Archive for the Gung Ho Category

A year of the Dawg

Posted in Bowls, Catharsis, Gung Ho, Lessons Learned, Memories, Memphis with tags , on Saturday December 31st, 2011 \pm\31 2:39 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

On the evening of December 31, 2010, as I walked out of the Liberty Bowl, it began to rain. I sought shelter under a tent to wait out the sudden downpour and thought about the game I had just seen the Dawgs lose to the University of Central Florida Knights. And I wondered how in the world we ever got to where we were.

“There’s reasons why we ended up the way we did,” Richt said. “We’ve got to make changes. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again in the future. When you start saying ‘change,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean personnel… It’s more of how we go about our business. We’re going to improve. We’re going to get Georgia where it belongs.”

I was worried. I knew what was coming and I dreaded it. And it was as if the weather was playing along, crying for me and them Dawgs. No, actually, after the way we played that game in the Liberty Bowl, we didn’t deserve any sympathy. And Coach Richt was right. Things had to change.

“I don’t know if you’d call that the straw that broke the camel’s back or that last spark that lit the fire that got things moving around here,” tight end Aron White said. “It was definitely time for a change. … It definitely got us going. It definitely lit a fire under us and got us to working and pushing.”

And now look at us. A year later and a completely different team from the one that limped out of Memphis and back home to Athens. As I think back on that night a year ago and I remember that hard rain that fell after the game, I’ve come to realize that it was a cleansing rain. And I’m glad Memphis and the Liberty Bowl happened. Because it precipitated a change within the program that we all love. A change that we can now be proud of.

Happy New Year, folks. Let’s keep this thing rolling and start off 2012 undefeated.

Go Dawgs!

Put in Coach Fox!

Posted in DGD, Go Team!, Good Feeling, Gung Ho, Hearts & Minds, Roundball with tags , , on Saturday August 27th, 2011 \pm\31 2:25 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Have I ever mentioned what a big fan of Coach Mark Fox I am? Firstly,  he’s a great coach who has begun the journey of bringing our basketball team back to prominence. Secondly, he loves UGA. And now there’s this Tweet.

I’m proud to have coaches on our staff who genuinely love doing what they do where they do it. Only good things can come of that sort of attitude and passion.

How ‘Bout Them Dawgs!

Sassy

Posted in Fearless Leader, Gung Ho with tags , on Monday July 25th, 2011 \pm\31 7:19 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Tampa 2

Posted in Fearless Leader, Go Team!, Gung Ho with tags , on Saturday July 23rd, 2011 \pm\31 1:08 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

Along the lines of my post the other day regarding The Tampa Connection, here’s a photo posted up by Dawgs linebacker, Christian Robinson, showing the boys taking a breather while they put in some extra work:

Click the picture for a link to Robinson’s Tweet, which includes another showing Murray and Artie Lynch (with quite the pose, mind).

The Tampa Connection

Posted in Gung Ho with tags , on Thursday July 21st, 2011 \pm\31 5:04 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

I don’t know how well known it is that freshman wide receiver, Malcolm Mitchell, has gone by the nickname “Tampa”. I first heard of it during his commitment to the Dawgs earlier this year. But I’m pretty sure it’s quite well known that Aaron Murray is from Tampa Plant High School. Take a look at what Murray has to say about Mitchell:

“Every day after pass drills he’ll get with me and we’ll work on routes a half-hour or 45 minutes. That’s every day. Three times a week he’ll call me and say, ‘let’s go work on routes; let’s go do this and that.”

I’m a big fan of our receivers getting in tight with our quarterback and it looks like this is exactly what our Tampa boys are doing.

Happy First!

Posted in Good Feeling, Gung Ho, Inspired by true-life events!, Joe T Regime with tags , on Thursday March 10th, 2011 \am\31 10:01 am by Big Muddy Dawg

Happy first day of Spring Training, everyone! We’ve gone through a few changes in the off season so far and today’s practice will mark the first time where a lot of these changes come together. For instance, we’ve got two new assistant coaches in offensive line coach, Will Friend and linebackers coach, Kirk Olivadotti. What better way to really start a new job than on the practice field, right? That’s got to be one of the coolest offices to have, where one’s brand new office door leads to so many possibilities.

In addition, we will all get to witness for the first time the effects of the changes made to our strength and conditioning program. A source of great hemming and hawing these last few months, these changes in the weight room as well as in areas of nutrition should, by now, begin to show fruition. We’ve all seen the tweets by some of our players regarding the new workout routines. Seems they weren’t exaggerating.

Of note, Robinson is up 15 pounds to 230 after playing at 215 last season. He’s moving over to Akeem Dent’s middle linebacker spot. Tight end Orson Charles is now pushing 250, and quarterback Aaron Murray was adamant that it was a chiseled 250. Murray has also gained 15 pounds and weighs 215 going into the spring. Alec Ogletree, who’s moving from safety to inside linebacker, is pushing 240 pounds.

And speaking of tweets, let’s take a brief look at what some of our players are thinking about today’s practice:

The players are excited, the coaches are excited and I’m definitely excited. Next thing you know, the boys will be back from Spring Break and onto the practice fields once again. Then we’ll head on into G-Day and before you know it the season will be here. See, I really believe what I just wrote. Every year. But then the long Summer months show up and spoil everything. Every year. Hope Springs eternal, which leads to an eventual Fall. But that’s when football is played.

Go Dawgs!

Week 6 – Tennessee Volunteers

Posted in Gung Ho, Jinx, Orange Crush, Pre-game jitters, Way Too Dramatic with tags , on Friday October 8th, 2010 \pm\31 2:32 pm by Big Muddy Dawg

In late November, 1943, as the Second Marine Division sat in their invasion fleet off the coast of Tarawa Atoll, part of the Gilbert Islands in the Central Pacific, Rear Admiral Kaigun Shōshō Keiji Shibazaki, so confident in the fighting ability of his men as well as the defensive fortifications they had built, exclaimed that “it would take a million men a hundred years” to conquer this tiny atoll. The Marines captured Tarawa in 76 hours.

We’re on the eve of the Georgia-Tennessee game so why the little history lesson? While I’m in no way trying to equate the Dawgs struggles this year with one of the bloodiest battles in the Second World War, I think the situation that we face tomorrow is an interesting one. See, that Japanese commander, while he may have been prone to hyperbole, didn’t think anyone was capable of taking his island. Ever. Yet, roughly 35,000 Marines, Sailors and Army men did so and in considerably less time than Adm. Shibazaki predicted. So, basically, something had to give. And it wasn’t us doing the giving because the Marines were too busy taking.

Elaborate and bordering on “what the hell are you going on about?” introduction aside, this is what we’re looking at tomorrow. We’ll see a team that has struggled to protect its quarterback, convert third downs and defend against the pass. Dawgs, on the other hand, have had problems developing a consistent pass rush, stopping anyone on third downs and stretching the field with our passing game. Something has got to give.

I really wish that picture above truly represented how big this game is. But when both teams are still fighting for its first conference win at this point in the season, I think it’s safe to say this game might hold only “regional interest”. In fact, tomorrow’s game will mark the first time since 1906 that both teams will meet while having a losing record. But you know what? It’s like a friend of mine remarked yesterday, “…it may be two dung beetles fighting over the same turd, but I never have trouble getting pumped for UT”.

Me neither. Because I live amongst the enemy. I have plenty of friends and co-workers who made a conscious decision to clothe themselves in that horrible, despicable orange and support a team that does the same. And I have no doubt, should the Dawgs falter tomorrow, that my life could become quite unbearable for a time. But not nearly as unbearably bad as how our boys might feel if we were to lose again. So let’s not dwell on that right now. Instead, let’s think of something fun!

Like friendly get togethers. Because when your opponent’s quarterback actually says these things out loud for other people to hear and record in some fashion, well, isn’t that akin to a public invitation to a party in the backfield? I certainly take it as one. Houston and Washington need to meet in Athens somewhere six to eight yards behind the line of scrimmage many times tomorrow. Kind of like this:

And as far as entertainment for our little shindig tomorrow, the inimitable A.J. Green will of course endeavor to keep smiles on our faces. By the way, check out the work of art created by the Leather Helmet Blog. Surely, this will make the rounds of all the major museums before settling into a nice spot in the Louvre, one would assume:

One final note about the festivities. With the announcement that a new Uga will be unleashed against Vanderbilt next week, tomorrow will mark the last game for Russ, our stalwart interim mascot during these tumultuous times. He finishes his stint on our sidelines with an unfortunate record of 3-4. But I have to say that this includes a big win over Tech last season, when we needed it badly. Surely this accomplishment is deserving of a farewell party for Russ.

I gotta bring the ice and the Dixie cups?

All attempts at history lessons and humor aside, our lack of success stopping our opponents from converting third downs has been a big factor in our losses this year. Our defense is forced to stay on the field for extended periods of time which just leads to more success for our opponents as the game wears on. And this is my biggest concern for tomorrow’s game. While the Vols’ offensive line has shown a propensity for giving up sacks, they managed to run-block well enough that they’ve got a running back who averages 5.3 yards a carry. We cannot allow Tauren Poole to run all over us tomorrow. While our offense is in much better shape now than it was back in week two, against South Carolina, if our defense continues to give up third down conversions, our offense might not see the ball enough to make a difference.

Regardless of how the rest of the college football world sees this match up tomorrow between the Dawgs and the Volunteers, we all know how important this game is. We’re struggling right now and a big win will help our boys feel a whole lot better about themselves. And that can only help as we progress into the meat of the SEC grind. It’s interesting to note that last year, when we went up to Knoxville to play these guys, we were coming off a crushing, last-minute loss to LSU. This year, when the Volunteers come down to Athens, they are also coming off a crushing, last-minute loss to LSU. Other than the fact that LSU are a bunch of poopyheads, this leads me to believe that the Vols might still be feeling a little down on themselves. It’s unfortunate that we’re once again coming off a poor loss ourselves. And so it’s a matter of seeing which team can respond.

While this is hardly a match up between an immovable object and an unstoppable force, the fact remains that we approach a resolution of some sort tomorrow. And while the prize might be next to last place in the SEC East, I hope that our boys feel that’s a turd worth fighting for. But that’s the thing about us. American history has shown that we’re willing to fight tenaciously for the most remote, out of the way, seemingly worthless piece of real estate. Because, like Tarawa, one step forward always leads to another. And the lessons learned along the way may prove immeasurable for this Dawgs team.

Go Dawgs!

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