Fan talk: Georgia-Clemson, fight song heresy, Erk’s hangout and more!

Georgia and Clemson haven't met in football since 2003. (Associated Press)

Georgia and Clemson haven't met in football since 2003. (Associated Press)

Keep an eye on the mailbox if you’re a Bulldog Club member, because those 2012 football season ticket applications went into the mail Friday. Hartman Fund contributors have until March 31 to return their order to the Athletic Association ticket office. Or you can renew your tickets online.

Now, let’s get to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

Hal Lincoln writes: I read where the expanded ACC might be going to nine conference games as early as 2013, which could put the 2013-14 Georgia-Clemson home-and-home series in jeopardy. The problem is that Clemson already has four nonconference games scheduled for those years — their in-state rival South Carolina, Georgia and a pair of cupcakes. The thinking is Clem & Son might decide to keep the cupcakes and unload the series with the Dawgs. As someone who thinks Clemson was one of our best rivals and misses them being on our schedule every year, this is really upsetting. What do you think, Bill?

I saw the SicEmDawgs report you’re referring to. As you noted, in 2013 Clemson has nonconference games scheduled with Georgia, Kent State, the Citadel and South Carolina, and in 2014 plays Coastal Carolina, Central Michigan and South Carolina in addition to a scheduled trip to Athens. These would be the first times Georgia and Clemson have met in football since 2003. SicEmDawgs reported buying out the Georgia contract would cost Clemson $500,000 unless it was by mutual consent. But while a lot of folks think Clemson might be inclined to drop Georgia and keep the cupcakes, I’m not so sure. The state of Georgia is prime recruiting territory for the Tigers, and a showcase against Georgia of the SEC, including a game in Athens, might be worth more to Clemson than a guaranteed victory over a program nobody cares about. At least, I hope that’s how it turns out. I’m with you, Hal, in missing Georgia-Clemson on a regular basis.

Jeremiah Johnson writes: Howdy Bill, Since the expansion and the talk of having to do away with the year to year Georgia-Auburn game, wouldn’t it make sense to add two more teams and expand the conference to 16 total teams? The possibility then arises of having not 2 large divisions, but 4 smaller ones. Then there are only 4 divisional games, this would allow for 3 cross divisional games. 2 of them would be set by the beginning of the season and the third would be set by the end of divisional play, because by having 4 divisions there would be a need for 2 semi-final games to set up for the championship. For the teams that aren’t playing in a semi-final, the conference could set up, hopefully, interesting match-ups. Two things I haven’t thought through: 1. When to schedule the semi-final, because I think right before the Championship game would be both a murderous gauntlet and interfere with the Georgia/GA Tech game, but other rivalries I’m not sure of. 2. What schools to go after, Va Tech? FSU? Your thoughts?

Latest word is that Georgia-Auburn probably will be kept as an every-year game. But, anyway, I’m skeptical that Virginia Tech or FSU are ever going to want to join the SEC, and if they’re not available there really aren’t two other teams that I’d like to see in the conference. Besides, contemplating the complications of your four-division set-up makes my head spin!

Erk Russell held court at an Athens hangout that's long gone. (University of Georgia)

Erk Russell held court at an Athens hangout that's long gone. (University of Georgia)

D.S. Kimball writes: Mr. Junk Yard, I am a GSU fan and grateful for UGA’s biggest gift to my college of Erk Russell. Recently Snokies Restaurant closed to be torn down to make way for a box drugstore. This was the breakfast place where every morning Erk would hold court. This jarred my memory as there was a place in Athens where Erk first held court by the name of the Rockwood Inn on Lexington Road. I have been unable to locate the address or the restaurant. Does it still exist and if not where was it and what is it now?

The Rockwood Inn, where Erk was known to share cigars and beers with a group of regulars on Thursday and Friday afternoons, had a reputation for good barbecue sandwiches and as a place where underage drinkers frequently tried to score beer. It was in a rock building located where the old airport road used to branch off Lexington Road, about a mile or so before Gaines School Road, in Athens. That intersection doesn’t exist any more and the Rockwood Inn is long gone, but the memories of Erk linger with those who hung out there.

Mike writes: Bill, I am a UGA alumnus and lifelong fan. To put it simply, I love everything about my Dawgs except the fight song, “Glory, Glory.” Not only is it unoriginal (used by Auburn, Colorado and the Union army), but it is blasphemous and brings us bad karma. Changing the lyrics from “His truth is marching on” to “to hell with [insert rival]” is crass. Any chance we might ever employ “Hail” as our primary fight song infuture? It is beautiful.

I also love “Hail to Georgia,” but I think you’re barking up the wrong tree in wanting “Glory, Glory” dumped. First of all, fight tunes not being exclusive to a school is no big deal. My high school fight song at Athens High was the same tune as Notre Dame’s, but we sang it enthusiastically and I still know all the words! And it doesn’t seem to bother anyone at the University of Oklahoma that “Boomer Sooner” is the same tune as Yale University’s “Boola Boola.” Plus, as the UGA football media guide notes, “Glory, Glory,” sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” is among UGA’s oldest and most lasting traditions. It was sung at games as early as the 1890s, but arranged in its present form by Georgia musician-composer Hugh Hodgson in 1915. There have been many Bulldog songs through the years and at least two collections dating back to 1909 have been published, but none have enjoyed more acceptance than “Glory, Glory.” And since the addition of the slowed-down “Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation” version, with the trumpet solo at the start, the song has become an even bigger part of Bulldog tradition. Whether it’s the Dawg Walk performance before the game with everyone pointing at the trumpet soloist on the bridge, or the pre-kickoff version in Sanford Stadium accompanied by the Larry Munson voiceover and video hightlights, it never fails to give me chills down my spine.

On a related note, Hal from Tampa writes: Hello Bill, could you tell me why the Redcoat Band was moved to the end zone? Sure miss the students waving against opposing teams’ field goal tries. Sure looks dull, now on TV. Not to mention having the cheerleaders and the band and the students and UGA making an opposing picture to visiting teams that have to enter the stadium past it all! Why the move?

Athletic director Greg McGarity initiated moving the Redcoats to the end zone to try and make it easier for more areas of the stadium to hear the band clearly. I’ve heard from several folks who don’t like the new location, though from where I sit, the move definitely has made the Redcoats more audible. But I will say there was one problem last season: They didn’t move the visiting band when they relocated the Redcoats, which means the two bands are awfully close to each other and at times clash by playing simultaneously. I think moving the visiting band to the other end zone and moving more students closer to the Redcoats would solve that problem.

And Jim Parry writes: Bill, Just got through reading your March 3rd blog. It’s time for people to quit worrying about backup QB reps. As we all know, the backup QB is many peoples’ favorite player on any team. Usually due to emotional moments after a starter throws an interception or fails to lead an important drive for a touchdown in any given game. Hutson Mason seems to be a very capable and READY quarterback to enter the game on short notice, based on the reps I have seen him get in previous games. I don’t really see the few, real chances of opportunity to put him in a game as making much of a difference as some people tend to make it. Remember, he is usually entering games along with backups. I use Hutson under the assumption of giving up a redshirt due to injury to [Aaron] Murray. I don’t believe another unproven QB such as [Christian] LeMay would be thrown in, especially with a new, revamped offensive line. Speaking of the O-Line, reading the list of linemen competing this year, I feel a little better about the position. Yes, these young men need that game experience to gel as a unit. But there are quite a few highly touted players getting their opportunity. Let’s hope they live up to their talent.

You make a good point about backup quarterbacks in general. When fans get frustrated with a lack of success on offense, the temptation is to think that the insertion of the backup QB will make all the difference. Occasionally that is the case, but most of the time, there’s a reason the backup isn’t the starter — he’s been beaten out by the guy who is!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

153 comments Add your comment


March 13th, 2012
10:29 am

Thomas Brown…I imagine you have no friends. You have managed to alienate and annoy everyone on these blogs regardless of allegiance. You and WnE must be brothers. The only real difference between you is WnE got to suck on mama and you had to suck on daddy.

Thomas Brown

March 13th, 2012
12:59 pm

That’s an obscene post.

About what is expected from you, Nerd yellow jackette

PDX Dawg

March 13th, 2012
4:47 pm

As a Georgia Grad, I also hate Glory Glory Georgia, and would submit that Sweet Georgia Brown would make an excellent replacement.