Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Bulldogs’


While watching Georgia Tech fall to Miami in college football last night, the current national climate had me wondering if I am a racist for supporting the Canes’ young Black coach over my sister’s college.  I wanted Tech to win but there’s something about see a door open for minorities—it’s like having a Black president.

College football and congressional politics go together.  After both teams opened the season with victories, the Canes were better prepared for this game; their scout team must have done a fine job of simulating the Yellow Jackets in practice.  The Blue Dog Democrats are playing the scout team role for their party in preparation for battles with the Republicans; they introduce a certain amount of conservatism.  The GOP’s craftiness dictates that they will rarely assist their opposition intentionally.  With the healthcare debate, the Blue Dogs and Tea Party protesters actually forced the Democrats to slow down and improve the proposals.  Thanks. 

As a life-long college football fan (remember USC’s Anthony Davis scoring at will against Notre Dame in ‘74), I know recruiting is half of the battle.  HBO is running a documentary called “The Rivalry” about the Michigan and Ohio State football.  Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard is one of the many Ohio natives who played for the Maize and Blue.  In my personal opinion, Georgia’s two political parties can’t recruit worth a flip. The Democrats keep coming up with senatorial candidates who can’t win statewide and their best possible senatorial recruits (the House Blue Dogs) would rather stay safe in their current division—like 12,000 students Valdosta State playing Division II football when they have twice the enrollment of the ACC’s Wake Forest University.  Blazers, it’s time to step up to the D1-AA. 

The GOP has their own method of recruitment for congressional candidates and that is their business since that is not my team.  But, dad-gum, why wouldn’t they create a sub-division of moderates like the Democrats did with the Blue Dogs (formerly the Dixiecrats.)  Their strategy clearly is to whip the nation into a paranoid frenzy to swell their traditional ranks and of course moderates and minorities are put-off by those techniques–good policies, questionable methods.

Georgia Bulldog Joe Cox patiently waited his turn behind NFL top draft pick Matthew Stanford.  While others would have transferred for more playing time, Cox stayed in Athens for one real year as QB1.  Other top passing quarterbacks joined teams only to learn that their role would be handing the ball to running backs.  If the GOP were wise they would recruit the middle Georgia Blue Dog who is uncomfortable with the liberal direction of the D party.  Peace…see you around….we’ll holler.  But, they are not wise with recruitment or with scouting.  The same Blue Dog will vote the will of his constituents over White House initiatives this congress.  But, not so fast because the core Democrat base in his district will likely say, “what about us” at some point. 

To finishing this football comparison, coaches often use players in the wrong positions.  When spending quality time with my nephews playing Playstation college football (okay, my friends would say “You Lie” because I do play alone more often than not), I take the fastest player on the team and put him at quarterback while running the Option formation from the shotgun—the Wildcat offense.  I don’t care if the guy is a receiver or even a defensive back—just run that option.  I tell my GOP friends that they should recruit the African American lady doctor who ran in one congressional district to run in middle Georgia (a few counties over) and they would make history.   Again, we like seeing new doors open.




USC v. ND  1974



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We learned this week that college football head coach Turner Gill of Buffalo and University of Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong feel they were passed up for other coaching positions because they have white wives.  I briefly attend UF during graduate school but decided that a Black college was the better place for me to study the specific subject matter of my field; the same reason I did not attend UGA for my last two years of undergrad. 


Sometimes, you want to be surrounded by people who are like-minded and yes UGA actually had more Black students than my HCBU but it did not feel right for me personally.  I think coach Gill’s and coach Strong’s wives are factors in the top level college coaching searches in the South but I think the bigger factor is that SEC and ACC head coaches are not just ball coaches. 


They are heads of subcultures (Bulldog Nation, Gator Nation, War Eagles, the Tide) that resonate in most aspects of southern life for professionals—marriage, friendship, business, and culture.  We use to say at Florida that we had culture and UGA had agriculture but seriously, the events surrounding gameday and the local alumni chapters would be similar to the African-American professional community in the south being involved with fraternities and sororities until death. 


A good-looking SEC football head coach travels the South to visit alumni chapters and encourage financial support for the university—some flirting necessary. While it might be a violation of EEOC regulations, coaches had better be tall and strong like Bear Bryant; smooth and cool like Richt, Dooley and Spurrier; or one helleva winner.   Fans and supporters make million dollar connections at team events.  SEC fans in there early 20s meet their spouses while watching the game at thousands of bars and clubs across the nation.  Ivy league southern politicians like Congressman Jim Marshall from Princeton actually are second-class socially to UGA and Tech grads. 


Black football players should feel comfortable at state schools because every citizen of the state technical owns these universities.  Gladiators of the gridiron bring glory and revenue to schools that sometime treat other Black students as guest or exchange students.  Mississippi State gave Sylvester Croom an opportunity that the University of Alabama should have given him (he played for Bear Bryant) but I was never confident that grumpy Croom would be fully accepted by the magnolia mansion crowd if he did not win the SEC champion soon. 


Those coaches are similar to congressmen and real dudes get weary of back-patting, picture-taking and half-smiling—it’s not just Xs and Os.


If certain SEC and ACC schools won’t give head coaching opportunities to Black coaches, then Miami’s Black coach can get the best Black talent (like Notre Dame gets the best Catholic talent) and win national champions.  To be fair, Black players can have a great experience with great White coaches like UF’s Urban Myers and USC Pete Carroll.  60 Minutes did a recent story about Carroll’s involvement with inner city Los Angeles gangs—he goes places I would never take my Black behind.    


The modern plantation system known as southern college and high school football needs change.  At Worth County High School (my HS) in Sylvester, Georgia, Robert Toomer broke Herschel Walker’s rushing records (7,866 yards) before going to LSU.  But, he can’t get the WCHS head-coaching job for some reason.  On one side of the railroad tracks in this small southern town, an infant boy gets a red and black football put in his hands shortly after birth in hopes that he will play for the bulldogs one day—most never do.  On the other side of tracks, infant boys wear Nike basketball shoes despite the fact they can’t walk, in hopes they will play in the NBA—most never do.


Football coach lead players who will hopeful be  prepared for life.  The sweet part of the deal is that young Black football players in the SEC and ACC who form life-long business connections with their teammates, classmates and “the Nation” will benefit more than those who have short-lived, inquiry-plagued NFL careers.  If someone is trying to use you, use them for education and networking: a situation of mutual benefit.  Bulldog Nation did not trip when Herschel Walker was winning games for them and dating the woman (who doesn’t look like him) who later because his wife.  Evidently, they really wanted to win championships but that punches holes in coach Gill’s and coach Strong’s white wife argument. 


As for me, my bank account would be nicer if I gained entrance into the Bulldog Nation or fully membership in Gator Nation.  Funny thing: I appreciate the opportunity UF gave me and yes, some Black folks are screwed over at Black colleges.  

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