My gratitude goes out to Paul Westerdawg of the Georgia Sports Blog for directing some small sliver of his considerable web traffic my way by referring favorably to my recent series on Georgia superlatives . . . and disappointments.
I will be returning to said series forthwith, but, first, I wanted to tie up a few loose ends, including taking note of some of the better comments these lists have generated.
Astute readers of Dawg Sports (please pardon the redundancy) have offered some alternatives of their own and, since I have not yet been able to incorporate all of their suggestions, I wanted to call your attention to a few of them. These are they:
Best Individual Performance:
Buzy Rosenberg v. Oregon State (September 11, 1971)---The reader who brought this individual effort to my attention gets extra credit for making me aware of something I previously had not known. In the home opener between the hedges, the Bulldogs beat the Beavers, 56-25, but junior cornerback Buzy Rosenberg distinguished himself on special teams against O.S.U. In 1971, Rosenberg---who wore the number 34---returned 34 punts. Five of those returns came against Oregon State, when he racked up 202 return yards in a single afternoon, tying an N.C.A.A. record with two punt return touchdowns in a single game.
Buzy Rosenberg was so proficient as a punt returner that his jersey number (34) was retired in 1985, although some guy named Herschel wore it for a while in between.
Worst Team Performance:
August 31, 1996: Southern Miss 11, Georgia 7---The reader who commented on this one got a couple of details wrong, but the gist of his position was absolutely accurate: Jim Donnan's first game was a fiasco. A friend of mine from college was getting married in Atlanta that day and I was obligated to attend, but, because I had not (and still haven't) missed a home opener in Sanford Stadium since 1986, I left the reception early and headed straight to Athens, changing clothes in the car along the way. A botched offensive effort led to Georgia's first season-opening loss to a non-conference opponent since 1979.
Best Team Performance:
November 19, 1997: Georgia 27, Georgia Tech 24---I wasn't at historic Grant Field for this one, but my former "Dawg Show" co-host, Travis Rice, was, and he called me from the Varsity right after the game. He described the dramatic ending by explaining that, during the T.V. time out after the Yellow Jackets scored to take the lead with 48 seconds remaining on the clock, the P.A. announcer had called him down from the stands to meet with the 'Dawgs on the sideline. Trav then proceeded to give an inspirational speech which fired up the team and emboldened the Red and Black to go out onto the field and claim the victory, which they did. Now, I must admit that I have never quite believed that story . . . but, if Trav was making it up, at least he made it up immediately, which ought to count for something.
Unlike Meryl Streep's boyfriend in "Death Becomes Her," Trav at least lied quickly.
Also, I wanted to respond to a couple of questions that were asked of me, although, in each instance, my answers will be inadequate:
"Do you know of any way to get these games like Champ's v. LSU on tape?" Offhand, I don't know where to get any videos other than those of the "Munson's Greatest Calls" variety. Does anyone have any thoughts on the availability of videos of particular games?
"Hey, do you know which football players will be going up for the 2006 NFL drafts?" As you might expect, E.S.P.N. has more information than you could possibly process, but the short version is that some darn good 'Dawgs are available to be selected in this spring's draft.
Unlike many underclassmen, these students elected to finish out their collegiate eligibility rather than enter the draft.
In other news, the fine fellows of Every Day Should Be Saturday are back from vacation and up to their old tricks, offering keen insights (or at least sly mockery) of Dan Hawkins, whose Colorado Buffaloes will travel to Sanford Stadium next September 23 for what I hope will be Coach Hawkins's second straight shellacking at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs.
By the way . . . I could have gone my whole life without having Orson Swindle let me know his quirky thoughts on coffee. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer the views on coffee expressed by Special Agent Dale Cooper on "Twin Peaks."
Any "Twin Peaks" reference merits an obligatory photograph of Audrey Horne.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the latest on Georgia athletics.