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

Georgia Bulldogs G-Day Game 2012

The Georgia Bulldogs found themselves between the hedges for the first time in 2012 last Saturday afternoon. The occasion marked the first real opportunity for all of Bulldog Nation to forget about the bitter ending of last season and shift their focus to the present. Georgia’s off-season has been tumultuous thus far, but the G-Day Game provided a much needed opportunity for the Bulldogs to refocus.

Rather than offer a dry analysis of a glorified scrimmage, I would like to share some notes and observations from watching last weekend’s broadcast.

Aaron Murray is the unquestioned leader of the Georgia Bulldog offense. However, both Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay appear to be developing into great quarterbacks as well. Both young men could probably start elsewhere if they decided to transfer. Christian LeMay is a gifted athlete, and he could be capable of providing a spark in certain packages for the Bulldogs in the coming campaign.

Isaiah Crowell appeared to be running hard and hitting the hole quicker than he did during his freshman season. Crowell must stay patient, and avoid taking big hits so that his body is better able to withstand a full schedule next year. A few weeks ago Isaiah Crowell said that he had Heisman aspirations. That is an admirable goal, but Mr. Crowell should focus on staying out of trouble and healthy first. Continue reading

Georgia Bulldog Football – Pro Style Offense A Recruiting Asset.

Matthew Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards in 2011.

Players like Matthew Stafford do not come along very often. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper predicted that Stafford would be the first pick taken when he entered the NFL draft before Stafford even made his first start as a Georgia Bulldog. While Matthew Stafford’s father is a Georgia alum, Bulldog Nation possesses an X-factor that helps bring standout offensive players to Athens, the pro style offense.

Georgia’s offensive attack allows players to get a taste of what they will be expected to do if they make it to the NFL. The Bulldog offensive repertoire has helped springboard tremendous athletes such as Terrell Davis, Garrison Hurst, and the recently retired future NFL Hall Of Famer Hines Ward to playing on Sundays.

In an era of college football where fast paced, no-huddle offenses are en-vogue it is refreshing to see the University of Georgia staying with what brought them to the dance. While teams such as Oregon and Auburn have adopted a hurried approach to moving the football, Georgia rarely deviates from their playbook. Although when the Bulldogs do throw a curve ball it is usually effective. Such was the case last season, when defensive back Brandon Boykin scored Georgia’s first touchdown of 2011 on a 70 yard touchdown run.

With national signing day growing in spectator popularity each year there is more emphasis on where a particular athlete chooses to play college football than ever before. Quarterbacks who choose to come to the University of Georgia know they are likely to learn a system similar to what they could end up running if the NFL comes calling. Georgia is currently loaded at the signal caller position with starter Aaron Murry, while Hutson Mason, and Christian LeMay compete for the back-up role. Hutson Mason plans to redshirt in 2012, in hopes of having the opportunity to run the Georgia Bulldog ship when Aaron Murray’s UGA football career comes to a close.

Ultimately Georgia runs a pro style offense because it is what gives them the best chance to win. The Bulldogs are looking to get to the top of the Southeastern Conference, and the obvious way to do that is to be better than the competition. The pro style offense helps entice high profile recruits to enroll at UGA because they know that being successful in Athens will likely translate to a successful football career long after their Dawg days are over.

Georgia Football Traditions – Baba O’Riley

Recently I touched on my admiration for the “Battle Hymm of The Bulldog Nation.” Following that hallowed Georgia tradition, Dawg fans wait with baited breath for the Georgia Bulldog football team to take the field. As “Baba O’Riley” by The Who rings out of the Sanford Stadium speakers and the familiar piano notes play out, it is impossible not to forget one’s troubles and simply be a fan for about three hours.

Georgia’s arrival into Sanford Stadium is special because it is unique. Instead of a serious or intense entrance, “Baba O’Riley” provides the feeling that the crowd has gathered between the hedges to enjoy themselves and root for the Bulldogs. Entrance themes such as Virginia Tech’s choice of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, have become so cliche that it is hard to see how it could feel like part of a tradition. With “Baba O’Riley” it is easy for those in attendance to relate to the narrative on a Saturday in Athens. “Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals. I got my back into my living. I don’t need to fight, to prove I’m right, I don’t need to be forgiven.”

It was not until I  experienced the tradition first hand that it had a profound effect on me. I could not imagine being so passionate about any other football team besides the Georgia Bulldogs. The University of Georgia has a place in the heart of every member of Bulldog Nation. Regardless of whether the Bulldogs win or lose on a given Saturday, there is no better way to feel connected to 90,000 plus people than to hear “Baba O’Riley” begin to play.



Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation – Georgia Football Traditions

Larry Munson's voice will ring out from between the hedges forever. A video of the battle hymn can be found below.Sanford Stadium is the ideal place for members of Bulldog Nation to gather on a Saturday afternoon to cheer on our Georgia Bulldogs. There are many memorable moments that define one’s  experience between the hedges, and the Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation is a personal favorite of mine.

Led by iconic Georgia Bulldog football announcer Larry Munson, the anthem inspires “Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia” before paying homage to great Bulldog players from the past. The hymn is also accompanied by video highlights on the scoreboard of Sanford Stadium, showing great moments in UGA football history. Included in this Dawg retrospective are memories such as: Herschel Walker running over Bill Bates, the hob nail boot, and Lindsay Scott running for his life to overcome the Florida Gators in 1980.

The Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation is an important reminder of the tradition that comes with being a Georgia Bulldog. On a personal level, my heart swells with pride each time I hear Larry Munson encourage Bulldog Nation to cheer for the “new breed” of Bulldogs that are about to take the field on a given fall Saturday in Athens.

The best thing about this particular University of Georgia tradition is that it is timeless. As long as UGA has a football team, the Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation will be woven into the fabric of the University of Georgia during home football games. While some of the highlights may change with time, Larry Munson’s unforgettable voice will forever narrate the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation. Munson’s body may be gone, but his memory will live forever thanks to his unforgettable calls, and unbridled passion for the Georgia Bulldogs.