Georgia Tech’s Roddy Jones on 2008 run

Greetings-

A few notes, leading with the top of a fairly lengthy interview with A-back Roddy Jones about his touchdown run. Particularly for Georgia Tech fans with shorter memories, the run has become iconic. I’d think if you could boil coach Paul Johnson’s four years down to one play, that might be it.

Those who attend Tech games know that the game production crew plays highlights from across the decades before each game. The clip of Jones’ run shrugging off Reshad Jones‘ tackle and tightrope-walking down the sideline invariably draws the biggest cheer. Part of that – perhaps a lot of it – is that it was only three years ago. Some of the other plays, there aren’t many people in the stands that were alive to see them and understand their significance.

But, anyway, it’s part of a longer interview I did with Jones that will run Friday.

Q: What did the run feel like?

A: It was surreal. It all happened so fast. I wasn’t really sure if I’d stayed in bounds, I wasn’t sure if they were going to review it. My celebration was one of kind of figuring out what just happened. I remember getting in the end zone and turning around and waiting for a whistle or something. Then we got to the sideline, we were ready for a review and it never came. It was definitely an exciting game to win. The run, I just say I was at the right place at the right time. (Joshua) Nesbitt pitched me the ball and I just tried to make the best of it.

Q: When did you know it had a chance to break?

A: I guess when they lined up the way we designed it, I knew it was going to have a chance. But they actually played it fairly well. They just missed a couple tackles. Sometimes that happens. I guess when I broke the last tackle and started running, that’s when I knew I was going  to have a chance to score.

Q: What’s it like to have made a play that’s so iconic in the rivalry?

A: It’s kind of crazy, especially to still be here and have it mean so much to people. I still have people come up to me and tell me where they were when they saw it. It’s a very cool feeling. It kind of shows what the rivalry means to people. It’s very humbling as well to have people say, ‘That’s my favorite run’ or other things like that. it’s very humbling.

Q: Have you gotten any sort of reaction from Georgia fans?

A: Not that much. Georgia fans tend not to even acknowledge that it happened. Mostly, it’s from Tech fans, which is good.

A couple other notes:

1. Tech will go back to its standard B-back rotation with David Sims and Preston Lyons. Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon (a Georgia grad) said that coaches wanted to give Lyons a chance to heal up some bumps to get him back to 100 percent (or as close as you can get at this point of the season) last week.

“David and Preston have been our guys,” Bohannon said. “We’ve kind of gotten into a little bit of a rotation with those guys, and I would imagine that would be a little bit of our approach, but we’ll see how the week goes and how things develop.”

2. Tech is cautioning fans attempting to buy tickets through secondary markets. The athletic association can’t guarantee the validity of any ticket not purchased through the ticket office or an authorized Tech ticket representative.

Think twice if someone offers you a Post-It note that says “UGA-Tech 50-yard line ticket.”

Seriously, though, I know the Falcons have dealt with counterfeit tickets in recent years as the quality of counterfeit tickets has evidently improved greatly, so do be mindful if you’re going that route. The top asking price for a club-seat ticket is $439 on Stubhub, so there’s certainly incentive for a counterfeiter.

For whatever it’s worth, I know Stubhub has a ticket protection policy, and I imagine other ticket re-sellers have similar policies, though I’d certainly ask about it before buying. With Stubhub, if you get sold counterfeit tickets, your money will be refunded. Which isn’t exactly a guarantee, but at least offers some protection.

3. I’ll hopefully have more information about A-back Orwin Smith after practice, though I’m not counting on much. As you hopefully read, he is going to try to play on a turf-toe injury but didn’t sound 100 percent confident that he’ll be able to play the whole game. As I noted, I’ve been told, read and heard that turf toe can be terribly painful.

With his speed, Embry Peeples is a more than worthy replacement, but Tech would obviously like Smith’s playmaking ability.

4. I’m not sure I want to extend the discussion about Johnson’s remarks, but I find one thing curious about the superiority that some Tech fans (or at least alumni) proclaim towards Georgia fans that hopefully can generate some thoughtful debate. By publicly proclaiming it, I think they’re helping extend one of their most enduring problems – filling Bobby Dodd Stadium.

It should be made clear that Johnson’s comment was referring specifically to the fan who called in to bark, not to all Georgia fans. He had said earlier in the day that most of his interactions with Bulldogs fans are cordial. He said something regrettable and apologized. I think we can all degree that that caller probably needs a new hobby.

This isn’t about him, but rather what feels like a pervasive attitude among Tech fans, if this blog’s comments are any barometer. And even if they’re not very reflective, they’re still comments from unofficial representatives of the school available to anyone with an Internet connection.

I am fairly confident that Dan Radakovich would only be too happy to accept season-ticket orders from whatever Walmart or McDonald’s employee who wanted to place them. However, what blue-collar worker, even if he likes Tech’s offense or Johnson’s brashness, would want to be in a stadium knowing that there are Tech fans who look down on him because he didn’t go to Tech and doesn’t make six figures?

You can say, No, we’re not talking about every Walmart employee. It’s just a putdown of the quality of a Georgia education and its fans in general. It’s just a joke. And not every Tech fan feels that way.

I get that. Regardless, the line of logic is Georgia fan = Walmart employee = inferior to Tech people. I understand it’s a joke, but it’s probably not very funny to people who work at Walmart and people who for whatever reason didn’t go to college.

Further, the “I bet you didn’t even go to Georgia” insult basically is a message, intended or not, to every fan who roots Tech but didn’t go to school there, “You can come visit our country club and we’ll take your money, but you’ll never be a member.”

I imagine none of this is new, and you can call me an oversensitive baby. I probably am. But if you’re wondering why Tech can’t fill up Bobby Dodd or grow its fan base, I think you have to consider it as one reason, however small.

It goes both ways. Some Georgia fans’ use of “nerd” as a pejorative is equally confounding and material for another blog.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

219 comments Add your comment

juvenal

November 23rd, 2011
11:27 am

good job, Ken!

DesignerJacket

November 23rd, 2011
11:28 am

There are plenty of Tech fans who didn’t go to college (I sit by a few non-alum season ticket holders) and they definitely have had to grow a thick skin to the anti-blue collar remarks. It’s sad that some of our alumni make it seem like anyone who didn’t go to Tech is an idiot. Some of those “idiots” love Tech dearly.

My family has plenty of Tech alumni and non-alumni Tech fans. That’s how it should work with D-1 teams. You’re free to like them because your family likes them or your grandaddy played for them or whatever…even if you’re not going to college or going somewhere without a football team. I would LOVE for the rest of the Tech students and alumni to get on board with that. The message should be more like “We love Tech. Come on with us and learn to love Tech too!”

fan of tripple option

November 23rd, 2011
11:32 am

regarding your last remarks – as a recent fan of GT due to Johnson I agree. Tech needs the fans from all walks of life but I often feel as though I am nothing more than a visitor even though I contribute to the Tech fund and buy season tickets. I am reminded of IPTAY. Clemson realized long ago they needed the so called sidewalk fan and now they’re stadium and game atmosphere is more akin to that of the SEC.

Paul in NH

November 23rd, 2011
11:33 am

Ken – Excellent post and you did the right thing calling out some people. I never understand the holier than though attitude of some alumni. When I lived in Charlotte I had season tickets and the couple next to me were rabid GT fans who never attended the Institute – I welcome “sidewalk fans”.

juvenal

November 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

basically, Ken, we have to cling to what we got from Tech on the academic side,the average fan is going to pull for the big schools-Duke, Vandy, the U all have attendance problems worse than ours-i like all the Dawg fans i know locally, but the people you meet can be a little rude because of the relative anonymity-& take it way too seriously….i actually did not even know colleges played sports when i went to Tech……

headley lamar

November 23rd, 2011
11:42 am

At the end of the 2005 season, an NCAA investigation found that eleven ineligible players had played for the Yellow Jackets between the 1998 and 2005 seasons.These players played while not making progress towards graduation on the NCAA-approved schedule. The football victories for that season were initially revoked, and Georgia Tech was put on two years of NCAA probation. Twelve football scholarships were stricken from Georgia Tech’s allotment for the 2006 and 2007 freshman classes.

ACC football graduation rates: Boston College 93, Duke 93, Miami 88, Wake Forest 81, Virginia Tech 79, North Carolina 75, Virginia 68, Clemson 62, Maryland 59, Florida State 56, N.C. State 56, Georgia Tech 55

Tech’s academics suck.

DesignerJacket

November 23rd, 2011
11:42 am

I think it has a lot to do with negativity in general. It’s just not that inviting for people when they see that Tech fans don’t seem like the happy SEC family fans. Those people will show up in team colors with a smile even when their team’s going to get blown out. Tech fans wouldn’t really do that, for the most part. Also, we really need to keep the Good Word thing to this week only. It’s just more negative attitude for people to be put off by when they visit a Tech game. It’s just a better idea in general to be all about Tech and when someone brings up another team just say “I don’t follow them, but I love my Yellow Jackets.” So much more winsome in the long run, and more pleasant than “Well, I went to Georgia Tech and we kind of hate that team you’re talking about.” Awkward. Not winsome. Not socially well-adjusted or pleasant.

These are things I’ve learned since meeting my wife at Tech and then marrying into a family with a longstanding GT legacy. They’re so much more polite about everything than the younger fans are. I think everyone needs to lighten up about football fandom and actually ENJOY the team you root for without focusing on a conference or another team or anything like that. The exception is this one week of the year when it is tradition to love Tech while also voicing hatred of Georgi[e].

bgdawg

November 23rd, 2011
11:43 am

as per usual, Saturday’s game will be close all the way up to the final plays then one team will make a great play(or the other one makes a horrible mistake ie. the missed tackles on roddy jones in 2008) to win the game. my bet is that UGA will come out on top 28-21

Cuz

November 23rd, 2011
11:49 am

One of my best friends makes his living as an engineer but did not go to Tech and only has a technical school education. He is a Tech fan. I went to Georgia. We get along and pull for each other’s teams when not playing. I personally do not understand the hate from either side. Both are state schools. I celebrated with him on the Clemson victory and commiserated on the VT loss.

Small, but vocal groups on both sides make the fan bases look like jerks. Pity.

I am hoping for a good clean game with no injuries and no refs deciding the game. May the best team win.

juvenal

November 23rd, 2011
11:50 am

cupcake, why do you think we got a new coach & AD? hooliganism & bad sportmanship are the new norm in $port$, look at the trouble fifa is having…

bgdawg

November 23rd, 2011
11:50 am

@ DesignerJacket – I see what you mean, but what would be the fun in football if you don’t build a rivalry with a team?? i just don’t think it would be enjoyable if i didn’t hate Florida, Auburn Tennessee and GT. i love my team with a passion, but i hate those teams even more! That’s what makes College Football fun man! it’s the rivalries that you bulid with other teams!

Burdell. George P.

November 23rd, 2011
11:51 am

During Tech-Uga week, emotions run high. I expect cordiality the other 51 weeks out of the year but not this week. Its time to get on with Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Let’s not water down the rivalry with an excess of politically correct protocol. Can’t we have just one week to ‘turn it up a notch?’

I have a lot of UGa buddies and I know how they feel and they know how I feel and neither of us is inclined to apologize for it in the week leading up to the game.

Now, let’s get it on!

headley lamar

November 23rd, 2011
11:52 am

If a UGA coach had said the same thing CPJ said Bradley and Schultz would both have written articles about the need to fire and or suspend him.

Some how the jerk CPJ can tell people to assault other people physically. Make fun of “retards” as CPJ sees them and basically gets away with it.

Meanwhile our coach has adopted disabled children from overseas and loves them and is a great father to them.

Ill take our guy every time.

PittJacket

November 23rd, 2011
11:53 am

I agree about the “Walmart” thing. I lived in Athens for 17 years, finished grad school at UGA and got a lot of ribbing. Heck, my pastor would mention it from the pulpit and smile at me. But get this . . . most Georgia grads realize Tech is a pretty elite institution, more highly respected in its fields than most of UGA’s (except a few schools like Journalism, Public Administration and Education). And some of them are proud that the State of Georgia has such a elite school, but they hate GT football.

I hate Georgia football. And I’ll admit that I used the superiority line more than once. My kids can go to school anywhere but UGA, just on football grounds.

That said, Tech’s main market is a big city that most people moved to in the last 30 years. And Tech is a relatively small school. If you want to fill a stadium, you have to get the folks new to town interested. Our elitism, which often makes us sound like Duke basketball fans, ain’t gonna draw them in.

DawginLex

November 23rd, 2011
11:59 am

The blog topic is about the run.

It was a great run and motivated Rashad to play the game of his life 1 year later.

Orwin Smith out Saturday=huge swing in Dawgs favor.

GT-UT

November 23rd, 2011
11:59 am

First of all, all schools have an alumni pride in their institution. It’s the way it is. You will find some holy ego everywhere you go. Don’t confuse a little pride in GT as sobbery. We are in a special situation as GT is not a full University as say Va Tech. We don’t offer basket weaving so to speak and it hurts our recruiting. We are also a more hard nosed working school; rarely sporting professional students as say Texas does. Yes, I can say that. The bootstrap aspect of GT culture needs to be told and may inspire more sidewalk attendance. What so you, Ken?

T3

November 23rd, 2011
12:00 pm

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW !!!!!!!

College roommate who’s lawyer in Virginia with professionla ties
to College Sports just pinged me a bombshell:

Mark Richt will announce he’s retiring as UGA Head Coach on or before next Monday.

c3033

November 23rd, 2011
12:00 pm

Let’s not kid ourselves anymore. There are GT people who work at Walmart. Michael T Duke is one. Check him out via Google…I think he is a cashier or something….

Ken, with regards to your post about Coach Johnson’s comments, I am sure that he would love to talk about football, to give praise and credit where due, etc. CMR and his players are fine people and they are playing a game against CPJ and his players, also fine people. Given the circumstances, I think I will give him a pass.

GTHD

November 23rd, 2011
12:03 pm

Toward Headley Lamar,
I am not exactly sure why you posted what you did considering the blog and the conversation to that point but you comment does point out the obvious. The football graduation rate, if you look at all sports Tech graduates a large percentage of its athletes. Now since I have looked anything up with a quotable source I can’t dispute you numbers but I am pretty sure Tech is not last in the ACC in graduation rate of football players. Also if you compare to other AQ conferences then the ACC is a pretty high standard anyway for academics. So saying Tech is the lowest of the highest isn’t exactly an insult.

carolinajacket

November 23rd, 2011
12:06 pm

Cuz makes sense and has always been fair to Tech folks. I think that I “live and die” with Tech sports as much as any one, but I’m not going to take cheap shots and make classless comments, like so many seem to enjoy doing. I will, however, take exception with some of the trolls who spew hatred and lies. Life is way too short to stoop to this level. Support your team 100%, but try to do it with a bit of class.

headley lamar

November 23rd, 2011
12:07 pm

I can’t dispute you numbers but I am pretty sure Tech is not last in the ACC in graduation rate of football players.

They are. And its not really close.

Also if you compare to other AQ conferences then the ACC is a pretty high standard anyway for academics. So saying Tech is the lowest of the highest isn’t exactly an insult.

It is. Stanford is a prestigious academic school. They graduate around 96 percent of their football players. Tech about 45.

macrotech

November 23rd, 2011
12:12 pm

Cuz, I continue to keep you and Bailey (I don’t think I’ve spelled her name correctly…sorry) in my prayers! Y’all are damn good dawgs!

DawginLex…I agree with your last post! Another damn good dawg!

Delbert D.

November 23rd, 2011
12:19 pm

I’m having to post this on multiple blogs to keep up with headley.

headley – Wrong again. AJC, June 10, 2011: “Georgia Tech does well in APR — updated with ACC’s excellence”

“The football team’s score increased for the third consecutive year, reaching 993, the fourth-highest score nationally and tops in the conference, according to the ACC. The team’s multi-year average of 967 is tied for the third-best score among ACC teams, behind Duke and Miami.”

GT Anchorage

November 23rd, 2011
12:20 pm

Headley, take a look at Georgia, they only graduated 57% percent in 2010. So by your logic, UGA’s academics suck.

doodoobailey

November 23rd, 2011
12:22 pm

@T3

That article is about a week late….your buddy is probably a bad lawyer.

He is aware of Brown v. Board of Education, right?

GT Anchorage

November 23rd, 2011
12:22 pm

Oh and take a look at UGA’s basketball rate…. 18% in 2010

George Stein

November 23rd, 2011
12:23 pm

Gimme a friggin’ break, headley. Our athletes have the highest SAT scores of any FBS school in the country. That they don’t graduate only proves we don’t hand out diplomas.

The fact is that we don’t fill the stadium for a hundred reasons and the folks that never attended Tech but root for Tech largely adopt the superiority. The stadium isn’t full because the demographics at the school aren’t the same as Georgia, our students come from and go to many different places, and our student body doesn’t run 50,000 deep.

Ultimately, Ken, most of know that Georgia fans are good people. But when we are subjected to idiots like headley or Cupcake or whatever name.he feels like going by that day and then compare ourselves to him, we can’t help but feel superior. Which way is east again?

juvenal

November 23rd, 2011
12:25 pm

it was a great run, hope we see some more…..turf toe is painful, we’ll have to see how tough O is…….

Cmon man

November 23rd, 2011
12:28 pm

@t3 quit trying so hard that rumor was addressed and put to bed on monday nice try though!

Spyro

November 23rd, 2011
12:29 pm

Is there really a dumbass trying to use graduation rates as a measure of academic excellence? You do know it doesn’t work that way, right?

Oh, wait, it’s Headley. Nevermind.

Mark Richt

November 23rd, 2011
12:36 pm

Don’t worry techies, I’m not going anywhere with my 9-1 record, ha!

Mark Richt

November 23rd, 2011
12:37 pm

Heck, now that I have a REAL D-coordinator, we may never lose to you guys again.

crackbaby

November 23rd, 2011
12:39 pm

Yawn…. See y’all on Saturday @ BDS.

Ken – seems like there should be more written about the QB matchup. Murray and Washington are pivotal to the outcome of the game and both teams depend on their leadership. Both Juniors, correct? just sayin’…

juvenal

November 23rd, 2011
12:39 pm

after seeing how few dookies show for home games, i don’t feel so bad-i’m not responsible for filling any seats but mine(they have all kinds of $$$,why don’t they just hire folks to go to the Duke football games?)

Jacket Man

November 23rd, 2011
12:41 pm

The CEO of Walmart is a GA Tech alum…

Jacket Man

November 23rd, 2011
12:42 pm

I think he qualifies as an employee, doesn’t he? Perhaps that’s why Paul Johnson apologized.

Dawglasville

November 23rd, 2011
12:47 pm

I heard Roddy Jones interviewed just before the season. What an impressive young man. He doesn’t need football. He will do just fine no matter career he chooses.

Tech Rules

November 23rd, 2011
12:49 pm

Headley,
What you don’t realize is that Tech’s graduation rate for the entire student body usually isn’t much better than for the football team.

Tech’s attitude toward the entire student body appears to be “We don’t care that almost everyone of you are in the top 5% of students. We’re going to flunk out close to half of you anyway.”

That’s why at Tech it’s not called “graduating”, it’s called “getting out”.

juvenal

November 23rd, 2011
12:50 pm

heather & SI both picking the dawgs……

carolinajacket

November 23rd, 2011
12:51 pm

Roddy is great. I’m just a bit disappointed that he didn’t get more opportunities the last couple of years. I wonder if it was somewhat due to the fact that he is such a good blocker. Anyway, I hope he has one more super game against the DAWGS.

Old gold and white in my veins

November 23rd, 2011
1:00 pm

Heather picks the dawgs, outstanding, we are in!!!!

GT-UT

November 23rd, 2011
1:09 pm

Ken,
Upon reflection, your 4th comment should not have been posted. It wreaks of PC “why can’t we all just get along” attitude and I will go so far as to say it boarderline offends me. To imply we should sport, taunt, or pick on our rival is absurd. We adults don’t need a some authority figure to dictate when that spirit crosses the line. We also can and do get along in the professional world. We are not responsible for how others abuse this rivalry.

SORRIEST EVER CONFERENCE

November 23rd, 2011
1:11 pm

Ploease Headley, tell me more about how great the SEC & UGA are.I’d rather mhear you spoutjing that crap all over the blog instead of constantly kicking Tech in the dirt. You sure you didn’t go to Tech cause you sure seem to know a lot about the history of Ga. Tech.

No way

November 23rd, 2011
1:11 pm

Mike Duke, CEO and a Tech alum, is also a Wal-Mart employee and is one of the Tech advisors. I doubt that Johnson meant to offend him.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 23rd, 2011
1:22 pm

Tech Rules…..LOL@ “getting out.” That’s what we called it when I as in school there too.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 23rd, 2011
1:24 pm

For all who are interested, headley didn’t GO to any school. He has a piece of paper from the Troy correspondence school. He has never disputed that fact, although he certainly lies about just about everything else.

railman311

November 23rd, 2011
1:24 pm

You got 2 more days to run your mouth as if Tech is an elite program, Then the Dawg D will shut it..G.A.T.A ……………

Delbert D.

November 23rd, 2011
1:25 pm

carolinajacket – Roddy Jones had by far the greatest production and number of carries among the A-backs in 2008. The A-back rotation wasn’t as deep, and there were some timing issues on the option toss with the less-experienced A-backs. Lucas Cox played A-back, then B-back, and in his last season a combination of both. Embry Peeples improved each year over the 4 years he has been here, and Orwin Smith is very talented. Tech has a pretty deep group at the position, and Jones is certainly a proficient blocker as well as a good running back.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 23rd, 2011
1:25 pm

I love what Roddy said about what the UGA fans say about his iconic run: “Georgia fans tend not to even acknowledge that it happened” Just like everything else they don’t like, they either ignore it or make excuses about it. RUN, RODDY, RUN!!!!

headley lamar.....

November 23rd, 2011
1:26 pm

Did you guys hear that tech had a convicted drug dealer on the team, Rueben Houston. He was arrested for distribution of pot and they let him back on the team. It’s true, Tech employs criminals. To be fair, I’ve only given you guys the facts that support my hatred for Tech, the rest of the facts do not so I leave those out. It’s kinda my thing, I’m known for cherry picking facts to support my own delusions. Occasionally, I’ll get something right, you’ll know it because I’ll beat that horse to death. I’m Headley Lamar and I am a gutless coward!!!!

Oh, and if I had only six months to live, I’d prefer CMR over CPJ to raise my children.