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Tales from Tibby

    The Facebook post featured Brussels spouts being prepared with lemon honey. The author of that post also talked of how yummy they were.  In response, one of her friends said, “I have given up trying to find a good recipe for Brussels sprouts. No matter what other food is paired with them, the other food is ruined and the end product is inedible.”   My thoughts exactly. Actually, that’s worded better than I could have thought it.   There is truly no salvation for Brussels sprouts.  Notice their initials: BS. Think that’s an accident?   Nope. It’s what they taste like.   Raised to eat what I am served and to do so politely, if you serve me Brussels sprouts, I will eat them with no complaints. I hope I even compliment you on them.   I also hope you have a Brussels sprouts-eating dog under the table. We are regular dinner guests of friends who serve them ‘Italian-style.’ Best I can tell, that involves cooking some bacon, then searing the Brussels sprouts in the bacon grease. How that’s Italian-style, I’m not sure.  Unless pigs were invented in Italy. They even serve them with the bacon. But as the previous comment implies, that simply ruins perfectly good bacon. I’ve tried, y’all. With butter, with cheese, roasted, toasted, salted and malted. Sorry, malt was the only thing I could think of to rhyme with salt. Though if you actually did malt them, you could brew beer with them. How nasty would that be??? Likely, no nastier than the current fad of pot-flavored (hemp) beer. Hey! Wonder if anyone has tried smoking Brussel sprouts! Probably. And it was probably after they ate them.  “These taste like crap. Let’s fire one up and see if it’s any good that way.” If you like Brussels sprouts, good for you. And being in the cabbage family, they are in fact probably good for you. But here’s my truth: If a Brussels sprout was a critter crawling across my floor, I’d take my shoe and beat it into oblivion. Then I’d take a paper towel, wipe it up and flush it. Yep, it’s the cockroach of vegetables. Click here for more Tales From Tibby!
  • It starts with a visitA chance to beWith loved onesWho you rarely see They show you their houseThey show you their townThey take the whole dayJust to show you around. Then the cat shows up. “Don’t try petting him. That’s a feral cat we took in. Not really a people-cat.”    In a previous tale, I made an attempt to transfer the crazy of cat people to the people who raise yard chickens. Read it here.    I am taking the crown away from the chicken people and not just giving it back, but gluing it to the heads of the cat people.    For the life of me, I do not understand why people try to rescue feral cats. Feral cats are good for one thing: making more feral cats.    I’m sure they eat a few mice, but so do snakes. And most people only want to see snakes dead.    Nowhere, Minnesota    I love these people; they are kinfolk. But they are kinfolk from my wife’s side, so I am absolved of any shared DNA.    The problem isn’t just that they’ve taken in a feral cat, it’s that they have other cats. And one of the other cats and Feral Boy just don’t get along.    So what we have here is what us Southerners would call a good, old-fashioned p*ssing contest. Except in this case, it’s literal.    When one cat ‘marks’ their spot, the other cat must come along and override that marking with a mark of its own. And this is happening all over the house.    WWNPD    What Would Normal People Do?    Why ask? These are not normal people. So let me just tell you how this issue is being handled.    First, it’s a visit to the vet.    Initially, the veterinarian doesn’t mind. He’s got mouths to feed and bills to pay.    “Doctor, my cats don’t get along and are peeing all over the house. What can I do?”    “Nothing. It’s what cats that hate each other do. That’ll be $50.”    But these people keep coming back, over and over.    At some point, the vet decides he’d rather sift through the cat box for food than have to keep dealing with these people, so…    He thought and he thought  And he thought some more  How to keep these people  Away from his door.    Then the good doctor  He hatched a good plan  And it was so good  You could even call it grand!    “You know, there are therapists that deal with these situations. Perhaps you should find one.”    And just like that - *bam!* - he made these people someone else’s problem.    You have questions, I know. Like, where does one find a cat therapist? That one is too easy. The internet, of course.    A tougher question would be, why do two people from the boonies of Minnesota choose a therapist from Los Angeles?    I didn’t ask. I find asking fewer questions shortens the amount of time I have to spend hearing the answers.    What I learned anyway:  -the cats are involved in the video chat with the therapist  -she talks to the cats  -they don’t talk back (I made that up. It’s just a guess.)  -she recommended drugs. For the cats  -the cats are now on drugs  -cat therapy is expensive. Consider making it your profession. Fast forward to that night. We’re having dinner with these people and this is asked:    “Have you seen the YouTube videos of the lady that teaches you how to massage a possum? That is so weird.”    Let’s see… you got one cat on Paxil to treat aggression, another cat on Xanax to help it chill out; your cats actually have their own profile at the local pharmacy because, you know… cats on drugs. You’ve paid someone calling themselves a cat therapist $500 to video chat with your cats. And… you spend your free time watching YouTube videos of a lady massaging possums.    And she’s the crazy one?    There are things  Across this land  Things we cannot  Understand    It’s not the dogs  It’s not the cats  People are  The real dingbats.    And I need a drink. Click here for more Tales From Tibby!
  • Notes from China:  I wondered if there might be some backlash for an American tourist because of the tariff battles going on now.   Nope, not at all. The people are lovely. Warm, welcoming.   Actually, I’ve found this to be true just about everywhere I’ve traveled. People like each other, even as our governments bicker. Everything the Great Wall is in your head, it is in real life. I hope you see it one day.   I hope you also get to see the terracotta warriors. Well over 2,000 years ago, the first Chinese emperor ordered thousands of life-sized terracotta soldiers to be made and placed in his tomb to guard him in his reincarnation.   If pottery can’t protect you in the afterlife, what can?   It was only in the mid-1970s this discovery was made, so excavation is a work in progress that will continue for many more years. So far, about 6,000 terracotta soldiers and horses have been unearthed. Amazing. And what a rich history.   China has a bunch of people. Chongqing is China’s largest city by population. I’d never even heard of Chongqing. 33 million people, if you include the metro area around it.   Beijing, China’s capital, only has 25 million people. Only. That’s more people than the population of Florida, all living in one city.   Where do all those people live? Glad you asked.   High-rise apartments. Thousands of high-rise apartments are under construction in every major city. Construction cranes are indeed the national bird because there are no other birds.   Seriously. We saw almost no birds of any variety. But then birds don’t like pollution. Those big cities have air quality so poor the sky is perpetually gray and long-range visibility is non-existent.   Lots of people wear surgical masks in public. They look silly, frankly, but it’s hard to blame them.   I was anxious to leave Beijing because nothing there reflects Chinese culture. At least, not as I imagined it. It’s all been torn down and replaced by modern skyscrapers and pavement.   Downtown Beijing looks and feels just like downtown Atlanta. Atlanta with signage in Chinese.   Even the Chinese regret not holding on to some of Beijing’s historical relics. We encountered a lot of Chinese tourists. That is, natives out seeing their own country. That’s a fairly recent thing.   Ordinary citizens who before had no means to travel now do have the means. Incomes have been going up and Chinese people are starting to travel a lot.   We had been told that as Americans, Chinese people would want pictures taken with us, mostly due to a fascination with our white hair. That was correct.   One member of our group was rushed by some Chinese tourists, first by a single woman, then by what looked like her whole family, all wanting to be in a photo with him once he demonstrated his willingness to pose with them. His hair isn’t white, but his eyes are blue.   You don’t see blue-eyed Asians.   My wife Beverly, who has a head full of curly white hair, was a pretty popular photo op. In one case, a woman came up and just grabbed her by the arm, smiling as her husband snapped photos.   Beverly was happy to accommodate. The Chinese people are really lovely.   A teenager asked Beverly to join her for a selfie. After that was done, I offered to take another picture of the two of them. Seeing me take the camera, two of her friends quickly gathered. From a few feet away, I happened to notice a man taking his wife’s picture near Beverly while her back was turned. He repeatedly motioned for his wife to get closer to her.   Seemed obvious that he wanted her snow-white hair in the photo with his dark-haired wife.   I walked over, held up a finger to pause him for a moment, then went and turned Bev around to face the camera. The two ladies wrapped their arms around each other and smiled.   All of this happened with only smiles and happy faces, no words. But most Chinese have as much trouble with English as we do with their Mandarin language.   I spent our full two weeks in China knowing only the Mandarin words for hello, thank you and beer. It worked out well.   The English word ‘toilet’ was everywhere you might need it, and the rest was figured out by pointing and gesturing.   Even if they don’t speak English, but they know our words. In two weeks, I saw exactly one t-shirt that had Chinese characters (letters) on it. Everything else, English.   Not only were all those t-shirts in English, most reflected Western culture in some way. Cute sayings, pop stars, TV shows and movies.   They also know the f-bomb, as it showed up occasionally.   How is that not censored? The Chinese government censors.  Any time we were watching the BBC or CNN, when a story came on talking about the ongoing troubles in Hong Kong, the TV went black. The picture returned as soon as the Hong Kong piece was done.   The internet is censored. Pornography is not allowed. Neither is Google. I learned to use Bing. But not for porn.   Our guide told us Facebook was usually not allowed, but at times it was available to use. Never could figure that out.   The Chinese government spends a lot of time and money playing Sister Mary Sunshine, telling people how good life is, how prosperous they are, how wonderful China is becoming.   Newspapers tout only happy news. Even articles on the tariff issues are always upbeat, talking about progress being made in negotiations. Details are never a part of the story. Everything is good, and everything for the people.   The Peoples Republic of China is the formal name. There’s Peoples Square. Peoples Park. Everything belongs to and is for the people.   As long as the people belong to the Communist Party, the ruling party of China.   I expected to see a lot of Buddhist influence in China. I saw virtually none. Chinese people are generally not religious. Whether the figure is correct, we heard that 95% of the population doesn’t practice any religion.   It is fair to say, however, that the ruling Communist party doesn’t want competition for people’s devotion. The Chinese people will tell you that with a wink in their voices.   Indeed, it seems things are going well. Wages are going up. People willing to work more can earn more, so Chinese people work hard, often at multiple jobs.   Chinese citizens now have to pay for health insurance and pay income taxes. And the free-market seems to be taking over the business culture.   Most of this strikes me as exactly what communism isn’t, but what do I know. And all of this is of course purely observational on my part.   While China appears to be prospering, prosperity is for the cities. Country living, revered by us Westerners, is a ticket to poverty in the land of the dragon.   If you want a better life, you move to one of the already-overcrowded cities and hope you can afford a high-rise.   China doesn’t seem to hold the farmer in much regard.   My impression was that farmers are regarded as peasants, which is interesting because several of their cities individually have more mouths to feed than exist in the entire state of Texas.   If you’re a farmer and move to the city because you can’t find labor to help on the farm, the government will provide you a low-level job, like pruning shrubs or planting flowers in the parks.   Or sweeping streets. Streets are kept extraordinarily clean. Not only is trash routinely picked up, falling leaves from the trees are routinely swept up and discarded.   In some cities, you cannot buy a car even if you can afford it. Too many cars already and too much pollution.   Those cities have lottery drawings for car tags, which entitles you to own a car.   China is aware it has a big pollution problem. It appears one way they are trying to address it by planting trees. If there is an exposed area of land the size of your living room, it’s gonna have 25 trees planted on it.   The larger cities of China are very modern. Western toilets (like we use) are replacing squatty potties, though squatties are still very common, even in public places, like museums. Chinese dress very much like Europeans and Americans. Casual, and pretty much anything goes. Jeans, ripped jeans, t-shirts. Americans do not stand out for what we wear.   Chinese beer is weak and uninteresting. Regardless of brand, all of it seems to be of a similar light-beer style. But did I ever turn one down?   That’s a big no-o-o-o.   The most prevalent liquor I encountered is referred to as Chinese vodka, mostly because of the appearance (clear) and mouth feel. It’s sorghum-based. I like sorghum syrup, so I figured I’d like their baijiu.   Yep.   Big cities in China like to show off their technology, particularly using it to light things up! Lighted buildings with synchronized displays that are spectacular. You can watch images of birds flying or a camel walking seamlessly over buildings for several city blocks.   For all the country’s modernity, however, tap water is not drinkable. Another head-scratcher. All that technology, yet drinking water has to come from a plastic bottle.   If you get a chance to visit this beautiful country, remember that. Or be prepared to spend a lot of time figuring out the squatty potty. COMING NEXT: SQUID ON A STICK. EATING MY WAY THROUGH CHINA Click here for more Tales from Tibby!
  • Kip Moore grew up in my back yard. I do not know him. If you’re unfamiliar with Kip Moore, he’s a country singer. Not the biggest name in country music, but he is known – actually, admired - for having a large, loyal fan base.   In Tifton, GA, the house I grew up in and the house Kip grew up in have adjoining back yards. Walk out my back door, cross the yard and walk into his back door.   You can still do that, but you won’t find him or me in those houses anymore except to visit our parents.   In years past, I made that trek a couple of times because his late father was a teaching golf pro and tried his best to make me a better golfer. Didn’t work, but I knew his dad well and met all the kids, including Kip, I’m sure.   Since Kip is a full generation younger than me, he would have been a wee lad at the time.   WHERE IS THIS GOING?   We were in McMinnville, TN, recently to attend a concert in a cave. McMinnville is home to Cumberland Caverns and a concert hall that is 333 feet below the surface called the Volcano Room.   A favorite singer/songwriter was playing the Volcano Room.   As part of our visit, we did a pre-concert tour of the caverns. Our guide for the tour was a young lady that I’m guessing was in her early 20s. According to her, one of the perks of being a guide was getting to ‘work’ the concerts, meeting and hearing all the cool artists that pass through.   “Who’s your favorite you’ve seen so far?” I asked.   Kip Moore.   “He was so good and so nice!”   Y’all ready for this?   “Fun fact,” I tell her, “Kip grew up in my back yard.”   I then go on to be specific with the facts: I was friends with his dad but because of the age difference, I didn’t know Kip. But yeah, his mom still lives there and my family still lives there, and I figure one day, he’ll be home and I’ll be home, and we’ll probably have a beer together.   She seemed to think that was pretty cool.   I’m not sure what happened in the next two hours that included the concert we were there to see, but after the show, one of the cavern workers literally chased me down.   “I hear you know Kip Moore!”   Somehow, the game of Rumors had gone full circle. Telling someone Kip grew up near me had fermented into the fine wine of us being pals.   At this point, I simply capitulated on explanations. She was star-struck, and I neither wanted to bust her bubble nor take the time to go into details – again.   “Yeah, he grew up in my back yard.”   She gushed. About how good he was, how he played an extra hour more than scheduled, how he treated the fans as if they were his best friends.   She spoke to me though her words would probably reach Kip.   I grinned and nodded a lot, playing the hand I was dealt: friend of Kip Moore.   So, Kip, my apologies. I totally used you to play the fame card. I owe you a beer.   Since it seems unlikely you’ll be home at the same time I am, I’ll leave beer money with your mom next time through the home place.   Enjoy.
  • I accidentally pulled off a masterpiece of a scam.  With another friend joining us, my wife Beverly and I headed to horse country in Kentucky.   Somewhere just across the Kentucky state line I realized I had left my billfold at home. Some people would be upset about that. Not me.   No billfold meant no driving and no paying for anything. Four days of someone else taking care of everything. It’s was a thing of beauty!   Sorta.   Part of our journey was to catch the last day of the spring horse racing season at Keeneland race track just outside of Lexington. Bev and I had visited that beautiful facility before and had vowed to return one day to bet on the horses.   So there we were. But with no money of my own, I was what’s referred to in tax lingo as ‘a dependent.’ And somebody wasn’t going to give me a lot of money to lose on the ponies.   Didn’t really matter. We’re not much for gambling and being only the second time at a race track, neither of us know much about how to bet on the horses.   That doesn’t mean I’ve never made money at the track, though.   Gather ‘round, children for a sadly true story that will leave you shaking your head and probably liking me a little less.   Dateline: Ruidoso Downs/Ruidoso, New Mexico   I had never been to a betting track for horses but was intrigued and somehow convinced our group to spend an afternoon there.   It was a blistering hot day, to the point of being miserable. Probably because of that, the crowd was light and payouts were pretty small.   Compounding the misery, roughly halfway through the day’s races none of us were winning any of the $2 bets we were making.   But I remember this well:   Race #6 had just concluded, and I had concluded it was time to lose a beer, so I went to the boy’s room.   Standing at the urinal, I noticed all the disappointment laying on the floor. Apparently, people holding losing tickets as they hit the restroom simply dropped them on the floor when it was time to hold something else.   The ticket right at my feet caught my eye. It was for the #6 race just run, and it appeared someone had picked a winning trifecta.   In case it needs explaining, a trifecta is a bet on three horses to finish in the top three. A straight trifecta means you pick specific horses to finish 1st, 2nd, & 3rd. That can be a pretty handsome payoff..   This ticket was a trifecta box, meaning the bettor had picked the top three finishers but in no particular order. It’s a popular bet because it allows leeway for the order in which your top three picks finish.   The downside of the box is that it doesn’t pay out as well as a straight. But it’s still a win.   Finishing my own business, I bent down to take a closer look at the ticket.   Horses #2, 3 and 8. That’s what I remembered as the top three in the just-completed race. I’m guessing it had fallen out of somebody’s pocket.   Now, you can only imagine what the men’s room floor is like underneath a row of urinals. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t dry.   I didn’t touch it, instead stepping outside to double-check the numbers on the board and confirm the winning horses.   Yup, that was them.   I thought about it a few moments, taking into consideration that it was a ‘box’ so the payoff was not going to be all that rich, especially on a day when there’s weren’t many patrons attending the races.   What I really hoped was that the original owner would come back to the bathroom to see if he could find his lost ticket. I would show him where it was and see how he handled it. But as a couple of minutes passed, the ticket just laid there.   Taunting me.   Free money… Money just laying there… Waiting on some fool to rescue it from its sea of nastiness.   Yeah, I did.   I grabbed a couple of paper towels, picked it up and took it to the sink, rinsing it off before patting it as dry as possible with more paper towels.   Then I washed my hands. I washed my hands 40 times, then I washed them again. There simply was not enough soap to wash off the shame of my deed.   But whatcha gonna do? Leave a winning ticket laying there?   I finally determined my hands and the ticket were clean as they were going to get, and I headed to the window to collect my payoff.   To the window clerk I explained the wet ticket as the result of my excitement of having won, spilling my drink during the celebration.   She smiled politely and handed me my winnings. $36.   I didn’t tell anyone in our group about it until we were in the car and on the way back to our house. Everyone was pretty grossed out. Especially, my poor wife.   But poor because she didn’t win no money! Loser!!   Although, it can be argued that I was the loser. To this day, she still doesn’t like holding hands with me. For more Tales from Tibby, click here. 
  • In an early scene of the 1990 Julia Roberts/Richard Gere movie Pretty Woman, there’s a dude walking the streets asking people, “What’s your dream?”   Or as he says, “wha’s yo’ dream? Everybody gotta have a dream!”    I admire people who have a dream, a plan. It’s likely going to change but to have a goal is a good thing.    Graduating from high school, my goal was ___.    That’s a blank space.    College? I’ll go because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?    Whatcha gonna study, boy?    No clue. #manwithoutaplan    That, by the way, makes for a poorly-motivated student.    By the time I started college I was working full-time at a radio station, but it didn’t seem like career stuff. It felt like something I could do until my real job sent me an invitation with a bottle of champagne and a signing bonus.    Since one shall not find what one does not seek, a real job never materialized, forcing me to continue my pretend job.    I did enjoy radio and worked hard at it, but it took a long time for me to believe this was going to be my career work. I remember thinking, man, if I can just do this thing until I’m about 35, I’ll have it all figured out by then.    No, I wouldn’t have. By the time I hit my mid-30s I started figuring some things out, but by then I had decided to ride that radio pony until it threw me off.    Further, I had dropped out of college because radio was way more fun. So if radio had fallen through, I would have ___.    That’s another blank space.    These kids today…    #1) An 18-year old I randomly met, headed off to college soon.    “Whatcha gonna study?”    She wants to be an actress. If that doesn’t pan out, she thinks being a doctor in a trauma ward has appeal.    Why a trauma ward?    “You know, when a chandelier falls and pierces your body, I’d be there to help you.”    Yeah, right. Unless you’re performing the exact same surgery on Grey’s Anatomy, which I suspect is the only place such a surgery would ever be necessary.    #2) My 11-year old niece wants to know if she can live with us when she attends the University of Georgia.    “Whatcha gonna study?”    She wants to be either a veterinarian or study culinary arts.    Being the guy I am, I suggested she do both. Her failures as a vet could yield some tasty offerings at suppertime.    She wasn’t amused, but I dismissed that as her not understanding the high level of sophistication in my humor. Click here for more Tales from Tibby.
  • There was a day last week designated as National Moonshine Day. You’d think after all these years I’d know there was such a thing.  That same day was also National Gingerbread Day, National Running Day, and National Veggie Burger Day.   Nobody seems to know how National Moonshine day was assigned, but I’m guessing someone came across the day honoring running, gingerbread and veggie burgers and decided it was a date that needed something good going for it. I’ve only experienced true made-in-the woods kinda ‘shine a couple of times in my life.   Probably the best-tasting stuff was provided by my neighbor, Frank. Frank had been a mayor and a state representative and was a good ol’ boy with lots of good ol’ boy friends.   One of his friends was a judge in a tiny North Georgia town who had a still.   A judge. The same guy who sentenced bootleggers was one.   Frank claimed the judge wasn’t a bootlegger because he didn’t sell it, only gave it out to trusted friends.   That’s a finer point of the law I don’t know, so I didn’t judge. As the Good Book says, judge not lest ye be judged by a judge with the keys to a jail cell and the authority to put your a** in it.   My favorite moonshine memory is Ernest.   Ernest was a care-taker on a friend’s family farm in rural South Georgia. He was an affable, older gentleman who was friends with everyone.   Ernest’s job was tending the farm. He mowed, did light repairs and fed dogs.   And there were dogs.   The remote location of the farm made it an easy spot to drop off an unwanted dog, so strays were always showing up. Ernest and the family he worked for were quite happy to welcome those orphan hounds.   Ernest was easy to like. Whether or not he ever knew my name, he knew I was on the radio. Whenever I accompanied my friend to the farm, he’d flash that big jovial grin and say, “There comes the radio man!”   I don’t recall ever going to the farm when Ernest didn’t have his big cast-iron kettle of corn mash is some stage of preparation out in the yard behind his trailer.   One cool fall night, three of us high school buddies decided we’d grab a couple of six packs (drinking age was 18), head to the farm and build a fire.   Since the old farmhouse and Ernest’s trailer shared a yard, Ernest came to join us. He didn’t want our company as much as he wanted our beer.   His offer: a gallon of his corn mash in exchange for a 6-pack of what was very likely Schlitz Malt Liquor back then.   Judge not. We were young with undeveloped taste buds.   We accepted the offer and a gallon jug of Ernest’s fire water soon began circling the fire pit.   If you want to know how this saga ended, you’ll need to ask one of my other buddies.   I’m pretty sure that night I determined one of those stray dogs was a camel and rode him to Egypt. Click here for more Tales From Tibby. 
  • This needs a quick preface so it won’t come off as snooty.  We have no children. Therefore, no grandchildren. And no pets. Like everybody else, we occasionally spend a little money on things we probably shouldn’t but unlike y’all with kids and pets, we spend on things that don’t pout or poop.   For me, there’s something magical about the $100 price tag. Once an item crosses the $100 threshold, it’s officially expensive and that must be pointed out.   I was serving apple pie to neighbors recently and drizzled an aged balsamic vinegar on it, vinegar that had been brought back from Italy and cost…?   Yep, about $100. And I told them so. In defense of my spending so much for a tiny bottle of balsamic, it happened at a wine tasting that might have lasted just a wee bit too long. That same tasting also lead to the purchase of a $100 bottle of olive oil before my wife asked to ‘borrow’ my credit card then hid it.   But why did I need to point out the cost to my guests? Why not try to impress them with the fact that it was 30-year old balsamic - from Italy! - and leave it at that?   ‘Cause it cost a hun’erd dollars, that’s why. If I’m serving you a hun’erd dollar balsamic, you’re going to hear about it.   I’d probably do the same thing if I was serving you a $100 bottle of wine, but don’t hold your breath on that one. In our house, it’s likely the wine I’m serving you is only $2.99. For the whole bottle.   It would be a fair question to ask why I’m willing to spend $100 on olive oil but cheap-out on wine.   I think it has to do with longevity. I’ll have that oil and balsamic for some time to come, enjoying it along the way. Wine won’t make it past bedtime.   Once wine is opened, it evaporates or something. Maybe it grows legs and walks off, but it gets gone. If it’s expensive wine, at the end of the evening you’ve just plowed through a hun’erd dollar bill with nothing to show for it but a dopey grin on your face.   That’s not to say I would never pay up for good spirits. I have spent a few coins for good bourbon, though I have stopped chasing the ones that have gotten stupid expensive. There are some tasty whiskies and bourbons that are quite affordable once you get your nose out of the air and into a glass.   A cousin posted this for me to see. That is good stuff, but in my town if a store has any of this available at all, the store paid $30 for it. Thirty. That’s a ‘3’ with one ‘0’ attached. If they can get $200 for it, fine, but it ain’t coming from me.   With that proclamation though, I must confess to a recent bout of liquor lunacy.   A friend who knows I often find decent prices online for these things asked if I could find a particular tequila that was $100 in the store.   I did find a better price, though by the time you added in shipping it was $96/bottle.   Hey, $4 saved.   I was somewhat familiar with this tequila, having brought a bottle of it back from Mexico many years ago. I didn’t remember a thing about how it tasted, but at $100 it had to be good, right? So I figured I should also get a bottle for myself.   “Wait a minute,” he says. “I have a friend who might want a bottle, too. Before you order, let me check.”   I knew exactly what was happening. He was asking his friend (wife) if he could just go ahead and buy a second bottle while we were ordering.   Sure enough, he tells me his friend wanted a bottle, so I decided if he could get one for his friend, I could order one for my friend. So, the order was doubled to four bottles.   Turns out, he actually had a friend who wanted a bottle. I didn’t. But I now have two big bottles of expensive tequila, and one small problem.   I don’t care for it. Neither does my imaginary friend.   I cracked open a bottle for me and a buddy - after bragging that it cost $100, of course. We took a couple of sips and just sorta stared at each other with that look. The look that says, “um…. paid how much?“   And yay! There’s a whole ‘nother bottle!   Anybody need tequila? It’s a real purdy bottle. It even comes with instructions on how to turn it into a vase once it’s empty. (Spoiler alert: take the cap off and put flowers in it.)   I’m willing to let it go for a hun’erd dollar bill. I’ll even throw in $4 in change. 
  • If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, there’s a collard crisis underway. Not making this up. The cultivar Southerners crave this time of year is in serious short supply.  Blame the elements. In the Southeast, too much rain has flooded fields. California collards are the victims of wildfires, either too much scarring from blowing ash or too much smoke to harvest ‘em.   For me, none of this is particularly bad news. I hate collards.   Every year I seem to find myself in the company of friends and/or family who want that traditional New Year’s Day meal of collards, cornbread, black-eyed peas and ham.   Each of those foods supposedly represents something, though I have no idea what it is. Except for collards. Because they’re green, I think they represent money. Eat collards on the first day and you’ll enjoy prosperity throughout the entire new year.   I’d rather be poor. Collards taste nasty and give me gas.   I hate black-eyed peas, too, though I can tolerate them if I’ve got enough chow chow slopped on ‘em. (Chow chow is pickled something. In the South, usually cabbage or squash. Whatever it is, it’s mission is to mask the taste of the peas. Ketchup also works in a pinch.)   This is my own problem, I know. I’m a Southern boy with a Southern pedigree a mile long.  Having grown up with considerable exposure to three sets of great-grandparents, I learned things kids today aren’t allowed to learn or are simply not exposed to.   One grandfather was a sawmiller who taught me how to make a corncob pipe and smoke rabbit tobacco in it. His wife - grandmama - was a sturdy woman who dipped snuff and tried to teach me how to milk a cow. (I never learned. I was afraid I’d hurt the cow if I squeezed that thing too hard.)   Another grandpa raised chickens and cows and plowed his garden behind a mule while grandma was making stew from the snapping turtle her brother had killed and brought into the house, swingin’ it by the tail.   On my mom’s side, one great-grandfather was a preacher. A Baptist preacher. That’s an important Southern distinction. Wouldn’t be as meaningful if I had to identify him as Episcopalian. People might think we were drinkers. You know, whiskeypalians. And my elders did not drink. Had to learn to do that on my own.   I’ve skinned and consumed a hundred rabbits and squirrels and gnawed clean their bones. I can pick out a ripe melon by thumping it. And I can fry you up a mess of okra that will absolutely make you weep.   I shouldn’t have to prove my credentials as a Southerner, yet I’ve had a constant culinary clash with many of the foods beloved in the South.   It’s not just collards I don’t like, it’s turnip greens, mustard greens, rutabaga and virtually all peas and beans. (Except pork’n. I love me some pork’n beans. Probably because you gussy them up with brown sugar and bacon.)   I don’t like boiled peanuts, either.   Something’s wrong with my wiring. I much prefer Italian food to Southern fare. Given the choice of pizza or fried chicken…   Wait. Bad example. I’d definitely choose the fried chicken. And anything that taste like fried chicken. Frog legs, for example. Yum!   But I love Italian food the most. I’ve wondered if the doctor who delivered me was Italian. Or maybe he had just polished off a pizza and the first breathe I drew on this earth was a whiff of his breathe.   Adding insult to injury, the friend who prepares our collards every New Years Day is Italian. She claims what she cooks are Italian-style collards.   I don’t fight it, but I don’t buy it. If I cook up a possum with pepperoni, does that make it Italian-style possum?   Debate that while you eat your collards. If you can find any.   Personally, I’m hoping to catch a break this year.
  • “Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you might be in an accident, and you don’t want people in the emergency room seeing you in dirty underwear.” - Your mom or someone like her.  ‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving, and I was in the emergency room.   I had been golfing that day and couldn’t shake the uneasiness in my chest, so I quit halfway through the round and headed for the hospital.   Quick background: This had happened before. Seven years ago, I left the golf course, went to the emergency room and was invited to stay for a triple bypass. So I’ve got history. And trust me, that kind of history heaps a whole lot o’ paranoia on you when things start feeling squirrely in your chest.   I will say this: seven years ago, I was given an additional indicator something was amiss. That hot day in July, after finishing my round, I cracked open a cold beer and never took a sip.   There’s your sign.   Now, here I was again.   In the emergency room, the first thing that happens is a check of your pulse and blood pressure. My pulse was fine, but my blood pressure sent a message to Houston: We have a problem.   I’m not a guy that ever fights BP problems, but it was through-the-roof high. And that little piece of news was going to buy me an extended stay to ‘check on things.’   “Let’s get you into a hospital gown,” said the nurse. Oh, yeah… cute nurse. About age 30. Because when you’re a guy in your 60’s and you wind up in the hospital, you’re never gonna get the dude nurse who looks like he might have stayed up all night binge-watching Game Of Thrones and eating nachos. You’re getting the cute, young nurse.   And she’s just asked you to take off your clothes.   This is where UPS sets in. And it ain’t about nobody getting a delivery. (Though you could argue it involves a package.)   UPS = Underwear Panic Syndrome.   It’s real.   Underwear Panic Syndrome is that sinking feeling an older guy gets when the cute, young nurse is going to see his underwear, and he has no idea which pair he has on.   Let’s face it, y’all, we all have underwear that should have found the trash can a long time back. It’s got holes, it’s got a shot elastic band, it’s got (whispering…) stains! You know what I’m talking about here.   To further expound on UPS, here’s some info you didn’t ask for, but I’m a briefs guy. Always have been.   I get that briefs are not particularly cool, but neither am I. With briefs, I get the one thing I demand from my underwear: support for the troops.   Let’s keep everybody together. Nobody needs to be wandering off.   (For the record, briefs used to be cool. Google images of ‘Jim Palmer underwear.’)   In college, I experimented with a few things. One of those was boxers, because a lot of my friends wore boxers. I spent those few days doing a whole lot of… um, adjusting.   As I have lived my life and observed a few things, I’ve never regretted staying with briefs. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Women aren’t the only ones affected by gravity.   At one point in my morning radio show career, I had a mid-20s, male co-host who wore boxers. Because we’re boys, I suppose, underwear was a frequent topic of discussion. Our female partner was proud to proclaim her preference for going commando, so she mostly just refereed our briefs vs boxers arguments.   “You’ll regret boxers,” I would warn him. “Your knees will have playmates when you’re older.”   One day, he texted me from the local YMCA. He had just finished a workout and while in the locker room had encountered a much older man, shaving in front of the lavatory mirror. Nude.   My cohort had just seen his future. And I have never received a text containing so many exclamation points.   He now wears boxer briefs.   And maybe that should be my direction. Boxer briefs tend to keep all the eggs in the basket, as some of us prefer, and are probably considered cooler than briefs. Again though, I’ve experimented and still prefer briefs.   The UPS I suffered the day before Thanksgiving wasn’t as much about just wearing briefs as it was about the color of briefs I might have on.   Underwear multi-packs usually contain various colors: black, gray, blue, red, even white can be included. (Never brown, though. Wonder why? Especially for men of a certain age.)   I rarely wear the white ones, usually opting for another color. But what if I was wearing the blue ones? They’re not a manly dark blue. They’re a baby blue. Carolina blue. Might as well be tighty-whities, really.   As I unbuckled my belt to drop my drawers, I secretly prayed: please no blue, please no blue.   Ta da! Black! Yes!   But they were still briefs, and I still felt some pangs of shame.   To wrap up the hospital story, my blood pressure had gotten whacked out (I had wa-a-a-y overdone salty foods the day before), and I was released 24 hours later after extensive testing determined my heart is actually in excellent condition.   But comfortably back home, I’m thinking I need an undies upgrade. Maybe buy some boxer briefs to keep in the truck. Next time I take myself to the hospital, I can do a quick-change before walking into the emergency room to announce that I may be having a heart attack.   When the cute nurse tells me to undress, she will still see an older man with a ponchy belly, large love handles, a developing turkey neck and gray, thinning hair, but she’ll see I still got style.   She won’t say it out loud, but she’ll be thinking, “Hey, cool undies.”   Winner, winner, chicken dinner, old man!   You take your little victories whenever they come.

Local News

  • An ex-Georgia deputy accused of shooting and killing a University of Georgia graduate student because he believed the man was having an affair with his wife was indicted on seven felonies last week, according to court records. Madison County Deputy Winford “Trey” Terrell Adams, 32, was fired in November after being charged with murder in the death of 26-year-old Benjamin Lloyd Cloer, AJC.com previously reported. On Feb. 4, he was indicted by a Clarke County grand jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, first-degree home invasion, two counts of aggravated assault and two firearm possession charges, court records show. According to previously released 911 calls, Adams immediately called for help and admitted to dispatchers that he shot the college student, who was pursuing a master’s degree in artificial intelligence at UGA. “I just shot somebody,” Adams said on the call. “My wife was cheating on me, and I couldn’t take it. I didn’t shoot her, I shot the guy. I couldn’t stop myself.”  While on the call, Adams did not know the extent of Cloer’s injuries, since he had run away from his alleged attacker. The incident happened in the 6000 block of Old Jefferson Road. “He ran away. I don’t even know if I hit him,” Adams said, breathing heavily. “I’m about to go look for him.” The 911 operator told the deputy not look for him, and to put his gun down as he waited for police to arrive. Adams then threatened to kill himself, telling the operator that he’s a deputy sheriff and “can’t go to jail for the rest of (his) life.”  “I can’t go to jail,” he cried. “I can’t. I’m sorry ... Tell Athens-Clarke County I’m not going to hurt any of them, but I can’t go to jail.” Toward the end of the nearly 5-minute call, Adams expressed concern for Cloer, asking dispatchers if they received a call from him and if he was OK.  “If you’re there, I’m sorry,” the deputy can be heard yelling, presumably to the man he had just fatally wounded. “Oh my God ... I did shoot him. I see him. I see blood on the steps.” The deputy’s wife also placed a 911 call, telling authorities that her husband had just shot her friend.  In the background of that call, her husband can be heard telling her, “I always loved you, even if you didn’t love me.”  The dispatcher on her call then told her to get away from her husband, if possible. Once they arrived, Adams directed first responders to the injured man, according to the tapes. He was arrested at the scene and remains held at the Athens-Clarke County Jail without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 10.
  • Former Georgia Bulldog football star and current ESPN analyst David Pollack headlines tomorrow night’s fundraiser for the Watkinsville-based Extra Special People: the event is at the Classic Center. Extra Special People works with children with developmental disabilities in Athens and across northeast Georgia.  From the ESP Facebook page…   Each year, Extra Special People brings together members of the community with the children and families it serves for one special night: Big Hearts. It’s an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the abilities of some of our community’s most big-hearted individuals, while leaving their disabilities in the wings.Join ESP as our kids and adults of all abilities shine on stage at The Classic Center! Big Hearts is a pageant-style show where the participants of ESP dress in ballgowns and tuxedos to share their talents alongside a theatre production. This one-of-a-kind night shines a light on the incredible abilities of our participants while also raising needed funds to host summer camp and Miracle League! ESP creates opportunities for people with disabilities and their families to engage, connect, and thrive through 8 weeks of summer camp, 19 after school/afternoon enrichment programs, and ongoing family support.This year's theme is Big Hearts in Bloom and we hope you will join us in celebrating our participants of all abilities and supporting ESP's Miracle League! Doors open at 3:30 pm for the PageantBanquet and Silent Action to Follow Silent Auction ends at 10:30 pm Parking is limited so arrive early!
  • The University of Georgia’s College of Education hosts its 15th annual conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: it’s underway this morning at the Georgia Center.  From the UGA Master Calendar… The theme of the 15th Annual College of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference is “Deep Poverty and Our Community: Taking Responsibility for Transforming Our Learning, Working, and Living Environments.' The conference is designed for UGA College of Education students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and school and community partners welcome so that attendees can engage in dialogue and collaborative learning about the current multicultural and social justice issues of our times. The purpose of this dialogue and collaborative learning is to build a more just and equitable environment within our college and community, while fostering sustainability in such movement-building.
  • Today is Arbor Day in Athens: a community observance is set for 2 o’clock this afternoon on a segment of the Firefly Trail between South Peter Street and Inglewood Avenue in Athens. From the Athens-Clarke Co government website… Community organizations will gather to celebrate Athens Arbor Day on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. on a segment of the completed Firefly Trail between South Peter Street and Inglewood Avenue. The public is invited to attend. As part of the ceremony, nine new trees donated by the Community Tree Council for the Trees for Tomorrow program will be planted along the trail. The program will also recognize Athens-Clarke County’s designation as a Tree City USA for the 20th year in a row by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This honor has been bestowed to Athens-Clarke County in recognition of Athens’ dedication to the care of the trees that help define the character of the community and make it such a special place. The program will include a reading of the proclamation signed by Mayor Kelly Girtz to officially declare February 14, 2020 as Athens Arbor Day.  The Arbor Day celebration will conclude with the Georgia Forestry Commission providing free bare root saplings for all attendees, who will be encouraged to plant and nurture them in suitable locations for the benefit of future Athenians. The Arbor Day event is a celebration of the collaboration of community partners for the purpose of improving the quality of life for Athens-Clarke County’s residents through the planting and maintenance of trees. The partners include the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov), the University of Georgia (UGA), the Community Tree Council (CTC), the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), and Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB).  The ceremony site on the Firefly Trail can be most directly accessed either by walking up the ramp onto the trail bridge from Poplar Street or through trail crossings at Peter Street or Inglewood Avenue. Limited parking is available in small lots at 286 South Poplar Street or 354 South Peter Street. Safe parking places along South Poplar Street, South Peter Street, or Inglewood Avenue also may be available. Those attending should be prepared to walk one or more blocks and dressed appropriately for the weather.
  • Goodbye rain, hello winter. Friday brings a welcome break from the rain, but meteorologist Brian Monahan says an old, frosty friend is coming back. Temperatures yesterday morning hit 70 degrees. This morning, temperatures could feel like the 20s. Here’s what to know as you start your day:  Temperatures are starting off in the low to mid-30s across the metro.  The wind chill will make it feel even colder.  The cold air will be short lived.

Bulldog News

  • UGA has a pretty illustrious sports history, including having produced such stars as Dominique Wilkins, Teresa Edwards, Frank Sinkwich, Courtney Kupets, Spec Towns, Charley Trippi, Fran Tarkenton, Bubba Watson and, of course, Herschel Walker, recently named by ESPN as the second-greatest college football player in the history of the game. You'd expect an athletics program with such a storied history to be celebrated on campus in high style, as a way of commemorating past accomplishments, inspiring current student athletes and impressing future enrollees. Perhaps a statue like the University of Florida has for Tim Tebow? Maybe a street named after them like Peyton Manning has in Knoxville? No? Well, surely, there's at least a first-class museum or hall of fame paying tribute to UGA's past athletes, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case either, a point driven home to me this week when I stopped by Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens to drop off my annual Hartman Fund contribution, and I spent some time in the athletics headquarters' rotunda, perusing the somewhat underwhelming historical displays (you can't really call it a 'museum,' despite the Explore Georgia website optimistically trying to do so ). The best thing you can say is that there's a display case for every varsity team that UGA fields, men's and women's. Plus, there are displays for three of UGA's football coaches ( Harry Mehre, Wally Butts and Vince Dooley), cases for Sinkwich and Walker that include their helmets and their Heisman Trophies, and a display paying tribute to longtime UGA publicist and tennis coach Dan Magill. Another case shows the evolution of football helmets through the years. Although all sports are represented, the emphasis is on football. Kupets winning the 2008-2009 award as the national women's athlete of the year is noted inside the Gymdogs' case, rather than in a display of her own. Around the rotunda are wall displays with photos and artwork depicting different eras of UGA football (the early years, the Butts years, the Dooley years, and 1989 to the present). There's a wall case with the four retired football jersey numbers (Sinkwich's 21, Trippi's 62, Theron Sapp's 40 and Walker's 34), and another display listing all of UGA's SEC championships. The national championship crystal football trophy is on display, too. Also in the building is the Larry Munson Trophy Room, featuring awards and trophies Georgia football has garnered through the years, but that's on the second level (one floor down from the rotunda), where fans aren't as likely to roam. (It's aimed mainly at recruits, I think.) Still, the most prominent display area is in the rotunda, where visitors have more immediate access. Unfortunately, my latest visit to the rotunda displays left me with the feeling the athletic association is not really trying much anymore when it comes to celebrating UGA sports history. The touch-screen audio-video displays with vintage footage and Munson calls that my son used to check out when he was a kid? Gone. And, I noticed the bowl history display hasn't even been updated since 2014! The SEC championship display does at least include 2017, but that is the rotunda's only mention of that fairy-tale football season. (Thankfully, over on the other side of campus, the Hargrett Library's current football exhibit, 'Beautiful and Brutal: Georgia Bulldogs Football, 2017,' runs through Feb. 29. Thank goodness for Hargrett!) Senior Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton explained that 'most of our individual sport museums' are spread around at the respective sport facilities. We have lots of special displays in various facilities the Boyd Golf Center, Stegeman, in and around the men's and women's basketball and gymnastics areas, equestrian facility, etc. All have historical displays (and graphics) of those particular sports.For example, we have a Teresa Edwards display in Stegeman that includes some of her Olympic medals, jerseys, etc.' That's fine, but I believe such displays would have a greater impact (and the historic artefacts more easily could be maintained and protected) if they were gathered together in one proper museum space. I asked Athletic Director Greg McGarity whether, in the current $80 million expansion of Butts-Mehre, there are any plans for the history display area to be expanded/changed/moved at all. Any thought given to a more elaborate museum covering Georgia athletics? 'We do not have any current plans to renovate this space; however, we do have future plans that would address updating this area of the Butts-Mehre,' he said, adding that the timing is still to be determined. As for what happened to the touch-screen displays that my son used to use? 'There were those kinds of screens years ago, but they always malfunctioned, so I assume they were never replaced,' McGarity said, adding that 'they were not here when I returned in 2010.' The only touch-screen they have now is 'a display that indicates the hometowns of our football players, and it's located outside the public entry of the football offices on the second floor,' one level down from the rotunda display. It is open to the public. Also, McGarity said, 'We have TV monitors that display content throughout the indoor [practice] facility, as well multiple areas throughout the entire facility. We have a mix of static' displays and a mix of the monitors that provide content change throughout the year.' However, the indoor practice facility is not open to the general public. So, a proper athletics museum may not be in the cards any time soon, but at least the recognition of UGA's past glories has improved a little bit at Sanford Stadium in recent years, with the addition of wall graphics, such as one emblazoned with 'Oh you Herschel,' borrowing a phrase from Munson. But, aside from the SEC championship banners and the mascot cemetery, that's about it. It seems like they could at least add some plaques or busts or something to Reed Plaza. As I've written before, I've often wondered why you see so little of UGA's football history at Sanford Stadium, in contrast to schools like the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where Tar Heel history is a tangible presence at Kenan Memorial Stadium. UNC generally isn't thought of as a football power these days, but it has a statue of Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice. Speaking of statues, aside from an 8-foot-long bronze likeness of former mascot Uga VI outside the veterinary school and another small statue of one of Uga's predecessors, Mike, in front of Memorial Hall, the only athletics-oriented statue at UGA is that of Dooley, located at the southernmost tip of the campus, in the athletic complex named for the coach. It's not for want of trying. Athens sculptor (and UGA alum) Stan Mullins, who did the bronze statue of Dooley being hoisted by some of his players, also has created an 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Walker, but so far has had no luck getting the athletic association interested in putting it on display. When he approached UGA few years ago, he said, 'the initial pushback was that they needed to honor Sinkwich and Trippi first.' So, Mullins also created clay models of those two players. His grand plan, dubbed the Crowns of Glory Project ( which has its own Facebook page ), called for monuments at the four corners surrounding the stadium, with the Walker statue to be at the bookstore end of the Sanford Drive bridge, a Trippi statue at the other end of the bridge, and a Sinkwich statue near Gate 6 on the east side. A fourth monument, located at the other eastside corner, would have an uncarved 12-ton Carrara marble block as an unfinished sculpture, which Mullins views as a recruiting tool and incentive for players, showing that Georgia is waiting on its next hero. Mullins self-financed the casting of the bronze statue of Walker out of money he made doing a monument at Marshall University, and he unveiled it in 2016. The Walker sculpture spent time at various locations around Athens, and several months at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon, before settling down at Mullins' studio, a renovated and redesigned 18thcentury cottonseed oil refinery on Pulaski Street in Athens. 'He's attacking the Greenway, the entry way to the river,' Mullins said of the Herschel statue this week. The public is welcome to visit the statue there and take pictures, he said. I asked Mullins about the status of his efforts to have the sculpture put outside the stadium. 'I don't know,' he said with a sigh. 'I stopped trying. I kept hitting resistance. ' It seems like everybody else has one,' he added, referring to athletic statues on other campuses. 'It does not make sense. ' McGarity said the issue of adding statues 'will always be an item for discussion moving forward,' but he added that there are 'no firm plans.' These days, Mullins is busy working on a sculpture of Tomochichi, a Yamacraw chief instrumental in Georgia colonial history, to be located in a park near Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. He made the point that commemorating past heroes with monuments is all about inspiring future heroes. 'The pageantry of sports leads to the pageantry of humanity,' Mullins said. 'And, if we don't celebrate it, it goes away.' I've never understood the reluctance to do more to celebrate UGA's athletics history. Whether it's the statues offered by Mullins, or monuments created by someone else, UGA athletics should do more to embrace its past, and not just Walker. As a friend put it, 'We have such a rich history, and I think we undersell it; we're more than just Herschel, as great as he was.' On Georgiadogs.com, it says that part of the UGA Athletic Association's mission is 'to serve as a source of pride, a rallying point, for the legions of supporters that follow its teams.' I think that's one area where greater effort is warranted. The post UGA athletics needs to do more to celebrate its history appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It's referred to as the NFL draft 'process' for a reason. The millions of dollars and championship hopes at stake are two reasons for that, and the NFL teams' changing needs and players' changing bodies and stock value are others. The game film and postseason all-star games are in the books, and next up is the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis from Feb. 23 through March 2. This year's event will have some prime-time evening viewing, so the drill work and testing figure to get more public attention than ever before. Georgia football will have 10 players taking part in the combine tied for second-most among SEC teams with Alabama, behind only LSU. RELATED: The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine The players' performances have the potential to greatly effect their draft stock, for better or worse, as they move up or down the totem pole at their respective positions. RELATED: Andrew Thomas first-round NFL draft lock The interest level in the NFL is such fans can't wait for the actual draft April 23-25 in Las Vegas hence the proliferation of mock drafts. The first round takes place on the first day, the second and third rounds take place on the second day and Day Three consists of the final four rounds of the 255 players who will be selected. A consensus is beginning to shake out that Georgia will have five players selected in the first two days, and possibly six. Related: Jake Fromm more than ready for NFL, per Senior Bowl director NFL.com and CBSSports.com both have at least four Bulldogs going in the first three rounds NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter 2020 NFL Draft First Round No. 18 OT Andrew Thomas, Miami Dolphins No. 26 RB D'Andre Swift, Miami Dolphins 2020 NFL Draft Second Round No. 38 QB Jake Fromm, Carolina Panthers 2020 NFL Draft Third Round No. 67 OG Solomon Kindley, Detroit Lions No. 71 OT Isaiah Wilson, Los Angeles Chargers CBS.com analyst R.J. White 2020 NFL Draft First Round No. 10 OT Andrew Thomas, Cleveland Browns No. 29 RB D'Andre Swift, Tennessee Titans 2020 NFL Draft Second Round No. 61 QB Jake Fromm, Carolina Panthers No. 64 OT Isiah Wilson, Seattle Seahawks 2020 NFL Draft Third Round No. 94 OG Solomon Kindley, Green Bay Packers No. 99 FS J.R. Reed, New England Patriots DawgNation: Georgia in the NFL draft Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process Evaluating Andrew Thomas, why he's a first-round lock Eli Wolf, Charlie Woerner, Brian Herrien, Tyrique McGhee shine in all-star games Todd McShay projects Georgia QB Jake Fromm to have first-round talent Closer look at Jake Fromm's decision, factors and faith The post Pre-combine Georgia football 2020 NFL Draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia freshman track star Matthew Boling set a school record in the 200-meter dash on Saturday at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Boling's 20.66-second time was the fourth-best in the world this year and broke an 11-year-old UGA track record set by the late great Torrin Lawrence (20.77, 2009). WATCH: Matthew Boling, Kirby Smart pull hilarious prank on team LSU's Terrance Laird was a tick faster than Boling on Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center, running a 20.43 time that ranked as the fasted 200-meter time in the world this year. Boling set a personal-best in the 200 meters of 20.31 last July in Costa Rica, a gold-medal winning effort in the 2019 Pan American U20 Athletics Championships. RELATED: Matthew Boling stars in international track event Georgia senior Amber Tanner set a school mark and ran her personal-best in the 800 meters, 2:03.02, on Friday. Freshman Haze Farmer, meanwhile, tied a Georgia school record in the pole vault by clearing 17-8 1/2 on Friday. 'This weekend proved to me that we have some high-quality student-athletes who know how to respond to high-level competition,' head coach Petros Kyprianou said in a school release. 'While we were training through these meets and didn't quite look super sharp, we had some world-class marks that give us some confidence going in to the championship season. The 19-year-old Boling, who is from Houston, Texas, exploded on the scene last spring when he ran a wind-assisted 9.98 seconds in the 100 meters a high school all-conditions national record. The next month, Boeing set the national high school record with a 10.13-second time in the 100 meters running for Strake Jesuit College Preparatory school in Houston. Georgia returns to action at the SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, on Feb. 28-29. The post Georgia track star Matthew Boling sets school record at Tyson Invitational appeared first on DawgNation.
  • James Williamsoperates differently than a lot of his peer recruits. He has all the range and ball skills necessary to play the safety position with his 6-foot-5 frame. The 247Sports Composite ratings also deem him as a rare recruit. That service ranks him as the nation's No. 1 safety, the No. 1 prospect in the state of Florida as the nation's No. 5 overall recruit for 2021.The longtime Georgia priority also rates No. 1 on DawgNation's 2021 top targets listing for the 2021 class. Yet he doesn't think that prospects camps are necessary. He doesn't see them as essential toward the goals he wants to accomplish on the football career. He'd rather be known for being a team leader than a 5-star recruit. Williams celebrates his birthday today. He even chose to release the top 3 schools in his recruitment on this day to mark the occasion. While his peer elite recruits are content to drop much larger listings of their top schools at this time, he just cut right to the chase with his top 3 schools. I'm Just the Same Young King From The Sandbox Top 3 .. #Blessed pic.twitter.com/BFevhoWLT5 James Williams (@Begreat_20) February 16, 2020 Georgia made the cut. As expected. The Bulldogs have continued to get him on campus over the last year. Williams has already bonded quite well with several members of the program up to this point, including several Bulldogs who also grew up in South Florida. His hometown Miami Hurricanes did not make his top group. The 5-star safety included both Alabama and Clemson among his top 3 schools on his birthday release. It has been a busy off-season up to this point for Williams. He visited Georgia for one of its three 'Junior Day' weekends last month. Prior to that, he also opted to transfer from Western in Opa Locka back to the school where he played his sophomore season. That will be at American Heritage in Plantation. Back home #Blessed James Williams (@Begreat_20) January 8, 2020 The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel honored him as a first-team All-Broward County performer after a strong junior year . They listed him with 62 tackles and six interceptions. Williams also added three touchdown receptions to his 2019 highlight reel below. He's already at 220 pounds for that frame. Those that see his frame and immediately project him to be a linebacker should not be so quick with that evaluation. He has true ball skills to cover a lot of ground and play in the box as a safety. Williams has been credited with 14 interceptions at the high school through his first three seasons. DawgNation saw his pick off three passes in a matter of minutes last May at an elite national 7-on-7 tournament in Atlanta. He aims to be a safety at the college level and certainly has the skill level and intelligence to do so. While watching him work in a camp setting, it was clearly evident how well he helped line up the other defensive backs in certain coverages and how well he supported his teammates. James Williams: What stands out here The post James Williams: Nation's No. 1 junior safety includes UGA in a loaded Top 3 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball could have turned things around at Texas A&M, if only the Bulldogs hadn't turned the ball over so frequently. Georgia lost to the Aggies at Reed Arena in College Station on Saturday, 74-69, in a game televised by the SEC Network. The Bulldogs (12-13, 2-10 SEC) turned the ball over 21 times leading to 26 points for Texas A&M (12-12, 6-6), a most glaring metric. 'It's disheartening; you have talent, but they are young and they've been inconsistent,'SEC Network analyst and former Tennessee star Dane Bradshaw said of UGA. 'It's the same thing a lot of teams deal with. How do you keep that focus and attention to detail for 40 minutes?' Junior Rayshaun Hammonds led Georgia with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds with three assists in a strong effort. The Bulldogs, however, were without a healthy Anthony Edwards. The projected NBA lottery pick continues to plagued from the flu bug that hit him more than a week ago, and his 28 minutes were measured. SEC Network announcers reported Edwards is still dealing with shortness of breath at times. Edwards, who had 29 points and 15 rebounds in the teams' first meeting, a Bulldogs win in Athens, scored all six of his points in the first half. He was 2-of-7 shooting in the game, with all of his attempts coming from beyond the 3-point line. It was clear Edwards wasn't 100 percent after intermission, so Coach Tom Crean took him out for much of the second half. Georgia had built a 38-29 halftime lead, but the Aggies charged out of the locker room after intermission with an 11-2 run that tied the game at 40-40. The Bulldogs battled to stay out in front, but Texas A&M finally overcame them. The Aggies took a 61-59 advantage with 3:48 left for their first lead in the game since the 10:40 mark of the first half. The game stayed close into the final moments, but late turnovers by Hammonds and Sahvir Wheeler, combined with Texas A&M's proficiency at the free-throw line, proved too much. The Aggies were 21-of-29 shooting from the free-throw line, while Georgia made 12 of 14 free-throw attempts. Hammonds' strong effort led to the Bulldogs winning the boards, 34-28, but the turnovers were an issue. 'I know Anthony Edwards hasn't been 100 percent,' Bradshaw said. 'But Georgia wins this game if they take care of the basketball. Twenty-one turnovers led to 26 points for an A&M team that struggles to score' Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against No. 11-ranked Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum. The post Georgia basketball drops 74-69 battle at Texas A&M, Anthony Edwards limited by illness appeared first on DawgNation.