Having spent most of the past year frequenting the Dawg Sports site for entertainment, enlightenment, and general information about my beloved Dawgs, I felt compelled to add my story to the growing collection of "Dawgographies" I have hesitated this long because I am a firm believer that if you have nothing intelligent to say, remain quiet. I'm not sure this qualifies as intelligent, but I no longer want to be thought of as a forum "stalker" as my son would say.
Like many of you, my path to UGA was inevitable, even genetic. My father matriculated in the Ag school in 1946 as one of the WWII veterans returning from Europe. He met my mother, who was an Athens native, and the rest, as they say, is history. My mother actually grew up on Baxter hill, and is a treasure resource for stories of the town and University during the depresion and war years.
I enrolled in 1980, along with another highly touted freshman of whom you may have heard. Life at that time was truly magical. I can't say that Herschel and I were exactly friends, but I did ride the campus bus with him several times. This was before the advent of scooters, thank God. Incidentally, I did have a calculus class with Terry Hoage. He was as gifted in the classroom as on the football field. I would have been jealous, but he was also a genuinely nice guy!
One of my favorite games to attend that season was the USC game. Before the game, the South Carolina fans were "crowing' about George Rogers and explaining in no uncertain terms how their defense was going to handle us. I witnessed Herschel get in the open field and blow by three SC defensive backs who had the angle, but not the speed. At the end, Erk's Junkyard Dawgs stood tall, and stripped Rogers of the ball to preseve the victory. It was a beautiful sight. The following week, Georgia Tech tied Notre Dame, who was ranked number one at the time. That was the only time I remember cheering for the nerds from the North Avenue Trade School. The next week the Dawgs were number one, and never looked back. Another favorite was my only trip to Jacksonville for the '82 WLOCP. Herschel ran wild and by the end of the game, the stadium was half red and half empty. This memory is especially sweet in light of recent events.
The rest of my time at Georgia went by in a blur, not so much due to the social opportunities, as the academic ones. I was a young man on a mission and by the end of Spring quarter of 1983, I was one P Chem course shy of a degree in chemistry. I had also already been accepted for early enrollment into UA school of medicine. So, like Herschel, I dropped out of school early to pursue my career. I miss not having graduated, and for those of you still lucky enough to be in school, my advice is to take your time and enjoy it while you can. LIfe races at you soon enough.
After relocating to Alabama, where I collected a medical degree and a bride, who, incidentally was a Tuscaloosa native and graduate of UA ( Roll Tide, anyone?), I was off to South Carolina for residency. That was followed by a stint in the Navy as a requirement of my medical school scholarship. Hence, the screen name. Duty stations included Cuba and Florida. In those days, pre-internet, it was hard to keep up with the Dawgs.
After completing active duty, I planned to return to GA, but once again, life intervened. I wound up with a job back in AL and have been here ever since. One of the first official requirements of establishing residency in this state is to declare your allegience to either Alabama or Auburn. "Other" is not well received. Given the inevitablilty of the situation, both of my children now attend UA, one in law school. The silver lining I take from this is that while my beloved Dawgs have suffered the past few years, at least my children have experienced attending a school while they won a MNC, just as I did those many years ago.
All of the above is preamble to explain how I managed to stumble onto Dawg Sports last year. As a lonely Dawg searching for news and commentary, I found the site and have been a steady reader since. The articles and commentary are well writtten, insightful, frequently erudite, and occasionally acerbic. Tempering all of that loftiness is the occasional "snarkasm"* which certainly appeals to those of us with a sense of humor. The sense of community among the regular contributors is evident, and makes even those of us hesitant to speak up feel welcome and comfortable. I would go so far as to say I would enjoy spending an evening in the company of you all, which is indeed high praise, considering it comes from a veteran ER doc about a bunch of lawyers :)
Such is my story. While it may not be compelling, concise, or grammatically correct, it is now complete.
* Snarkasm n. the sense of euphoria associated with making the perfect retort to a member of a rival fanbase, especially those who wear orange/blue