October 2, 2023

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Nervously awaiting another football season at UGA | Editorial Columns

If you never know by now, I like my alma mater, the College of Ga — the oldest state-chartered college in the nation. I am a happy graduate and a past president of the national alumni affiliation. I have a haughty-wanting portrait hanging someplace in my beloved Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where I give what I consider a rather generous selection of shekels each and every yr to reward the superb college students who are privileged ample to obtain admission.

I am wont to brag incessantly on the academic achievements of my university, like the 25 Rhodes Students we have developed (We pause below for supporters of You-Know-Wherever Institute of Technology to remind me at the time again about their selection of astronauts — 14 — given that they’ve only experienced 6 Rhodes Scholars. Bless their hearts.)

But as a lot pride as I have in the educational success at UGA, I get chilly sweats when soccer season comes all-around. This coming Saturday, the fifth-rated University of Ga Bulldogs kickoff the 2021 football period from the second-ranked Clemson Tigers in Charlotte, and I am as anxious as a tom cat in a coonhound kennel.

You should understand that when I was in faculty in Athens, Georgia won 10 game titles. The problem is that it took them three seasons to do it. To make matters worse, I lived as a result of the humiliation of The Drought, an period that will live in infamy. That was when You-Know-In which Institute of Technological innovation defeat us 8 straight decades, four in which our facet did not even rating a landing. During that time, we dropped each way imaginable. We missing coronary heart-breaking squeakers and we lost large. People have been darkish days.

Issues modified drastically when Vince Dooly arrived in 1964. His initially year at Ga, he gained 7 video games, conquer Tech and went on to acquire 201 game titles before winding up his Hall of Fame job in 1988. But as successful as he was, he did practically nothing to overcome my angst.

I enjoy Vince Dooley and contemplate him a excellent good friend. No one was prouder than I when the Board of Regents — with a nudge from Gov. Brian Kemp (UGA Course of 1987) — lastly and rightfully named the discipline at Sanford Stadium for the gentleman.

Nonetheless, the coach imbued in me the perpetual worry that no subject who the Bulldogs had been playing on Saturday, we would be at a really serious drawback. I distinctly remember him the moment citing a Vanderbilt punter who excelled in coffin corner kicks as a reason the Dawgs could really properly drop their future match with the Commodores. It approximately ruined my 7 days. I really don’t keep in mind the final score but it was something like 41- Georgia.

But the damage was performed. Due to the fact of all the previous traumas, I have grow to be Mr. Doom-and-Gloom, turning off the television at the very first intercepted pass or fumble or deal with guiding the line. “Well, that is the ballgame!” I moan. My bride would often remind me that there have been nevertheless 10 minutes left in the to start with quarter. I would turn the Tv set back again on only to change it off once again when whoever Georgia was participating in made a 1st down. Yet another “Well, which is the ballgame!” On-and-off it would go every single soccer Saturday. It even now does.

Now, Ga admirers are chatting about a countrywide championship. Oh, be sure to. If we conquer Clemson — and we are a 3-position underdog — the College of Alabama-Birmingham will be coming up the pursuing week. In scenario you are not aware, the Blazers gained the Convention United states of america title in 2020. Their quarterback ranks fourth at UAB in job touchdown passes and fifth in vocation passing yards. I am scared to inquire about their punter’s coffin corner knowledge.

Should really we survive the normal time and make it to the SEC Championship, chances are that Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide will be awaiting us. Try to remember Nick Saban? He’s the guy who changed quarterbacks at halftime in the Countrywide Championship video game and still defeat us. Somehow, that doesn’t seem to be good.

So, enable the games begin. I will depart it to the Johnny-Occur-Latelys to stress about national championships and all that things. My emphasis is on Nov. 27. That is when we encounter You-Know-Wherever Institute of Know-how and the memories of The Drought appear flooding back. But prior to we get to them, we have to get by Charleston Southern. As Vince Dooley would remind us, the Buccaneers once beat Coastal Carolina who defeat Brigham Younger last 12 months. Egad. I just hope my television’s on-off change survives the year.