Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

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.



Would You Want Your Teenager to Play High School Football?

October 13, 2014

After learning that MCSD Superintendent David Lewis may propose building a new high school football stadium with new SPLOST money, I had to reflect on whether we should have high school  football.

“Concussion rates in the high school game are 78% higher than in college, according to  the Institute of Medicine,” reports an article in TIME, the same article that tells us that three high school players died within a week. A neurology professor says the teenage brain is still developing. The electrical wiring is not fully insulated. Neck muscles are weaker than college players.

When a University of Georgia player died from game injuries in 1897, the Georgia legislature passed a law banning college football.  The player’s mother asked the  governor  to veto the bill. He did.  Maybe he shouldn’t have.

If I had a teenager, would I want him to play high school football?  No. 




December 4, 2013


When an Alabama  football fan allegedly kills another fan because she made light of Alabama losing to Auburn, it raises the question of why people take a sports game so seriously. 

If you are making $7 million a year for coaching a team, as does Alabama’s Saban, you perhaps have reason to be concerned.  But, how many people are doing that?

A lot of people are having a rough time economically these days.

Healthcare and education costs are going through the roof.

America is ranking lower and lower among the developed countries of world in education, to say nothing of the fact that Georgia and Alabama are ranked near the bottom in the country.

Our country is still involved in its longest war in its history. 

Our country’s infrastructure is deteriorating.

And yet, taxpayers are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to build sports stadiums for private businesses. Papers like the Ledger-Enquirer are giving banner headlines to the outcome of a football game. The font size of the headline on Auburn beating Alabama was probably as large as the one proclaiming the end of World War II.

What the hell is going on?   



Yes, College Athletes Should be Paid

September 9, 2013

I’ve been saying it for years.  Now,  Time writer Sean Gregory is saying it to  millions.  I guess the magazine still has a circulation of millions.  It’s just not  fair to pay coaches millions and the players, who take the physical risks, nothing.

Alabama’s Sabin  gets $5.3 million a year.  Just about any  Alabama fan will quickly tell you he is worth it.  That championship team pulled in almost $82 million last year.  Some of that money goes to support sports programs that make nothing. O.K., let’s say he is worth it.  However, those fans didn’t go to see him play. They went to see college kids play.  He didn’t take any physical risks out on that football field.  But, he made a lot of money,  and they made nothing in salary. College athletes at the big schools are getting scholarships, which some college presidents say could come  to  $100 thousand in four years.  That’s $25 thousand a year. Gregory says, according to  the revenue they generate, the players should be getting at least $225,047 a year. And, the stars should get more than that. He’s right.  

There are some really prestigious universities that don’t have athletic scholarships. You know, Ivy League schools like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.  But, then, football is not their thing, even though college football started at Yale. They still have teams, but football doesn’t pull in millions there, and coaches salaries are quite modest. They don’t need football money.  Harvard, for instance, has a $30 billion endowment. Very valuable degrees are what  they provide.  


How do You Attract More Boys to Your University?

August 30, 2013


Tomorrow in Macon, Georgia, Mercer University fields a football team for the first time since 1941.  The team that it be playing, Reinhardt University of Walesa, Georgia, is playing its first game ever. Why are they doing it?

From what  I have  read, the school’s presidents say the same things that other university presidents are saying all over the country.  Football programs enhance the educational experience, raise a school’s profile, and attract more  students.  Mercer has its largest freshman class ever this year. How many girls do you think pick a school because of football?    

Of course, the football programs may also make  money  for  the schools.  But, that’s not a given.  The big  programs at schools like Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn make millions, but more small universities lose than make money on their programs.

11,000 fans are expected to show up for  the Mercer-Reinhardt game tomorrow, by the way. The stadium has 10,200 seats.  Will Mercer win the first game it has played in 72 years?  Who knows?  All we know is that Mercer has about 8,000 students, and Reinhardt has a little over 1,000.  Reinhardt has no record  since it has never played a game.  Mercer does have a record.  It won 3 and lost 6 games in 1941, the last year that it had a football team. 


February 6, 2013

So what. The way TV newscasts went on and on about this symbolizes what’s wrong with news media today.  It was worth a mention, but leading with it even the next morning and devoting so much time to it illustrates how sophomoric the media has become in its quest for ratings.  It’s disgusting. 

I or Me?

March 14, 2011


I just read a story about ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit being run out of Columbus, Ohio because some Ohio State fans didn’t like his attempt to be objective.  They didn’t want the former Ohio State football star to be objective. They wanted unabashed bias for the Buckeyes.  Maybe, though, that wasn’t the real reason.  Maybe it’s because he set a poor English grammar example for young people listening to his broadcasts. 

Just look at what he said defensively: “Nobody loves Ohio State more than me.” Did that “me” just jump right out at you?  Everyone knows that “me” is an objective pronoun, and “I” is a subjective pronoun.  Right? He should have said, “Nobody loves Ohio State more than I.”   Just add the understood words “love Ohio State” to the “I” at the end of the sentence and it makes sense. You wouldn’t say, “Me love Ohio State.” Well, maybe you would, but that’s your problem.

Anyway, the media example setters just make no effort anymore to use correct grammar.  Surely they know proper usage.  Maybe they figure that their audiences, especially sports audiences, can’t identify with some elitist, stuck-up guy who shows off by using correct pronouns.

Libraries Top Sports and Movies in Attendance

July 30, 2010

A computer area at the Columbus Public Library, Columbus, GA


Yes, there is hope for society.  More people go to public libraries than movies or sporting events.







To get the full story, go to this LINK.

Thanks to Chattahoochee Valley Libraries Director Claudya Muller for sending this to me.

Why was the 2010 BCS National Championship the Most Watched TV Show in a Year?

January 9, 2010


Not only Alabama won big Thursday night, but so did ABC.  According to By the Numbers,  the 2010 Citi BCS National Championship Bowl not only got more viewers than all the other major networks combined during the same time period,  it won the largest TV audience in a year’s time.  By the Numbers says  30,800,000 people watched.

Why? Well, it had almost everything: violence, action, combat, conflict, tragedy, joy, comedy, pathos, music, and a tremendous amount of suspense.  What it didn’t have was romantic sex. 

Maybe violence is a greater attraction than sex now.  The last few times I have been in a movie theater the endless previews of coming attractions showed one violent movie trailer after another, every one of them with that resounding, too-loud, electronic crashing sound and frantic music that accents every violent action.  I thought they really went too far when they ran that effect with a guy putting on his hat.  Ever hear of a hat making that kind of sound when you put it on?

Fort Benning’s Olympic Gold Medal Winners

August 27, 2008

  Something special happened today. I got to meet and shake hands with two fine young soliders, both Olympic Gold Medal winners. Both were introduced and given standing ovations at the Rotary Club of Columbus. Both are members of the Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning.

  PFC Vincent Hancock, who hails from Eatonton, Georgia, won his in the skeet shooting competition. Spc. Gelnn Eller, of Houston, TX, won his for double traps shooting.

Spc. Glenn Eller, Oympic Gold Medal Winner for Double Traps Shooting
Spc. Glenn Eller, Oympic Gold Medal Winner for Double Traps Shooting

PFC Vincent Hancock, Skeet Shooting Gold Medal