Fan talk: Game day changes, Uga IX’s record, louder Redcoats, suspensions and more!

It's time once again to tee it up Betweeeen the Hedges! (University of Georgia)

It's time once again to tee it up Betweeeen the Hedges! (University of Georgia)

Last week when we took a look at game day in Athens, UGA sports communications director Claude Felton told us there’d be some more new wrinkles announced this week. True to his word, he’s passed along news of what will be different Saturday in Sanford Stadium when the Dawgs kick off a new season:

  • Expanded replay capabilities: more angles and looks, including plays under review.
  • The ability to go split-screen and show other games during timeouts as well as highlights from other games.
  • Interactive Twitter polls with real time updates on the video board.
  • The ability for fans to tweet comments to the board.

“In addition to the in-stadium enhancements,” Felton said, “we also are moving the location of the ‘Tailgate Show’ broadcast from under the bridge at Gate 10 to the Tate Center Plaza. This space is a great gathering area and a highly visible location.”

The “Tailgate Show” starts three hours prior to kickoff.

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

Buckhead Bulldog writes what he’d like to see done to enhance game day in Athens: Bring back large rec vehicles on campus. Allow parking up near Herty Field — that was a great scene years ago. Put the band back where it was — they need to be with the rest of the students and where the team can hear them. Put cops on the street before and after game to direct traffic. More concession sellers in the stands. Bring back the GA Railroad from Underground Atlanta to the cemetery. More trash cans for tailgates. Has the Senior Walk returned? Tell the Jackson County Sheriff to put a deputy to direct traffic at I-85 and Jefferson Highway before and after games. Keep ticket price at $40 — did you see SC @ $70? Do NOT upper deck the bridge end zone (will eliminate wind factor and ruin view). That’s all for now.

Some of what you want isn’t very likely to happen, especially the ticket prices, but the Redcoat Band is returning to where they were before last season (and there’s more news about them below) and the athletic association has announced the new season will bring several new concessions dealers plus increased stadium coverage by vendors as well as credit and debit card capabilities. Vendor staffing has been increased by more than 20 percent. As for the Senior Walk, that had already been discontinued several years before I graduated in 1974, so dream on …

The record of Russ will carry over to Uga IX. (Rob Saye / UGA)

The record of Russ will carry over to Uga IX. (Rob Saye / UGA)

Jackie Cottrell and Chris Mashburn both want to know: Does Russ start at 14-9 or 0-0 now that he is Uga IX?

I put the question to Karen Huff of the athletics office, who says the record of Russ as interim mascot (14-9) will carry over to Uga IX. He’ll be formally installed as the mascot before the Florida Atlantic game. And, I must add, it’s about time!

Mitchell Sinyard writes: Mr. King, do you know the time for the Dawg Walk, Saturday? We enjoy your blog!

Thanks, Mitchell. The athletic office says this week’s DawgWalk will be at approximately 10:40 a.m. Saturday.

Andrew Smith writes: Hey Bill, We all know that our interest level in the actual game Saturday will wane as the quarters pass and the subs come in. I will be watching for a couple things throughout:

1) Penalties: If the team is undisciplined against Buffalo imagine the scenario against much more athletic teams.

2) Total Defense: Can the team stay focused all four quarters and pitch a shut out? Or will attention fade and Buffalo squeak out some points.

3) Conditioning of Mitchell: Will Malcom be ready for two ways in the heart of SEC play?

4) Running Backs: How close are Gurley and Marshall to stepping in and becoming playmakers? Can we get away from a running back who is mainly there to block?

Just some thoughts for pondering over the game day fare.

All good points, Andrew. And that’s about all we can expect to glean from a game like the one against Buffalo, since we’ll likely be seeing extremely vanilla schemes on offense and defense in order to give Missouri as little information as possible to work with.

Fans should have an easier time hearing the Redcoats this season. (University of Georgia)

Fans should have an easier time hearing the Redcoats this season. (University of Georgia)

Brent Jarnicki writes: I read numerous reports this week that the SEC will now allow the bands to be amplified. I think this would greatly resolve the ongoing issues of fans in Sanford Stadium not being able to hear the Redcoats from many sections of the stadium. If the Redcoats were “mic’d up” so to speak, and it was done correctly so it’s not blaring, but loud enough to hear them well from anywhere in the stadium, it would really energize the whole crowd, not just the student section they sit in. All the experiments and various opinions of moving the Redcoats to the West Endzone just for the entire stadium to better hear them would be resolved. I’ve been to a college game where the band was piped in through the speakers, and it greatly improved the overall atmosphere. Any word on if the Redcoats will take advantage of the SEC’s newest idea to improve the gameday experience, and get “amped up” this season?

You’re correct that the SEC has announced that in addition to expanded video replays (as referenced above), another policy change permits bands to be amplified and allows them to play longer before the ball is snapped. And the Redcoats, who will now be sporting all-silver instruments, will be taking advantage of this. Brett Bawcum, assistant director of bands at UGA, told me this week: “We’re actually just returning from a meeting on this very subject. Athletics is planning to amplify the band through on-field speakers in order to avoid delay issues with the house speaker system. It is my understanding that we will be amplified at any time we are permitted to play. Under the new policy, this includes the time from the whistle until the center takes his place over the ball. We have obviously never done this before, so I’m sure we will learn a lot about how best to do this over the first couple of weeks. We’re excited about being heard in more areas of the stadium.”

UPDATE: Brett Bawcum just sent a note that the amplification is being postponed. Here’s what he says: “I have learned that plans to amplify the band are being postponed. I still expect it to happen sooner rather than later. But it sounds like the technical staff realized that amplifying the band is more complicated than was first thought. Sending the signal through the house isn’t an option because of the delay. I know they are looking into how to do this, and I appreciate that they’re waiting to implement in order to do it right.”

Tom Winder writes: Bill, I’m puzzled by all the talk this week about whether former walk-on Merritt Hall will be a “starter” at fullback. I keep reading that technically he won’t be a starter in Saturday’s game if the Dawgs open in a set that doesn’t require a fullback. Is that the rule? Do you have to be in the game on the very first play to qualify as a starter?

That’s certainly how the sportswriters covering Georgia seem to view it, but Mark Richt doesn’t appear to agree. When that point was made to him at his press conference this week, he replied: “I don’t know if that’s right or not.” He then added that Hall is the “starter on our base unit.” It seems to me that if you’re the first fullback in the game, you’re the starting fullback, whether you’re in for the very first offensive play of the game or not.

Jason from Athens writes: I know all the talk in the West is about Bama and LSU again this year and who will win the SEC and National Championship. But, what about Arkansas? They get an Alabama team at home the third week of the season, while Alabama will surely still be trying to get their defense to jell together. I think all three teams will split with each other this year, all 3 teams will finish 11-1 and be ranked in the top 10. If that’s the case, as long as all 3 are ranked within 5 spots of each other, I say Arkansas wins the West by virtue of the tie breaker and not having been to ATL the longest and will play UGA for the SEC Championship. What are your thoughts on this prediction?

Arkansas has a lot of talent, but without Bobby Petrino calling the plays for the Hogs, I don’t think I’d bet on them finishing the season tied with LSU and Bama.

So far, UGA isn't talking about Alec Ogletree's status. (Associated Press)

So far, UGA isn't talking about Alec Ogletree's status. (Associated Press)

Cleveland Williams III writes: Bill, What’s with everything I read stating that Alec Ogletree will be suspended for two games for violation of rules on drug policy? I know Coach Richt has not made an announcement but I have never read anything about him being suspended for this policy before. I know he was suspended for theft by taking for a scooter helmet, but nothing related for drug policy unless it was never reported.

And on the same topic Joshua Hewitt writes: Hey Bill, I am having very serious doubts as to the suspensions for Rambo and Ogletree. Had they indeed failed a drug test and were going to be suspended, I believe it would have come to light by now. This is not like CMR to withhold such serious information, but then again it could be a good sign as to a new coaching attitude. Do you think this could just be the case of some bum scoop being spread around or am I the only one thinking this?

Basically, what we’re dealing with so far is an unconfirmed report based on what a high school coach says, since to avoid giving a competitive advantage to its opponents UGA has decided not to make an announcement about the status of Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo. It’s true that Ogletree’s previous suspension had to do with his arrest for misdemeanor theft and had nothing to do with UGA’s drug policy. So if Ogletree is suspended this season for a violation of the drug policy, it would be the first time that has happened, and that might mean he’d only be suspended for one game (Buffalo). We just don’t know. Since this would be Rambo’s second violation of the drug policy (assuming the report is correct), a four-game suspension would most likely be the result. But it’s all up to UGA to decide and they’re not talking so far.

Finally, Todd Miller sends in this year’s Bulldog prayer offered recently at East Metro Bulldog Club:

Tonight, O Lord we come before you as the loyal members of the Bulldog Nation to thank you for the blessings of being a Georgia Bulldog.

Tonight we thank you for the memories of the legends that have graced the hallowed grounds “Between the Hedges.” We are grateful to the have seen Fran throw, Jake play defense, Herschel run, Lindsey catch Kevin kick, Pollack sack and David put on a pair of hobnailed boots.

We thank you for the sounds of “Glory Glory” and “The Battle Hymn,” finding them more noble and pleasing to the ear than the notes of “Rocky Top.” We thank you for the ringing of the chapel bell and that we do not delight in tossing toilet paper over dead oak trees.

We pray Lord that we will be forever grateful that we have a coach that doesn’t throw visors. We are blessed that a bad day in Athens is far better than a good day on North Avenue and for that we give thanks.

As we gather tonight in anticipation of a grand season of barking, hunkering and celebration let us remember that by your grace we are Bulldogs but it is by choice that Gators wear jean shorts.

Indeed, tonight we humbly thank you for all your blessings. We are indeed grateful for our blessings not only as devotees of the Red and Black but as citizens of this great nation.

Above all we thank you for the grace and love you have shown us through your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.

Amen. Thanks, Todd.

Go Dogs!

I’ll answer more Junkyard Mail next week. Do you have something you want to discuss concerning the new football season or UGA athletics in general? Got a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? If so, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

57 comments Add your comment

Joey Hanie

August 31st, 2012
10:42 am

Moobs Johnson

August 31st, 2012
10:52 am

Wow, Richt is a sly fox. I forgot, just how did not revealing Rambo’s suspension last year before the first game work out for Boise?

chilidawg

August 31st, 2012
11:00 am

what’llyahave?

old dog

August 31st, 2012
11:04 am

Go Dawgs…and lets see some BIG holes opened up for our backs!

Lindsey

August 31st, 2012
11:06 am

Glad to hear about some new changes for the game. More vendor’s is defiantly needed and I agree with Buckhead Bulldog, more trash cans! I would also like to see more/better portable toilets (when you are 8 months pregnant it is very important!!) and I wish we could keep the lids on out water bottles. We have great seats on the end, but every season my water gets kicked over and spills all over my purse or on to the fans in front of me. Maybe I just need to bring my own cap in!! Can’t wait until tomorrow, GO DAWGS!!!

Kevin

August 31st, 2012
11:14 am

Congrats Russ on Ruthlessly Winning the
Game Of Thrones!

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
11:18 am

“More trash cans for tailgates”
______________

Why? The fans don’t use the ones they have now.

Adam

August 31st, 2012
11:26 am

Two great ways to improve the gameday atmosphere:
1. Don’t allow random redneck “fans” who have nothing to do with the University to get drunk and yell about “their” dawgs.
2. Don’t allow any man over the age of 13 to wear a jersey. Try dressing like an adult.

AltamahaDawg

August 31st, 2012
11:40 am

Coach Bobo’s comment was that he also thought the term starter aplied to thier grouping, but he guessed that having thier grouping BE the first on the field was a big deal to some of the players. I paraphrased.

I think that was a classic case of of invented a story, by taking one thing, applying some inexact quotes to it, then reaching a bit to drawn a conclusion.

WDE

August 31st, 2012
11:40 am

Now I’m confused is Adam or SSIgator the biggest tool?? I have to go with SSI he has a team his doesn’t seem to follow..as for Adam well the less said the better.Go Dogs and Congrats to Russ!

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
11:42 am

“The ability for fans to tweet comments to the board”
________________

Uh oh. Based on some of the comments that UGA fans make on this site and others like it, the school better have someone monitor those tweets before posting for all to read.

Mike Bell 790

August 31st, 2012
11:43 am

Around the Bowl, Down the Hole, Roll Tide Roll

August 31st, 2012
11:44 am

Dawgs come out flat as usual. We will look like Carolina did last night. Lots of hype, no enthusiam and motivation.

mIKE bELL 790

August 31st, 2012
11:45 am

NYCDAWGFAN

August 31st, 2012
11:50 am

It’s finally here Bulldog Nation!! Hunker down one more time!! Let the Dawgs loose and Finish the Drill!! If any Dawgs in the New York area want to get together for games this season drop me a line here and we can coordinate. Go Dawgs Sic’em!!

Red and Black ’til Death

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
11:51 am

Yes, I have no life!

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
11:52 am

Good luck to you Russ. Try not to watch what is going on during the game. Your predecessor used to watch and ended up killing himself. With St. Markus Rectumus and Booboo still there coaching, I am surprised someone hasn’t notified PETA about the torture the UGA mascots have to endure.

DIT

August 31st, 2012
11:55 am

I’m curious to see how much LeMay plays tomorrow. This game should, should be put away in the 1st half. Hopefully they will let LeMay have the 2nd half.

DawgNation

August 31st, 2012
11:55 am

[b]WDE
August 31st, 2012
11:40 am
Now I’m confused is Adam or SSIgator the biggest tool?? I have to go with SSI he has a team his doesn’t seem to follow..as for Adam well the less said the better.Go Dogs and Congrats to Russ![/b]
___________________________________________________________________________________

Good call WDE! I think you hit it right.

DawgNation

August 31st, 2012
11:57 am

Me too DIT. I am more than a little curious as to how he will play after what, three years of playing a competitive game?

WDE

August 31st, 2012
11:58 am

@SSIgator its not that you have no life…its more of a life misspent I mean its America you could have been a fan of a team you could actually follow. Not have to haunt another team….not that we want you to go away, we would miss your antics.

DawgNation

August 31st, 2012
11:58 am

Whoops should have read “three years of not playing acompetitve game?”

DawgNation

August 31st, 2012
11:59 am

Not me WDE. I wish he would go away.

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
12:00 pm

“we’ll likely be seeing extremely vanilla schemes on offense”
_________________

So, it will be business as usual. Booboo only has three plays.

WDE

August 31st, 2012
12:03 pm

@SSIgator Bobo’s plays are spreading I saw Franklin run that little guy they have between the tackles on 3rd and long more than once last night.

DIT

August 31st, 2012
12:05 pm

SSIgator is entertaining. I’m mean just consider the source. Several months back I had several people over at the house for a get together, I live in Tampa, a couple of the guys were Florida grads. I opened up the blog and this guy was being his normal self on here. These guys could not believe what was coming out of his mouth(onto the blog) They even made comments to shut him up and he would not. We all came to the conclussion that he has never even set one foot in a UF classroom. Just some back woods poster with……. as stated above, no life. I just laugh at him and remember that day with my friends and move on.

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
12:09 pm

WDE -

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I guess that is why Booboo had to hire an assistant, to turn down all of the requests from other schools to interview with them.

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
12:19 pm

DIT -

I seem to remember that. Back around the Christmas holiday time, right? You and your friends really know how to party like rock stars – reading a sports blog. What do you guys do for New Years Eve?

TallaDawg

August 31st, 2012
12:31 pm

@ Adam – 11:26
“2. Don’t allow any man over the age of 13 to wear a jersey. Try dressing like an adult.”
Could not agree more. People who do this are either non-alimni ‘fans’ or Yankees who are accustomed to dressing like slobs at NFL games.

DIT

August 31st, 2012
12:35 pm

Nice of you to remember. It was called a Christmas party with family and friends. We were having bantering back on forth about our teams. Also talking about the intelligence of the fan bases. I remembered how ignorant your posts were. Low and behold there your were on the blog. You know, I never had a chance to thank you for helping me win that bet.
You want to make fun of us for being on a sports blog? I would ask what your excuse was for being on THE SAME BLOG, unlike myself throwing a Christmas party, you were in your bedroom, by yourself piddling your pud. Your such a moron and your posts back up this staement!

DawgNation

August 31st, 2012
12:46 pm

So TallaDawg only “alimni” ( You can’t even spell it.) are to be allowed to dress like slobs at NFL games. Hum……I guess then only alumni are allowed to sit in a seat at home games. Only alumni are allowed to support the athilitic department monitarorly. Only alumni are allowed to cheer for a team they have cheered for over 42 years. Did I attend UGA? No. Did I attend college? Yes. I also server 22 years in the USAF and cheer for the Air Force Academy, even though I never set foot in the Academy. It is bugger eating moron “alimni” as you and Adam that need to be banned from anything BullDawg.
P.S. I will wear any damn thing I want. If you are man enough to take it off me go for it.

old dog

August 31st, 2012
12:49 pm

Uh oh,
Sounds like DawgNation is ready to dish out a tail-whoopin’!

WDE

August 31st, 2012
12:53 pm

@SSIgator well of course Bobo can’t compete with that offensive genius you guys had last year oh wait he actually can.Anyway you cut it you have to feel better about your offensive outlook this year without Weiss.

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
1:18 pm

WDE -

“Anyway you cut it you have to feel better about your offensive outlook this year without Weiss”
_________________

Yeah, but the restaurant businees is way off in Gainesville.

WDE

August 31st, 2012
1:22 pm

@SSIgator but the players must be relived I mean could imagine being around him when he was angry and hungry…dangerous I tell you !

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
1:30 pm

I know. The players used to lock the doors behind them when they gathered for the team meals. It was a little distracting to hear Charlie baying in the hallway though.

AAAAA Athens Bail Bonds R Us

August 31st, 2012
1:31 pm

Any more dawgs arrested? Hey, we have a new customer!

SSIgator

August 31st, 2012
1:35 pm

WDE -

Did you hear the news? We are all invited to DIT’s house in Tampa for a party! We are going to sit around a fire on the beach and roast marshmellows while he reads us clippings from sports blogs. I can’t wait. How about you? Be still my heart.

NCDawg

August 31st, 2012
1:44 pm

Glad Russ got the call. I am very glad the obsession with UGA having to be a pure white bulldog is over as well. Now Russ can sire healthy pups and continue the line instead having to crown a new UGA every year or so the way it has been going lately.
Hail Russ UGA IX, long may he reign!

CHDawg

August 31st, 2012
2:09 pm

Enjoy the year, fellow Dawg fans! Appreciate the updates Bill. Like everybody, I’m hopeful. Hoping the D picks up where they left off, and I’m excited about the whole offense. I think we have some innovations coming in the play calling department. We have more cumulative receiver talent than I can remember, and I am hoping Malcome and company will have their breakout season. If the O line can protect him, Murray may give the Heisman a run. Go Dawgs–this is our year!

rhbDAWG1

August 31st, 2012
2:12 pm

DawgNation – I really like your post! I, too, did not UGA as a student but saw my first game at age 13 on band day with my entire high school football team. That was in 1956 and I have been a loyal DAWG1 since that time. I am just as much “Bulldog Born and Bulldog Bred” as any fan.

RxDawg

August 31st, 2012
2:23 pm

Best prayer ever

LHarding Dawg

August 31st, 2012
2:36 pm

Where are the tools from SC today.

barrow dog

August 31st, 2012
2:37 pm

would somebody please share the info re tv coverage tomorrow ?

Huh?

August 31st, 2012
2:58 pm

Cleveland Williams III above shares the opinion that I have seen a lot on this site from other UGA fans…that is, that he hopes there is a new “coaching attitude” regarding the suspensions (meaning hoping that they don’t happen).

Do UGA fans want to be able to hold their head high for doing things he right way?…Or do you want to be like Florida, SC and other schools that you complain about for not doing it the right way? It seems like most UGA fans want to brag about UGA’s “tough” policies, then complain about it at the same time.

Pitbull

August 31st, 2012
4:37 pm

We are not Georgia Tech that treats their games like an exclusive club and anyone who did not attend Tech is looked down upon even if they show up to pull for Tech.

UGA is the flagship school of Georgia and we are supported by the peple of this state and we are mindful that many of the folks that did not attend UGA still support us every year with their tax money and with their best wishes for the team and the coaches.

We appreciate and welcome all those who embrace UGA and the Dawgs.They are always welcome in Athens to cheer and woof for the team and we hope they will always feel welcome at every game.

We are the Bulldog Nation and let us always cheer Go Dawgs and THWGT.

GB's Hamburgers

August 31st, 2012
5:41 pm

Our coach doesn’t throw visors. He also doesn’t fix problems very quickly. Conditioning … a problem that has costs us games but was slow to be addressed. Special teams … a problem that has cost us games but has all but been ignored. Being outcoached in the second half by almost every opponent. That hasn’t been fixed. There’s more but why pile on. Maybe if he cared enough to throw a visor he would care enough to fix these problems.

Bill King

August 31st, 2012
6:35 pm

The game is on the SEC Network. In the Atlanta area, that’s Peachtree TV.

FLA DAWG

August 31st, 2012
9:17 pm

Five years ago this site would have had 10 pages of blogs on it. Fans have become so disenchanted with Richt and Bobo that they just don’t care anymore. And don’t call them “Fairweather Fans”. I believe they feel powerless since Richt and Bobo have been given contract extensions.

Buh Bye Mark Richt

August 31st, 2012
10:09 pm

UGA fans will be saying goodbye to Richt when UGA loses to Vandy. Looks like two losses are on the horizon, both to Vandy and SC.