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Dawg Sports Ladies' Night

Tuesday night is Ladies' Night here at Dawg Sports, as the distaff side takes center stage this evening, in matters both lighthearted and somber.  

Let's begin with the serious subject, which, thankfully, appears now as though it will have a happy ending.  Katharyn Francis Richt, the wife of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt, was diagnosed with cervical cancer and recently underwent surgery, from which she is expected to recover fully, as the pathology report showed that her diagnosis was made early enough to prevent the disease from spreading.  

Katharyn Richt, the First Lady of Bulldog Nation.

Katharyn Richt has endeared herself to Georgia fans in ways that go beyond her merely being married to our head football coach.  On the day her husband's hiring was announced at a press conference in Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, Mrs. Richt not only was in attendance with her four children, but she had taken the time, in the midst of a whirlwind of events that included job interviews in Athens and national championship game preparations in Tallahassee, to take her family shopping so that the entire Richt clan could be clad in red and black on the day the new head coach's hiring was made official.  Later, Mrs. Richt served as the water girl, setting out cups of refreshments for the team during games as a combination assistant trainer and den mother.  

Katharyn Richt has shown every bit as much class as the coach to whom she is married and she has struck precisely the right balance between being a private person and being a public figure.  Barbara Dooley thrust herself too much into the spotlight, whereas Ray Goff's and Jim Donnan's wives remained offstage so completely that I couldn't pick either of them out of a police lineup.  Mrs. Richt has managed to be accessible without being intrusive.  

In short, the citizens of Bulldog Nation would be fond of Katharyn Richt even if her husband wasn't 52-13.  Mark Richt is a good coach, but Mark and Katharyn Richt are good people.  

While we would not wish Mrs. Richt ill even if she was not a fine human being, we are especially thankful for her positive prognosis and we send our heartfelt prayers and good wishes for her speedy recovery and her return to full health.  

A moment ago, I mentioned Barbara Dooley, so, while I am on the subject of outspoken Bulldog women, I should take this opportunity to follow up on a statement I recently made about Georgia gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan.  I wrote that Coach Yoculan was the Bear Bryant of women's gymnastics.  

I shudder to think what Hope Spivey-Sheely went through during those 10 days of gymnastics camp in Junction, Texas.

That is a bold statement, so I had better be prepared to back it up, lest I incur the wrath of Warren St. John.  Here are the numbers from the Bear's years in Tuscaloosa and Suzanne Yoculan's years in the Classic City:  

Coach Bryant:  25 years at Alabama (1958-1982)
Coach Yoculan:  23 years at Georgia (1984-present)

Coach Bryant:  232-46-9 (.824)
Coach Yoculan:  742-112-6 (.866)

S.E.C. Championships
Coach Bryant:  13
Coach Yoculan:  15

National Championships
Coach Bryant:  6
Coach Yoculan:  7

National Coach of the Year Awards
Coach Bryant:  4
Coach Yoculan:  4

Maybe it's more accurate to call him "the Suzanne Yoculan of college football."

Finally, the latest poll question has generated many votes and much political intrigue as my loyal readers cast their ballots for the purpose of choosing the most Dawg Sports worthy of the contenders to satisfy their incessant need for intercollegiate athletics commentary peppered with periodic pictures of ladies of beauty, elegance, and intelligence.  

The first 50 votes cast had Catherine Zeta-Jones in the lead with 17, Ashley Judd closely behind with 16, and Nicole Kidman tied with Mary-Louise Parker for third place with six apiece.  Marcia Cross received four votes, putting her in fifth place, just ahead of Helen Hunt, with one (which probably was cast by someone who has known me long enough to know that I have always had a thing for Helen Hunt.)  

Really, fifth place seems a bit harsh for Marcia Cross, don't you think?

I would hasten to add that I have no desire to turn Dawg Sports into the home of some sort of "Babe of the Week" posting like some other sports weblogs, but, since college sports fans appear also to like good-looking women with brains and class (go figure), I'll play along and respect their wishes.  As we say here in Georgia, vote early and vote often.  

That's the latest on the ladies; we now return you to your regularly scheduled weblog, which is already in progress.  

Go 'Dawgs!