The Madison County Journal
August 15, 2001
Do you believe in karma?
Do you believe in karma? This element of many Eastern religions
holds that any action you take will always affect your future.
When you misbehave, you create bad karma. When you do positive
things, you create good karma.
Well, karma not only affects individual humans; it can also bloody
the nose of naughty businesses. Take the case of Adam's Mark
Hotels. A couple of years ago, this chain committed a major insult
to Southern Heritage organizations in general, and the Sons of
Confederate Veterans in particular. When a local SCV camp attempted
to book a meeting at an Adam's Mark hotel, they were refused.
"We believe you will be more comfortable somewhere else,"
they were told.
The hotel chain refused service to the SCV because a couple of
their black employees objected to serving anyone who flies the
Confederate flag. Management decided that black business was
far more valuable to them than that of white Southerners. The
SCV camp did not picket. They did not march with protest signs.
They simply went to other, more friendly companies to hold their
So what happened to Adam's Mark? The next spring, black college
students trashed the Adam's Mark hotel in Daytona Beach. The
damage was so severe that Adam's Mark established a set of rules
for future student-related events. They increased their rates,
possibly to cover expected damage expenses. They required student
guests to wear neon orange wristbands so that they would be clearly
identified as college students. They took other measures designed
to protect their property from destruction.
Now the NAACP is boycotting Adam's Mark hotels. NAACP President
Frazell Gray, aka Kweisi Mfume, declared that "nowhere in
this nation are Americans made to undergo those sorts of requirements
to check into a hotel." Gray apparently thinks that hotels
should be required to allow black students to engage in any kind
of destructive activity within their property, and absorb the
cost of repairs.
Here is how the karma comes in. Southern partisans are quick
to come to the aid of anyone threatened with economic harm by
the NAACP. When they boycotted South Carolina, traditional Southerners
flocked to the state, giving them a dramatic increase in tourist
dollars. When major food chains pulled Maurice's Bar-Be-Cue sauce
off their shelves because he flies a Confederate flag over his
restaurants, Southern partisans began a campaign to seek out
and purchase the sauce.
But Adam's Mark Hotels will not receive this kind of support
from Southern Heritage groups. They rejected us in favor of black
organizations like the NAACP. Now they will have to deal with
their karma as best they can. In our minds, justice has prevailed.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address
The Madison County Journal
August 15, 2001
Hopefully Richt can drag UGA fans out of the past
Dearly departed coach Jim Donnan once said of Bulldog fans that
he'd "never seen people so stuck in the past like they are
The embattled coach never uttered anything truer in his five
years as the head Dawg.
Donnan, who averaged eight wins a year in Athens, had to contend
with Georgia fans constantly trying to conjure the ghosts of
As the Bulldogs have failed to win SEC titles and top their hated
foes, Georgia partisans have escaped into yesteryear, buying
commemorative videos and pictures while reliving "Belue
to Scott" every October in Jacksonville.
Not-so-ironically in the end, it was his failure to entrench
himself with the UGA legends that sent Donnan to an early retirement
on the Athens golf courses.
Enter Mark Richt.
The young but longtime assistant to the granddaddy of college
football, Bobby Bowden, is Georgia's third candidate since the
retirement of Dooley trying to restore the long fading glory
that still somehow lingers from the Bulldogs dusty history books.
So do the Georgia bigwigs finally have the man to end the Bulldog
daydream? I mean, Richt has no experience in the college football
True, but what he does have is a valuable decade and a half of
tutelage in the type of program that Bulldog fans demand.
And now that he's out of the Florida State household and on his
own, "Bobby's Boy" can put his mark on his own program.
It's a daunting task, but I have a feeling that Richt can be
different from his UGA predecessors.
That's because the word out of Athens so far is based on substance
and not seemingly wishful predictions.
Donnan would hype his team to such an extreme extent you'd think
the Bulldogs should be playing in the NFC East instead of the
But Richt does no such song and dance, thank God. He has is what
many sports writers have called a quiet confidence, which the
team has seemed to adopt as a whole.
We don't hear players hung up on talk of SEC titles this summer,
but of work ethic, accountability and running drills to perfection.
This is what is usually referred to as discipline in other camps-something
that most feel hasn't been at UGA since, well, the Dooley years
(whoops, sorry for the flashback).
Stories have circulated of grueling practices and intense "mat
drills" which center Curt Magill called "the hardest
thing I've ever done in my life."
Then, we hear of results of the hard work, the Bulldogs breaking
30 team strength and conditioning records, which shows Richt
is building from the vary basics-making better men of the crew
he has on hand.
But despite Richt's strict and physical practices, he has still
managed to win his players' favor.
Jasper Sanks, often in Donnan's dog- house, described the young
coach as a man who lets you know exactly where you stand, a man
the players respect.
This is substance, not the typical hype.
However, it will take more than substance for Richt to lay the
ghosts of Georgia past to rest-Richt's ultimate challenge in
Athens. Winning simply is not enough when you're competing against
the past, as Donnan will tell you.
Richt will have to pick up the right wins and add more championship
banners to Sanford Stadium. He'll have to awaken the sleeping
giant-and fans-in Athens to gain acceptance in Bulldogdom.
Georgia's folklore casts a long shadow which coach Richt has
surely figured out by now.
Hopefully when he exits Athens, he'll be the one casting the
shadow for someone else.
Ben Munro is a reporter for MainstreetNews.