Ladies and gentlemen, it’s The Montana Project!

First, the clip.  Then, we’ll talk.

Some thank yous are in order for a finished product that turned out better than I could have hoped:

  • The biggest, of course, goes to Hoppy.  How many of you would have been willing to shlep around to a bunch of sports bars, helmet and camera in tow, bugging a bunch of strangers?  (Most people I know go to bars to avoid being asked questions.)  That Hoppy did it, did it with such good nature and turned out a more than watchable finished product… well, as far as I’m concerned, he’s got a special place reserved for him in Dawg Heaven.  As I told him, if he ever comes to Athens for a game, he’ll never have to buy a beer.
  • Kudos to all who helped Hoppy with the production support.  You folks did great work.
  • Let’s not forget Big Shock, who was close to the scene and graciously supplied a very good looking helmet.  That made the logistics a lot easier (and a lot cheaper, too).
  • Travis Fain, the spark for all this.  I really didn’t do much more than direct traffic.  Travis is the one who planted the seed and got everything going.
  • Lastly, all of you who offered financial support, thanks.  It worked out where the help wasn’t needed, but the offers were appreciated.  Just make sure you’re around to help pick up Hoppy’s bar tab if he ever shows up for game day.

Next, a few words from our man in Montana:

Obviously a lot of people knew the “G”. However, it was hard to count people who said either “Georgia State” or “Georgia Tech” as a no, because they knew the “G” belonged to a-Georgia-team. That said, it was hard not jack slap the people who said Gators.

The “control questions we asked were”:
1. Are you a college football fan?
2. What does the University of Michigan helmet look like?
3. Do you know the official title of the USC cheerleaders? NO ONE KNEW THE ANSWER!! NO ONE–I REPEAT NOT ONE–HAD HEARD OF THEM REFERRED TO AS THE SONG GIRLS!
4. Can you tell me something, anything about college football.
5. Do you know what team this helmet is affiliated with.
We didn’t ask everyone all of those questions, but that is pool we chose from.
The bars we went to had casinos, so some people were wary about being filmed in a casino. Some people were really genuine, chatted, wanted to know how we were doing and wished us luck. I didn’t meet any Dawgs fans though, which I was a little surprised about.
Honestly, I expected higher numbers, but that’s what we go out of three weekends.

Thanks for this opportunity–it was a fun ride!

A few observations on my part:

  • To the gentleman who answered “Grambling” – did you see the fake juice helmets from the ’09 Cocktail Party?
  • Speaking of which, those folks whose answers included a Gator reference need to turn in their college football fan cards at the front desk.
  • There were fewer Packers answers than I expected.
  • By Mandel’s standards, Georgia fell short.  Still, I was pretty impressed with recognition from about three-quarters of those who responded.  And if that means Georgia isn’t a national power, what do we say about Mandel’s assurance that Southern Cal is, based on (supposed) universal recognition of the Song Girls?
  • I’m also going to assume that Florida would flunk Mandel’s national power test, given the helmet mis-identifications.
  • According to Hoppy, those who were asked to describe the Michigan helmet nailed it for the most part.  And pretty much everyone who could do that could also identify the “G”.  So maybe that’s our real tell for national powerdom.

I’m waiting to hear back from Travis this morning.  If he’s got something to add, whether here or at Lucid Idiocy, I’ll update for you.  In the meantime, enjoy.  And comment, of course.


UPDATE:  Travis adds his thoughts about the Project here, including a worthy suggestion for those of you who generously offered to make a financial contribution to the cause.


UPDATE #2:  Mr. Hall shows some love.


Filed under GTP Stuff

132 responses to “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s The Montana Project!

  1. DawgPhan

    that is totally awesome and 100% amazing. this delivered so much more than I was really expecting. everything is really well done.

    can we send the survey results to one of the “regression to the mean” type blogs for them to geek out on.

    great job to all involved.

  2. DugLite

    Impressive. Good work.

  3. Jim

    Very nicely done!

  4. Keese

    Thanks everyone! That was great!

    My over/under line would’ve been right on with Vegas standards.

    Go Dawgs!

  5. ScoutDawg

    Yeah, that was awesome.

  6. David

    Great job guys! I think the results were pretty good. Senator, are you sending this to Stewart?

  7. Spike

    Too funny! Hoppy, you got guts, and sometimes guts is all it takes. Come to Athens and I’ll buy a round for you!!

  8. hassan

    To be fair to the last guy, if one were colorblind, the helmet could easily be confused with the Glasgow Scotties. Perhaps that should have been one of the qualifying questions as well.

  9. heyberto

    Outstanding. Kudos to all involved.

  10. Chuck

    A hater might dispute going around a table of 4 or 5 because #3 or 4 might have been on the fence but after hearing the first 2 say Georgia with conviction say “Oh yeah, that’s Georgia.” That’s my only minor quibble, but overall that was a lot of fun and proof enough that real college football fans know the “G”. I personally think the results would have been “worse” in, say, Boston.
    Guys did a great job with the production as well.

    • Puffdawg

      Another hater (me) might say anybody who thinks that is a Florida Gators helmet, or there is such a thing as the Georgia Gators, doesn’t qualify as an average college football fan. In fact, I bet most of those folks who didn’t know are not average college football fans, although that’s such a relative definition I guess it goes back to how stupid Mandel’s premise was to begin with. If you can’t name the helmet of a team who is currently sitting in the top 6 in major college football, one who has already played on national television in prime time once this season, I question your being an average college football fan.

      I think Hoppy did an outstanding job. It is an entertaining video and well produced. It’s just hard to totally buy in to the results given the presumed dearth of qualified candidates. Hoppy, first round’s on me next time you make it to Athens. Thanks for doing this. #DGD

      • NRBQ

        Miami Gators? Really.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        This. Will all due respect for Hoppy, who crushed it with this awesome video (and great editing, btw) , I don’t believe you had a hundred true college football fans, but better to err on the side he did.

        You should be able to give a real college football fan a helmet quiz of the AP top 50 teams right now and they should score a minimum 90% ..saying “Florida”, as the senator points out, gets you immediately disqualified and makes me think you also couldn’t name the first president of the U.S., either.

    • Mandel said to put 100 folks in a room, not to interview them one by one.

  11. WarD Eagle

    Fun stuff. Can’t see the video, so what were the final numbers?

    “What is the official title of the U$C Cheerleaders?” is misleading. It’s likely the majority of college football fans don’t know that trivia, but you show them a picture and they will instantly recognize them.

    A good followup would be to team up with the helmet project and have a single pagehelmet to team matchup.

  12. WFdawg

    “The Georgia Gators”? I feel nauseous.
    Hoppy, good work. You’re a DGD in my book.

    • Rhino

      If Hoppy would have “jack slapped” just one of these “Georgia Gators” (that was hard to even type) people, he would not even have to come to Athens for free alcohol. We would have happily sent him all he wanted there in Montana.
      Great job, Hoppy.

  13. This is just going to make me angrier when Dave Brandon replaces the Michigan Helmet with a cartoon Wolverine shooting lasers out of its eyes after his market testing reveals that that design is more popular among the critical 12-27 demographic. We might not have a tradition of winning national titles, a recruiting base, or an interesting offense (after Denard), but dammit, we have a great helmet.

    • gastr1

      Listen, Mandel is not an idiot. He mentioned the Georgia helmet specifically because it uses a borrowed logo– said logo is more clearly recognizable as the Packers.’ Even if they do not say Packers, many would not recognize the G because it is borrowed, and many teams (Grambling, too, for example) borrow logos.

      We have a super-recognizable symbol–it just isn’t the helmet.

      Mandel specifically did NOT mention Uga. This is the converse to the helmet issue: Though there are many bulldog mascots and representations, OURS is the best-known one. Show a pic of any Uga and see how this goes…I bet no one says Gators. I bet you get 90% recognition even in Montana. Peeps know the dog.

      • gastr1

        After watching the video, I take it back. Anyone who says “Georgia Gators” is not getting anything right.

        Yeah, turn your card in now, man, shit. Did Hoppy kick that guy’s ass for that?

      • The Georgia “G” Helmet
        In 1963 after becoming the Bulldogs’ Head Football Coach, Vince Dooley redesigned the football uniform choosing a red helmet with a black “G” on a white background as the dominant feature of the new uniform for the 1964 season.

        He discussed with his staff that a forward-looking “G” would be an appropriate emblem for the helmet of the Georgia team. Dooley had just hired John Donaldson, former Georgia player from 1945 to 1948, as backfield coach. John was keen on the idea of a new image and volunteered his wife, Anne, who had a BFA in commercial art from UGA to design a logo for the new Georgia helmet with the general specifications Dooley had outlined. Dooley accepted Anne’s original “G” which fit his vision for a forward look to Georgia’s new emblem.

        Since the Georgia “G”- though different in design and color- was similar to Green Bay’s “G”, Coach Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia’s new emblem with the NFL team. Athletic Director Joel Eaves called for permission which was granted. However, since its inception in 1961, the Green Bay “G” has been redesigned several times and now looks like Georgia’s original 1964 “G.” Georgia is proud that the Packers apparently liked the special nuances of the Bulldogs’ forward-looking “G.”

        Georgia’s oval “G”, eventually replacing Georgia’s old block “G” as the official UGA symbol, has stood the test of time. It made its first appearance in the opening game in 1964 and was an immediate hit with the Georgia fans, especially after Dooley’s first three teams were so successful–highlighted by the 1966 SEC Championship.

        • Marshall

          I mentioned a good bit of this on the original Montana Project post (I think it was that one), but yes, Cookie Monster, that is exactly right. There’s even a lot of UGA fans that erroneously believe we have a borrowed logo. Simply not the case.

        • X-Dawg

          Anne was one of my favorite HS teachers at Wayne Co. High. I love it when I see her recognized for the “G”!

  14. Russ

    Great job, Hoppy! (and all involved) Y’all are all DGDs in my book!

    And to paraphrase the great Sean Connery, “suck it, Mandel!”

  15. JCB

    That was pretty good stuff.

    I have a question though: has there been any indication that Mandel is aware of this websites efforts on this front?

    PS: I don’t think asking about Paterno proves anything anymore.

  16. simpl_matter

    The video keeps breaking at the 2:02 mark (playing it here & on YouTube). I get a “This video is currently unavailable” message. I can scroll past the 2:02 mark and the rest plays fine (I just have to scroll before the video breaks with that error message). Anybody else having this problem?

  17. gastr1

    Georgetown does have football, BTW. Play in the Patriot League in FCS.

    Great job by Hoppy…the video is a lot of fun.

  18. Joe Schmoe

    This is awesome. It would have been really awesome to bench mark the responses against the examples Mandel used (which you sort of did with the USC cheerleaders question). That way you could put the results into context for comparative purposes (how many people recognize a Michigan helmet as compared to a UGA helmet).

  19. Dog in Fla

    That’s great! Starts with background music like a Ken Burn’s Civil War story and ends with hard-hitting investigative sports reporting responses that are not made up or flaggellant. Who cares about the 27 percenters anyway.

  20. HVL Dawg

    I guess Florida isn’t a national power either- that just leaves Alabama, Michigan, USC and Penn State.

  21. Scorpio Jones, III

    There was, to me, an element of insecurity involved in this project that sorta, kinda made me itch.

    But I gotta tell you, that video made my little heart go all pitty pat, like.

    Thanks Hoppy and all the other folks who contributed to this .

    In the words of that Richt guy…..”Get after they Ass.

    • Russ

      Actually, I heard Richt tell Dowdle that it stood for “Go After Them Agressively”, and he said it with a straight face. Of course, Dowdle mentioned that he heard it a little differently, but Richt wouldn’t bite. I’m sure he knows what it means, but he just couldn’t bring himself to admit to it. I would’ve liked to have see him at least smirk.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        That ole Tricky Richt….he can be a politician with the best of them, but if you have seen the video of him speaking to the gentlemen on the kickoff team at the beginning of the game, there is no doubt about what he said…I don’t understand what his concern is, is not “Get after their ass” in the bible.

        • Cojones

          Yes, I think it was from Paul in First Corinthians where he was referring to a group of people to help pilgrims who had a runaway donkey.

          I could be wrong in a lot of ways.

      • WFdawg

        I’ve heard Richt say what GATA really means to a reporter during a halftime interview after we played a poor first half. Seems like it was against Arkansas.

        • Marshall

          I know as he was walking off the field of the 2009 GT game at halftime, he told Dowdle on the radio that he liked how “we were getting after their asses.”

  22. paul

    Great work. One of my thoughts upfront was that Stewart GREATLY overestimated the so called ‘fame’ of the USC song girls. Glad to see that I wasn’t simply out of the loop. Who the heck knows or cares outside of southern California?

  23. Macallanlover

    In the spirit of providing a more complete response to mandel, and only for that reason, I propose there should be a collection taken to send me, with a dozen 21 year old, screaming hot chicks, dressed in cheerleader uniforms, around to the bars of Montana for three weeks with a video team. Since this would definitely be the end of me, I will pay for my own cremation in advance as I am sure Mrs. Mac would not be willing to use any of the insurance money to scatter me in the Sanford endzone and Amen Corner as she had previously agreed to to do. That is truly taking one for the team, but inquiring minds want to know.

  24. BulldogBen

    1) AWESOME job. Thanks for doing it.
    2) Are you sure the people who said Gators weren’t just saying it to because they know how much we hate Florida? Seemed obvious to me that that’s what they were doing.
    3) I’ve been a CFB fan my whole life. Obsessively so. I’ve NEVER heard of the Song Girls. WTF?

    • Russ

      Yeah, “Song Girls” is fairly obscure. I’ve heard of it (moreso now, of course), but before all this came up I’m not sure I would have identified “Song Girls” with USC. If you showed me a picture, I could definitely tell you they are USC cheerleaders.

      • Cojones

        Same here, but from those school colors I could have guessed FSU and ASU right along with USC.

        I have had FU hat wearers to come up and teasingly inquire if the “G” stands for gators. They aren’t even aware that they have trashed their school by confusing the G, the rednecked f*&#*% eads.

    • X-Dawg

      These are my thoughts – almost word for word! 😯

    • MT Dawg

      No…The Gators responses were that oblivious. They outweighed the Green Bay responses and it was hard to say “Thank you for your time” and not…well, not something else.

  25. Jrod1229

    Great job on the video.. but am I the only one who thanks the lawd they don’t live in Montana right now? Didn’t see one sundress the the whole time!

    A Florida fan would fit in however.

  26. rugbydawg79

    Just fantastic-really enjoyed that and as usual Macallanlovers response—if he can get a hall pass from mrs Mac–I would ante up for that one !!

  27. HottCheese

    Mark Richt has lost control of “average football fans”. Grambling? Seriously? That video was very cool. I have been excited to see it for a while. The final product was much better than what I expected. Great job to everyone involved.

  28. Brandon

    The final tally is pretty good I think, sadly there are a large contingent of people who really don’t know much of anything. I recently saw a poll that asked who supported the declaration of independence and like 30% of people either didn’t or were unsure. How the hell are you unsure? I wonder how the answers for Joe Pa would have changed between the time Mandel wrote that piece and now, how many references to child molestation would their be? I’m guessing at least 30%, recognizability is not always a good thing.

    • Russ

      Jimmy Kimmel does a great job at this. Way back on “The Man Show”, he was polling people in the street asking if they wanted to end the “suffrage of women”. Of course everyone agreed that women’s suffrage was a bad thing and should end.

      And then just the other day, when the iPhone5 was introduced (but not yet available), they went into the street with the current iPhone and asked people what they thought of the new iPhone. It was hilarious watching the people fawn over it like it was so much better than the old iPhone (which they were holding in their hands). Funniest were the ones that said they owned the current iPhone, but the one Jimmy showed them (the exact same phone) was better because the screen was obviously bigger and it was much thinner. 🙂

      • PatinDC

        That is funny right there about the Iphones. Jay Leno does a similar funny bit with Jay Walking. Still amazed at people’s answers.

  29. Cojones

    Mac, now that I’m past the 72 mark, I have to ask what you want with the cheerleaders? What’s that got to do with you passing away?

    A tip of the Bulldog hat to Bridgit Hopkins as well. She probably did most of the driving for the 3 days. She didn’t wear the helmet, otherwise, we would have a couple of “Gorgeous” answers.

    Both “Hoppys” are welcome to the far south of this state if they visit. Be glad to take you both fishing on the best bass lake in the states. The Senator can send my e-mail if you desire. Anyone who would go to that much trouble for a select small part of the fan base in the interest of Georgia fandom deserves no less. The fine work on producing it was worth the wait as well. You can amend the statement to “never have to buy a beer in this state”-nor in a few states outside.

    Kudos to both DGDs.


  30. Gravidy

    Many thanks to Hoppy and all involved. The end product was much more than we had any right to expect.

    • Gravidy

      I didn’t want to nitpick because I didn’t want anyone to think I was criticizing the effort Hoppy and the crew put into this project. But after reading Mandel’s twitter comment about how the video proved he was right, I just can’t hold my tongue (or fingers, as it were).

      Hell no, this video doesn’t prove your point, Mr. Mandel. There’s no way in hell that some of those people would pass any reasonable definition of “average college football fan”. Does Mandel really think “all 100” of THOSE PEOPLE would recognize a Michigan helmet, the USC Song Girls, and Joe Paterno? If he does, he’s more ignorant than I thought he was.

      OK…rant over… Once again, Hoppy, please don’t take that as a criticism of your effort. You did a whale of a job. Thanks again.

  31. Nate Dawg

    That was awesome & great job to all! I was really hoping for 80% but great showing w 73!
    Senator- you’ve started something- next year take this show to the northeast? Next year southern Cali? Needs to be done..jus sayin..

  32. BMan

    Freaking well done, and kudos to Hoppy!

  33. I expected higher numbers, honestly, although you could probably do this same thing in Memphis and get about the same results.

  34. HVL Dawg

    Thanks to the Montana Project team.

  35. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Great job! But, I was a little surprised that every single football fan didn’t recognize the helmet. That said, if you asked that same crowd who the Senators from Montana were I’d bet that more than half wouldn’t know. If you asked them who the Secretary of State was almost none of them would know. And if you showed them a Michigan helmet–a lot fewer of them would recognize it than the number that recognized the UGA helmet. Mandel is an idiot.

    • MT Dawg

      Thanks for all the positive feedback. It’s always a little scary putting something one creates “out there” and not being 100% sure of how people will take it. I’m gald it was so well recieved. The response is very humbling.
      We had lots of fun doing it! Thanks to Travis and The Senator for pushing this in the direction it went. Thanks to the Dawgnation for all your support!
      Go Dawgs!

  36. WarD Eagle

    So, the G is for Gators?

    I never knew that.

  37. Slaw Dawg

    Great stuff! Doesn’t surprise me, though. I’ve spent a couple of years overseas amongst Americans from all over the country, have lived in New England for 10 years, and wore my Georgia cap on a number of occasions, including my kids’ sporting events. Just about anyone who knew anything about college sports knew what the “G” on my cap (or the UGA Dawg when I wore that cap) represented. Lotsa folks make the connection between their favorite pro team and a UGA product on that team. People love Uga. Those over a certain age are easily impressed that I saw “Herschel” (that’s who he is everywhere) play live and had a class with him. But, really, Mandel’s whole premise is just stupid. Even a casual college football fan can recognize emblems and logos from teams across the country.

    Latest story from that front: my son’s very Yankee college coach challenged the players to do more push ups, saying “Hell, Herschel Walker’s 50 and he can do more than you! But you boys don’t even know who Herschel is, do you?” To which not just my son, but my son’s friends (we do lots of “education” here) responded with a veritable biographical blast, surprising and impressing said coach!

  38. Normaltown Mike

    I’m absolutely fascinated by the people that guessed “Gators” as this indicates a complete whiff on a team that won 2 natties in 3 years.

    If he showed an “Auburn” helmet, would they say Akron University or Utah Agricultural?

  39. Drew Collins

    Mandel has seen the video. He was tweeting about it a few minutes ago. Great work everyone!

  40. Puffdawg

    Surprised we didn’t see anybody guess “Guaros de Lara football.”

  41. Would be interested in seeing the other answers, but especially the Paterno ones. That could go viral if spun right.

  42. Skeeter

    Epically awesome! Huge thanks to Hoppy and all those involved!

  43. Sideshow

    Nice job, I would have liked to have seen less groups being asked though, as the pack (No pun intended) mentality could sway some answers. Should not have asked any group larger than 2.

  44. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Love it. Love the comments questioning the methodology almost as much. I guess Hoppy needed a white lab coat to go along with that red helmet. Ethos, baby.

    Thanks to you and everyone involved. Made my week (I’m easily amused).

  45. Daniel Simpson Day

    I’m piling on…but that was truly awesome. Outstanding work DGD’s!

  46. By Georgia We Did It

    Well done everyone….except the clowns who said anything about Florida or gators or gainesville, etc.

  47. Dawgfan Will

    Well done, sirs.

  48. Hoppy you are fantastic. Cannot get over the Gator references. What the ____!

  49. Marcus

    The dude who said Miami Gators was all kinds of wrong. Grambling was an awesome troll answer.

    • Russ

      In all fairness, those abominable “fake juice” uniforms we wore against the Gators in ’08 looked a lot like Grambling uniforms. And I’m very glad for that because in the future, people won’t know that it was actually Georgia that sucked so bad in that game.

  50. Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

    I think anything above 70% in Montana qualifies as “National” Great job Hoppy. I’ll be sending in some dough

  51. Jeremy Parker

    “The Georgia Gators?!?!?” Just four simple words…Hoppy, I love you!

  52. Mark


    Here’s another example of CMR losing control. From the AJC…
    Quarterback Aaron Murray became the 14th Georgia player — the most in Division I — to be nominated to the Allstate/AFCA Good Works team. Murray was one of 11 players in this year’s group. They are chosen by a national panel to based on their service to others and “off-the-field positive impact.”

    • Dawgfan Will

      When are you people going to understand? If it’s not a national championship, it doesn’t matter.


  53. Marshall

    That’s a great video. Kudos to Hoppy and everyone else involved!

  54. AusDawg85

    Stop me if you’ve heard this. Guy walks into a bar in Montana wearing a Georgia helmet…..

    Great work Hoppy!

  55. carpie

    That was awesome! Thanks Hoppy and crew!

  56. Chi-town Dawg

    Congratulations to Hoppy and everyone else who helped produce this fantastic video aka “The Montana Project”! It was wonderful to watch and if you ever come to Chicago, drinks are on me. BTW, on the Lucid Idiocy blog, there’s a charity listed if anyone would like to show their appreciation for this project by contributing to a good cause. Thanks again and Go Dawgs!

  57. Rebar

    Tremendous work Hoppy! Beer & Tequila for you when we meet!

  58. adsadsdsadsa

    lol Georgia is a joke, bunch of hicks

  59. Dawgshack

    Great work to all involved. The video is hilarious. Might we see it on WWL Gameday later this year?

  60. South FL Dawg

    Loved the video. I don’t know how many of Stewart’s “kings” would’ve pulled something like this off. Thanks for the work Hoppy and company!!!

    It’s pretty obvious some of those people wouldn’t have known the Florida or Miami helmets and those are supposedly “kings” …..ha and double ha at Mandel. Get some objectivity, Stu.

  61. Great job and Txs Hoppy. Its knuckle dragger time.

  62. The recognition level is much higher if you exclude women from the sample. If you only use men the ability to ID the helmet goes up to 83%. Also for what it’s worth several Gator responses were just screwing with Hoppy. Turn it around…someone walks into your bar with a Gator helmet and asks me if I recognize it…knowing myself I expect my response would be that is a Helmet that belongs to the Florida School for the Teminally Stupid.

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