Daily Archives: March 28, 2017

Thank you for not arresting the players.

Is this considered a tradition yet?


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Kick the damned ball in the end zone.

After years of putting up with Fabris’ directional kickoff bullshit, up-and-down coverage teams and the frustration of watching what seems like most of America fielding kickers who can put kickoffs in the end zone more often than not, I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to hear a Georgia head coach admit the obvious.

“It’s like an 80 percent chance if you start inside the 20, you do not score,” Smart said. “So 80 percent of offenses cannot function 80 yards downfield. So you’ve got touchbacks like Auburn’s guy (Daniel Carlson at 79.2 percent) has every time or you pin them inside the 20, there’s an 80 percent chance they’re not getting points. We weren’t behind that 20-yard line, we weren’t behind that fence very often last year. And some of that had to do with the coverage too, not just kickers.”

Yeah, I know touchbacks come out to the 25, but you get what Kirby is saying there.  Besides, one thing’s for sure.  Nobody’s ever run back a touchback for six points.

I don’t care who kicks off, just that the results are an improvement on 2016.

Georgia ranked 65th nationally in touchback percentage at 35.82 percent, according to CFBstats.com. Blankenship, who made 14 of 18 field goals, had touchbacks on 38.2 percent of kickoffs. Marvin had touchbacks on 49.3 percent of his kickoffs last year.

Wofford averaged giving up 22.2 yards per kickoff return while Georgia allowed 23.8.

May the best kicker win.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Get that education, young man.

Kevin Butler will reprise his role as an undergraduate student assistant coaching kickers this year.

Yes, he’s still an undergrad after all these years.

“Oh, absolutely. That’s the plan,” Smart said when asked by a fan if Butler would remain on the coaching staff. “As long as Kevin Butler’s in school, he will be an assistant. Hopefully we can get a deferred diploma plan where we just keep deferring him and deferring him and deferring him. We’re very thankful that he didn’t finish up when he was here.”

Butler, 55, was a two-time All-American and four-time All-SEC place-kicker for the Bulldogs from 1981-84, but did not finish his undergraduate work before being drafted by the Chicago Bears and embarking on an 11-year NFL career. After football, he entered into a successful business career. His son, Drew Butler, punted for Georgia and now plays in the NFL.

Butler said he will graduate with a degree in economics at the end of the fall semester.

By then, maybe the NCAA will allow coaching staffs to add another assistant.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football

McGarity’s “The First Word”

If you were wondering what some of the references were in yesterday’s comment threads about “The First Word”, it seems that Georgia’s master of PR has decided it would be to his advantage to speak directly with the fan base rather than let the pesky media dictate the narrative.

Thus was born “The First Word”.

“You will begin to see more frequent news coming your way via emails under the tag line “The First Word”.  Our intent is to bring the major news to you first, instead of reading about it via the media outlets.  There are times when we can’t predict what issues are brought to light in the various forms of media, and out commitment is to respond accordingly when clarification is necessary…”  [Emphasis added.]

In other words, it takes less effort to spin than to figure out a course of action to address what actually might be troubling the fan base — excepting the big donors, of course.

Given McGarity’s track record, I have no doubt this will be as an unqualified a success as his hiring record has proven to be.  Surely, if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that “remain calm, all is well” never fails to satisfy.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Football

Priorities aren’t free, people.

When you live in a world like this,

In the N.F.L.’s world, displays of principle and common economic sense are for chumps. Las Vegas and Nevada adopted the league’s preferred stance: They rolled belly up. Politicians raised taxes to provide a historic $750 million public subsidy.

This led to unremarked-upon cognitive dissonance in Las Vegas. Even as politicians increased taxes for stadiums, Clark County school officials voted last spring to increase public class sizes and to close a school for at-risk students. There was simply no money. “This is the last thing we ever want to do,” Linda Young, president of the school board, said at that time.

It’s a shame the school board did not build a football stadium, perhaps with a public school annex.

… is it really hard to understand why in most places the highest paid state employee is the college head football coach?

You almost feel like college presidents wish they could move their campuses so they could get in on some of that sweet bidding action for themselves.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NFL Is Your Friend.

If Kirby ain’t happy…

I’m telling you, your ass better be in the Sanford Stadium stands April 22nd, or someone is going to be very, very disappointed.

This year’s spring game: “Nobody’s saying 93K this year. I don’t think we should have to say that. We should all be at that game because that affected about 10 of the guys we recruited last year. The impact it had was great and it gave us great momentum. I think that’s important, and I think everybody should always be at the spring game.”

If you’re sick that day, I suppose you could get a note from your doctor.


Filed under Georgia Football

For some, you can never get enough “for love of the game” romance

Funny how student-athletes don’t always share that perspective.

Amateurism, in short, is whatever the NCAA says it is. More often than not, what the NCAA says has less to do with bedrock principle than whoever is currently shaming the association and its member schools on national television, or suing them in federal antitrust court.

While athletes wonder if it’s OK to eat a plate of gratis pasta, we watch our coaches, administrators, schools and conferences grow rich. Hell, even the football strength coach at the University of Iowa makes close to $600,000 per year. And since no one is allowed to simply pay us, we watch tens of millions of dollars flow into lavish athletic facilities that stand as pharaoh-shaming monuments of excess, complete with bowling alleys, barber shops, and arcades. Anything to lure the next class of coveted high school recruits, all of us who make the money spigot possible.

Oh, but the second we talk about trust fund payouts or maybe purchasing long-term health insurance for the injuries we suffer on the job, NCAA purists bleat about the slippery slope to corruption. We can’t be paid, because that would violate the academic mission of our schools.

About that mission: Two of my college coaches left my school for new gigs that paid multimillion dollar salaries annually. Until a couple of weeks ago, my final college coach was making nearly a million dollars per year, with a variety of salary escalators built-in—including a reported annual $80,000 bonus if the players hit their APR target.

In other words: he was paid for the work we did in the the classroom. Tell me again about corrupting the academy?



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Weeding them out

The interesting part of this Chip Towers’ piece on Georgia’s drug policy isn’t that the players have no problem with the expectation that they tow toe the line, but, rather, whose line it is they expect to tow toe.

“Whatever the regulations and guidelines at UGA are, basically that’s what we’re going to abide by,” said linebacker Natrez Patrick, a junior who along with teammate Roquan Smith avoided suspension after being accused of smoking pot last fall. “No matter what the laws are, no matter what everybody else thinks, whatever Coach Smart wants in place, that’s what we’re going to abide by, period. Opinions, expectations, they don’t matter. I follow the head man; whatever he wants, that’s how we’re going to do it.”

Said rising senior Lorenzo Carter: “It doesn’t matter what the law is or how we feel about it. We’re identified as Georgia athletes and that comes with certain responsibilities and we’re expected to conduct ourselves accordingly.”

All SEC schools punish their athletes for marijuana use. The majority, however, don’t suspend players for a first offense.

When it comes to drug use, is it Kirby’s world and they’re just living in it, or does Michael Adams’ dead hand still rule?  Towers makes a good point about the fates of Patrick and Smith, but it feels like Ridley’s future will say a lot more about that.  Stay tuned.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, Big Star tribute edition

Per Rolling Stone,

In April 2016, an all-star band featuring R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills, Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone, and many more gathered onstage at Glendale, California’s Alex Theatre to perform Big Star‘s classic Third/Sister Lovers in its entirety.

A live album and concert film from that performance will be released April 21st as Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … and More. Ahead of the concert film’s premiere at the SXSW Film Festival on March 16th, Rolling Stone presents the supergroup’s take on Big Star’s #1 Record classic “In the Street.”

A labor of love, and it shows.

By the way, Third/Sister Lovers is one of the strangest great albums I’ve ever listened to.  Alex Chilton had written a bunch of incredible songs, which he then proceeded to deconstruct out of some weird sense of disgust with the music industry and Big Star’s fate (not that it wasn’t understandable).  It literally got to the point where he was told by the producer to shut the record down after he pulled a drunk off the street to help record a song.

That notwithstanding, Third/Sister Lovers is also one of the most compelling albums I’ve ever listened to.  The paranoia and love wound together and expressed in “Nightime” give me chills every time I hear the song.

Yeah, I’ll have to see the movie.


Filed under Uncategorized