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Today, the UGA Bulldogs won their first SEC Championship game since 2017 in dominating fashion. Hooray!

But the real news of the day is that I have a new dog.

Like Henry before him, this good boy is a rescue puppy whose first family couldn't care for him. His original name was Ricky, though his temporary foster parents discovered he didn't seem to know it. They renamed him Coco Puff, but he never really cottoned to that name, either. Mom decided we might as well call him something that sounded good alongside "Henry."

(Side note: I might have ambushed Mom with the idea of a new dog just yesterday, so she justifiably needed some appeasing before she would allow another standard poodle in her house run by Audrey the Hungry Havanese — whose birthday is tomorrow! If that means Mom gets to name my new dog, so be it.)

Therefore, allow me to introduce Louis, pronounced like a French king, unless you're my dad, who insists on saying it "the American way."

Henry doing his best impersonation of the shark from Jaws

Of course, I'm particularly sensitive to whether Henry might get his feelings hurt by having a new dog in the house, so I woke up early (for me) to take Henry to the PetSmart in Peachtree City for an interview with his prospective new playmate. As it happens, the Peachtree City PetSmart is right beside a cemetery, and when Henry and Louis (nee Coco) politely paused their inaugural rollicking to let a group of funeral-bound mourners pet them, I was pretty sure we were going to be all right.

I'm quite pleased that Louis is a brown poodle, a first for my family. White poodles can be pretty, but you really have to keep them on their pedestal, especially on rainy days when playing with new puppies in the mud.

He's a white poodle in a chocolate overcoat!

Immediately after this picture was taken, I introduced Louis to my bathtub. It was an eventful day, indeed.

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On Tuesday, November 2, the initial College Football Playoff rankings of the 2022 season were released, and the Tennessee Volunteers leapfrogged the Georgia Bulldogs, who were atop the Associated Press poll, to become the top-ranked football team in the country.

Then they played Georgia on a soggy Saturday afternoon in Athens.

Tenneessee 13, UGA 27

To be the best, you've got to beat the best, Vols. And you didn't. Final score: Tennessee 13, UGA 27. Honestly, it wasn't really even that close.

Driven in no small part by the chip on Bulldogs fans' shoulders, the game atmosphere was truly great, the best in years. The enthusastic fans were really into the game from long before kickoff, were only made more rabid when the refs stole a safety from Georgia in the second quarter, and somehow managed to get even more energetic when the rain started falling in the third quarter. What a bunch of damn good dawgs!

Reminder to future Walter: This is why you buy season tickets, to go to games like this one. Fantastic.

Thanks to friend James for keeping me company in the rain. I certainly enjoyed myself.

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Today was the 100th annual Georgia Homecoming football game. As is often the case, it was against Vanderbilt, who played UGA in the very first homecoming game on November 18, 1922. As is often the case, the Bulldogs won big. (To be fair, Vandy won 12-0 in 1922, and went on to finish the season undefeated, their second undefeated season in a row. Obviously, 1922 was a different time.)

Vanderbilt 0, UGA 55

Despite the score, I had a lot more fun this week, in part because the Dawgs scored early (and often), in part because Mom came with me, and in part because we arrived a hour before kickoff and got to watch plenty of Homecoming pomp.

One thing worth documenting: As I've mentioned before, UGA has replaced paper tickets with e-tickets, accessible only on smartphones. I had both tickets on my phone, and both had to be scanned for Mom and me to enter the stadium. However, after scanning the first ticket, my phone received a text notification... which temporarily locked out the ticket app. Oops! It was no big deal at the time — we were, in fact, the only people in our line — but this presages potential trouble on a busier day when, say, a boisterous (read: drunk) Tennessee crowd comes to town.

From now on, airplane mode.

(Side note: It didn't help anything that my phone case broke on Wednesday. So I did what anyone would do and fixed my smartphone with duct tape. It really is good for everything!)

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Today I returned to Sanford Stadium for the first time since November 9, 2019. This is the view from my newest tickets, 12 rows closer than the seats I had since 2002.

Auburn 10, UGA 42

Wow, what a difference!

I was looking forward to this one, what with Auburn coming to town for something like the 126th time. To bolster my courage to go out in public again, I got Omicron boosted 2 weeks ago. I also got a flu shot. And, for good measure, a tetanus shot. Because, you know, some dawgs bite. Especially the drunk ones.

I wish I could I could tell you that I had a great time, but that wouldn't be true. The drive to Athens started me in a bad mood because I was my usually anxious pre-game self (that hasn't changed for the better in the past three years). Traffic (and my innate struggles at time management) meant that I arrived in Athens with barely enough time to sprint into the stadium before kickoff.

To make matters worse, since my last visit, Sanford Stadium has gone paperless and cashless, and it only seems to have slowed ticket taking and concession buying. Welcome to the future!

To make matters worst, after standing in a concessionaire's line for five minutes to buy a Coke, I discovered that particular concessionaire had sold out of regular Coke. "Will a Diet Coke do?" You might as well ask me if Pepsi is okay. IT. IS. NOT.

On the up side, Auburn did bring a marching band that performed at halftime, complete with a flag corps that had a real hard time holding onto their flags. I did enjoy that while I drank my Coca-Cola Dasani water.

I might have had more fun if I hadn't gone alone, if I had taken someone to bitch to. But I think the real lesson here is that I shouldn't go to games that have a 30 point spread. Frankly, Auburn is not good this year (especially since they're down to their third string quarterback), and UGA played down to their level for most of the game, striping the on-field product of any significant entertainment value. If the football game isn't any good, there really isn't any reason to spend 5 hours on the road and 4 hours in the sun watching it.

Try harder next year, Auburn.

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After only three weeks of play, the Miami Dolphins are the last undefeated team in the American Football Conference of the NFL. I wouldn't crow about that except that A) I don't expect that to last much longer, and B) the last time the Dolphins were the last undefeated team in their conference was 1995!

Only one team in the Super Bowl era has run the entire table and ended the season undefeated. That was, as you no doubt know, the Miami Dolphins in 1972, exactly 50 years ago. So think of the current streak as an anniversary celebration.

For the record, there have been exactly three other teams in the history of the NFL to win every game in the season; all of them lost their championship game, including the 2007 Patriots who fell victim to David Tyree's "Helmet Catch." Interestingly, before the NFL introduced a championship game in 1934, there were also four teams that went undefeated for their entire season. While none of them had a championship game to lose in, none of them were undefeated, either. All four of those had at least one tie. (Yes, there will be a quiz later.)

Will the Dolphins make the Super Bowl? The odds at this point aren't great. The last time the last undefeated team in the League even made the Championship game was the aforementioned 2007 Patriots. But the Dolphins haven't made the postseason since 2016, and they haven't won a postseason game since 2000, so I'll be happy just to get that far this year.

It's kind of nice to have something to cheer about on Sundays.

UPDATE 2022-09-30: Yeah, so, Tua's head. Oh, well. That's what I get.

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The University of Georgia football team is 3-0 on the season and looking in great shape in their campaign to repeat their National Championship. They play their second home game today. I am not going. And I feel pretty good about that decision.

In my opinion, the risk of getting COVID-19 is still too high. No one talks about it anymore, but infection rates are still 3 times higher than they were in the spring, and those are the reported testing rates. As I said, no one is talking about it anymore, so rates are indubitably higher than reported.

Despite the expense, I like having season tickets. I like that they give me the opportunity to attend games if I want to. But just because I want to do something doesn't mean I should. I have a responsibility to my family not to expose them to COVID if I can avoid it.

Omicron boosters are on the way, and I hope to have one in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the best way I can be sure I keep my personal COVID-free streak alive is to not go where the people are. That means still no football games.

Maybe I'll make it a game before the end of the season ends in November. Or maybe I won't be able to make games again until next year. Either way, I'll go when I'm ready, and when I'm not, I'll support the Dawgs on television like almost everyone else.

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No one talks about COVID anymore. It must be over, right? Both the Mayor of Atlanta and one of Georgia's Senators are in isolation right now for some other reason then, I suppose.

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Are you feeling Lucy, punk?

It's a trap (game)!

I admit that the allegory of perpetually giving Charlie Brown false hope loses some punch in the aftermath of UGA's first championship win in 31 years, but it's patently un-American to let reality get in the way of a good story. At least the football on this sign can't move.

Interestingly, this is the first sign I've put up that has been vandalized. It went up on Sept. 1, and the morning of Sept. 3, some kids threw rocks at her face, denting it. Which, when you think about it, is exactly what Charlie Brown should have done years ago.

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Believe it or not, we've finally reached the 17th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month. Am I excited? You betcha.

Earlier this year, the University of Georgia Alumni Association urged me to take a picture of myself "Calling the Dawgs" to drum up support for giving more money to an institution with over a billion dollars in endowment. (If you have a billion dollars what do you need more for? Is UGA planning on starting a space program?)

But I'm a loyal dog. So since I'm not on Facebook or Friendster or whatever the kids are doing these days, here's my picture on my own anti-social media.

Mamma, that crazy fat, bald man is scaring me

Now that I've done as you asked, put those unpaid football players* who earned the University $46 million in net profit last year back to work for my entertainment!

*Okay, fine. They get Tuition and Living Expenses out of the deal. For an average student, that's about $27,600 in value. So it's not like they get nothing. But $46 million in profit could pay for an additional... 1.6 thousand students. That'd be a big football team!

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UGA football legend (and gameshow-host Donald Trump's best "see-I'm-not-racist-I-have-a-black-friend" friend) Herschel Walker won the Georgia Republican party primary for U.S. Senate with over 801,000 votes (68%). He literally won every single county in the state. He trounced his closest opponent, Gary Black (13%), who has been the state Agriculture Commissioner for the past 11 years! If I was writing headlines, this would read: Football Culture Trumps Agriculture.*

Now Walker will head into the general election to face sitting senator Raphael Warnock. So far Walker — who it should be noted has a net worth upwards of $29 million yet has sent me, a UGA football season ticket holder, at least 7 letters asking for campaign contributions — has refused to describe any specifics of his platform (other than "Teamwork good" and "Democrats evil") or debate any of his Republican rivals, instead relying purely on the goodwill garnered in college in the 1980s. And it's easy to see why he's so reluctant to speak up. When asked on friendly Fox News what he would do to prevent future mass murder of elementary school students like the 19 who died this week in Texas — Walker's home state for the past decade, right up until he decided to run for Senator of Georgia — he said this:

You know, Cain killed Abel and that's a problem that we have. And I said what we need to do is look into how we can stop those things. You know, you talked about doing a disinformation. What about getting a department that can look at young men/women that's looking at their social media. What about doing that? Looking into things like that? And we can stop that that way.

Yes, poor Abel would still be alive today if Adam had only kept his eyes on TikTok instead of Eve's fig leaf.

Besides, Cain killed Abel with a rock, the Daniel Defense DDM4® V7® AR15 with Improved Flash Suppressor rifle of its day. No one would ever try to ban rocks, so why would you want to ban 30-round magazine automatic rifles? (According to Christian dogma, the rock was given to Cain by The Devil, which I'm sure Walker would insist in no way reflects on for-profit gun manufacturers selling military-designed long guns to 18-year-old civilians.)

Sadly, I think there's every chance that bible-thumping, gun lobby-supporting, social media-spying Walker will win a seat in the U.S. Senate on nostalgic name recognition alone. And if that is the case, Georgians will be getting exactly the representation in government they deserve. That's democracy in action, folks!

* While Trump did indeed endorse Walker, it's not like Black wasn't trying his damnedest to earn his evil overlord's favor too, including refusing to admit that Biden is the lawfully elected president of the United States. Trump's endorsement in this race means far less than Walker's 82 touchdowns as a Georgia Bulldog.

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To be continued...

 

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