With NFL on hold, A.J. Green, Matthew Stafford play a little golf with friends at UGA

Georgia’s A.J. Green just got drafted this past Thursday by the Cincinnati Bengals with the fourth pick of the NFL draft. Matthew Stafford was the No. 1 overall pick two years ago. But at the moment, neither one has anywhere to play football. So what to do?

Play golf, of course.

Green and Stafford were among several Georgia football lettermen who came back to Athens on Monday to participate in a celebrity pro-am for the Stadion Classic Tournament at UGA. They were joined by recent graduates Mohammed Massaquoi, Kris Durham, Shaun Chapas and David Greene and older graduates such as Lindsay Scott and Kevin Butler.

I talked to several of them and will share their thoughts and comments eventually. But A.J. Green was a particularly fun interview, seeing how he effectively just hit the lottery this past week.

I found it surprising and somewhat refreshing that Green was here helping raise money for his alma mater instead of sunning in the South of France or trying to strike an endorsement deal with Right Guard deodorant in New York or some such thing. But that’s not Green’s style, as we’ve all come to know.

Mostly, Green told me, he was just happy to have the draft behind him.

“It’s definitely one of the best feelings in the world, just to know that I’ve done well after all the hard work I’ve put in,” said Green, standing next to his new, black Porsche Panamera 4S in the parking lot of the UGA Golf Course. “It feels good that it’s all paid off. I feel like a new man with all this weight off my shoulders.”

Well, not all the weight. There was the matter of the golf tournament to play in. And while the 6-foot-5 Green is quite the football player, he’s not much of a golfer. The only other time he had played was this spring when he was training for the draft out in Phoenix. So he was nervous.

“I really haven’t played at all,” he said. “I’m terrible.”

But Green was in luck. Two of golf’s greats happened to be on the practice tee where he and his borrowed clubs were to get acquainted.

Chip Beck, a longtime pro and one of only a few men on Earth to shoot 59 in a professional golf tournament, took a special interest in Green. After taking a picture of Green with his son, Beck set about giving him a personal lesson. Green also got a few pointers from Bubba Watson, the world’s No. 10-ranked player.

Here’s some video:

Finally, I asked Green about his reception in Cincinnati. Seems the humble Green was a breath of fresh air for media and fans there.

“That’s just to type of guy I am,” Green said. “I’m kind of a quiet guy who goes about my business. I’m a little different than Chad [Ochocinco], but Chad’s a great receiver. I’m just trying to go in there and make an impact.”

Green said he had no idea when the lockout might get resolved. Therefore, has no idea when he might get paid.

“I don’t even know when it’s all supposed to get done,” he said. “I think it will. I’m just ready to get back to work.”

As for advice on how to spend his time between now and then, Green said head coach Marvin Lewis told him, “just learn the playbook.”

For Monday at least, golf would have to do.

35 comments Add your comment

Wonderful-Ohio-On-The-Gulf Dog

May 2nd, 2011
6:30 pm

Congratulations A.J.!

You didn’t “hit the lottery” or “get a windfall.” You worked your butt off for the opportunity you have before you!

No matter how rare your feat as a first round draft choice, you earned the good things you have coming to you. It wasn’t just luck.

Well done!

SEC1

May 2nd, 2011
6:53 pm

I don’t think you will have any problems paying for as many golf lessons as needed.

Just remember to yell, “FORE”!

Good luck and come back to Athens often to support our program!

SEC1

May 2nd, 2011
6:56 pm

Forgot to mention – his swing is significatly better than Sir Charles. At least he has that going for him!

JB

May 2nd, 2011
6:58 pm

The car is an advance from his agent. In Fact, the day he declared and hired an agent, he probably got 250K in his Checking account…..Under contract that is with the agent and the money to be repaid upon getting the signing bonus which will 4-6 mil NET.

supsalemgr

May 2nd, 2011
7:04 pm

Kids go to college to prepare for a good job. AJ did it in three years. I just hope he comes back and gets his degree – just in case.

Stinger95

May 2nd, 2011
7:06 pm

uga gets all these great players, yet they can’t beat anybody. Georgia Tech will begin dominating the dogs this year. They can’t stop our offense. So play all the golf you want, Paul Johnson has a plan.

Trolllllll in the dungeon

May 2nd, 2011
7:13 pm

Mitch Cumstein

May 2nd, 2011
7:24 pm

Stinker- Wow!! Get a clue, wouldja! Fat boy’s plan is the all-u-can-eat buffet. He barely beat the dog’s worst team with his best team(or should I say tek’s best) since God only knows! Don’t count on victories against these Dawgs any time soon.

John

May 2nd, 2011
7:42 pm

What a great story. Chip please report on recruiting. The new guy is very boring.

BornADawg

May 2nd, 2011
8:03 pm

@Stinger95…Hey Stinger, soon as you sober up, go back and read what you wrote! It’s actually pretty funny! I’m still laughing my A@@ off at it!

BornADawg

May 2nd, 2011
8:05 pm

As for Paul Johnson and his plan,…well, never mind. I’m still laughing too hard!

Beast from the East

May 2nd, 2011
8:09 pm

Probably won’t see as many impactful rookies this year because they won’t have the practice time in due to the lockouts. Raw talent will more than likely propel one of these rookies to the “Rookie of the Year” award. AJ’s got as much raw talent as any player in the draft.

BG

May 2nd, 2011
8:18 pm

GO DAWGS!! AJ you deserve the best! I hope you have a long and productive NFL career.

dawgfan

May 2nd, 2011
8:20 pm

People ooooh and aaaah over all these millions but it will be gone in a flash if you’re an idiot and don’t know what you’re doing. I hope AJ is spending a little time learning how to manage his money and plan for the future. Ask Techies about Kenny Anderson.

Calhoundawg

May 2nd, 2011
8:51 pm

@Stinger95 — Paul Hewitthad a plan, too, and you couldn’t beat us at basketball, either. And that’s when we sucked. Can you say Kennesaw State ? Didn’t think so. We run this state — Go Dawgs !!!!!!

Auburn Plains

May 2nd, 2011
10:50 pm

Answer me this: How does a UGA Football Team do so poorly three years in a row with 4 draft picks in 2010, 5 or 6 in 2011, and as reported by ESPN Chris Low 5 players in the top 5 positions in the 2012 draft? This has to be the most under performing team in recent history of college football.
Poor Coaching? Poor Leadership? Incompetence? Someone please come up with a legitimate reason? Not excuse.

51WTGW50

May 2nd, 2011
11:00 pm

51WTGW50

May 2nd, 2011
11:07 pm

TAP TAP U R D.AD!!!!!!!
F….. O.AMA!!!
BUSH told you WE would KILL you, and OBAMA said WE would KILL you.
Instead of Duck Duck Goose. The children’s game will be called ” TAP TAP your Head SEAL TEAM 6 says U R DEAD.

georgedawg

May 3rd, 2011
6:19 am

Auburn Plains, Yes, those 3 plus tough competition. We all know how you turned things around – I give it 9 months for the NCAA to make it official : Auburn is for cheats and Georgia kids that can’t get into Georgia. Nothing says “redneck” like Alabama.

Buckeye

May 3rd, 2011
7:35 am

Has Stafford turned his hat around yet?

Young KH must like the look.

BigGAdawg

May 3rd, 2011
8:03 am

@Stinger95, You really have to cut back on those model airplanes–the glue fumes are getting to your pea brain. Tech dominating??? Really?? That is hilarious–REALLY!!!!

@georgedawg, I think you are right–but isn’t it Alabamastan?

UGASlobberknocker

May 3rd, 2011
8:35 am

Stinger95 is just in a bad mood since his credit card bill just came with all of those 900 phone calls charges at 2.99 per minute. He hasnt had a date since he took his sister to the prom.

UGASlobberknocker

May 3rd, 2011
8:39 am

@Auburn Plains 180,000 bucks buys a lot of competence. And those Auburn players were coached up pretty good…about which slot machine to go to at the casino for a payoff. You trailer trash fans kill me. Please just go get back to work driving the garbage truck.

North Avenue mugger

May 3rd, 2011
8:41 am

Hey Stinger 95..watch out, you are my next victim. What was your dorm room number again? I need to come by and administer my weekly Tech nerd pistol whipping.

BYRDDAWG

May 3rd, 2011
8:54 am

stinger 95 CMR’s 9-1 vs tech!! auburn plains we can’t beat one but we’re 4-1 vs ur candy butts the last 5 games!! Guess you two are in the same 9th grade class for the past 4 yrs….MORONS!

Paul N Destin

May 3rd, 2011
9:15 am

AJ has a taste for sheet with his new car. That is without a doubt the ugliest car made!

UGA Insider

May 3rd, 2011
10:17 am

Auburn Plains,

You need to visit mr.sec.com… they have a great write-up about the correlation between draft picks and championships. When the numbers came out UT was the SEC’s worst. They put 2nd to the most players in the NFL and have the fewest championships. UGA is ranked actually the highest because we have won 2 SEC Champoinships in the past 12 years which is not too shabby.

DawginLex

May 3rd, 2011
10:25 am

Insider, You hearing anymore news out of Athens?

ATL Sports Fan

May 3rd, 2011
10:42 am

Its hilarious to hear people say UGA has had 3 poor years. In 2008 UGA had the same record as pre-season #1 ranked Alabama. Guess what they also played in the same bowl against the same team this year. Underschieved yes, poor no. Do you see people jumping off the ship in Tuscaloosa after this past year? NO!

Look at South Carolina, they had their best season in years and they lost 5 games and you would think they were national champions.

Joey

May 3rd, 2011
10:53 am

Um, actually, ATL, we were the preseason #1 ranked team by nearly everybody. Bama was an afterthought coming off of a 6-6 season until they beat our ass in primetime in the 4th game of the season. The Tide went on to lose the SECCG to eventual BCS Champ, UF and then to Utah.

‘08 wasn’t a “poor” season for UGA, but it sure wasn’t a good one, with two shellackings (Bama, UF) and losing to an obviously inferior Tech, in Athens, and a 17 point halftime lead.

DawginLex

May 3rd, 2011
11:08 am

joey, he is talking about 2010 for Bama. They were preseason #1, lost 3 games, finished 4th in their own division, blew a 24 point lead to Auburn at home and ended up in the Cap One Bowl just like we did in 2008 against MSU.

I can’t wait to hear the excuses out of there when they do the same in 2011 and Arkansas wins the west.

UGASlobberknocker

May 3rd, 2011
11:30 am

I cant see Arkansas winning the West, but I do think LSU has a shot.

UGASlobberknocker

May 3rd, 2011
11:34 am

2008–a mixed bag

the good : 10-3 final ranking #10

the bad..butt whipping in all 3 losses, inclouding by the two best teams , Ala and Fla.and a 2nd half collapse vs Tenn

it is my opinion that the Bama game that year was the beginning of our slide..I dont think the team ,the coaches or the fans have gotten over that one yet.

UGASlobberknocker

May 3rd, 2011
11:35 am

@Joey my brain is old but wasnt it 09 when we lost to Tech?

maizenbluedoc

May 4th, 2011
8:46 am

The look on A J’s face when the selection was announced said it all; he didn’t want to go to Cincinnatti. He was hoping to go to the Browns. I hope he has a stellar NFL career. I watched him play four years in HS and enjoyed every minute of it.