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June 4, 2008

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MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
PO Box 908
33 Lee Street
Jefferson, Georgia 30549


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By Chris Bridges

Watching the calendar slowly creep by to kickoff
Random thoughts from my sports notebook as we move into the summer months:
•The calendar now reads June and that means we are inching our way closer to a new football season.
In fact, this is the second edition of this paper I have used our “Countdown to Kickoff” box. Yes, die-hards like myself are already well into countdown mode.
•I recently had the chance to watch the 1985 Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. If this game doesn’t ring a bell on the surface, it was the contest where Joe Theismann had his leg broken when he was sacked by Lawrence Taylor.
Is was easily the most gruesome injury I have seen in all my years as a football fan. Perhaps seeing it shown in slow motion added to the gut-wrenching element of it, but it was an injury that reminds us just how violent a game football can be. Even Taylor, who was as old-school as anyone, was visibly upset by it, as he frantically waved for the Redskin medical staff to get onto the field.
As a sidenote to the game itself, the announcers for the contest were Frank Gifford, Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson.
•While some are trying to push Georgia as the preseason favorite to win a national championship this fall, I present some reasons the Bulldogs will not host the trophy at season’s end:
1.The schedule is too tough. Even without the usual rigors of the SEC, UGA travels to Arizona State and has a trip-up home game against Central Michigan.
2. USC. The Trojans have stockpiled more talent than anyone in college football in recent years and have the best coach in the game in Pete Carroll. If UGA should advance to the national title game (and that’s a big if) they would not match up with USC. The talent gap is too wide.
3. Tim Tebow. Had Tebow been healthy last fall, Florida would have defeated Georgia. Assuming the Heisman Trophy winner is 100 percent when the teams meet again in 2008, the Gators will have revenge on their minds and will cash in on it.
•Many college football rivalries have some sort of prize or trophy awarded to the winner each year.
A new tradition could be unveiled when Arkansas hosts Alabama on Sept. 20. Perhaps the winning coach of this game could be presented with the “Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire” trophy as Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino aren’t exactly known for their honesty.
Of course, the trophy probably won’t be awarded for many years because you can count on one of these two, or both, leaving for another job in the near future, despite all their denials.
•June Prediction: Look for Vanderbilt to break its long bowl drought this fall. The Commodores play sound football for coach Bobby Johnson (remember they had UGA beat in ‘07) and are due some good fortune.


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