Archive for June, 2013

When should kids attend their first game at Sanford Stadium?

Finn Conner, 2, gives UGA head coach Mark Richt a high five as his dad Wes looks on during last year's Picture Day. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Finn Conner, 2, gives UGA head coach Mark Richt a high five as his dad Wes looks on during last year's Picture Day. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I recently got a letter from UGA fan Barry Cochran raising the question of what’s the right age for kids to attend their first football game at Sanford Stadium.

Cochran writes: Bill, I have a son and daughter, both of whom are preschool (3 and 5 years old), and I’m looking forward to the day when both of them can accompany me to Athens for a glorious day Between the Hedges. I didn’t attend my first UGA game with my Dad until I was about 10, but my son will be 6 midway through this season and I’m wondering whether that would be too early to take him. Maybe for the Appalachian State game on Nov. 9? What do you think?

I know there are mixed views on this. When I recently posted on the Blawg’s Facebook page asking what would make a day at Sanford Stadium even better, my brother Jon commented: “Leaving kids under the age of 10 at home!”

And for …

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Is UGA’s push for a uniform SEC drug policy finally gaining some traction?

Aaron Hernandez didn't have to deal with a tough drug policy at Florida. (Associated Press)

Aaron Hernandez didn't have to deal with a tough drug policy at Florida. (Associated Press)

It might have seemed UGA’s push to get the SEC to adopt a conference-wide policy on punishing athletes for drug infractions had gone nowhere after it failed to even get a vote recently.

As Greg McGarity put it in an online chat this week, “At the SEC meeting in Destin, we proposed consistent penalties across the board, but our proposal gained no traction. Therefore, the issue is moot unless it is brought up in the future.”

He did add, though: “We will continue to propose this procedure.”

And in the media, at least, the idea seems to be finding some of that missing traction as the arrest on murder charges of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has brought up again the fact that while he was a Florida Gator Hernandez apparently failed quite a few drug tests but only ever missed one game on suspension — a far cry from the way things are handled in Athens, where one …

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Fan talk: Is it finally time to honor Vince Dooley at Sanford Stadium?

A statue far away from Sanford Stadium isn't sufficient honor for Vince Dooley at UGA. (University of Georgia)

A statue far away from Sanford Stadium isn't sufficient honor for Vince Dooley at UGA. (University of Georgia)

Let’s get straight to some Junkyard Mail …

CobbhamDawg writes: Bill, now that Michael Adams is finally leaving UGA’s presidency, don’t you think it’s high time the university finally honored Vince Dooley properly by adding his name to Sanford Stadium?

What, you don’t think naming the southwest portion of the athletic complex after him and putting up a statue in an inconspicuous location that’s a 20-minute walk from the stadium is enough? Well, you’re right. It’s not. As I wrote back in 2008 when the plan was first announced, that “honor” for Coach Dooley was just one more opportunity for Adams to put Dooley in his place … which the president saw as far away from Sanford Stadium and the main UGA athletic spotlight. That’s not the way the university ought to pay tribute to a man who’s devoted most of his life to UGA and served it proudly. Dooley should be honored …

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Paul Johnson: Who’s your Daddy?

Truth in jest! (@BassinDawg)

Truth in jest! (@BassinDawg)

A photo of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook is good for a laugh  if you’re of the Red and Black persuasion.

A UGA fan who on Twitter goes by the name @BassinDawg tweeted me he PhotoShopped the picture  this morning. It’s, of course, a play on the “Coach Richt Is My Dawg” T-shirt given out to recruits.

And, as my brother Tim put it in true Homer Simpson style, “It’s funny because it’s true!”

Enjoy …

Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or UGA athletics? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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What could make a day Between the Hedges even better for UGA fans?

What could make game day in Athens even better for the Dawgs and their fans? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

What could make game day in Athens even better for the Dawgs and their fans? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Mid-June generally would be considered the summer doldrums for college football, but there was a surprising amount of news for Bulldog fans this week, both good and bad.

On the plus side, after getting the recruitniks all worked up with its ultra slow start, UGA’s football recruiting for 2014 finally got into high gear this week, with five commitments, including quarterback Jacob Park, two-way player (and likely cornerback) Malkom Parrish (who chose the Dawgs over Tech) and Nick Chubb, the top-rated running back in the state.

Of course, since it’s Father’s Day weekend, I’ll play the dad here and point out that nowadays in college football a verbal commitment doesn’t mean a whole lot, so when I see headlines like “Nick Chubb Is a Dawg,” I shake my head. Remember Derrick Henry? Still, it’s awfully encouraging to see that kind of talent expressing a desire to play in Athens. I …

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Why are SEC fans attending fewer football games?

Is the cost of attending a factor in whether you attend a UGA game? (University of Georgia)

Is the cost of attending a factor in whether you attend a UGA game? (University of Georgia)

In light of the SEC studying attendance at games (with nine of the 14 schools having reported attendance down last season), AL.com conducted an unscientific survey recently, asking why conference fans are attending fewer football games these days.

It drew some interesting results. A whopping 54 percent of the roughly 5,000 peole responding to the survey said they are attending games less frequently than five years ago, which isn’t particularly surprising considering all the empty seats that have been showing up across the conference.

But while my expectation would have been that the leading answer would be fan dissatisfaction with nonconference scheduling (with too many unexciting games against lightweight opposition), the overwhelming reason cited by respondents was the cost. Cost of tickets and donations ranked atop the reasons fans are attending games less frequently, with cost of …

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Fan talk: Is UGA’s McGarity feeding Athens too many cupcakes?

Are cupcake opponents the only reason you see empty seats in Sanford Stadium? Do we need even more seats? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Are cupcake opponents the only reason you see empty seats in Sanford Stadium? Do we need even more seats? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I’m back from a few days off, during which Georgia got a fresh face as a new baseball coach, a familiar face as a new assistant basketball coach, the SEC sports information directors predicted UGA again will win the East, single-game tickets were put on sale for the North Texas and Kentucky games as well as a few single season tickets, the post-spring depth chart showed John Theus still has some work to do, and Mark Richt reminded us that whether Josh Harvey-Clemons played or not, the Dogs were going to start a very inexperienced secondary against Clemson. Oh, and he also let us know that the “Gurshall” nickname is so last year.

Now that we’re up to date, let’s get to some of the Junkyard Mail that has stacked up in my absence …

Don Joel writes: Now, Bill, I know you are a homer and that’s fine. But, please. [Greg] McGarity isn’t sensitive to the …

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