ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. | Go Dawgs!
There. I said it and, surprisingly, all my teeth did not fall out. I thought all I would have left are my three implants, but the rest are holding tight in coffee-stained rows.
Actually. I wrote it and, before that, I thought it. I processed two words — carefully misspelling Dogs — into a mantra spoken on wasted fall afternoons. I’m not sure I could ever say it, but it’s the only alternative after the loathsome Alabama Sabanites beat my beloved Clempson Tigers on Monday night. So now, Alabama, rather than Clempson, is playing Georgia for the national championship of university football. (By the way, only two classes of people put the P in Clemson, real Clemson fans and people making fun of Clemson fans.)
I’m still astonished at how wrong I was about Clempson. I thought there was no possible way they could be back in the playoffs for three straight years, but there they were. I wish they had played better. (Georgia fans would say, ‘We should have played better,’ but I’m not into this we business when my peak exertion during a game is muting lawyer commercials.)
Did you see where some Florida lawmakers plan to introduce a resolution declaring undefeated University of Central Florida the national champion after they beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl? Would that have happened if Florida or Florida State had gone 11-1 and been one of the teams in the playoffs? Of course not.
Ah, but Georgia. My history goes back a long way with the Bull Dogs. The first college game I ever covered as a photographer — as an amateur — was Georgia and North Carolina State in Athens in 1972. I got my first picture published in a newspaper, and Georgia beat State, which was coached by Lou Holtz, by six.
I was there for the opening game in 1973 — as a pro — when Tony Dorsett played his first college game and tied Georgia 7-7. I shot pictures of Herschel Walker vaulting into the end zone, decided that “Rocky Top” is a far better song than “Glory, Glory to Old Georgia,” and watched defensive coordinator Erk Russell get blooded every week butting heads with his players. Unlike Erk, the players wore helmets.
I enjoyed going down to Athens, eating lunch in the press box sometimes with Leonard Postero, a UGa graduate who had a radio show called “Leonard’s Losers.” As Leonard Posttosties on the air, he called the Bulldogs the red clay hounds.
But it just got old, especially listening to the fans rave and bark from the stands. I think if a Georgia player stopped an opposing running back with a .45 the fans would yell, “He didn’t touch him,” if a ref threw a flag.
Also, the Georgia cheerleaders had a bad habit of running in front of you when you were trying to take pictures. Morons. (I’m not talking about you, Bob Fuller). They were not as obnoxious, however, as the Ohio State band the night their head coach, Woody Hayes, took up boxing in the Gator Bowl. I was trying to work the sidelines on the Ohio State side and the band members, one in particular, kept shoving me. Happily, threats of violence from a guy wearing spats and wielding a clarinet didn’t cause a Vietnam flashback.
I just can’t wish Alabama well unless they pay Ohio State — see above — Notre Dame, Michigan and few others. When Bill Curry was ’Bama’s head coach, somebody threw a brick through his office window. Curry wanted to give him a try out at quarterback but couldn’t find him. And how about the genius that killed the trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn?
Anyway, Monday night Georgia has a chance to beat Alabama and win a national championship. If they do, my daughter, my son-in-law and a lot of my friends will be happy. Brunswick resident Jimmy Orr, the former Pittsburgh Steeler and Baltimore Colt, who played college ball at Georgia, will probably also be happy.
And don’t start with the Louis Grizzard will be watching from heaven. No he won’t. I’m not suggesting he’s someplace else, but I think if you’re in heaven football is not on your mind. If you’re in hell, they probably make you watch Notre Dame-Ohio State reruns.
Anyway, Go Dawgs! There I typed it again. I didn’t want to put my teeth at risk saying it. Have you priced implants?
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