Thursday, May 20, 2010

Georgia Football is 107 days and a whole bunch of boring soccer matches away...

Next Thursday, we will begin the 100 day countdown to the start of the 2010 football season for the Georgia Bulldogs. Be sure to come back each day and see who the next player is in our countdown of the 100 Greatest Players in Georgia History. Football season is just 107 days away, but for a good portion of those days, the media will telling us we need to like the other football. Yes, I am talking about soccer, and in case you have slept through every ESPN commercial break since December, you know the World Cup starts next month. Some people love soccer and that's fine. But personally, I could care less. Lewis Grizzard shared my sentiments in an article entitle, "Soccer is Boring".

Soccer Is Boring

By Lewis Grizzard

I don't want to sound flippant about all those people getting killed in European soccer riots, but I honestly think I know part of the reason for the violence that surrounds the sport in other parts of the world.

It's because soccer is boring to watch. If I had to watch a soccer match or a bowling match, I would take bowling every time.

At least in bowling, you always can laugh at those silly bowling shirts and shoes the bowlers wear. The only thing uglier than a bowling shoe is Gloria Vanderbilt.

Nothing ever happens in one soccer game to set it apart from another. The two teams run up and down the field for a couple of hours and then maybe - just maybe - one of the teams will score a goal.

I can give you the soccer scores for an entire season right here. They will be 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1 most of the time, and occasionally there will be a real slugfest that ends 2-1.

What happens in Europe is, all those people get together for a soccer match and they start drinking and they become bored with what's happening on the field, so they riot.
Bet, don't riot

Imagine a riot breaking out in the middle of a close American football game. There is too much head-knocking on the field for such a thing to take place, and since most of the people in the stands have a bet down on the game, they aren't going to get involved in a fight because they might have a week's salary wagered on the outcome.

I've never seen a soccer match in person. I avoid soccer matches with the same intensity that I avoid the dentist.

However, I did see a match on television once. I was in London and I turned on the set in my hotel room and the BBC was televising the English soccer version of the Super Bowl.

You don't have a lot of choices when it comes to watching the telly in London, so, fool that I was, I sat there and watched the soccer match.
The crowd sang.

The two teams kicked the ball up and down the field for an entire afternoon, but nobody could get the ball past the goalkeepers and the match ended 0-0.

No problem. They decided to try again in a couple of days. I found myself in front of the television in my hotel room watching the second stanza of this yawner. I had to see if anybody would ever score.

Late in the second match, somebody kicked the ball and it hit a player in the back of his head and accidentally went into the goal. Team A took the championship 1-0. I've seen more excitement at a K mart tire sale.

What the crowds at the two matches did most is sing. There was nothing to watch on the field, so they sang - which, of course, is better than rioting, but some of the best fights I've ever seen started with a bunch of drunks trying to sing at a bar.

What comes off the top of my head as a means of making soccer more exciting is to give the players baseball bats and if the match happens to end in a tie, then let the respective goalies fight it out in a bare knuckles tie-breaker.

As we have proved with many of our popular American sports, it is better to have the violence on the field than in the bleachers.

- This and other Lewis Grizzard articles can be found at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Next Stop: NCAA Tournament

With two likely 2011 NBA first round picks coming back for their junior seasons in 2010-2011, the Georgia Bulldog basketball program looked to be headed in the right direction towards an NCAA tournament birth. With the announcement that Georgia Mr. Basketball, Marcus Thornton, will attend Georgia this fall, the Dawgs will have the horses to make that NCAA title birth a reality.

But more importantly, the commitment of Thornton may mark a turning point in Bulldog basketball history. For years we have had to hear about the great basketball players from the state of Georgia leaving the state to play their college ball. Louis Williams and Dwight Howard both went straight to the NBA and Derrick Favors ultimately chose Georgia Tech. With the commitment of Thornton, the Georgia Bulldogs have finally managed to keep the best senior player from leaving the state of Georgia and coming to Athens. Granted, it took a coaching change at Clemson to help bring Marcus back to Georgia, but who cares!

It is the dawning of a new day for Georgia basketball. Finally, the shroud of the Jim Harrick era can be erased.

Welcome to the Bulldog Nation, Marcus!!!

Go Dawgs!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh, hell no - What have we become

I was reading a blog today and a Georgia fan wrote that they felt like we were becoming the Wisconsin of the SEC...and that pisses me off. We are not like Wisconsin: a consistenly good team who plays in New Year's day bowls regularly but can't quite crack the top of the conference...or are we?!? SHIT. When the hell did we become Wisconsin.

Look at the numbers from 2006 - 2009:

- 2006: 9-4
- 2007: 11-2
- 2008: 10-3
- 2009: 8-5
Total: 38-14

- 2006: 12-1
- 2007: 9-4
- 2008: 7-6
- 2009: 10-3
Total: 38-14

Not only do we have the same record during that span, but each team has one Top 10 in a season where they did not win their conference championship. This is maddening. AHHHHH!!!! We need to right the ship, fast.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's the worst that could happen?

During the fall of my freshman year at Georgia, I witnessed the final season of the Jim Donnan era. The insanely talented Dawgs (the defense had too many future NFL players to count) lost 4 games in the regular season, something they would not do again until 2006. Since I became a student at Georgia, it remains the worst season I can remember. Last fall, we once again saw the Dawgs struggle and what we got was an 8-5 season that suddenly has people outside of Georgia questioning Mark Richt's job. After sticking to his guns in previous years, Coach Richt gave in and a massive overhaul of the defensive staff took place.

So I had to ask myself, what is the worst thing that can happen this fall? With 10 starters returning on offense, we should be able to score points. Even if freshman Aaron Murray struggles, can it be much worse than a number of the interceptions thrown by Joe Cox last fall (and before you jump down my throat, I know Joe cox made some great plays as well. But it always seemed like he threw interceptions at the absolute worst time.) And the defense can't get any worse, can it? Worst case scenario, the defense performs the same as it did last year.

Even if Georgia has another terrible season in 2010, can we really expect a record worse than 7-5? Even if the defense is still bad and the offense is about the same, the schedule is easier as we get Tennessee and Arkansas at home, LSU is off the schedule, and Colorado is no where close to Oklahoma State. I expect the Dawgs to be much improved, but even if they are at their worst, I think the record will be better than it was in 2009.

What do you think?