Flash-mob hysteria, QB injuries and that other football

Why shouldn't Aaron Murray be able to enjoy a pick-up game? (AJC staff)

Why shouldn't Aaron Murray be able to enjoy a pick-up game? (AJC staff)

I was off Monday and away from the UGA blogosphere during the afternoon when the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it furor over Aaron Murray’s ankle set the Bulldog Nation atwitter — or, I should say, aTwitter.

So the ankle that “team sources” told a student journalist was broken in two places turned out to be merely sprained in a pick-up soccer game and no real threat to Murray’s status as Georgia’s starting quarterback. Stand down, Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay.

What was most interesting to me coming in on this flap after it was over was seeing some fans harumphing about how Murray was irresponsible and shouldn’t have been playing soccer or any other nonfootball sport where he risked injury, to begin with.

Listen, if you’re going to try and make bubbleboys out of UGA’s “franchise” athletes, you might as well also ban them from riding those scooters that are the preferred mode of transportation around campus for today’s Bulldogs. Riding in Athens traffic is a lot more dangerous than playing soccer.

Besides, that sort of thinking ignores the fact that these kids are, for the most part, athletes, not just football players. Many of them grew up playing more than one sport. Mark Richt certainly recognizes this, as we’ve seen with the diving excursions and having the team play ultimate frisbee after practice for fun and fellowship. Guess what, many of them shoot hoops when they get a chance, too. They’re college kids, let them have some semblance of a normal life!

The other thing that struck me was the way the Murray incident brought to the surface that streak of latent soccerphobia that seems to permeate a certain strata of Southern sports fans and sportswriters. So we’re told that Murray getting hurt is one more knock on a game that ought to be reserved for kids or “furriners.”

You can thank soccer for giving us Kevin Butler. (University of Georgia)

You can thank soccer for giving us Kevin Butler. (University of Georgia)

I’ve never really understood the irrational fear and loathing that soccer engenders in some folks around here, unless it’s just because in the grand scheme of the “beautiful game” Americans aren’t worldbeaters. Sort of like the way some Georgia fans have always tended to put down “basketball schools.”

Just remember this about soccer, though. UGA folk hero Kevin Butler was all-state in that other football for Redan High and without his soccer skills, he no doubt never would have made that 60-yarder against Clemson, gotten a Super Bowl ring and been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Play on!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

196 comments Add your comment

dawg67

February 22nd, 2011
11:03 am

dawg67

February 22nd, 2011
11:05 am

let the kids play… you cant (and shouldnt) control what they do in the off season id much rather the kid play soccer than get arrested!

PDX Dawg

February 22nd, 2011
11:06 am

anyone hating on Murray needs to get a life.

cmdawg99

February 22nd, 2011
11:07 am

Cuz

February 22nd, 2011
11:08 am

He was playing Soccer? What is he a commie?

YardDawg

February 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

I wish Richt would let the backup QB get more playing time so if the worst happened, it wouldn’t be like starting over again

Dawg Dude

February 22nd, 2011
11:15 am

@ YardDawg, lets focus on winning more than 6 games first.

devildawg

February 22nd, 2011
11:15 am

Wow, Kevin Butler went to Redan High School! My, how times have changed.

Maconbulldog

February 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

Wow really he was playing Soccer……..he was not doing kegstand or in Valdosta messing aound. He was just playing a pick up game. Geezzzz. Springed his ankle. But I do like YardDawgs idea of letting the back ups get some reps..

JaxDawg05

February 22nd, 2011
11:21 am

Soccer threw me for a loop. I thought for sure he hurt his ankle playing racquetball with David Pollack.

goodness gracious

February 22nd, 2011
11:36 am

I followed Murry in high school and was huge fan of his coming to UGA. He had a great season last year. Just look at the numbers. That being said It seems to me that something is missing when he is out there. I want my starter to be a game winner and have some wow factor. Am I the only one who is hoping LeMay will come out and wow everyone and win the starting job? I hope Murray can prove me wrong. Zach would have won that job last year and to me displayed that wow factor im looking for before his run in with the law. With Murray back there I believe were getting nothing more than a game manager at QB

42-34 Dawgs STILL Run This Street

February 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

Totally agree Bill, folks like AJC and Red & Black jumped the gun on this one. Pollack and Buck said not-so-fast-my-friend and they were right!

Go Dawgs!

Buster

February 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

Murray’s 0-6 against winning teams, threw 7 td’s against them. He’s not irreplacable, I’ll say that.

Buster

February 22nd, 2011
11:42 am

Murray was morally wrong here, he went against the greater good of the team.

Sam

February 22nd, 2011
11:45 am

Geez Buster and goodness gracious–what more do you want out of Murray. He played incredibly well for a frosh. I think the losses can be attributed to a pretty porous defense and some mishaps (like losing to CU on a handoff that was a safe play to set up a FG to win the game).

I find it interesting that Goodness thinks LeMay is so golden. To me, I smell trouble brewing with him. I’ll take Murray over any returning QB in the SEC.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Georgia Bulldogs-UGA, Tim Tucker and Gordo, AJC Junkyard Blawg. AJC Junkyard Blawg said: Flash-mob hysteria, QB injuries and that other football http://bit.ly/dQ6n26 [...]

schmeckdawg

February 22nd, 2011
11:50 am

William, I couldn’t have said it better myself. He could have done the same thing stepping off of a curb the wrong way. Then what, lock him in his room until Spring practice starts! He’s a kid for god sake, leave him alone!

Go DAWGS!!!!!!!

schmeckdawg

February 22nd, 2011
11:51 am

Buster=Jerry=Trey!

Rick Astley

February 22nd, 2011
11:53 am

AJC,

There are at least 100,000 people in our great state who would be better as your UGA blogger than Bill ‘KMart’ King. Please, for the love of God, replace him.

Taking umbrage against UGA fans who don’t like soccer? Thats just stupid, some people don’t like it-so what. Also, everyone is well aware kickers often come from soccer. Thanks so much for crediting soccer for giving us Kevin Butler.

dawgfacedboy

February 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

The kid was a freshman people!!! Did you expect him to be our savior this year?? Overcoming defensive lapses and unfortunate ball security by the RBs??? He was supposed to math Ryan Mallett (a 1st round draft pick) throw for throw?? He was supposed to tackle Lattimore and hold on to the ball for Ealey?? He was supposed to out do Cam Newton?!?!? He was supposed to do what has only been done 4 times in the last 20 years by beating Florida (as a freshman)????? A freshman can only do so much. Let’s not forget that if not for the freak Lattimore he would’ve been SEC frosh of the year.

Good grief.

Bubba

February 22nd, 2011
12:03 pm

Youth baseball coaches are the worst when it comes to bashing soccer. They feel it takes kids away from their mind-numbingly boring “sport,” since soccer’s actually fun to play. Not to worry, though, all the big fat kids who are full grown by the time they’re 12 will continue to excel at Little League.

Donny D

February 22nd, 2011
12:06 pm

Bubba-The kid who really wanted to be good at baseball but just wasn’t, after years of failure and at his parents urgining he switched to soccer at age 9 and had a lot of fun. You know, soccer is so much less pressure and he was a ‘contributer to the team’ in soccer.

Let the past go Bubba, its over.

Bubba

February 22nd, 2011
12:08 pm

Don’t you need to go reserve the batting cages, DD?

dawgfan

February 22nd, 2011
12:08 pm

Soccer is an incredibly dumb and boring sport. The US could dominate world soccer with ease if other more popular sports were not occupying our top athletes. Think if a great all round athlete like Reggie Bush had been playing soccer since the age of 2 like they do overseas. That is just but one example. If guys like that took soccer seriously the rest of the world would be playing for 2nd place. This is why we turn our noses up at soccer.

As for Murray, he had a great freshmen season but needs to learn how to play a complete game. He would light the world on fire one quarter and then go MIA the next. But here is the thing, he was a freaking freshmen. He will get better.

Donny D

February 22nd, 2011
12:11 pm

Yeah Bubba, I’ll get right on that. Why don’t you come join us? We’ll even let you wear your shin guards and Umbros.

schmeckdawg

February 22nd, 2011
12:19 pm

Hey Bill, what is the latest in the Washaun Ealey saga? I am guessing since it has been “All Quiet On The Western Front,” that things must have worked out. What say you?

Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

Bob

February 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Soccer is incredibly boring? Sure. Watch the last 3 minutes of an NBA game that takes 30 to play due to a seemingly endless number of timeouts and a definitely endless number of trips to the “exciting” free throw lines. That coupled with an incredibly long and boring regular….or should I say…pre-season and you have the makings of about as boring a sport as well …. curling.

Soccer has boring games….soccer has incredibly exciting games. And this is true of most any sport.

beakerdawg

February 22nd, 2011
12:28 pm

dawgfan, of which I am too, the same could be said for european football or rugby, train their boys from age 2 to play american football and we could be in 2nd place, athletes are athletes

SoCal Dawg

February 22nd, 2011
12:31 pm

Soccer is lame…

beakerdawg

February 22nd, 2011
12:31 pm

take away the helmet and tone down the pads and i bet you want have people leading with their head

UGA Alumnus

February 22nd, 2011
12:33 pm

Sports translate into each other. Eye/Foot coordination is just as important in sports as Hand/Eye coordination. My basketball skills dramatically increased as my soccer skills did.

It’s not directly related to the Dawgs, and I’m not even a fan of his, but Kobe Bryant attributes his edge over his opponents to growing up in Italy playing soccer. He says the foot skills he developed playing soccer give him that edge. And I know it’s true from experience.

Also, Murray isn’t the first UGA athlete to play in a pickup game of soccer. I played pick up soccer with UGA football players when I was a student there. I also played many a game of pickup, full court basketball with UGA football players.

Let them play. It’s good for their emotional health as well as physical health, and translates back into the game of football.

beakerdawg

February 22nd, 2011
12:34 pm

excuse me, will not have instead of want – you will not have people leading with their head

Cam Newton

February 22nd, 2011
12:37 pm

Damn, I wishes I could sell the rest of deez laptops!

Cecil Newton

February 22nd, 2011
12:39 pm

Its okay son, we’ll find a way to use them in our new community outreach center at the church.

63vet

February 22nd, 2011
12:44 pm

He ’springed his ankle’? That should give him some bounce come football season.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

February 22nd, 2011
12:48 pm

Bubba:
Nothing like watching 90 minutes of a thrilling nil to nil soccer game….That will get your juices going….What a game!!! And it still is un-American…..

Buckeye

February 22nd, 2011
12:50 pm

Not as dumb as Roethlisberger and his motorcycle……………………..

Hell, he could have sprained his ankle stepping off a damn curb. Jeez.

In the meantime, I say the over/under on some form of “Fire Mark Richt” is post 44. I’ll take the under.

mgdawg

February 22nd, 2011
12:50 pm

In the offseason let them play around; however, in season should be about football and football only. As someone else stated, playing a pickup game of soccer is the least of our worries in the offseason.

Dawg Man

February 22nd, 2011
12:54 pm

Goodness gracious- Please in your spare time look up freshman numbers from David Greene, Eric Zeier, Quincy Carter, DJ Shockley, Mike Bobo, Buck Belue, and Matthew Stafford. What you will find out is that Aaron Murray has better numbers than ALL of them in his freshman year. Is that enough WOW for you or are you expecting Murray to do the moonwalk on top of defender’s heads?

Buckeye

February 22nd, 2011
12:55 pm

I played pick up basketball against OL Bill Roberts ( 6′6” 300lbs Buckeyes and Super Bowl Champ NY Giants) Didn’t fear his injuries, feared for my life!

Dawg Man

February 22nd, 2011
12:57 pm

Geez people, you do watch the games before you comment right?

dawgfan

February 22nd, 2011
1:02 pm

Bob, I haven’t followed the NBA since Michael Jordan retired.

Beakerdawg, LMAO. You think those fat ankled pasty whited could hang with the top American football players? Get real. I bet most of them couldn’t crack 4.8 in the 40. Your point is laughable.

Soccer is dumb and boring.

Cecil Newton

February 22nd, 2011
1:04 pm

Enter your comments here

David Beckham

February 22nd, 2011
1:08 pm

Hey Dawgfan, you’re right. They do run 4.8 in the 40. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s 40 meters. See, a meter is longer than a yard. Get it?

Jeff

February 22nd, 2011
1:16 pm

I completely agree. As a former UGA student I used to play pickup basketball at Ramsey against lots of football and basketball players (Matt Stafford, Billy Humphrey, etc.) and none of them ever got hurt doing it. Pickup sports are just a form of offseason cross-training that are MUCH less likely to injure someone than competing in their actual sport. Aaron Murray was just as likely to sprain his ankle playing two-hand touch as from playing soccer so lay off the guy.

Cuz

February 22nd, 2011
1:22 pm

Murray is a redshirt Freshman. In class standing he must be a sophmore. I had a blast as a sophmore at UGA, what I can remember of it.

THE MAJOR

February 22nd, 2011
1:23 pm

I heard Nic Fairley hit him again. And Fairley’s team won because the UGA OL was playing goalie and couldn’t block anything.

Idiocy Abounds

February 22nd, 2011
1:25 pm

While I believe whole heartedly that the folks grumbling about Murray doing something other than American Football in his off season should get a life, the call from Bill King for everyone to “chill” is pure idiocy. This coming from a man who last week devoted a column to the bloodline of the UGA’s. Which is more important Bill? The quarterback who could throw the game winning pass or the mascot? Are you really accusing Ga fans of overreacting? You were so distraught about the mascot that you wrote a blog about it. When was the last time UGA took a hand off on 3rd and short with the game on the line? (well he wouldn’t because we can’t run the ball and would have to pass it, play action, no doubt) That’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black isn’t it?

DawginOH

February 22nd, 2011
1:26 pm

Let Murray enjoy an afternoon on the soccer field with his friends! It sure beats some of the other extracurricular activities in which some of our players have engaged over the past few months.

papadawg

February 22nd, 2011
1:37 pm

Good Grief people he could twist his ankle on the treadmill. What do you him to do sit on his butt and not stay in shape.