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

McDawg

November 4th, 2010
1:36 pm

Actually race is brought up quite often on these blogs–THUG

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:37 pm

Ron Zook….Would you be ok if he texted that to your sister?

You can all join the Chris Rainey fan club
You can register at http://www.ilovemullets.com
If you get over 500 to join Chris Rainey will personally send time to die bi** to your mother or any other female you hate

Chris Rainey

November 4th, 2010
1:39 pm

The Gators treated the Dawgs just like I do white women rudely. By the way they both love it.

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:39 pm

Typical UGA Fan, yea but I wish I was back in the SEC East so at least I would be assured of one beatdown a year. By the way, I was an assistant to Spurrier when he “hung half a hundred” on the Humpers in Athens.

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:41 pm

No timmy, my sister wouldn’t date a thug like him or Caleb King.

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:42 pm

Ron Zook, everyone knows you are a GT fan…No self respecting FLA fan would have Ron Zook as their name.

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:43 pm

It doesn’t matter, I was 2-1 against the holy one.

JaxDawg05

November 4th, 2010
1:49 pm

This “nonstory” is getting almost as many comments as the original story.

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:50 pm

Ron Zook, Why don’t you represent your real team and find out what your record is against the “holy one”…No FLA fan would have their name as Ron Zook…They ran that guy out of town. Even when my team loses I still represent UGA. I graduated from there and will be a fan no matter what. Go dawgs!

Chris Rainey

November 4th, 2010
1:53 pm

Grantham…………… Its time to die!!!

Ron Zook

November 4th, 2010
1:54 pm

timthebrave it is a good thing that Foley isnt the AD at U G A Y, he would already have fired the holy one.

ga gator

November 4th, 2010
1:55 pm

Great non story Bill. Get over it already, Grantham did nothing wrong.

Dan Mullen

November 4th, 2010
1:55 pm

When is McGarity going to call me to clean up this mess you guys have going on in Athens? Maybe after UGA loses to Auburn and Georgia Tech my phone will be ringing.

stevo

November 4th, 2010
1:55 pm

Eric Zier to Shannon Mitchell…As I recall, I think he had about 14 catches that game. Now that was a heartbreaking loss. One of the best Ga Fl games in my mind.

timthebrave

November 4th, 2010
1:57 pm

Ron Zook, Why won’t you answer me?……hmmm….
Who is your real team?

Rodney King

November 4th, 2010
1:57 pm

Can’t we all just get along?????

egeagle

November 4th, 2010
1:58 pm

Leave it to the Yellowtors or Gackets to chime on and on. Only at Georgia do players get such attention from a paper.AJC has Steve Hummer of Fla as an editor. Schultz has always hated georgia and Georgians in general. See Bradley’s last line of his “Tech” article today? TB is a UGA grad, but he’s had man-love for Spurrier and even Meyer for a long time.I’d like to know what VD did to him as a writer for the R&B many years ago.The post about hits was spot-on. That’s all it is about

Mark Richt

November 4th, 2010
1:59 pm

Come on Randy Shannon I know you can lose the rest of your games!!! If you hurry up and lose, and I keep losing at thUGA then they will fire me and Miamia will fire you then I can finally take over Miami and bring back the U !!! This is going to be SWEET !!!

simplythetruth

November 4th, 2010
2:00 pm

Georgia vs Florida… The rivalry continues… gotta love it…..this is why college football is far more interesting than pro football in my opinion…. this blog starts off with a non story and then progresses to a debate on what constitutes a premier football team….. better than watching Obama whine after getting his ass shellacked…. Go Dawgs…Go Gators….

Miami Hurricanes

November 4th, 2010
2:01 pm

We don’t want Mark Richt here at the U, he ain’t thugged out enought for us.

Cuz

November 4th, 2010
2:01 pm

Look Chas had the last laugh, the goat became the hero of the day. If he thinks it is nothing then it is nothing.

I find it a little ridicoulous a coach would do it but I am more than sure that thousands of Dawg fans were doing it before the kick. He should have just texted Chas.

Cuz

November 4th, 2010
2:02 pm

Coach Mullen, I have spent several nights in Starkvegas. Athens would be a big improvement. And no more godawful cowbells.

Chip Kelly

November 4th, 2010
2:03 pm

Man you guys better be lucky McGarity called me and cancled the thUGA vs. Oregon series. I was planning to break Spurrier’s record and score 70 points between your crappy hedges. The quack attack would have crushed those thugs.

Dan Mullen

November 4th, 2010
2:06 pm

You can bet your *** I’m the man for the UGA job. I know how to beat Florida with mediocre talent so imagine what I could do with Georgia’s talent. Hell, I’ve beating both of them in the same year!!! You guys better get me before its too late.

AssBackwards

November 4th, 2010
2:08 pm

I cannot believe you wrote whole column about how this isn’t worthy of being a story. If that’s what you truly believe, then just find something else to write about and don’t even mention this.

wildbill

November 4th, 2010
2:10 pm

Maybe Grantham will get a choke hold on some defensive players this week ……………..and their tackling just might improve Saturday, especially that overrated Rambo.

edumacated

November 4th, 2010
2:19 pm

You knuckheaded GT guys are on here, again, screaming Georgia is not a premier program. Look, just because we can’t beat Florida doesn’t exclude us. Friggin nobody has been able to beat Florida the last 20 years either. Name one team in the SEC who has been able to consistantly beat Florida in the last 2 decades. That particular argument is invalid. The one about no NC for 30 years, holds water, but not the Florida one.

Mobile Dawg

November 4th, 2010
2:20 pm

I think because of all the controversy we should just have a do-over. You know, play the game again….

Henry Heimlich

November 4th, 2010
2:21 pm

There is a HUGE difference between a coach celebrating after the game by doing HIS school’s traditional cheer and a coach taunting an OPPOSING player with the choke signal during a critical point in OT. UGA & CTG = NO CLASS!

Ace

November 4th, 2010
2:28 pm

The best part was when he made the kick. UGA is a program in the gutter.

cmac

November 4th, 2010
2:31 pm

its one thing when a player does it. It’s another when a coach, the LEADER of young men, & a guy making $750,000 per year (way to much for the results provided) does it.

You ugaly fans are incredible.

Does nothing embarrass this program … the arrests, the record, not beating a team with a winning record this year, an adult trash talking a 20 yr old? This is how far this program has fallen!

Ace

November 4th, 2010
2:34 pm

Somebody call the BCS, they may want to know that UGA claims to be the best team with a LOSING record. Now that some funny chit.

cmac

November 4th, 2010
2:42 pm

Hire Dan Mullen NOW!!!

Smokewagon

November 4th, 2010
2:43 pm

Game over! Congrats to the winner! See you next year!
Don’t think we will hear much out of our Tech friends after tonight.

King Gator

November 4th, 2010
2:43 pm

That was a choke sign for the kicker?? Oh, I thought it was just the same old defensive signal that Grantham had been using with his defense all day. No apology needed. Go Gators!

Ga8er

November 4th, 2010
2:44 pm

I really don’t think the choke signal was intended for my UF team. I think it was intended to be a representation of UGA’s season. 4 – 5? Really?

49yearGAFAN

November 4th, 2010
2:45 pm

To UGA man here: Right on the money. Unfortunately, Richt is not going to resign. He will have to be fired. Hopefully during or after the 2011 season. Seems they are determined to have him hang around an extra year. Just another year wasted.

Florida kicker who ran Grantham's d-ck

November 4th, 2010
2:45 pm

what a waste of space this junkyard blog is.

Bud

November 4th, 2010
2:46 pm

Bill-

Well said, the objective of certain writers, seems to be sensationalism, over truth,

Getting more hits to blogs, than truth,

No difference in sign/gesture than Meyer’s Chomp to Georgia fans.

Nothing rude, in fact, it’s expected, it’s what makes this game so much fun.

Personally, I feel Jeff Schultz OFTEN dramatically over-reacts to minor things like this.

In fact, he does it so often, I don’t even read his blog anymore.

But that’s just me.

King Gator

November 4th, 2010
2:46 pm

Choke sign confused Bobo .. nice play calling in overtime. Go Gators!

Itsover

November 4th, 2010
2:54 pm

Well, the dawgs suck. CMR sucks. See what happens when you pay people extravagant salaries. They fail! They fail businesses and they fail as coaches. Please, someone justify the salary of CMR and his choke-a-flukes.

DBD

November 4th, 2010
2:56 pm

I agree with ga gator…all part of game..don’t see any big deal with what Grantham, Henry or Meyer…did. It’s why girls don’t play the game..

5150 P.O.A.D

November 4th, 2010
3:06 pm

I thought most of the Teachers made the “CHOKE SIGN” as UGA athletes came to take their final exams. Is that wrong too?
Bill King
You are right that is not a real issue, but it was still not something a coach should do. A coach should admonish his players for letting the game get to the point where a FG would beat them.

5150 P.O.A.D

November 4th, 2010
3:10 pm

Dawg fans I need some help. I don’t want to buy A J Green jersey, but I want to know where I can go and buy KATI BREAZEAL’s GYM DAWG SEC CHAMPIONSHIP LEOTARD. Are there any Dawg fans that can help with this quest?

rebeldawg

November 4th, 2010
3:10 pm

Thank you for having a brain.

UGAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

November 4th, 2010
3:14 pm

the real story is Grantham’s defense giving up 30+ points to an offense that wasn’t doing squat lately. heck, maybe Urban should’ve flashed Grantham the choke signal.

Alphare

November 4th, 2010
3:17 pm

You guys got it all wrong, Grantham’s choke sign is for Bobo.

Alphare

November 4th, 2010
3:21 pm

Wait a minute, didn’t Grantham did the choke sign to himself?

What’s all the fuss about?

kevin

November 4th, 2010
3:22 pm

This just in. Grantham’s choke sign was not directed at Chas Henry, but at Sanders Cummings for trying to pick up a ball inside the 10 when he could have simply fallen on it and Bacari Rambo for dropping as easy INT at the end of the game that could have very well been a pick 6.

75-76 DAWG

November 4th, 2010
3:25 pm

ugaaaaaaaaahhhh
The reason Florida hasn’t scored much before the UGA game was because their number one and two play makers were hurt or suspended. They scored only 7 points on Mississippi State but had 400 yard of offense . If these two play makers had played in that game Florida would have scored 21 to 27 points.