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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The new guy

As you may or may not know by now, or not even care, the new beat writer who will be managing this blog is Seth Emerson. Seth comes from The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., where he was annoying Steve Spurrier and Darrin Horn.

We thought we should hold a "Better Get to Know a Beat Writer" session with Seth. The questions were helpfully provided by one David Hale, the man passing the baton to Seth, whose first day is next Monday. (The first day of football practice.)

On to the interview:

David Hale, the old guy: You'll have plenty of time to let readers get to know you during the next few months, but let's give 'em a quick bit of insight: Describe your career and outlook on sports writing in 100 words or less. And, if you really want to test your mettle, don't use the letter "F" as a way of proving you won't accidentally write anything nice about Florida.

Seth Emerson, new guy: For one thing ... oops. Can I start over? Thanks. ... I've spent the past five years at The State in Columbia, covering the Gamecocks. Before that I was in Albany for three years, and before that four years at The Washington Post, where I mostly fetched coffee for Wilbon and Kornheiser. ... OK, I'm never gonna do this in 100 words or less. So forget it ... Oops, the F thing again.

As for my outlook on sports writing, I think like a lot of people I'm worried about the direction of the business. It's not an internet-mainstream media thing, it's an objective-homer thing. I hope we're not getting to a point where you're either perceived as anti or pro a school. I continue to feel, or at least hope, that there will always be a demand for good old-fashioned journalism, and I'll practice that till the day I die.

That, and I'll do my best to spell everyone's name right.

Old guy: Following a legend is notoriously tough. Obviously, my greatness is unparalleled (with the possible exceptions of Thomas Edison, Jimmy Page and Steve Guttenberg.) So... what can you tell concerned readers thinking you might be the next Ron Zook or Sammy Hagar?

New guy: I heard you had the same problem when you joined the Albany Herald. The guy before you, I heard, was EXTREMELY accomplished. In any case, I'm told you did great things on the beat and blog - I'm told, because I never read anything you wrote, in fact I still am not absolutely sure we've ever met. But seriously, don't ever put me in the same sentence with Ron Zook. I can't believe he still has a job at Illinois. All my hostility in this answer to you is derived from you mentioning me as a potential Zook. Hagar I could deal with. But Zook, he's a (deleted by moderator.)

Old guy: You covered Georgia early in your career at The Albany Herald, including the 2004 team that beat Florida. Give the readers some reasons for optimism in this year's Florida game based on what you liked about that 2004 team.

New guy: I've studied the Georgia roster, and I understand David Greene no longer has eligibility. So that's too bad, especially considering the QB situation. But given my past experience covering the Bulldogs - and watching them close up the past five years as a Gamecock beat writer, I know Mark Richt has year-in and year-out assembled a lot of talent, and I can't count them out of any game. The second one, at South Carolina, will be the telling one.

Old guy: Rate the following non-UGA topics in order of awesomeness: "Breaking Bad," Wiffle Ball, '80s cartoons, mustaches, bourbon, Neil Diamond, the movie "Goonies", Arnold Palmer the golfer and Arnold Palmer the beverage.

New guy: I've never watched "Breaking Bad" but I've loved Bryan Cranston in his other stuff. Either way, that's out, so in its place I'll substitute "Dexter."

And I've never drank Arnold Palmer the beverage, so for that I'll substitute Clorox Wipes.

My rating:
Wiffle Ball (assuming I get to cork the bat)
Bourbon (straight)
"Dexter" (what an end to last season!)
Clorox Wipes (they could fix anything. Including the oil spill)
'80 cartoons (does "the Great Space Coaster" count?)
Arnold Palmer the golfer (I heard he was good)
"Goonies" (The fat kid is NOT Jerry O'Connell!)
Neil Diamond (Mainly for the Will Ferrell SNL skit)
mustaches (not a fan at all)

EDIT: Thank you for alerting me that when it came to Jerry O'Connell, I had "Goonies" confused with "Stand by me." If that kind of alert editing is what I have to look forward to from the fans, I definitely am happy I took the job.

Old guy: Since you just got this job, I'm assuming you're not going anywhere for a while. But, for sake of argument, if you happen to end up getting offered the vacant Georgia AD job, what are the first three things you do in your administration that don't involve a BMW and red panties?

New guy: I'd honestly like a few months to get the lay of the land to give a good answer. So at the moment, I'll answer it this way:

1. Obviously the direction of the football program is an important one. I think Mark Richt is a heck of a coach, the only question is whether a program can get complacent if one coach is around too long. If the team improves this year, especially defensively, it should be a sign that Richt should continue to be the coach for the foreseeable future. I mean, 90-27 and 50-22 is exceptional at any SEC school.

2. The nonconference football schedule is an interesting dilemma. I saw Damon Evans' strategy in trying to get the Georgia name out there, and boost the program's visibility nationwide by playing at Colorado, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, etc. But you also see the counter-point, that the best way to boost your profile is to win. My plan would be to get one marquee game per year - besides Georgia Tech - and then round it out with two weaker opponents.

3. Rename it, at least officially, the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. I mean really, who are we kidding?

Old guy: BONUS Question: You have an anonymous commenter on the blog who writes 2,000-word diatribes each day with Unabomber-esque detail who annoys the crap out of everyone else who reads your blog. What do you do?

New guy: Tell the commenter to get his own blog, because he's truly wasting his talents on our humble platform.


Freehawk said...

Seth, you never said goodbye.

I devoted so much time to training you.

Freehawk said...

Prediction, Gamecocks 24, Bulldogs 10. "Look at the red panties waving in the stands. Lay DOWN you dawgs, lay DOWN."

Bernie said...

Welcome (back) Seth. The shoes are big, but pretty fetid. So just discard them and GATA!

(Freehawk...fetid means repulsive, unpleasant to the nose. Much like a chicken farmer's boots and his football team's bowl season record)

Jayna said...

David we will miss you greatly! You have chosen a good replacement. I am fan of Seth's work!

Anonymous said...

Jerry O'Connell was the fat kid in Stand by Me.

Just an FYI...

Robert said...

Welcome Seth. Athens is at least 10 times greater than Columbia. However, Columbia is nice because of the prevelance of Bojangles's.

If you like Cranston and Dexter, you will love Breaking Bad. It's probably the best show on TV.

Matthew said...

What an end to Dexter is right. Poor, poor Rita. Hopefully, it was all a misunderstanding. I don't see the writers being able to devise a better villain than Trinity. John Lithgow was terrific. Serious question: Do you think Debra is attractive? To me, her eyes look a little off-center, but something about her makes her desirable. I'll hang up and listen

Robert said...

Great ending to last season fo sho. Rita sucked, good riddance. Lithgow was amazing, deserving of his many awards for the role. Debra is not attractive. Apparently this season will be quite dark.

Ive Got An Itch said...

Wow, another former journalist from the Albany Herald. You both were great there, but Seth seemed to enjoy writing columns aimed at stirring the pot sometimes. We need that here in Albany, though, since there isn't much going on. I think we'll be okay with Seth unless HANGING around the COCKS has caused Seth to transform into a lowlife.

Anonymous said...

Seth you better get to know Slic Ric. He is a horsemen with Gray, Boiling, and Fred. His former horsemen were Owens, Battle, and Atkins. He also list Dotson as a former horsement as well.

Carter said...

I'm a civil libertarian but foremost a pragmatist. Get anon's IP address and block it. At least he would have to go to the trouble of finding another public library to post from.

Also, new guy, being anti-mustache and not a fan of "Breaking Bad" is no way to instill confidence in your judgment.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever eat at the Beacon in Spartanburg?

Bulldog in Exile said...

Seth, welcome to the Bulldog blogodome. Glad you got the bourbon thing right.

Who is this David guy everyone keeps talking about?

DrewDawg said...

I tried very hard to get into Breaking Bad... I watch so much TV, so I assumed I'd like it. I watched the first 5 episodes of the latest season, and I thought it was complete garbage. I deleted it from my DVR, and I haven't looked back.

The mustache thing, though... I'm having a hard time understanding why you dispise them. They totally and completely make a face. They provide a central focal point; they hide upper lip area zits (and hooker mouth herpes); they save the taste of food for later; they help one look older when using a fake ID... Plus, without a mustache, you can't use the best pick-up line ever - "Who wants a mustache ride???" I seriously suggest you reconsider you point of view on mustaches. I just got back from vacation with a freshly grown facial accent masterpiece - think Magnum PI.

Seth Emerson said...

Thanks for the kind words and questions so far. I'll try to answer them:
-Thanks for the heads up on Jerry O'Connell.
-I'm torn on the end of Rita on Dexter. I actually liked her, but understand why the writers did that.
-Agree on Debra's looks.
-OK, I'll get on the Breaking Bad bandwagon. I just Netflixed the third season of Mad Men, but I'll put BB on there now too.
-Yes, I've eaten at the Beacon in Spartanburg. Great BBQ, and love the "call it!"
-Finally, no idea who this David guy is either.

Big Phil said...

Good to have a Dexter fan in the mix! I was sad for Dexter when she was killed, but not sad for the show. She was not the same character as she was in the beginning. She used to be shy and scared, etc and was just a better overall character that way. Recently she had gotten too dolled-up and headstrong, which was not something I liked. Plus, she nagged a lot which is never good. Looking forward to season 5, Julia Stiles could bring something new to the mix...

Now on to other things, looking forward to talking some football with you Seth. Glad to have you aboard. We all know Hale was not a biased Dawg fan, which is part of what made his reporting that much better (because he gave it to us straight). What team are you the most passionate fan of?

Doug said...

Glad you're here Seth. The season is almost upon us. You probably can tell from the previous comments that we have high expectations around here.

Is there any truth to the rumor that Spurrier likes Cocks?

btw, I'm pretty sure "David" was an AJC beat writer for the Jackets.

Cojones said...

Seth- 100 words/less: What does the word "objective" mean to you? Do not use the scientific definition because that doesn't compute with pundits.

Can you take what you dish out; i.e., objective criticism of your objective writing? If so, Welcome! Look out for anyone getting your physical location entwined with word twisting such that one suspicions that you care for the hated Spurrier just a tad.

Why do you think that the SC game is the most important? Most UGA fans and alums already know that answer. HINT: Because he's a tough cookie, offensive evil genius and sneaky as hell by creating a mobile, non-set D with average athletes. Forgot. He doesn't have that D Coach any more. Anyway, your opinion would be welcome.

Anonymous said...

How many people in the state of SC can read?

PS You are the greatest UGA blog writer since the last guy, don't remember his name. He's covering hockey now.

David Hale said...

Frankly, I think this blog has a fresh new feel since that last guy went to cover hockey. I found his posts a bit long-winded. But damn, he was sure handsome.

JRL said...

This may be fun....glad to have you on board.

Ant123 said...

Welcome Seth.

Seth Emerson said...

Big Phil said:
Now on to other things, looking forward to talking some football with you Seth. Glad to have you aboard. We all know Hale was not a biased Dawg fan, which is part of what made his reporting that much better (because he gave it to us straight). What team are you the most passionate fan of?

Big Phil,
Well I went to Maryland, so there's that, but I'm a professional, so any loyalty there gets checked at the door.
Being a sportswriter tends to take a lot of the fan out of you, unfortunately, but I do retain some passion for the Washington Redskins and Washington Capitols. I grew up a huge Baltimore Orioles fan, but Peter Angelos took care of that.

Seth Emerson said...

Well, Cojones (I assume I can type that), that's a lot to consider, but here I go:

Of course I'm ready to accept objective criticism of my work. I'm also ready to accept subjective criticism. It comes with the territory.

Objectivity is a loaded word, and honestly it's not something you think about much after years in this biz; It's just assumed. In my mind, it's calling it as you see it. Of course everyone comes from a certain perspective. But when I cover a team, my goal is to bring insight, some analysis, and facts to fans.

Carter said...


Marry one, bang one, kill one: Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Megan Fox.


TrboDawg said...

searching for examples of Mr. Emererson's writing style, I found this...

A tolerably fair assessment from an 'opposing' team's beat writer...

"That'll do pig, that'll do..."

Daniel said...

"The second one, at South Carolina, will be the telling one."

Homer! We beat em last year and it didnt matter. You saying we gotta lose to them to get #2 in the nation again?

Alright that might be a bit hostile but I do want to extend a warm welcome and thanks in advance for the articles.

Anonymous said...

# 11 Program All-Time in 1-A wins

# 19 last 4 years won/loss 38-14

# 96 Average NCAA Rank in Penalties last 4 years

21 fumbles a year average every year last 4 years

14 interceptions a year every year last 4 years

No Quarterback prepared 2006 (4 losses) 2009 (5 losses) and now again 2010.

# 3 Fulmer Cup Standings over the last 4 years as well

10-10 vs SEC East good for # 3 in the SEC East the last 4 years

20-12 vs SEC over the last 4 years good for # 4 vs SEC

1-3 vs Florida last 4 years, 1-3 vs 4 sorry vols' teams last 4 years, 2-2 vs Kentucky last 4 years, loss in last 4 years to South Carolina who that year were 6-6 and not even in a bowl game, and for good measure lost to Vandie who that season accumulated a grand total of 4 wins including the win over Georgia Bulldogs. Outstanding.

5 of the 10 losses vs SEC East the last 4 years came to teams who were not even ranked in the Top 25 Final AP Poll even with their win over Georgia Bulldogs.

In the last 4 years, the ONLY SEC East Win by UGA over a ranked Final AP Poll Top 25 team was 4-Loss Florida we beat in 2007, just after we had LOST 6 SEC East games in a ROW, 4 consecutively to end 2006 and 2 more in succession to begin 2007.

1-5 vs SEC East Ranked Top 25 teams last 4 years Coach Richt Era.

Out of 20 possible SEC East Opponents, only 6 have been ranked in the Final AP Poll Top 25, and against those only 6, we have lost 5.

14 of the 20 SEC East Opponents for UGA the last 4 years have NOT been ranked in the Final AP Poll Top 25.

The SEC East has been absolutely horrible for good Opponents for UGA the last 4 years


# 5 SEC Coach current school vs ranked teams for Coach Richt his entire tenure according to Chris Low last week of ESPN

3-8 vs Top 10 Final AP Poll teams Coach Richt Era one in 2001 one in 2005 one in 2006, none since.

No win in a bowl game over ANY Top 10 Final AP Poll team entire Coach Richt Era

2-7 vs Florida entire Coach Richt Era

17-19 vs Top 25 Final AP Poll teams in Coach Richt Era

8 Losses to teams not even ranked in the Top 25 Final AP Poll that year they beat us even with their win over Georgia Bulldogs

# 52 NCAA Total Offense entire Coach Richt Era 9-Year Average.



Lousy coaching staff Coach Richt assembled the entire 9-Year Coach Richt Era. If this were not true, why did he just fire half of them and tell the AJ-C that he is taking over the offense ? If you think he has not taken over the offense, do you expect us to Redshirt more Knowshon Moreno type players so we get to see them only 2 years too, the best RB at Georgia in 30 years. If you think he has not taken over, did you agree because Aron White had 3 catches his freshman year that he should have started every game until game 12 of the 13-game year we had (8-5) despite the fact that Orson Charles had 23 catches his freshman year by direct contrast. Do you believe it correct to rip the redshirt off the # 11 best RB in the nation last year, Washaun Ealey in the 3rd quarter of the 5th game ? Still, he led the Bulldogs in rushing. He only got 2 starts and they not even the last 2 games. Marlon Brown # 2 WR in the nation, we threw 2 passes to all season long. Branden Smith who had over 1,085 yards receiving the year before, we threw the ball to him 2 times all season long too. Former great RB coaching WR. Former WR for us, whose dad was a great RB for us coaching RB. Offensive Coordinator we STOLE from Jacksonville State where he was the QB coach 1 year. A former QB is Mike Bobo’s Tight Ends’ Coach. How good are they ? Well ? Spent $ 750,000 on DC and more than that on his staff, and this what we have on Offensive Coaching Staff STILL. We recruited NONE of the offensive all-stars in this state 2010 signing class, none. And, we have the same going on for 2011 on offense, yet we recruited a great defensive class 2010 and again for 2011. Can you say this either.

There deal with this on AM Talk Radio.

Anonymous said...

Florida is better than Coach Richt in the Coach Richt Era.

LSU is better than Coach Richt in the Coach Richt Era.

Alabama has passed us by as well.

Boise State has been better in the Coach Richt Era too.

Texas has been better in the Coach Richt Era.

Southern California has been better in the Coach Richt Era.

Oklahoma has been better in the Coach Richt Era.

Ohio State, even, has been better in the Coach Richt Era.

10-win seasons in 14-game seasons (7 of the 9 Coach Richt Era seasons are 14-game seasons) 10-win seasons SUCK and are the # 19 team in the nation in won / loss.

2002 and 2007, we beat NO GOOD TEAMS, not 1 Top 10 Final AP Poll team.

5 Consecutive Years, we have not even been to The SEC Championship Game, no 1 considers us a possibility even to do so this year either, and after this 2010 season we lose 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors – all starters.

We are # 1 in Fulmer Cup Standings for 2010 including several Top 10 Mike Bobo Recruits here at their position in the nation who abused little coeds SINCE Spring Practice Started. Mike Bobo not only recruited Montez Robinson here and Zach Mettenberger here, but also Christian LeMay who committed the exact same offense sex on school grounds as Michael Grant whom UGA Admissions refused to let in here for obvious good reason.

47 Arrests / Suspensions since February 2007 includes 3 years then of 160 players including walk-ons through this program. We have thrown 3 MORE off the team since Spring Practice was over.

Mobile Press-Register, AJC, David Hale, Orlando Sentinel, CBS Sports, Paul Finebaum, Mark Bradley and Damon Evans AD UGA say that what UGA is doing in football is NOT SATISFACTORY.

EVERY Sanford Stadium fan BOOS the play calls of Mike Bobo.

10-3 is NOT VERY GOOD.

Vince Dooley 80-88 and Wally Butts 40-48 lost only 21 games and had better wining percentages over those 9 years than in the Coach Richt Era. Both also won CONSENSUS National Championships.

“I take full responsibility because at the end of the day the buck stops with me,” Damon M. Evans said on June 11, 2010. “I’m not the guy doing the Xs and Os and recruiting and all of that, but I do believe that as the leader of an organization that I’ve got to provide them with the necessary resources to be successful – whether that’s from money to facilities or what have you – and at the same time, am I providing the leadership that’s going to allow us to rise and be where we should be. That’s why I have to take a look at myself as well. You can’t run away from things.”

There is no reason why with this soft easy schedule that in Year 10 Coach Richt’s coaching staff cannot go 12-2 this season, losing to Florida obviously and Alabama assuming Florida loses 2 games as most think possible. I like Coach Richt; I do not like his coaching staff ANY of the 9-Year Coach Richt Era. Is this what you want a discussion of the facts ? If Coach Richt does not go 12-2 this season, there will be hell to pay in the media. We are headed in the wrong direction the last 4 years (after Jim Donnan's recruits all graduated, he who was fired for 13 losses his last 4 years while we have had 14 losses the last 4 years of Coach Richt Era.)

Nowhere do you provide ANY FACT.

NOT 1.

Try addressing the points. You sound like a scared child whistling past the cemetery.

Anonymous said...

David Hale,

Why don't you tell the new guy AGAIN how you stole all your good ideas from my posts about the DIRECTION of this football team the last 4 years ?

TrboDawg said...

Dang, but wouldn't be nice to get rid of that A**hole "Anonymous"

Anonymous said...

Please do not annoy anyone by saying anything that is not positive about Coach Richt's coaching staff or their performance on and off the field the last 4 years.

I do agree with the new guy on Game 2 on the road in Columbia for that could make Coach Richt 10-11 vs SEC East then the last 5 years.

"The second one, at South Carolina, will be the telling one."

by football man, Seth Emerson Day 1

One more by Seth Emerson to begin :

"1. Obviously the direction of the football program is an important one. I think Mark Richt is a heck of a coach, the only question is whether a program can get complacent if one coach is around too long."

Patrick said...

Hey Anonynmous.... why don't you go somewhere and stick your head up your A$$ and jump up and down until you vanish. I'm so tired of having to scroll through your second grade mannifestos. You're a freaking plagarizing moron.

Bourbon Dawgwalker said...

Seth, what is your take on "stir the pot" journalism? Will you be writing Finebaum-esque articles or declaring Georgia the 64th best team in the nation?

OnTap said...


You have a good couple of guys to follow. Big shoes to fill, imo. One thing is for sure....this can be a big jumping off point for you.

We sent one guy to an Editor's job and another to the Show. Keep the train rollin'.

Anonymous said...

Can we please get some content? Disappointed with this Seth guy so far...

Seth Emerson said...

Anonymous Bourbon Dawgwalker said...

Seth, what is your take on "stir the pot" journalism? Will you be writing Finebaum-esque articles or declaring Georgia the 64th best team in the nation?

Nope, I don't see that as my role. Reporting, some analysis and observations is my job. If I do say something that stirs the pot, it will be because I actually believe it.

Seth Emerson said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we please get some content? Disappointed with this Seth guy so far...

Not sure if you're being facetious, but in case you're not, I don't actually start officially until Monday. Still in Columbia at the moment. But when I'm there, you'll get content, plenty of it.

dawgchic said...

Welcome, Seth!

ChicagoDawg said...

Seth -- Welcome aboard! As has been mentioned, the two Davids established quite a standard. There was much anxiety when David the II took over, but he managed to take this blog and the UGA beat to the next level. I trust you will do the same. I recall watching your weekly co-hosted video segments on The State (during UGA game weeks) and I was impressed at the time by your practical, straight shooting insights that did not pander to Cock fandom -- which is prevalent among hometown papers (see Pat Dooley at the Gainesville-Sun as exhibit A).

Again, welcome aboard and I look forward to your work.

P.S. You are officially on-board now as you have been blessed with the keen insights of 'Anonymous.' Good stuff, huh?

Dawgfan17 said...

Hey Dave, do you mind if we ship Anon up north with you?

Anonymous said...

Just checked this blog for the 30th time to find zero new content. Then, just to remind myself what I lost, I visit Hale's Philly blog and find 20+ content ladden posts since the 27th. New guy, you need to get your sh!t together because the bar was set high and I'd guess manyy of your inherited readers are about to remove their bookmarks.

Doug said...

Just remember that today is Seth's first day on the job.

Maybe, you should get rid of your bookmark though.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Seth, didn't realize you hadn't started yet and enjoyed your first post. I just miss Hale and his insight/production. I'll redirect my venom towards your employer for failing to provide a good bridge between Hale's last day and your first

Anonymous said...

I haven't even read a word of Seth's Bulldogs coverage yet and I can already tell you the 'Graph's UGA beat just got a whole lot better now that DH is gone. So long you tubby douche.