New dawn, new day

For the past two months, I have been playing with the formatting and other parts of Blogger to get a sense of how it works and what I can do with it.  While I have no formal .html training (something obvious to anyone that has and is looking at this) or even more than rudimentary experience with layout, I am happy with what Blogger can do and excited to start using thisfull time tomorrow.

That being said, I am sad to leave WordPress.  I started blogging nearly four years ago on Typepad, then Journalspace and wasn’t diligent enough to keep it up.  Plus, those blogs were more random musings and really less about any thing.  Think Seinfeld, with less humor, worse writing, in Athens and exclusively from Newman’s perspective.

Fortunately, I have grown just a little.

So now we are here in August 2009.  I’ll start tomorrow with my College Football Bucket list as my first exclusive post here.

Thanks for reading (at least to the 14 of you that do so).  This is definitely for my mental health, but I am glad you enjoy it.

Please remember to ease on over to http://dawginexile.blogspot.com/ and check it out.


Coaches as bands

You know, the whole “Coaches as…” meme may be so 2008. PWD did Coaches as South Park Characters. Garnet and Black attack did Coaches as figures from Romantic Lititure and Philosophy.   Even The Capstone Report did Coaches as CEO’s.

Wait those last two were this year.

So, I was listening to John Tesh the other day and realized OH MY GOD, WHAT AM I DOING IN A DEPARTMENT STORE!  Luckily, Ms. Bulldog in Exile assured me that I was there with her and that we were soon to leave for wing night at BW3’s, so a crisis was averted.

While listening to Tesh, doing all of Yanni’s greatest hits, it struck me that there is a correlation between musical artists and SEC coaches.

Nick Saban=David Lee Roth:  Both are widely revered and vilified.  Both have plenty of ability.  Both have been number one.  Both have failed miserably.  Both are egoistical dbags.  Bonus: There is a ‘Just a Gigilo’ joke here somewhere.

Bobby Petrino=George Michael: Both are living off of success they had some time ago.  Both have had to sneak out of town under suspicious circumstances. However, there is no word on Petrino’s interest in public bathrooms.

Gene Chizik=William Hung:  What?!?  I mean, what?!?

Urban Meyer=Toby Keith:  You either love them or hate them.  You cannot deny their talent.  You cannot deny they are jackasses (even though personally, I like one of them).  Both are possessed of a love it or leave it mentality.

Mark Richt=Vince Gill:  Great coach/musician.  Good men.  Both have bad streaks that they only let out when they need to.

Rich Brooks=Tony Bennett:  Both had success a long time ago in another place and time.  Both have had a resurgence in a place that no one would have thought they could have.

Les Miles=Willie Nelson: Incredibly successful, no matter how hard they try to piss it all away.

Houston Nutt=Ozzy Osborne:  Of all the things they have lost, they’ll miss their mind the most.

Dan Mullen=Dave Groll:  The both got breaks because of the guy they worked with. Both were a big reason for the success of their former ‘mentors.’  It remains to be seen if Dan Mullen can pull off what Dave Grohl did and actually produce a better product than his mentor did.  At least Urban Meyer can handle success.

Steve Spurrier=Rolling Stones:  Once relevant and the Kings of their genres.  Now, relegated to everything they have feared they would become.  Yeah, Keith Richards and Steve Spurrier are good for a few quotes, but at the end of the day, who honestly is going to pay $45 to see either of their shows?  Only the die hard fans.

The Kiffer=Jonas Brothers: They are so cute and have so little substance.

Bobby Johnson=Presidents of the United States of America: Both have done an awful lot with very little talent.

*This post can be seen here as well at the new blog.  Please remember to update your book marks.


From the cornfield

Each week, I try to bring some idea to give folks at home an idea of the challenges and rewards of being a Bulldog in Exile.  I’ve written about BBQ, football, other sports, my travels, and whatever generally strikes me midweek.  A few weeks back, I wrote a guest column for my home county’s newspaper, The Blackshear Times.  It was a general retrospective, but after hearing from people that live here, who happened to read it, I decided to put it in the blog.

In it’s entirety, with thanks to Robert Williams:

Where are you from?

Where are you from?

Think about that question: Where are you from?

For the 20-plus years since I last lived full-time in the Otter Creek community, I have always answered “Pierce County,” usually having to add “Georgia” after getting puzzled looks.  It usually isn’t the last time I get funny looks from people if they are around me longer than four minutes; my personality usually ensures that.

People’s personalities are a sum of their experiences.  While I have had the opportunity to travel much as well as live in three very different places since I last lived in Otter Creek, the most lasting memories and impactful experiences are still those from Pierce County.  In essence, I am an amalgam of the people and events of Pierce County from the last quarter of the twentieth century. That is something I am very proud of and something everyone else who is from here can be proud of.

It’s been 23 years since I pulled out of the parking lot of the Oak Plaza, where I had breakfast with my mom the morning I left for Athens and college.  To this day, I remember the thoughts and feelings I had about leaving.  I also took great comfort in knowing the place I call home had prepared me for the few successes and many failures I would encounter along the way.   So much of what I am today has its roots in things and people from Pierce County from before and after I left home.

I like to tell people I am an ambassador of all things Southern in the Midwest, where I currently reside.  In fact, I am really an ambassador of all things Pierce County.

I believe BBQ is a noun, not a verb.  BBQ is pork and nothing else, and it should be served with mustardy sauce on the side, so folks can put as much or as little as they like on it.  I believe Friday should be exclusively reserved for high school football.  Saturday is for Georgia football (if you like Tech, I guess that is acceptable if you went to college there).  Weekly papers should come out on Tuesday or Wednesday.  At least one restaurant in town, no matter the size of your town, should have a lunch buffet with fried chicken.  Prom should be held at your high school, and the juniors should be responsible for decorating.  If you have a real party, you either have it at the river or the golf course.  Fishing should be done in a river to count as sport.  Peanuts are boiled and never with anything but salt.

On a broader scale, we are ambassadors of our experiences here.  We are the product of tobacco picking, stacking hay, football camp, band practice, forestry competition in Broadhurst, three-hour bus rides to “away” games, cruising from Hardees to the old high school and back, newspaper sales drives to win a bicycle, the swimming hole, Fernandina, Sunday afternoon movies, Vacation Bible School, picking peppers, car washes, livestock judging, swimming on Thursday night in Patterson, one act plays, Forest/Pecan/Fall Festival, friends dying from cancer and car wrecks and other senseless things, the Big Z market, July 4th in Patterson, first kisses in Wall’s parking lot, scouting cotton, school consolidation, the Timber Bowl, golf, walking to the rec department to play pickup games and countless other things.
However, my story isn’t unique.  There are literally thousands of us that no longer live in Pierce County and still proudly call it home.  That in itself is a remarkable testament.

Even if people ask where I live after hearing my accent, I will ask if they mean ‘where am I from?’

I am always proud to say “Pierce County,” even if it gets me funny looks.


Moving day is coming

I plan to transition to Blogger in the coming days.  I love WordPress and think it is far simpler than Blogger, but that also means it is much less useful for other things I want to do with the blog.

For now, I am double posting, just to get a sense what Blogger looks like and tweaking the format of the new blog.  I have enjoyed my short run on WordPress and would recommend it to anyone looking for simple out of the box blogging.

Please take the time to check out the new blogsite http://dawginexile.blogspot.com/

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments, as well.


David Hale: the man, the myth, the legend

I’ll give you a few seconds to re-read his post on what Kyle

rat(ed) somewhere between “Urban Meyer is going to Notre Dame” and “Lane Kiffin has a plan” on the preposterosity-o-meter.

When someone starts with me on the “Richt BETTER get it done this year” or “Richt BETTER fire Willie” or “That Ishtar WAS a good movie,” I usually just shake my head and think that person needs to get some perspective.  The only time I have actively engaged in the debate, the only real argument I could come up with was “You ARE an idiot.”

Thank goodness, David Hale laid out what I wanted to say, but couldn’t figure out how to say it.

Hale points out the obvious, rational part of the argument, that Mark Richt has a tremendous record as football coach, wining almost 80% of his games.  He points out that Mark Richt also led Georgia to a tie with LSU for the best record of all SEC teams during his tenure.  The part I couldn’t get right was what Hale nailed:  Who would you trade Mark Richt for?

Think about that, who?

I will grant that just because you like someone isn’t a good reason to hang on to them as coach.  But as Paul Westerdawg pointed out during the Auburn coaching change debacle, if you are going to fire someone who has brought you great success, you at least should improve.  Otherwise, you are just…Auburn. Or Nebraska. Or UCLA. Or Tennessee.

Hale lists the active coaches that have proven they can win a championship, by virtue of having won one.  The list is a who’s who: Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Mack Brown, Pete Carroll, Bob Stoops, Nick Saban, Jim Tressel, Butch Davis, Phil Fulmer (potentially active), Bobby Bowden, Steve Spurrier, Joe Paterno and Dennis Erickson.

Hale saved his money shot for last:

But here’s the question I want to ask that vocal minority (and anyone else who wants to answer it): Look at that list again and tell me, which of those coaches would drop what they’re doing now to come to Georgia? And of those, is there even one that you’d spend more than two seconds considering swapping Mark Richt for?

I have read that paragraph five times and am struck by the simplicity and power of it.  The answers are no one and no one, forever and ever.  Amen.

I’m just sayin’….

I love y'all this much.

I love y'all this much.


So, football season starts today?

Last week, I thought a little about the season opener in Stillwater.  I felt then, as I feel now, that I like where Georgia is at mentally.  I have to say, I am very happy the team has made it to now with very few distractions and other nonsense, unlike the past few seasons.  Of course, there are plenty of reasons for that, but one that cannot be disavowed is the true sense of leadership coming from multiple places on the team.

I don’t say that as a way to call out anyone from last season, but it was evident at key points in the season the team lacked leadership in key areas.  We all heard (or at least read into) the comments about the team needing to step up.  This off season has been about accountability, carrying the load, and everyone stepping up. I like it.

The Dawgs are picked to finish as a ten length runner up to Florida in the SEC East.  Here’s hoping the prognostications are wrong.  The next few days may have a lot to say about that, as training camp injuries ended up playing a big role in the way Georgia lost last season, particularly the Alabama game.  I don’t know why, and I cannot say with any certainty it isn’t just hopeful bravado, but I’ve got a feeling about this team.

Does Joe Cox=Matt Stafford? Of course not.  Does King+Samuel+Thomas=Moreno? I don’t see how.  Then again, Georgia’s greatest teams have rarely been about superstar talent at two positions.  Usually, it is about one great player and several other pretty special players or special players on both sides of the ball.

So, who will the special players be.  If Joe Cox gets longer than 4 seconds to find AJ Green on less than three on one, as long as AJ isn’t 65 yards down field, I like his chances.  IF AJ is covered like my daughters will be on their first date, Cox should find Moore, Troupe, White or King plenty open.  Plus, King and Samuel are no slouches and can bring game.  As a bonus, the D should be pretty close to 2003 2002 levels and certainly will be better than last season.  If they get there, we could be in for an awful lot of nailbiting wins.

I’ve got to be honest, I’ll take 3 point wins all season and see you in New Orleans come New Years, thank you very much.

I realize this is a bit of a rambling piece.  I realize I might have just predicted a season many think impossible this year.  I am just saying my gut, which is substantial, is telling me something.  The next few weeks will have a bit to say about my gut, as well.  Joe Cox looks like another part of the anatomy, I can easily feel different before we go to Stillwater.  Right now, in the basking glow of my living room and a cool beverage in my hand, the possibilities are endless.

Football season starts today.  Go Damn Dawgs!


Something is afoot at the Circle K

I know Hale broke it and Kyle talked about the Okie State beat writer’s bold prediction.

I’ll save you some time:

Sept. 5 vs. Georgia

Despite growing doubt nationally about the Cowboys, they announce their presence with authority, handing Georgia a 21-point defeat to open the season.

Now, the interesting thing is that with the rest of his predictions about big wins, he specifically mentions what player or players will step up (or in the case of the Texas game, predicting that Colt McCoy throws four picks).  The Georgia game, he just predicts a three touchdown win.

Hey, I will grant Georgia has plenty of questions.  I will also grant Oklahoma State has some serious play makers.  But as Paul Westerdawg pointed out, the match-up to watch is rush end vs. OT.  Georgia doesn’t have to stop all the passes, just enough to kill drives, since Oklahoma State thrives off the quick read, down-field passing game.  If they cannot run the ball, which I think is a real probability, they have to pass.  In order to pass, they have to have time to pass.  In order to complete passes, receivers have to be open.  For receivers to be open, the Cowboys need some one on one match-ups, with vertical separation.

Also, as PWD pointed out, Martinez’s defenses are solid against supper star receivers.  So for this prediction to come close to holding, somethings got to give.  Either the writer has supreme confidence in the O-line’s ability to give Cowboy QB Zac Robinson time to pass or he thinks very little about Georgia’s Dbacks and linebackers. Or he just thinks Georgia’s offense is so emaciated that there will be a plethora of 3 and outs. As I granted, there are questions, but I don’t see a 21 points worth of questions.

My guess is this guy will have a thing or two to say about that, as well.  So, is he seeing something we aren’t?

A Georgia Dawg in the Mid-West alone with his thoughts.

BBQ, Ball and Bets

There's nothing like a sunny fall afternoon, pork BBQ (with mustard sauce, of course!), a pregame tailgate, and...betting online. You heard me right. With a laptop and an internet connection you can check the odds of any game from the 50 yard line. Now that's convenience and will make your tailgate all the more interesting when some dude mentions just how much of a good bet a certain game is.
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