The Piedmont Chronicles
- est 2010 -
So a fair number of you reading this might know who Darrell Huckaby is. Like me, he's a UGA grad; and also like me, he's a published writer who often discusses the South & many things Southern. Unlike me, though, he's not a muckraker or ant-hill kicker, at least not with local issues & politics.
Over the years more than a couple of folks have mentioned things like, "you're kind of the next generation's Darrell Huckaby." I'd honestly always kind of take that as a back-handed compliment. While we both had beards and the aforementioned similarities, we're really kind of night & day. And naturally for the couple of years I was writing for the Covington News while he was (and still is) doing his longtime gig at the Citizen, I got a few more of those comments.
Darrell seems like a nice enough fella, and certainly he's a fairly gifted writer. However, and as a few folks who've known him for years might tell you, the "Huckster" can maybe sometimes get his panties in a bunch, and that leads me to this little tale.
I remember it fairly well, and I can give you the exact date: September 24th, 2011.
I can give you the date because it was the day that Georgia went to Oxford, MS and defeated the Ole Miss Rebels by a score of 27-13. During the football season chances are that a dust-up on Facebook with folks in and around the GA Piedmont is going to be something related to UGA football. Usually, however, it's folks from competing teams getting hot under the collar with one another. But not this time.
For those of you who may not remember, September of 2011 was a bit of a dicey time for UGA football. Coming off the heels of a disastrous 6-7 campaign in 2010 and just a few weeks removed from the epic embarrassment against Boise St in the season opener at the GA Dome, the general state of the Georgia program was one of borderline malaise.
Of course, some of us remember how things turned out. At least for awhile. SEC Championship game appearances in 2011 & 2012 and literally just one play away from playing for (and most likely winning) the national championship in the 2012 campaign. Honestly, this Ole Miss game kind of set the tone for that turnaround.
I believe, if memory serves, me and Huckaduck had only become Facebook friends maybe a few months before this went down. When we connected, I'd sent him a FB message talking about writing, UGA football & a few other things. He responded back. It was nice. We seemed to be getting along pretty good.
And for the record, this game was a nooner, and all of this went down in the mid-afternoon hours. I hadn't gotten into the Bourbon yet, and there was no profanity involved.
After the game was over, the Huckman had made a post, and I really can't remember the specifics, but something about how proud he was of his Dawgs, and how big of a win it was.
And a quick sidebar here. You have to remember that at this time and with all of the backstory I previously mentioned, there was a lot of "noise in the system," as it were. By this point a fairly large contingent of UGA alumni, boosters & fans were ready to throw in the towel on the Mark Richt era. But there were also many who had a seemingly undying loyalty to Coach. Around this time a Facebook page had sprouted up called something like - The Support Coach Richt Group. And don't quote me on this, but I believe Huckaberry was maybe involved with that. But anyways, like how I am with politics, I was basically a "GDI" and could see both sides, though at this time I was feeling less and less sure about Richt being the guy to get us to an elite level.
So he made his post, and I, naturally, felt obliged to reply.
Basically - and the memories are fairly fuzzy; this was over six years ago - I mentioned some specific concerns with all facets of the game - offense, defense & special teams - and how we were going to have to tighten up and address these concerns if we were going to rebound from an 0-2 start. I also had a line in there saying, in essence, I love Coach Richt & all but I'm just starting to wonder if he's the guy. A few more comments come in on the thread with most folks saying the same thing Huckamania was saying and at least one negative comment about my comment.
So the afternoon goes on & I'm watching college football on TV. I go back to check on the thread to, you know, see what the "Support Richt" crowd was saying. I hit on the notification for the thread and nothing happens. "Hmmm, that's odd," I thought. A few minutes later I tried again. This time it went to a page I'd never seen before basically saying that the page couldn't be found. "That's strange," I said to myself...
I got wrapped up in the games going on and then I think I ended up cooking up some steaks maybe. That evening I tried again and this time I couldn't find the post in my notifications at all. So then I searched Darrell Huckaby. His listing came up and when I hit on it - it said something like this page wasn't available. And then it hit me. The SOB blocked me! What the huck, HUCK?!
I was pretty dang pissy about it for a bit. Grits might be groceries, but an ass is an ass. Then I just shook my head & scoffed at the whole thing. As I'd heard before & since, DH's skin is maybe a little thin, and he doesn't necessarily like to hear competing viewpoints.
As fate would have it, a few months after this went down I was at the Butcher Block waiting for a pick-up order and there on the counter was that day's edition of the Citizen. I'm thumbing through it & come across his column for that day. I've never regularly read his column & could probably count the number of ones I have on both hands. I'm scanning through it & he starts talking about Facebook. And in one line he basically says - "If I encounter someone and don't like what they're saying, hell - I'll just block 'em!" I nodded my head. Yup. He'll do it...
So that's the time Darrell Huckaby blocked me on Facebook.
For the record, I was right & he was wrong. Richt wasn't the guy.