In case you haven’t noticed---and, judging by the comment thread, you haven’t---basketball season just ended, which means the countdown to G-Day officially is underway!
G-Day means a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, G-Day is about tailgating, friends, family, Athens in the springtime, drunks climbing trees, the mixed emotions that come from the knowledge that every good sign is also a bad sign (e.g., a 40-yard touchdown pass means the offense is in rhythm, but it also means our secondary is suspect), and the determination of which players are going to be "my guys" come autumn.
You know what I mean. You root for the team, first, last, and always, but, within that context, there are particular players you want to see do well. Oftentimes, these players are identified at G-Day. When Asher Allen broke the rules and blocked an extra point at the spring game as a youngster, I became an Asher Allen fan, and I have never stopped being an Asher Allen fan.
I’m sure one or two incoming athletes will make their mark at the spring scrimmage, but, for the moment, aside from the obvious guys for whom everyone who bleeds red and black is rooting (i.e., Orson Charles, Joe Cox, Jeff Owens), these are "my guys" for 2009:
1. Chad Gloer: I will admit up front that I have a bias here. Chad’s dad, Jon Gloer, is a history teacher at Starr’s Mill High School, where my wife also teaches. Consequently, I keep an eye out for No. 17 on special teams and I want the Fayetteville walk-on to do well. I have praised Chad’s gritty play before, and I’d like to see him get more opportunities to make his mark on Saturdays.
2. Tavarres King: In spite of the fact that we have the same last name, Tavarres and I are not related. However, he has a couple of things going for him, starting with the fact that his father, Anthony King, was a tight end for Clemson. While Georgia’s exchange program with Auburn generally is reciprocal (z.B., we got Vince Dooley, they got Pat Dye; we got Erk Russell, they got Shug Jordan; we got Stacy Searels, they got Will Muschamp, etc.), our swaps with our nearby border rivals from Lake Hartwell (a/k/a the New Testament Auburn) have been distinctly one-sided: Georgia coach Mark Richt’s son, Jon Richt, played for Clemson (albeit temporarily); Georgia tackle Jeff Harper’s son, Cullen Harper, played for Clemson; Georgia receiver Zippy Morocco’s son, Chris Morocco, played for Clemson; Georgia chancellor Patrick H. Mell’s son, Patrick Hughes Mell, became president of Clemson. It’s about time we got something in return. Moreover, an old friend of mine recently was introduced to Tavarres King, and, when he told the promising young athlete that he was looking forward to football season, the receiver replied, "Good. It is going to be a lot of fun." That’s the spirit. (Not only for that reason, incidentally, my friend came away with the sense that Tavarres King was a fine fellow, which is to his credit in this era of the Fulmer Cup.)
Those are two Bulldogs for whom I’ll be cheering especially enthusiastically this fall. Now it’s your turn to pick a player or three; which Georgia athletes will you be rooting for with particular gusto when it’s time to tee it up between the hedges?