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Monday, October 26, 2009

Things To Do In Athens When You're Furloughed

I'll say this: Aside from the lack of a paycheck, these furloughs aren't so bad. Relaxing, enjoyable and allowed me to catch up on a ton of DVR material. Just a complete delight.

Of course, I wasn't the only UGA-affiliated person to sit out a furlough this week. All of Georgia's coaches were forced to take one mandatory day off as part of the state-issued furloughs for 2009. For Georgia's assistants, that day was Monday.

Now, I know my responsibility for the furlough was to completely disassociate myself from work, but I didn't want you to think I was slacking. So I pulled some strings, called in some favors and did some hard-core reporting and came up with some top-secret material: The minute-by-minute itinerary from the furlough day of Georgia's most reclusive assistant -- Stacy Searels.

Don't ask me how I got it. I can't reveal my sources. But what follows is the true account of how Coach Searels spent his mandatory day off work last week.

4:27 a.m. -- Searels wakes up, sits up in bed and stares at his alarm clock.

4:30 a.m. -- Alarm clock goes off. Searels chastises it for not matching his intensity.

4:38 a.m. -- Enjoys morning protein shake, which includes 115 grams of protein, two bananas and one teaspoon of the tears of vanquished defensive linemen.

4:43 a.m. - 7:15 a.m. -- Time for film study. Unfortunately, due to furlough regulations, he is barred from watching game film, so he instead views Mel Gibson's "Braveheart," identifying 436 continuity errors and 61 anachronisms.

7:15 a.m. - 7:35 a.m. -- Breakfast with the family. After a few minutes of lackluster kitchen-table conversation, Searels revamps the seating arrangement in hopes of better results. When that doesn't work, he phones Josh Davis, who subs for Searels' youngest daughter for the remainder of the meal.

7:45 a.m. -- Time to take the kids to school. To save money on gas, however, he has Clint Boling and Justin Anderson push the family's Dodge Caravan the 13.6 miles from the Searels' home to school and back.

8:08 a.m. -- With no football study to do, Searels decides to hang around at his daughter's school for a while. During first-period science class, a fellow sixth-grader fails to properly explain photosynthesis, and Searels demands the boy does 25 up-downs while the teacher looks on, horrified.

8:11 a.m. -- Searels is escorted from the building by security. He vows to find a better school for his children, while also pointing out several problems with the security guards' technique as they shove him out the door. "You've got to get low, son! Put a hat on a hat!"

8:34 a.m. -- Searels phones Auburn head coach Gene Chizik to inquire whether he would have been forced to take a mandatory furlough had he accepted a job offer with the Tigers last offseason. Chizik informs him that, no, a furlough would not have been issued at Auburn.

8:36 a.m. -- Searels fires his agent.

9:12 a.m. -- Goes for his regular morning jog around the neighborhood, stopping occasionally to critique landscaping work of several of his neighbors.

9:41 a.m. -- Arrives home from his jog. Changes from his "workout sweatshirt" to his "formalwear sweatshirt."

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. -- "Maury."

11:35 a.m. -- Mows lawn. When he's finished, his wife notices the mowing pattern resembles the diagram of the screen-pass play to Caleb King from the Vanderbilt game. Searels quickly points out her mistake, noting that the flanker ran a go-route on the lawn rather than the quick hitch that was actually run on that play. He challenges her to view the lawn with more intensity next time.

11:58 a.m. -- Calls Bryan McClendon and tells him to come by the house, bring lunch and pick up his dry cleaning on the way. When McClendon asks why such menial errands should be his job, Searels reminds him of who the running game coordinator is and who is "just the running backs coach."

12:36 p.m. -- McClendon arrives with lunch. Searels sits down to enjoy the 34 oz. steak, while McClendon properly folds and puts away the 28 gray sweatshirts he had just picked up from the dry cleaner.

1:08 p.m. -- Searels phones former Auburn teammate Bo Jackson for their weekly chat about old times. Searels' reminds Jackson that he could have easily returned to football following hip replacement surgery if he had simply "wanted it more."

1:36 p.m. -- Flips through latest issue of Us Weekly, noting that Lauren Conrad looks "worse than Trinton Sturdivant's knee" and says Suri Cruise needs to "man up." He them compliments the father of the balloon boy for "really getting after it."

2:25 p.m. -- Calls Vince Vance. Tells him to switch apartments with Cordy Glenn.

3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. -- Sweatshirt shopping with Mrs. Searels. Rather than trying on any of the sweatshirts he picks out, however, Searels simply challenges them to "match his intensity."

4:45 p.m. -- Grocery shopping with the wife. Searels orders three pounds of thin-sliced turkey breast at the deli. When the butcher weighs the order and finds he sliced 3.02 pounds, Searels forces him to do 30 up-downs and re-slice the meat.

5:04 p.m. -- Puts 12 packages of toilet paper in cart. His wife inquires as to why they need so much toilet paper and Searels offers no explanation.

5:23 p.m. -- Upon check out at the grocery store, the clerk asks whether Searels would prefer paper or plastic bags. Mrs. Searels quickly interjects, reminding the clerk that her husband doesn't do interviews.

5:49 p.m. -- Calls Kevin Perez. Gives him Marc Curles' home address and the location of the 12 packages of toilet paper, adding "You know what to do."

5:51 p.m. -- Hangs up the phone and mutters, "They called me crazy, but I knew giving Perez a scholarship would eventually pay off."

6:16 p.m. -- Begins cooking dinner. On the menu: Pasta.

6:18 p.m. -- Mrs. Searels finds her husband standing stoically in the kitchen. When she asks what he's doing, he replies that he wanted to see if he could get a pot of water to boil just by staring at it.

6:19 p.m. -- Pot of water begins boiling.

6:30 p.m. -- Dinner with the family is delightful. Searels makes McClendon do the dishes afterward.

7:05 p.m. -- Phones a few former colleagues from his days on the LSU staff and procures the cell phone number of a certain SEC quarterback who will be playing against the Bulldogs in a couple weeks.

7:09 p.m. - 7:23 p.m. -- Prank calls Tim Tebow repeatedly, including ordering 74 pizzas to be delivered to Tebow's house and ending with, "my 8-year-old daughter can throw the deep ball better than you, and I've seen A.J. Harmon run harder after a fun-size bag of Doritos."

7:35 p.m. -- Calls Dallas Lee, who is sitting at home playing NCAA football on his Playstation. Searels' critiques Lee's play calling and tells him to "man up."

7:56 p.m. -- One last call to Tebow, in which Searels reminds the Florida quarterback that, "real men don't get concussions. They simply choose to forget minor details like their names, addresses and what number comes after six in order to free up space to remember more blocking schemes."

8:25 p.m. -- Settles in on the couch for an evening viewing of "Monday Night Football." Within seven minutes, Searels has deconstructed Denver's blocking schemes, identified a half-dozen instances in which Knowhshon Moreno failed to hit the hole and questioned whether Jon Gruden was intense enough for the broadcast booth.

9:08 p.m. -- During a commercial break in the game, Searels flips over to "Two-and-a-Half Men." He mentions to his wife that, "the chubby kid might have a real future as a left guard if he wasn't such a wuss."

9:44 p.m. -- Tucks kids into bed. Tells bedtime story of about the time King Stacy made Princess Tebow cry.

10:26 p.m. -- Sends text message to Ben Jones saying simply, "Bring it."

10:34 p.m. -- Ben Jones arrives at Searels' house with a footlong turkey sub from Subway and a 32-ounce Diet Mountain Dew.

11:15 p.m. -- McClendon attempts to go home for the night. Searels flags him for a false start and forces him to do 30 up-downs.

11:59 p.m. -- With just one minute of his furlough remaining, Searels opens his front door, steps out onto the patio and looks around.

12:01 a.m. -- Boling arrives at Searels' house with film of Florida's last game, a case of Red Bull and his playbook. Searels asks Boling why he was late.


trumely said...

Oh how I missed my David Hale Fix this past week. Stinkin' furlough.

the anonymous suckup said...

THIS is why you were missed last week. Welcome back.

Blue Gill said...

Welcome back.

Blog Goliard said...

The "real men don't get concussions" bit was my favorite. Good stuff. Welcome back.

But wait a sec...posted at 8:05 am? Didn't your furlough end at midnight? Stacy Searels questions your intensity.

Universal Remonster said...

You really got me with the "Water begins to boil" bit. Welcome back brohan.

Will Q said...

I laughed. I cried. I'm going to read it again and again.

Bulldog in Exile said...

"5:23 p.m. -- Upon check out at the grocery store, the clerk asks whether Searels would prefer paper or plastic bags. Mrs. Searels quickly interjects, reminding the clerk that her husband doesn't do interviews."

Pure Gold.

Anonymous said...

If your ol played like UGA , would you want to speak with the media? Watching the rest of the sec this weekend only proves this 100x over.wb

AuditDawg said...

Pure comedy gold. Glad to see you got your funny batteries recharged during the furlough. I'm in Kansas for work and laughing so hard that people in the cubes around me must think I'm just another crazy guy from down South. Looking forward to the Florida work this week, David.

DawgCPA said...

GREAT stuff DH! Welcome back. I too look forward to your WLOCP previews.

MikeInValdosta said...

No furlough for you!

I could tell by your writing that your pad level was too high and you stopped driving your feet.

gene said...

"Water boils", "Goat Feints". Still in stitches Dave. But seriously, post the funny stuff you really thought up during during doomed news reporter's week. Very glad you're back.