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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kicking Things Off

The beauty of this time of year for football fans is the infinite promise a new season holds. Every team has a shot at a conference title, every game could be an upset, every star QB has a shot at the Heisman. That’s a little like how I feel about this blog. My hopes are high and the possibilities seem limitless.

Of course, there’s also a chance this first week turns into Michigan’s opener against App. State or Andre Woodson’s run at the Heisman last season. I’m making no promises.

But with SEC Media Days about to kick off, there’s really no better time to get started. The three-day event in Hoover, Ala. is the media equivalent of a three-day binge at a Golden Corral buffet – there’s a little bit of everything, and just about everyone is indulging to excess. I’m keeping Tumms handy, along with a healthy stock of Tylenol.

But before we get into the nuts and bolts of a new season of SEC football, I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself to the many regular readers of the Macon Telegraph, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer or any random readers who are stopping by between shopping for Amish furniture on eBay and checking their fantasy baseball scores at

My name is David Hale, and a quick Google search reveals that I am no more than the 63rd most important person with that name in the world. I’ve lived in Georgia for two of the past three years, during which time I covered UGA football regularly. I’ll tell you right off the bat I neither root for the Bulldogs nor do I root against them. What I root for is a good story, and luckily for me, Georgia routinely does a good job of delivering exactly that.

I am firmly of the belief that transparency is important in sports journalism, so I will tell you that I do root for two teams: the University of Delaware (which does not play Division I-A football) and Syracuse University (which probably shouldn’t be playing Division I-A football). I attended both schools, which failed to prepare me at all for the enormous impact college football has in this part of the county. Needless to say, I like it here a lot better.

As for this blog, I’m hoping it quickly becomes part of your regular UGA-reading repertoire, though I am not fully prepared to discuss my top-secret plan to make that happen. Suffice it to say, I may resort to giving out candy.

There are many sports writers who believe they are the experts and you are the lowly fans. I am not one of those sports writers. I love hearing what the fans have to say, and it’s my hope that this blog will provide a forum for us to have an on-going conversation about UGA football (and other sports) as the season progresses. I welcome your feedback, your input, your questions and your comments.

If there’s something you like, let me know. If there’s something you’d like to see more of, I’m happy to do it. If you have a question for me, I’ll answer, and if you have questions you want me to ask the players and coaches, I’ll add it to my notebook and do my best to get a response. If you have criticisms, that’s fine, too. I do, however, have one rule: If you have a complaint, make sure it falls into one of two categories: 1.) Constructive criticism (i.e. a legitimate idea on how to improve the blog) or 2.) entertainment (i.e. you can feel free to call me a moron, as long as you do it creatively).

So, with that, let’s get things started. Media Days kicks off tomorrow morning at the Wynfrey Hotel. I’ll be blogging regularly throughout the day, and here’s a quick run-down of the week’s schedule:

• FLORIDA(1:10 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.)
Coach Urban Meyer, QB Tim Tebow and OT Phil Trautwein
• MISSISSIPPI STATE(1:10 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.)
Coach Sylvester Croom, QB Wesley Carroll and LBJamar Chaney
• LSU(3:10 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)
Coach Les Miles, C Brett Helms and DETyson Jackson
• VANDERBILT(3:10 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)
Coach Bobby Johnson, S Reshard Langford and WRGeorge Smith

• ALABAMA(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Nick Saban, OL Antoine Caldwell and S Rashad Johnson
• GEORGIA(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Mark Richt, WRMohamed Massaquoi and DT Jeff Owens
• OLEMISS(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Houston Nutt, DT Peria Jerry and OT Michael Oher
• TENNESSEE(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Phillip Fulmer, DERobert Ayers and RB Arian Foster

• AUBURN(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Tommy Tuberville, C Jason Bosley and DE Sen’derrick Marks
• KENTUCKY(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Rich Brooks, DEJeremy Jarmon and WRDicky Lyons, Jr.
• ARKANSAS(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Bobby Petrino, LBElston Forte and C Jonathan Luigs
• SOUTHCAROLINA(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Steve Spurrier, LB Jasper Brinkley and WRKenny McKinley


Jim Ludes- Grundy/ Will County REALTOR said...

Mr. Hale, I look forward to reading your Georgia/ SEC blog.As you know from other outlets you have written for, I am a huge fan of your musings. I don't have any fancy questions I'd like asked of Knowshon or Stafford or anything...BUT I would like to express that blackout gimmick is uber-lame. The jerseys just don't "look" Georgia to me.

Selena said...

Ok ok ok, I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but good God in Heaven, what real Georgia fan can say the Blackout was a lame gimmick? The Blackout against Auburn was the most exciting thing to happen to UGA football since Herschel Walker. Having said that, I really don't think we should try it again for another few years. If they wore black jerseys for even only once a season, it would take away from the magic that was the week leading up to Auburn last year. Not knowing if they were actually going to wear the jerseys got everyone at UGA talking. It was in the Red and Black constantly. It was a favorite subject at lunch at the Tate Center. But all in all, it was having everyone at UGA geared up and excited, even the people who didn't care much about the football team, that was most special. Anyways...I'm getting too emotional about it...

So, David...I can't remember how exactly I found your blog, but I'm really excited to read it through the season-to-come.

MikeInValdosta said...

This first blog reminds me of Matt Ryans first NFL pass.

Bernie said...

Reading this post makes me feel like a character on LOST -

WHEN am I now...??