31 March 2022

It's Been 80 Days Since The University of Georgia Last Won a National Championship in Football: my UGA Piece

How 'Bout Them Dawgs! 

Ed. note: this is a piece I've been working on off & on for the better part of two months. At one time I had a rambling draft pushing 2,000 words that I ended up scrapping. But, finally, here it goes. - MBM

My first distinct memories of UGA football were as a 5-yr old boy in 1980, the season UGA last won it all in the 1981 Sugar Bowl vs. Notre Dame. 

Apparently I went to a couple of games that year in Sanford Stadium but don't have any specific recollections of those; however, I do vividly remember watching that Sugar Bowl on the TV New Year's Day. 

My parents, brother & I had driven down to southeast Mississippi to visit w/ my aunt, uncle & cousins a couple days before. On the 1st they went down to NOLA & my brother, cousin & myself watched it in my aunt's living room in Greene Co, MS. 

I definitely remember the "longest onside kick in college football history" as well as Herschel's over-the-top soon thereafter. And then the sea of red that engulfed the field once the game ended. 

I've previously written about some special Bulldogs memories in this space such as the time my dad directed traffic to get us out of south campus & also my first trip to Columbia, SC (that didn't go so well). 

My most vivid memories from my childhood were in the mid '80s when maybe things weren't quite as good vs the few years before but did provide for some of my most exciting & passionate experiences, being that we always went to home games as well as a few road trips.

Hell, I was a member of the Junior Bulldog Club complete w/ a membership card signed by one of my true heroes -- Vince Dooley

Later, I matriculated at The University (and remember, you have to pronounce it in that proper, genteel southern way) from September of '93 to December of '97, the end of the Goof Goff era & beginning of the Donnan years, so those were pretty lean times though the 1997 season was definitely a highlight especially w/ the victory in Jacksonville over the dreaded Spurrier-coached Gators. 

The Richt years, for the most part, were really great. He definitely set the table for Kirby & will forever & always be a DGD! Plus, he's just a prince of a fella. Love that guy.  

A friend of mine not too long after the national championship game who is a very loyal supporter of another SEC program said something along the lines of this to me: 

"It's really not surprising or bothersome that y'all've been so damn arrogant & insufferable. Hell, you've been that way for 41 years." 


And he's right, you know. 

It's for good cause, however. We ARE the best. Always have been & always will be. Regardless of the fact that we've only technically won three national championships (if we counted 'em like the techies, it'd be more like seven) - putting us maybe just a step below a handful of the blueboods - we've always been the best. Uga. Downtown Athens. The Chapel Bell. The Hedges. Go You Silver Britches! The splendor of North Campus. So on & so forth; or, to quote the great one, Larry Munson: 

There is no tradition more worth of envy, no institution worthy of such loyalty, as the University of Georgia.

But, and this is the kicker I believe, we were due. We really were. And the catharsis of January 10th, and just the sheer, brilliant joy of it, was damn well earned & deserved. 



18 March 2022

Ellis Millsaps: Tallulah & The Dog

 I know you've been dying to know what I've been up to lately. Well fret no more.

 I've been talking a lot about dogs lately, but I've simultaneously continued my voracious reading binge. (Although a dog will turn up before this is over.) At first I concentrated on things I'd always meant to read but hadn't, e.g. Tolstoy, and then on things I read long ago that I wanted to reread, e.g. The Magic Mountain , Fair and Tender Ladies.

Then I started on a project to read every winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. That constitutes around a hundred  books. Recently I’ve knocked off seventeen, pretty much starting with the most recent and going back in time. Coupled with the eight I’d already read I'm about a forth of the way through.

But I've had offshoots into other works by Pulitzer winners when I discover a writer I particularly like.  My favorites of these are Bel Canto by Ann Patchet and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles whose excellent The Lincoln Highway is under consideration for the prize  this year. I'm also usually mixing in a work of nonfiction. I'm currently reading The 1619 Project. Several of its essayists have been awarded Pulitzers in fields other than fiction. 

At the same time for the past month or so I’ve spent some time most days learning Spanish or somewhat relearning it. Seven or eight years ago I learned enough to be somewhat able to carry on a conversation with native speakers. I learned  the first time by listening to CDs on my way to work and back and by attending the Hispanic Baptist Church at Calvary for a year or so. This time I'm relearning from unlimited lessons from Babel on my laptop.

 The first time I was prompted by a mistaken notion that Spanish fluency would get me some Latino clients– mistaken because I had no experience in immigration law, a very specialized field necessary to attracting those clients. This time I'm inspired and challenged by my five year old granddaughter who’s learning Spanish at school in New Orleans. Here we see her instructing her dog Soul Train. Soul Train in his six years has developed understanding of a few words in English but as you shall see is bewildered and befuddled by Spanish.


(“No me gusta, Soul Train,” means - “You are not pleasing me, Soul Train.”) 

 - Ellis Millsaps

16 March 2022

A Check-in From Your Semi-esteemed & Maybe Slightly Lazy Editor

 Greetings, Old Friends. 

Well, when I previously publicly announced the format change I'd promised at least a post a week. For the previous three months we've averaged 3 posts per month, so more like a post every week & a half approximately. 

Hey, not too bad. 

The Road Ahead 

The latest from Da will hit on Friday. It's, not surprisingly, a superb piece & I can't wait to get it out there. 

Next week I will finally be releasing my "art piece" on the UGA National Championship in football. After having at one time been pushing 2,000 words, it's going to end up being right around a grand. 

W/in the next few weeks I'll be publishing a history column on a card game gone wrong replete w/ whiskey & murder that occurred in the home city over a hundred years ago. 

Stay Tuned...

As always, we appreciate you reading. 

- MBM 

02 March 2022

Guest Post by Lee Weber: Baseball is Important

Baseball is Important

It is particularly important to three types of Americans.
Older Americans.
Those with disabilities.
Kids have time.
And few responsibilities.
And imagination.
Gives them something to be excited about every day.
Older Americans.
They’re home.
For the last few years.
Gives them something to be excited about.
Those with disabilities.
They can’t always get out and about.
Or may not be able to see.
Gives them something to be excited about.
Baseball is a radio sport.
Always has been.
Always will be.
The crack of the bat.
The punch of the ball in the mitt.
The sound of the umpire’s call.
Am not a kid, an older American, or disabled.
Baseball is important to me.
Nothing like a game on the radio on a long drive.
Gives me something to be excited about.
“Baseball isn’t a pastime.”
“It’s a habit.”
“They play almost every day.”
George Will.
Baseball is important.
Now to be unpleasant.
The Commissioner has two jobs.
Make sure they play the games.
Protect the integrity of the game.
Rob Manfred has failed on both.
The All-Star game nonsense.
The lock-out.
This guy is bad at his job.
Fire him immediately.
Baseball is important.

image: wp.wmu.edu

Lee Weber Lee shares his time between the Great States of Georgia & South Carolina. A headhunter & politico by trade, he's been known to cook game birds on his cast iron stove. He has a true affinity for nature & loves dogs, sports, America & his family.