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

Top Dawg

November 4th, 2010
9:43 pm

Does anyone remember when Odell Thurman actually beat his girlfriend and only got a 2 game suspension? Just sayin, when we complain about rainey we are complete hypocrits.

Top Dawg

November 4th, 2010
9:44 pm

We actually have a countdown to kickoff for idaho state?

Pitbull

November 4th, 2010
10:21 pm

If Ga was a real Man up team, they would play the second stringers only against Idaho. But I will see it when I believe it. Richt will leave Murray in untill the 3rd quarter at least, maybe 4th qtr. It’s embrassing. Like beating up the smallest kid in the classroom. Classless!

He Hate Gator

November 4th, 2010
10:22 pm

Thank you imposter

Imposter

November 4th, 2010
10:30 pm

Yes, I’m bored, what of it?

The real imposter

November 4th, 2010
10:31 pm

No, I’m the real imposter

The mother of all imposters

November 4th, 2010
10:31 pm

Preston

November 4th, 2010
10:48 pm

Class! Kudos to Henry for saying it like it is. Give it a final rest….pleeeeeease!

katherine

November 4th, 2010
10:49 pm

why didnt my post show up grrrr

katherine

November 4th, 2010
10:51 pm

Pitbull
November 4th, 2010
10:21 pm

If Ga was a real Man up team, they would play the second stringers only against Idaho. But I will see it when I believe it. Richt will leave Murray in untill the 3rd quarter at least, maybe 4th qtr. It’s embrassing. Like beating up the smallest kid in the classroom. Classless!

The game hasn’t even happened yet and you are already saying classless LOL It’s not like idaho didn’t know what they were getting into when they signed on for this game…good lord give the classless thing a rest!

Preston

November 4th, 2010
10:53 pm

Pitbull is an idiot. Watch and pay attention before spewing such bile on the blogosphere. Richt NEVER runs it up on anyone. Not even when he should! Hutson Mason will see plenty of playing time this week.

Wreckmaniac

November 4th, 2010
11:15 pm

Maybe, just maybe, UGA will not run up 80 on Tech and give Murray the Heisman like most dawg fans think they will.

Wreckmaniac

November 4th, 2010
11:19 pm

A “slow news week” ? SF wins the World Series. Moss goes to the Titans. The Repubs take the House. No. Whats news is that UGA once again
looks like a pack of fools.

Wreckmaniac

November 4th, 2010
11:23 pm

Who’s Tebow ? FL certainly doesn’t need him to beat UGA. Just dress up a donkey with a FL jersey and he’s ready to run UGA out of Jax.

NashDawg

November 4th, 2010
11:27 pm

Tony B is clueless on this issue.

Can Newton's Illegal Payday

November 4th, 2010
11:31 pm

We all know now.
SHOW ME THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY

30-24
Nesbitt for Heisman – BBBBWWWWAAAAHHHHAAAAHHHHAAAAAA

Wreckmaniac

November 4th, 2010
11:32 pm

GBAL, why give Barnhardt any more chances ? Why not just go back to your Athens paper ? After all, UGA is in Athens. Are you ashamed of your local newspaper ? Why rely on an out-of-town paper like the AJC to write it like you want it ? If you like out of town papers try the Kansas City paper. You may read something you like. Why read the AJC ?
The AJC is Tech’s paper since Tech is in Atl. Isn’t that obvious ?

Can Newton's Illegal Payday

November 4th, 2010
11:34 pm

30-24
8 of 9
Unfilled “Stadium” in downtown ATL
60-35-5
and yet you d@uche$ still try to talk trash
BBB…BBB…BBBWWW…BBBBBUUUUHHHUUUUWWWWAAAAHHHHAAAAHHHHAAA

Can Newton's Illegal Payday

November 4th, 2010
11:34 pm

I meant 60-39-5 and oh yeah
73-66

Reggie Bush

November 4th, 2010
11:43 pm

D@mn!t Cam Newton, at least I got to hold my Heisman Trophy for a while after my scandal of getting paid under the table. Oh well, at least I got to keep Kim Kardashian for a while…yeah she was hot, she was a trophy as well, d@mn now Miles Austin has took her too!!! WATCH OUT CAM

Heisman Trophy

November 4th, 2010
11:45 pm

When will one of the thUGAs ever win me? I would only stay in a thUGA player’s possession for only a while until their scandal is revealed and the NCAA takes me away from UGA. Man I sure would’ve looked sweet next to that shiny Fulmer Cup!!!

patrick

November 4th, 2010
11:46 pm

kinda interesting….Grantham suppossedly taunted a player…actually he gave an alignment signal but thats for another time.
.
But the same game (after Fla won) Urbam taunted UGA fans with a gator chomp ….but it didnt get reported…double standard?
.
here is a picture of his taunting…Grantham was an assistant…this is the Head Coach.
.
http://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/after-hard-times-florida-gators-and-urban-meyer-have-a-reason-to-cheer/1131412

Larry Tucker

November 5th, 2010
12:39 am

I agree with you 100% and it is so silly what Tony Barn******** wrote that I’m surprised that article even got published. He should have give him the eye gouge and non of the Florida Fans would have seen that, much less acknowledge it. Tony has let his position among College Football reporters go to his head and cloud his thinking.

Reality

November 5th, 2010
6:14 am

How do it know? Are we supposed to score touchdowns when we play Florida? Nobody told us that. How do it know? Where do it go? When do it stop? How do it go?

THIRTY FOUR POINTS to your thirty one points

November 5th, 2010
7:17 am

hey mutters. how’s our little beeyotches this fine morning? BTW

(((((((((((((((((((((((34-31)))))))))))))))))))

real kicker

November 5th, 2010
8:50 am

everyone that thinks this is bad is a big fat baby….. every coach that calls a time out before a fieldgoal is saying one thing to the kicker… “i think you’re going to choke”…. so suspend everyone and lets shake hand and kiss at midfield… give me a break and if the game is too rough for you …. watch the WBA

takedowndawg

November 5th, 2010
8:54 am

Bill, watch out for Mark, Jeff and Tony with hangmen nooses. How “dare” you minimize their contributions, insight, and depth of wisdom they so skillfully dissected from Grantham the “choke” incident. Bill, I am just glad to have a coach with UGA staff that does not appear to be a platonic, depressed accountant on game day!!

takedowndawg

November 5th, 2010
9:02 am

so pitbull, in your mind Georgia should play only our third and fourth stringers until the 4th quarter and if the score is close, then bring in 2nd stringers and possibly the first team water boy. When did you ever play football?. You probably were a band member who changed his name to make himself sound like “one tough guy”. Football, is not played in that fashion.

humpgator

November 5th, 2010
9:06 am

Hey ga gator, why don’t you change your name to ga dawg cause you sure do sound like one.the choke sign was only half of it.A.j. Green face masking our guys everytime he caught the ball and the ref standing right there with his finger up his *ss,and when #82 of the gators helmet flew off it was because a dawg was giving him a uppercut with his fist. IT’S GREAT TO BE A DAWG HATER,YES IT’S GREAT TO BE A DAWG HATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

takedowndawg

November 5th, 2010
9:28 am

hump gator, I am sure that you can understand we DAWGS would have difficulty feeling much sympathy for your gators right now. You know, the violin “tears”. If you want to see the worst on the field behavior in football regardless of league, including professional. Go to Utube and look again at the brandon spike eye gouging incident he was performing on Washun Ealey. It is nauseating to watch. I have participated and viewed football for over 40 years, and it was the worst that I have ever seen. Remember, what was done afterwards by your coach and the NCAA. Pathetic. For your mental health, go take a look at it, hump.

dawgonit

November 5th, 2010
9:29 am

Yeah, and who are the idiots that are calling for him to be fined or suspended? Wait, they are the idiots that write for the AJC.

Snoop Dawg

November 5th, 2010
9:36 am

Grantham did exactly what the bulldog nation needs…someone who fights for his team through actions and emotions!!!

Dont ya think all the political correctness has started to get outta hand??

UGA college student

November 5th, 2010
9:39 am

Find something real to write about. Yes, he shouldn’t have done it as a coach, but every UGA fan in the world was doing it (or at least thinking it). Quit making a big deal out of something so trivial. I know you’re a sports writer for the AJC so I shouldn’t expect this (or quality writing in general) but try writing real stories about Georgia football and supporting the team. I’m tired of reading this crap, move on.

Gbal

November 5th, 2010
10:11 am

Guess everyone saw that Jeff Sleeze had to jab on the TG choke sign yet again today!

Gbal

November 5th, 2010
10:13 am

So Wreck… Why does your paper write 80% of its pieces about UGA?

humpgator

November 5th, 2010
10:26 am

takedowndawg, I guess the endzone dawg dance of 2007 is inmaterial too huh.!!!!!

Dirty Dawg

November 5th, 2010
10:53 am

An earlier post reminded me…maybe Granthum should have run out on the field and tried to ‘gouge the eyeballs out’ instead. And I’m probably wrong about this, but it seemed by some comments on one of the radio talk shows yesterday that the ‘kiss-blowing’ thing came before the ‘choke’ thing. Is that so? If it is then maybe he, Granthum, should have ‘mooned’ him – that might have distracted the kid…and then maybe he would have blown another kiss.

producewiz

November 5th, 2010
10:54 am

CHAS hENRY HAS A WONDERFUL FUTURE AHEAD OF HIM BECAUSE HE HAS COMMON SENSE.LOOK AT WASHINGTON TODAY.THINK WE COULD USE PEOPLE LIKE HIM?

Michael Hassen

November 5th, 2010
11:20 am

It was part of a heated moment, no big deal, lol what ga fan didn’t want him to choke!!! and if they didn’t what kind of fan would they be, it’s sports and not to many of us like to lose God bless college football !!!

takedowndawg

November 5th, 2010
11:51 am

hump, did you get a good copy of the spikes gouging video. Good Holiday viewing for the entire family, wouldn’t you say? Florida’s proudest moment. Regarding the end zone dance by UGA, it was unnecessary and UGA was penalized for it but not dangerous to someone’s health, like their EYES! Hump, not a good comparative event. Try a little harder.

droopydawg

November 5th, 2010
3:50 pm

THANK YOU BILL. Bradley and Schultz have been feigning outrage on this in a cynical ploy to drive page views. They have taken the criticism of this minor, minor incident to levels of hyperbole unseen since Joe Buck on the Randy Moss “mooning” incident several years ago.

That is not “journalism,” it is irresponsible and obnoxious.