Useful idiot

Aaron Murray is so banged up from the Auburn game he can’t practice.

Greg McGarity is seething about the SEC’s decision not to suspend Nick Fairley for his cheap shot to Murray’s spine.

But Kevin Scarbinsky thinks the conference got the call right.  And he points to his wing man for backup on that.

… The people who’ve joined the Dirty Fairley campaign should stop and listen to Buck Belue. You know things have gotten crazy when the former Georgia quarterback, now an Atlanta radio host, becomes the voice of reason.

“Fairley would be a rock star in Georgia if he played for the ‘Dogs,” Belue wrote on his blog. “But he plays for Auburn. So we hate him. I get it.”

It’s really a compliment. You don’t become the front-runner for the Lombardi Award by sending quarterbacks flowers. You do it by planting them.

Not the flowers. The quarterbacks.

Note to both:  the anger isn’t over the jersey Fairley wears.  It’s over selective enforcement by the SEC.  Ben Jones gets a half-game suspension for a cheap shot in the Mississippi State game.  Fairley gets a finger wag and a pat on the back for something at least as egregious.

But at least Buck’s getting quoted in the media.


UPDATE: Mr. Conventional Wisdom writes something today that I truly don’t get.

… If Fairley puts the same kind of  hit on the Alabama quarterback as he did on Murray, there is decent chance he gets tossed.  Why? Because fair or not, Nick Fairley will be a marked man against Alabama because of what happened against Georgia. The officials, whose No. 1 job is to keep control of the game, won’t let this one get out of control like Georgia-Auburn did at the end.  And if some players have to be tossed to maintain order, so be it.

So the issue for Barnhart (and by extension the SEC office) isn’t player safety, but keeping order on the field?  These guys sure have a weird sense of priorities.

And if that’s truly the case, why didn’t Fairley get ejected in the Georgia game?  Danielson commented early on about how chippy players on both teams were behaving.  The refs had to know there was plenty of emotion on the field.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, SEC Football

53 responses to “Useful idiot

  1. bort

    Buck Belue is a clown.

    Thanks for that thing 30 years ago, but your opinions are bad, and you should feel bad.

    • Bob

      Buck isn’t just a clown, he is a joke. He is the worst Radio Talk Show host in a city with a dozen or more lousy ones. He is NEVER prepared which indicates he is lazy as can be. He NEVER gives anyone a straight answer. He provides a sarcastic response that may or may not be on the same subject the caller brought up. He doesn’t do his homework and is never prepared.

      And he is still bitter that he did not get Eric Zeier’s gig.

      I love what he did for Georgia thirty years ago. But he has lived off that fame for far too long.

  2. TennesseeDawg

    And Buck getting quoted is about all Buck cares about. I don’t care if Buck is a former Dawg, he’s being a prick like he has been for years.

  3. NCT

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it appears from the linked article that the SEC did not impose the Jones suspension. Birmingham notified Georgia of the Jones situation (presumaby because Miss St had brought it to the SEC’s attention); Georgia reviewed the reviewed the play; Georgia agreed discipline was warranted; Rich imposed the suspension.

    This is different from how I understood the story at the time, but it’s consistent with the concurrent news reports that Slive and Richt agreed that a half-game suspension was in order. Then, I thought the suspension was handed down from the SEC. Now, it looks like the suspension was Richt’s idea, and Slive said, “ok.”

    This leads me to conclude that what may have happened with Fairley is that Slive and Chizik conferred; Chizik said, “how ’bout we handle this internally?”; Slive said “ok.”

    Am I missing something?

    • In the Jones case, the key language is that Georgia “agreed that discipline was warranted”. In other words, SEC suggested penalty first and Georgia went along.

      • NCT

        True. And regarding Fairley, the SEC said that discipline would be handled internally, suggesting that the SEC agreed that discipline was warranted. I’d still like to know for sure who originated the idea of suspension for Jones and what, if any, specific discipline was discussed between Chizik and B’ham.

        • Actually, as to Fairley, the exact quote is “We’re handling the matter internally with the institution.” Lots of wiggle room in “the matter”, if you ask me.

          • NCT

            Bottom line is that I’m looking for a legitimate reason to exert my fan bias on a comparison between the two coaches that leads to the conclusion that the SEC approached both cases in the same way (“This was bad: what do you think we oughta do about it?”); each coach offered their solution; SEC said, “Cool with us.” Richt took the Jones situation more seriously than Chizik took the Fairley.

            And let’s not forget that Richt and Jones extended a verbal handshake to the MSU folks as part of the reconciliation.

  4. Spike

    Buck is wrong on this one. That shot in the back was dangerous.

  5. You know how folks on this site are always complaining (and rightly so) that the Gainesville/central-Florida media would sooner slit their own throats than utter a single unkind word about Urban Meyer or the Gator program? Having lived in Birmingham for many years, I can say Scarbinsky is just as bad — for both of the major Alabama programs, but Auburn in particular. The morning after Georgia thrashed LSU for the SEC title in 2005, I got to read a Scarbinsky column in the Birmingham News about how Georgia may have won the title game but everyone knew Auburn was the superior team that really deserved to be in the Sugar Bowl. He’s kind of like a less-caustic, less-clever print version of Finebaum.

  6. HVL Dawg

    I hear McGarity is so peeved he accidently drank a regular coke intead of a coke zero. But he better not comment on it because it might cost somebody/something a few bucks.

    This is opportunity for McGarity to show some bulldog spine and build some substantial goodwill with the fan base. C’mon Greg. Get a pair and throw a little red meat for the battered dawg fans.

    • The Realist

      It won’t do any good. It will only cost him a fine and bad press and more negative goodwill with the SEC… like we need more of that.

      • devildawg

        I wouldn’t mind though. And I’m not sure how much negative press it would get. Non-UGA fans across the country have expressed disgust at this situation. I’d like to see him call them out, and think the fines or chastisements are worth, as Richt put it, “standing up for our boy.”

        • King Jericho

          I think it’s more a matter of having the SEC officials against, thus costing us games such as phantom excessive celebration penalties. Is it still worth it then?

    • McGarrity can seethe and stomp his feet, but if the SEC starts really REALLY looking at game tape for infractions…that warrant suspension….and just HAPPEN to watch the scuffle start….and maybe NOTICE that everyone on the UGA bench save the trainers ended up on the field into the mix…….well….maybe it’s better to complain about it and then drop it…ya know?

  7. hayduke

    I would be bothered by Fairley’s play if he was a Dawg.

    That kid for UVa that (legally) knocked the snot of Jacory Harris is welcome any day, however.

  8. baltimore dawg

    hell, the only thing that surprises me is that our own linemen weren’t disciplined for the attempted chop block and the later retaliation.

    what the hell is wrong with the sec? does slive really not comprehend that there is a gaping credibility deficit that left uncorrected could eventually threaten the league’s bottom line?

  9. Scorpio Jones, III

    Hot tip of the day: Slive weasel stock…..rising.

  10. Macallanlover

    Scarbinsky is a hack, and Buck Belue is not now, and never has been, a spokesperson for UGA. He has a platform to make his opinion heard by more people, but he is still just one opinion in a sea of many. You have to wonder if he is selling out to pander to the crowd attempting to appear non-biased. Either way, he comes off looking like an idiot on this one. I don’t know a UGA fan that would tolerate Fairley’s behavior although I am sure we have a few. Belue is flat out lying about this issue to please his AubieCanes base because he didn’t take that many headshots to be so dumb.

    • The Realist

      You have to wonder if he is selling out to pander to the crowd attempting to appear non-biased.

      Ding-ding-ding. He has an Atlanta audience that he is pandering to. If he were on the Athens station, his opinion would likely be different.

  11. Marmot

    I realize that all the ire is focussed on the spear to the back, but that penalty just seemed stupid at the time. You should be thanking Fairley for extending that drive. I think thats just the tip of an iceberg made mostly of legal 300 lb belly flops/shoulder drives on top of QB’s who have just released the football. From a strategic point of view the fear Fairley instills is very valuable to Auburn’s otherwise not very good defense. There was a 3rd down screen that Georgia ran I think in the 2nd half that was thrown incomplete and it seemed to me that it failed because Fairley was released to the QB and Murray rushed the throw realizing that he was going to get killed if Fairley got within 2 steps of him before the ball was gone.

    But it needs to be said, even though Fairley has been punishing QB’s all season, his Georgia performance was over the top. Maybe it was the Championship belt thing, or the very bad spear combined with the awkward helmet to the knee/shin play. Makes me wonder what Fairley has against Georgia, because he was never quite that thuggish before.

    And those hoping for Bama to exact some kind of revenge need to re-watch the Bama/LSU game. They couldn’t block Nevis… and McElroy isn’t very fast… and he holds onto the ball a lot……

    • Dawgwalker07

      “You should be thanking Fairley for extending that drive.”

      I’m also thanking him for extending the time Murray is away from the practice field.

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    After due consideration, Buck is probably right. The difference is that if Fairley played for us, he would probably be “encouraged” to be a bit more restrained when the ball has left the quarterback’s hand. Then he would not be Fairley, would he?

    • Normaltown Mike

      Didn’t CMR or maybe BVG back off a description of a Safety blitz as a “kill shot” b/c of negative reaction to the phrase alone. The hit was by Thomas Davis and might’ve been against Bama?

      Point being, it was a form tackle nothing dirty. Even still, our coaches backed off a strong euphemism for the type of play after some grumbling by media (at no point was TD going to “kill” anyone)

  13. hailtogeorgia

    Buck says these kinds of things for attention. That’s it. He completely throws aside any perspective and basically talks out of both sides of his mouth to trigger conversation…that is his job. He knows the hits were bad, but he works on a script. If you listen to Buck and Kincade, it’s completely obvious that they’re reading from a script (not word-for-word, but outlined) and are paid to tack differing stances.

    I was listening to them talk to Matt Stinchcomb the other day and Kincade tried to first make this point, then tried to say that Stinch had no room to talk about Fairley because Georgia has had issues with personal fouls the past two years. Stinch, of course, responded with logic, stating that regardless of who Fairley plays for, if you break down his hits on QBs on merits alone, they’re still dirty (some of them egregiously dirty). Georgia definitely had issues with personal fouls, but rarely were they personal fouls with malicious intent.

    Buck and Kincade are for entertainment purposes…it’s the AJC of radio. You get good information from time to time, but mostly, it’s all just stuff to start callers and get people fired up.

  14. Go Dawgs!

    Buck is 100% wrong on this one, and he can kiss my Bulldog behind. This attitude that fans are stupid and just blindly excuse anything done by someone wearing their colors is not only ridiculous, but it’s also offensive. Case in point, I saw the Ben Jones cheap shot in Starkville live with my own eyes, and it’s colored my opinion of Jones ever since. I thought that Georgia should have sat his ass more than just a half of football, he shouldn’t have made the trip to Boulder and he probably should have been sitting on the bench for more action after that. What he did was inexcusable, regardless of what Mississippi State was doing. You’re not likely to find any louder or prouder Bulldog fan than me, but I applauded even the meager discipline handed out in his case, and I applauded further when Richt kicked off players from our team for various off-field transgressions.

    I can understand why Buck would think that, though, given that we’ve been paying attention to Auburn Fan’s lock-step denial of any possibility of wrong doing by Cam Newton, which came on the heels of Auburn Fan’s lock-step denial of any wrong doing on his part in the laptop theft case. Auburn Fan also didn’t see anything wrong with Fairley cheap shotting Murray all day long in Jordan-Hare. Well, that’s Auburn Fan’s problem. I’m Georgia Fan, and if one of our players intentionally speared Cam Newton in his spine long after he’d already released the ball, I’d be screaming for him to be benched. Sorry, Buck, that’s the way it is.

  15. Richt-Flair

    Favorite opinion on this today comes from Barnhart, that the SEC made the right call (man is this guy sucking up to the SEC office a lot lately) and that Fairley’s helmet-to-knee on Murray was a football play. Nevermind that the human body can’t contort the way Fairley’s did to create contact without some sort of intent. So, according to our esteemed columnist, Grantham should have been fined and suspended for acting like a child and doing the choke sign toward a kicker, but a player physically doing harm to another player outside the rules of the game, multiple times, is the right call.

    Yes sir.

  16. thewhiteshark

    Buck Belue is a moron. Buck didn’t have to stand there 40 times a game with a cheap shot artist coming after him. The color of the uniform doesn’t change that Fairley is a dirty player. If he had really hurt Murray would we be looking at the SEC handling it differently? We’ve seen Georgia players get flagged for plays similar to just about every hit he put on Murray. There wasn’t much choice with the retaliation — the officials are to blame for that by letting Fairley get away with his BS the whole game. Auburn fans are like a someone who breaks into your home and attacks you and then complains when you do something about it. I’ve seen a few reasonable ones, but most have been pretty putrid. Hopefully Bama will blow the season up.

  17. heyberto

    If he get’s ejected in the Bama game, and has to sit out half of the SECCG, then I think that will be punishment enough for me.

    • Go Dawgs!

      But the refs proved that you pretty much have to throw a punch to get ejected. No danger of that from Fairley. In true bully fashion, once the other team gets sick of his cheap garbage and is ready to rumble, Fairley just runs away as fast as he can, into the loving embrace of Trooper Taylor.

      • NCT

        Truth. He lets non-starters take the ejections for him.

      • heyberto

        Good point. I had just read that Barnhart Column that the Seantor’s later update addressed, and was going off of Tony’s statement that he thinks Fairley will be under more scrutiny and the refs probably won’t allow it this time around. He’s all knowing you know.. as the Senator was able to remind me of. So I guess my point is, if he gets out of line with his hits again, and these refs do actually eject him, that would be satisfaction enough for me.

  18. H-Town Dawg

    The only way to get justice now (in a roundabout way) is for CamGate to ruin Auburn. The Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen/Douchebags deserve it. And as far as I’m concerned, the SEC deserves it. If it’s Auburn or nothing for the SEC this year for a national championship then I say: let it be nothing! I’d rather see TCU or Boise playing Oregon in the BCS championship.

  19. Buck Belue sucks, plain and simple, and always has in the blogosphere/media. He says anything he can to get attention. He is a talentless hack living off one mediocre pass vs. Florida and the fact that he got to hand the ball off to arguably the greatest football player of all time.

    By the way, one of the reasons this is happening is the BCS. The SEC has a $15+ million reason not to do anything that could ruin Auburn’s undefeated season.

    If we had a 6 or 8 team playoff where the SEC champion always made it into the title playoff, this would be less likely to happen because there wouldn’t be much at stake.

  20. Reptillicide

    Buck Belue has a special place in Georgia history, but he is a jerk. I get tired of listening him refer to his “sources” (read: his buddies at the country club) and his arrogance toward everyone in bulldog nation (or sports fans in general) who didn’t play quarterback is annoying to say the least.

    His Fairley comments are nothing more than an attempt to paint himself as a “unbiased” media personality. The only reason he has the job he has is because of his days at Georgia (not his minor-league baseball career which he seems to think was so important), but he seems to think he’s going to be liked by everybody if he just doesn’t stick up for Georgia. Get over yourself Buck, the only reason people listen to your show is because your are an ex-Georgia QB, not because you’re a captivating talk-show host.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Whenever he gets on one of these “I played quarterback and you didn’t so I know more than you do” kicks, I always want to call in and ask him what system he played quarterback in. He ran Vince Dooley’s offense, which is pretty light on passing, and pretty simple at that. So what makes him think he’s any more qualified than anyone else to talk about modern college football offenses, to say nothing of NFL offenses?

  21. Will Trane

    The message the Dawgs take from Auburn 2010. If the SEC lets you play like that …well we can play like that. Penalties or suspensions, we come head hunting next year. Mike Slive has been against the Dawgs from the day he set foot in the SEC office. The remaining SEC schools should demand that the SEC office move from Birmingham to Nashville. I’d think if I was a university president of a SEC school and saw the FBI making an investigation, I would be very troubled. I would not think the FBI would waste their resource on something unless it was a very serious matter.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      If the FBI is really conducting an investigation about this, the agents should also look into the activities of the SEC Commissioner’s Office. Why did Slive sit on this Newton thing for so long? Also, many people have been saying privately for years (and publicly more recently) that something is rotten with the SEC officiating. It appears that the highest ranked teams particularly if undefeated and late in the season get very favorable calls in games at critical times that appear to aid them in winning. Could it be that Slive has instructed SEC football game officials that certain teams need to win certain games? With the amount of money involved in BCS bowls, particularly the BCSNCG, the motive is obvious. A win by the wrong team could knock the conference out of a tremendous payday. Interrogate all the SEC refs and then subpoena them to a Federal Grand Jury proceeding and let’s see what everybody says. Chances are somebody will rat out the Commish if there is something wrong going on.

  22. D.N. Nation

    “Fairley would be a rock star in Georgia if he played for the ‘Dogs,” Belue wrote on his blog. “But he plays for Auburn. So we hate him. I get it.”

    Said in a season where the slightest traffic infraction gets the AJC’s outrage-o-meter hitting on the highest of highs, informing us of how Richt doesn’t have control over the program and how Georgia is filled with thugs.

    Buck, the SEC, Auburn hacks, etc.: I mean this with the utmost respect. Kiss my ass with this stuff.

  23. D.N. Nation

    Also, if NIck Fairley played for Georgia, there’s a 10000% chance he’d be suspended for a game or more.

  24. Bryant Denny

    Folks, we have a choice. We do not have to read, listen or respond to this drivel. Truly ignore these folks and they will have to find another place to work.

    I don’t really see how this situation is much different than the eye-gouging situation last year. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I seem to recall that the outrage boiled over because everyone with a intertube connection could watch the video – after that the media jumped on the bandwagon and public opinion forced Spikes to up his own punishment.

    If these media gurus would focus on the truth versus damage control for the league, Chizik’s internal punishment would mean Fairley missed game time.

    Regarding Fairley, I agree with one of the comments above. Based on our OL performance this season, we’ll have a hard time blocking him.

    • Chop Blockhead

      The Alabama offensive line needs to act with dispatch against Mr. Fairley as soon as he does something out of line to the Alabama quarterback. They should chop block him repeatedly until he (1) Is removed from the game by the Auburn coaches out of fear (2) Removes himself from the game out of fear, or (3) Is rendered into a facsimile of Christoper Reeve. Screw the 15 yard penalties. That’s the price you pay. Send in subs to do it so starters are not kicked out of the game, though.

  25. Krautdawg

    Guys, there’s an easy fix to the disparate enforcement. If we go into the plains as a dominant 10-0 team, the flags fly in our favor and Fairley gets a suspension. We didn’t. Arky and their QB received a similar hosing from the zebras in the same stadium. The unfairness we feel was mitigable; it’s one more chicken of a roundly questionable season coming home to roost.

    I say circle this game for next year. Then, win close games and dominate the easy ones. Come November, we’ll have the chips to cash in against Auby’s next star skill player’s knees. Maybe with Josh Murray as a chop-blocking wedge breaker on kick coverage. This time around, our AD can meet with Chizik afterwards to try to avoid a blood feud.

    Sound fun? Personally, I get off on winning without the added S&M. Ideally, the coaches would use Fairley as motivation and the players would vent their frustration with clean but devastating hits & blocks. This series has a long future and our QB is going to get hit. We don’t need a contract on his head every season our line is subpar. But I’m not 300 pounds of muscle that is oozing testosterone and trained to hurt. I’ll be intrigued to see whether our inner Tom Hagan or our wartime consigliere wins out next November.

    • Dawgwalker07

      “Ideally, the coaches would use Fairley as motivation”

      Honestly, if the coaches don’t have still shots of Fairley’s head in the middle of Murray’s back posted all around that locker room and show film of him prancing around the field after taking Murray out everyday, they’ve lost their minds.

  26. W Cobb Dawg

    “Useful idiot” is an apt description of Belue. Whatever success he’s enjoyed in life is primarily attributable to two men – Hershal Walker and Erk Russell. Certainly not to his own (very limited) talent or efforts.