Countdown’s trouble spots: Milledgeville and Remerton?

The Count didn't club with Mr. Haney.

The Count didn't club with Mr. Haney.

Back in the day, The Count could swing. Oohhh, yeahhh. New York. L.A. Miami Beach. Milledgeville. Wait. Milledgeville? Remerton? Has Buckhead slid that far off the radar? See, that’s the problem today. People used to go to cowtowns to escape their problems. Now, Green Acres really is the place to be! (Kids, ask your parents.) Ben Roethlisberger can’t stay sober in Milledgeville, or anywhere close to the right end of the evolutionary scale. Zach Mettenberger — soon-to-be formerly of Georgia — found a way to get into trouble in Remerton, which is surrounded by Valdosta, which is surrounded by nothingness. Mettenberger found so much trouble in Remerton that Mark Richt kicked him off the football team. The problem when things like this happen is the nation’s media, and sub-media, descend on these outposts and make the locals look like yahoos. Which sometimes isn’t difficult. Take Richard Bentley. He sells insurance in Milledgeville. He’s also the mayor. He spoke to TMZ. Oops. Hello, we are back. And we count down . . .

10. The Mayor Of Milledgeville Said What???

screengrabSo I went to TMZ.com, which has become an unfortunate habit of mine that I can’t break, much like picking bellybutton lint, and I found this screaming headline: “Mayor: Big Ben Case is Great for Tourism!” The item reads, in part: “[Bentley] told us he hopes the incident will draw new visitors to the college town, saying, ‘Anything that can draw interest to our town and make people want to visit, we would like.’” And this: “The mayor acknowledged the unfortunate circumstances of his town’s new found fame, but added ‘If it peaks [sic] people’s interest about our city, we would certainly welcome them here.’” The Count hates this. Now he has to be a journalist and stuff. Ugh. Where’s my phone?

9. You one of them big city reporters?

This is the mayor of Milledgeville. He'll talk health, life, homeowners, but not TMZ.

This is the mayor of Milledgeville. He'll talk health, life, homeowners, but not TMZ.

Yes, The Count called the City of Milledgeville. It rings to a payphone in the General Store. (Thank you. I’m here all week.) A guy answers. I asked to speak to the spokesperson for the mayor. The guy says, and I’m not making this up: “He’s his own spokesperson. Here’s his number.” It turns out to be a number for the Wilkinson Insurance Agency. Did you know they can insure you for everything except the media? Somebody puts me through to Bentley (probably the next desk over). He seems like a nice enough guy. “I hadn’t really heard of TMZ,” he says. “Have you?” And then he asks me what I think of them. “Well, they’ve pretty much kicked everybody’s butt on Tiger Woods, so I guess I’m kind of split on them,” I say. There’s a slight pause on the phone. Then the mayor says, “Yeah, I can see your point.” I think I like this guy. But about those quotes:  He wouldn’t say much, but he was eager to email me a press release, which said: “The posted headline and brief article not only falsely indicated that I made such a statement, but it took the statements that I did make completely out of context.” Follow up question: So what exactly was it that you said? Answer: “I’d rather not say anything else beyond the press release.” By the way, TMZ stands behind its version of the truth. On a related note, Mr. Haney was seen stumbling out of the “Velvet Elvis,” this week, after shouting, “Drink my shots, bi*****!”

8. As we wait for the hammer to come down …

So here's my question: When these two go out, which one is the wing man?

When these two go out, which one is the wing man?

bigbenjerkey

Expect Roethlisberger to get suspended. The Count guesses: six games that can be reduced to two if he’s a good boy and probably grovels a lot. But Big Butthead already has suffered a crushing blow: PLB Sports, “Your Premier Source For Athlete Endorsed Quality Food Products,” has taken, “Big Ben’s Beef Jerky” off the shelves. Don’t know why. Seems to me “Jerky” has taken on a whole new context now and the product might be more marketable than ever. For what it’s worth: This company has some of the strangest products on the market, including: “[Dustin] Pedroia’s Premium Salsa”; “[Ed]McCaffrey’s Rocky Mountain Mustard” and Terrell Owens’ “T.O.’s Cereral.” Not sure what the beef jerky catastrophe will do to PLB’s stock price.

7. Economy, unemployment, education . . . Skoal?

OK. So Lenny Dykstra was a pig. But I still can't back Congress on this one.

OK. So Lenny Dykstra was a pig. But I still can't back Congress on this one.

The Count doesn’t dip. The Count thinks smokeless tobacco is the dumbest habit on earth, even dumber than smoking because at least smokers don’t feel the need to drool every seven seconds. The government considered banning smokeless tobacco in the past. But it feared half the residents of West Virginia might get bored move to another state to look for another hobby. So it was kept legal. But now this: The U.S. Congress is pressuring baseball to ban smokeless tobacco. OK, I got the whole steroids thing. But that involved illegal prescription drugs, lying doctors, underground networks and, oh yeah, 16-year-olds having their hearts blow up. But Skoal? Seriously? Congress wants baseball to ban Skoal?

6. Clearly we don’t have enough problems

zingersCan somebody find something for our Congress to do? History wasn’t my best subject. But if there was a chapter in which our Founding Fathers said, “We shall form a group of lawmakers, who will be voted into office, so that they may pass laws to help prevent gum disease among leadoff hitters,” I missed it. Ban smokeless tobacco? How about coffee? Pringles? Raspberry Zingers? None of those are good for you, either, and they’re all available over-the-counter. Said California Congressman Henry Waxman: “We don’t let baseball players go stand out there in the field and drink beer. Major League Baseball won’t allow them to step on the field and smoke cigarettes. So why should they be out there on the field — in sight of all their fans on television and at the ballpark — using smokeless tobacco?” Dude, it’s kind of hard to play while holding a beer. I know. I’ve tried. And if you were really serious about things like alcohol consumption, let’s see you push baseball to ban beer ads and sales. What’s that? Is that crickets I hear?

5. It looks like somebody’s not going away

This was James after she had her heart broken (wink wink, nudge nudge) by Tiger. She is flanked by Cruella de Allred.

A tearful James after she had her heart broken (yeah), flanked by Cruella de Allred.

Remember back when alleged Tiger mistress Joslyn James danced (go with it) at the Pink Pony strip club the same week as the Masters in Augusta? Well, turns out this may be a trend for the porn actress. After Woods announced he would play his next tournament at the Quail Hollow championship in Charlotte next week, James announced she would be disrobing at the “Uptown Cabaret” downtown. I’m not sure how long James plans on following Woods. But at some point, she’s going to need more Play-Doh and flotation devices to hold herself together on the PGA Tour. The good news: Assuming Woods is in the British Open, there would be a certain symmetry to him playing, “The Old Course.”

4. Come forth, Joshua, come forth

Three years into his Georgia Tech career, quarterback Josh Nesbitt says he now wants to be known as Joshua. I believe the original Josh made the same request just before Moses handed off to him. So what the heck.

3. Maybe if Earnhardt just drove to the Oyster Shack

1-anna-kournikova

This was Anna Kournikova just before she walked onto the court at Wimbledon.

Several weeks ago, I took some shots at possibly the most overpaid and underachieving athlete in sports today, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who managed to win the pole position for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway but not then lead the race for even one lap. Well, in the interest of fairness (The Count is giving balance) a shot this week, we have this update: After failing to lead a lap for six straight Sprint Cup races, Earnhardt actually led for 46 laps this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway (and, no, it wasn’t qualifying). Of course, he only finished eighth, which doesn’t quite seem commensurate with his $30 million annual earnings  (salary, purses, endorsements, licensing fees). And to think: We made Anna Kournikova jokes. But fear not: I searched high and low for a driver less productive than Earnhardt, and I think I found one. Say hello to “Steve”:

2.  LPGA player takes on that ‘reputation’ of tour players

Abbott and Costello: That's Christina Kim on the left, with Michelle Wie.

Abbott and Costello: That's Christina Kim on the left, with Michelle Wie.

Christina Kim, an LPGA player, has written a book called, “Swinging From My Heels.” OK, get your mind out of the sand trap. Among the topics she addresses is the LPGA’s reputation of being comprised predominately of lesbian players. An excerpt:

“Contrary to what many people think, we are not the Lesbians Playing Golf Association. By my count there are no more than two dozen gay women playing the tour right now. Considering there are 230 active members, you’re only talking about 10 percent of the players, which from everything I’ve read is in line with the population as a whole. I understand that thanks to Howard Stern and Internet porn many guys are keenly interested in girl-on-girl action, but to every player I know the issue is just not that big a deal. There are no super-freaky homophobes out here or militant man-haters. “

I just have one question. How does Kim know there’s only “two dozen gay women on tour”? Did she conduct a survey?

1. Downtown Atlanta: The quiet part of Georgia.

The Count is off  to the Hawks game tonight. Shouldn’t be hard to stay out of trouble. It’s only Fulton County.

EARLIER TODAY

You’re on the clock with the Falcons (and why not Thomas)?

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

105 comments Add your comment

DW

April 20th, 2010
11:04 am

MatthewH

April 20th, 2010
11:08 am

I don’t think Earnhardt drove at Texas Stadium. Wasn’t it Texas Motor Speedway? Otherwise, a fine countdown, but you do seem rusty.

say it ain't so Tiger

April 20th, 2010
11:11 am

which one of those two in the picture is James?

Slinger

April 20th, 2010
11:15 am

Let’s all go to the Oyster Shack….

mr33

April 20th, 2010
11:16 am

Great count Jeff….the lawnmower man was hilarious. Tiger and Ben the jerky boy…Christina Kim in that red shirt……Good Stuff!

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

April 20th, 2010
11:18 am

In defense of the mayor of milledgeville wasn’t that the town that was known for having a bunch of mental facilities at one time , I know it had a few pscyciatric prisons over the years .

Matt

April 20th, 2010
11:18 am

Yeah, good one Christina Kim and Ms. Wie, just what the LPGA needs… MORE GANGSTER types on the golf course. (However, now that I think about it, with their current dismal TV ratings, reduced prize money and reduced schedule, could’nt hurt)

Matt Winkeljohn

April 20th, 2010
11:19 am

Steve knows his rights.

Blackberry Cobbler

April 20th, 2010
11:20 am

JS– So Valdosta is “surrounded by nothingness”, huh? The only nothingness I see is that ignorant space between your ears. What a moron and jackass you are.

Worm

April 20th, 2010
11:25 am

Tiger, Ben, Michelle and Christina in a Scotch Foursome!

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 20th, 2010
11:28 am

The “bigger’ question for Kim. How does she swing a golf club and get any follow through?

UglyOldDog

April 20th, 2010
11:33 am

If Richt was gonna boot the kid, why did he wait a month and force the kid to go through spring training? That’s the question I want answered.
As for pay phones in Hooterville..no I mean Milledgeville…you must have rung the Pool Hall’s number!

Mike Jay

April 20th, 2010
11:33 am

If those two played in those outfits I might just watch golf.

They are of legal age right?

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

April 20th, 2010
11:39 am

Easy there, Walker, Texas Ranger. Ben Wright got fired for that sort of comment. :-)

The return of the Count. I like it. You know Tiger will have the itch to visit Ms. James again now that it looks like splitsville with Elin. Perhaps that why she is following him around.

Bob Didier caught here

April 20th, 2010
11:40 am

Welcome back Count!

My oh my but you flew back in with a bang! Loved #8…….guess there is no truth to the rumour about a new product hitting the market called “Big Tiger’s bag of Endamane”…..as far as wingman is concerned I would take that part!

dean

April 20th, 2010
11:47 am

Having a kid who graduated from GA College and State in Milledgeville, I really, really miss Saturday night dinners at The Brick.

droopydawg

April 20th, 2010
12:04 pm

Valdosta is surrounded by nothingness. Not sure how you can argue with that.

Count von Count

April 20th, 2010
12:05 pm

I am greatly enjoying the counting!

droopydawg

April 20th, 2010
12:05 pm

And, yes, the psychiatric hospital is in Milledgeville.

smokemonster

April 20th, 2010
12:15 pm

watch me tonight on LOST.

Carl Spackler

April 20th, 2010
12:18 pm

re: mlb. smokeless tobacco and Waxman; interesting how he said “We don’t allow players to drink a beer in the field…” what do you mean “we”? MLB, as part of its rules/by-laws does not permit players to drink beer. imagine that? a professional baseball league drafting and enforcing its own BASEBALL rules, without the help of the Federal Government. but mlb is certainly OK with beer sinage and advertising “on the field” (stadium).

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

April 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

What does AJC management think about the language on that clip?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

April 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

great stuff JS- love the guy getting tased. we’ve missed the count over the past month. must say the mayor’s picture looks very creepy.

AlternateReality

April 20th, 2010
12:22 pm

Gotta agree with Cobbler, everybody knows that Valdosta is surrounded by swamp on two sides and by ’smoke fog’ on the other two.

Mike Jay

April 20th, 2010
12:30 pm

Where is this said Oyster Shack and how long will it take me to get there on my mower? I need to know how much beer to pack for the trip.

russ lumpkin

April 20th, 2010
12:33 pm

your little jabs at Milledgeville and West Virginia are not near as comical as you think they are and point to the fact that you couldn’t put a column together if you didn’t have freedom to make simple-minded insults.

thunderbull56

April 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

Biesball has been very, very guuud to me.

AJC Management

April 20th, 2010
12:43 pm

We effin endorse the gawddamm language on this frickin video. What’s your effin probelm?

wesleywhatwhat

April 20th, 2010
12:45 pm

“i know my rights…..i think i crapped my pants!!!”

lol. typical tea bagger. priceless.

Scoots

April 20th, 2010
12:51 pm

I know my rights!

Atlanta 1

April 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

Ben Roethlisberger – well, one accusation is one thing. But three is a different story. He has proven himself to be a scumbag… Wish he would leave the state and ‘never’ come back. We have plenty of ‘home grown’ abusers, we do not need them from another state.

BugKiller

April 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

So, does Ms. Kim like playing with steel-shafted, big -headed… drivers?

LOL.

Seriously though, baby got FRONT!!!

Paddy

April 20th, 2010
1:06 pm

Believe the Nervous Hospital in Milledgeville is considering closing its doors soon. And those are some great photographs today!

Bullwinkle

April 20th, 2010
1:12 pm

Well, Schultzie, you have managed to offend those of us who live in the “nothingness” around Valdosta. I wouldn’t have minded if you had said that the nothingness was 10 miles south of Valdosta, because that’s Florida. But to dis a part of your own state? That’s low man. We’re more high class than you think. We pull for the Braves, Hawks, Falcons, and even the Thrashers. And more for the Dawgs than for Tech. We’ve even got the internet down here. And we can read, too. It just ain’t right.

Pluto

April 20th, 2010
1:14 pm

Move the Capital back to Millegeville.

bubba in fl

April 20th, 2010
1:18 pm

You know its bad when you go to jail for riding your deer to the Oyster Shack in the afternoon. That must be one lonely, bored policeman.

That said, the Count brought his A fangs this week!

Edgar Allen Podunk

April 20th, 2010
1:19 pm

Wow.

What a surprise.

One of the AJC’s resident lefties taking a few cheap shots at a bunch of rubes who are obviously too slow-witted to make it in the big city.

Seriously, Mr. Schultz, I must salute you for having the courage to call out a such a powerful and influential group of people for committing the grave offense of not being up to your social and economic standards. Why, I bet “those people” can’t even tell you the price of arugala!

Of course, if, say, Rush Limbaugh, had made similar comments about an “African-American” community, you and the rest of the guilt-ridden white liberals that populate the media would be filled with self-righteous indignation while demanding consequences and repercussions.

In the meantime, Mr. Schultz, may I suggest that you engage in vigorous sexual intercourse with your own person?

BTW, isn’t wesleywhatwhat a convicted child molester?

History WAS my favorite subject

April 20th, 2010
1:19 pm

Good article Jeff,

Did you know that Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia before Atlanta ?

I’m sure they teach such important historical facts in California.

JSS

April 20th, 2010
1:26 pm

Jeff Schultz…
You know I never find your attempts at humor funny; but write this down, on April 20, 2010, that cat getting tasered on a riding lawnmower had everyone in the waiting room of the Doctors office HOWLING in shame! Oh avoid driving through Greene, Oconee, Baldwin, Taliferro and Hancock counties, they’ve posted pics!

JSS

April 20th, 2010
1:29 pm

“Hey…. Hey turn that lawn mower off!” “I just got this!” “I know my rights!”

Dagny

April 20th, 2010
1:29 pm

No blanket condemnations here, but about 50% of the posts from UGA fans here are almost certainly from people who:

1. Are male.
2. Never sat in a college classroom.
3. Most likely live in a single wide and collect food stamps.
4. Have been unemployed for at least six months.
5. Have IQ less than 90.
6. Spend more of their grocery budget on beer than food.
7. Primary vocabulary word is “Whut?”
8. Really believe that UGA will win the SEC again.
9. Think that Mark Right is a good coach who will return them to the “glory days.”
10. Hate it that Tech alums are more intelligent, have better jobs, and live in nice houses.

Deputy Fife (after putting Steve in the patrol car)

April 20th, 2010
1:33 pm

Yes, Steve, I’m pretty sure now that you did “mess your pants!”

Terry

April 20th, 2010
1:36 pm

Buy shares of Coin and double your $$$!!

Law and Disorder

April 20th, 2010
1:36 pm

Is the Oyster Shack on Cynthia McKinney Parkway ?

Clay

April 20th, 2010
1:44 pm

Actually, Jeff, it’s the inside of wesleywhatwhat’s (12:45) skull that is “surrounded by nothingness.”

El Bravo

April 20th, 2010
1:48 pm

Boy, watching Steve do his thing never gets old… viva the Oyster Shack!!!

Clay

April 20th, 2010
1:50 pm

Dagny, you condenscending punk, go pop your zits . . .

azcat225

April 20th, 2010
1:50 pm

All is right with the world for the moment—The Count is back, baby!!

I would caddy for either Ms. Kim or Ms. Wie any ol’ day of the week, 36 holes on Sunday.

Blackberry Cobbler, russ lumpkin, and Edgar Allen Podunk: charter members of the “Cob up the Keister” Club.

Doonie

April 20th, 2010
2:03 pm

Enough is enough. I live in Milledgeville and I know the Mayor personally and have spoken to him myself about this. Anyone who knows this man knows he would never, never, never say something like this. His remarks were taken totally out of context. Why would any intelligent person believe TMZ or Perez Hilton?
Milledgeville did not ask for this attention. It happens to be a very beautiful, historic town with articulate, well educated people that live here. We have been unfairly portrayed by the liberal media, mostly who have never set foot in our County. Our concern from the get go has been and continues to be the student that was attached.
Our Community wants to focus its attention on job recruitment and more positive things. Turn your attention elsewhere. I truly am ashamed that the AJC would quote such a rag as TMZ or P. Hilton. Thought you held yourselves to a higher standard. For all the people that believe this nonsense get a life.

meh

April 20th, 2010
2:03 pm

10-8. bunch of idiots
7. they’re grown frickin men. let em dip.
6. congress is a bunch of idiots
5. who cares
4. there is no 4
3. anna kournikova is frickin hot
2. looks like her knockers would get in the way of her swing
1. Go Hawks!