Aaron Murray – Damn Good Dawg

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Aaron Murray, Bulldog for Life.

Spring is in full swing between the hedges, but college football remains in limbo remembering this past season and looking ahead to the fall of 2014.

The future is now for UGA.  Bulldog Nation had extra time to prepare for the departure of their former four-year starting quarterback as a result of Aaron Murray tearing an ACL during the final home start of his Georgia career.

Even though his time as a Dawg did not end the way he envisioned, Aaron Murray loved being the starting quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs.  So much so that when it became clear his college football career was over, Aaron Murray tweeted he wished he could go back to being a freshman.

“Would do anything to go back and start playing as a freshmen again.  These 4 years have gone by way too fast.  I am a Dawg for life!” – Aaron Murray

Even Without a Championship, Aaron Murray Cemented his Legacy
Aaron Murray is the all-time passing leader in the Southeastern Conference.  He threw for more yards, and tossed more touchdown passes than anyone in the history of UGA football.  #11 finished his Georgia career as the third Georgia quarterback to ever defeat the Florida Gators three times.  At his peak,  Murray came within ten yards of leading Bulldog Nation to their first national championship appearance in a quarter century.

NFL – UGA  Connection?  A.J. Green and Aaron Murray
Sports Illustrated
recently reported on the possibility of Aaron Murray being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.  If this comes to fruition, Murray would be reunited with former Dawg teammate AJ Green.  Cincinnati has drafted several UGA players in the recent past, including tight end Orson Charles, and defensive end Geno Atkins.

Wishing #11 All the Success in the World
I will never forget the thrills Aaron Murray provided on Saturdays in Athens.  Even though some of his most heroic comebacks came up short on the scoreboard, the Georgia QB always put on a clinic in heart and determination.

Aaron Murray’s passion for leading the Dawgs to victory was unsurpassed by anyone to line up under center for The University of Georgia. Aaron Murray is a Damn Good Dawg

The heart wrenching video below is from the YouTube Channel of user fgruber7.  This particular tribute to Aaron Murray chronicles his heroics on the field, without lamenting the fact that his career did not end the way he had hoped.  For those of you looking to become emotionally invested in the National Football League, I recommend rooting for whichever team gives Aaron Murray the opportunity he deserves.



Paying Tribute to Larry Munson – Part II



Larry Munson Calls the Dawgs
In 1966 Larry Munson was working in West Palm Beach, Florida, covering spring training for the Atlanta Braves.  According to Wikipedia, Munson was browsing the Atlanta Journal, (now known as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) when he noticed a blurb about Georgia Bulldog radio play-by-play man Ed Thilenius leaving The University of Georgia to take a broadcasting position with the Atlanta Falcons.

Larry Munson seized the opportunity and called the UGA athletic director to express interest in being the new voice radio voice of Georgia football.  He was quickly hired.  Despite the location of his new job, Munson continued living in Tennessee to maintain his Rod & Gun Club television show.  Larry Munson resided in Nashville until 1978 when he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work as a reporter for the Georgia Radio Network.

A Match Made In Bulldog Heaven
Larry Munson’s distinct voice set the tone for UGA football for over 40 years.  Former Georgia sideline reporter Loran Smith told the Gwinnett Daily Post that Munson was cut from a different mold than the sportswriters of today.  Larry Munson was a master at his craft while openly rooting for Georgia, which is one of the many reasons Munson will forever be revered by Bulldog Nation.

Larry Munson’s Favorite Calls of All-Time
Rather than opining about personal favorite Larry Munson moments, it is best to track down Munson’s fondest bellows according to the memoirs he left behind.  The historic memories that follow can be found in an ESPN Insider CFB Nation article written by David Ching on November 21, 2011.

Larry Munson’s ten favorite calls are chronicled in the article, which is written according to Munson’s autobiography, “From Herschel to Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson. For the purposes of this blog, his top five calls are remembered.

5. Sugar Falling From the Sky/Hunker Down!
Larry Munson’s work on the Georgia/Auburn game in ’82 has likely been brought up during every UGA football season since it occurred on November 13, 1982. The Dawgs put on their rally cleats to stage a comeback and grab the from the Auburn Tigers.  Munson made it sound as if the Bulldogs were hanging on for dear life.

I know I’m asking a lot, you guys, but hunker it down one more time!” UGA responded by stopping Auburn on fourth down, which led to an observation which will live forever in Georgia football lure. “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky.”  Hear the call at larrymunson.com.

4.  My God a Freshman
I regret that I was not conceived yet, so that I could at least lay claim to being alive in some form when Herschel Walker announced his arrival in Athens. It was on September 6, 1980 and the Dawgs found themselves trailing the Tennessee Volunteers.

Enter freshman running back Herschel Walker. Larry Munson’s rousing reaction to Herschel’s heroics soon followed. “He’s running all over people! Oh, you, Herschel Walker.  My God almighty, he ran right through two men. They had him dead-away inside the nine. Herschel Walker went 16 yards. He drove right over orange shirts, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!“  Hear the call.



3.  An Olympic Effort
Florida Gators football is nauseating.  From the obnoxious Gator chomp celebration, to the ridiculous statue of Tim Tebow, everything about the swamp sucks. In 1975, the Bulldogs used some trickery to pry a win from the jaws of the Gators. With Georgia in a 7-3 hole, UGA head coach Vince Dooley called a reverse pass.

To the delight of UGA fans, Larry Munson roared during the ensuing touchdown which propelled Georgia to a 10-7 victory over UF.  “Washington caught it, thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, and ran out of his shoes right down the middle 80 yards! Gator Bowl rocking, stunned, the girders are bending now. Look at the score!”  Hear the call.

The final two calls will be remembered in part III of our tribute to Larry Munson. We will also share a bit of personal recollection on what impression the Bulldog legend left on every Georgia fan who heard him call a football game.

Georgia Bulldog Memories: David Pollack

Three Days Remaining
ESPN College GameDay emanates from Clemson, South Carolina this weekend to spotlight the match-up between the Dawgs and the Tigers.  As a result, it is fitting to pay tribute to the decorated career of University of Georgia alum and current ESPN college football analyst, David Pollack.

David Pollack was a Three-Time All-American at UGA
Pollack was a defensive end at Georgia from 2001-2004. He was selected as a first-team  All-SEC player, and recognized as a first-team All-American each year from 2002-2004. David Pollack was the recipient of many other awards during his time between the hedges.  A leader on and off of the football field, Pollack graduated The University of Georgia, and left Athens for the National Football League.
david_pollack_awardSadly, David Pollack’s professional football career was cut short due to injury.  After being selected 17th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2005 NFL Draft, Pollack suffered what was diagnosed as a broken sixth cervical vertebrae on September 17, 2006.  Fortunately he did not suffer paralysis as a result of the incident.

Personal Favorite David Pollack Moment
My personal favorite David Pollack moment came at the expense of the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2002.  At the time, the Dawgs were on a two-game losing streak against South Carolina.   Entering the fourth quarter of the game, Georgia found themselves up 3-0 on the fighting Lou Holtzes.

UGA had South Carolina pinned deep in their own territory with 14:05 left in the football game.  As Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins dropped back to pass, David Pollack broke free of the Gamecocks’ offensive line.  Wikipedia describes what happened next as “David Pollack battered down and intercepted a pass from South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins in the end zone.” The play is characterized by the site as “memorable.”

Pollack’s Play Against the Gamecocks Changed the Course of UGA Football History
Georgia won the 2002 meeting against South Carolina by a final score of 13-7. Without David Pollack’s heroic effort, the Bulldogs may not have won that game.  Though the contest occurred in early September, Pollack’s interception helped secure UGA’s first SEC title in two decades.  David Pollack is a Damn Good Dawg.



Georgia Bulldog Memories: Knowshon Moreno

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Georgia’s Rushing Attack is Critical to Their Success
The running back position has always been critical to the success of the University of Georgia. I was not even a gleam in my father’s eye when Herschel Walker made his debut at Georgia, but I do remember hearing about NFL alumni such as Garrison Hurst and Terrell Davis playing their college ball in between the hedges in Athens.

Knowshon Moreno Helped Make Georgia a Contender Again
As a fan, my favorite Bulldog tailback thus far has been Knowshon Moreno. I know he gets some flack from a portion of Georgia fans for leaving after two seasons as a starter, (he took a redshirt during his true freshman year in 2006) but the paw print he left on Georgia in 2007 and 2008 is undeniable. Playing for a UGA team that featured a future first overall draft pick in Matthew Stafford, Knowshon often had a bigger impact on Georgia’s overall success because of his ability to make defenses miss en route to the end zone. Knowshon Moreno was certainly a Damn Good Dawg.



Knowshon Moreno was a First Round NFL Draft Pick in 2009
It was a foregone conclusion that Matthew Stafford would leave UGA following the 2008 season because he was guaranteed to be the number one pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Even so, I was hopeful that Knowshon Moreno would stay in Athens one more year as the undisputed leader of the Dawgs. It was not to be, as Knowshon was the 12th overall draft pick by the Denver Broncos that same year. Georgia has been looking for a game changing tailback since his departure, and they may have finally found the answer this year with Todd Gurley.

Knowshon Moreno Can Still Hurdle Over Defenders
Knowshon Moreno is remembered by Bulldog Nation for the highlight reel of carries he put together in his time at Georgia. One run in particular against Central Michigan, during which Moreno hurdled a defender, is a fond memory for Georgia fans. Since it was against the Chippewas, who are a middle of the pack college football program most Bronco fans did not even consider Knowshon as being capable of jumping over NFL defenders.



Just two weeks ago, Knowshon Moreno hurdled All-Pro, future hall of fame safety Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens. Reed was asked about the play following the game and he told Yahoo Sports that he had been suffering from flu symptoms. Admittedly, if I were a pro football player in Reed’s situation, I would feel sick as well.



Knowshon Moreno could be the next Dawg to play in the Super Bowl
The former Georgia Bulldog seems to be finding his groove again in the National Football League.  He has made the most of the opportunity he has had in Denver this year, and the Broncos are poised to make a Super Bowl run with Peyton Manning at the controls in the Mile High state. Happy Holidays!

Richard Samuel: Unselfish Georgia Bulldog

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Sometimes Statistics Do Not Tell the Whole Story
Richard Samuel had only 18 carries in his final season at the University of Georgia. The senior Bulldog fullback was once a five star recruit and a Parade All-American in high school. In his last two years of high school football, Richard Samuel rushed for a total of 2,771 yards and scored 43 touchdowns. In addition, Samuel recorded 160 tackles and five sacks on the defensive side of the ball. With those statistics in mind, it would be easy to consider Samuel’s time between the hedges as a disappointment. After all, Richard had just 214 career carries at Georgia for a total of 833 yards and four touchdowns. These numbers are not at all indicative of what has defined Samuel’s contributions to the UGA football team.

Richard Samuel Made Sacrifices for the Good of Georgia Football
Richard Samuel should be remembered as a Damn Good Dawg. Samuel was mister unselfish at Georgia, as he was always willing to switch positions to help his team, and his teammates, get better. According to the Macon Telegraph, Richard Samuel and Jarvis Jones formed a potent linebacker combination at Georgia football practice in 2010. However, Samuel never played a snap on defense in Athens because injuries at the running back position dictated that he move back to offense.

UGA Running Back Richard Samuel Wanted to Contribute More on the Field
Richard Samuel does not have any hard feelings about how his time between the hedges played out. The Macon Telegraph reveals that Samuel is a little bothered he did not make a bigger impact on the field for the Georgia Bulldogs, but he does not blame anyone involved with UGA football for the way his college career turned out. Samuel says, “It’s been bits and pieces, here and there. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything consistent to help the team.”

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Richard Samuel always does what is best for Georgia football.

Richard Samuel is One of the Finest Guys to Ever Come to the Georgia Program
If Richard Samuel is concerned about leaving a lasting impression, he needs only to consult coach Richt. Mark Richt told the Macon Telegraph, “I can’t say enough good about Richard Samuel. He’s a very valuable part of the team, and he’s one of the finest guys that’s come through the program.”  Richard Samuel’s days as a Bulldog have been marked by his immense talent and character, because he has put the needs of his team ahead of his own personal goals.

Richard Samuel enrolled at Georgia at the very young age of 16. If I were in his position at that age I would have failed out by the age of 18, and that is without the daily grind of major college football. As far as his accomplishments on the gridiron, I will most remember #22 for carrying Gators on his back as he helped Georgia defeat Florida in 2011.  As for what the future holds for Richard Samuel, if he wants to try his hand at the next level he will likely be able to get his foot in the door of an NFL training camp. If pro football is not in his plans, Samuel certainly has the character and work ethic to succeed in life after being a Georgia Bulldog.



To Be A Georgia Bulldog

We are accused of being endlessly optimistic. We are labeled as unreasonably proud, considering our lack of national championships during a decade when seemingly every SEC program has (at least) one of those crystal footballs. We are proclaimed as arrogant, normally with a remark that ‘yes, but (pick one: LSU, AL, AU, TENN, FLA) are worse.’ In a world where everyone can easily voice an opinion via the web, tweeterverse, blogging, and of course, countless forums and discussion forums, what is a Georgia Bulldog fan to do? Ignore them all, I say.

Our Strength Is Our Commitment
I used to marvel at my Mississippi State friends for their optimistic cow bell clanging. South Carolina fans (I have only one friend who is USC alum, and I keep his heritage secret…for his sake) were/are endlessly optimistic. Yet, as the years roll on, I realize that to be a Dawg is also to persevere…to endure…yes, to stay the course.  I believe (and I have wavered on this point) that we have the right coach, so long as his heart remains in the hunt.  I believe our teams play their hearts out.  I believe, and truthfully, I have no other choice.  We may view the summit of our goal…tantalizingly close yet blocked by Saban or Spurrier, but the true journey is the journey itself.  Each and every one of us, whether we speak of college football or life must stay the course.  We only lose when we quit.

To be a Georgia Bulldog is to keep climbing the mountain – keep knocking on the door.  I am so proud of these 2012 Georgia Bulldogs. They believed in themselves when nobody else did…and now?  Well…if you want more from this bunch of Dawgs, then you should fly a different flag, my friend.

Herschel Walker Debuts Against UT 1980 (Look at the Blocking)

Below is a wonderful video highlighting Herschel Walker in his debut against the Tennessee Volunteers in 1980.  Really well done, as I was thinking about Herschel after seeing him at the 2012 Tennessee game in Sanford Stadium.  Herschel was indeed impressive, but note the holes that open as the Georgia line pushes the UT defense around…a nice contrast to what happened in Columbia this past saturday night.

Georgia must have strong offensive line play.

Dawgs Stick Together: A New Era Begins with Russ…the New UGA.

Dear Russ,

I am a big yellow lab, and you may not know me (yet), but I have watched your story with interest (and a little drooling…I am a dog after all). Russ…on behalf of your canine pals everywhere in the great state of Georgia, I want to take this opportunity to let you know we are proud of your official swearing in tonight as the new UGA.

It has been a long road for you, and truthfully, you had to earn the right to be UGA. We watched as the humans argued and carried on, but finally…finally they did the right thing. Heart of a lion, face of a true dawg, I will look forward to watching you prowl the sidelines (or rest on a bag of ice) for years to come.

Whatever glory comes or doesn’t come for those guys chasing that strangely-shaped piece of leather all over the grass while all of those humans look on in a frenzy (or in mystification), all of your dog friends will celebrate for you.

The dawgs will bark in Georgia tonight…may you receive the game ball.

Your friend,

Chance