's to hoping 2009 marks the beginning of a new 19 year period of Georgia dominance in Jacksonville.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quick Thoughts

A couple of quick things currently on my mind...

1. The Georgia baseball team swept Tennessee over the weekend and managed to hang on to #1 in 3 of the 4 major polls. Now into its second week, their reign at 1 is now one week longer than Georgia Football's stay at #1 this past fall.

2. We are offering over $2 million a year to try and get Anderson from Missouri to coach the basketball team. Is it just me, or is that sound more like football money than basketball money?

3. Jeremy Longo has been added to the list of injured, meaning we will only have 2 scholarship D-ends for G-Day. Guess we will be seeing a lot of plays made by the likes of Andrew Gully.

4. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach made a player sit on the football field in the snow after practice and study. The Pirate from Lubbock is crazy, but awesome!

5. The 49ers don't want to take Matt Stafford because they think he still has issues with his parents divorce. If anything, the playing field is a good place for him to take out his aggression concerning those issues. As a child of divorce myself, I do not see why this would be an issue.

6. The Braves re-signed Chipper Jones until he is 41, meaning he will most likely retire as a Brave. Thank god they handled this correctly and did not let this turn into another Smoltz situation.

I'll be back later this week with the next entry in the series, Bringing Back Traditions.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bringing Back Traditions: Old School Cheers

"Who's that coming down the track?"

This is a constant cheer heard in Athens on Saturdays in the fall. As Georgia fans, we know the only appropriate end to the series of words that follows there are, "Ain't nothing finer in the land than a drunk, obnoxious Georgia Fan!" As often as this chant is heard, there are some others that have seem to fall behind and are rarely, if ever heard.

The first typically makes an appearance during Homecoming weekend. When the Alumni cheerleaders take the field, this cheer is usually broken out:

"Red and black and silver britches,

Give 'em hell, you sons o' bitches!"

If these old guys are saying it, there is no reason Dawgs fans of today should not be saying it.

The second one is often heard, but rarely the entire cheer. Every Georgia fan who hates the Gators wants the world to know it, and i can't think of a better way to say it than this:

Gators, Gators howd'ya like to bite my ass

Gators ,Gators howd'ya like to bite my ass

Gators, Gators howd'ya like to bite my ass

With your bright orange shirts ,

And your sissy blue britches ,

You can go to Hell you sons of bitches.

Gators, Gators howd'ya like to bite my ass

GOOOOOO Dawgs.......Sick 'em Woof Woof Woof

Come this fall, when we get revenge on Florida for the loss in '08, i know exactly what song I'll be singing.