Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Tech’

Georgia Plays Auburn in Columbus and Almost Nobody Comes

May 15, 2016

About 40 spectators turned out for the historic game, historic because it’s the first time Georgia has played Auburn in Columbus since 1958. The Georgia-Auburn football classic was arguably the biggest sports and social event of the year in Columbus. (I thought it left Columbus because it outgrew Memorial Stadium, but a comment listed below says otherwise.*)

Georgia--Auburn Football Game,, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, 1895. The claissic switched to Columbus, GA in 1920, leaving in 1958 and now alternates between Aubiurn, AL and Athens, GA. They first started playing in 1892 in Atlanta.

Georgia–Auburn Football Game,, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, 1895. The claissic switched to Columbus, GA in 1920, leaving in 1958 and now alternates between Aubiurn, AL and Athens, GA. They first started playing in 1892 in Atlanta.

There was a major difference in the 1958 and 2016 game,  college football and college Ultimate Frisbee. Columbus media ignored the USA Ultimate league’s Southeast Regional Tournament that was held April 30th — May  1s  at the Woodruff Farm Soccer complex in Columbus.  There were sixteen teams from major Southeast universities, including Georgia Tech. 
Georgia beat Auburn in the final game and, along with 2nd Place Florida State and 3rd Place Auburn,  goes to the National Championship Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina May 27th through 30th. ESPN3 does stream the championship games. 
The only reason I knew about the Columbus tournament is that Georgia’s star player Parker Bray is the grandson of my friend Julie Bray. We were among the very few who saw him make some spectacular plays in the Alabama and LSU games. (I didn’t make the Auburn game.) 
Perhaps media ignored the event because Ultimate Frisbee is a stepchild (club) college sport. The teams pay most of their expenses.  I enjoyed the games because I’m into  lifelong learning.  Like most folks, I knew almost nothing about Ultimate Frisbee. Now I know that a team scores when a player catches a disc in the opposing team’s end zone. It’s billed as non-contact sport, but Parker ended up in a hospital for more than a week after one game. When two fast and strong young men are racing to catch a disc, collisions will happen. A  player can’t throw a disc while moving, but must pass it within 10 seconds. There are no referees in college Frisbee. The honor system is used. A game is over in an hour and a half, or when one team scores 15 points first. It’s fast and fun to watch. The players are amazingly accurate when they throw those floating discs, and it’s not unusual for them to make diving catches.
It appeared that Georgia and Auburn had the largest groups of spectators. (I saw no spectators at a Georgia Tech game.) Auburn even had a ‘band!” Well, actually, one trombonist who played the National Anthem before their games. For the championship game, the Georgia team also sang “Amazing Grace.” Really.   The teams are very spirited and do their own cheers after scoring a point. One of the Jojah – that’s the logo name of the Georgia team- cheers is “Jojah, Jojah” followed by barking like a bulldog four times. Those kids have fun and it’s fun to watch them.    
There is also a women’s division. Maybe we can get their Southeast Regional Tournament next year. 
*When I ran a post on the Georgia-Auburn football classic in 2012, I recevied this comment on the reason the game was moved in 1958. I had always heard it was because the crowds outgrew Memorial Stadium, but I got this comment that says otherwise.
Jesse C. Gordon III Says:
Nice commentary, but the reason the series was mover to home and away was Auburn wanted another home game.Columbus(my Grandfather,Auburn graduate, was involved in the politics of the situation at the time) offered to expand Columbus Memorial up to 70,000 capacity. Auburn said no.And that is the long and the short of why the series went to home and away. In 1959 Neither Auburn nor Georgia seated more than the 35,000 Memorial Stadium held.Somewhere in city hall one may find the plans submitted showing an expanded Columbus Memorial with a complete second tier, still horseshoe shaped.Would have been the 2nd. largest stadium in the South behind old Tulane Stadium.

*

 

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The Trouble with Football

December 15, 2014

 

Retired legendary Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins

Retired legendary Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins

Bobby Cremins, the most successful Georgia Tech basketball coach ever – the school named its basketball court after him – talked as much about football as basketball when he spoke to  members of the Rotary Club of Columbus. That’s because the paying-players controversy affects basketball and all college sports. If you pay football players, you have to pay all team sport athletes. Not everyone agrees. Some say you pay the players that bring in the big bucks. That’s the way capitalism works.  People, they assert, who say you have to pay all of them are just using that as an excuse to keep from paying any.

Cremins agrees the players should get more of the “ridiculous” amount of money the TV networks are paying to broadcast the games.  When they see the schools and coaches getting millions of dollars, while they play the games and take the physical risks and get only a scholarship for and room and board, they feel cheated.  He says they have a case, but he is opposed to paying them.  Instead, he is for giving them a stipend.  So paying them a $5,000-a-month stipend, the figure being considered by the NCAA, is not paying them. Uh huh.

While college football is riding high now, the future is not so rosy.  A recent poll shows that 50 percent of American parents don’t want their sons to play football.  All the news about the brain injuries caused by concussions and about kids dying from injuries is taking its toll. Also, the news about brutal and criminal off-the-field behavior by some players has its effects.  College players are produced by high school football.

As for me, I enjoy a good game, especially if Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, or Auburn are playing.  Still, as I have said before, if I had a young son, I would not want him  playing football. The physical risks are just too great.  It’s just not worth it.

 

 

SENSATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS!!!

August 26, 2013

Mercer University Cranks up Football Again and Will Play Georgia Tech

Yes, after 72 years, Mercer University goes back into the football  business. College  football is a business, one that makes good money for the coaches and the schools, but not the players, who take the greatest risks by putting their bodies in harm’s way.

When I was attending Mercer, I  heard some tales about how the school decided to drop football after the  University  of Georgia beat the Bears 100 to 0 in Porter Stadium in Macon in 1941.  That tale turned out to be apocryphal.  I checked out the records, and the score was only 81 to 0.   It was Georgia Tech that ran up the biggest score against Mercer,  105 to 0 in 1914;  however, Mercer did beat  Georgia Tech in the first game Tech ever played.  In 1892, Mercer beat Tech 12 to 6.  It never beat  Tech again.  Mercer’s first game was also Georgia’s first game.  Georgia won 50 to 0, and Mercer never beat Georgia over the 49 years that they played. (They didn’t play every year.) And as far as dropping football because of the Georgia score, that’s not  the reason given. Mercer suspended all sports during World War II. It considered restarting  the football program after the war, but decided the $50,000 it would cost was too much.

Georgia Tech has agreed to play a non-conference game with Mercer as its 2016 season opener.  Tech says it is doing it to show  support for college football in Georgia.  That’s why it agreed to also  play Georgia Southern. Mercer will probably lose the game, but the money  should be good since Bobby  Dodd Stadium at Grant  Field holds 55,000 people and the TV money (if this  game is televised)  ain’t chicken feed.  Mercer’s new stadium will seat 10,200.

Mercer will play in the NCAA Division 1 Pioneer League this year.  It’s a non-scholarship league similar to the Ivy League which is also an NCAA Division 1 league.  That’s just for this year. Next season the team will move to  the NCAA Division 1 Southern Conference, which is a football scholarship league.

Mercer’s first game is in Macon Saturday against Reinhardt, which is located at Walesa, Georgia, which is near Alpharetta. .  This year the Bears will be playing schools as far away as California and New York.

The  big question is why the school  decided to do it. President William Underwood is quoted on the Mercer football website as saying, “This kind of college football will enhance our academic reputation by aligning us with other outstanding universities that compete in Division I non-scholarship football and by making Mercer even more competitive in attracting the most sought-after students.”  I suppose that  reasoning will still hold true when the team switches in 2014  to  the Southern Conference, which is an athletic scholarship league.    

 

Alabama is Not Number One

October 16, 2012

The University of Alabama may be number one in football nationally,but academically it’s number 77, according to the U.S. News rankings.  Harvard, whose football coach makes less than $90 thousand a year, and whose professors make an average of $198 thousand, is in first place.  Alabama’s professors make an average of about $130 thousand a year, while the football coach makes more than $5.3 million.

The highest ranking University in Georgia and Alabama is Emory in Atlanta. It’s 20th in the nation. It’s professors average pay is $153,000, and it has no football team.  The second highest ranked university in the two states is Georgia Tech.  It is 36th in the nation. The average pay for a professor at Tech is more than $141 thousand, higher than Alabama, Georgia, or Auburn.  Yes, it does have a famous football team that even beats Georgia every now and then.   

One of the main justifications for paying more than $5 million a year to Alabama coach Saban is that having a winning football team causes alumni to donate big bucks to the school.  The best endowed university in the world is Harvard,  and it offers no athletic scholarships.  Emory, with no football team.  also has huge endowments.  There are people with a lot of money who value academic achievement more than football.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good college football game and watch some Georgia, Tech, Alabama, and Auburn games on TV, and always want them to win when they aren’t playing each other.  When they are playing each other, I usually pull for the underdog.  My son went to Tech, three great nephews of mine played in the Georgia Redcoat Band, another great-nephew of mine played in the Alabama Million Dollar Band.  

Then there is the Georgia-Auburn game that was played in Columbus until 1958 (I think it was 1958).  I always enjoy that one because it brings back memories when I got to see All-American Charley Trippi play back in the 1946.  I was 15-years-old.  My family sat in the cheap seats in the end zone and were glad to be there. Hey, it’s the best place in the stadium to see touchdowns.  I loved it when the Auburn Band played the Tiger Rag with the tubas waving back and forth when they roared.  Does the band still do that?  And I always got a kick when the Redcoat Band played Glory Glory to Old Georgia. I know they still do that because I heard it at a Dawg Walk before a relatively recent game with Auburn in Athens.  

Yes, I enjoy college football, but I do not value it over academics, and I don’t think coaches should make millions off the hard work and talent of college kids who get paid nothing for their efforts and taking the physical risks inherent in football. No football coach is worth forty times as much as a professor. 

 

Why Did An Auburn U. Ag Student Die From Drinking Milk?

September 1, 2009

Georgia will beat Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech will beat Georgia. Auburn will beat Alabama. Alabama will beat Auburn.  That’s what the Rotary Club of Columbus Fearless Forecasters predicted last Wednesday.

They got laughs for their sometimes funny insults.  One of them said,  An Auburn student died the other day from drinking milk.  The cow sat on him.”

Now, here are the Fearless Forecasters’ predictions for this season’s football games played by Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. Should you use their predictions when you place your bets?  Well, let’s just say … they try.

For Auburn, Judge Bill Smith – he’s a retired Superior Court Judge, who still judges on a part-time basis – predicts Auburn will go 9-3 and beat rival Alabama 21-13.

Judge Bill Smith, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Judge Bill Smith, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

For Georgia Tech, Frank Etheridge, a retired banker,  got to crow a lot about Georgia Tech beating Georgia last year, even it was the first time in seven years.  He believes Tech will have a great season, winning 10 and losing 2 games.  He says Tech will beat Georgia 35-28.

Frank Etheridge (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Frank Etheridge (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Mac Plummer, St. Francis Hospital executive, who never went to Alabama, fronts for Alabama because, while his college team is West Point since he went there,  he says if you live in South Alabama you have to be for either ALabama or Auburn, and he picked Alabama.  He predicts Alabama will go 11- 1, and will beat Auburn.

Mac Plummer, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Mac Plummer, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

And attorney Ron Mullins,  representing the Bulldogs, predicted Georgia will go 10-2, and beat Tech 38-24. 

Ron Mullins, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

Ron Mullins, Rotary Club of Columbus, GA (Courtesy: Jim Cawthorne, Camera1)

My prediction?  One of my alma maters, Mercer University, will not beat Georgia. That’s because it won’t play Georgia.  It won’t play anybody because it has no team. But, it did. In fact, the first football game Georgia played was in 1892 against Mercer.  The Bulldogs won 50-0.   Georgia’s legendary coach Wally Butts played on  Mercer’s team in the late 1920’s.  Mercer did manage to beat  Georgia Tech that year. It was also the first game played by a Tech team.

The Fearless Forecasters program always draws a lot of guests to the “downtown” Rotary Club.  After all, college football is big deal in our corner of Georgia and Alabama, and all of us need a few laughs to get us through the day.   

Passionate Blogging

December 4, 2008

  Maybe I’ve been doing this blogging thing the wrong way. Instead of trying to post a well-written think piece, I should simply give vent to my passions and not worry about details like literary excellence. That’s what I took from Arianna Huffington when she was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. She was on the show to plug her book on how to blog. It’s titled The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging.

  She said the key to successful blogging is to write about your passions, and to not worry about a blog post being a finished product.  In other words, don’t spend a lot of time trying polish your posts.

  I don’t spend a lot of time doing that, but I do try to make the post readable and get the grammar as correct as possible. I take a few liberties and sometimes use sentence fragments because that’s the way I speak and just about everyone else speaks. I remember one of my English Literature professors saying that before you can get away with breaking the rules, you have know them. She said, “When you are writing for me, you have to convince me that you know the rules. Don’t break them.” I don’t claim to know the rules flawlessly, but I’m not being graded by her any more so I’ll break the ones I do know when I feel like it.

 Arianna said that when you blog you should write about your passions. Once I figure what they are now, maybe I’ll concentrate on them. They have changed over time. Once I was very passionate about being an actor.  I acted in a few plays for Theater Atlanta when I was working at WSB Radio, and I appeared in a number of Columbus Little Theater productions before CLT morphed into the Springer Opera House, and then a few more productions there. I decided that the pay for all that work wasn’t adequate.  All the local actors did it for “the love of it,” but the Springer started bringing in outsiders who did it for the money. Once a dollar value was put on playing a lead in a play, I decided, no pay, no play.

I definately had a passion for being a radio announcer, which I satisfied by doing it, and when television came to Georgia, I decided I had a passion for that and did it for more than forty years. I got paid for that so I knew I was valuable. But, that passion has been satisfied and I don’t have it any more. I could still do it because…well, I know how.  If I came up with a specific topic I wanted to do a documentary on, I could become passionate about it.

I am passionate about my family, my children and grandchildren, and I have occasionally written about them, but I don’t want to invade their privacy so I keep that to a minimum.

I still love music, good theater, music, literature, art, and my interest in football has been rekindled. I am enjoying the Falcons this year. Maybe it’s because they are winning a few games. Also, I have been watching Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Auburn games.  Alabama is awesome. “Awesome” is a much over-used word, but, in this case, it really is an accurate adjective. I was glad they beat Auburn because losing six in a row in that classic rivalry made me feel sorry for them. The same with Georgia Tech and Georgia. Tech had lost seven in a row. That’s too much so I was glad they pulled off that three-point win.   

And, yes, I am passionate about politics, and I do occasionally write about that.

Maybe I’ll make Arianna happy and buy her book, or maybe I’ll check it out at the library and save the money, or maybe I’ll ignore it. It will just depend on my passion about it.