Saying goodbye to my friend, Haywood Harris

 Cleaning out the notebook from the SEC Meetings from Destin:

 1. We lost Haywood Harris yesterday: First of all, Haywood was my friend and he died yesterday in Knoxville at the age of 80. Secondly, he had been a constant and steadying  voice in the sports information department at Tennessee since he was hired in 1961. In fact, Haywood was the last UT employee hired by General Robert Neyland before Neyland passed away in 1962.

Whenever Haywood found out that I was coming to Knoxville, he would always call and ask me to come by his office. He retired in 2000 but kept an office to work part time as the resident historian for Tennessee athletics. We would catch up on what was going on around the SEC and he would ask me to tape a segment for radio show “The Locker Room” which ran on Tennessee game days for 49 consecutive seasons.

Haywood was funny. He was smart. But he never told you how smart he was. He didn’t have to.

Haywood was one of those people didn’t just work for his alma mater. He WAS Tennessee. We’re going to miss him—a lot.

 

2. When it comes to Mark Richt, some of you out there need a reality check: Kudos to the AJC’s Tim Tucker for going right to the source—President Michael Adams and AD Damon Evans—and putting to rest this ridiculous notion that Richt is even in the same universe as a coaching hot seat. Tim had to ask the question because that is what good reporters do.

I’ve tried to be politically correct on this issue and realize there are passions at work here. So let me just put it in language that is a little more to the point: If you think that Richt, who has won 90 games in nine years in the toughest college football environment in the world, is on some kind of hot seat then you are living in an alternative universe that is completely divorced from reality.

Yes, Georgia had a disappointing season in 2009. Changes were made. Very soon it will be time to play another season. Then Richt will evaluate the program again and Richt will be evaluated again. Period. End of discussion.

 

3. Dooley will be his own man, and that’s good for Tennessee: New Tennessee coach Derek Dooley made one thing clear when he met with the media in Destin. He’s not Lane Kiffin. But at the same time he’s not about to slam the coach who had a cup of coffee (not decaf)  before he went scurrying back to Southern Cal. But Dooley recognized his style is different than Kiffin’s.  That fact, in the long run, will be good for Tennessee.

Someone asked Dooley is he purposely was trying to be the anti-Kiffin. The short answer is no. The former lawyer, who was tutored by his Hall of Fame father (Vince) and Nick Saban, is very comfortable with who he is.

“I know (my style) was quite a bit different from my predecessor,” said Dooley. “I wasn’t trying to make headlines. Our program needed somebody to get their arms around it and our players needed somebody to get their arms around them.

“Because at the end of the day a headline in February is not going to help you win games. It’s just not my style.”

 

4. Now coaching for the Lake Burton Bears, Nick Saban: The coach of the 2009 national champions insisted this week that Alabama is going to be his last coaching stop. The Crimson Tide went 12-0 during the regular season in 2008, went 14-0 in 2009, and will be preseason No. 1 in most polls when the 2010 season begins.

There has always been speculation that Saban will someday return to the NFL, where he had a disappointing two years as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. But in my last few meetings with Saban he seems very comfortable in the lifestyle he has in Tuscaloosa. It doesn’t hurt that his getaway home in Lake Burton is not that far away.

“It is always a difficult decision to leave any place and it is a decision I am never going to make again,” said Saban. “I am where I am. If they get a football team at Lake Burton, I might go there. Otherwise I am where I am.”

I know I’m a college guy and I look at the world through those glasses. But what pro job—money aside—can match what you have at Alabama or Texas? Just asking.

 

5. Ryan Mallett started throwing his week: Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said that his quarterback Ryan Mallet will start throwing this week after his recovery from off-season foot surgery. That surgery kept him from participating in spring practice drills.

Mallett, a rising junior, threw for 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, his first in Petrino’s offensive system. He is expected to have a monster season in 2010 and put the Hogs into contention in the SEC West. They get Alabama early (Sept 25) in Fayetteville.

Petrino said that Mallett has two issues to deal with as he gets ready for this season.

No. 1: Mallett’s throwing mechanics have to stay solid. “He has to make sure of his footwork. Sometimes his feet are not under him properly, which makes the ball tend to sail,” Petrino said.

No. 2: Mallett has to learn to trust his offensive line. “He has to get to the point where he trusts our protection 100 percent of the time. At times last year we weren’t protecting him well enough and when that happens you lose your downfield vision,” Petrino said.

My CBS colleague Gary Danielson recently told me that he believes that Mallett could be the single biggest impact player in the SEC this fall. In other words, Mallett could be good enough to lift his entire team and put them in a position to win the SEC West.

 

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Our “Talkin’ Football” show on CSS has been picked up for the entire summer. Starting tonight a new show will air every Thursday night at 6 p.m.  until the start of the season. Bob Neal will be back to lead the discussion with Mark Schlabach, Brady Ackerman and yours truly. Please check us out.

234 comments Add your comment

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
11:27 am

“I mean you really have to focus on DUMB to ignore that.”

Not nearly as dumb as Obama voters.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

Dorsey Hill = but..but..but..what if….should…shoulda….

UGA sucks. Period.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

Tim Tebow will cry from Denver instead of Atlanta this year…..

Reptiles Rule

June 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

Barring a disasterous season, I don’t think Richt is on the “hot” seat this year but watch out if he goes 8-5 again and has to take further measures with his staff (see Mike Bobo). I really think it will come down to 2011 and what happens then. Yes, his overall record is good but the more recent trend is probabably disturbing to the few Dawgs who are not hooked up to a kool-aid I.V. And 9 or 10 win seasons over 9 years doesn’t look nearly as good when your peers in the conference are winning national championships and elevating the national profiles of their programs. Elite is the word today and frankly, Georgia is just not quite there. That’s being honest, whether you like it or not.

jumbeauxtiger

June 3rd, 2010
11:36 am

1. My condolences for the Harris family. He sounds like he was a fine man.

2. Even if Richt is on the hot seat, and I think he will be if loses to SC, Florida and Tech, Adams and Evans would never admit to such in the offseason. Can you imagine if they did even hint that Richt is? That would be a huge distraction and would have an impact on the team’s performance. That would be dumb thing to do on their part and they are not stupid men.

3. Dooley is in a tough situation and has a chance to turn things around if Vol fans are patient. I would guess that by year 3 fans will be expecting the team to be much improved and winning some of their big games.

4. The Saban rumors will always be there as long as he’s winning. That happens when you win championships. I don’t see him going anywhere else at his age as he has a good thing going in T-town.

A blogger asked how he is with fans. I have met Nick and he’s just not the type to mingle with fans. He likes his own space. That’s not a negative it’s just the way he is.

5. I don’t see the Hogs winning the West unless there is a drastic change in their defense. They will get an early major test against Bama. A win would be huge for their program. It will be a must-watch game.

Good article Tony.

BTW Tony, in the past CBS has announced at the Destin meeeting some of the games that will be televised. I assume there was no announcement and that this will be done at perhaps Media Days in Birmingham in July?

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

Me

June 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

I do believe Patrick Sulley has morphed again. Yesterday he was something like “I wish Auburn played Florida” and he ruined the comments on Tony’s blog with his numerous childish and sometimes downright vulgar comments. Today it looks like it could be “Gators are incapable of going undefeated”. Although he has cleverly stayed away from the statistical spewing, this HAS to be him because those are the two recurring themes he commonly posts over and over and over again. Guess it just sounds better that “Mark Richt is 2-7 vs Florida”. So, for those who were wondering where Patrick was the last few days…..

War Eagle Beagle

June 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

As an Auburn fan, it pains me to say this but Arkansas will win the west this year. They now have experience on the defensive side of the ball and have been getting better every year under Petrino. If the D can be good enough to hold offenses to 17 points or less, they have a chance to run the table. Do not underestimate this team!

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

“So, for those who were wondering where Patrick was the last few days…..”

Funny, pat sulley can’t spell simple words. Also, the person who was name-jacking got banned yesterday.

Oh, and I am not a dawg fan.

“his numerous childish and sometimes downright vulgar comments.”

That was the gal who name jacked and got banned.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
11:51 am

“As an Auburn fan, it pains me to say this but Arkansas will win the west this year. ”

I wouldn’t bet the trailer on it.

“Do not underestimate this team!”

No one is.

Dorsey Hill

June 3rd, 2010
11:56 am

Gators are incapable of going undefeated says:

“I mean you really have to focus on DUMB to ignore that.”

Not nearly as dumb as Obama voters.

Excellent fact-driven analysis that the majority of Americans are in fact dumber than people that think that someone had the bright idea of placing false birth announcements in 2 1962 newspapers in Hawaii because they had the forethought that even before the 1964 Voting Rights Act and the 1965 Civil Rights Act that a mixed race infant born in Kenya named Barack Obama could be the president one day if they only created the impression that he was a naturally born citizen. Frankly, I would say that if the majority of Americans were dumber than that, then Sarah Palin can be elected president some day.

Reptiles Rule

June 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

On Nick Saban, I think he is probably at an age where he is tired of moving around and wants to be at a place where he can hang it up one day. He’s found it at Bama and I’d be shocked if he moved from there. Anything else in college would be at best a lateral move and just like Spurrier, he found the pro’s were not his style. He also seems to be enjoying his situation, certainly money is not a concern. I’ll bet he will coach for another ten years there and I think it’s great for the conference to have guys like Saban and Meyer going head to head on the national stage.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
11:58 am

“I would say that if the majority of Americans were dumber than that, then Sarah Palin can be elected president some day.”

Considering most American’s have no clue as the what the US Constitution says………

Oh wow, a Palin come back. HEY! Maybe next you’ll blame the Bulldogs losses on Bush.

VolAlum

June 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

UT lost another good one in Harris. Most UT fans I talk to would be happy with 6-6 and a bowl game.

Me

June 3rd, 2010
12:08 pm

“Gators are incapable of going undefeated”…first of all, how would YOU know whether that person got banned or not?? The AJC would not make such an action public knowledge, so unless YOU were the person actually banned or are just making that whole banning thing up…how would you know?? There’s only one way you could…so have a good day Patrick. And quit hiding behind Aubie.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
12:11 pm

“first of all, how would YOU know whether that person got banned or not??”

Because no one else had their name jacked after people were asking Tony to stop that person from name jacking. Also, if you actually read through the last page you’d see where many bloggers had their name jacked.

“The AJC would not make such an action public knowledge, so unless YOU were the person actually banned or are just making that whole banning thing up…how would you know??”

If I were banned, how would I be commenting right now? Remember, it was you who accused me of being a name jacker etc..

“There’s only one way you could…so have a good day Patrick.”

You’re none too bright is ya? Seriously, if I were pat, none of my comments would make any sense and I would be talking about how UGA is the most awesome school ever.

“And quit hiding behind Aubie.”

Stupid much?

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
12:13 pm

Gators are incapable of going undefeated,
You might be right about your handle. But that still hasn’t stopped them from claiming 3 NC’s in the past 15 years. Any other teams out there than can claim that? I know Aunurn won one in 2004…..NOT! LOL!!!

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
12:16 pm

He’s not Patrick, guys. He’s Forrest Gump! Patrick would be telling us that Mark Richt was born the same day as Snoop Dogg. While Gump’s commentary is usually biting, he’s not the name-jacker. That was obvisouly some kid with nothing better to do yesterday.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
12:20 pm

“I know Aunurn won one in 200″

Huh, never heard of that school.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
12:21 pm

“But that still hasn’t stopped them from claiming 3 NC’s in the past 15 years.”

Oh I know, I just like giving other fans fits. You know, sort of like Bama fans who come in here spewing chewing tobacco all over their keyboards while living in their mom/sisters basement……

Just sayin….

G-Man

June 3rd, 2010
12:25 pm

Patrick Sulley…speaking of someone who loves Sarah Palin (per his Facebook). Anyway, Richt’s seat may be getting warm but it’s not hot. Breaking in a new QB and a new defensive scheme will be considered I think. After that, next year who knows. Also Dooley will need some strong support and commitment from the powers that be to turn Tennessee around. So much damage has been done from an image standpoint. I think this years recruiting class will be a strong early barometer on where that program’s going. Last years class was a lot of Kiffin, plus the recruits who were early enrollees got stuck when they showed up on campus and then tried to reconsider their situation in light of the sudden Kiffin departure. They would have had to sit out a year and the Prez at Tennessee made it very clear that he wasn’t going to release them from their scholarships. Dooley will need some time.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
12:27 pm

“Richt’s seat may be getting warm but it’s not hot. ”

Everyone’s seat gets warm when they fart.

Dope and Chains

June 3rd, 2010
12:30 pm

Why are libs so obsessed with Sarah Palin?

MSNBC devotes 90% of their time making fun of her.

Me

June 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

Beast…believe me, this guy is Patrick. I’ve had enough “go arounds” with him to know. The recurrent themes and that last telling phrase “Stupid much?” are right out of his vocabulary. Plus, how many “Auburn” fans do you know that have a current issue with Florida??? Haven’t played since when, 2007? Plus they won the last couple of meetings. So there’s no currnet axe to grind for them. Besides, the “Tigers” got their eyes fixed firmly on that school in Tuscaloosa, you know the one who just won it all, making sure that they don’t get up and just run away from them. Elephants can be deceptively fast, especially on the plains.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
12:45 pm

“Beast…believe me, this guy is Patrick. I’ve had enough “go arounds” with him to know.”

Prove it. Prove that I am pat sulley.

“The recurrent themes and that last telling phrase “Stupid much?” are right out of his vocabulary.”

That’s because pat sulley stole that line from me.

“Plus, how many “Auburn” fans do you know that have a current issue with Florida?”

Again, you don’t understand the comedy in making fun of every team do you?

“Besides, the “Tigers” got their eyes fixed firmly on that school in Tuscaloosa, you know the one who just won it all, making sure that they don’t get up and just run away from them. Elephants can be deceptively fast, especially on the plains.”

Maybe you need to actually read my postings. I made fun of Bama yesterday, today etc…

For instance: 12:21: Oh I know, I just like giving other fans fits. You know, sort of like Bama fans who come in here spewing chewing tobacco all over their keyboards while living in their mom/sisters basement……

So ma’am, is that better for you?

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
12:48 pm

Not to mention:” Have you been around bama fans? It’s like going to a giant trailer park full of chain smoking meth sellers. Most of them can’t pronounce simple words such as “nuclear”, “interesting” and “wasp.”

Yep, I’ve been really kind to bammer fans.

Illiterate much?

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
12:49 pm

Me,
I disagree. I’ve sparred with both several times.
Pat just harps on and on about Richt. I swear I think he’s Richt’s wife!
While Gump picks a new fight almost daily. He’s an Auburn guy and just loves to pull EVERYONE’S chain. He does not discriminate!

Me

June 3rd, 2010
12:59 pm

“Gators are incapable of going undefeated”…your post at 12:27 gives you away. Yesterday you were “I wish Auburn played Florida” and were making some of the same type adolescent comments. You are on here now because you were never banned fin the first place. I hope that someone from the AJC will review those previous comments and take action but probably won’t. Nothing wrong with free speech, just not the vulgarity from yesterday, please. And please don’t “jack” my name.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:02 pm

“While Gump picks a new fight almost daily. He’s an Auburn guy and just loves to pull EVERYONE’S chain. He does not discriminate!”

I’m an equal opportunity guy!

Me

June 3rd, 2010
1:04 pm

Beast. Patrick has taken on so many personnas, more than probably we realize. Gump is probably just another one. After all, this IS someone who has posted well over 90 times under his “real” name on numerous blogs, and not just AJC. But like Gump himself said one time , enough about that. Gotta go.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:04 pm

“Yesterday you were “I wish Auburn played Florida” and were making some of the same type adolescent comments.”

LIKE WHAT?

“I hope that someone from the AJC will review those previous comments and take action but probably won’t.”

Please post something that I wrote that offends you. You are obviously some snot nosed little dork who got her feelings hurt. If I offended you, I DON’T CARE! Grow a pair, ma’am and quit whining.

“Nothing wrong with free speech, just not the vulgarity from yesterday, please.’

WHAT VULGARITY?????????????????

“And please don’t “jack” my name.”

LOL! You must be the most idiotic person on this blog.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:05 pm

“After all, this IS someone who has posted well over 90 times under his “real” name on numerous blogs, and not just AJC. ”

PLEASE PROVE THAT I AM PAT SULLEY.

Ma’am, you are one dumb hillbilly.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:06 pm

“Gotta go.”

Don’t let your trailer door hit you on the way out.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:08 pm

Beast from the East

This moron who says that I am pat sulley is a moron of colossal proportion.

1: pat sulley can’t spell.
2: pat sulley would only talk about UGAY.
3: pat sulley would post “facts” about how awesome UGAY is.

Bottom line: “Me” is a whiny little girl.

BAMA1

June 3rd, 2010
1:19 pm

Gators are incapable of going undefeated : you are a damn ignorant fool.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated is a 5 year old

June 3rd, 2010
1:27 pm

Gators are incapable of going undefeated,

Why are you always so hateful & belligerent? Grow up.

Reptiles Rule

June 3rd, 2010
1:36 pm

Just a comment about the silly comments. Yesterday, on Tony’s blog, I allowed myself to get into it with the person who was making the immature comments who called themselves “I wish Auburn played Florida”. I don’t usually do that but anyway, that person kept stealing peoples names (including mine) and making childish comments and also kept calling people “ma’am”. I guess that was his way of trying to insult you. Anyway, I see that this “Gators are incapable of going undefeated” is doing the exact same thing today esp with the “ma’am” thing. So they have to be one and the same. So whether he’s patrick or not I don’t really know but one thing is for sure, he’s a liar.

I wish Auburn played Florida

June 3rd, 2010
1:55 pm

“that person kept stealing peoples names (including mine) and making childish comments and also kept calling ”

That is a flat out lie and you can not prove it.

“So whether he’s patrick or not I don’t really know but one thing is for sure, he’s a liar.”

Prove that I am a liar. Go ahead. Prove it.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:56 pm

“you are a damn ignorant fool.”

Did you learn that word at the U of A? Bama fans are not capable of pronouncing words that have 2 or more syllables.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
1:57 pm

“Why are you always so hateful & belligerent? Grow up.”

LOL! Whatever you say, ma’am.

5IML

June 3rd, 2010
2:06 pm

Today, the SEC released the start times and TV for a few games.

Penn St @ BAMA is the ESPN night game (7pm) on Sept. 11.
BAMA @ Duke is the ABC regional game at 3:30 on Sept. 18.
Florida @ BAMA will part of the SEC doubleheader on CBS on Oct. 2.
Florida v. BAMA for the SEC Championship is 4pm on CBS on Dec. 4.

lazydawg

June 3rd, 2010
2:14 pm

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and sounds like the friend to a many SEC fan.

Reptiles Rule

June 3rd, 2010
2:14 pm

There you go again.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
2:15 pm

“There you go again.”

Still waiting on your proof that I stole your name and pretended to be you.

crickets…..crickets……..

KR

June 3rd, 2010
2:18 pm

5IML wrote: “Florida v. BAMA for the SEC Championship is 4pm on CBS on Dec. 4.”

Something about counting your chickens before they’re hatched comes to mind…

Tide Rising

June 3rd, 2010
2:23 pm

Beast from the East and me,

Beast you are correct. Its Forrest Gump just using a different handle. He likes to switch up handles but the recurring theme is that he is an equal opportunity insulter and is an Auburn fan- hence the insults towards Bama, Florida, and Georgia.

I’m just waiting for him to tell someone they have the intelligence of a carrot which always cracks me up.

I’ve sparred with Forrest before on one of his first few days on the blog and ended up spending half the day trading posts with him. Won’t get sucked into that again. Some of his posts and sparring are pretty funny and he always manages to sucker someone into sparring with him every day but be warned. He does type pretty fast.

Best thing to do is just ignore him if you don’t want to converse. That seems to work a lot with people who get on the blogs just to argue.

As for myself? I’ll just look for the daily rant when he tells someone they have the intelligence of a carrot and crack up about it. Don’t know why but it never gets old when he tells someone that.

Atlanta Gator

June 3rd, 2010
2:32 pm

1. RIP, Mr. Harris. May a choir of overalls-wearing cherubim welcome you to the Big Stadium with a chorus from “Rocky Top.”

2. Short of another 7-5 season, Mark Richt is not going anywhere in 2010. Nevertheless, 2-8 is going to smart. (The Jacksonville Convention is hereby invoked.)

3. In the absence of Mr. Kiffin, I may even cheer for the Vols 12 out 13 games this season. Derek Dooley is a welcome relief from all of the previously unnecessary noise out of Knoxville. It was painful to watch long-time Vols fans wince and still try to defend the Jerk.

4. Lake Burton Bears, eh? Yeah, and maybe Urban Meyer’s esophagus would be a lot more relaxed in South Bend. Riiiiiiiight. I’m afraid the only way Saban is leaving Tuscaloosa is with a gold watch or in a pine box. Great coach, but, personally, I never trust a man who doesn’t drink.

5. Damn. Hailing from the eastern half of the SEC, I did not realize that Mallett’s numbers were THAT good. If only Petrino had half a defense the Hogs could be contenders.

6. Personally, I think “Gump” is kinda funny. Everyone, try to play nice. It’s only June.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
2:32 pm

Tide Rising

Come on ma’am, you know it’s funny! Three people have accused me of stealing their name and posting things like “i am gay” etc.. Yes, I throw out insults. No, I don’t steal blog names.

“I’m just waiting for him to tell someone they have the intelligence of a carrot which always cracks me up. ”

Well, I have a few more funnies up my sleeve.

joe

June 3rd, 2010
2:32 pm

TB, Is there anyway you can get Ultra-UGA-Homer Schlayblah to take off his UGA blinders and give us legit breakdowns of other SEC teams. We don’t need him predicting another 10 win season, only to see them fall like last year. Better yet, have him replaced as he adds NOTHING to your show.

Reptiles Rule

June 3rd, 2010
2:34 pm

How could I provide proof if I don’t work for the AJC?? Would you also like me to prove that there’s a God while I’m at it?? Anyway, I’m attempting to get into it with you again today. Funny is funny and clever humor is always appreciated when trying to make a point on here but you are neither. You only seem to spout immature insults and adolescent vulgarity and I will not be a further party to that. So have a nice day and please drive careful while operating that rig and using that Droid.

Gators are incapable of going undefeated

June 3rd, 2010
2:38 pm

“How could I provide proof if I don’t work for the AJC??”

You made the accusation. Prove it.

“Would you also like me to prove that there’s a God while I’m at it??”

Do you always answer a question with a question?

“Anyway, I’m attempting to get into it with you again today.”

Whatever that means…….

“You only seem to spout immature insults and adolescent vulgarity and I will not be a further party to that. ”

Like what? I asked you to post anything vulgar and filthy that I’ve said…………….crickets…..

“So have a nice day and please drive careful while operating that rig and using that Droid.”

I have an Iphone ma’am. And you have the IQ of a carrot.