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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kicking Things Off

The beauty of this time of year for football fans is the infinite promise a new season holds. Every team has a shot at a conference title, every game could be an upset, every star QB has a shot at the Heisman. That’s a little like how I feel about this blog. My hopes are high and the possibilities seem limitless.

Of course, there’s also a chance this first week turns into Michigan’s opener against App. State or Andre Woodson’s run at the Heisman last season. I’m making no promises.

But with SEC Media Days about to kick off, there’s really no better time to get started. The three-day event in Hoover, Ala. is the media equivalent of a three-day binge at a Golden Corral buffet – there’s a little bit of everything, and just about everyone is indulging to excess. I’m keeping Tumms handy, along with a healthy stock of Tylenol.

But before we get into the nuts and bolts of a new season of SEC football, I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself to the many regular readers of the Macon Telegraph, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer or any random readers who are stopping by between shopping for Amish furniture on eBay and checking their fantasy baseball scores at ESPN.com.

My name is David Hale, and a quick Google search reveals that I am no more than the 63rd most important person with that name in the world. I’ve lived in Georgia for two of the past three years, during which time I covered UGA football regularly. I’ll tell you right off the bat I neither root for the Bulldogs nor do I root against them. What I root for is a good story, and luckily for me, Georgia routinely does a good job of delivering exactly that.

I am firmly of the belief that transparency is important in sports journalism, so I will tell you that I do root for two teams: the University of Delaware (which does not play Division I-A football) and Syracuse University (which probably shouldn’t be playing Division I-A football). I attended both schools, which failed to prepare me at all for the enormous impact college football has in this part of the county. Needless to say, I like it here a lot better.

As for this blog, I’m hoping it quickly becomes part of your regular UGA-reading repertoire, though I am not fully prepared to discuss my top-secret plan to make that happen. Suffice it to say, I may resort to giving out candy.

There are many sports writers who believe they are the experts and you are the lowly fans. I am not one of those sports writers. I love hearing what the fans have to say, and it’s my hope that this blog will provide a forum for us to have an on-going conversation about UGA football (and other sports) as the season progresses. I welcome your feedback, your input, your questions and your comments.

If there’s something you like, let me know. If there’s something you’d like to see more of, I’m happy to do it. If you have a question for me, I’ll answer, and if you have questions you want me to ask the players and coaches, I’ll add it to my notebook and do my best to get a response. If you have criticisms, that’s fine, too. I do, however, have one rule: If you have a complaint, make sure it falls into one of two categories: 1.) Constructive criticism (i.e. a legitimate idea on how to improve the blog) or 2.) entertainment (i.e. you can feel free to call me a moron, as long as you do it creatively).

So, with that, let’s get things started. Media Days kicks off tomorrow morning at the Wynfrey Hotel. I’ll be blogging regularly throughout the day, and here’s a quick run-down of the week’s schedule:

WEDNESDAY:
• FLORIDA(1:10 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.)
Coach Urban Meyer, QB Tim Tebow and OT Phil Trautwein
• MISSISSIPPI STATE(1:10 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.)
Coach Sylvester Croom, QB Wesley Carroll and LBJamar Chaney
• LSU(3:10 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)
Coach Les Miles, C Brett Helms and DETyson Jackson
• VANDERBILT(3:10 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)
Coach Bobby Johnson, S Reshard Langford and WRGeorge Smith

THURSDAY:
• ALABAMA(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Nick Saban, OL Antoine Caldwell and S Rashad Johnson
• GEORGIA(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Mark Richt, WRMohamed Massaquoi and DT Jeff Owens
• OLE MISS(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Houston Nutt, DT Peria Jerry and OT Michael Oher
• TENNESSEE(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Phillip Fulmer, DERobert Ayers and RB Arian Foster

FRIDAY:
• AUBURN(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Tommy Tuberville, C Jason Bosley and DE Sen’derrick Marks
• KENTUCKY(8:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.)
Coach Rich Brooks, DEJeremy Jarmon and WRDicky Lyons, Jr.
• ARKANSAS(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Bobby Petrino, LBElston Forte and C Jonathan Luigs
• SOUTH CAROLINA(10:40 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.)
Coach Steve Spurrier, LB Jasper Brinkley and WRKenny McKinley

7 comments:

Dogberry said...

Welcome David! Looking forward to your blog.

Whatchagot Loran? said...

Hail David! King of the Bulldog Blog!

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your writing with the Herald.

I can't wait to see the blog fill up slowly as week 1 inches closer and closer.

Say Hi to Jay Adams for me.

Chris said...

Welcome David. I think this is a great thing that the papers are doing and am looking forward to your blog for the season.

Brandon said...

Welcome aboard David! I have high expectations for you (your feeling the pressure now right?) and this blog! I enjoy a little comedy in articles and you already had some in your first post.....+1. I'm sure you'll do a great job covering our Bulldogs! Oh and BTW, if you have to resort to giving out candy......mark me down for Skittles!

Douglas said...

Cool, another David! Nice to meet you and looking forward to reading your blog on my/our(not your) Bulldogs! LOL
ching has some pretty big shoes to fill as he was the "scoop" when it came to info on our beloved Dawgs(spelled correctly, learn it, live it, love it!)
By the way, moron, where's the free candy? Was that creative enough?
Just kidding! Looking forward to reading your stuff. Feel free to check out my blog as the football season progresses as well as I will post photos from each home game I attend.
Welcome to the funhouse!

Scoreboard said...

Hi David. Welcome. And good luck in the new job.

Can you tell me what Josh Kendall will be doing now that you are taking over as beat writer? Will he have another job at the newspaper? Or will he be leaving to do something else?

Forgive me for being nosy. If it is none of my business, feel free to ignore the question...

Georgia Athletics said...

Josh is leaving the paper to pursue another opportunity out of the newspaper bizz. Sad to see him go. Even when working at another paper, I read him regularly. Big shoes for me to fill, no doubt.