Showing 11 - 17 of 17 posts found matching keyword: south carolina

I just got back from a week-long trip to Charleston, South Carolina (and the surrounding region). The highlights might not be what you'd expect.

Heaven is Dairy Land

I'll have more to say once I have a chance to pick through my photos. More to come.

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This year's home opener pitted #11 UGA against #6 South Carolina. Kickoff was at 4:30 PM, which would have been great if I didn't have a poison ivy rash on my chest. Let me tell you, 4 hours in the sun and heat with a poison ivy rash is no fun. Thankfully, watching the Dawgs beat up on the Gamecocks was more than enough fun to make up for it.

USC 30, UGA 41

I had my doubts about the new Nike font and numerals on this year's uniforms, but I have to say that it looks pretty good. (You can see the font in the end zones in the picture above.) Even better was the fact that the Georgia "G" has returned to the goal lines! After being gone for the past few years, I'm super stoked to see it return.

Hopefully this week is a sign of good things to come.

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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.

Laney 26, Dodge County 13.

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.

All of Georgia's mascots should be called Mr. Angel.

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.

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Those of you who were paying attention know that UGA was destroyed by South Carolina on Saturday. While the final score was only 17-6, the game was never really that close. There are a lot of reasons that Georgia played so poorly -- I certainly blame Mike Bobo, but you probably knew that already -- but what has earned the most attention is the loss of A.J. Green to an NCAA suspension.

NCAA rules are complex and the most honest of mistakes can affect the eligibility of a prospective student-athlete's eligibility to attend the University of Georgia of affect the eligibility of a student-athlete to compete at the University of Georgia.

The above quote is from page 41 of the Georgia 2010 Football Fan Guide. And it's absolutely accurate. The NCAA suspended Green, UGA's star receiver, for 4 games because he sold a jersey "to an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent." How was Green to know that the man (Chris Hawkins) who identified himself as a collector was also an agent? Telepathy? ("Yo, man, if you're an agent you've got to tell me!") If the jersey was Green's to sell, and by all accounts that's true, why is he being punished for selling it to the person who wanted to buy it? Don't think I haven't noticed your Communist strategy, NCAA!

At least this tragedy has illuminated yet another of the NCAA's byzantine rules for the casual fan. Green should have known better: even if the NCAA says that you personally can sell your jersey, the NCAA also bans anyone from buying it. Also from the 2010 Fan Guide:

You are prohibited from providing the prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardian(s) with any benefit of any kind before, during or after his/her enrollment at the University of Georgia.

Ahem. That's kind of a catch-all statement, isn't it? As I read it, that means that I cannot buy Herschel Walker a Zaxby's Bourbon Chicken Sandwich Meal or help Champ Bailey's grocery-laden mother across a busy intersection. I assume that it also means that I can't buy the jersey off A.J. Green's back.

It's not Green who should be punished here. NCAA, if you must use strong-arm tactics to ensure that only UGA and Nike can profit by selling A.J. Green jerseys, at least try punishing the real troublemaker here: Facebook, the portal that connected the evil agent and his unlucky prey. Facebook: the Gateway to Evil!

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This post is a little late, but I've had a busy weekend. Saturday night I attended the first University of Georgia football home game vs South Carolina. I was excited because I love night games, and the game had a 7PM kickoff. If I had known before hand that the game was going to take over 4 hours to play, I'm sure that would have dampened my enthusiasm somewhat.

UGA 41, South Carolina 37

Two things slow down a football game: scoring and penalties. And this game had both in spades. Thirty one points were scored in the first quarter alone. There were 24 penalties called in the game, 11 for us and 13 for them, for a total of 206 yards. Six of those penalties resulted directly in first downs. But we won, so I'd be a fool to complain. Besides, the game had just about everything else you could ask for: special teams touchdowns, long runs, long passes, blocked kicks, goal line stands, shouting matches between the coaches, last second drama. It was a good game.

I would not call Sunday's match up between the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons a "good game." The Dolphins flat out stunk. Sure, this was the first game of the season for both teams. The Georgia Dome, even when not full to capacity, can be a pretty hostile environment to opposing teams ("loud" is an understatement). But that's no excuse for four (4!) Dolphins turnovers and an anemic... well, everything. Just two years ago I watched an entire season in which the Dolphins won only 1 football game, and even then they couldn't even aspire to this level of ineptitude. I have a name for this level of failure: Pennington.

Miami 7, Atlanta 19

If you've been paying attention, you'll know that I've railed against Chad Pennington before. (On August 11, 2008, and January 4, 2009, to be exact.) While I have grown to admire his never-say-retire-while-they're-still-throwing-money-at-me attitude, his weak arm and failing body have hurt us in the past just as they cost the Dolphins any chance at winning today.

Watching the team warm ups, I noticed that Pennington's longest warm-up pass was exactly 15 yards. Pennington's longest pass of the day was almost exactly 20 yards in the air. My brother was quick to point out that on that pass, Pennington took three big steps forward before heaving the pass, and the ball still wobbled like a lame duck. The Falcons must also have been paying attention, as they didn't bother to cover any Dolphins deep, knowing that the ball would never go that far. As if that wasn't bad enough, every time Pennington dropped back to pass, the Dolphins receivers themselves generally aborted their routes to ensure that Pennington's passes could still reach them despite the fact that this prevented almost any chance of catching the ball past (or in most cases near) the first down marker. Thanks, Chad.

On the upside, on rookie Pat White's first play in a regular season NFL game, he heaved the ball an impressive 40 yards, overthrowing the fastest Dolphin receiver deep down the field. My brother went berserk, amazed that Pennington could launch the ball so far. He was heartbroken when I explained that Pennington had been replaced for that down with another quarterback. Though come to think of it, he may have just been upset that the coaches immediately put Pennington back in and never let White throw again during the game. In any case, at least it's good to know that there's someone on the team who can throw the ball, even if the coaches are determined to keep him off the field.

Tickets, anyone?

I should mention that these football games were the second and third sporting events that I attended this week. I also watched the Gwinnett Braves (AAA affiliate of the MLB Atlanta Braves) lose a playoff game 0-3 on Wednesday night. The Braves would go on to lose the series, and after watching them play in person, I'm not surprised.

The picture below gives a pretty accurate indication of the turnout for the game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barr (Pennsylvania) Yankees (AAA affiliate of the MLB New York Yankees). There were just enough people in attendance that team mascot Chopper the Groundhog was able to annoy everyone in attendance personally, one at a time.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barr Yankees 3, Gwinnett Braves 0

Why a team named the Braves would have a groundhog for a mascot is explained only once you realize that the main thing that Gwinnett County has of any name recognition is a number of large shopping malls, and they make lousy mascots. General Beauregard Lee, the groundhog at Gwinnett's Yellow River Game Ranch is the state of Georgia's "Official" predictor of spring arrival. We don't care for Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil in these parts, especially if we're going to get beaten by Phil's state baseball clubs.

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I'm back, and I have some catching up to do, don't I?

First game of the UGA season: victory! Dawgs win, 35-14, over the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. Word on the street was that the Cowboys sold out every seat that we offered them. Quite an impressive display of fan loyalty, there.

I know it was the first game and all, but I was surprised that the lady who owns the season tickets in the row in front of me didn't recognize me. She recognized my brother, and remembered my mother and father, but not me. I must have gained a lot of weight since last year.

Second game of the UGA season: defeat! Dawgs lose, 16-12, to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. The Bulldogs performance was utterly uninspired, and the generally low expectations for this year's squad were proven uncannily appropriate awfully early in the season.

The crowd was barely involved in the game. I don't know if we were too shocked or if we had resigned ourselves to the loss early. In last year's SEC home losses, the fans were behind the team until the final second. But this time we seemed to be as stunned as the players on the field that South Carolina, who most of us had written off as beneath us, was having their way with us. Damn you, Spurrier! >shakes fist in rage<

Of course, the NFL season kicked off this weekend, and my team, the Miami Dolphins, lost. The teams of my couch-mates, my brother and his girlfriend, respectively cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, also lost.

So far, this does not have the makings of a very good Batman and Football Month.

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The nailbiting 17-15 victory over Spurrier's South Carolina yesterday was really quite an exciting game. I really enjoy being in a stadium full of fans being put through an emotional wringer.

New this season, Sanford Stadium has a whole new set of electronic boards, including the gigantic screen in the west end zone, as visible above. The screens are cool, yeah, but they are being used almost exclusively for advertising. They even took out the clock so that they could have more advertising room. (No clock in the entire stadium now. That's bullshit.) The information boards are practically useless. Only rarely do they give us stats for the game, replays, or even scores from other games. Instead, they spend all of their time giving us adverts for Coke, SunTrust, Kodak or useless prompts showing us CGI American flags to salute or telling us to "Make Some Noise." Good job, UGA; thanks for spending a fortune on signs that discourage us from looking at them. What a brain trust you have.

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To be continued...

 

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