I hope that you're all enjoying the company of friends and family on this special day. Of course just as there is a time to plant and a time to reap, a time for war and a time for peace, there is a time to be grumpy, and a time to be thankful. Yesterday was the former, today is the latter. That's why, in no particular order, I'm thankful:
That Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are freshmen.
That Notre Dame is in the national title discussion. Like wrestling, college football is a little more fun when the villain stands a chance of actually winning.
That Mark Richt is the head football coach at the University if Georgia. If you'd told me in late November of 2000 that we'd soon be hiring a guy who'd be going strong a dozen years later, with 5 SEC Championship game appearances and a pair of Sugar Bowl wins, I'd have been ecstatic. Hiring a football coach is a dicey business with no guarantees. All in all, when you consider the number of guys who have come and gone in the league since then, you have to admit we've been fortunate.
That Jarvis Jones came home, and Lane Kiffin's a poor talent evaluator.
That I'm not an Auburn fan. That must kind of suck right now.
That I get to watch being an Auburn fan suck right now. Schadenfreude is great for your health, just ask the Germans. They invented the concept, along with 58 different kinds of sausage. They know healthy living.
Also that Kyle had an alibi for the time when the Toomer's Corner oaks were set ablaze last weekend.
That there are still country barbecue joints with sweet tea and autographed pictures of Conway Twitty on the wall.
That there are brave men and women in uniform out there at their post, risking their lives so that I can write whatever the hell I want about barbecue, bourbon and college football. This really is a great country.
That I finally found a name for my Eagles cover band composed entirely of Gregory Peck impersonators: Tequila Mockingbird. It's gonna be bad ass.
That Mark May isn't my next door neighbor.
That my next door neighbor isn't a Gator fan.
That my next door neighbor is actually a Wisconsin fan. Nice folks, those Badgers.
That it's been a quiet few months on the disciplinary front. With the exception of the odd DUI it's been uneventful here lately on the Bulldog Blotter. And while drunk driving should never be taken lightly, it's more indicative of college kid stupidity than, for example, riding around with an illegal handgun. As much as I want them to succeed, some of the guys who Mark Richt booted in recent months have done a lot to confirm his judgment.
That we have one of the best Bulldog Signing classes in recent memory coming in.
That many of those guys will be early enrollees. Perhaps as many as 20 of them. That has to be some sort of record.
That it could get even better. If the new Auburn coach does not retain Trooper Taylor and Curtis Looper I believe Reuben Foster may well end up in Athens. Montravius Adams seems more and more interested in the Bulldogs. Make no mistake, he is my top-rated player left on our board. Adams reminds me of Abry Jones coming out of high school, only a little quicker off the ball and with the frame to eventually be a little bigger. He could be our defensive end of the future.
That red is the new black, and Russ is the new Uga. Because we live in a country where the guy who works his tail off for years should be the one who ultimately gets the promotion.
That I am a fan of a team that plays in a conference in which a 6-6 team has no shot of playing for the conference championship. And a conference in which the loser of the conference championship game, no matter which team it is, will still be bowl eligible without getting a half-assed waiver. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
For Puddles the Duck, the Stanford Tree, and a dozen other college mascots of dubious morals. Because if you're going to walk around in a full-body costume 15 weekends a year you ought to be able to set some things on fire, fake moon Kirk Herbstreit, and dirty dance with the cheerleaders. It's just a matter of basic fairness.
For my Dawg Sports colleagues. I'd never know any of them but for this site. Yet I count each as a friend, even the handful I've never met face to face. To a one, they possess a passion for college sports balanced with a healthy sense of humor and a dash of perspective. You guys are great.
For our readers. You folks make this place what it is. You're here because you love to talk about the Georgia Bulldogs, among other things, and I'm here because I love writing about them. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to talk to someone other than myself and my dog about my favorite team. Every one of you is appreciated.
For the Thanksgiving Bird. Mix 2 ounces of cranberry juice, 2 ounces of 7-Up, and 1 ounce of Wild Turkey in a cocktail shaker over ice, then strain into a glass and enjoy.
Feel free to use this as your open thread for discussion of overcooked sweet potatoes, college basketball, the Godfather marathon on A&E, or whatever pops into your collective heads. Until later, have a great day and . . .