Archive for September, 2010


Posted in Dinky Dau, Don't Make Me Come Back There, Fear and Loathing, Pre-game jitters with tags , on Thursday September 30th, 2010 \am\30 11:56 am by Big Muddy Dawg

We’re all aware of the power that well-crafted words can have on a populace. Come to think of it, not so well-crafted words can incite all sorts of powerful emotions as well. Feel free to insert your own political jokes. I’m here to talk about the Dawgs. And so with this in mind, I’d like to take a brief look at some statements made recently by Colorado Buffaloes head coach, Dan Hawkins:

“I respect Mark Richt as much as anybody in the profession. He’s a great coach, and they’re a great program. And I don’t take a lot of stock in the fact they’ve dropped a couple of games here. They’ve battled. They had a great game against Arkansas and had a chance to win that game. You can see how good Arkansas is based off their game with Alabama. Then last week they just had things not go their way.

You feel bad, really, for any coach. They just couldn’t get a break. You just have a play and a penalty and a play and a turnover or something like that. But they’re a great football program, and they’re a good team, and he’s a good coach. They’ll be ready to go when they get here.

The bye week was good. We got a few guys healed up, and we were able to get some things done both for Georgia and just fundamentally. It will be nice to have a game to point to this weekend.”

I don't think that means what you think it means.

Hold up. Wait a minute. Did he just say what I thought he said? If we take a closer look at these statements and make shit up read between the lines, something much more mean-spirited reveals itself. Take a look:

“I [am]… respect[ed]… as much as anybody in the profession. He’s a… coach, and they’re a… program. And I…take a lot of stock in the fact they’ve dropped a couple of games here…They had a…game against Arkansas…”

See what I mean? And then he gets personal:

“You…bad, really, for…[a] coach. They just… break.”

Not really sure what he means by “They just… break” but it can’t be good, right? Because the implication is that something is broken or not functioning. Coach Hawkins breaks it down further for us:

“You just have a… penalty and a… turnover or something like that.”

Man, you got that right. I mean, hey! You take that back! But I digress. Coach Hawkins leaves us with a final parting shot as we are all but told that his Buffaloes expect to run our Dawgs out of town:

“They’ll be ready to go when they get here…bye. It will be nice to…point.”

I don’t know about you but that kind of chaps my hide just a bit. I’d say that I won’t stand for it but I kind of have to on account of the whole chapped hide thing. But I ain’t happy. And our Dawgs shouldn’t be either. Anybody got Coach Mark Richt’s email address?

I’ve Got A Notion

Posted in Dinky Dau, Fear and Loathing, Gung Ho, Jinx, Pre-game jitters, Strategery, The League, Videos with tags , on Wednesday September 29th, 2010 \pm\30 2:04 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

The subject of Georgia’s substandard running game has been the topic of much fervent discussion lately. Reasons for why we have underachieved in this area of our game abound: poor blocking by our offensive line, predictable and unimaginative play calling by our coaches and our running backs’ inabilities to gain yardage after first contact seem to be the most agreed upon culprits.

Whatever the reasons may be, I’ve thought of a solution. In case you are unaware, the distance that separates Denver and Boulder is 24.34 miles. Hell, that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away. Now, who do we know that lives in Denver who might be able to make that trip in a hop, skip and a jump?

Knowshon Rockwell Moreno.

And, if it turns out that our best blocking fullback, Shaun Chapas, is still feeling the effects of that high ankle sprain he suffered against the Gamecocks in week two, well, maybe we can convince Knowshon to bring along some divine intervention.

Mr. Moreno prefers the red Powerade. I made the mistake of bringing him some orange Gatorade once and, well...

Go Dawgs!


Posted in Fear and Loathing, Gung Ho, Jinx, Pre-game jitters, Random movie references, Strategery, Videos with tags , on Tuesday September 28th, 2010 \am\30 9:43 am by Big Muddy Dawg

Word is Kris Durham, who suffered a neck stinger in the final quarter of Saturday’s game, is recovering well and should be good to go for our game against Colorado. This is huge for us because Kris has really stepped up his game this season and made some pretty big plays for us, including catching Aaron Murray’s first collegiate touchdown pass.

On top of that, The Anti-Orange Page‘s transcription of this week’s Bulldog Hotline reveals that right guard Chris Davis, who has been hampered by hip and knee injuries, is “ready to go”. Hopefully, his return to health can help spark our woefully underperforming offensive line, particularly in the area of inside blocking.

And although fullback Shaun Chapas was listed as ready to go this past Saturday, he ended up only playing sparingly in the second quarter. It sure would be nice to get Chapas back after losing him to an ankle injury midway through the first half of the South Carolina game three weeks ago. The offensive line can use any little bit of help it can get with blocking. And there ain’t nothing little about Chapas.

I feel like I’m leaving someone out. Who am I missing?

Oh. Right.

I don’t know that A.J. is a cure all for our offensive malaise. At the same time, I can’t help but feel that his addition back onto our starting roster can only be a good thing. And besides, I like watching him play. And there are precious few games remaining for us to see him in the Red and Black.

I really hope to see some drastic improvements with our offensive play come Saturday. Not only do we get our most dynamic playmaker back on the field, we also return some pretty important players to help. In fact, other than possibly missing Chapas, we return just about everyone. But you know what? The following scene from The Professional just isn’t as effective with Stansfield yelling “Almost everyone”! So we’re just going to hope that Shaun Chapas makes a full recovery by this weekend.


Posted in Dinky Dau, Fear and Loathing, Jinx, Pre-game jitters with tags , on Monday September 27th, 2010 \pm\30 4:34 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Due to a longstanding and completely arbitrary superstition that I suffer from, I always look at Tuesdays as the actual start of  the game week during football season. Basically, after a game has been played, I spend the remainder of the weekend and the following Monday absorbing everything I can find about it. This can range from anything including articles, both online and in print, to television news segments, replays of the game, commercials telling us of the replays of the game and, hell, even randomly flashing red and black lights hold my attention as I wait to see if maybe the Dawgs are about to come on. And here’s the superstitious part: once Tuesday rolls around, I cease viewing anything about the previous week’s game. To do so, in my strange way of thinking, is to evoke doom upon our team.

However, in celebration of the adjustments to our team that our coaches will surely make as we progress through this season, I’m willing to make an adjustment of my own. And, honestly, it wasn’t that hard of an adjustment for me to make. I’m done flagellating myself and I’m ready to move on. So for this week, I’m shifting everything back a day. I, therefore, proclaim today as the start of the buffalo hunt.

Victims of the buffalo wings industry.

Prior to the season starting, I gave a little thought to our schedule and how things might play out each week. I did this in an effort to imagine possible storylines that might develop and how I’d go about using these as material for my write ups. One such scenario that I envisioned centered around this particular week. My thinking was that, after a tough three-game stretch, Dawgs would be thankful to head west yonder to Boulder for an easier match up against the Colorado Buffaloes. So I figured that this write up would be about how the Dawgs were going on R&R, China Beach style. No such luck.

But before I continue, I’d like to take a moment to point something out. Each week, I do a write up which consists of me rambling on tangentially about our upcoming game. If you’ll recall, I opened last week’s “preview” of the Mississippi State game with a quote from Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror along with these lines:

“…it’s time to dig deep within ourselves. It’s time to start with the man in the mirror.

A few days later, what do we see in Seth Emerson’s Bulldogs Blog? Here’s what:

After an unprecedented (for him) third straight loss, Mark Richt said it was time for he and the Georgia football team to “look within.”

Along with this:

“I need time to watch and reflect.”

Now, earlier in this post I mentioned how I’d thought about this game week during the off season and how I might reference the television show China Beach with Diana Ross and the Supreme’s Reflections for this write up. So, basically, what I’m saying is that I seem to have developed the power to put words or thoughts into Coach Mark Richt’s head through my selection of music for this blog. Yes, it’s crazy, I know. Crazy like a Dawg.

You understand what this means, right? I’m going to need your help wielding this new power because we could possibly have an effect on Coach Richt’s post-game comments. If anyone has any suggestions of appropriate music for this week’s “preview” on the Colorado Buffaloes game, I’d love to hear it. Strangely enough, I’ve thus far had no luck finding any songs containing lyrics about wiping Boulder, Colorado off the face of the planet through SEC-style football. So we’re going to have to come up with something. Because while we might not be traveling far enough west to get a glimpse of bat country, make no mistake, we go where the buffalo roam. And I’m sad to say that for this Dawgs team, these buffalo we face might have teeth.




Posted in Catharsis, Gung Ho, Inspired by true-life events!, Lessons Learned, Strategery, The League with tags , on Sunday September 26th, 2010 \pm\30 1:58 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Before delving too deeply into the despair, I’d like to take a moment to spare some thoughts on my friend and coworker, Jim. You see, earlier this week, Jim discovered that he has a lacerated colon. But Jim’s tough. He’s served our country as a Marine, after all. Still, I have to say, that’s got to be a real pain in the ass. But at least now his problems are behind him. So, take care of yourself, Jim, and here’s to a speedy recovery (before you go thinking I’m some sort of caring person or anything, I just mentioned that last bit because I’m tired of picking up his slack).

On a side note, although I’m familiar with splicing a comma or fragmenting a sentence, I didn’t even know one could lacerate a colon. I guess that’s just one more thing I can add to my bag of literary tricks that I like to call “Creative Punctuation”. For those of you playing along at home who would like to learn more, “Creative Punctuation” requires one part ignorance, two parts indifference and just a dash of mixed martial arts (remember, the pen is mightier…).

Alright, with that pleasantness out of the way… Sigh, where to begin? Let’s start with the fumble. To my recollection, Washaun Ealey has fumbled the ball three times since starting his running back career at UGA. Each of these fumbles have proven to be quite costly. The first was on the goal line, late in the Kentucky game last year, as we were driving to tie it up. His second fumble came a few weeks earlier this season against South Carolina. Again, the fumble occurred on the goal line as we were driving to bring the game to within one point. And, finally, his third fumble last night, occurring once again on the goal line as we were driving to equalize early in the game.

The NFL instituted a new rule this past offseason which states that when a ball carrier loses his helmet, the play is blown dead and the ball is spotted where the helmet came off. While this new rule will negate memorable plays like this one from taking place in the future, I think it’s an important step in the right direction as far as player protection goes. With this in mind, I really wish the NCAA would look into adopting a similar rule.

If you’ll recall, Ealey’s fumble last night on the goal line occurred when he was sandwiched between two defenders as he was rumbling in for a touchdown. His helmet came off after the big hit and the ball squirted just across the goal line, where it was dived on by a State player. Here’s the thing. Ealey was in the best position to pick up the ball because it was just inches from him as he sat up from the tackle. In fact, he looked right at the ball but didn’t react to it at all. This, to me, shows a player who is clearly in a daze and should be protected from further contact.

While Ealey’s fumble certainly didn’t help matters, I can’t say that it was the sole reason we lost the game. I saw problems with our team all over the place, on both sides of the ball. On offense, our highly touted line once again remained inconsistent in pass- and run-blocking. This situation has been a frustrating mystery to me all season and, like our coaches, I don’t have an answer for why it is so. And I believe this statement by Coach Richt sums up how the play-calling went last night:

“We just, at times, called a couple running plays just blindly and just said, ‘Hey we’re going to run this no matter what.’”

Why, Coach? I assume you guys have a thinking when it comes to game planning and play-calling but I’m really starting to question some of that thinking. And while the play-calling has done him no favors, quarterback Aaron Murray reminded us at times that despite the poise and composure he’s shown us so far, he’s still a redshirt freshman on only his fourth collegiate start. I’m not worried about our quarterback though because he’s only going to get better. And he’s pretty damn good right now. But I do worry about the play-calling. I worry quite a bit about the play-calling.

On defense, to say that it’s a work in progress is quite the understatement, I’m afraid. While we have shown improvement from game-to-game and certainly from the defenses of the previous five seasons, we continue to make some of the same mistakes each week. I know it’s early in the adjustment to the new scheme and that we just do not have the prototypical players suited for the 3-4 Defense in our system yet. But I still find it hard to believe that we cannot stop a quarterback from consistently gaining four to six yards running the ball right up the middle. If we don’t address this issue right now, we will not win another game this season.

You know, I brought my buddy Jim up earlier in this post for a reason. Because, like he’s done, we need to put our problems behind us. And we do this by solving them and leaving them in our wake. But what can we do when the problems surround us, seemingly choking the life from this team we all love? Well, I believe the answer is that, like all good Dawgs, we hunker it down one more time. And like the Few and the Proud in the Frozen Chosin, we don’t retreat. We just advance in another direction.

Go Dawgs!

No Title (This Year)

Posted in Catharsis with tags , on Saturday September 25th, 2010 \pm\30 9:06 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

We make others feel good about themselves.

Nowhere to go but up, right? But have we reached bottom? Yes, I believe we are now here.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Posted in Jinx with tags , on Saturday September 25th, 2010 \pm\30 7:35 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

I don't understand this game.

By my estimation, we should have been going into halftime with a comfortable lead. Instead, my head exploded. We’re either going to come out in the second half and destroy State or we’re going to lose an ugly, ugly game.

Game Night

Posted in Jinx, Pre-game jitters with tags , on Saturday September 25th, 2010 \pm\30 4:00 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Alright, Dawgs. It’s the first night game of the year for us and our first trip to Starkville since 2005 (hope everyone remembered to bring their passports). We’ve heard all about how big this game is for both sets of collegiate canines, about how both teams are still searching for their first conference win of the season and about how pivotal this game can be for both teams. But enough about both teams. I’m only interested in one team and so, I suspect, are you.

My interest in this team has led me to:

  • Propagandize the demonization of our opponent’s head coach.
  • Summarize a folksy truism about hard work and a dairy product.
  • Gormandize (had to think about this one for a minute) our opponent’s mascot.

Hell, about the only thing I haven’t done is prophesize (sorry) an outcome. But that’s not something I’m too terribly interested in doing. Matter of fact, the last time I predicted an outcome for a Dawgs game was Coach Ray Goff’s first year as head coach. Now, I know what you’re thinking here. Given Coach Goff’s record as a Dawgs coach, I’m not sure many folks proclaimed too many victories prior to kick off during those years. At least not out loud, so’s anyone could hear, anyways. But I predicted a Dawgs’ victory over the Gators that year. By ten points, in fact. A lot of my friends thought I was absolutely crazy. If you’ll recall, Florida still had Emmitt that season. Yeah, we ended up winning by only a touchdown but, I swear, we sat on the ball near the end, when we were already in field goal range. Stupid good sportsmanship.

So, yeah, I feel like I’ve done my part in being a good fan this week. And now, as we approach two hours before kick off, I can be at peace with myself.* I’ve done what I can and now it’s time to see what the Dawgs can do. Man, I can’t wait.

Go, You Silver Britches!

*I’ve explained that I am man at peace with himself because I’ve done everything within my control to help our boys. But, mainly, this peaceful feeling is a result of a massive adrenaline crash. That’s what happens when you drive home from work with your eyes closed and find that you’ve actually survived the trip.

Superstitious people should have right of way.

Week 4 – Mississppi State Bulldogs

Posted in Dinky Dau, Inspired by true-life events!, Jinx, Pre-game jitters, Strategery, Videos with tags , on Friday September 24th, 2010 \pm\30 6:48 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

I believe it was a great American philosopher in his treatise on contemporary American mores and social responsibilities who famously quipped:

I’m starting with the man in the mirror,
I’m asking him to change his ways.
And no message could have been any clearer,
If you want to make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and make a change.
(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah)

Wise words, to be sure. But what’s that, you say? Why am I getting all philosophical on y’all? Desperate times call for desperate measures. And make no mistake, we live in desperate times. A loss this weekend to Mississippi State could well send our beloved Dawgs into a tailspin, the likes of which this young team might not easily recover. And so it’s time to dig deep within ourselves. It’s time to start with the man in the mirror.

And what do we see when we peer into this mirror? We see a team struggling with its identity right now. It’s been a tumultuous off season with many significant changes to the defense. We’ve got new coaches and a new scheme. And with the recent rash of injuries and other…unfortunate circumstances…not to mention breaking in a brand new quarterback, it’s hardly surprising that our offense has yet to find solid footing.

Interestingly enough, the Mississippi State University Bulldogs are a near mirror image of the University of Georgia Bulldawgs. They too have new defensive coaches and a new defensive scheme (Manny Diaz, MSU’s new defensive coordinator, was a name thrown about in certain Dawgs circles when we were looking for our own new defensive coordinator this past winter). State’s offense has also struggled, juggling two different quarterbacks and clearly missing their star player from a year ago, Anthony Dixon, who has since moved on to the League. And that’s not all. Against a weak Memphis team, the ‘Dogs looked like a very solid squad. But once conference play started, they faltered. Sound familiar?

But enough with all the doom and gloom. That’s what the DawgVent is for. How about taking a look at the more positive aspects of these two schools’ similarities. For instance, we both care very deeply about the welfare of our student body and in an effort to raise social awareness, we both offer public service announcements from our scoreboards during games. Previous Dawgs Athletic Director, Damon Evans, very (in)famously pleaded with students to be responsible in their celebrations during gameday:

On behalf of our coaches, staff, and student-athletes, we welcome you to beautiful Sanford Stadium. We appreciate your support of the Dawgs, and we invite you back for another exciting Saturday between the hedges.

We ask that, when leaving the game today, that you be responsible. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let your friends drink and drive. Because if you drink and drive, you lose. So choose a designated driver before each game, and have a safe drive home.

Go Dawgs!

And he showed all of us just what happens when you don’t heed his words. I have to say, that’s a pretty scary result and I have to applaud Mr. Evans for going all out and making an example of himself. Not to be outdone, Mississippi State offers advice on responsibility of a different nature:

First, let me go ahead and say that I’m sorry. By no means am I trying to make light of anyone’s belief system nor would I belittle a charter member of the SEC and a great institution’s traditions. But, well, it’s just that…I don’t really know how put it tactfully but I’m sure going to give it a shot. It’s a freaking cowbell. A cowbell. A sound making device used by cows for a sort of primitive signaling system, one can only assume. A cowbell.

So, on the one hand, our message to the student body is “If you drink and drive, you stand to lose everything” and we back this up with a real life example. Whereas State’s message is “If you don’t ring your cowbell responsibly, you stand to lose…your cowbell”.

Now, to be fair, after a little more searching (which turned up some pretty amusing finds, I must say), I came across this rather more formidable video:

Kind of gets the heart pumping, don’t it? It’s nicely paced, with lots of flashiness and great production values. And I admit, when this video first started, I thought, no, surely they’re not using Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls in conjunction with, wait for it, cowbells. I was proven wrong. You know, I think my favorite part of this video is the subliminal flashes of an image of the almighty cowbell every time the bell tolled during the song’s intro.

But you know what? As impressive as the previous video may have been, we’re the Georgia Bulldogs. The real Dawgs. And we are not going to be outdone by some State school and their fancy motion pictures. So, Mississippi State Tofu Dogs, we’ll see your cowbells and we’ll raise you, well, we’ll raise you this:

So I’ve taken a look in the mirror. And I’ve seen the grimace of a team struggling to find something to build on. At least I think that’s why the team is grimacing. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with any sort of infernal racket coming out of the stands. No, in the end, I believe these Dawgs’ grimaces are brought on by the determination to continue fighting. My grimace, on the other hand, is caused by some real quality time spent editing a video. Oh, and also by being nervous about tomorrow’s game. But mostly it was the editing.

*Special thanks to some special friends for their willingness to, well, you saw what they did.

How ‘Bout Them Dawgettes!

Uncommon Valor

Posted in Chow, Dinky Dau, Inspired by true-life events!, Jinx, Pre-game jitters, Strategery with tags , on Friday September 24th, 2010 \am\30 11:41 am by Big Muddy Dawg

I’ve mentioned in the past that I may have some game week and game time rituals that I (mostly) adhere to. I won’t fully disclose the depths of my superstitious depravity commitments here. Suffice to say, I mean business.

And so, with that in mind, and as we get ready to face off in a very important game against the Mississippi State Tofu Dogs, I’d like to share with you something I did for the (real) Dawgs yesterday. It involved great courageousness. And copious amounts of condiments. But, in the end, the mission was accomplished and we can but wait to see how things will turn out as a result of my unselfish actions.

That’s right. In the interest of seeing our (real) Dawgs victorious, no sacrifice is too great and I’m willing to leave no stone unturned when searching for ways to motivate the boys. Now, I’m not saying I’m the next Erk Russell or anything but, well, we all do the best we can: I ate the mascot of our opponent.

Those are totally fake!

Now, I could be a fibber here and proclaim that these were the worst things I’ve ever eaten and that the (real) Dawgs now owe me an ass-kicking in Starkville Saturday night as a sort of repayment for my ordeal. But it would simply not be true. These things were delicious. And, besides, I used to have a roommate who was a Marine. He fancied himself quite the cook. Readers, let me ask you this. Would someone who fancied himself quite the cook concoct something made up of canned asparagus, canned oysters, a liberal dash of tobasco and soy sauce and, in retrospect, what may have been the saving grace of this “dish”, fistfuls of crushed Ritz crackers? Huh, I thought that might be your reply. Because I was thinking almost exactly the same thing.

Not that there's anything wrong with having fakes.

So this whole experience didn’t quite turn out as “adventurous” as I had nervously envisioned it. Our server was delightful, the food was delivered promptly and the iced tea was not too sweet.

But, dangit, I still demand an ass-kicking from the (real) Dawgs. Because, you see, there was one little incident marring what would have otherwise been an all around pleasant afternoon. They sprinkled bacon bits on our tofu dogs. Sure, they apologized profusely for it because they assumed, I’m sure, that folks who would order tofu dogs might generally not dig on the swine. In our case, this was not true. But I’ve had my fill of pig.

Go (real) Dawgs!

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