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I welcomed football season with a trip to Eastman, Georgia, to watch the football team of the school at which my brother teaches. They weren't very good, and I say that generously.
The Dodge County High School Indians lost to the Lucy C. Laney High School Wildcats, 26-13. I had a very enjoyable time, despite the behavior of the children in attendance who insisted on running up and down the metal bleachers in their flip flops. It was surprisingly loud for a high school football game. Fans attending a UGA game would have been proud of the support shown by the home team.
Quite by accident on the way out of town after the game, I discovered a memorial to Mr. Angel, the first recognized Bulldog mascot of the University of Georgia. The monument was dated 2008, and a bit of research after the fact revealed that it was built only after the dog was snubbed by an official UGA mascot list snubbed the poor fellow in 2006. It's a pretty cool monument for a dog with such a silly name.
The next day, the Bulldog's current mascot, Russ, wisely chose to hide in his doghouse and not to show his face in Georgia's latest loss. The University of South Carolina came to town and quite simply outplayed UGA on the way to a 45-42 victory. At least the Georgia coaches aren't directly to blame for the loss. Bobo's play-calling was generally far better than usual, and the team appeared ready to play, if unable to find an answer for the superior talent of USC's Marcus Lattimore.
Walking into the game, Trey and I had a conversation with a pair of South Carolina fans who claimed to be attending their first game in Athens. They were extremely concerned about potential maltreatment by the UGA fans, who they claim have an especially bad reputation in South Carolina and throughout the SEC. I've always felt that UGA fans are unusually gracious when compared to those found in some other stadiums. But later during the game, two drunk, obnoxious Georgia fans managed to offend nearly a dozen other UGA fans sitting nearby. If we can't stand our own fans, I can't imagine that we are engendering much love outside our home field.
As you can see in the Flash file above showcasing nightfall in Athens, the field markings and stadium scoreboard have been redesigned for 2011. It's not an improvement, but it's better than the uniforms worn last week. If nothing else, the Georgia "G" needs to be returned to the goal line where it belongs. Georgia needs all the help they can get finding it.