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

The Ghost of Wally Butts

November 4th, 2010
3:25 pm

Obama has invited CTG and the Florida placekicker up to the White House for a beer. Afterwards, they will have a big “Meyer-Teabow” like man-hug, then sing Kum Ba Yah. The touching ceremony will end with Obama having been awarded yet another Nobel Peace Prize.

Then, all will be well.

sogadog

November 4th, 2010
3:33 pm

Mr. King, great piece, I agree 100% and I am surprised the usually wise and insightful Tony Barnhardt called for CTG’s supension and reprimand.

5150 P.O.A.D

November 4th, 2010
3:33 pm

Wally BUTT
Isn’t that the same picture of Bobo and Murray? A HUG and Kiss with a nice cry is better after a win than a loss. Bobo do I see your tongue heading to murray’s lips? Dude you have 5 kids do you really need to turn on a male footbal player with a kiss?

Alphare

November 4th, 2010
3:35 pm

Bill, why don’t you give Tony Barnhardt a choke sign? just to see what he can do to you.

Russ the Passed Over Mascot

November 4th, 2010
3:52 pm

This GTer says that this is a total non-story. Let’s hope there is that much passion left at the end of the GT-UGA game. Go Jackets!

Mike

November 4th, 2010
3:59 pm

The kid shows some class. I’m proud he’s from Georgia.

Hairy Perry

November 4th, 2010
4:06 pm

5150 P.O.A.D,

I’ve seen you on this blog before, seemed like a respectable person, but you just revealed alot about yourself.

Coachdawg 2000

November 4th, 2010
4:21 pm

Barnhardt is trying to plug his patheitc show with uber-hack wes durham on 790. That is absolutley putrid listening.

Tom

November 4th, 2010
4:21 pm

Like Florida players haven’t given us gestures before….get over it! The loss to Florida is not Aaron Murray’s fault. However, the very first play of the game is Aaron Murray’s fault. But, here are the main problems.

1. Mike Bobo’s play selection-I thought we were past calling a running play on 3rd down
2. Aron White-catch the ball!!!! his non catch went right to a Florida guy. Florida’s drive resulted in 7pts.
3. Bacarri Rambo’s missed interception-Florida scored on that drive
4. The defense’s lack of intelligence. 1st quarter fumble by Florida, and then recovered by Florida. Just fall on the ball!!!! Don’t try to pick it up.

On top of all this, we have a Jacksonville jinx. We are defeated before we even get to the stadium. Its time to change the site. Even as crappy as Florida is this year, we still couldn’t beat them!!!!!

THIRTY FOUR POINTS to your thirty one points

November 4th, 2010
4:28 pm

Doesn’t matter…

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((34-31)))))))))))))))))))))))
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((41-17)))))))))))))))))))))))
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((49-10)))))))))))))))))))))))
18 out of 21
8 out of 10
3 straight

Jack Nine Offsuit

November 4th, 2010
4:35 pm

I’m a UGA fan but I certainly don’t think this is a “non-story.” IMO, it’s inexcusable for a coach to do something like that in college game. Shows no class whatsoever. And spare me the excuse of it occurring “in the heat of the moment.” Coaches (rightfully) expect players to be disciplined “in the heat of the moment”—indeed, that’s when it’s the most important to keep your head together and make good decisions.

If the coach (the friggin’ D-Coordinator) can’t keep his composure with the game on the line then what can you expect from the players????

Tony Barnhart was dead accurate on this one. Grantham should be suspended for a game and docked some pay.

And again, I’m a UGA fan. But I’m embarrassed by this class-less behavior.

ml

November 4th, 2010
4:38 pm

stupid thing to do from someone who is a leadership role for people who aren’t complete adults yet. he should be talked to about it and then it should be dropped. it wasn’t the right thing to do. but a misdemeanor type thing, the first time.
but an observation to those that have totally dismissed it:
I have never know anyone that uses the terms ‘grow up’ ‘be a man’ or ‘man up’ to every be on the right side of a debate. those are things used purely for manipulative purposes when truth and facts won’t work in their favor

LakeDawg

November 4th, 2010
4:44 pm

Thanks Bill for a SANE blog on this subject.

BillKingTheCheerleader

November 4th, 2010
4:59 pm

Is it a non-story because you are the cheerleader for the boooldawgs? Funny how you deride it as an online story, yet that is what you write—a freaking blog. You dedicate a whole ONLINE story to tell us how much of a non-story it is. How ironic.

You jump to Henry’s words as evidence of how little meaning this has. He was instructed by Meyer to downplay it. Of course, while you are shaking your pompoms, you can’t take time to contemplate such a thing.

Online blogger dressed in red panties crying about what a non-story this is—or—Tony Barnhart ( a well-respected college football journalist)? Meh, think I will go with Barnhart on this one.

Andy

November 4th, 2010
5:00 pm

Yeah, and they still beat your asses again, yet again…it’s hysterical.

30 players arrested, how many kicked off the team, the AD in a Panty Raid drunk, more students arrested and then tossed, coaches trying to bow up to players like it’s the WWE….

You guys take the cake for the most absurd excuse of a school and program, by far, ever.

Please, don’t stop though….you are too entertaining. Kind of like Hee-Haw on Crack, with a suspended license.

5150 P.O.A.D

November 4th, 2010
5:00 pm

Hairy Perry
You do know it is all in fun. UGA fans all gave TEBOW for crying after a loss. The UGA dawgs also gave URBAN hell for huging Tebow while calling it MAN LOVE. So why am I wrong for calling out Bobo and Murray for doing the samething? I do understand the pain of loss on the field of BATTLEFIELD. I am just poking fun back at the UGA fans that ran their mouths about TEBOW and Meyer. Is that fair? Please tell me if I crossed the line no UGA fan crossed.

Truth is..

November 4th, 2010
5:00 pm

BK,
I think it’s a nonstory as well. The fact of the matter is that if the defense didn’t give up 450 yards and 31 points to an offense whose most effective play was to have a running back line up at qb and run the ball, the entire episode would never have happened.

Tom...

November 4th, 2010
5:03 pm

Tom, you’re an idiot. There is no Jax jinx. We dominated during Dooley’s 25 years, they’ve dominated 21 years since. If we can get some defensive players that play defense, we’ll dominate, or at least hold our own, again.

ARdawg

November 4th, 2010
5:09 pm

I second Lake Dawg and take it one step further, Thank you Bill King for the fine job you do from a fan’s perspective

5150 P.O.A.D

November 4th, 2010
5:11 pm

Do any of you know Lil League football? Do you know Chastin Park? Do you know the past great Christian man and lil League coach Ivey johnson. He coached many youg boys that went on to good high school careers and a few of us played major Colleger football. i can name 2 right now but there are more. Wes Prichett- Westminster-Notre Dame, Shan Morris ( Tech Great Larry Morris’ son) Riverwood I think and Auburn, Bucky & Denton Shamburger that played at TECH. Do you know I never saw the MEN make a SHOKE Signal to the other young players. I did get a Slap to the Helmet after I made a stupid play, but coach came back to me and asked what I was thinking or seeing on a play. Coaches never need to be so childish as to make a Choke Signal to the other team. I guess the next time I see BOBO’s wife I will act like I am putting on a Rubber so she will not have anymore kids. Is that OK too?

5150 P.O.A.D

November 4th, 2010
5:15 pm

Bill is what every fan of their team wants. Bill is a DAWG DAWG DAWG to the end. he will live High with the Dawgs or he will cry in the Pound with the Dawgs, but you will never think Bill is going to leave his Dawgs. He may call them out but he nevers throws them under the bus unless he is willing to crawl under the bus too.

Alabama Dog

November 4th, 2010
5:30 pm

Andy: Since you have absoluely no respect whatsoever for Georgia’s program, it’s players, coaches, or fans, just who is it YOU back?????? Go back to Mayberry, and hang out with Barney, Gomer, Goober and the gang!

From Where I Sit

November 4th, 2010
5:32 pm

I love the reference to WE when people speak about their teams and they have never played a down for the team.

Anyway, Tom you must be on crack as FL out recruits most of the SEC year end and year out, so there is no way GA would beat them if they had a defense. How about winning some NC or the SEC for a few years in a row?

LMAO!!!!

Enough Said!

ARdawg

November 4th, 2010
5:38 pm

Andy….well what do you suppose happened to Florida this year? Why with all that talent and just about the only team they could be was Georgia. How’s that “Out recruiting everybody” working out for you?

Mr

November 4th, 2010
5:40 pm

Coming to a internet blog nearest you the Barnhart/Schultz Mamby Pamby Land blog for all of you whinny little “Jack Wagons”
“needs to be fined or fired” wussies!

Gatorbait

November 4th, 2010
5:41 pm

Frankly, Grantham is a good addition to Richt staff, he shows more passion for the game in one year than I’ve seen from Richt since he’s been there. A few f-bombs don’t amount to a hill of beans, these players have heard it before. Only suggestion is to put his play sheet over his mouth when he drops them, so he won’t be caught on national TV again.

Henry had the perfect response, it’s just football and a great rivalry. See ya’ll next year.

ARdawg

November 4th, 2010
5:56 pm

I’m thinking on a glass of quality bourbon while I watch Tech embarrass themselves. Good luck Bugs

FlaOwnsGA

November 4th, 2010
6:05 pm

Florida fan here. I don’t think what Grantham did is a big deal. Its a rivalry. We hate you, you hate us. However, I do think it is hilarious that your coach got owned by our Kicker! He does the choke sign, and our (backup) kicker (and the nation’s best punter) blows him a kiss and knocks it right through the uprights. Talk about some balls. And all you Georgia folks should appreciate it as well, since he is from Georgia and he told all the whiners to drop it and move on.

UGA VIII

November 4th, 2010
6:11 pm

One big gator chomp and dawg bark for Chas Henry.

Now, let’s move on to something else.

59bulldawg

November 4th, 2010
6:28 pm

TB is a PC Jackass!

Paddy

November 4th, 2010
6:39 pm

The UF kicker had the perfect comeback!!!! But come on guys, what coaches don’t cuss and degrade the other team? It part of sports. If you do not understand what the UGA coach did, you have not been on many teams in your life! You just can’t get seen doing it.

Early of the Squidbillies

November 4th, 2010
6:40 pm

Win something then you can brag, give the gator chop, give the UGA choke, bark like a dawg….do or say whatever you want to. Just beat Florida!

ARdawg

November 4th, 2010
6:47 pm

FLAowns

We DO get it. The irony of it is not lost on these knuckleheads attempt at making what TG did a Faux Pas. Hats off to Henry. It is he who has shown the class and gets the last laugh. Truth be known Grantham did what many do for any FG kicked to win a game. If they don’t do it they damn well think it

JaxGator

November 4th, 2010
6:55 pm

TimtheBrave:
You talk too much about criminal cases about which you know nothing. From which law school did you get a degree? How many criminal cases have you handled in court? Rainey was arrested for aggravated stalking; because the police arrest a person for a crime, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a valid charge will follow; it all depends on the facts. It should have been evident that from the reported facts that a charge of aggravated stalking could not be supported. Many on these sites has referred to Rainey as a felon; he was not convicted of any crime, and if he had been convicted, it would have been a misdemeanor. I do not approve of that which Rainey did; it was wrong and stupid; however, I think that the comments about Rainey, like from the knownothing Tim theBrave, are made in frustration fom losing to the Gators–AGAIN. The flap over the choke sign was much ado about nothing.

Delbert D.

November 4th, 2010
6:57 pm

Try the NC State WolfPack chomp. Left-handed is even harder.

Delbert D.

November 4th, 2010
7:04 pm

Enter your comments here

CopyandPaste

November 4th, 2010
7:06 pm

Looks like the adult spoke up. Chas Henry answered Grantham’s choke sign appropriately. He made the kick. I still wish he had choked though.

D Fence

November 4th, 2010
7:47 pm

Shouldnt have even mattered to begin with but once again the Gators talent and the Dawgs inventing new ways to lose equal another loss in Jax. UGA is 2TD’s better than Fla without the mental game and the TO’s. Good for all you Gator fans.

RNB

November 4th, 2010
8:13 pm

Finally someone with some sense. Good job Chas.

Top Dawg

November 4th, 2010
8:30 pm

Tony Barnhart has gotten boring.

Bob

November 4th, 2010
8:55 pm

No attempt to steal anyone’s thunder. I wasn’t going to write about this at all initially because, like I said, it’s pretty much a nonstory. But the calls for Grantham to be fined or fired were so over the top that I had to comment.

Thanks for standing up for UGA and CTG against the manufactured outrage from these writers at the AJC.

Bob

November 4th, 2010
9:02 pm

I watched the replay and this is what happened in this order. CMR called timeout and the Chaz Henry looked over at the CMR standing next to CTG and said “Are you going to ice me? You going to ice me? I’m not even the kicker.” Chaz takes his helmet off and blows a kiss and laughs. CTG then says you are going to choke.

He Hate Gator

November 4th, 2010
9:12 pm

Agree…much ado about nothing….actually glad to see some fire for a change…

He Hate Gator

November 4th, 2010
9:14 pm

You may have some things to write about Idaho St should Dawgs lose this one…

Coastaldawg

November 4th, 2010
9:26 pm

I wish Richt would show even a tenth of his passion!

Ga Dawg 97

November 4th, 2010
9:32 pm

He was giving the choke sign to Aaron Murray! I have a reliable source.

Ga Dawg 97

November 4th, 2010
9:34 pm

Grantham just made a complete jack azz out of himself and embarrassed his school and head coach. Way to make us proud coach. We might as well be some podunk, redneck high school team.

Ga Dawg 97

November 4th, 2010
9:37 pm

Enter your comments here

He Hate Gator

November 4th, 2010
9:39 pm

Coastaldawg, I wish our DC would show a little class and I wish we could beat that mean old urban meyer. I just hate those mean old gators.

The Exterminator

November 4th, 2010
9:40 pm

Non-story. Yawn.

Tech lost Nesbitt tonight. Pity.