Greetings from beautiful Washington DC, where I will be formally addressing Congress to request a bailout for Bulldogs Blog later this afternoon. More importantly, however, I'll be heading over to Adams Morgan for giant pizza slices, then up to Baltimore to catch the Orioles-White Sox game tonight and perhaps enjoy a beverage or two at Fell's Point afterward. Good times.
We've got the next two installments of our two-a-days series coming up today, too, with looks at Vandy and Arizona State. Two quick requests for you guys: 1.) Take a minute or two, if you can, to click over and check out the blogs and content from the beat writers who have helped me out with this series. Their coverage is excellent, and sending them a few clicks for their help on these posts is the least I can do. 2.) I'm looking for questions from you guys for our final post on Georgia -- so if you have any questions at all about the upcoming season, send me an email and I'll get you an answer when we post the UGA two-a-days next week.
OK, on to some links...
-- Matthew Stafford's low completion percentage is a source of concern for the Detroit Free Press.
-- Mohamed Massaquoi will be working out for the Cleveland Browns this week.
-- Total UGA has a good piece about CJ Byrd, who looked like a potential undrafted free agent at season's end, but has impressed a lot of people since then.
-- The Chattanooga Times Free Press writes that the early selections of Georgia players in this year's NFL draft can only help the program in the future.
-- Sports Illustrated looks at Georgia's new mind-set without Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, including some more comments from Mark Richt about how the media covered the Bulldogs' stars.
-- Tony Barnhart writes that, despite the lack of a national title, Georgia has accomplished just about as much as anyone in the SEC since Mark Richt arrived in Athens.
-- A former running back will be keeping close tabs on Georgia's current crop of tailbacks, writes Marc Weiszer.
-- Vince Dooley will be promoting his new book at the Aurora Theater in Lawrenceville on Wednesday.
-- 960 the Ref talks to new Gym Dogs coach Jay Clark, who takes over the program from Suzanne Yoculan after the team won its fifth consecutve national title, along with baseball coach Dave Perno.
-- Deadspin offers its own fond sendoff to Suzanne Yoculan.
-- Sports editor Jason Butt offers an apology to the UGA equestrian team for the lack of coverage of its national championship by the Red & Black. He does not, however, apologize for the mug shot that runs with his column.
-- Julia Louis Dreyfus talks about the Seinfeld reunion soon to air on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
-- The Hollywood Reporter runs down the list of shows in need of saving. I'm crossing my fingers that "Chuck" survives, but I'm pretty indifferent to the rest.
-- I just finished reading "Homicide" by David Simon, a book that inspired his show "The Wire," which in my humble opinion, is the best show to ever air on television. Simon was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun for nearly two decades before moving to TV full time, and he has some advice for how newspapers can continue to survive in the new era of the Internet (and, I must say, his theory isn't a whole lot different from what I've been preaching for a while, yet newspapers seem to be doing the exact opposite). Case in point...
-- And finally, Eye on Sports Media has a new post up addressing the significant (and completely perplexing) changes at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a competing journalist, it's not exactly my place to comment on the issue, and I'm certain that there are good reasons for the changes. But I must say, I'm sad that the UGA beat will be losing two fine journalists.
I think very highly of Tim Tucker, who is honestly one of the nicest guys you'll meet in this business and a fine writer and reporter. But I think it is a shame to take someone like Chip Towers -- who has covered UGA since his days at the Red & Black -- off the beat. I'll admit that when I started this gig back in July, I was in a bit over my head for a while, but despite filling the role of competitor, Chip was always willing to help me out and offer some advice.
I also think Michael Carvell's recruiting coverage with the AJC was by far the best you could find without paying for a subscription, and I'm not sure why the paper would want to change that. Recruiting isn't the easiest thing in the world to cover. While the fine folks at UGA direct traffic for you to ensure you get all the interviews you need with current players, the job of tracking down high school recruits and getting good info from them is a lot like herding cats. Carvell was one of the best cat herders you'll find.
Beyond Chip and Michael's new gigs, plenty of other longtime AJC writers will be changing positions or moving on entirely. It's the cost of trying to salvage what is left of a dying business model for newspapers. For those of you who read this site regularly, you've heard me lament the state of newspapers often, and I realize we're far from the only industry struggling these days. But I worry that there isn't much direction for our future, and changes like the ones at the AJC don't do a lot to calm my fears.