Grantham’s antics were over the line — it’s not even close

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Todd Grantham appears to be giving "choke" sign before Florida lines up for field goal attempt.

(Tuesday, 8 p.m.: This blog has been updated throughout, now that Georgia coach Mark Richt has confirmed that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham gave the choke sign and shouted something well south of the King’s English at Florida kicker Chas Henry Saturday. Just added: Grantham quotes)


This isn’t about football. This isn’t about how we’re just too politically correct, or about how some of us just aren’t tough enough, or how we’re all just picking on the poor Georgia Bulldogs because, you know, that’s just what the leftist, evil media does.

This is about right and wrong. A 44-year-old college coaching grabbing his throat multiple times and shouting, “You’re gonna [bleepin'] choke,” at the opponent’s 21-year-old kicker?

Folks, that’s wrong. It’s over the line. It’s not even a close call.

Todd Grantham shouting “Choke” at the opposing player doesn’t make him or his team any tougher or better. It just makes him look classless. The Georgia defensive coordinator owes everybody an apology, from the Bulldogs’ program to Florida kicker Chas Henry, the target of Grantham’s sideline antics in Jacksonville.

Dogs coach Mark Richt confirmed Tuesday what had become obvious Monday, when he was unavailable for comment. Grantham gave the choke sign to Henry multiple times and he was wrong for doing so. The picture above tells part of the story. The two videos below tell more of it. In short, Grantham — who can be a little on the excitable side, which in itself isn’t a bad thing — let his competitive spirit push him over the line of what’s right and wrong. He grabbed his throat four times while the Florida kicker lined up for a 37-yard field goal attempt in overtime.

Henry, a native of Dallas, Ga., acknowledged seeing and hearing Grantham but he made the kick anyway, giving the Gators a 34-31 win.

The above screen grab from the Florida sports cable network “Sun Sports” showed Grantham on the sideline. Below are two videos:

VIDEO No. 1: Here is Henry’s post-game interview with CBS when he references what he saw when he looked to the Georgia sideline during the timeout. Quote: “Some of their coaches on the sideline were giving me a little grief, saying I was gonna choke.”)

VIDEO No. 2: Here’s one view of Grantham going through his motions before the kick, via Sports by Brooks.)

It was at about 6:30 p.m. Monday night when Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun sent a note out on Twitter: “Just checked the CBS broadcast again. Todd Grantham grabs his neck and says ‘You’re gonna bleepin’ choke. You’re gonna choke’ to Henry.”

By then, it was clear that Richt had a mess to clean up, and for once it had nothing to do with his players and the Athens-Clarke County police department

As I wrote earlier, it would be understandable — even expected — that Grantham would think, “Choke!” or “Miss it!” in his head. It wouldn’t even be surprising if a Georgia player yelled, “Choke!” or grabbed his neck. But that’s not something  a college coach should be doing, and Richt acknowledged that.

Grantham himself expressed regret about the incident, saying after Tuesday’s practice: “As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment. I wish the situation hadn’t happened.”

Earlier in the day, Richt also referenced that “emotions run high,” adding: “People do things they probably wish they didn’t do. I think that was what was being communicated. I don’t think he’s necessarily proud of it. We’re just going to learn from it and move on.”

Not the first thing this year the Dogs are trying to learn from.

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

1,682 comments Add your comment

Hey jtdawg

November 1st, 2010
7:46 pm

Life called, and they’re not interested in you.

Bad Dawg, Bad Dawg

November 1st, 2010
7:47 pm

This is incredible. Where does it end with UGA. Off the field arrests, AD with a DUI and now this? The Dawgs are an embarrasment. The program is at an all time low.

Smart like a Fox

November 1st, 2010
7:48 pm

No Class Dawgs
November 1st, 2010
7:35 pm

College Football Expert and others have hit it on the head. There are many UGA fans that have NO CLASS. And you can see who some of them are by who has posted the apologist/joke comments on this thread offering up reasons for the gesture. Like someone said on another blog, UGA needs to go to Walmart and get some new fans. Some WITH CLASS, Only then can they talk about other schools’ lack of it. And if you want to talk about somebody else’s coach that is classless, talk first about Grantham. You Dawgs are not only delusional, you got NO CLASS !!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
I can’t add much to that…..he was a fan before he was a coach….= classless

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
7:48 pm

jtdawg,
No member of the loccal media is going to publicly call for the firing of the UGA staff. It would be career suicide. They may or not not think it, but they would never say it until after the decision had been announced.

joe

November 1st, 2010
7:48 pm

This is the most overblown nonsense I’ve ever seen in my life. Who cares if Grantham actually did it? It’s nothing. As far as I’m concerned, he could have walked out there and kicked the sh*t out of the kid as far as I’m concerned. The only good Gator is a beaten and bloodied one.

schultz is an idiot

November 1st, 2010
7:49 pm

Why are you so stupid schultz? Are you afraid he hurt someones feelings. If the 21 yr.old cant take it he needs to go home to mama.

Let's Talk About UGA!

November 1st, 2010
7:49 pm

When I was watching the South Carolina game, I saw Grantham doing the same thing. I found it funny because I thought he was talking about choking a chicken.

Thanks to all the well-wishers concerning the death of Uga VIII’s little white-trash cousin.
For those of you who don’t know, our half-bulldog, half chihuahua, was struck by a car while trick-or-treating — right there, in front of Mama’s trailer.

Anybody want a beer?

Go Dawgs!
Sic ‘em!
Woof! Woof! Woof!

crap sandwich

November 1st, 2010
7:50 pm

Loved it, you bleeding heart liberal

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
7:50 pm

Joe,
I’m sure the Dawg Nation is proud to have you as a representative.
Stay classy!

DILLIGAF

November 1st, 2010
7:50 pm

You fans of other teams that are on here don’t have a Dawg in the fight so buzz off, pun intended.
Seriously, “Sweatbee” gomers on here withe their pointless drivel, give me a break like you know anything about football, your team’s a joke and Gayturd fans, really, your team wona tough game, by a field goal in overtime. fact of the matter is, if UGA had played a clean game, hitting on all cylinders (I admit it seems like a grasp) but the potential IS there, we would have stomped your asses and you know it. Good win for you but you’re still not going to win the SEC.
Bama fans and Auburn fans (at the moment) have credibilty to talk smack, the rest of you need to STFU!

UGA/85′

Rational Dawg

November 1st, 2010
7:51 pm

Exterminator,
I realize that I am in the minority and old fashioned. I just wish we carried ourselves with class regardless of what other programs do. I’m not justifying the Duke fans but I don’t remember seeing Coach K give the choke sign. There’s nothing wrong with holding ourselves to a higher standard.(Another old fashioned concept)

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
7:53 pm

DILLIGAF,
We’ll talk all the smack we want. We have bragging rights for another 363 days! You have NONE!

45ACP

November 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

SO WHAT? What is the big freaking deal here? Slow news day I suppose.
What if he farted in their general direction??? Would that be a “news” story?

Cymbalta

November 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

If you didnt see it replay the tape to confirm. After the game is over they replay the kick. The spit follows.

It spoke volumes.

jtdawg

November 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

Hey jtdawg

November 1st, 2010
7:46 pm
Life called, and they’re not interested in you.

Wow, truly inspirational words coming from mom’s basement…. go back to World of Warcraft and leave the adults alone, please….

Grantham redux

November 1st, 2010
7:56 pm

Grantham is a totally classless jerk. He’s also a lousy coach.

jtdawg

November 1st, 2010
7:56 pm

Bad Dawg, Bad Dawg

It’s embarrassing for all of us. The program is veering off course and right now, there seems to be no driver at the wheel.

We’ll get to see how McGarity shapes this Department up, but I bet it won’t be this year, or next….

TheAntiMe

November 1st, 2010
7:57 pm

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears…

If a coach clutches his throat and no one chokes…

Hey 45ACP

November 1st, 2010
7:58 pm

No, the news would be if UGA had any CLASS !!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

DILLIGAF

November 1st, 2010
7:58 pm

Beast from the East:

“We’ll talk all the smack we want. We have bragging rights for another 363 days! You have NONE!”

This is true…. but you know it could have gone either way.

NC Dawg

November 1st, 2010
7:59 pm

I think that’s what our defense did…coincidentally. 31 points by Florida! If we had plopped down on those 2 fumbles instead of this “scoop and score” crap, we win the game…in regulation. Fall on the ball defense!!

joe

November 1st, 2010
8:00 pm

“Joe,
I’m sure the Dawg Nation is proud to have you as a representative.
Stay classy!”

Beast from the East, or whatever your stupid name is, keep crying like the pathetic little biatch you are. You’ll get no apologies or recognition from me. I’ve never met anyone associated with UF that was worth spitting on. Florida is an outhouse, stinking from top to bottom. To hell with every one of them.

For what it’s worth, we don’t need Gators talking about class. Our coach didn’t allow a player who threatened to kill a girl back on the team, no would he. Florida knows nothing about class. So spare.

Bean Counter

November 1st, 2010
8:00 pm

I’ve just started counting the UGA fans with no class. jtdawg and 45ACP makes 2.

The Evil Genius

November 1st, 2010
8:00 pm

Ddin’t look to me like it was the Florida kicker, who choked.

Cymbalta

November 1st, 2010
8:01 pm

This just in… Lane Kiffin is interested in Coaching Georgia.

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
8:01 pm

DILLIGAF,
Very true. Shame for either team to lose such a hard fought game. Especially the way UGA fought so hard to come back.

Bean Counter

November 1st, 2010
8:01 pm

Looks like joe makes 3.

45ACP

November 1st, 2010
8:01 pm

Hell I would fire him if he didn’t do it.
That poor boy will never be right again. Maybe 10 years of therapy will help that child.

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
8:02 pm

joe,
Once again, stay classy! I bet momma’s soooo proud.

Allen

November 1st, 2010
8:02 pm

This is yet another indicator of the overall lack of character in the GA program. It starts with Richt who seemingly is of high character but who recruits and now apparently hires people who lack decent character.

joe

November 1st, 2010
8:03 pm

“The program is veering off course and right now, there seems to be no driver at the wheel.”

None of that has a damn thing to do with Todd Grantham or him giving the choke signal, which amounts to absolutely nothing. Then again, I’d expect Florida a**wipes to cry about it. Funny they didn’t cry when Urban allow Rainey back on the team, and to play in this game.

Grantham is a childish punk

November 1st, 2010
8:04 pm

Plain and simple…… Life called and they ain’t interested in UGA football. Bring on basketball season.

Geesh – bunch of UGA football losers. At least there is hope for basketball –

Trivia – UGA will not have a winning regular season since when?

Bean Counter

November 1st, 2010
8:04 pm

joe, see my post @ 801 pm

joe

November 1st, 2010
8:05 pm

LOL! Keep crying Beast from the East.

woody hayes

November 1st, 2010
8:05 pm

Slow news day?

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
8:05 pm

joe,
There are many of us Gator fans that disagreed with Meyer’s decision to reinstate Rainey. That was his decision and he gets paid the big bucks to make them. He alone will have to live with the consequences if something else happens.
What does that have to do with the story?

jtdawg

November 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

Beast from the East

You are absolutely correct. Listening to talk radio this afternoon was the biggest joke of all. One station, which tends to treat the program with ‘kid’ gloves, ahem, ahem, even went through an extended stretch where only callers who supported Richt and staff completely were allowed on the air.

Funny, because last year when the DC debate raged on, the same personalities raged against callers for blaming players, the ‘kids’ of the program, equivalent to throwing them under the bus, yet they spent the entire afternoon doing just that to defend the staff, undoubtedly for fear of being locked out of Butts – Mehre for good.

Joke.

Shultz, props, at least has had the guts to call this program out when it’s needed

Those who think it’s classless to mock the seriousness with which a bunch of people are portraying this incident – please stop. This world is becoming too soft because people like you never want anyone to have their feelings hurt.

Puhleaze.

The worst anyone can call this immature. Move along. Stop coddling the world; in case you haven’t noticed – it’s done nothing to make it a better, easier place to live. In fact, it’s probably more vulnerable now than ever.

What’s next? Are we going to stop competition alltogether because someones feelings are going to get hurt?

Are you the people who want to kick fans out of football stadiums for booing players??

Laughable.

Vol4ever

November 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

I cant stand the dawgs or gators, BUT come on, what is the big deal, this PC crap is out of control BS. Who cares if he did the choke sign, is it going to kill the kid or something……………sheesh

joe

November 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

Have no interests in your posts dumbass.

Beast from the East

November 1st, 2010
8:07 pm

joe,
I’m not the one resorting to name-calling about an entire group of people. That would be you crying, I’m afraid.
One last time, stay classy and keep representing (embarassing) the Dawg Nation.

Let's Talk About UGA!

November 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

DawgNation,

Why is all this fuss being made about Coach Grantham? We need tough coaches!

Coach Richt, himself, said the difference between winning and losing boils down to fighting and not folding the tent.
I know. I was right there, in Mama’s trailer, when he said it on the Ford truck commercial.

Anybody want a beer?

Go Dawgs!
Sic ‘em!
Woof! Woof! Woof!

TheAntiMe

November 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

So are we to infer that Mark Richt running the UGA football program is the equivalent of Santa Claus being the head of the Mafia?

Silvestral

November 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

NOT surprising at all–wasn’t it 2007 that Richt sent his entire squad into the endzone for a dawg pile and had to apologie for unsportsman like conduct on national TV!! Though I do understand their frustration;\

Michael Corbitt

November 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

Who cares? Like someone has said before…. GET… A…. LIFE… If there is nothing better to write on, then the AJC and other media sources are in trouble.

45ACP

November 1st, 2010
8:11 pm

Mommy, Mommy, that man chocked his throat at me….bababababababababababa

DILLIGAF

November 1st, 2010
8:11 pm

To the ignorant poster (loser GT fan) that keeps changing names and posting “UGA, the cesspool of the south”, you’re annoying, anyone that’s knows the tradition of this fine university, has spent time on UGA’s campus, been to a game in Sanford stadium and spent time in Athens, GA. is not buying this so go sharpen your pencil and get off of mommy’s computer.

To those that are bashing this program and especially CMR, I can tell you one thing, if Chris Rainey had been a Bulldog and he committed that crime, he would have NEVER donned the red and black again.

Yet Meyer doesn’t kick him off of the team but brings him back him back, just in time to play in the one game that took the heat off of him. Win at all cost. I’d rather have integrity than be a dirtbag, I know, nice guys finish last, whatever.

UGA/85′

What recruit would want to play for us?

November 1st, 2010
8:11 pm

We have no integrity – We have no role models as coaches, we have 3x the arrests as we have wins this year.

Who have we beat this year? No One

joe

November 1st, 2010
8:12 pm

“I’m not the one resorting to name-calling about an entire group of people. That would be you crying, I’m afraid.”

Obviously you are, because Florida and the people associated with it are scum. Plain and simple. Sorry if the truth hurts.

Sorry, but I don’t represent the University of Georgia. I don’t work for them. I don’t speak for them. Nothing I say on her will amount to a hill of beans tomorrow, and it will be forgotten by Wednesday. You want a representative of UGA, call Greg McGarity, Mark Richt, or Michael Adams.

Oh no!

November 1st, 2010
8:12 pm

This just in: Grantham arrested for impersonating a coach.

ryan

November 1st, 2010
8:14 pm

Typical white trash Dawg. He is a great fit. His crappy Defense gives up 34 points to the 11th ranked offensive in the SEC and he is taunting a 21 year old kid. Haha, it sucks to be white trash and it sucks to be a Dawg.