Monday, June 30, 2008

Remembering Uga VI

UPDATE: From The Banner-Herald today:
Seiler said Uga VI's epitaph has not been chosen yet.

A few likely ones aren't available. "Damn Good Dog" went to UGA I, and "Not Bad for a Dog" marks UGA II's vault.

"How Bout This Dog," "The Dog of the Decade" and "Defender of His Turf" also are taken.

It always was uplifting to see fans of other schools, with their team colors prominently displayed, stop to have their photos made with Uga.
- Loran Smith

Just looking around at some more Uga VI stuff this evening. It truly feels like a loss. The Uga mascots are not just how we mark athletic eras. They are a living, breathing, embodiment of the university, a point of pride and a family's best friend.

I defy anyone but a tech fan not to smile in their presence.

MaconDawg on Dawg Sports:
His first season, 1999, included two of the most disastrous games of my entire University of Georgia fanhood: the Bobby Gaston hackjob against Tech and the Auburn game which was all but over before I'd even reached my seat. His last season saw a #2 national ranking, resounding victories over Auburn and Florida, and a rousing Sugar Bowl victory. I cannot imagine a better finale, unless Mark Richt hoisting a crystal football were involved.

And while UGA VI never threw a pass or made a tackle (leaving aside the occasional steak), he was perhaps the most visible symbol of a football program that re-emerged on the national stage while he watched. He was a furry, slobbering ambassador of good will. A Damn Good Dawg.

We'll miss you, buddy.

The Chicago Tribune, via AP: The identity of the dog that will soon become Uga VII is still a secret. But, Seiler assured, "That's been taken care of."

I even read every word of Loran Smith's column:
Last summer, I went to see the Seilers and stayed overnight. Uga VI slept down the hall and kept waking me up with his heavy snoring. I didn't mind. He would snore and then awake with some sort of garbled grunting sound. I think I could make out what he was saying: "To hell with Tech."

Today, Sonny called with the news about Uga VI. I felt that I had lost a close friend. And I have.

Finally, The Banner Herald has an excellent photo gallery.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Uga VI has died

Don't mess with this Dawg.

Uga would have been 10 next month. From the University of Georgia Athletic Association:
ATHENS, Ga. --- Uga VI, the winningest mascot in the University of Georgia’s history, died on Friday evening from congestive heart failure in his hometown of Savannah, Ga., owner Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler announced.

“He was a good one,” Seiler said. “What can I say? He had a marvelous record. He was a very strong and healthy dog. He was the biggest of all the dogs, and he had the biggest heart. It just played out.”

Damon Evans called him "an outstanding representative of our fine institution." I wholeheartedly agree.

We've had seven wonderful mascots since the Uga line began roaming the sidelines, and each has had his own personality and overseen his own era of Georgia athletics.

But I think this linebacker of a Dawg was my favorite. I hope he's on a big bag of ice in the sky.

Uga VI will be buried in the vault at Sanford Stadium, next to his predecessors, no doubt with an appropriate inscription.

Georgia Sports blog has all the links you need on Uga's passing.

And Dawgs Online has great pictures and video.

When he was just a kid, 2000 from my paper, The Telegraph. Sign the guest book if you like.

More from The Telegraph:
Uga VI was breathing heavily Friday evening, Sonny Seiler noticed.

“I noticed he had a little congestion in his throat, which usually is not a cause for alarm,” Seiler said. “I gave him a bath, which he always loved, to cool him off. After that, I called (family veterinarian Stanley Lester), whose office is about a four-minute drive from our house. (Uga’s) heart just played out. He suffered no pain and died peacefully.”

Cecelia Seiler, the matriarch of the Uga line, said the family lost more than just a pet.

“He lived right here in my den with me for 10 years,” Cecelia Seiler said. “He was a happy dog.”

And from Athletic Director Damon Evans:
“This is a very sad day for the entire Bulldog Nation. Uga VI was a damn good mascot and a damn good dog. He was an outstanding representative of our fine institution.”

I agree with every bit of that.

College World Series and The Jerk

For whatever reason, this is how I feel about leaving the College World Series behind.

And this. This ashtray and Josh Fields' 95 mph fast balls, and Gordon Beckham's destruction of N.C. State, and Bryce Massanari's beautiful wife and Miami's ridiculous errors and that's all I need. And a National Title in football this year.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Congratulations to Fresno State. They're awesome.

Fresno State: 102 in offense heading into the tournament, 60th in pitching,* and it looked like we ran into the Yankees.

Congratulations to them, they looked like champions. Tough loss for the Dawgs. God bless 'em.
Next year will be another odd numbered dip, but I expect the following year to return us to the NCAA Tournament and beyond.

If I'm Damon Evans, I make Coach Perno one of the highest paid coaches in the SEC, and I start addressing our facilities. We've got the coach that can take us to Omaha with regularity. Once you get here on a regular basis, it becomes easier to figure out how to close the deal.

* according to Leonard Hershiser

Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For the folks who get it


"We've got more places than we've got stuff. We're going to have to buy more stuff."
- George Carlin, 1937-2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Comeback Dawgs!

Just like it oughta be. I'm so proud of how this team has represented The University of Georgia, and the state at large.
Mike Patrick in the 9th inning: "There's that hook, which is basically unhittable."

And on the next pitch, a fast ball: "Upff."

And Bryce Massanari is married to Miss Nevada.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Homeward Bound

The guy in that first picture sells bona fide antiques out of a junk pile on Highway 5 in New York State. We talked for a little while and he said the world has changed. I said: You ain't kidding, mister.

UGA has a new fight song

Remember a while back when someone at the University dug up sheet music to a fight song that hadn't been heard in decades? A piano version of The Red and Black March is now online.

Is 'Awesome while Chaplinesque' a phrase?

By the way; whoever suggested someone should band this thing out on piano and get it online is a genius.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New York City:

It's like dodging humanity.

Times Square, World Trade Center site, skyline from the Statue of Liberty, Civil War Memorial.

Hey, not too early. I sleep in Sundays

Is it possible to hate people so much that you appreciate them doing your homework for you? You know, like a nerd would?

Thanks, guys. From the hive:
this has got to be one of the most painful years in college sports that I can remember. UGA men's sports program is on top of the world, and is laughing at Tech. How can I state this?

1. Football-
a. UGA finished #2 in the nation
b. UGA won a BCS game
c. UGA went 3-1 against its rivals, beating Floridia when they rarley do, beating Tech @Tech by 17, blowing out Auburn, but at least they lost to Tenn and did not win their division

2. Basketball-
a. Won the SEC and did it on our home floor.
b. Beat the only rival they really care about in basketball, which is GT.
c. Made it to the NCAA when we didn't

3. Baseball-
a. Won the SEC
b. Won the series against us 3-2
c. Dominated us in the region when we only needed to win one game
d. Made it to the CWS
e. Will finish at least in the top 4 teams in the nation because they have not lost a game yet and there will be 4 teams elminated before they could loss 2.
f. They could win the whole national championship.

4. Tennis
a. Won a national championship

I'd been meaning to make a list. He missed the various swimming individual national championships and - shockingly, really - The Gym Dawgs winning their 4th straight gymnastics national title this year.

The winning the SEC tournament on their court thing was extra nice. So is the baseball.

Thanks to Georgia Sports Blog for the link.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How about them Dawgs. And I'll have that gin and diet now.

It was one of the boys over at Georgia Sports Blog that said, we're three wins from a National Championship.

Meanwhile, strange, personal things happen to us all the time.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Go Dawgs!

And Josh Fields throws heat.

How wacky was that. Dawgs over Miami, 7-4.
Miami (52-10) scored four runs on three home runs to carry the one run lead into the final frame, where they turned to closer Carlos Gutierrez. Junior catcher Bryce Massanari started the top of the ninth off with a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, and a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Matt Cerione advanced pinch runner Adam Fuller up to second. Then, redshirt freshman Robbie O'Bryan struck out, but a wild pitch allowed him to reach and Fuller to take third. Freshman Lyle Allen followed and delivered the game-tying hit, a single to left. In the next at-bat, redshirt sophomore David Thoms hit a ground ball back to Gutierrez, who committed a throwing error allowing the two go-ahead runs to score and Thoms to advance around to third. Senior Ryan Peisel added the final run of the game on a single to left.

And Schultz yesterday:
Dooley brought in a second-tier group of five candidates. That included {current Head Coach David} Perno, but most figured it was a favor to Dooley’s son, Derek (Perno’s best friend). Dooley, concerned Perno was only 33, had already told him not to get his hopes up.

“He called me in and said, ‘I’ve got to go in a different direction. You’re just too young,’ ” Perno said. “I politely reminded him I was about the same age he was when he got his break. But I remember walking out of his office and he stopped me and said, ‘Just because I’m going in this direction now doesn’t mean things can’t change.’ So he gave me a little bit of hope.”

A few weeks later, on the night of July 20, Perno’s phone rang. It was Dooley.

“His first words to me when he offered me the job were, ‘If I’m going to take a risk, I’m going to take it with you.’ “

Saturday, June 14, 2008

On the adventure beginning

By the way, I'm on my way to New York and back this week for vacation. Why? Well, essentially, this is the best case scenario:

"That Hardy guy was born in Harlem"

- Kid at the gas station, when I asked him, "What's the deal with the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem?"
Oliver Norvell Hardy was born in Georgia. His father died the year he was born, and is buried in Harlem Cemetery not far west of Augusta. Hardy's mother managed the Baldwin Hotel in Milledgeville after the family moved from Harlem, and Hardy later managed Milledgeville's first movie theater.

He became very famous in Hollywood, and has a star on the walk of fame there. He died in 1957.

I went to the museum while it was closed. So you know I'm recommending it. I think the sign said Open Tuesday through Saturday.

Harlem High School teams are the Bulldogs, by the way. 2008 Baseball Regional Champs. Perhaps that bodes well.

I wish I could remember, verbatim, something Vonnegut said about Laurel and Hardy. Something about them being so sweet, that they could easily be killed in the situations they got into.

It may have been in Slapstick, where he's quoted as saying this:
The fundamental joke with Laurel and Hardy, it seems to me, was that they did their best with every test. They never failed to bargain in good faith with their destinies...

So may we all.

AND: I found the quote online.
I don't consider Bob Hope a humorist, really. He's a comedian. It's very thin stuff; nothing troubling is mentioned. I used to laugh my head off at Laurel and Hardy and could still do it now. And there's terrible tragedy there somehow, as these people are too sweet to survive in this world and they are in terrible danger all the time. They could be so easily killed.

- Kurt Vonnegut, 1976 or 1977

Jan. 18, 1892, Harlem, Georgia, baby.

Friday, June 13, 2008

John Rauch, rest in peace

Former University of Georgia quarterback and College Football Hall of Fame member Johnny Rauch has died at his home in Oldsmar, Fla. He was 80.

From everything I've ever read about Rauch, he was one of the best. He started every game of his college career from 1945 to 1948. He played on the undefeated 1946 Bulldog team, sharing the backfield with fellow Bulldog great Charley Trippi in two of those years.

Rauch was the first pick of the 1949 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. There are some old timers who will tell you Johnny Rauch was maybe the best quarterback Georgia ever had. He coached the Oakland Raiders to Super Bowl II in 1967.

According to his obituary, Coach Butts discovered Rauch on a flag football field. Damn good Dawg.

Thanks to Dawgs Online, where I saw the news first.


UPDATE: I called Mr. Trippi. His thoughts on Rauch as a player:

"He came as a freshman and took over the team," Trippi said. "He took four teams to a bowl game so I'd have to say he was one of the best we ever had."

Georgia ran the T formation back then, with Rauch under center and 3 backs behind him, Trippi said. Rauch "could throw all kind of passes, according to the situation," Trippi said.

"The thing that I remember the most about him would be he was a winner," Trippi said. "He knew how to win. And he utilized his personnel that played behind him. He had a good football mind. ... Anybody that's ever coached with him or played with him would have high praise for him."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Absinthe: Now legal, but unlikely to make you cut your ear off. Damn shame, too.

I don't know how I missed this, but Absinthe, the potent and mythical liquor drink, was legalized in America late last year. For years you could get knock-offs called "absente," but this appears to be the real stuff that Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway drank... sort of.

I saw a bottle the other day. So I called the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States as well as the coolest kids at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, aka the TTB.

It had been banned since 1912. But science has shown that the Thujone content in Absinthe - the stuff that allegedly causes hallucinations - was so low that it was of no concern. So it was approved, according to TTB Spokesman Art Resnick.

I got the same story from Frank Coleman, with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

So, bottom line it for me, Frank and Al - is this the stuff Hemingway used to call "Death in the Afternoon?" Is this the stuff that supposedly made Van Gogh cut his freaking ear off?

Said Al: "I don't know what (Hemingway) drank. I don't know how much Thujone it had in it. ... That's all up for question in terms of the myth that surrounds this product. I couldn't tell you for sure that it ever did (cause hallucinations). But the product that's on the market now would not have that effect."

Said Frank: "It is (the real stuff) minus whatever historically, was in it. ... The stuff that made Van Gogh cut off his ear... allegedly... who knows."

Killjoys. Anyway, I couldn't find it online to link it, but here's some paragraphs from a March Washington Post article about Absinthe:
Ernest Hemingway created his own concoction, mixing the green liquid with cold champagne to make what he called "Death in the Afternoon." ...

Some think absinthe's very popularity led to its downfall. After the roots of grape vines in France were badly damaged by small insects in the late 19th century, absinthe surged in popularity, which might have made the wine industry uneasy.

"That's when they began a smear campaign, and they needed a reason, which is how the rumors started," said T.A. Breaux, an environmental chemist who spent 14 years analyzing absinthe bottled before the ban. ...

Absinthe, it was said, could cause hallucinations, epilepsy and madness. It was thought to have caused Van Gogh to cut off his ear. Then came the trial of a Swiss man accused of killing his family on the day he had two absinthes and other alcoholic drinks. Soon after, the drink was banned in Switzerland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Brazil and, in 1912, the United States.

At the time, scientists attributed the problem to wormwood, the bitter herb used in making absinthe. Studies have shown that in large doses thujone, a toxin found in wormwood, sage and cedar leaf, can cause convulsions or kidney failure.

Modern experts, however, say early absinthe contained so little thujone that a man would die from alcohol poisoning long before being hurt by the toxin. U.S. regulations today allow no more than 10 parts per million of the chemical in absinthe.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Space station, shuttle visible tonight

They'll just be two bright blips across the sky shortly after 9 p.m. here in Macon, but it's still kind of cool.

From The Telegraph:
Barring a cloud cover, the International Space Station will be visible to the naked eye tonight between 9:01 and 9:07 p.m.

The space station should be directly overhead and be one of the brightest things in the sky, said Jim Greenhouse, director of marketing at the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Watch out, Omaha

The Diamond Dawgs clinched a trip to the College World Series today in better-than-convincing fashion, destroying N.C. State 17-8.

Congratulations guys.

The game featured some eye popping performances, including Chicago White Sox draftee Gordon Beckham's two-homer effort to tie Georgia's career homerun mark at 51.

This game never got into the zip code of being close. Some late inning runs, after we came down from an emotional high in the 7th inning, made the game seem closer than it was.


But at one point in the seventh inning I called a buddy of mine to tell him: "I don't think North Carolina's even a state anymore."

Not only were these last two series victories for the team, they were wonderful exposure for the school, and my hat is off to the fans who sat through the heat at Foley Field. We often get pegged as a football-only school. But all I heard from ESPN announcers this weekend was praise for our baseball fans.

Taking a step back, I don't know that I've ever seen, or heard of, a spring this successful in Georgia athletics. I'm beginning to wonder if we are witnessing a golden age of Bulldog athletics.

There are enough National Titles and other major accomplishments to list already this year that I actually don't have time today to look them all up and list them.

2008: Year of the Dawgs.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Where's my Panic cover?

Just make sure you've got it all packed up to go
Before you come for my piano...

See also: Green Grass and High Tides Forever.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

Win just doesn't seem like a strong enough word

It's not often that you get to celebrate a significant accomplishment, and your enemy's degradation, all in one night. Unless you are a Georgia fan. Whammy:
One colossal flop

By Mike Knobler | Monday, June 2, 2008, 10:18 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Intimidated? Scared? Whatever word correctly describes the way Georgia tech’s baseball team played tonight in Athens, it has to go down as one of the biggest flops in the team’s history and in the history of tech’s rivalry against Georgia.

tech couldn’t pitch, couldn’t field and, after the first inning, could barely hit against a patchwork pitching staff.

Congratulations, Diamond Dawgs, on heading to the super regional.

And congratulations Georgia tech, for letting the boys blow your doors off, twice, in two days, to make it there.

Read all about it.

UPDATE: What a great photo. But I don't think they had to give us their lunch money, I think we straight up took it.

Ashley Connell,