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Friday, August 12, 2011

The Georgia Bulldogs Story

     From 'The Totally Biased Guide to Southern College Football' by Pete Davis, available for under a buck at amazon.com/dp/B005FRFMYW

THE GEORGIA BULLDOGS
            Based in Athens, Home of the Clarke County Sheriffs Memorial Bulldog Holding Pen.
The school boasts the best looking bulldog in the SEC, or at least the most inbred.
With coaches like Vince Dooley, a legend, Ray Goff, not so much, and Mark Richt, the school is getting the reputation as Nice Guy U.  But as former big league manager Leo Durocher used say, nice guys finish last.  Or at least second to Florida.  That niceness doesn’t extend to the players, who keep the local constabulary busier than a priest at Boys Town.
Georgia has the distinction of having the most fans who never actually attended the school, or any school over junior high level for that matter.
If you inform them of this nugget of joy you are likely to receive a beating, so I suggest these words to quickly cool off their anger.
1.      How ‘bout them Dawgs.
2.      Herschel Walker.
Those two utterances will hopefully distract the average Bulldog fan long enough for you to make good your escape.  If not, any shiny object will do.
            Georgia is known for some great running backs that went on to fame and glory in the NFL.  All you running backs step forward.  Not so fast Herschel.
            Possibly the greatest back in college history, his NFL career was stunted by bad teams, bad trades, and getting talked into leaving school early to join the upstart USFL, a move that ranks right up there with female interns at the White House and a meal of warm Welch’s grape juice and greasy pork chops.  Even so, he did go to two Pro Bowls in Hawaii and that’s worth its weight in poi.
            The Bulldog Nation can boast the most entertaining play by play man ever, the recently retired Larry Munson, whose calls of “Sugar falling from the sky” and “Run, Lindsay!” rang out of radios across the state for many decades.  My good friend and media raconteur Miller Pope informs me that it is a misconception by Dawg fans that Munson said the word “run” more than once in his famous call of the pass from Buck Belue to Lindsay.  But he did say “Lindsay Scott!” several times in a row, and that he had broken his chair in all the excitement.  Only Munson could work the phrase “hobnail boot” into a football game.  He is missed on the broadcasts.  Another Bulldog that is missed is former athletic director/designated driver Damon Evans.
            Evans resigned his post after a DUI arrest in Atlanta in which the arresting officer found a woman’s wadded-up panties between his legs.  Evans was obviously just trying to keep them warm in case the lady riding with him wanted to put them on again.  As every Playboy centerfold can attest to, cold underwear is a major turnoff.  But so is the cold, harsh light of a state patrolman’s flashlight.
            Evans was caught just minutes before a huge salary increase would have kicked in, proving that timing isn’t just for screen plays.
            The school mascot is named UGA, pronounced “Uh-gah,” with Roman numbers following to designate each generation.  In 1996 UGA V became even more famous when he tried to stop the breeding program at Auburn by trying to circumcise and castrate a Tigers player who wandered too close to his jaws on the sidelines.
            An UGA has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and even was invited to the Downtown Athletic Club when Herschel received his Heisman.  Herschel left with great memories, UGA left a steaming pile.
            When they die UGAs are interred in a mausoleum at Sanford Stadium.  Even in death most UGAs have a higher standard of living than their fans.
            In 1939 Coach Wally Butts had the players wear silver britches.  This proved too heavy and cumbersome and even dangerous, so they quickly changed to wearing just silver-colored britches.
            The school fight song is ‘Glory, Glory,’ which inexplicably is sung to the tune of the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ a yankee song.
            In 1901 freshmen were compelled to ring the chapel bell on campus until midnight to celebrate a victory.   This started after a 0-0 tie with Auburn.  Someone needs to explain the word victory to these people.  This annoying tradition has bit the dust, but the bell is still rung a little and after a win over Florida the bell was rung so hard the yoke holding it broke and sent it tumbling down.  Fortunately no Rhodes Scholars were injured.  It would have to have been one damn big bell to even have come near to scratching one.
            The yell “How ‘bout them Dawgs!” started in the 1970s and is an annoying tradition only superseded by the playing of ‘Rocky Top’ by the Volunteers.  It’s the official mating call of the state of Georgia.
            They play in Sanford Stadium, supposedly the 15th largest stadium in the world, which has been host to Olympic soccer games.  That is fitting since fans there had long since become accustomed to watching players who don’t know how to use their hands.
The Chinese privet hedges were only a foot high when the stadium was dedicated in 1929, but have grown in height and stature and now the team is said to play “Between the Hedges.”  Some say the legendary writer Grantland Rice began the phrase.  Some say the ancient Greek bard Homer coined the phrase, but no one listens to them. 
An enterprising cigarette company could make some hay with this by handing out cigs to the players between quarters. Then they could say the team plays “Between the Benson and Hedges.”  Just think of the advertising revenue. But nobody listens to them either.
            The first game in Sanford was against Yale and a sophomore by the name of Catfish Smith single-handedly beat the northern Bulldogs 15 to nothing.  It wasn’t because he was slippery as his namesake that made him so hard to stop.  It was the fact he smelled so much like one.
            In 1894 they hired their first real, paid football coach, Robert Winston, who happened to be an Englishman.  His record that first season was 5 and 1 despite his not allowing his players to use their hands, thus beginning the aforementioned tradition.
A Georgia team in the 1890s resting on Main Street in downtown Athens.




If you like what you've read so far and would like to read the rest about UGA and all the other SEC teams, and also, Texas, Texas A&M, Clemson, Georgia Tech, FSU, and Miami, check out 'The Totally Biased Guide to Southern College Football' by Pete Davis, available for under a dollar at:  amazon.com/dp/B005FRFMYW
That's the price of a Whopper Jr.!

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