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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.
  • This is not a story about traveling to Italy. It mentions Italy because that’s where I finally found clarity for my life.   Since clarity is a rarity, it is charity for me to share for thee.    I’m not gonna lie. Since retiring, I’ve struggled.    While comfortably tucked into my career as a morning radio show announcer, I knew how my day would go. I’d finish up work around 10 or 11 am every morning, then go join the old fart golf group that teed off every day around lunchtime. Many years, I would play 150 days or more.    The point is, I knew what I was doing with my days. In retirement, I’m playing maybe 50 rounds a year. That leaves a lot of days in limbo.    To some extent, golf has been replaced by travel. Oh, it’s not all exotic. For example, we’re taking in more live concerts now, so sometimes our trips are just a quick overnighter to hear an artist we enjoy.    We’ve fallen in love with Nashville, Tennessee’s music scene, so we wind up in Music City way more than I would have ever imagined.    Still, we are trying to see some other parts of the world and recently returned to Italy for the second time in two years. And for a second time, we hooked up with a travel guide named Max.    On our first tour of Old Italia, it took Max about one day to figure out what we liked: wine. With lunch.    On our just-completed trip, he didn’t even ask what we wanted to see. Every day, he had arranged a wine tasting at a nice winery, usually with lunch thrown in.    Lunch often lasted for a couple of hours. Afterwards, Max would just drive us around until we fell asleep. When we woke up, he’d tell us of the nice places he had taken us and say something like, “too bad you slept through it.”    In the Tuscany region, we hit a couple of places that are actually referred to as wine castles. Translated to English, that’s a castle with wine.    A castle, y’all. With wine. Take a moment, if you need to.    Besides wine, another thing to love about Italy is gelato. Gelato is actually Italiano for ice cream, but gelato is better. It uses more milk…. something, something, something… so it’s not just like American ice cream.    Gelato is sold in a gelateria. If you think about it, that makes sense. Pizza is sold in a pizzeria; gelato, in a gelateria.    I’m a big fan of gelato. Specifically, coconut, though I’m multi-gelatinous and can swing many directions.    So, the epiphany: I want to open a gelateria in a wine castle.    When I told my wife, she suggested I build the castle from the corks we have in the basement. It was meant as a snide remark, a dig at me for saving corks, even though I have no plan to do anything with them.    But her idea is brilliant. A cork castle!    Enemy bullets would bounce right off the cork walls. And if someone bombed my castle, what’s the damage? Broken cork? No problem.    “Hey, we need more cork!” And out comes a corkscrew.    My cork castle would also be flood-proof. The same rains that floated Noah’s arc would float my castle. When the rain subsided, who knows what country my castle would have landed in? But it wouldn’t matter. The local chamber of commerce would welcome me. Because I’ve got a castle full of wine.    And gelato.    Who wouldn’t want to be my friend?    Beautiful minds like mine – and Steve Jobs – don’t come along that often. I can only imagine that you’re thinking, ‘Dang, I wish I had thought of that first!’    But you didn’t.    Bring money. I will be charging admission.   

Local News

  • The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team defeated the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 72-54, to win its second game of the season at Stegeman Coliseum Wednesday evening.   Junior Gabby Connally led Georgia (2-0) in scoring, registering 16 points. Two other Lady Bulldogs scored in double digits, as junior Maya Caldwell and redshirt junior Jenna Staiti tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively. Staiti also notched her second straight double-double with a career-high 15 rebounds.    “Jenna’s been great,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “Credit to her, we’ve been on her and we are going to continue to stay on her because I still think she’s got more in her. When she came here, she said she wanted to be great. As long as that is her goal, we are going to challenge her that way. Starters look a different way, talk a different way, and act a different way. That is the only conversation we needed to have and she’s been different ever since. ”   Each Lady Bulldog starter recorded points in the first quarter with eight scoring overall, highlighted by Staiti’s six points.    An early 10-0 run allowed Georgia to force its first double-digit lead of the game. The Lady Bulldogs never conceded their double-figure advantage, concluding the frame with a 22-12 lead.    Georgia continued its hot streak in the second quarter as sophomore Caitlin Hose drained a deep 3-pointer on the first play of the period. Connally followed shortly after with a three of her own, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 30-14 lead.   A buzzer-beater layup from Staiti gave Georgia the 39-26 lead at half. The Lady Bulldogs shot 50-percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.    The Aggies scored four unanswered points early in the third quarter, bringing the score within single digits for the first time since Georgia led 12-4 with five minutes remaining in the first. Six points from Caldwell and four points from Paul with two minutes left on the clock kept North Carolina A&T at arm’s length, 55-44, heading into the fourth quarter.   The Lady Bulldogs sprinted to an 18-point lead in the final period, their largest of the night, with Connally’s seven points and Caldwell’s four in the period. Two layups within the last minute capped the game for Georgia, 72-54.   Up next, the Lady Bulldogs will host Georgia Tech in an in-state battle on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.  
  • Congressman Jody Hice, the 10th District Republican who represents most of Athens in the US House, holds a telephone town hall tonight. It’s set for 6 o’clock: the number for constituents to call is 202 225 4101.  From the office of Congressman Jody Hice… Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) today announced he will host a Telephone Town Hall for Georgians across the 10th District on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. This community call will be the eighth conference of the year. During the forum, Hice will provide a legislative update, take live questions, and offer constituents an opportunity to participate in poll questions. “Telephone Town Halls are a tried-and-true method for me to connect with hundreds of 10th District residents and hear their views,” said Congressman Hice. “I look forward to hearing from folks back home on Thursday evening as we discuss news and policies happening in Washington that affect our community.”  Who: Congressman Hice and 10th District residentsWhat: November Telephone Town HallWhen: November 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.*subject to legislative business* This forum is open to the public. Tenth District residents may RSVP and submit questions for the telephone town hall here or by calling Representative Hice’s Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-4101. Constituents may also join the conference by dialing (877) 229-8493 and using the passcode 117571 or listen online at any point during the event.
  • The official unveiling will come next week at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center: his family says Tate Prezzano will launch a foundation that will set up scholarships for student-athletes at the University of Georgia, those who compete in non-scholarship sports. The hospital says the foundation also will serve as a way to increase security measures on the UGA campus to prevent future incidents from occurring.  Prezzano, a 22 year-old lacrosse player at UGA, was shot and critically wounded in an April robbery attempt on South Milledge Avenue in Athens.  Details Prezzano’s Foundation will be laid out in a news conference set for next Wednesday at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center on Prince Avenue in Athens. 
  • The 4th annual Rural Healthcare Symposium is underway today at UGA, getting started at 9 o’clock this morning at the University’s Dean Rusk Hall. Stacey Abrams, last year’s Democratic nominee for Governor, is the featured speaker.  The University of Georgia plays host to an international conference: the 6th International Conference on Africa and its Diaspora is underway at 7 o’clock tonight at the University’s Tate Student Center.  The University of Georgia sets February 25 as the date for the ceremony that renames UGA’s College of Education in honor of Mary Frances Early, the first black student to graduate from the state’s flagship university. Albany State University President Marion Ross Fedrick will deliver the 20th annual Mary Frances Early lecture on the day of the naming ceremony, UGA President Jere W. Morehead said. Fedrick earned two degrees from the University of Georgia: a bachelor’s degree in adult education with a concentration in organizational development, and a master’s degree in public administration.
  • Funeral arrangements have been finalized for Clark Atlanta University student Alexis Janae Crawford. Crawford's body was found late last week in a DeKalb County park. She was 21. Crawford's roommate and the roommate's boyfriend have both been charged with her murder.  [DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV's News App for updates on this developing story]   On Friday, visitation is planned in Crawford's hometown of Athens, according to Gregory Levett & Sons funeral home. Visitation, which is open to the public, will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Hill Chapel Baptist Church, located at 1692 W. Hancock Ave in Athens.  Then on Saturday, Crawford will lie in state from 10 a.m. until her noon funeral at Cornerstone Church, 4680 Lexington Road in Athens. RELATED STORIES Here's everything to know about the Alexis Crawford murder Roommate now in custody, charged with murder of Clark Atlanta student Warrants reveal how Clark Atlanta student Alexis Crawford was killed Anyone wishing to assist the family with funeral costs should call the funeral home at 770-338-5558. Payments are accepted over the phone, a funeral home spokesman said. In addition to her parents, Crawford is survived by nine siblings, according to the Rev. Markel Hutchins, who is serving as the family's spokesperson. Hutchins said the Crawford family is devastated, but grateful for the outpouring of support.  'They not only need, but also deserve the public's support in laying her to rest with the kind of dignity and decency she deserves,' Hutchins told The AJC.  This report was written by Alexis Stevens , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Spend five minutes talking to Georgia senior receiver Tyler Simmons, and you can understand why any coach or quarterback would want the ball in his hands. It's clear Simmons is going to be successful at anything in life he chooses after football, but right now the senior captain is focused on helping the Bulldogs win a championship. Simmons is willing to do anything for his team and he has from his special teams expertise, to his downfield blocking and leadership in the receivers room. But football is not always fair, and Simmons has had the misfortune of playing most of the past two seasons in a shoulder brace that has limited his range of motion. There's pain, too, but Simmons accepts that's part of the game. 'Of course, it's football, (pain) comes with the game,' said Simmons, who injured his shoulder the second game of the season. 'You can either sit out and miss those opportunities, or you can go and do what you can do.' This was supposed to be Simmons' season to breakout and use his elite speed to make plays with the ball in his hands. Instead, he's dealt with the regret of missing a pass in overtime against South Carolina that ended up in the hands of a Gamecocks defensive back. Simmons talked to the media for the first time since the difficult loss to South Carolina. Simmons took full accountability while providing insight into Georgia's biggest game of the season, a 3:30 p.m. match with Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. On how he has dealt with adversity of this season TS: 'At the end of the road there's still a plan for me, everything happens for a reason. Of course I got down on myself for a little bit, but you just have to keep pushing. You're either going to dwell on the past or keep pushing for a better future, and that's what I've been doing, keeping a positive mindset and telling younger guys that are stepping up to play, to take advantage of those opportunities because that's big.' On the role teammates played in Simmons bouncing back TS: 'It happens, it's part of the game, I took my eyes off the ball and that's what happens. That was the consequence, dropping the ball. Of course I learn from my mistakes and just try to move on and get better. It is (hard to get over) but as I said, at the end of the day, you can either dwell on the past or get better for the future. '(Teammates) gave me a lot of support, of course they were mad at first, like anybody would be, but they were there to pick my head up when I was down, and tell me to get better for the next opportunity. I've been doing a great job blocking and on special teams, and just playing my part and taking advantage of my opportunities on the field.' On what comes to his mind this week with the game at Auburn TS: '2017, on the road, the energy there, the fans, the environment, how Auburn feeds off the crowd. Just honing in on the details and staying focused. We do a lot of crowd noise during the week to prepare ourselves for that and Jake (Fromm) is doing different things to stay in control of the snap count. '(2017 crowd noise) I feel like it really did (affect us) and the way they fed off the energy of the crowd, it kind of demoralized us and they took off with that. On how teammate Lawrence Cager has emerged despite a shoulder injury TS: 'He's definitely not missing opportunities. He's live and well at practice, he's moving around great, and he's been great this week. He's made some big plays and we're looking to him to play this weekend. 'I think he'll definitely be on the field and it's great having Cager out there. He's great on third down plays, he's always made them since he got here. That's his game style, he takes pride in being one of the best receivers in the SEC and he takes pride in not many DBs in the SEC being able to guard him. He really enjoys the game and he loves helping the team and he does that any way he can. On if he has talked to George Pickens about his emotions, and what Pickens brings TS: 'I've talked to Pickens just because I know he was committed there for a minute, and I know his emotions are going to be going wild, and we're going to need him to make some big plays, so I'm telling him to stay level-headed and hone in on details and do what you need to do. 'George brings a lot of energy a lot of energy he is the energy of the receiver room. He comes in, he's always in a pretty good mood, and he comes in and he loves football, he loves the game of football. He loves coming in and watching film, he's just a student of the game. 'Seeing him make those plays, it kind of encourages other guys to bring juice and make it a competition a little bit. You see George make a play and kind of celebrate, and it's now I want to make a play and celebrate. So be brings competition and energy. '(Talking) is just a part of his game. He likes to get in the DBs heads, he likes to do a little talking now and then, and that's just a part of his game and how he keeps himself going. I don't have any problem with it as long as he's making plays and he isn't doing anything to hurt the team. 'He was pretty understanding about the whole situation, he's not a bad or defiant kid, so he's pretty understanding about what I had to say to him.' On how the team is handling and views the CFP Rankings TS: 'We kind of look at it as a distraction right now. We just try to focus on every week, and focus on getting better and four on us. Try to block all the outside things out and just hone in on the details. Coach Smart emphasizes that a lot, just honing in on us, we don't worry about the outside sources. We just want to get better and focus on us.' Simmons was one of the team's Players of the Week Our Game 9 players of the week !! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/7PMxaQKQcM Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) November 11, 2019 Georgia WR Tyler Simmons Georgia football stories from DawgNation Will Muschamp discusses Georgia and Alabama UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH: Georgia's Tyler Simmons overcomes adversity, providing textbook examples of leadership and resilience appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS It's unlikely Georgia and Alabama will meet on the football field this season, but there have been plenty of comparisons of the two programs in the past 24 hours. The Bulldogs came out ahead of the Crimson Tide in the second set of College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night, leading many to compare the program's resumes. RELATED: Kirby Smart says no difference' for Georgia after Week 2 CFP rankings Rob Mullens, the CFP Chairman, said Georgia got the nod at No. 4 with Alabama at No. 5 because of the Bulldogs' wins over Top 20 teams Florida and Notre Dame. The Tide has yet to beat any Top 25 teams this season. Georgia plays at Auburn at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in a game the Bulldogs likely must win to keep playoff hopes alive. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt have both already seen Alabama and Georgia up close. Neither went so far as to say one was better than the other, but both shared their opinions when asked by DawgNation on the Wednesday teleconference. Muschamp broke down the teams' personalities, while Pruitt was more philosophical. South Carolina beat Georgia in Athens 20-17 in overtime on Oct. 12 and lost to Alabama 47-23 on Sept. 14 in Columbia. 'You take Alabama, Tua (Tagovailoa) is an outstanding player, and the speed that they have at wideout, they've got four guys that can run and create space plays and they create huge issues for you, and that to me is obviously something that jumps out,' Muschamp said. 'Defensively up front (Raekwon) Davis and (Terrell) Lewis are both guys you've got to deal with, and Anfernee Jennings is a guy, a 3 or 4 year starter, that brings a presence on the edge, and they cover extremely well on the back end, and they're going to mix things up on you.' Muschamp, who played at Georgia and has coached with both Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, provided some insight into the Bulldogs, too. 'Georgia, I just think their offensive line is very difficult to match up with, they are massive up front, (but) I think Alabama does have the size to match up with them,' Muschamp said. 'The backs are outstanding. (D'Andre) Swift, the entire corps of running backs are really good players. '(Jake) Fromm is an outstanding player, it's really, what's hurt them in the throwing game is just the lack of experience at receiver,' Muschamp said. 'I think the are very talented at receiver, (George) Pickens is a guy that's going to be great player for them, but when you're dealing with young players, you're going to deal with some inconsistencies. 'When they got (Lawrence) Cager, who is a grad-transfer, obviously he played extremely well down in Jacksonville for them. I think that's the stabilizing factor in the throwing game. They are going to continue to improve because of the youth they have, they have a lot of talent on the edges.' Muschamp sees improvement ahead for the Georgia defense, too. 'Defensively they are really deep in the front seven, Kirby is playing a lot of guys up front and it's motivating those guys, they are playing very hard, and they've got some really talented guys, so they are hard to run the ball against, they create a lot of negative plays,' Muschamp said. 'They've got a good combination of guys they are playing with up front, but they are both really talented teams.' Pruitt's Tennessee team lost at home to the Bulldogs by a 43-14 count on Oct. 5, and then it lost on the road to the Crimson Tide 35-13 on Oct. 19. 'I think they are both very well-coached teams, they are both very talented, (and) neither one of them have a whole lot of weaknesses,' Pruitt said. 'Both of them play some really good opponents down the stretch that will settle it on the field.' 'I think that's the beauty of college football is it does gets settled most of the time on the field and definitely in the SEC.' Georgia and Alabama have games remaining against Auburn, and the Bulldogs play host to a Texas A&M team on Nov. 23 that the Tide beat 47-28 in College Station on Oct. 12. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Will Muschamp compares, analyzes Georgia-Alabama team strengths appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia jumped Alabama in the College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night, but nothing has changed in the Bulldogs' locker room. Tailback D'Andre Swift said four weeks ago Georgia would treat the remainder of the season as playoffs. Coach Kirby Smart echoed that mindset on the SEC Coaches teleconference on Wednesday. 'There's no difference in this game and the last three, four or five since the South Carolina game,' Smart said, asked by DawgNation if he would mention the potential CFP ramifications of the Auburn game to his players. 'I don't know that the ramifications have changed,' Smart said. 'We've got an opportunity to win the East. That's really our next step is to worry about Auburn and take care of business for this game.' RELATED: Georgia jumps Alabama in CFP Rankings The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia's only loss this season came at home on Oct. 12 against an unranked South Carolina team by a 20-17 count in overtime. Alabama, which is ranked No. 5 in the current CFP rankings, fell at home to No. 1-ranked LSU last Saturday, 46-41. The CFP Committee said it valued the Bulldogs two wins over Top 20 teams over the Tide's schedule. Alabama doesn't have any wins over current Top 25 teams and only one win over an SEC team with a winning record (Texas A&M -3). 'T he difference for Georgia being at four was the fact that they have two wins against top-20 teams being Florida and Notre Dame,' CFP Committee Chairman Rob Mullens said on the Tuesday night national teleconference. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything. You're discussing all the wins and the loss, and again, it's an art, not a science, and that's why you have 13 members, and everybody shares their perspective on those losses and those wins, and at the end, you put it to a vote.' The committee noted after the first set of rankings last week that in addition to having a strong defense, the Bulldogs featured and experienced quarterback in Jake Fromm and a talented runner in Swift. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement,' Mullens said on Nov. 5. 'They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back.' It was Swift who threw down the gauntlet after the 20-17 loss to South Carolina, speaking passionately about the Bulldogs' need to pull together and play up to their potential. RELATED: D'Andre Swift makes strong statements in wake of SC loss ' I'm going to address the team today and just tell everybody we need to stick together, we need to be more of a family now than any time, and let them know one loss doesn't define our season,' Swift said the Monday after the shocking loss to the Gamecocks. 'We need to keep going and treat every game like a playoff game, that's really what it is,' he said. 'We should be one of the best teams in the country on offense, in every aspect, and I think we need to do a better job of playing fast in practice and hopefully see that trickle down to Saturday. We haven't played a complete game offensively, at all.' RELATED: UGA looks for elusive road win over SEC West opponent The same could be said as the team heads to Auburn with the season likely on the line. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Kirby Smart: No difference' for Georgia in wake of No. 4 College Football Playoff ranking appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia remains the top-ranked, one-loss team in the nation in the College Football Playoff Rankings. LSU (9-0) took over the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday nighton the strength of its 46-41 win at Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Ohio State (9-0) was No. 2 and Clemson (10-0) was No. 3, and then came the Bulldogs (8-1) at No. 4. The Crimson Tide (8-1) came in at No. 5 with Oregon (8-1) at No. 6. LSU's win last Saturday snapped Alabama's 31-game home win streak and ended the Bayou Bengals' string of futility against the Tide at 8 games last Saturday. The Tigers have four wins over teams ranked in the Top 20 this season: Alabama (No. 5), Florida (No. 11), Auburn (No. 12) and Texas (No. 19). Ohio State (9-0) dropped to No. 2 despite a 73-14 win over Maryland. The Buckeyes' best win was a 38-7 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin on Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio. It's the first time the top-ranked team in the CFP rankings has dropped when coming off a win. Defending College Football Playoff champion Clemson (10-0) is at No. 3 after its 55-10 at North Carolina State last Saturday. Georgia is ranked ahead of Alabama on the strength of its wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16. Notre Dame. 'As you look at (Nos.) 4 and 5, two really good teams, one-loss teams, we just saw Alabama had a tough loss,' said Rob Mullens, the chairman for the 13-member CFP Committee. 'You compare that against Georgia's resume, and the two big wins that Georgia had.' Mullens explained on the teleconference that the committee works to rank the No. 1 to No. 3 teams, and then Nos. 4-6. 'The separator for Georgia in the (4-6) pool is their two wins against Top 20 teams,' Mullen said. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything, all the wins and the loss.' Mullens said the committee spent a lot of time comparing Georgia to Alabama, and it did take into consideration that the Bulldogs lost to unranked South Carolina while the Tide lost to LSU. The Crimson Tide, however, doesn't have any wins over Top 25 teams this season. Its best win is likely considered the 47-28 victory it scored over Texas A&M on Oct. 12. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) was ranked higher than t he Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) in the AP Top 25 poll last Sunday, coming in at No. 4 there with UGA No. 5. Minnesota (9-0) made the biggest jump in the CFP rankings, up to No. 8 from No. 17 after a 31-26 home win over previously unbeaten and now No. 9-ranked Penn State. The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) can clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a win at No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. RELATED: Kirby Smart updates playing status of Trey Hill and Lawrence Cager The committee had Georgia as the top-ranked one-loss team last Tuesday night, too. CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens explained why last week. 'Georgia has beaten two top 15 teams, (then-) No. 10 Florida, (then-) No. 15 Notre Dame,' Mullens said, asked by DawgNation on last Tuesday night's national teleconference about the Bulldogs place in the order of one-loss teams. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement. They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back,' he said. 'But the separator for them at this point was the two Top 15 wins.' Georgia extended its streak of games without a rushing touchdown with a 27-0 win over Missouri, it's third shutout of this season. The rankings will be released the next three Tuesday nights at approximately 7 p.m. on ESPN, with the final rankings coming out on Sunday, Dec. 8, at noon. College Football Playoff rankings for 2019 Week 12 Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post College Football Playoff Rankings for Week 12 released: Georgia jumps Alabama in Top 5 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mike Shildt has been named the 2019 National League Manager of the Year, after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an NL Central title and an appearance in the NLCS. Shildt was followed by Craig Counsell, Brian Snitker, Dave Roberts and Dave Martinez in voting. Snitker earned three of the 30 first-place votes after managing the Atlanta Braves to another NL East title in 2019, leading them to their most wins (97), since 2003.