30 August 2018

[Go You Silver Britches!] - 2018 UGA Football Preview

2018 UGA Football Preview

*cross-posted at The Piedmont Chronicles; original post at Go You Silver Britches!

Ijust a few days the 2018 edition of our Silver Britches will finally be hitting the gridiron once again as we face off against FCS (formerly 1-AA) foe, the Austin Peay Governors, on Saturday September 1st at 3:30 PM in that football cathedral known as Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.

It was almost 8 months ago that the Dawgs, fresh off the epic victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, had their hearts ripped out of their chests when a true freshman QB came off the bench & somehow found a way to will the Crimson Tide to victory The cruel suddenness of it was not unlike the SEC Championship game in 2012 as well as the fact that if not for Alabama, UGA would've very likely been twice-National Champions in the past six years.

Oh well, things seem to happen for a reason. And all of that's in the past, and unlike almost six years ago - things feel different now. It doesn't seem like UGA is a doomed Charlie Brown caricature anymore, constantly tormented & cursed. No, it feels as if we're right on the edge of a glory that we haven't seen since the early 80's & that feels pretty damn good. So let's break it down.

How 'Bout Them Dawgs!


While losing guys like Roquan, Chubb & Sony may seem hard to overcome, many - myself included - truly believe that from top to bottom, this year's team might actually be better than the 2017 squad. Whether it's the embarrassment of riches we find ourselves with on the O-line, the top-notch running back by committee we'll likely see, or perhaps the best receiving corps UGA has had in years, there's a lot to feel good about; however, there are question marks, mainly on the defensive side of the ball with multiple starters & contributing key personnel gone. 

And what of the schedule? Many have been nervously looking at our 2nd game in Columbia on September 8th, but I'm not so sure about that one. USCe lost a good bit of firepower & I think they'll be trying to get their feet under them as much as us & talent will carry the day. LSU on October 13th in the "Red Stick" does bother me a bit, and I wouldn't go to sleep on Kentucky up in Lexington in November, either; and naturally Auburn, even in the Classic City, will be a tough one. And chances are we'll have to face the best quarterback in the league when we go to the other Columbia. With all of that said, though, there's a lot of folks out there that think Georgia has a pretty manageable schedule, and I'd probably agree with that.

Coaching? We seem to be in good shape there, don't we? Kirby, after all, is Kirby, and we've got Jim Chaney & Mel Tucker once again leading the offense & defense, respectively, though we do have two new assistant coaches. Cortez Hankton takes over the WR duties & Dan Lanning will be coaching up the outside linebackers.


Then there's the intangibles, or the X-factor, as it were. Things just feel different now. No longer does it feel as if there is a millstone hanging around the neck of this program. Gone is the general sense of malaise & dysfunction that followed the Dawg Nation for so many years. We not only think we can get it done - we know we can get it done. Enthused optimism & collegiate gusto - 
with the players, the coaches, the fans; with everyone - abounds. It's a nice feeling. 



The offense is going to be good. This much we know. The other day I actually saw a fellow Dawg Blogger say that we'll average 40 points a game! Man...that'd be something else, and you know what - I wouldn't say it's impossible.

Let's start with QBJake Fromm, after a most impressive campaign (2600 yds passing; 24 TDs) as a true freshman, looks poised to be one of the SEC's premier quarterbacks this season. Of course, #1 is on the minds of many. Justin Fields, the 6-3, 225 lb "Cam Newton" wowed everyone in the G-day Game with his 200+ yards in the air & several nice runs. Controversy? Not really. I think Fields will see playing time right away here & there, but Jake is the guy, and I think everyone knows this.

Jake From State Fromm

As we mentioned earlier, we have a veritable plethora of running backs, and I believe we will see an all-hands-on-deck/RB-by-committee approach w/ D'Andre Swift (#7 | 5-9; 215 lbs) as the primary with both Elijah Holyfield Brian Herrien making significant contributions. And the true freshman, James Cook, continues to impress everybody in Summer Camp.

D'Andre! He's a bad man, man!

Again, the WR corps is just off the charts. The leader of this squad will no doubt be Terry Godwin (#5 - Senior - 5-11; 185 lbs). He'll be Fromm's go-to target & he's got the athleticism & skill thandle that role. As many have mentioned, what's so exciting about 2018 is the breadth & depth of this group. Riley Ridley's coming out party in the National Championship game was great to see. He'll be racking up a lot of yards & touchdowns while Mecole Hardman might be the best one of the bunch. It's the next level that's so impressive. A strong argument could be made that UGA's second-string group of WR's is better than most of the SEC's first-stringers. And leading that group of the best of the rest, in my opinion, is Newton's own - JJ Holloman (#9 - Sophomore - 6-2; 200 lbs).

For years UGA has been referred to as "Running Back U," and that's certainly an apt description; however, we could just as easily be called "Tight End U," and 2018 will be no exception. Isaac Nauta, Jackson Harris & Charlie Woerner are all SEC starting material. They all have their strengths & could all have good years (if Chaney remembers they exist...). 

So basically we're stacked at all of the skill positions, and that's great. But it wouldn't matter much if we didn't have full stable of top-shelf O-linemen, and, brother, we sure as hell got that



It seems as if most of the Bulldog Nation's hand wringing teeth gnashing anxiety is on this side of the ball, which I still really don't get. I mean, yeah, I get it. Roquan's gone. And so is Lorenzo & a couple of others, but again - just like with the team as a whole - I really think that the D, across the board & in terms of depth, will be better than 2017.

The D-line has some worried & I just don't get it. Jonathan Ledbetter, lucky # 13, is beast of a DE & will be complemented by Rochester & Clark, with support from DaQuan, David Marshall et al. They're gonna be a great crew. 

Jonathon Ledbetter

The Linebackers are going to be a very strong unit, I believe. We've got a lot of talent & several of these guys got in some quality time last year. But like just about everyone else has said, the key to whether or not this group will be exceptional will come down to Natrez Patrick. If he's good to go, we're good to go. And I think D'Andre Walker is gonna have a helluva year. Hell, 5 & 1/2 sacks & 13 & 1/2 tackles-for-loss last year as a back-up? It'd seem logical that he's going to be something special.

Same with the secondary. The Deandre - Deandre Baker - as well as the blitzman, JR Reed, will be in good company with LeCounte, McGhee, Webb & the rest of the gang. It might take 'em a few games to jell as a unit, but once they do, I think they'll be one of the best secondaries in the SEC.

Special Teams 

The kicking game. So important.

Rodrigo Blankenship...that's all you have to say.

And we got a little spoiled with our punting last year, but let's not forget that Marshall Long did a pretty solid job back in 2016. I think we're good.

And coverage & protection should be on point, as it always is when Kirby's involved.

2018 Prediction 

I can see this team going 12-0 this season, but I can also see a loss in either Baton Rouge or maybe even Columbia, MO. And there's always that fear of a trap game or a Murphy's Law day. I also worry about what should be a much improved Tech team at the end of the gauntletWith all of that said, I'd be surprised if we are not back in the SEC Championship game. if we can win that one - then depending on the lay of land (and our record) - we'd be right in the mix for the Final Four. We shall see. Regardless, college football is finally back & that is an awesome thing!


Keepin' it real in the #COV

MB McCart, Editor of The Piedmont Chronicles; Owner/Operator of Go You Silver Britches!

29 August 2018

[Perrin Lovett] - Entering Into the Age of Post Literacy (Like Unto Illiteracy, But Lazier)

This Monday, August 27th, the mighty Vox Day explained why he retired his former weekly column. He stopped because, in brief, his contributions - as great as they were - made no difference in the grand scheme of things. His admission came in response to a recent Fred Reed article, in which Fred pondered why anyone writes columns anymore. What a way to start a column, huh?

Thanks for bearing with me so far. I was struggling with a subject matter appropriate for (worthy of) today’s discussion. There’s so darned much going on all the time! And I try very hard to find the best, most interesting, and more important topics to cover. Even now, as I’m stream-of-consciousness-ing this thing together, I’m still fighting to cobble the pieces. But, there is a reason why I mention the foregoing - a seemingly futile reason:

People Aren’t Reading Anymore!

No, no, no, no. That “people” reference obviously does not include my beloved, enlightened, and better-smelling-than-most audience here. But, in general, it is a growing problem.

A recent study found that among today’s high schoolers, only two percent read the daily news and a third haven’t read anything in the past year. Staggering. A silver lining is that fewer teens are watching pre-programmed nonsense via movies and traditional television. But they still stare at screens all day, jumping from one app to the next in a frantic effort to communicate something trivial to someone largely unknown. A mass of media, a dearth of intellectual understanding. Sadly, it’s not just the kids.

They call this new bookless thing the “postliterate society.” I think I shall refrain from membership therein. But I’ve used the term “postliterate” myself from time to time, perhaps without really understanding what it is or how it truly affects the culture.

Hook the book in the nook. Picture from Medium.

In the brave new world, some say that reading and writing is no longer a necessity. We’re led to believe that many know how to read, they just don’t want to read. Per Bruce Powe: “the literate sensibility no longer occupies a central position in culture, society, and politics.” I hesitate to agree, but I think that is us in a nutshell … maybe an accurate description of the literary lives of the under-40 generations.

Ironically, Fahrenheit 451 is noted as a fictional postliterate society. If no one reads the books, what’s the point in burning them? Ah well, at least we’ve got the mechanical hound.

Education professionals have noticed the ramifications. Says Connecticut high school history teacher Christopher Doyle:

Books, long idealized as foundational shapers of intellect, no longer mold young people's minds. While continuing to tout their merits, educators marginalize books and have not come to grips with the book's declining role in society. Over the last few years, my high school students' facility for print culture has atrophied markedly. They also exhibit cognitive blind spots for narratives and higher meanings. Their educations even contribute to post-literacy.

Post-literate schooling does isolate students from narrative structures conveying meaning. It also juvenilizes via technologies that oversimplify and denigrate analysis. Such tools contribute to overwhelm and disconnect: Kids drown in data bereft of higher logic.

[Double Emphasis, mine].

Those unable to critically process or synthesize the information “drown in data bereft of higher logic.” As I said, “A mass of media, a dearth of intellectual understanding.” Otherwise capable minds atrophy as one lesson after another passes unobserved right before the eyes. Those not capable of grasping the obvious are much more susceptible to the various maladies of greater society. They fail to recognize patterns in reality. One could easily use this as a partial explanation for falling IQ’s, rising BMI’s, drunkenness and drug addiction, rising debts, falling longevity, declining health, collapsing morals, political superstitions, economic ignorance, the trading of freedom for security, and even the emulation of hideous “celebrity.”

Even when concepts are semi-understood, there’s often a lack of appreciation for concomitant context. Worse, some are just smart enough to attempt to derail the thought train for everyone else. Here - I get to work in another topic - please see the example of “Saint Gamma” and his misplaced (and incorrect) comments on last week’s TPC column (about number six, as added by me from Facebook).

Last week I made the twin points that Christianity is under attack and that child molestation is bad. I also warned against Facebook participation via my endnote. Sooooooo, the Right Rev. Just-Bright-Enough-to-be-a-Nuisance chimed in, on Facebook!, with concocted nonsense, demonstrably false and 100% off topic. He ignored what I wrote, planted his own fantastic ideas which render just about everyone other than himself a heretic, and then failed to offer any solution to the fake problem of his own creation. His addition was useless outside of helping me make a point, here, and giving me something to rebut, there. Thanks, Bub...

In fairness, I did a modicum of research on the man. He seems harmless, well-meaning even. But he has a very limited and biased grasp of his own chosen field of expertise. Bereft of higher logic (in this case about Higher Logic), he embraces cognitive blindness to deftly dodge the narrative. Based on my own observations of late, casual and professional, I think he’s in the majority now. But,

We Can Fix It! Here’s How:

  • Read! Everything. Reverse the curse. Read books, newspapers, and the back of the cereal box. Skim words in languages you don’t even know.

  • Aside from however you peruse TPC, lay off the screens. Someone else will crush the candy.

  • Consider (strongly) at least a partial boycott of TeeVee and the Mooo-vies. By and large, they both jumped the shark a long time ago. And went back and did it again. And then started beating the poor fish. It’s a stinking mess…

  • Read some more. Seek out things in which you previously had no interest. Look for ideas and opinions contrary to your own. Challenge yourself.

  • Exercise. Pump iron. Run. Walk. Move. Physical exertion (and healthy eating) not only improves the body, it also stimulates the mind.

  • So stimulated, start thinking hard about everything you read and, especially, everything you see and hear outside the written word. Learn to run a little critical analysis on everything. If nothing else, it makes life more fun.

  • Finally, whatever else you do, please remember to always check in with TPC at least once per day. Twice a day is even better.

Seriously. Don’t let MB down.

That’s it for today, for this week. A preview of possible topics for next week (to which I am not bound in the slightest): there’s an election coming (I can smell it); someday soon we may all find out what happens when there is too much debt; or too much migration; a new Tolkien book (yes, a new Tolkien book) is due imminently; there’s a new cigar in the making, and, of course; there’s always the threat of another short fictional story. Or something.

*Another Facebook Note: Your author has fled the Zuckerberg plantation. While not expecting anyone else to join me in freedom, I do ask that cogent comments to these articles be directed here, via the cute little comment button due south. In theory, I suppose one could still comment on FB: “If a reader comments on Facebook and Perrin isn’t around to read it, will Zuck and the Trust Brigade still ban it?” I may never know...

Fellow Terry College of Business (UGA) grad Brother Perrin Lovett is a true renaissance gentleman & scholar. A recovering attorney, he's into guns & cigars, and the US Constitution. A published authorPrepper columnist & YouTube personality, and an acclaimed blogger, TPC is very proud to have our old friend on board as the C.F. Floyd Feature Writer of National Affairs

28 August 2018

[Kayla's Corner] - Plain Nuts, Rustic Flair, Karaoke on the Square & Under the Wheel live at the 5!

Keeping an Eye on Covington & Beyond

Hey, y'all! Hope everybody's doing okay out there. I've missed you the last couple of weeks & I'm so glad to be back with you to give you the 411 on what's happening around town! 

This week I'd like to talk about two of my favorite places. 

Plain Nuts Delilocated on Monticello St right off the Square, is one of the best restaurants around. Their sandwiches & burgers are so good, and the Plain Nuts burger? SO YUMMY! And they're famous for their sides, too. Some of the best pasta salad & potato salad you'll ever try. On top of all that, the prices are surprisingly good! They're only open for lunch from 11 to 2, so be sure to get by & check them out. 

1136 Monticello St
30014 Covington, Georgia(770) 788-8182

Rustic Flair has got to be one of the coolest shops ever! And Marci Bennett is just the best! Her little boutique has all kinds of super cute clothes, gifts, jewelry, dream catchers & accessories. 

5177 Floyd St
30014 Covington, Georgia(770) 728-1261

And you always have to check out Stella! 

Stella's so pretty!

Looks like Stella is ready for football season! GO DAWGS! 


As usual, it's shaping up to be another fun-filled weekend here in Covington. 

This Friday it's another round of Karaoke on the Square! Word on the street is that this thing is starting get pretty big. Make sure to swing by, but if you're gonna swing by - you might as well sing one! 

And it's another big weekend of music at Greg Rogers' awesome spot, Five O'Clock Sports Bar & Grill. Saturday, in particular, is looking like a lot of fun as Under the Wheel will be bringing their mix of Classic & Southern Rock to Covington's rock'n'roll spot. And like I mentioned last time - try those wings! They are too good! 

Okay, you guys, great to back with you & I'll see you right here until next time!

Kayla's Corner: Keeping an Eye on Covington

Author of TPC recurring piece, "Kayla's Corner," Ms. Leasure is originally a Walton Co. gal who studied marketing & advertising & loves the beach, the woods & her dogs while keeping herself busy with multiple projects & endeavors. She has her finger on the pulse of the home county like no other & is always "keeping an eye on Covington." A beautiful lady, inside & out, it is The Chronicles' true privilege to have her talents as part of our team. 

27 August 2018

[MBM] - Longtime JDA Chairman Alan Verner's Farm To Be Site of Energy Substation From Stanton Springs Line Extension

As written about by the Morgan County Citizen, a proposed $27 million dollar project by the Georgia Transmission Corporation would run high voltage lines out of Stanton Springs approx. 6 miles away to Verner Farms in Morgan Co where a new substation would be built. The new Stanton Springs station would be called, "ThumbsUp" (Facebook reference, I suppose) & the Verner Farms substation would be called, "Verner Farms."

Verner Farms is owned & was operated (now closed as of a few months ago) by Alan Verner. Alan Verner is the longtime chairman of the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Newton, Morgan & Walton Counties which has oversight over the much-ballyhooed Stanton Springs project which includes Baxter, Baxalta, Shire & the recently-landed Facebook data center.

Several have raised concerns about this situation as to whether or not there were any improprieties, undue influence or quid pro quo involved, since this project is coming from Stanton Springs, which is under the purview of the JDA, of which Alan Verner has been the longtime Chair. So naturally I thought I'd look into it since, after all, that's what I do... 


My first step was reaching out to Ms. Terry Cole with the Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC), an entity owned by Georgia's Electric Membership Cooperatives. GTC is an organization that plans & develops energy substations & transmission lines throughout the state. As for the funding mechanism of this project, this is what I learned: 

With regard to the question about funding, the ThumbsUp to Verner Farms projects are funded the same as all GTC projects.  We borrow money from the federal RUS (Rural Utility Service) fund to finance projects, and then our costs are spread across the 38 EMCs in the state who are our owners.  

I'd also asked about the methodology they used with planning & laying out these projects. Apparently they used a siting model that factors in feasibility, cost-effectiveness, ease-of-access (using existing easements, for example) & that, according to Ms. Cole, they do not look at or even know who the landowners are until after the siting model has mapped out the best route.

So what about the specific numbers & particulars? This is what I received on that: 

Project Cost:  This includes all engineering design, civil and site work, construction, permitting, land acquisition, legal, and other associated costs.

Approximately $11 million for the ThumbsUp Substation
Approximately $8.5 million for the Verner Farms Substation
Approximately $8 million for the ThumbsUp to Verner Farms Transmission Line

My next question regarded how much was spent on land acquisition costs for the Verner Farms substation. 

As a matter of course GTC doesn’t publish land acquisition costs.  It’s included in the approximately $8.5 million total cost provided for the Verner Farms Substation. 

Also, Ms. Cole mentioned that there are three public meeting this week for any concerned citizens, AKA, "the stakeholders" (that's gotten to be a really big buzzword with governmental & quasi-governmental types, I've noticed). Those meetings are: 

The dates of the public meetings are below.  Each is a drop-in format from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday, August 27, 2018             
Philadelphia Baptist Church
4031 Davis Academy Rd
Rutledge, GA 30663

Thursday, August 30, 2018           
Georgia State University - Newton Campus
239 Cedar Ln Covington, GA 30014

Tuesday, August 28, 2018             
Rockdale Baptist Church - East Campus
2504 US-278 Social Circle, GA 30025

So, what to make of all of this? Good question. It does seem somewhat coincidental, being that Verner is involved with the JDA, but then again, based on the information from GTC - the JDA doesn't seem to have any involvement with this particular project. So...

We report; you decide? 

As always, thanks for reading. We'll keep an eye on it. And as we've written about in the past, there have been some definite concerns with Stanton Springs & the JDA over the years. Keep an eye out for some upcoming reports on this in the near future. 

- MB McCart, Editor

Your Source for the REAL Story

23 August 2018

[Bess Tuggle] - A Mother's Love: Remembering "Thing 1"

My head seems to gravitate on my eldest this week, Thing 1.

Being the oldest child isn’t easy. I know this for a fact, being the eldest of 4. My mother understands this too, being the eldest of two. As the eldest, we get in more trouble just because we’re the first child to do something. We also get into more trouble because we didn’t prevent our younger siblings from doing something stupid. By the time the youngest comes along most parents are tired, seasoned veterans, and happy that this will be the last time to see “whatever” until laughing at our children as they are going through the same things with their own children.

Thing 1 was a hot mess, and broke me in well. I’m sure his escapades are written in other columns, so I’ll spare those details. I –will- share the last time he came home.

I was getting married, again, and I didn’t really have a good track record with marriage. Managed to get some wonderful children along the way, but I can’t say anything better ‘n that.

Thing 1 had moved to California. After serving his time in the Army (Nationally Certified Medic), he had a change of heart. Packing parachutes and growing marijuana was his passion, and he was licensed and legal for both.

He came back home for one reason – to make sure his Mama wasn’t marrying another *#hole.

Not that the visit didn’t come with its own chaos. He beat me home and I arrived to find Thing 1 and a couple buddies drinking beer on the ridge of my roof – this, when I’m expecting my mother, grandmother and aunt to show up at any minute. I’m pretty sure yelling at the kids on the roof (they will –always- be my kids) in the front yard didn’t earn me any brownie-points with the neighbors.

Then came the night where he really got to know his soon-to-be step-dad. They stayed up –ALL- night talking. Apparently it was a really good night, because I ended up marrying the love of my life. I PROMISE it would not have gone through without Thing 1’s approval. He was –prepared- to tell the judge he objected if he thought so, and he would have been adamant.

He did wear a long beard to our wedding, against my approval. We were married on October 20, 2012 – and he planned to be a pirate for Halloween that year. I didn’t manage to get him to shave, but I did get him to put it in a pony-tail and tuck it under.

The last hug I got was putting him on the plane going back to California after our wedding. The last words I heard from him, while waiting in line for his last sky dive, were “Love you, Bye.”

He died August 24, 2013 in a skydiving accident.

Andrew Todd Cofer – aka Osamabin Cofer Lebowski
September 16, 1989 – August 24, 2013.

Bess Tuggle

A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.