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

xxx

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

bruce mac

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Yea Jeff, just before I line up to kick a field goal, I usually look over at the oppositions defensive coordinator to see what he is doing. Give me a break, whatever he was doing had nothing directly to do with the Florida kicker. Some people are just plain STUPID!!!!!!!

South Ga Dawg

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Granthams defense is only ones choking!!! What a waste of money. He has had plenty of time and has the athletes to make it work. pityful

dawg man

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Say what you want, dawg fans, this no class move by Grantham only reflects poorly on his character. But you guys quit caring about character a long time ago. Richt would play any punk if he thought he would help get a win, and apparently hired a punk DC as well. Sad that most of you don’t care. Oh well, maybe Grantham can get the team fired up enough to win the big Idaho State game and even run up the score. Even though they are probably the worst team in the country, after the big win, dog fans will be saying the dogs are “straightened out again”.

Jason

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Big deal! This is an instance where political correctness has ruined our country. So what if he was making the choke sign. He wasn’t threatening the kid. It is vastly different from making the troat slashing gesture. If Grantham shouldn’t be allowed to make the choke sign, then sports writers shouldn’t be allowed to use the “choke” analogy to describe the situation. There is no difference between making the gesture and writing about choking. The only difference would be in Grantham was instructing his players to choke someone.

I could care less about UGA, as I am a Tech alum. However, this is a big deal about nothing.

JB

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

This column reminds me of the airline commercial when somebody does something stupid and the next thing you see is that person in a airline seat and it’s say’s ” Want to get away” ???????
Way to go Schultz…….

UGA = Irrelevant

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Jeff, Really??? Why is that a big deal??

It wasn’t like the slash of a throat or say, calling time outs, late, when you have a big lead.

C’mon. Talk about much ado about nothing.

HBTD!!!

———————-

Or having your entire team run into the end zone after a 1st quarter TD.

JB

November 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

Damn Schultz, you know when Tech folks are jumping to his and our defense, you’ve stepped in it….LOL

npgator

November 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

He was giving that choke sign and I guess it didn’t work!

DawginLex

November 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

Or playing a player after a 5 game suspension who threatened an entire family and sent a text message of time to die b##@@ and having it where the suspension conveniently ends so the player can play against their biggest rival……………………

doggoneit

November 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

JEFF, I believe you just silently envy anyone who makes a lot of money.The same goes for Mark. We are not on your band wagon. Go ahead deny it.

What?

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

$750,000 a year for this jerk?

StraightJacket

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

Unbelievable. A 44 year-old COACH … acting like a kid.

A little “on the field” trash talk … by the PLAYERS ACTUALLY PLAYING … is expected as a psychological tactic in the nervous part of the game … AS LONG AS it is done “under the radar” so as not to draw attention to yourself … to get an unsportsmanlike penalty called by an official.

But a GROWN MAN … Coach …. LEADER … doing this? From OFF THE FIELD?

Sheesh. He may be 44 years old, but he’s less mature than my 11 year old.

tired of sport columnist

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

Don’t you have anything better to report on! He has passion for the game. More that can be said for the rest of the coaches.

dlagator

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

Typical Bulldog nonsense…Hey what about Meyer? Hey what about the player last year? What about the TO’s? What about the fact that you guys just got owned by a team that you are probably better than…Richt can’t hold Meyer’s jock when it comes to X’s and O’s!

ryan

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

This is why everyone hates the media just like what happened with Joe Miller .

JacksonvilleDawg

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

I think AJC has nothing else to say, this is ridiculous and stupid to even question this ! becauseGrantham hurt the feeling of the Gaytors!

ARdawg

November 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

It was a stuck pubic hair. He had it the whole game but it just happen to move at that point in the game. No biggie

Buford Sowega

November 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

If you clean up the audio, you hear him say “Time to die.” –no, wait…

DawginLex

November 1st, 2010
4:32 pm

Hey Jeff,

what are you going to call for next?

A boycott of all Will Ferrell movies because he got off the bus at College Gameday and gave the throat slash signal to the Oregon cheerleaders?

rincon dawg

November 1st, 2010
4:32 pm

Its irrelevant. Its not baseball or golf or tennis. You dont play or coach with manners. The only thing that matters is the W.

JB

November 1st, 2010
4:32 pm

Straightjacket……… Man boobs Johnson Calling a Tech play a MF’er doesn’t bother you. I’ve heard it !

In Shock

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Bout the only thing Funny from the game

Otis

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

I was at the game and Henry was running in front of the GA bench, after the kick doing the gator chomp. And Rainey was playing after when he should have been suspended or kicked off of the team. If Grantham was actually doing the choke sign. I say big whoop. Florida is a bunch of classless morons anyways.

Delbert D.

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

“Did Grantham give Florida kicker the ‘choke’ sign?”

Ask him. If he lies, Mark Richt will fire him.

Florida Gators are trash

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Doubt that Schultzy…. typical trash from you. I bet you believe it was ok that Urbie re-instated Rainey just in time to save UF from their first 4 game losing streak since the Junk 80’s? And of course, it was ok to call timeouts winning by 30 right? Oh, and I forgot to mention Mr. Sex Tape Thug LB from last year trying to handicap Washaun Ealey by gouging his eyes out….. talk about the picture of class in what the Gators are — go write about that in your diary

Quack, Quack!

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Dawgs have had quite a season of turmoil, the thugs getting arrested, the losses, and this immature gesture by a coach. Sounds like a leadership problem. Go Ducks!!

Lance

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Does anyone really give a Sh&t. Give me a break. Who cares.

Dawgie Poop

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

He just wishes they would have score on the INT so his defense didnt have to be embarrassed anymore

a georgia fan

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Schultz,Now you make me believe what others are saying about you. This is a non-story! Just stirring the pot. I am really disappointed in this reporting.You get your response quota, but not much else! I thought you were better than this! This is not even responsible reporting.UGA fans deserve better than this kind of cheap reporting.

Chas Henry

November 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Who cares, make all the choke signs you want. I still made the kick. And I’m a punter.

SECWasteManagement

November 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

Hate that I came into this one late but I think all the necessary comments have been made haha. If TG is catching flack for this, then I will be expecting phone calls from parents complaining about how their kid is using all the foul language they heard me using on Saturday.

26.2

November 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

I remember when Spurrier was Fla coach in the 90’s and he was asked about young QB Peyton Manning of Tenn. and Spurrier said ” Manning better get use to playing in the OutBack Bowl ” or something to that effect. Classy remark from a Heisman trophy winning player and 40 something SEC coach about a 19 year old kid.

rebeldawg

November 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

Just wasted 3 minutes of my day reading this article and typing my thoughts. Give me a break.

UGA = Irrelevant

November 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

Or playing a player after a 5 game suspension who threatened an entire family and sent a text message of time to die b##@@ and having it where the suspension conveniently ends so the player can play against their biggest rival……………………

——————————-

How many arrests has UGA had this year under Richt?

Rainey threatened an entire family? I thought it was just the 35 year-old groupie who’s been banging UF football players since Errict Rhett was a sophomore. Feel free to make more stuff up as you see fit….it will help ease the pain of choking job against the worst UF team in the past 21 years.

Waycross Dawg

November 1st, 2010
4:35 pm

You’re obviously working hard for that job at National Enquirer Jeff. Let me know if you need a recommendation.

JB

November 1st, 2010
4:35 pm

Marketing Dept. at AJC loving it……Rates going up as we speak

Paulitik

November 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

Man, the sports media is more and more like TMZ everyday.

Big Pipe

November 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

Grantham is a classless jerk, he fits UGA so perfectly.

Open Minded

November 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

Maybe he even yelled at him to miss the kick… oh that is so terrible… what could this possibley be teaching our little boys out there….
Schulz… you are a bit sensitive to be doing sports… maybe Arts and theatre are your gig!

PTC DAWG

November 1st, 2010
4:37 pm

Frankly, I was hoping he would choke too. We are too much of a “kittyfied” society if this bothers us. They are playing football.

UGA Fan

November 1st, 2010
4:37 pm

Really, I mean really! Is this all the media can come up with. Who gives a crap. It was an emotional game and at 21 years old he isn’t considered a kid anymore and if someone is offended by this especially after what Rainey said…. Ugh! Whatever!

Neverending

November 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

UGA has made the state a laughingstock with its reputation as one big party
school with copious job opportunities for bail bondsman, and decent people are fed up with this. Get rid of the illiterate, undisciplined drunks and felons that Mark Richt recruits, and get rid of Richt too. Even with these illiterate jerkoffs, he can’t even win the division, much less the SEC, so what’s the point.

And now there’s the embarrassment of Grantham.

The Cesspool of the South.

The Fulmer Cup.

It all goes together.

G

November 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

Slow news day… WHO CARES!!!

Ravon

November 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

You Georgia guys are laughable. When someone does something to UGA they should be fired…blah blah blah.

It was a low class move, but not suprising when it’s involving Georgia.

Might as well be low class when you can’t win games on the field. Bunch of losers.

Chas Henry

November 1st, 2010
4:39 pm

UGA had coaches on the sideline? Could have fooled me. Choke on that field goal Todd.

StraightJacket

November 1st, 2010
4:39 pm

Perhaps Grantham is doing something OTHER than a choke sign to the UF kicker, .. like:

(1) Telling UF they CHOKED the Fulmer Cup this past year. With some arrests in the final two weeks, UF could have been overtaken UGag for the 2010 Fulmer Cup, but while UGag arrests continued, UF “choked” and had to yield the prize to UGag.

(2) Maybe UGag’s QB, AERRANT MURPHYS-law, was on the FG block team, and Grantham was telling HIM he “choked” on the interception?

(3) Maybe UGag’s Running Back, Washedup Early, was on the FG block team, and Grantham was telling him NOT to “choke” and “fumble” the ball … should they block it?

(4) Maybe A.J. GREENbucks was on the FG block team, and Grantham’s sign was “If you choke this play, you ain’t gettin’ paid!” ???

Who knows? Just a monumental embarrassment, whatEVER he was doing ….

gdawginkalamazoo

November 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

Okay so we will have Grantham write Chaz’s mom a note apologizing for the gesture. Sh!t let’s get classy and all chip in and get him a Hallmark card. On us Coach Grantham. Keep the D fighting like hell out there.

UGA = Irrelevant

November 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

I wonder what bowl game UGA plays in this year…..

Danny G

November 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

Don’t make this a big deal Jeff. Every fan of the Bulldawgs was screaming choke and grabbing their throats. It is a natural reaction in the heat of the game. This team has enough problems without AJC trying to sell papers over nothing.

JB

November 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

What’s sad, Richt will hear about this article and “call him In”…….. I say Grantham is kicking himself for answering the phone, but he saw the writing on the wall in Dallas. That whole staff is toast and who does Jerry Jones want…..Ok, I won’t say it…………..But his initials are NS