H 66° L 43°
  • clear-night
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 66° L 43°
  • clear-day
    Sunny. H 66° L 43°
  • cloudy-day
    Partly Cloudy. H 66° L 43°

Latest from Allen Tibbetts

    Did you see the recent news story from New Jersey about the woman turned away from a flight because of her emotional support animal? In case you didn’t, the woman had been told in advance by United Airlines that she could not bring her emotional support animal onboard because they couldn’t accommodate the peacock. A peacock, y’all! Her emotional support animal was a feakin’ peacock! She showed up for the flight anyway. With the peacock. Access denied. Most of us watching or reading that story probably rolled our eyes and gave whoever else was around that look. You know the look.  ‘Really?!’ Also known as the ‘is she on crack?’ look. This story originally was going to be about her and others like her, people with emotional support animals (ESA). Specifically, people with unconventional emotional support animals. People wanting to fly with pets has gotten so whacky that Delta has just updated it’s ESA policy, saying, “Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more...” I had planned to write about the peacock lady. I wanted to write: Ma’am, number one, that peacock don’t care about your emotions. And number two, I’m betting you’re single. Then, a couple of things happened.  First, another ESA story emerged involving an emotional-support dog that attacked a passenger on a plane. In this case, though, the dog was a veteran’s ESA. That a veteran is part of the story gave me pause enough. (Gave me pause… get it? Pause… paws… OK, not that funny). Even putting that aside, though, if you’ve ever owned a good dog, you know that dog does indeed care about your emotions.  So, what do I do? Leave out people with dogs? The other incident derailing my original story involves a donkey. On my walk past a nearby farm just this week, I stopped and asked the young woman shoveling out the barn what happened to the white horse that had been there for years. “The white horse died, but we may get another one. That white horse and the donkey were close. The donkey is really lonesome.” What? “When we buried the horse, the donkey stood nearby and watched the whole thing. It was like she was at a graveside service.” The woman spoke of it all very matter-of-factly, like a seasoned farm hand would. On the farm, when a large animal dies, you take your backhoe or whatever implement you have to dig a hole, you dig that hole, then push the animal in and cover it up. The facts of life. She spoke just as stoically about the donkey’s loneliness. No emotion, just ‘yeah… the donkey’s lost her buddy. We may have to do something about that.’ But if a donkey can have an ESA, I knew my story idea-in-the-making, poking fun of people with emotional support animals, was going south quickly. So, I’ve decided to change gears. Let’s look instead at what other animals might make a good ESA. Like, a turkey. If you ever breakdown emotionally and need a meal, voila! And after eating the turkey, you could be thankful. (Thankful… turkey… Thanksgiving…? Is funny still not happening here?) How about a fish? Imagine, a friend comes over. She needs to unload her troubles, so you dutifully sit and listen as she drones on, endlessly. And you finally say, “Why don’t you kiss my bass.” But you mean it. What a friend! How ‘bout a bumblebee? Maybe all you need to pick you up is a little buzz. Speak of buzz, what about a buzzard? If you’re a particularly deep person, a buzzard could pick your brain. (And any other parts. Once you’re gone, of course.) Feel free to offer your own thoughts. There’s gotta be plenty of other animals that would make ESAs. I’m sure you’ve heard about the (true story) incident recently involving a lady with an emotional-support hamster? After being told she couldn’t have it onboard a Spirit Airlines flight, she flushed it down the toilet. You can Google up the details, if you want. It’s a weird story. But I have to wonder what kind of person relies on a hamster for emotional support. I doubt that hamster cared about her emotions. I bet she’s single. Click here for more Tales From Tibby!  
  • I’m not sure when ‘The Season’ begins. Is it Thanksgiving into Christmas, then into New Years? Or do we back it up to Halloween? Halloween into Thanksgiving into Christmas into New Years? And why do we say ‘new years’ like there are several of them? All I know is I eat a lot in ‘The Season.’ I’ve made pecan pies before, but making them this year was different. For some reason, this year I paid attention to what actually goes into making a pecan pie. It may be because I’m trying (in vain) to reverse the slow trend of becoming a slightly larger person every year. I’m still trying to get my brain wrapped around this notion that what I put in my mouth has some direct correlation to the size of my midsection. So... pecan pie: -syrup-sugar That’s your pie: liquid sugar, granular sugar. The sugars need something to hold them together, so let’s toss in a few eggs. Of course there are pecans, but it could be anything. Want a peanut pie? Walnut pie? Use dill chips and it becomes a pickle pie. The point is, we’ve named the pecan pie not after the mainingredients but after the only healthy ingredient in the thing. Rightfully, it should be called a sugar pie. “Oh, you’re making sugar pies for the holidays? Do you do anything special?” “Well, I like to top mine off with pecans. Adds a little crunch to the sugar.” Years ago, I made a ‘dark’ version of pecan pie. Instead of a light corn syrup, I used molasses. Instead of white sugar, I used dark brown sugar. I called it Pecan Mud Pie. I should have called it Pootie Pie. It hung around for days in unfavorable ways. Pecan pie is hard to turn down, especially if you know the reputation of the person or restaurant that is offering it. Once you become known for making a good pecan pie, you are considered an excellent cook for anything else you make. You could prepare an entire meal from canned food, nuke it in the microwave and serve it on plastic plates, and it would be the best meal ever. Because we’re all just waiting on your delicious pecan pie at the end of the meal. My pies this year were a failure. While they looked good coming out of the oven, apparently, I did something wrong. Serving them was serving a soupy, syrupy mess. With pecans. They had good pecan pie flavor and got eaten (with spoons), but I doubt I will be asked to make them again for the family gathering. I’m OK with that. Maybe it’s just to discourage myself from eating something that will only make me a little rounder in the middle, but next time I’m serving pecan pie, I’m gonna call it like I see it. “Alright now, I’m serving diabetes for dessert. Who wants Cool Whip on theirs?”
  • Kids like gross. Always have. Toy makers know this and have been delivering gross toys for decades. Garbage Pail Kids, Burp Balls, Queasy Bake Oven…. do a search for ‘gross toys’ and you’ll find not only the toys currently vying for your kids’ attention, you may also find what appealed to you as a child. Anyone remember making creepy crawlers? Then eating them? Seems like Santa Claus himself brought that one to my childhood house. With no children of our own, our home these days is generally gross-free. (Pay no attention to anything my wife might say about me and Mexican food.) But kids occasionally show up, and the ones we see most frequently know my wife and I are gamers. Ping pong, basketball, board games… we’re usually all in for whatever challenge gets thrown at us. And that brings us to Bean Boozled. For those not familiar with this game, allow me to introduce you. I’ll call it a board game but if it has a board, I’ve never seen it. It does have a spinner. And jelly beans. What could go wrong? The rules, as explained to us by the kids, are simple: Flick the spinner and whatever color it lands on, you eat a jelly bean of corresponding color. That’s it. You now know how to play Bean Boozled. When you eat up all the jelly beans, refill bags are available at places like Cracker Barrel. That’s how wholesome the game is. Except… Each color jelly bean can have one of two flavors. One of those flavors is tasty; the other, not so much. That brown jelly bean might indeed taste like chocolate pudding. But it might taste like canned dog food. The white jelly bean? Could be coconut, could be sour milk. I will attest that while I don’t really know what some of the gross flavors taste like (slimy socks?), they’ve done a pretty good job with replicating the taste of sour milk! My wife and I weren’t the only adult players, but we hung in there longer than the others. One of them got a booger-flavored bean and dropped out immediately. My wife grabbed a trash can after her first bad bean. She was willing to keep going but prepared to unload any further undesirable flavors. She didn’t last long. I became a case study for stupidity. Not only did I hang in there until I had tasted all the flavors, good and bad, but when asked to play again the next night, I agreed. My wife declined. So did the friend who went down on his first bean. “Tasted boogers all night,” was his excuse. Nasty. Which of course is why kids love it.
  • Let’s jump right in. Today’s gripe: Moms who put bows on their babies’ heads. I seriously don’t get this. Every single girl child that pops up on my social media feed has a bow on her head. What’s going on here? Trying to make your baby look like… Dumbo? Minnie Mouse? A rabbit? I have a niece claiming that just as with big hair, the bigger the bow, the closer to Jesus. Yeah, we say that in that South, but it’s only because bad style needs an excuse, if you ask me. A random baby that may or may not be family.   Not only is this a silly trend, some of y’all have pretty rotten tastes in bows.* Somebody needed to say that. What you see in those pictures is your little angel looking so precious. What I see is trouble looming. So let me just go ahead and prepare you for the conversation your surly teenage daughter is going to have with you in about 17 years: “Can I ask why you ruined all my baby pictures by wrapping my head up like you were going to give it away for Christmas?”“Can I get a tattoo? What do mean, you think it will make me look silly? Didn’t seem to bother you when I was a baby.” “What’s with that bow? Had Wal-Mart run out of pretty ones or was Dollar General having a sale?” I have another question. All of the babies I see have known fathers. Where are the fathers? Why are the dads not stepping up and saying something? Be a man! Assert yourself! Or at least claim half ownership of rights to decorating the baby’s head and take the bow off. I’ve never had children but I can assure you if my wife wanted to put a bow on Dumpling’s head, we’d be striking a deal. 'Sure, you can put a bow on her head if I never have to do poopy-diaper duty again for the rest of eternity.' Something like that. I’m a b-a-a-a-d man! Oh, I can feel your eyes rolling, moms. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Grumpy old man.’ But I know what you’re really doing. You’re trying to mask your baby’s fat head.  Look, that’s just the facts of life. Most babies’ heads are too big for their bodies when they are born. What happened to just saying a ‘bless her heart’ and knowing she would grow into it eventually? Has anyone considered that a fat-headed baby with a bow only makes fat-headed baby’s head look bigger? Moms, trust me on this. Do your baby a favor. Buck the trend. #saynotothebow (You can steal that; I stole your baby’s picture.) No need to thank me. Just doing what I can to make you a better parent. Heaven knows, y’all need help. *No specific accusations are intended for the babies pictured in this story. Although if the shoe fits…
  • It was something, the eclipse. Especially to be in the path of totality where the moon would completely block the sun for a few moments. The stars had aligned for us. And we were ready. Plans had been in the works for months. One neighbor had ripped off some images from the internet and designed t-shirts celebrating the event. Another neighbor had purchased moonpies and sun chips for snacks. There was beer. About the only issue facing us was where to see it. In our area, watching the eclipse start to finish would take about 3 hours and options on where to see the sky for that amount of time were limited. The few houses that make up our community are in a deep valley, heavily wooded, and a lot of the neighborhood only gets sunshine filtered through the oaks, maples and tall white pine trees surrounding us. The day before the eclipse, several neighbors wandered up and down the lone dirt road that connects us and determined that the cabin on the end offered the best viewing from both the lower porch and in river itself. Sitting in the river is where many of us wanted to be. More planning. A small tree would be harvested. It would be wedged between the rocks in the river so that floats could be attached. Further, the river was shallow enough at this spot that chairs could be put in the water. Bonus: this cabin had a refrigerator in the basement. Those sitting on the porch didn’t have to walk very far to fetch and toss beers to those in the water. The neck on this event was getting redder by the minute. Everything went exactly according to plan. The sky was blue, the day was warm, the water was cool. And man, down in our valley where we have limited sunshine to begin with, when totality came, it got dark! Perfect. Except… Many had gathered in the water a good hour or so prior to the start of the eclipse. The event had come and gone, and people were still in the water. Happy people, lounging in their chairs and tubes. And there was beer. We were into about the 4th hour of the party when someone just had to point out that no one had taken a bathroom break. Here we are, lined up one behind the other in the water, and no one had stood up and announced that they would ‘be right back.’ No one had left the water to ‘take a break.’ We just sat in the river. And there was beer. These things go unspoken. Or should. But when someone speaks of it, smiles turn to sneers. Suspicious eyes are cast to everyone around. Further, in the last couple of hours two pairs of those cheap eclipse-viewing glasses had come floating by us, meaning someone we could not see was upstream from us. At least two people, based on the number of glasses. Were they also in the water? Did they also have beer? These are questions best unanswered. But the subject had been broached. Resolution became necessary. In the end, we all agreed none of us would never do anything like that. Despite being older men and women, our friendship was strong and our bladders stronger. Everything’s cool, everything’s OK. One day, when you and your children are visiting the loveliest place on God’s earth you’ve ever seen, and you happen upon a pristine little trout stream, gurgling its way over the rocks, tumbling merrily to a larger river somewhere, and Little Precious looks up at you and asks, “Can I take a drink from it?” Don’t be my dad. My dad said, “Sure. Why not?”
  • When you’re 14, you’re never going to be old. Until one day you are.  When you get older, the best you can hope for is to be cool - the cool mom or dad, the cool aunt or uncle - and hope the young'uns around you see Rico Suave instead of Ricky Ricardo (who would have turned 100 this year).   That’s not the way it works, of course, but it’s really all most of us have to hang a hat on. That and our increasingly shiny heads.   Part of the perception of cool in this digital world is the ability to keep up with the latest ‘thing.’ Or at least to be perceived as trying to keep up.   So, when my teenage companions suggested I needed to be on Snapchat, I surrendered my phone.   “Set it up.”   If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, my best and shortest description would be that it’s texting with pictures. There’s so much more to it, but that’s the basic function.   Further, unless you make a special effort to save a Snapchat, it disappears for good, typically after 10 seconds. There is a lot to like about that, especially if you are fond of sharing pictures of you doing stupid or illegal things (I’m guessing).   I suppose it’s because your chats disappear the Snapchat logo is a ghost. The ghost is actually a blank canvas. You can insert a photo of you or anything else in that space. I had chosen to do nothing, and it was not sitting well with the 16-year old beside me.   She suggested I needed an avatar. In digital-speak, an avatar is a digital representative of you.   Think of it as a personal emoji.   For example, take your basic smiley face emoji 😊. Now, give Smiley Face some of your features, like the same color hair, that same skin tone, your dimples, glasses, if you wear them, etc.   You’re basically creating a cartoon character in your likeness.   You bet there’s an app for that. Several, probably.   Let the games begin.   She would look at me, then look at her options for designing me. “You need a longer face,” she commented as she picked a template to make that happen.   “His nose isn’t long enough,” her brother offered, thus involving himself in the process.   It started getting personal. Really personal.   My wrinkles were discussed. Scars and moles were talked about. And I guess I had bloodshot eyes that day because the question, ‘can you make the whites of his eyes red?’ was asked.   Assigning my avatar white hair was a no-brainer, but they argued over which available option looked most like a guy going bald.   Ultimately, my avatar was finished. It's not easy seeing yourself through the eyes of a teenager, but I wasn’t too disappointed. Given that they were only creating my face, I avoided some other pitfalls common to men of a certain age:   -pot belly  -corroded toenails  -ear hair  -nose hair  -turkey neck  -baggy pants (‘cuz you got no butt)   I thought I got off pretty easy. The 14-year old thought his sister could have done a better job around my eyes.   “He’s got some pretty gnarly eyebrows.”   I do. And he will too one day. As we’re all fond of saying: There’s only one option to getting older, and you ain’t gonna like it much.   But I’m good with where I am in life. And I'm keeping busy by working on my own app, inspired by Snapchat. Since it will only work on teenagers, its working name is Teenzap.   Here's how it will work: use the app to take a photo of any teenager, and in 10 seconds, they will disappear.   Not the photo. In fact, you may want to keep the photo. It will be all that remains of that precious pimply face.   I'll keep you posted.
  • It’s a very special smehell. I made that word up. It's a cross between 'smell' and 'hell.'  We need a new word describing what it’s like walking into your house after your refrigerator/freezer has died and been left alone. Putrid, nauseous, toxic, oh my god, and liquid death don't get it done. Who knows how long it had been dead. It had been two weeks since we had been around. Neighbors discovered the problem. Ours is a close-knit community; everyone knows where everyone else keeps a spare key. If you don’t have something you need but your neighbor does, go get it. That’s how this started. I received a text that someone or something was dead in our house. “It’s not bad,” she wrote. “It’s really, really bad.” She could have – I think I probably would have – just walked out and left it for the homeowner to figure out what was wrong. Instead, she and her husband decided to do a little investigating. “Sniff the shower drain,” I suggested, thinking the septic tank might have a problem. By the way, you want to be pretty good friends with folks you suggest to go into your shower and sniff your drain. Profanities could follow. Looking for any obvious problems led them to eventually opening the refrigerator door. And immediately slamming it shut. It was a morgue in there. Actually, no. There was life. You know how your fridge has little vents? When motors aren't running and coolants aren't cooling, those vents become doorways for small creatures, hungry for a meal of spoiled, rotting food. There were bugs. Among the damage, a sealed pack of chicken that had swollen up and burst through the packaging. Same for the venison. Packs of ground deer meat had all breached the seals of their vacuum-packed plastic, warming to room temperature, oozing blood. Yogurt had burst the seals of their individual cups and grown hair. Whomp buscuits – those you whomp against the counter to open - had broken through without being whomped and were molding. And the bugs. It may have smelled like death, but certain unidentified insects were loving life: crawling, flying and feasting. Clearly, the refrigerator had not just conked out yesterday. Alien life forms of this magnitude take time to manifest. Public service announcement: Frozen okra will thaw into a gooey mess but will not explode through freezer bags. I’m not sure why you need that information, but now you have it. Hazmat was called but refused to respond. So, friends stepped in to do what friends must occasionally do. Once in a while, you gotta step up to the plate. First, all windows were opened. They found of couple of fans in our house, then brought a couple more of their own to prop up in those windows. This cancelled the plans of our immediate next-door neighbors to eat lunch out on their deck that day. While they are a good 30 yards away, the stench from our kitchen was uncontainable. Those folks had other options of where they could be, so they packed up and left. Like I said, it’s a real special odor. Neighbors from both sides of the house came with garbage bags, willing to help clean out the fridge. While tossing out our food, one of them tossed his own cookies. Fortunately, he managed to make it outside, hanging his head out over the deck railing before that happened. Ten full garbage bags and $5 later, the offending mess was deposited in the local dump. The same friend who had lost his lunch cleaning out the refrigerator was around when we finally arrived two days later, offering to help me move the refrigerator out of the house. To fortify ourselves, we both took a shot of tequila. (We do a fair amount of fortifying around here.) During the process of rolling it out on a hand truck, one of the fridge doors popped open. His tequila shot left his body as quickly as it had entered. We refortified. Eventually, we were able to wheel the refrigerator into my neighbor’s yard. The same neighbors that had left. Their yard. I used their hose, their water, to wash out meat juice and mold. Can’t wait for them to return. Precious memories aren’t the only things that linger. The fridge made nice yard art, and we considered just leaving it there. Back inside, my wife Beverly wiped down every counter and cabinet with all manner of cleaning solutions, going so far as to take down the curtains and wash them. Floors were mopped. Disinfectant was sprayed on the furniture. Plates, glasses, silverware, every pot and every pan got washed. In tossing out all of the spoils of the refrigerator, the neighbors had left glass and canned items. Without much hesitation, we made the decision to toss everything that smehell had touched and start over. Everything except the beer. It’s good beer, and the cans had not popped opened. I deemed them salvageable and safe. Now, you could argue that beer which has been refrigerated, then brought back to room temperature, then refrigerated again will lose some flavor. You’d need to argue with someone else. My palate won’t notice, and I ain’t listening. You could also argue, as my buddy did, beer cans that have been in such close proximity to the funk of rotting deer carcasses are contaminated and need to be replaced. But again, my ears don’t hear. Those cans have taken a gentle bleach bath and are now chillin’ in a brand new refrigerator. My friend has vowed not to accept my offer of a beer for the next year. Beverly has vowed that lips that touch those cans of beer will not touch hers for about the same period of time. Don’t tell me I don’t know what it means to sacrifice.
  • Boy, I didn’t see this one coming.    Hanging up the phone after talking with our niece, my wife turned to me and said, “She wants to know if you’d officiate her wedding.”    Do what?    “She wants me to marry them?” I asked.    Yup. That’s what she wanted.    Heck, yeah, I’ll do that! Several reasons:    #1) I’ve been a part of this child’s life since she showed her sweet face to this world, so I’d probably do just about anything for her.    #2) She and her fiancé share a wonderfully quirky sense of humor. Anything that went wrong at the wedding would just be a funny memory for them. (That’s the way we should live our entire lives, I think.)    #3) - and this is where it gets selfish - I always harbored this notion that when I retired from radio, I’d become a tent revival preacher.    I’d buy a big tent, hire a couple of corn-fed gals with high hair and the voices of angels, and I’d hit the road with my own traveling salvation show.    Look out! The Right Reverend Tibby is coming to your town!    I’d pitch my big tent right next to the local Wal-Mart, set up the folding chairs, and set out my hand-painted plywood sign that says “Gospel Sing & Healing Tonight. 7 p.m.”    The heavenly voices of my gospel girls would rain down on the ears of believers, getting them in the mood to hear some good words from Reverend Tibby, who would take to the stage and whip the flock into a frenzy with a bunch of ‘amen’s and a whole lot of ‘hallelujah’s. Then we’d top off the night by beseeching the sick and afflicted to come forward for a-healing, hoisting them from the quagmire of holy dilapidation.    In my younger years, I’d watched the Rev. Ernest Angley do such work on TV. Cripples would rise up from their wheelchairs. The blind could see. And the deaf would hear.   
  • I know it works. It said so in Reader’s Digest. (Gimme a break. I was at the home of some older relatives, and it was the only thing available for bathroom reading.) The premise is pretty straight-forward: the body metabolizes food differently during daylight hours. To that end, if you eat all of your meals while there’s light in the sky, your tummy will evaporate and your love handles will fall off. That’s not really the end conclusion, but it’s what I was going for. There is some research that supports this notion. One of the subjects of the RD article was a woman that had gained a lot of weight during pregnancy. Following the birth of her child, she had either a new job or new working hours. Regardless, because of that schedule change, she needed to eat supper by 5 each day. Then, it was off to work, arriving back home around 11 p.m. The big change for her was that the 5 o’clock meal was not just her last meal of the day, it was her last food of the day. Upon returning home in the evening, she showered and went to bed. The way I remember the story, she lost over seventy pounds of baby fat with just that one change. No change in her diet, only in the times she ate. A lightbulb went off over my head, however dimly. Could this program help me lose some baby fat? In my case, baby back ribs fat. February was about to begin. That seemed like a good starting point. New month, new plan. My wife was onboard; she thinks we eat too late, anyway. Initially, the hardest part was that it was, in fact, the beginning of February. It gets dark early! In order to have supper consumed by dark, it needed to be completely ready to eat by 5 o’clock. As the month wore on and the days grew longer, having the meal prepared by 6 or even 6:15 still had us finishing before dark. There were a couple of exceptions, as there are bound to be, but I was faithful to the plan. Thinking back to when I announced the new diet on social media, the very first question that came up was, “Does that go for liquid consumption after dark, as well???” It came from this girl I used to work with who is now a fitness queen and is trying to eat all healthy and probably assumes that I enjoy a toddy or two in the evening. Knowing her, she wanted me to fail. I did. It didn’t work. Oh, I lost two pounds, but I was hoping for twenty. Now for my analysis of what might have gone wrong: liquid consumption after dark, probably. I admit, I am a man of many empty calories. Supper may be over, and I may have finished eating before dark, but that wine bottle is still half-full. Or half-empty, depending on your point of view. From my angle, there is still some work to be done, and that article didn’t say anything about wine. To be fair to me, I do try to limit my wine intake to two glasses. But then there’s the splash or two of a good bourbon over ice that soothes the soul and helps one sleep at night. You don’t want me to not sleep well, do you? I do want to point out one HUGE positive to this particular eating arrangement. If you have decreed that all meals must be taken during daylight hours, you have effectively made late-night snacking against the law. That’s a really big deal for those of us that are prone to getting the munchies because that steak and potato and beans and salad and rolls and wine you had two hours ago suddenly is not enough, and you must go thrust your spoon into that jar of peanut butter… twice, maybe three times, or you will die - quite literally, die - of starvation! (A very small half-pound sliver of cheddar cheese will also do the trick.) This plan sets the rule: when dinner’s over, eating is done for the day. I liked that, and I stuck to it. So, I’m going to hang with it for a while. If nothing else, I quit gaining weight. Best case, I’ll hit my target weight in 8 -10 years. My wife has had more success than I have, but then, she has taken a month-long sabbatical from all alcohol. She suggests I do the same. I have found that staring at her blankly, like she’s a martian (which of your 7 eyes should I be looking at?), is an effective response.  
  • I am friends with the anti-Christ of Valentine’s Day. Every year, he plasters his office door with cute little signs proclaiming, “St. Valentine Was Beheaded” and “Valentine’s Day is a creation of the floral industry.” When he was a single guy, I thought it was a brilliant move. Hey, ladies, you can have this guy, but you’d best know, upfront, he ain’t spending a dime come February 14th. You’ve been warned. There’s a politically correct version of Valentine’s Day now. Some use the date to celebrate S*A*D. Single Awareness Day. That’s right, celebrate your singleness. Who needs a soulmate when you have six feline friends and a house that smells like cat pee? If you don’t live alone, though, Valentine’s Day might come with some guilt. “What? You say you love your wife, yet you won’t spring for a few flowers or a handful of chocolates?” On the other hand, couldn’t you – shouldn’t you - use that day as the one day out of the year you actually brought her some flowers? There’s some conflict there. I don’t feel an obligation, but this year I bought flowers. In fairness, it was only because we were out of ketchup. (We need ketchup, and the grocery store also sells flowers, so while I’m here…) I also bought beer, but the beer/wine aisle is right beside the floral department. That may not be just coincidence. I used to think buying Valentine’s Day flowers from the grocery store instead of the local florist was a complete cop-out, a version of running down to the drug store at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve to do your Christmas shopping because it was the only place left open. And what woman wouldn’t appreciate a bag of red and green candy corn and some toenail clippers? Anymore, though, the grocery store is the local florist. In my neighborhood, it’s the only place left to buy flowers. Some yellow roses caught my eye, and my wife, herself a yellow rose of Texas, prefers them to red roses, so I was in business. In my defense, I could point out that Valentine’s Day is not the only day of the year I buy flowers, and that would be true. But it’s also true that I was buying them on that day because it was in fact Valentine’s Day, and the flowers would be the extent of any sort of recognition of the occasion. What’s happened? What brought us to this? Used to be that Valentine’s Day was a day a guy might ‘get lucky,’ so any effort was worth it. Nowadays, getting lucky is finding a quarter in the parking lot. It’s not that time just wears us down, nor that we don’t love our mates. Those are not problems in our house, anyway. Sure, we both suffer from a lack of creative ideas, but mostly, it’s that we don’t need anything. The whole digital shopping thing hasn’t helped. It’s hard to compete with a computer and a credit card. Anything that pops into my brain as necessary or amusing, I buy it. A couple of months ago, I got the bright idea that we needed a new knife sharpener. Hello, Amazon! You needn’t think I’ve used it. I don’t even know where it is. It’s good that my wife thinks the same way. I’d have never thought to buy her a lovely jar of deep tissue moisturizing cream designed especially for the neck no more than she would have thought to buy me some cacao nibs for making a steak rub. So, there I was, waiting in the checkout line with this odd assortment of items that probably would have attracted some attention, anyway. But being Valentine’s Day, I could just feel other people gawking at my basket and thinking, ‘At least I’m not that guy.’ Or perhaps, ‘At least I’m not married to that guy.’ I have considered that Valentine’s Day occurs too close to Christmas. In our house, we really don’t do much for Christmas anymore, either. Other than eat like starving baby pigs. Maybe I was buying the flowers out of guilt. Guilt that manifests itself as a loud booming voice screaming at me to DO SOMETHING! JUST TRY, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD! So, I formulated a Valentine’s Day poem. Roses are red,So are your lips.Didn’t get you no chocolate,It’d go straight to your hips. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it. Hard to beat roses, ketchup and beer.  
  • Allen  Tibbetts

    I’m a Georgia boy, born and bred.

    Born in Rome, my family didn’t live there long enough to ever know it as home. I spent my grade school years in Aragon, Georgia, before we moved to Tifton in South Georgia, the city I call my home town. A lot of my family still lives there.

    I started working radio as a junior in high school in Tifton at a little AM station, WTIF 1340. It was a weekend job in the beginning, but I somehow managed to parlay that gig into a 41-year career in radio, mostly as a morning show host - or co-host, as I almost always had a partner clowning around with me on the air.

    After almost 20 years of working radio in Tifton, I started dating the woman that is now my wife. We had gone to school together in Tifton, but she was living in Athens as we reconnected.

    Ah, Athens… home of the University of Georgia and the Georgia Bulldogs. Shouldn’t I live there, too?

    I sent an application to the only station I knew in Athens, 960 WRFC, and was hired as the morning show host in 1990. As the radio market evolved and stations in Athens merged, I was moved to the morning show at Magic 102.1/WGMG, an adult contemporary station.

    Best I can figure, I spent about 18 very happy years on that station before I turned off the mic.

    My wife, Beverly, was an entomologist who finished her professional career serving in administration at the university. When she decided to retire, I figured it was time to quit leaving her in bed alone at 4 a.m. every morning, and I retired, too.

    We still live in Athens, at least part-time, with no kids, no cats, no dogs, and no obligations other than to family and friends. We tend to wander around a lot.

    What are Tales from Tibby?? 

    During my 41-year career doing morning show radio, what I found most rewarding was taking the slices of life I observed and making them into fun, funny or satirical stories that, hopefully, the audience would enjoy. That usually involved altering, embellishing or flat-out lying about an actual incident, but I got pretty good at it. When the time came to back away from the microphone, I realized that I still tend to see life as a morning show host. My brain still processes everything as a possible story to tell on the air. So this blog is a written extension of my radio show, a series of true or semi-true stories could just as easily be called, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ALLEN. Born and raised and still living in Georgia, my stories often have a Southern slant. I offer no apologies for that. I know how to properly prepare grits and cannot imagine life without them. I can also fry up a rabbit. While I cannot avoid a little commentary now and then, the aim is to entertain, and I hope you enjoy reading these Tales From Tibby.

    Read More

Local News

  • – The University of Georgia Foundation has hired Jason Bull as its first chief investment officer, effective April 9. Bull was formerly managing director for Emory University’s endowment.   The liquid assets managed by the UGA Foundation have surpassed $1 billion, as more donors contribute each year in support of the University of Georgia. Bull will lead the team managing these assets and will be responsible for securing a favorable investment return, which is critical to the foundation’s continued success. The UGA Foundation provides more than $65 million annually, on average, to advance the University of Georgia’s missions of teaching, research and service.   An 11-person committee conducted a national search to fill the role of chief investment officer. The committee was led by UGA Foundation Board of Trustees Vice Chair John Crawford and included both trustees and UGA senior administrators.   “Surpassing $1 billion of liquid assets was a big milestone that led to our decision to seek out strategic investment leadership,” Crawford said. “As the foundation’s assets continue to grow, we need to ensure we’re accessing the best investment opportunities and that our goals are reflected in our investment allocations.”   In his previous role at Emory, Bull led investments within the global public equity markets, which were the largest investments, and delivered significant returns by partnering with world-class investment organizations around the globe. Bull earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from Emory’s Goizueta Business School. He is a chartered financial analyst charterholder with17 years of experience managing investments.   “We’re thrilled to have Jason fill this role as we continue to provide more resources through the success of the Commit to Georgia Campaign,” said Kelly Kerner, vice president for development and alumni relations and executive director for the UGA Foundation. “He has the strong technical background in investments and extensive endowment experience that we need, and I’m confident he will also bring enthusiasm and dynamism to this new leadership role.”
  • The Georgia Bulldog football team held its second spring practice session Thursday: coach Kirby Smart and the Dogs are gearing up for the April 21 G-Day game in Sanford Stadium.    From UGA Sports Communications…   Under cloudless skies with a steady wind and temperatures hovering in the upper 50s, the Georgia football team had its second practice of the spring on Thursday afternoon.   The Bulldogs kicked off the spring on Tuesday with a two and a half hour session. On Wednesday, all 32 NFL teams sent representatives to Athens to cover the annual Pro Day where 21 former players worked out in preparation for the coming NFL Draft on April 26-28. The current Bulldogs returned to work at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Thursday with another two and a half hour practice in shorts and helmets.   This marks the second of 15 spring practices for Georgia, including the annual G-Day intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, April 21. The Bulldogs will complete their first week of the spring with another session this Saturday afternoon.   It was announced on Thursday that ESPN will televise the G-Day game in Sanford Stadium starting at 4 p.m. The Red team will face off versus the Black team and admission is free to the annual showdown. At halftime, fans attending G-Day can expect to be introduced to UGA's incoming class of 2018 signees.    Prior to the G-Day matchup, lettermen from the program’s past will square off on the field starting at 1:15 p.m. With expected high demand and temporarily reduced seating due to the construction on the new West End Zone complex, the UGA Athletic Association will be implementing a pass system. Upon entrance, each fan will receive a commemorative pass with a seating section. The UGAAA asks that each fan sits in this section to help manage what is expected to be a near-capacity crowd.    Gates 2-9 will be open as usual. However, Gate 10 (gate under the bridge next to the Tate Center) will be closed due to construction. To help reduce congestion and further improve ingress flow, please enter on the side of the stadium where each fan’s preferred seating location would be. Additional pass/entry questions can be directed to facilitysupport@sports.uga.edu. The Bulldogs begin their 2018 campaign with a home matchup versus Austin Peay on Saturday, Sept. 1. Georgia will then travel to Columbia, S.C., to open its Southeastern Conference schedule against South Carolina on Sept. 8.
  • A public input session on plans for Dudley Park is set for Saturday: it’s organized by the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department. It’s underway at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, lasting til noon at the Athens Farmers Market in Bishop Park. Leisure Services is looking for input on proposed changes to the Dudley Park master plan.    There is an afternoon meeting of the University of Georgia’s curriculum committee, a 3:30 session at New College on Herty Drive.    The Gainesville Fire Department gets money from the poultry processing firm Cargill: Cargill is giving the Department $10,000. Gainesville Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough says they’ll use the money to beef up the Department’s search and rescue programs.  The City Council in Lula signs off on plans to renovate the Lula Depot. Estimated construction cost: a little more than $170,000.
  • The 1 year-old Madison County boy who was shot and wounded by his 2 year-old brother in Madison County has been transferred to a hospital in Atlanta. What the Madison County Sheriff’s Office says was an accidental shooting happened earlier this week at a home in Hull. The injured boy, who was shot in the shoulder, was taken first to hospital in Athens. He was, at last report, in stable condition at Eggleston Hospital in Atlanta.  His older brother was not injured. Athens-Clarke County Police were, at last report, still searching for a robbery suspect, a man who used an axe to break into a package store on Oconee Street. Store surveillance video shows the break-in. Store operators tell police the man stole about $40 worth of wine. A 40 year-old Gainesville man is arrested on methamphetamine distribution charges: the Hall County Sheriff’s Office says Edward Barker was arrested after a traffic stop on Old Cornelia Highway. He was booked into the Hall County jail. 
  • Hall County Commissioners voted on a new version of Hall County's short term rental ordinance last night in Gainesville, striking what the Commission says is a balance between the rights of property owners who want to rent their properties on a short term basis and the concerns of their neighbors.    'I'd like to thank the citizens and groups whom we've heard from concerning changes to the short term rental ordinance,' Hall County Commission Chairman Richard Higgins (pictured) said. 'We are thankful that our county is a vacation destination for people, and we want to balance the concerns and rights of property owners desiring to rent their properties on a short term basis with the welfare of their neighboring property owners.'   The latest version of the Hall County ordinance allows for short-term rentals as a permitted use in properties zoned Vacation-Cottage. The new ordinance also opens up short-term rentals to properties zoned Residential with approval from the Hall County Planning Commission that are within 500 feet of Corps of Engineers property or are within subdivisions with 10 lots or less.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — The week before Jake Fromm went to visit David Morris in Mobile, Ala., Eli Manning had come in and had some sessions with the renowned quarterback coach. So Morris’ perspective on good quarterback play is pretty strong. As founder of QB Country, Morris has also worked with AJ McCarron since the eighth grade, and had various stings with Matt Barkley, Chad Kelly, Jacob Coker and some guy named Tebow, Tim I believe the first name is. Morris wasn’t name-dropping. That was just me researching — OK, Googling — his list of clientele. That list includes Fromm, Georgia’s latest quarterback sensation. I reached out to Morris after I heard about Fromm using some of his spring break beach time to work out with Morris at QB Country. I was doing a story on Fromm’s offseason preparations for this season, so Morris seemed like a good guy to talk to. Being a coach in demand like he is — Morris was traveling this week to help prepare Toledo’s Logan Woodside and Riley Ferguson of Memphis for their respective pro days — he didn’t get back to me in time to be included in that story. But Fromm and Morris go back a way, and his observations were such that I definitely wanted to share them with DawgNation readers. First, a little background. They met when Fromm was just 15 years old. “I met Jake, I think it was right after his freshman year (in high school) maybe,” Morris said. “He and his father kind of found me. They reached out and we connected. They came to Mobile and we just started working together. That’s kind of how our stuff works with most of our guys. Dads do their homework and figure out what makes sense.” With those early interactions as a backdrop, Morris said he was not surprised to see Fromm have early success at Georgia. When he started working with Fromm, the kid was considered more of a baseball prospect that a football prospect. But Fromm had caught the eye of head coach Von Lassiter and quarterbacks coach Mike Chastain at Houston County High School. They, in turn, told Fromm’s father Emerson about Morris and his reputation for developing quarterbacks. The next thing Fromm knew, he was on his way to Mobile. “Coach Chastain reached out to me and said, ‘I’ve got a good one I’m going to send down to you,’ ” Morris said. “And I could see what he was talking about early on. When they’re that young, you’re thinking about things like, ‘is he mechanically sound, is he a big kid, can he make all the throws?’ Then you start projecting them out (as a prospect). Jake started getting a lot of attention that next year, his sophomore year. I think he got some offers about then. But early on, you could tell this kid had it.” Since then, Fromm and Morris have gotten together to work as often as possible. Fromm would attend the QB Country camps whenever possible, then he would seek out individual instruction anytime his schedule would allow it. It wasn’t real often, with Fromm living in another state. But that meant the visits were spread out just enough that Morris could distinctly see the progress that Fromm was making from semester to semester. Morris gives Chastain and Lassiter most of the credit for Fromm’s development. He said he showed up at QB Country with a strong foundation of fundamentals and a surprisingly strong aptitude for offensive concepts. “His ability to think fast goes back to high school,” Morris said. “He was well-coached by Coach Chastain and Coach Lassiter. Very honestly, those guys coached him up. It’s important to give those guys credit because he was a well-trained kid when he showed up. We focused more on footwork and arm position, things like that.” Fromm’s training was on display for everyone to see as a true freshman last season. After incumbent starter Jacob Eason sustained a knee injury in Georgia’s first game, Fromm started the next 14 and helped lead the Bulldogs to an SEC championship and National Championship Game berth. The national narrative on Fromm last season became that he was a game manager whose strongest contribution was to get the Bulldogs into good plays and out of bad ones. And he certainly was proficient in that regard. But Morris believes Fromm is being sold short on his passing ability. Fromm completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,615 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. He threw 7 interceptions and also had 3 rushing TDs. “He’s got plenty of arm strength,” Morris said. “The thing that he has that’s rare is his anticipation and touch. He’s very confident, too. As a result, you don’t see him late on throws very often. A lot of times, coming out of the gate, guys are late on throws because they’re nervous about making the wrong read. It seemed like he was on in that regard pretty much every game.” Morris was asked if he was trying to help Fromm gain velocity on his throws. “I would say he has plenty of arm,” Morris said. “He actually has a strong arm. He doesn’t have the Josh Allen arm where he can throw it 70 yards, but you don’t need to do that. And Josh Allen struggles with accuracy. Josh would like to have the accuracy Jake’s got. Jake has anticipation, touch, arm strength and accuracy. So, yeah, I’d say he’s ahead of his time on all that stuff. But I’d say the most important thing is he’s got confidence.” Like Eason last year, Fromm is wearing the hat as incumbent starter. But he can’t rest on his laurels. Georgia signed Justin Fields — the No. 1-rated dual-threat quarterback in America — to provide much-needed depth and compete with Fromm. Morris is actually quite familiar with Fields, too. Though the Kennesaw, Ga., native and Harrison High School standout has worked with Ron Veal as his personal quarterbacks coach since the sixth grade, Fields has actually had some sessions with Morris over the years at various camps. “I worked him out at the Rivals Camp last year,” Morris said. “He and the kid from Clemson (Trevor Lawrence) were there as well as (Marietta 2020 prospect) Harrison Bailey and some other guys. (Fields is) impressive. He’s a physically gifted guy that can throw it. I don’t know much more about him other than that, that he can really throw the ball.” Morris doesn’t have an opinion on the quarterback competition at Georgia, or whether it’s real or imagined. But he did say that he knows from experience that Fromm will be very difficult to run down from behind. Morris noted that Fromm’s constant and steady improvement has been uncanny to watch. That, and his physical growth. “Obviously, they’ve got a great weight program at Georgia,” Morris said with a laugh. “Jake’s 6-[foot-]2 and he’s a strong kid. I want to say he was 222, 225 when he was here, but it’s good weight. He’s got some tree trunks for legs. He doesn’t look too big to me, but I think that’s probably where he wants to stay. The one thing I always preach to him about being strong like that is that he has to maintain flexibility. You can tell early on in a workout if a kid has been paying attention to his flexibility because a lot of guys who work out too much get too stiff. They can’t turn their elbow over and it turns into a violent throw. I thought Jake still looked fluid and flexible. We spent a lot of time making sure he was as loose as he needs to be.” Morris said he spent two full days with Fromm in Mobile. Two other days, Fromm went to the beach. “He threw great,” Morris said. “I’m always challenging him on his feet, his release speed and speed in general. Those are big things for him. As far as physical traits, though, he looks like an NFL guy right now.” The post QB ‘guru’ impressed with what he saw from Jake Fromm during spring break appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to a new feature on DawgNation, where our writers answer (or try to answer) the best questions submitted by Georgia fans. If you’d like to submit a question, please e-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. Or you can tweet us at here and here. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday. Did Charley Trippi make it to the championship game? What did he think of UGA’s two bowl games this year? — Susan Davis Thank you so very, very much, Ms. Davis, for sending in this question. It reminded me that I hadn’t followed up on that storyline from last season, and it also gave me a great excuse to talk to Charley and Peggy Trippi again. The last time I spoke to them was on the Sunday after the SEC Championship Game, after Georgia had learned that it would, in fact, play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1943, when Trippi did as a sophomore. His reaction was priceless! As for attending the actual game, Trippi and his wife had every intention of doing so. Both UGA and the Rose Bowl invited the couple to travel with the Bulldogs to California, and they were offered free passage and lodging with the Georgia contingent, of course. When the invitation was extended, Trippi told his wife immediately, “Oh, boy, let’s pack!” Unfortunately, just a short time later, when Georgia was needing to firm up arrangements, Trippi had a change of heart. He came in from his daily routine of working in the yard and realized that such a journey would be too great. While he’s in better shape than most people his age — Trippi turned 96 on Dec. 14 — he thought better of undertaking the challenge. The Trippis also were invited to the National Championship Game against Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. And although that game meant a car ride instead of a cross-country airplane trip, again they turned down the invitation, mainly because of the late hour of kickoff. “We were kindly invited to both,” Peggy Trippi said Thursday. “But it just wasn’t in the bag for us.” But Charley Trippi watched every play of both games on television, according to his wife. And as one might suspect, he was particularly thrilled with the Bulldogs improving to 2-0 in the Rose Bowl. “Oh, please, that was something!” Peggy Trippi said. “We enjoyed that one.” They actually enjoyed the National Championship Game a week later, too, even though the Bulldogs lost to Alabama 26-23 in overtime. Peggy said her husband still watches games intently, but very much with a coach/athlete mentality. “He watched every play, right here in our den,” Peggy said. “You know, he’s very calm and quiet. He’s kind of like, whatever happens, happens.” Charley has a hard time hearing on the phone, as one might expect. But after Peggy relayed it to him, he was able to answer my question about the Bulldogs coming oh-so-close in the national title game. “You know, they may have lost the game, but look what they’ve done in a year and a half!” Trippi said. Added his wife, “He’s behind the team, I’ll tell you that.” Have a question for beat writers Chip Towers and Seth Emerson? E-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com The post Charley Trippi was with Bulldogs every step of way in College Football Playoff appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS, Ga. – Seventh-ranked Georgia softball won its midweek series with in-state foe Georgia Southern Wednesday evening, 10-3.   The Bulldogs (27-2) scored in every inning and outhit the Eagles (19-9) 13-to-6. Sophomore second baseman Justice Milz scattered three hits to lead the Georgia offense. Five other Bulldogs each had two hits in the contest while sophomore first baseman Alysen Febrey drove in three runs.   Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mary Wilson Avant pitched three scoreless innings in her second start of the season. She allowed just one hit and fanned five. Freshman right-hander Lauren Mathis pitched two innings in relief in the circle, allowing both Eagle runs. Sophomore righty Amanda Ablan (2-1) earned the win as she pitched the final two innings, allowing a run.   The Bulldogs took a 2-0 in the first inning on a double off the bat of Febrey into right center.   Sophomore center fielder Ciara Bryan led off the bottom of the second with a triple to right center. She immediately scored on a groundout by freshman catcher Jessica Morgan, adding to the lead, 3-0.   Georgia pushed three runs across in the plate in the bottom of the third inning. The stanza began with a hit-by-pitch and back-to-back base hits to load the bases. Morgan singled to center, driving in pinch runner Tyler Armistead. A wild pitch in the dirt scored senior right fielder Kendall Burton. A dropped fly ball off the bat of senior left fielder Cortni Emanuel plated Bryan, lengthening the lead to 6-0 after three.   Two runs came in to score on a base hit up the middle by Alesha Mann in the Eagles’ half of the fifth, narrowing the Bulldog lead to 7-2.   A sacrifice fly off the bat of Febrey widened the margin back to six for Georgia in the bottom of the inning, 8-2.   Georgia Southern’s Logan Harrell hit a solo home run to left in the top of the sixth, narrowing the lead to 8-3.   The Bulldogs continued their scoring streak into the sixth with two more runs. The first scored when Emanuel stole second and the throw to the bag went array, allowing Morgan to come home. The next batter, Milz, reached on a fielding error by the first baseman, extending the inning and plating Emanuel, 10-3.   Georgia takes to the road this weekend for a three-game Southeastern Conference series with #21 Mississippi State. The series begins Friday at 7 p.m., EDT.   Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer 'I think we did a good job just coming out and playing softball. Allison did great tonight and had 3 RBIs, Justice came out and batted incredibly well, and Mary Wilson started us out excellently on the mound. Going on the road this weekend won't be very different for us because we're just going to play softball. We are really looking to take the positives out of every day, these girls can be upset by the outcome but what really matters is the process.'   Sophomore 2B Justice Milz 'I just kept thinking about the weather conditions tonight and knew I just needed to keep hitting groundballs up the middle and that's what happened. The weather doesn't change our game much we just have to maintain a solid mindset through the cold and the wind. My confidence has really skyrocketed going into Mississippi State because I've gotten out of my slump and I'm really excited about it.'   Sophomore RHP Mary Wilson Avant 'I think going out there and being able to command my pitches gave me confidence for the rest of the game. Also, knowing that my defense will always have my back. I think our reps, our hitters, and our defense doing everything we need to do has really boosted our confidence going into our series against Mississippi State. We can always keep our energy high, that's really the main thing we can work on this week.
  • UGA Football conducts Pro Day for NFL scouts and coaches 
  • ATHENS — Their situations are decidedly different. Then again, they’re much the same. Both Roquan Smith and Trent Thompson are juniors, so both had a year of eligibility at Georgia remaining when they decided to turn pro in January. As we understand it now, Smith toiled terribly over the decision. Thompson, by contrast, never really had a doubt. Yet, as they sit a month away from the NFL draft, it’s only Smith who seems assured of NFL riches. Nobody seems to be sure what to make of Thompson’s fortunes. He’ll get drafted, certainly, but how long he may have to wait is a matter of much debate. The buzz at Georgia’s pro day on Wednesday was that Thompson is looking at a third- or fourth-round call at best. Smith, by contrast, has been invited to the NFL draft ceremonies in Arlington, Texas, and projects as a top-15 pick. That was pretty much the feedback Smith, the 2017 Butkus Award winner, received when he filled out his underclassman evaluation application from the NFL back in December. Yet he insists his decision wasn’t the no-brainer that many of his Georgia teammates described. “Top 15 is pretty special,” said Smith, who led the SEC in tackles and the Bulldogs in sacks and tackles for loss, as well. “I knew I’d pretty much be a first-round pick; that’s what they were telling me. But, at the end of the day, it wasn’t even about that for me. It was more about the things I enjoy [at Georgia] and what we did together. It was special, very special. It’ll definitely be something I miss, but life goes on and you have to do what’s best for you.” Lorenzo Carter, Nick Chubb, Davin Bellamy and Sony Michel all chose to return in 2017 for their senior seasons for much the same reason. However, none of them received the level of draft grade that Smith did. Their feedback was similar to what Thompson heard. But these decisions aren’t based solely on draft grades and contract potential. There also can be extenuating factors. Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle from Albany, has been inundated with injuries throughout his college career. He had shoulder surgery a year ago and struggled with knee injuries last season. He also had a rather high-profile medical episode in February 2017 that resulted in his hospitalization and withdrawal from school. Not only did the incident create health concerns for Thompson, it also put him in a hole academically. Whether he would have been eligible to play another season for the Bulldogs is unclear. But most believe it was time for the player affectionately known as “Big Jolly” to make the jump to the pros, anyway. “Everybody has their own things going on,” said Bellamy, who also worked out for scouts Wednesday. “We don’t know what’s going on at home for a guy that may influence their decision. For Roquan, man, it was a no-brainer. I kind of felt like with him there was nothing else to prove. But I’d say the same with Trent, really. He was a three-year starter here. He put his body on the line for his team. It gets to a point where you have to be a little selfish, thinking about yourself and your career.” Thompson certainly arrived at UGA with more fanfare. In fact, when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Albany’s Westover High, he was the No. 1 overall prospect in the country, according to the composite rankings compiled by 247Sports. Thompson lived up to that billing at times. By the end of his sophomore year, he was almost unblockable. He definitely was for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, earning both overall and defensive MVP honors with 8 tackles and 3 sacks. He’d finish the season with 56 total stops. But between recovering from shoulder surgery and battling a knee sprain, Thompson’s snaps decreased in 2017. He ended up alternating with sophomore Tyler Clark, who emerged as a star in his own right. Thompson missed two games and finished with 38 tackles, 3.5 of those for loss. “He’s been pretty beat-up,” Bellamy said of Thompson. “But he has three years of good film in the best conference in America and he’s been dominant all three of those years. I think he’s going to do pretty good at the next level.” Most everybody agrees about that. In all these cases, Georgia players who are considering making the jump early consult Kirby Smart as well as their position coaches. But they also look to sources outside the football program. The key is arriving at an informed objective opinion. “I tell them whatever that ask,” Smart said. “We’re advocates for our players and we want to do a great job for them. Trenton’s certainly done tremendous job for us since being here. He’s pushed through a lot of injuries and he’s a great kid. We wish him nothing but the best.” Smart was asked whether he thought Thompson would benefit from another year in college. “That’s not my decision,” he said. “Our job as coaches is to get them information. That’s what I always try to do. Whether they decide to go or decide to stay, it’s the same thing. You arm them with ammunition. I’ve got to give them all the information. Information is power. And then they do with the information what they want. That’s the best thing we can do as coaches.” Thompson seemed to struggle through some of his drills Wednesday. He appeared to be favoring his right leg whenever was asked to do timed runs and dummy step-overs, as well. Smith had a nearly flawless workout, even though his status indicated he need not even bother with participating. He didn’t do any of the physical testing but went through position drills with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Lions coach Matt Patricia presiding. For as much fuss that is being made about him now, it’s hard to believe Smith ever considered coming back to Georgia one more year. “He was real close,” Smart said. “He had several moments where he was leaning toward coming back, several moments he was leaving. Again, that’s not my decision. All we do is give them the information we get and try to educate them with that information. He did a great job of handling it.” The post Same decision, different draft scenarios for Georgia juniors Roquan Smith, Trent Thompson appeared first on DawgNation.