Gator kicker has the right idea on choke flap: ‘It’s ridiculous’

Enough with all the manufactured outrage over Todd Grantham's sideline gesture. (Associated Press)

Enough with all the manufactured outrage over Todd Grantham's sideline gesture. (Associated Press)

There’s something you have to understand about the whole “Chokegate” thing. It’s a slow news week. Idaho State is coming to town and writing about that isn’t going to generate many page views.

A sports editor asked me the other day what I thought of the Todd Grantham choke-gesture flap.

“It’s a nonstory,” I said.

“Yeah,” he replied, “but it’s a great online story.”

Sort of like in the old days of newspapering, when journalists would draw a line between a real story and a tabloid story.

And so various bloggers and columnists in search of stirring up their online readers have expounded on sportsmanship and leadership. A couple of have seemingly gotten really outraged over Grantham’s gesture, writing thundering sermons saying he should have to apologize, be fined or, as one overheated Kentucky writer went so far as to suggest, lose his job.

Let’s be clear about this: It wasn’t Grantham’s finest moment. But it’s the kind of rivalry game where emotions run high, for coaches as well as players, and things are said and done that in polite society (which football isn’t) would be considered rude or immature. Like Urban Meyer gator-chomping toward Georgia fans after the game, for instance. I don’t know what Mark Richt said to Grantham, but a good response would have been, “Todd, let’s try to keep this on an adult level.”

Still, the bottom line, ironically, comes from Chas Henry, the game-winning Florida kicker who was the target of Grantham’s pre-kick taunt. Henry told the Palm Beach Post he took it as part of the game, just the same as Richt calling a timeout to try and “ice” the kicker — as coaches traditionally do. Henry’s response? He laughed and took his helmet off and blew a kiss to Grantham.

But Henry told the Post he does not think Grantham needs to apologize for anything.

“I’ve heard people, ‘He should have apologized.’” Henry said. “It’s in the middle of the game. It’s an intense game. It’s one of the most intense rivalries in college football. Stuff like that, it’s not even on the field. It has nothing to do with it. It’s just football.

“I think it’s ridiculous what people are trying to say that he should have to apologize for it or be fined or anything. He’s a great coach. I look at his record. It’s just an intense game.”

Enough said. Or, really, quite a bit more than enough.

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291 comments Add your comment

truthteller

November 4th, 2010
1:00 pm

freelemur is right. UGA really isn’t a premier program.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:00 pm

freelemur

It was a stupid thing that he did. I’m not on here saying that what he did was good. I’ve played ball in HS and College and people act as if this never goes on. Was it a stupid gesture on a coaches part? yes!, but way too much was made of it. Every Henry is laughing at it!

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:00 pm

Redneck Jawja fan, Do you see me defending any of these actions?
Follow the logic you fu**** idiot. Talking to g8rswinagn i said that death threats and bad sportsmanship are not comparable and you jumped in to defend him

Oh, I get it…Time to come out of the closet GT fan…It’s ok to admit it

g8rswinagn

November 4th, 2010
1:01 pm

tim..-I do understand the difference, and in none of my posts above was I defending Rainey, taking his side, or trying to minimize his stupidity. Beyond the legality of both issues, right is right and wrong is wrong. BOTH, were wrong. All I was pointing out is how quickly everyone (here) wanted to jump on the player for a rival team, but defend their own coach for an equally classless move. If you don’t see the similarities, and you think as long as it’s legal it’s a good classy move, then as you said “I can’t help you.”

freelemur

November 4th, 2010
1:01 pm

“timthebrave, kind of like you supporting Caleb King for his crap when he threatened to blackmail the girl who he owed money too. Maybe UGA fans should worry more about their program than others since you have led the SEC in arrests the last 5 years. Hey if you are happy with Richt, the rest of the SEC East certainly is.”

burn.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:02 pm

You nailed it timthebrave…. Closet GT fans

The Most Interesting Man Alive

November 4th, 2010
1:02 pm

As Andy Staples from CnnSI stated freelemur, The Georgia Fan Base is the most delusional in College Sports. Every year in their minds they are Preseason SEC Champs. If it wasn’t for the Vince Dooley G a y runningback they wouldnt have won in 1980.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:04 pm

Can’t we all just agree what Rainey and TG did was stupid. No one should have to defend them OR critize them. It’s done! It’s over! Let’s just move on.

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:05 pm

g8rswinagn, was it bad sportsmanship?…yes…I don’t have a problem with Meyer calling the timouts….was that also bad sportsmanship?…yes

I wouldn’t compare it to death threats and that’s all my post was about….

WE

November 4th, 2010
1:05 pm

The Most Interesting Man Alive

Spoken like a true geek from the Nerd Herd!

freelemur

November 4th, 2010
1:05 pm

Yeah i mean i dont begrudge them their 1 title… they got 1 great player and he carried them… without Percy and Tebow we dont win our most recent one. But for them to think they’re a “premier” program is laughable. They have a good regional program but thats it. They’re not elite or premier, they want to be.

ARdawg

November 4th, 2010
1:05 pm

freelemur

Yes, I would say Clemson is a premier program. Why is it you are beginning to sound more and more like a Tech fan? I wouldn’t say Clemson is of the stature of Georgia’s athletic program but, the is a substansial difference in size and revenue

The Most Interesting Man Alive

November 4th, 2010
1:05 pm

Absolutely DIT and while you are at it, throw in a Freshman 4-star Safety that Meyer booted off the team this week.

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:06 pm

freelemur, find any post where I defend caleb kings actions…keep looking…

Do you want to join the pro Rainey bandwagon?

truthteller

November 4th, 2010
1:07 pm

Could someone please explain to me how UGA is a premier program? Your last national championship will be celebrated this weekend and it was 30 years ago. You are on your 3rd head coach in the last 20 years and all of which have a combined 3 wins againt your most important and hated rival. The best prospects from your own state end up in places like Florida, Alabama, and Auburn. There is nothing about UGA right now that even remotely hints at being premier.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:08 pm

Let’s face it. Both prgrams have had things happen this year that we are all not too proud of.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

November 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

timthebrave, what Grantham did was not even stupid, it just happened to be caught on TV. That is why more and more coaches are banning the media from practice. Far worse stuff goes on in practice. As far as Rainey, what he texted is no different from half the crap that is mentioned in the Rap Music that those of their culture listen to. It was stupid to text it, but no one for a minute believed that he was actually threatening her to die. She even tried to get the COPs to not arrest him. Worry about your program. I bet if UGA had of won Saturday, that they would be wanting Rainey to play against Carolina in 2 weeks.

ARdawg

November 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

Funny how juvenile delinquency reeks in some posts

the_fat_one_in_red_on_the_right

November 4th, 2010
1:11 pm

Look, can’t we all just take pause in this back and forth nonsense, and get a double pounder or something? Losing makes me hungry.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:12 pm

truthteller
I absolutely agree. Right now UGA is not a premier program, but if you can honestly say for most of the 2000’s we were not considered an elite team, granted no NC, but the media sure did treat UGA like one from 2002-2007. As for now, I agree 100%! UGA is not a premier program. This year, neither is UF!

Derek

November 4th, 2010
1:13 pm

No one is defending TG just saying that the emotional reaction of anti-UGA writers like Schultz (Tony is not anti-UGA–just out on a limb on this one and usually very balanced), was out of line. I still want to know why Jeff and Mark do not have the ability to every put a positive spin on UGA. Yeah, we got problems…but there are many good things about program now and a very bright prospect for the future. Why does it seem Mark and Jeff want CMR fired? How does that benefit them? You know who I respect on this matter. Former UGA players who played under Richt. Almost to a person you get 100% support for CMR. Former players love Richt even Stafford and Moreno. Richt is a great coach and great man doing what he can with what he has. Only a foolish, short-sighted person would call for his head. He is probably the finest coach in UGA history. I love Dooley but CMR is head and shoulders over Dooley as a coach.

freelemur

November 4th, 2010
1:13 pm

HAHAHA AR, seriously, Clemson is a premier program?! haha ok well at least i now know you have a very loose definition of the word Premier.

truthteller

November 4th, 2010
1:15 pm

DIT
It takes more than one season to knock a team off of being premier and what you point out about ‘02-’07 was for the most part all pre-season hype. You never lived up to any of it and in your best seasons still couldn’t handle your hated rival in their bad/average seasons.

freelemur

November 4th, 2010
1:16 pm

“He is probably the finest coach in UGA history”
if he is, thats a sad statement.

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:17 pm

I hope they fire Richt and he comes to the Big Ten.

south eastern chumps

November 4th, 2010
1:17 pm

hypocrites all of you, if it were reversed you would be appalled, all of you

south eastern chumps

November 4th, 2010
1:18 pm

it is one thing a player does that to another player, but a grown man who also is the coach does that to an opponent’s 19/20 year old kid, shameful

g8rswinagn

November 4th, 2010
1:19 pm

timthebrave…I think we agree, just approaching it from different angles, and making different points. Perhaps Rainey wasn’t the best example to use, but you see what I was saying. As far as classless moves, I’m sure we could look back across the history of this game and find plenty on both sides of the ball. RE: the timeouts, my nephew’s middle school team was down in a game 50ish to 30ish with a few seconds on the clock and the opposing coach called a time out to stop the clock and get in another play from the 2 yd line. Of course, they scored. Yes, I made a point to stop by the bench on the way out of the stadium and congratulate the coach on the win and point out how classy it was for him to do that. Oddly enough, I think he though I was serious.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:20 pm

truthteller
I don’t understand? How can you say not living up to expectation? Went to 3 SEC CG’s. Won 2 out of 3. The last one we were suppose to get kicked by LSU, but kicked them instead. 2008 we did not live up to expectations. That’s why I left that year out! UGA finished in the top 10 those years. Yes, not NC, but pre-season hype. I don’t agree for those years mentioned above.

McDawg

November 4th, 2010
1:21 pm

if he took off his helmet…..

Typical Gator Fan

November 4th, 2010
1:21 pm

Why do I continue to troll UGA blogs to add my 2 cents? I’m such a loser.

countdawgula

November 4th, 2010
1:21 pm

Personally, I think it shows how classless Urban Meyer is for letting all of his players run into the endzone and celebrate after that Hill guy ran the interception back for the apparent TD! No way would our coaches pull some bs stunt like that. They should have gotten a penalty!

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:22 pm

freelemur, How many teams do you consider premier? Ga is top 10 in wins over the last 10 years. I think around number 6 or 7. This year we are mediocre just like FL

McDawg

November 4th, 2010
1:23 pm

the most classless move still has to be the Auburn game when they turned on the sprinkler system and hosed down the UGA fans

g8rswinagn

November 4th, 2010
1:23 pm

timthebrave…since you seem to actually put together a coherent thought, unlike many that post, explain to me the whole jort thing. How is it that when a UGA fan wants to insult a UF fan, the first thing to come out is jorts and haircuts, both of which cross well over the team affiliation?

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:25 pm

McDawg
I remember that game well. As a Dawg that did stink, but I look back at it now and have to laugh.

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:26 pm

g8rswinagn, it is because since they cannot win on the field, they like to point out what they think is classless dress. Never mind that many of the fat people in overalls also are UGA fans.

McDawg

November 4th, 2010
1:26 pm

UGA upsets the war eagles/tigers/plainsmen or whatever the hell they call themseleves

McDawg

November 4th, 2010
1:28 pm

looking back on it-it was pretty funny

Typical UGA Fan

November 4th, 2010
1:28 pm

g8rswinagn, please troll the Orlando Sentinel, Gainesville Sun and the St. Pete times and leave the UGA blog alone. Nobody needs to read Gator drivel under EVERY article.

truthteller

November 4th, 2010
1:29 pm

DIT
Well now I’m confused, you backed into an SEC championship in ‘05 and upset a lame duck LSU team. ‘02 you have your best team in 20 years and still can’t beat an avg FL team. ‘03 you really did nothing. ‘04 nothing significant. ‘06 what did you accomplish? ‘07 great finish but still no championship. Yes, all that makes you really premier those years.

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:30 pm

Typical UGA Fan

It bothers you because you are as Rainey says, our bit$h

doggit

November 4th, 2010
1:31 pm

can’t agree more – non story on a slow news week – let’s move on please

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:32 pm

truthteller
We are not getting anywhere. We see it differently that’s all. Let’s just agree to disagree!

gatorman770

November 4th, 2010
1:33 pm

The idiots complaining about Grantham choke sign are probably also really upset with the Conservative’s landslide wins on November 2 and just wish they could figure out some way to bring race into the non-issue!

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:33 pm

g8rswinagn, the jort/mullet is just talking trash that comes with a rivalry. It’s funny because it’s true

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:34 pm

Goot one Gatorman.

DIT

November 4th, 2010
1:34 pm

gatorman770

Good One!

Vick=Dog killing Thug

November 4th, 2010
1:35 pm

Can’t we all just agree to hate GT and get along ?

Typical UGA Fan

November 4th, 2010
1:36 pm

No Ron, I can deal with a loss and I can deal with the fact Urban Meyer has no ethics or morals I’m fine with all that. It’s just that I come here to get away from all the mouth breathing Gator rhetoric that is under every other article here on the AJC. That’s all. Thank you for your concern, figured you’d be pretty busy get the Fightin Zookers ready for Saturday, guess not.