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Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Bulldog from Bahs-ton

Arthur Lynch has the distinction of being the only New Englander on scholarship for the Georgia football team. The tight end has the accent to prove it, with R’s coming out H’s.

For instance, it’s “No-mah” Garciaparra. Not Nomar.

“An H at the end,” Lynch said of his favorite player as a kid. “I had a shirt growing up that said ‘N-O-M-A-H.”

New England-ese can seem like a different language, as center Ben Jones, a proud Alabaman, discovered last year – in spoken and written form.

“I didn’t have a clue what he was saying,” Jones said. “And he would send me text messages and he would spell things, and I would be like, What is he talking about?”

Lynch is from Dartmouth, Mass., which is about an hour from Boston. Around campus, a lot of people actually assume Lynch is from New Jersey.

“They talk about ‘Jersey Shore’ a lot,” Lynch said, alluding to the notorious MTV show where the Jersey stereotypes are played up quite a bit.

“It’s funny, I have friends who are into all that thing, people I grew up with. People are like, ‘Oh those people can’t be real.’ And I’m like, ‘They’re out there.’ I went to school with some.”

The reverse is also true: When Lynch goes home, he has to clear up some misconceptions about what the deep South is like.

“Everyone thinks there’s no cities, it’s all country, people just hunt all the time,” Lynch said. But he’s discovered that at heart we’re not all that different.

“People are generally the same,” he said. “Definitely people are more polite down here, and up north people are more direct. Go where you need to go. But people are people.”

There can be a class of cultures, however, as both parties learned when Lynch stopped at Jones’ house in Alabama on the way back from the Independence Bowl.

“It was a lot different than he’s used to,” Jones said. “You get to my place and we have one red light in town and live out on a 500-acre farm.”

Ben Jones, incidentally, was also the name of the actor that played “Cooter” on “Dukes of Hazzard.”

Just sayin’.

Lynch grew up a Red Sox fan, like pretty much everyone up there. (It’s not absolutely everybody. Believe it or not, a writer I knew on the South Carolina beat was from New Hampshire, with a thick-as-can-be New England accent, but he was a Yankees fan.)

Of course there are a lot more Red Sox fans these days, the bandwagon effect after the 2004 and 2007 titles. Lynch, who along with his family suffered through the bad times, related it to his current team.

“Say we go out and win the national championship: The naysayers from last year are gonna be like, ‘Georgia’s the best team.’ That’s just how it goes, it’s just sports,” Lynch said.


AthensHomerDawg said...

Good stuff!
I guess I can accept the cat thing.....but please- tell me what kind of dog you have. I'll reserve judgment until then. lol

Seth Emerson said...

A black lab. Hope that's OK.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that clown know that Garciaparra is a for north avenue Nerd?!

AthensHomerDawg said...

Works for me! "A Lab/Chesapeake mix saved my life on Lake Tobesofkee around Macon Ga. Back in the day. True story. I was snorkeling and sucked in a large amount of water...... the owner sensing my distress sent the dog out and I grasped the tail and rode in. Yep! Also, I inherited a cat (Siamese) when I married. Lets be clear here.... it was a package deal. Still ...Siamese are cool cats. I got 3 stitches when that cat jumped me from the Master CLoset sweater rack and I hit the door handle with my mouth.The cat (Tigger) was with us for 9 years. Kids have Jack Russel terriers...... do the math..... we have no cats...rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.... in fact the neighbors keep their cats at home.

just sayin'

Seth Emerson said...

That's great, I love stories about dogs rescuing humans. Tigger must be a common name for a cat, I've heard that before. Not sure I could deal with a Siamese though.