ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
77°
Cloudy
H 83° L 72°
  • clear-night
    77°
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 83° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 83° L 72°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    81°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 88° L 71°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Morning show on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Home team on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The crossover on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

    ATLANTA — For Trent Pearson and Jason Miller, it was set up to be a perfect day: Atlanta United soccer at The Benz in the afternoon, SEC football talk in the evening at Centennial Olympic Park. There ended up being some wrinkles. It started with the hometown soccer team not winning (they played Seattle to a 1-1 draw). And then Georgia coach Kirby Smart had to cancel his scheduled appearance on SEC Nation, which was broadcasting a live show from the park from 6 to 8 p.m. It was a perfect day for Atlanta’s Jason Miller (L) and Trent Pearson, who are both Georgia fans and fans of the Atlanta United soccer team. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) But there were no complaints from these two fans. “I saw on social media a few weeks ago that this was going on and I’m a season ticket holder for Atlanta United,” said Pearson, drinking a beer with his buddy underneath the UGA Alumni Association tent around dusk. “So I knew I wanted to come over and check it out afterward. It’s been pretty cool. I’m pumped it’s in Atlanta because Atlanta is the heart of the SEC.” The SEC is holding its annual Football Media Days convention in Atlanta for the first time in history. It has been held in Birmingham since the late 1980s. On Sunday, the league conducted its first-ever SEC Summerfest football kickoff celebration. The aim was to cater to fans. There was live music, food trucks, interactive games for kids and hospitality tents for all 14 of the SEC schools. The finale was intended to be the SEC Nation show, featuring all the SEC Network’s television personalities and college football analysts. But the crowd had thinned out considerably by the time that started at 6 p.m. as Atlanta United fans headed home. “I think it’s a great idea and it’ll only get better over time,” Pearson said. “This is the first year and not that many people knew about it. Atlanta is a lot better place for the SEC preseason meetings.” As expected, Georgia fans had the strongest presence. But Florida and Auburn were also very well-represented. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn created a stir among and orange-and-blue set when he made an appearance on SEC Nation early in the show. The SEC had announced that Smart was also going to make an appearance, but he backed out for unspecified reasons. Trent Woods, better known as Big Dawg III, was among the contingent of Georgia fans to descend on Centennial Olympic Park Sunday for the SEC’s inaugural SEC Summerfest event. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) “He’s probably busy trying to see that Demetris Robertson gets eligible this season,” cracked Trent Woods, better known as Big Dawg III, the famous Georgia fan who wears the face of a bulldog painted atop his head. Woods was headed toward the Centennial Park exit but still taking photos with fans around 7 p.m. He said he’d been there since about 3 p.m. “And I forgot to put on sunscreen today, so I’m going to be feeling it later,” he said, rubbing the crown of his head. All of the goings on Sunday were a sideshow to the main event that begins late Monday morning. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will give a state of the SEC address around 11 a.m., kicking off four days of football talk and preseason hype in The Omni Hotel and College Football Hall of Fame. Pearson’s ties to Georgia run deep. He’s a UGA alum who worked for the Bulldogs as an equipment manager while in school. He’s about to take a full-time job at The Citadel. The same can’t be said for his friend. Miller is actually a Georgia Tech alum but he said he also roots for Georgia in all but one game a year. “Just don’t tell anybody,” Miller said. Oops. The post Georgia and Atlanta United fans unite at inaugural SEC Summerfest event appeared first on DawgNation.
  • LEBANON, Tenn. — Zion Logue committed to the Georgia staff about a week ago. He went public with that choice from a gathering at his aunt’s home in Central Tennessee on Sunday night. The 6-foot-5.5, 285-pound standout chose Georgia over a field of options that included serious interest from Kentucky, Ole Miss and Memphis. Alabama and Ohio State were a couple of his other higher-profile offers but they had not ratcheted up their pursuit of Logue the way that a few other schools had. Logue becomes the 11th commitment for the Bulldogs in the class of 2019. His decision also bumps the Bulldogs up to No. 11 nationally. Georgia’s class now rates as the No. 4 collection in the SEC based off the 247Sports Team Composite rankings. He will not enroll early and told DawgNation that the current plan is for him to not take any other official or unofficial visits besides the one he will take to Georgia. “If Georgia will let me take any other visits then I will have to think about that,” Logue said. “But if they do not want me to do that, then I will make sure to honor what they want me to do with that.” Why did he choose Georgia? Logue said that he couldn’t really articulate all the exact reasons. It was largely just a feeling, he said. “It is just that family feel I get with Georgia,” Logue said. “I just feel like Georgia has something really special going on with that program right now and in the seasons to come.” It is worth noting here that the DL target with the size-14 cleats is now the only 3-star commitment for the Bulldogs in the class. About that 3-star rating here with Zion Logue Did you just get a good look at that film? See what you need to know? Well, go ahead and flush all of that. That film is essentially the recruiting equivalent of a weight loss “before” picture. With Logue, it will involve some serious weight gain. Logue seemed to have re-booted his recruiting over the last 3-4 months. That junior year film from Lebanon High School was at least 50 pounds ago. It now looks like he has transformed his body from a 245-pound defensive end as a junior into a serious SEC defensive line target for this cycle. “I feel like I was able to show all those coaches that I was committed to working to become something really special one day,” Logue said. The weight change, which was accomplished through some serious weight training, has reshaped his body. He was a different player when several major Power 5 programs saw him over the summer, including Georgia. “My junior year I played around 240 or 245 pounds,” he said. “Then from January to March this year, I put on 35 pounds.” That grind has included a lot of explosive lifts. Squats. Cleans. Weighted jumps from the middle of a power clean position. He’s kept on bulking up from there. Logue has added another 15-20 pounds to his frame since then. His trainer Shavez Jobe told DawgNation that the future Bulldog DT has added that weight without losing any of his speed. He’s still right around the 5.0 or 5.1 mark in the 40-yard dash. “Just weight room and more weight room,” Logue said. “Being in the weight room every day and just working.” His athletic ability allowed him to play three spots in high school. He just recently gave up baseball and used to be a middle school quarterback. Jobe and Logue both believe he can still throw a football about 60 yards. The college position projection for Zion Logue Logue rates on the 247Sports composite scale as the nation’s No. 42 strong-side DE prospect, but that projection was at his previous weight and that position. He traveled to the U.S. Army All-American camp back in January and established himself as a prospect with a bit higher ceiling than that. Especially as he kept reshaping his body into a frame which can withstand the rigors of the SEC. Where does UGA plan to use him? “I can play between the ‘3’ and the ‘5’ technique for Georgia,” Logue said. “The coaches saw what I could do when I camped there for them and that’s where they plan to use me.” He told DawgNation that he also plans to be at the highly-anticipated west end zone expansion and locker room reveal at Sanford Stadium later this month. Logue had originally planned to make his commitment known on Sept. 6 but chose to move it up in order to just settle the matter of his college future and end his recruiting process. The post BREAKING: Bulldogs add defensive line target Zion Logue to 2019 class appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Scott Dixon won the IndyCar race at Toronto on Sunday for his third title at the event The New Zealand native finished the 85-lap course on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place first, with Simon Pagenaud of France finishing second. Robert Wickens was third, marking the third year in a row a Canadian landed on the podium. James Hinchcliffe of Canada was fourth after two straight years of third-place finishes. Josef Newgarden looked poised to defend his title and win for the third time in Toronto, leading for most of the first 32 laps on a hot and humid day. The start-time temperature was listed at about 80 degrees but felt like more like 95 degrees. But on Turn 1 of lap 33, the 27-year-old American hit the wall, allowing Dixon to take the lead and he cruised to victory from there. Dixon entered the event 33 points ahead of Newgarden in the championship standings. Further chaos ensued at the corner as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Will Power, Max Chilton, Ed Jones, Alexander Rossi and Sebastien Bourdais were involved in a collision. Rossi had said Saturday the repave of the course would likely create more action heading into the first corner. 'I think it'll allow Turn 1 to be a passing zone now. Before it was still bumpy on the inside, pretty low percentage chance, so now we're able to improve everything from practice for the race.' The incident allowed Wickens and Hinchcliffe to surge into third and fourth. Wickens moved up to second in lap 35 to trail Dixon, who led until he pitted on lap 55 but retook the lead shortly after. This was the first race in Canada for Wickens, an IndyCar rookie, since competing in Toronto as part of the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic. He spent 12 seasons in Europe, including six with Germany's DTM series. Paul Tracy remains the only Canadian to win in Toronto, taking the checkered flag in 1993 and 2003. Newgarden took his sixth pole of his career, and fourth of the year, on Saturday. Dixon set a course record earlier in qualifying on Saturday, clocking a time of 58.5546 in segment 2. He started the race second and Simon Pagenaud was third. Dixon also had the fastest lap time of 59.1394 seconds during the final practice earlier Sunday. He was trailed by Newgarden (59.3684) and American Ryan Hunter-Reay (59.3684). Hinchcliffe came into the race carrying momentum from a come-from-behind win over Newgarden at the Iowa Corn 300 last weekend.
  • Touki Toussaint was about to settle down for his pregame nap when Atlanta Braves director of player development Dom Chiti called. 'When I saw his name pop up, I did kind of get nervous,' Toussaint said. 'You see that name pop up, you're like, 'Oh, snap.'' Chiti was calling earlier this weekend to ask the highly touted pitching prospect if he'd like to play in the All-Star Futures Game. But this time of year, Toussaint and minor leaguers all over baseball are right to wonder when the phone rings. Before Manny Machado arrived for the All-Star Game, the Futures Game on Sunday was who's who of prospects bandied about in trade talks for the Baltimore Orioles shortstop and others expected to be moved before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso hit one of eight home runs in the game as the United States beat the World 10-6, a three-hour respite from the rumors. 'There's definitely a lot of talk going around with trades and all that,' said Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura, who has been mentioned as possible trade chip for Machado. 'There's always questions of who's getting moved and all that. ... Whatever happens talking wise or behind the scenes, that's out of our control.' A couple players in this game already know what these guys are going through. Luis Basabe went to the Chicago White Sox in the trade that netted the Red Sox lefty starter Chris Sale, and Dawel Lugo was part of the haul the Detroit Tigers got from the Arizona Diamondbacks for J.D. Martinez. Alonso's seventh-inning home run came off Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Adonis Medina, whose wild pitch on a strikeout allowed the go-ahead run to score. Medina has also been linked to Machado with the Phillies showing serious interest. New York Yankees pitching prospect Justus Sheffield allowed a home run and had a strikeout in 1 1/3 innings of work. Sheffield is considered untouchable even with the Yankees trying to catch the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Los Angeles Dodgers have plenty of prospect ammunition to get in on the Machado sweepstakes, including catcher Keibert Ruiz and outfielder Yusniel Diaz. Ruiz and the Dodgers got a scare when he injured his right hand on a foul tip in the seventh inning, but he said X-rays showed it was not broken. 'I was very worried,' said Diaz, who hit two home runs for the World. 'He's a good teammate and at this point we're almost like brothers, so I was very concerned.' Injuries are reason for concern, but Brewers pitching prospect Luis Ortiz doesn't worry about being traded after going from Texas to Milwaukee at the deadline two years ago. 'Being traded the first time caught me really off-guard, especially when I was with Texas, 19, 20 years old in Double-A,' said Ortiz, who got the final out for the U.S. on Sunday. 'But now that (there's) another trade talk and my name's getting brought up more and more in trades and Keston, it's more like you want to keep an eye on it, but then at the same time you've got to let it go, do your thing.' A conversation with Matt Garza also settled Ortiz's mind when the longtime major leaguer told him to pitch for the Brewers and any other teams watching. His advice to Hiura is to ignore social media, but players know that's easier said than done. 'I get tagged on Twitter 24/7,' said Toussaint, who was traded from Arizona to Atlanta three years ago. 'I don't pay attention to it. I just go out there and try to win games for my team.' While U.S. manager Torii Hunter was beating close friend, former teammate and World manager David Oritz , he was so impressed by Alonso's home run that he invoked another retired power hitter. 'That is some Mark McGuire-type stuff,' Hunter said. 'I won't forget that name.' Cincinnati Reds prospect Taylor Trammell had a home run and a triple and was picked as the MVP. His bat is going to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. With the Mets and Reds looking to sell and get younger, Alonso and Trammell can breathe easy for the next couple of weeks. Prospects playing for contenders try to look at is as a positive that they're sought-after commodities. 'It's always good when a team values you, whether it's your team or another team,' Hiura said. 'Being in that position, it definitely helps your confidence and it helps you want to play and improve every day.
  • Didier Deschamps walked into the interview room in the bowels of Luzhniki Stadium and prepared to answer questions for the first time as coach of a World Cup champion. A noise to his right caused him to turn, and his players rushed in. A bare-chested Benjamin Mendy jumped onto the table in front of Deschamps, and Florian Thauvin leaped up, too. Olivier Giroud and probably a dozen more giddy buddies sprayed their boss with bubbly, beer, cola and water, singing 'On est champions (We are champions)!' 'This is third time I got changed, and I still smell just as bad,' Deschamps said through a translator. He lifted the trophy as his nation's captain following the first title at Stade de France in 1998, and now he watched Hugo Lloris raise it in a Russian downpour following Sunday's 4-2 win over Croatia. The 49-year-old joined Brazil's Mario Zagallo (1958-62 as a player, 1970 as a manager) and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer (1974, 1990) as the only men to play for and coach a world champion. 'Well, I don't really like to talk about myself, but I'm going to be forced to do so a little bit, of course,' Deschamps said. 'I had the immense pleasure and immense privilege to live through this as a player 20 years ago, and it was in France, so of course it will be marked in my memory forever. But what the players did today is just as beautiful, is just as strong.' His players had to be brawny. They lifted Deschamps after the match and flung him into the air, over and over. 'They've always been a little bit mad, my players,' he said. Deschamps was a defensive midfielder for Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia from 1985-2001, winning the Champions League with Juve in 1996 and the 2000 European Championship with France in addition to the World Cup. He coached Monaco, Juventus and Marseille before taking over France in 2012. His national team coaching career included a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Germany at the 2014 World Cup and a 1-0 defeat to underdog Portugal in the Euro 2016 final. It seemed like film noir — he said there's an upcoming documentary coming out. 'Two years ago, it was so, so painful to get past this opportunity of being European champions,' Deschamps recalled. 'But maybe if we had been European champions, then we would not have been world champions today. I did learn a lot myself through this final.' Now the story arc includes happiness. He was embraced by French President Emmanuel Macron, posed for photos on the field with wife Claude and son Dylan, cradled one of the hardest trophies to win in sports. He hugged Dylan as the 22-year-old waved a French tricolor. 'When we were world champions, he was too young to understand,' Deschamps said. 'And today there are young people who are maybe 15, 16 years old, and they've lived through that. They had this happiness, to be able to live this event with us — of course maybe to be crazy and a little bit mad.' Based on the losing experience of 2016, he revamped the team's routine ahead of the final. Player relaxation was at the forefront. And it worked. 'They had to get that star, that shining star,' Deschamps said, referring to the symbol that goes above a national team's crest to indicate a World Cup won. 'I'm proud for them, and I'm also proud of myself — with all the humility, of course.' ___ More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
  • Kylian Mbappe high-fived a political protester who invaded the field during the World Cup final. French President Emmanuel Macron leapt out of his seat in a VVIP area that included a leader charged with genocide. And Vladimir Putin was drenched in a sudden downpour as the trophy was handed over to the victorious French team. This year's World Cup was never going to be a refuge from politics when it was being staged in Putin's Russia, but the players did their best to keep the tournament for themselves. A final with six goals — France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday — was a fitting climax to a month that produced some of the most enthralling matches in World Cup history. The lasting images will be of pure elation as the France players leapt into the crowd to collect flags, then crashed Didier Deschamps' post-match news conference, dancing on the table and spraying champagne and water on the coach. 'Sorry,' Deschamps said. 'They're young and they're happy.' No need to apologize. This young squad earned its right to go wild. Particularly Mbappe, a 19-year-old forward whose career trajectory should move into a stratosphere occupied for so long by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The old guard went home early; another failed challenge for World Cup titles by Portugal and Argentina. Mbappe flies home with a winners' medal. It's not just about his composure on the ball, and eye for goal. Just look at the coolness early in the second half dealing with a member of the Pussy Riot activist group which protests against what they consider to be Putin's repressive regime: A double-high five. Nothing fazes the guy who became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958. 'I've always been ready, mentally, to do beautiful things,' Mbappe said. 'I'm free and, most of all, I enjoy it.' Not only Mbappe. Benjamin Pavard, a 22-year-old defender, will be hot property in the upcoming transfer window. Raphael Varane has also been at the heart of the defense that didn't concede a goal in four of seven games in Russia. The starring role by Paul Pogba, who scored the decisive third goal on Sunday, was a riposte to critics of his contribution at Manchester United. 'These kids, they play like it's a pick-up game,' said 32-year-old France defender Adil Rami, who was on the bench for the entire tournament. In so many ways, France lifting the trophy was one shred of order in this month of so much disruption. And it wasn't just about the often-confusing use of video review on its World Cup debut. Set-pieces are back in vogue, accounting for 73 of the 169 goals, including Mario Mandzukic's own-goal from Antoine Griezmann's free kick that gave France an early lead in the final. Germany's title defense disintegrated in the group stage. Spain, in turmoil from the start, was sent home in the round of 16, signaling the end of the tiki-taka tactics behind the country's title run in 2010. No longer is it all about keeping hold of the ball. 'The teams with the highest level of possession were all punished by fast forwards,' Deschamps said. 'When you defend, you are guaranteed to have two or three opportunities on the counterattack.' Croatia bulldozed its way into the final in a sure sign of the establishment being disrupted. The gritty resolve was always evident in the final. Even at 4-1, the Croats didn't give up on their first shot at a major soccer title, but they finally ran out of steam after three straight extra-time matches. 'I have never lived through such a World Cup,' Deschamps said. 'There was a leveling at the top. And the small teams on paper arrived really well prepared athletically. My memory was that great football nations would have some difficulty and then they would grow stronger.' Only France did, reasserting the World Cup's status at the pinnacle of soccer over the increasingly-predictable club competitions across Europe. Even Russia, the lowest-ranked team at the tournament, managed to reach the quarterfinals. 'You have to believe it's possible and many things have to fall into place,' Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said after his country's first final. 'You have to follow those dreams and ambitions and then maybe one day it will come true.' Maybe one day politicians will not try to hog the limelight at a sporting event as they did at the Luzhniki Stadium and across Russia. FIFA allowed one of the coveted seats to be given to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Another went to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been described as Europe's last dictator. But there was some payback from Mother Nature. By delaying the trophy presentation, leaving Croatia's despondent players waiting even longer to depart the field, the storm clouds gathered. The downpour soaked the dignitaries. That shouldn't be a problem when the World Cup heads to the desert nation of Qatar four years from now, when France will hope to defend its title and the smaller nations will have been given hope by Croatia. 'Talent is not sufficient,' Deschamps said before departing to rejoin the victory celebrations. 'What makes the difference is psychological.' ___ Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
  • Antoine Griezmann's father emigrated from Germany, and the France forward's mother is of Portuguese descent. Paul Pogba's parents arrived from Guinea. Kylian Mbappe's dad is from Cameroon, his mom Algerian. Immigrants, sons of immigrants and grandsons of immigrants bonded together with scions of families that have been French for generations, all for the rouge, blanc et bleu. And for only the second time, France is the World Cup champion. About two-thirds of Les Bleus' roster included players with immigrant backgrounds, a mini-United Nations of soccer talent. 'That is the France that we love,' Griezmann said through a translator after Sunday's 4-2 victory over Croatia ended the most exciting World Cup final in decades. 'It's beautiful to see it.' Griezmann's free kick was headed in by Mario Manduzkic for the opening own-goal in the 18th minute, and then Griezmann converted a penalty kick for a 2-1 lead in the 38th after video review spotted a handball by Ivan Perisic. Mbappe's speed led to the third goal in the 59th . He added a goal of his own in the 65th , at 19 becoming the second-youngest scorer in a World Cup final behind 17-year-old Pele in 1958. Vive la diversite! A day after Bastille Day, the party was on. 'The diversity of the squad is in the image of this beautiful country that is France,' midfielder Blaise Matuidi, whose parents are from Angola and Congo, said through a translator ahead of the match. France won on a humid night in Russia, with thunderclaps during play and a downpour during the trophy presentation. Quite different from that indelible summer evening at Stade de France in 1998, when fans in the arena and throughout Paris sang 'La Marseillaise' until dawn and young teenagers drove cars while their intoxicated parents sat in passenger seats. People called that team 'Black, Blanc, Beur,' noting how black, white and North African players came together. Zinedine Zidane, a son of Algerians, headed in a pair of first-half corner kicks against heavily favored Brazil. Patrick Vieira, born in Senegal, fed Normandy-born Emmanuel Petit for the third in the 3-0 win. This year's team was perhaps even more diverse. Defender Samuel Umtiti was born in Cameroon and backup goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in Zaire. Others descended from Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Mococco and Senegal, plus Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. 'There may be players who come from different origins, but we do have the same state of mind,' Griezmann said. 'We all play for the same jersey, the cockerel. For our country, we give everything we have. As soon as you wear the jersey, we do everything for each other.' He scored the go-ahead goal after the first video review-created penalty kick in a World Cup final. During a delay of about four minutes that might have unnerved less-composed players, Griezmann told himself to pretend it was a league match. 'Carry on and do the same thing as I normally do,' he remembered thinking. At 27, he is in his prime but in the penumbra of Spanish soccer powers at Atletico Madrid, toiling in a league that Barcelona and Real Madrid dominate. He led the 2016 European Championship with six goals and tied for second with four at the World Cup, three on penalty kicks, earning the Bronze Ball as third-best player behind Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and Belgium forward Eden Hazard. Griezmann kissed the trophy, knowing his generation will be revered in the same way Zidane, Petit, Thierry Henry, Lilian Thuram and Fabien Barthez remain renowned from Calais to Cannes. 'From tonight on, I'm sorry for them, but they are going to be different,' coach Didier Deschamps said. 'Those 23 players will be linked forever, forever. Whatever happens — they might follow different paths, but they will be marked forever and they will be together thanks to this event.' Griezmann, man of the match in a World Cup final, will be on posters throughout the republic, asked for endorsements, a mainstay of commercials. He will be pestered for autographs for the rest of his life. 'I'm going to be in the history of French football with my team,' Griezmann said. 'We don't quite realize it yet. Our children will very proud to have our names.' ___ More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
  • Retired NHL goaltender Ray Emery, who helped the Ottawa Senators reach the final in 2007 and won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, drowned in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. He was 35. Hamilton Police said Emery was identified as the victim of a swimming accident in the harbor Sunday morning. Staff sergeant Paul Evans said police received a call just after 6 a.m. that an adult swimmer did not surface and that the Niagara Police assisted in the recovery effort. Emery's body was recovered just before 3 p.m. Sunday. Hamilton Police said a cause of death would be confirmed after a post-mortem. Nicknamed 'Razor' for his aggressive style, Emery played parts of 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks from 2003-2015. He helped the Senators reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 and won it as a backup with the Blackhawks in 2013. 'Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender,' Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. 'Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career.' Emery battled avascular necrosis, the same serious hip ailment that ended two-sport star Bo Jackson's career. He and fellow Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford combined to win the William Jennings Trophy for allowing the league's fewest goals during the lockout-shortened 2013 season and finished seventh in Vezina Trophy voting. 'The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray as a fierce competitor, a good teammate and a Stanley Cup champion,' the team said in a statement. Emery played in 326 NHL regular-season and playoff games. He went 145-86-28 with a 2.70 goals-against average and 16 shutouts during his career. Throughout his career, Emery dealt with off-ice problems, including an incident of road rage, assault of a trainer in Russia and behavior that led to him being sent home from Ottawa's training camp. 'Ray had many highs and lows in his personal life and his career,' longtime agent J.P. Barry said. 'He never let things that would derail most of us stop his forward momentum. He had a big heart and a fun loving personality. He was someone we all rooted for to succeed.' Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, who knew Emery from junior hockey and the goalie's stint with the American Hockey League's Marlies, echoed that sentiment of rooting for him to succeed through his ups and downs. Dubas said Emery's 'smile and intelligence made him a magnetic personality.' Emery played in Zac Rinaldo's charity hockey game Saturday night in Hamilton. After word of his death spread, condolences poured out from the hockey community. 'I will always remember Ray as a good person first & foremost,' friend and former teammate Dan Carcillo wrote on Twitter. 'I envied his demeanor. He had a contagious personality. People were drawn to him. ... I will never forget his selflessness. Man this hurts. Rest easy Uncle Ray Ray.' Former teammates lauded Emery's mentorship and leadership, especially in his final professional season in the AHL in 2015-16. Enforcer-turned-analyst Paul Bissonnette, a teammate with the AHL's Ontario Reign, said Emery would treat other players to dinner almost every night. 'I'd heard nothing but great things before meeting him and it was true,' Bissonnette said. 'He was awesome. Great in the locker room and just made life enjoyable.' ___ For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
  • For well over six seasons, Manny Machado's value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field. All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade. Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday. Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. 'Obviously there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that,' Showalter said. 'That had a lot to do with it.' Plain and simple, the Orioles can't afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever. 'A month ago he wouldn't have come out of the game,' Showalter acknowledged. 'We know that. You know it.' After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates. 'I don't know why (Showalter) did it or not,' Machado said. 'He just told me, 'I'm going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.'' Machado is Baltimore's lone representative for Tuesday's showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don't appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal. 'I'm going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It's just always a blessing,' Machado said. 'I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization. I mean it's just been very incredible.' In a matchup between two teams staggering into the break, Texas got a first-inning grand slam from rookie Ronald Guzman but quickly gave the lead away in losing for the seventh time in nine games. Machado ignited the comeback with his 24th homer, and Jones' bases-clearing double in the third off Mike Minor (6-6) put Baltimore ahead to stay. 'I'll be fine,' said Minor, who yielded five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. 'I'll reflect a little bit and then get back to it.' The game ended when Texas pinch-runner Carlos Tocci was thrown out at the plate on a double by Elvis Andrus. Running from first base, Tocci was tagged out by catcher Caleb Joseph following throws by right fielder Mark Trumbo and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. 'Textbook,' Showalter said. Texas manager Jeff Bannister called it a 'situation where they had to throw it on line to throw Tocci out. They executed well.' Tanner Scott (1-1), the first of four Baltimore relievers, earned his first big league win. Zach Britton, another Oriole supposedly on the trading block, worked the ninth for his fourth save, the second in two days. Texas broke on top when Miguel Castro issued three straight walks and Guzman sent a one-out drive over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam. It was 4-1 in the third when Joseph hit an RBI double and Jones doubled down the left-field line following a walk to Machado. Shin-Soo Choo homered in the seventh to get the Rangers to 6-5. STREAKY Choo opened the game with a walk, extending to 51 his single-season club record streak of games reaching base via a hit, walk or HBP. ... Texas' Delino DeShields went 0 for 3, stretching his hitless drought to 28 at-bats. ... Jones snapped a 1-for-16 skid with his third-inning double. TRAINER'S ROOM Rangers: RF Nomar Mazara was given the day off after hurting his hand Saturday night in the outfield. Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (back) was set to make his final rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (oblique) and OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) likely won't come off the DL before August, Showalter said. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (neck strain) will be activated from the DL on Saturday or Sunday to face Toronto, Showalter said. UP NEXT Rangers: The rotation after the All-Star break, beginning Friday against visiting Cleveland: Martin Perez, Bartolo Colon, Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo and Minor. Orioles: After the All-Star break, Dylan Bundy will start at Toronto on Friday night. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • David Ortiz drew so many pals and well-wishers, it took him nearly three minutes just to climb a few dugout steps. He then swung behind the batting cage, gave Vladimir Guerrero a playful pat, and spotted another Hall of Famer along the first base side. 'What's goin' on, Papi?' a grinning Dave Winfield asked. Yep, Big Papi is still a big hit wherever he goes, whatever he does. On Sunday, that meant a new job: The retired Red Sox great became a manager at the All-Star Futures Game, guiding the minor league talent on the World squad at Nationals Park. Ortiz, of course, drew the loudest ovation during pregame introductions. Famed for hitting fastballs into the bleachers at Fenway Park, he found this skippering business more like a changeup. As in, tough to adjust to, even for a one-time exhibition. 'People will say you played in the big leagues for 20 years, you will have this managing side in your back pocket,' he said. 'It doesn't work that way.' Not on this afternoon, anyway. Final score: U.S. 10, World 6. 'Being a manager is not that easy, I'm telling you it's not that easy,' he said after the game. 'Being a manager is stressful, especially when things are not going good,' he said, laughing. And no surprise, Ortiz doesn't have any intention of making this a full-time gig at any level. 'That is not on my bucket list,' the 42-year-old Ortiz said. Besides, he reckoned, he's probably too nice for the post. 'I'm so friendly with everybody,' he said, 'I don't know how to be mad at anybody.' Luis Basabe got to see that big smile up close. A top young talent for the Chicago White Sox, the 21-year-old from Venezuela was picked by Ortiz to lead off and play center field. He rewarded his manager's faith by hitting a home run. Asked how it felt to share space with Ortiz, his eyes grew wide. 'His name ... Big Papi ... that name means a lot,' Basabe said. 'A legend, a good teammate, a champion.' Dodgers catching prospect Keibert Ruiz met Ortiz on Saturday. 'It's awesome. Unbelievable. I saw David Ortiz with Boston Red Sox hitting home runs and then I saw he was manager in the futures game, unbelievable,' he said. Ruiz said Ortiz offered a tip, too: 'Just see the ball and hit it hard.' After signing autographs and chatting with fans, Ortiz took on another role before the first pitch— team photographer. Standing in the midst of his players, he grabbed a camera to snap a couple selfies. 'I have some work to do,' he said earlier. Ortiz, who will serve as a TV analyst for Fox during the All-Star Game, was lured into this event by longtime buddy Torii Hunter, the manager for the U.S. team. 'I thought it would be something special because we've always been together with the Twins, we played together, went to the postseason together. I got beat by him in the postseason,' Hunter said. 'We have a bond, man. He's one of my best friends in the game. I thought it would be cool for media, for fans and Major League Baseball.' 'We got a fun rivalry. It's just something we've always done. We've been competitive. David would hit a home run in the minor leagues, I tried to hit one. He would try to hit one further, then I would try to hit one further. We had some fun along the way and always been competitive, even as teammates. ... Once we got off the field, he's my friend. On the field, he's my frenemy,' he said. Wearing his familiar No. 34, with a Dominican Republic flag patch on the front of his red jersey and a Boston 'B'' logo on his shoulder, Ortiz now works for the Red Sox in a variety of capacities. He led them to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All-Star and hit most of his 541 homers with the club. Ortiz retired after the 2016 season. He stays in regular contact with All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts and delights in seeing Boston bash the ball all around the park. 'Woo!!!' Ortiz hollered, rattling the wall in his manager's office. Those Red Sox own the best record in the majors, having gone on a quite a roll going into break. Kind of makes Ortiz want to grab a bucket of popcorn, sit back in a comfortable seat and take in the winning show. 'Like watching a movie you know it's going to end up,' he said.

Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA — For Trent Pearson and Jason Miller, it was set up to be a perfect day: Atlanta United soccer at The Benz in the afternoon, SEC football talk in the evening at Centennial Olympic Park. There ended up being some wrinkles. It started with the hometown soccer team not winning (they played Seattle to a 1-1 draw). And then Georgia coach Kirby Smart had to cancel his scheduled appearance on SEC Nation, which was broadcasting a live show from the park from 6 to 8 p.m. It was a perfect day for Atlanta’s Jason Miller (L) and Trent Pearson, who are both Georgia fans and fans of the Atlanta United soccer team. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) But there were no complaints from these two fans. “I saw on social media a few weeks ago that this was going on and I’m a season ticket holder for Atlanta United,” said Pearson, drinking a beer with his buddy underneath the UGA Alumni Association tent around dusk. “So I knew I wanted to come over and check it out afterward. It’s been pretty cool. I’m pumped it’s in Atlanta because Atlanta is the heart of the SEC.” The SEC is holding its annual Football Media Days convention in Atlanta for the first time in history. It has been held in Birmingham since the late 1980s. On Sunday, the league conducted its first-ever SEC Summerfest football kickoff celebration. The aim was to cater to fans. There was live music, food trucks, interactive games for kids and hospitality tents for all 14 of the SEC schools. The finale was intended to be the SEC Nation show, featuring all the SEC Network’s television personalities and college football analysts. But the crowd had thinned out considerably by the time that started at 6 p.m. as Atlanta United fans headed home. “I think it’s a great idea and it’ll only get better over time,” Pearson said. “This is the first year and not that many people knew about it. Atlanta is a lot better place for the SEC preseason meetings.” As expected, Georgia fans had the strongest presence. But Florida and Auburn were also very well-represented. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn created a stir among and orange-and-blue set when he made an appearance on SEC Nation early in the show. The SEC had announced that Smart was also going to make an appearance, but he backed out for unspecified reasons. Trent Woods, better known as Big Dawg III, was among the contingent of Georgia fans to descend on Centennial Olympic Park Sunday for the SEC’s inaugural SEC Summerfest event. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) “He’s probably busy trying to see that Demetris Robertson gets eligible this season,” cracked Trent Woods, better known as Big Dawg III, the famous Georgia fan who wears the face of a bulldog painted atop his head. Woods was headed toward the Centennial Park exit but still taking photos with fans around 7 p.m. He said he’d been there since about 3 p.m. “And I forgot to put on sunscreen today, so I’m going to be feeling it later,” he said, rubbing the crown of his head. All of the goings on Sunday were a sideshow to the main event that begins late Monday morning. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will give a state of the SEC address around 11 a.m., kicking off four days of football talk and preseason hype in The Omni Hotel and College Football Hall of Fame. Pearson’s ties to Georgia run deep. He’s a UGA alum who worked for the Bulldogs as an equipment manager while in school. He’s about to take a full-time job at The Citadel. The same can’t be said for his friend. Miller is actually a Georgia Tech alum but he said he also roots for Georgia in all but one game a year. “Just don’t tell anybody,” Miller said. Oops. The post Georgia and Atlanta United fans unite at inaugural SEC Summerfest event appeared first on DawgNation.
  • LEBANON, Tenn. — Zion Logue committed to the Georgia staff about a week ago. He went public with that choice from a gathering at his aunt’s home in Central Tennessee on Sunday night. The 6-foot-5.5, 285-pound standout chose Georgia over a field of options that included serious interest from Kentucky, Ole Miss and Memphis. Alabama and Ohio State were a couple of his other higher-profile offers but they had not ratcheted up their pursuit of Logue the way that a few other schools had. Logue becomes the 11th commitment for the Bulldogs in the class of 2019. His decision also bumps the Bulldogs up to No. 11 nationally. Georgia’s class now rates as the No. 4 collection in the SEC based off the 247Sports Team Composite rankings. He will not enroll early and told DawgNation that the current plan is for him to not take any other official or unofficial visits besides the one he will take to Georgia. “If Georgia will let me take any other visits then I will have to think about that,” Logue said. “But if they do not want me to do that, then I will make sure to honor what they want me to do with that.” Why did he choose Georgia? Logue said that he couldn’t really articulate all the exact reasons. It was largely just a feeling, he said. “It is just that family feel I get with Georgia,” Logue said. “I just feel like Georgia has something really special going on with that program right now and in the seasons to come.” It is worth noting here that the DL target with the size-14 cleats is now the only 3-star commitment for the Bulldogs in the class. About that 3-star rating here with Zion Logue Did you just get a good look at that film? See what you need to know? Well, go ahead and flush all of that. That film is essentially the recruiting equivalent of a weight loss “before” picture. With Logue, it will involve some serious weight gain. Logue seemed to have re-booted his recruiting over the last 3-4 months. That junior year film from Lebanon High School was at least 50 pounds ago. It now looks like he has transformed his body from a 245-pound defensive end as a junior into a serious SEC defensive line target for this cycle. “I feel like I was able to show all those coaches that I was committed to working to become something really special one day,” Logue said. The weight change, which was accomplished through some serious weight training, has reshaped his body. He was a different player when several major Power 5 programs saw him over the summer, including Georgia. “My junior year I played around 240 or 245 pounds,” he said. “Then from January to March this year, I put on 35 pounds.” That grind has included a lot of explosive lifts. Squats. Cleans. Weighted jumps from the middle of a power clean position. He’s kept on bulking up from there. Logue has added another 15-20 pounds to his frame since then. His trainer Shavez Jobe told DawgNation that the future Bulldog DT has added that weight without losing any of his speed. He’s still right around the 5.0 or 5.1 mark in the 40-yard dash. “Just weight room and more weight room,” Logue said. “Being in the weight room every day and just working.” His athletic ability allowed him to play three spots in high school. He just recently gave up baseball and used to be a middle school quarterback. Jobe and Logue both believe he can still throw a football about 60 yards. The college position projection for Zion Logue Logue rates on the 247Sports composite scale as the nation’s No. 42 strong-side DE prospect, but that projection was at his previous weight and that position. He traveled to the U.S. Army All-American camp back in January and established himself as a prospect with a bit higher ceiling than that. Especially as he kept reshaping his body into a frame which can withstand the rigors of the SEC. Where does UGA plan to use him? “I can play between the ‘3’ and the ‘5’ technique for Georgia,” Logue said. “The coaches saw what I could do when I camped there for them and that’s where they plan to use me.” He told DawgNation that he also plans to be at the highly-anticipated west end zone expansion and locker room reveal at Sanford Stadium later this month. Logue had originally planned to make his commitment known on Sept. 6 but chose to move it up in order to just settle the matter of his college future and end his recruiting process. The post BREAKING: Bulldogs add defensive line target Zion Logue to 2019 class appeared first on DawgNation.
  • As much fun as it is for Georgia fans to reminisce about the greatest games we’ve seen, there are other days we’d just as soon forget — but can’t. Of course, any time the Dawgs lose is a bad day for fans, but some games are such awful experiences, for one reason or another, that they are seared into our memories. Here are 10 of the least favorite Dawgs football games that I’ve attended over the years — and, as you’ll see, not all of them are losses … Tech in the rain The 34-14 drubbing by the Yellow Jackets in 1974, closing out the first regular season after I graduated from UGA, is probably my least favorite game ever. On a day when Athens was hit by what Vince Dooley later recalled as “the hardest sustained rain I can ever remember for a football game,” Pepper Rodgers’ Georgia Tech team ran the wishbone just about to perfection on a muddy field. As Dooley put it 15 years later in the book “Dooley’s Dawgs,” on that day Tech “dominated us … It was one of our most humiliating defeats. … I’ve never been so embarrassed.” In addition to the downpour, it was bitterly cold, and Dooley’s players were huddling around a portable heater on the sideline. “It was obvious they were more concerned about staying warm than being in the game,” he recalled. I couldn’t blame them, though. I was so wet and cold and miserable that I left the game early in the third quarter — the first time I’d ever done that.  Florida in Athens  Georgia’s Kirby Smart is sandwiched by Gators players in the 1995 game against Florida, played in Athens. (Dave Martin/AP) Stadium renovations in Jacksonville that made it necessary to move the Georgia-Florida series to Gainesville and Athens for two years brought Steve Spurrier’s No. 3-ranked Gators Between the Hedges for the 1995 game. What resulted was a humiliating beatdown that saw Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel throw five touchdown passes in just under three quarters. But, that wasn’t enough for Spurrier, known for his hatred of the Bulldogs. He decided he wanted his Gators to be the first team to score “half a hundred” on the Dawgs in Athens, so they kept pushing, including a final score with 1:10 left on the clock, to give Florida a 52-17 win over Ray Goff’s hapless team. Most of the Georgia fans (including me) were no longer there to watch Spurrier celebrate his triumph, though, having left during the fourth quarter. Thankfully, I was there 20 years later when another Georgia team returned the favor and closed out Spurrier’s career against the Dawgs with a 52-20 trouncing of his South Carolina Gamecocks. I never saw anything sweeter than a dejected Prince of Darkness removing his headset in disgust before the game was over. Bama: The ‘Blackout’ and more Alabama came into Athens ranked No. 8 in the country to face Mark Richt’s No. 3-ranked Dawgs, who featured Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. UGA declared a Blackout in honor of the game, and the Sanford Stadium crowd was stoked at kickoff. By halftime, with the Tide having put up a 31-0 lead, the black-clad Georgia fans were shell-shocked. The final score of 41-30 may have looked a bit more respectable on paper, but no one who was there would sum it up as anything but complete domination by Nick Saban’s troops. Some fans naturally blamed the black jerseys, which didn’t show up again for another eight years . The 38-10 loss to Bama in Athens in 2015 also is a pretty awful memory, exacerbated by the fact that it was a rainy day and the trudge back to the car afterward was miserable. This was another game completely dominated by Alabama. Strangely, this time no one blamed Georgia’s jerseys (which were red). A royal thrashing Vince Dooley and Britain’s Prince Charles meet before the 1977 game against Kentucky. (University of Georgia) Perhaps the most star-studded Georgia homecoming game ever also turned out to be one of the worst losses of the Dooley era. In what would turn out to be the fabled head coach’s only losing season in Athens, UGA welcomed Britain’s Prince Charles (“Damn good prince!” chanted the student section) and former “Beverly Hillbillies” star Donna Douglas to its 1977 game against Kentucky, plus James Brown performed “Dooley’s Junkyard Dogs” on the field at halftime with the Redcoat Band. But, the game itself sucked. Georgia was held to eight first downs and 127 total yards. including just 47 rushing, and Kentucky won 33-0. True, this wasn’t your usual Kentucky team; the Cats would finish the season 10-1, ranked sixth in the nation. Still, as Scott Woerner recalled years later, “t he Kentucky game that year was not just a capitulation of one team, but a complete domination by the other.” I’m not sure if it was this game, or maybe another day where the Dawgs were dominated, but one of my all-time favorite Dooley stories, told by an ex-player, took place at halftime of a shellacking at home: The disgusted Georgia head coach came into the Sanford locker room, shoved a row of lockers, knocking them over, and walked out, not saying a word. A come-from-ahead loss The 2009 matchup against Kentucky in Athens was the only time I’ve viewed a game at Sanford Stadium from one of the enclosed private boxes. The free food and adult beverages served were enjoyable, but I felt strangely removed from the action, with glass between me and the game and the sound piped in. However, considering what happened in the second half, maybe that was a blessing. Georgia took a 20-6 halftime lead, but Kentucky scored 14 points off four second-half turnovers by the Dawgs, and the Wildcats rallied to beat Georgia 34-27 for their first win in Athens since that 1977 homecoming game. The view from above allowed me to anticipate the interception Georgia QB Joe Cox threw on a screen pass while the ball was still in the air. All in all, not the way I prefer to watch football. Donnan’s last Tech game Unlike the previous year’s 51-48 thriller in Atlanta, the 2000 Tech game in Athens wasn’t close. I’ve seen many bad plays over the years, but few have been as dispiriting as watching slow-footed Tech QB George Godsey fake out the Dawgs defense and run for a 33-yard touchdown less than 2 minutes into the game. Tech built a 27-3 halftime lead and cruised to a 27-15 victory over the 19th-ranked Bulldogs. It was tough for Georgia fans to watch Tech players holding up three fingers (indicating three consecutive wins over the Dawgs), as they tore into the hedges. But, on the bright side, it led to Jim Donnan’s firing.  A stunning loss The 2006 loss to a Vanderbilt team that would finish the season 4-8 definitely was one of the most surprising defeats of the Richt era. Vanderbilt left Athens with a 24-22 win over the 14th-ranked Bulldogs. Georgia took a 22-21 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but the Dawgs failed on a 2-point conversion and then missed a field goal with about 5 minutes left that would have forced Vandy to go for a TD on its final possession. The Commodores kicked the winning field goal with 2 seconds left. The Sanford scoreboard immediately went blank after the final whistle, but it didn’t help erase the memory of what we’d just seen. The squib kick The 2014 loss to Georgia Tech forever will be known as the “squib kick” game. (Sean Taylor/UGA) Usually, when you take the lead with 18 seconds left on the clock, you win. But, Richt teams had a knack for being the exception to that rule. Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason hit Malcolm Mitchell with a 3-yard touchdown pass to put the Dawgs ahead in the 2014 game against Georgia Tech, but Richt elected to call for a squib kick on the kickoff, enabling the Jackets to get great field position and quickly get in position for a game-tying field goal. The game went to overtime, and Georgia lost 30-24. Of course, the squib kick wasn’t the only reason the Dawgs lost that day. There were a pair of fumbles on or near the goal line, and, on one fourth quarter drive, Georgia was first-and-goal at the 1-yard line and had to settle for a field goal. Also, Jeremy Pruitt’s defense gave up 399 yards and allowed the Jackets to convert on eight third downs and two fourth downs. Still, the squib kick, giving Tech the ball at their own 43 with 13 seconds remaining, will go down as one of the biggest coaching blunders in UGA football history. A tie that felt like a loss The lightly regarded Pitt Panthers came into Athens three-touchdown underdogs to start the 1973 season, but, thanks to some clever scheming on defense, and freshman back Tony Dorsett running for over 100 yards, the game ended in a 7-7 tie. Most of The Red & Black’s student staff wasn’t back yet (school started later in those days) and, as the summer managing editor, I was drafted to help out with the coverage. It was the only regular season game I’ve ever watched from the press box, an experience I didn’t particularly enjoy since you weren’t supposed to cheer, plus a sportswriter sitting near me provided a running racist commentary on Dorsett’s exploits. My assignment was to do the UGA locker room reaction story after the game. The slogan written on the blackboard exhorted “Take Pride in Yourself!” but my old Athens classmate Andy Johnson and the other Dawgs weren’t feeling very proud. It seemed like a losers’ locker room. “We just never could get going,” Andy told me. “We didn’t underestimate them. We knew they would be good, but, I don’t know, I guess we just weren’t ready.” With Heisman-winner Dorsett leading Pitt to a national title two years later, perhaps Georgia’s performance that day wasn’t as underwhelming as it seemed. Still, the result, combined with the press box experience, made it one of my least favorite games. A depressing overtime win Sometimes, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you played the game. Thus, just as a couple of losses made my list of the all-time “best” Georgia games, the 2015 overtime victory over Georgia Southern has a place on this list of my least favorite games. It’s all a matter of perspective; my daughter, for whom it was her last home game as a UGA student, says this was one of her favorite games, because it was so exciting, and Georgia won. But, I can’t get past the fact that the Dawgs never should have been taken to overtime by a lesser nonconference opponent like Georgia Southern. When I look back at the game now, Georgia having to struggle against such an opponent — not exactly a cupcake, but certainly not an SEC-level program — sort of encapsulates much of the fan frustration with the last years of the Richt era of Bulldogs football.     That’s my list of some of the games I wish I could forget. Thankfully, there’ve been many more good — even great — days than bad ones during my decades attending Georgia football games. If you’d like to share your thoughts or questions on this or any other Dawgs topic, email me at junkyardblawg@gmail.com . The post 10 of the least favorite Georgia football games this fan has attended appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Now that the Paul Finebaum drama has been settled, the SEC can get on with kicking off the college football season like it does every year. Only this year, the league plans to make SEC Football Media Days a bigger deal than ever. All the rhetoric that annually precedes the season will get under way this week as coaches and players from all 14 teams and more than 1,000 media members who follow them descend on Atlanta for the first time in history. But the SEC plans to crank it up a notch — starting on Sunday — a day earlier than usual — and incorporating fans into the proceedings. Centennial Olympic Park is where SEC football fans will want to be between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday. That’s the location for the first SEC Football Kickoff Summerfest. Presented by Regions Bank, the free event will feature live music, interactive games for kids, food trucks and party tents set up for each of the respective 14 schools. The main event gets underway at 6 p.m. as SEC Nation – the SEC’s version of College GameDay featuring that Finebaum guy and all the other SEC Network personalities — goes live from the park. Country music artist John King will be playing live and there will be a deejay as well. “The thought was just to make one of our bigger, signature events just a little bit bigger by allowing more fans to participate,” said Herb Vincent, the SEC’s associate commissioner for communications. “The opportunity we have there in Atlanta is outstanding with Centennial Olympic Park being right across the street from the College Football Hall of Fame. … Basically, it’s an opportunity to tailgate in the summer time.” Georgia and Auburn fans hoping to get the early scoop on their respective teams are urged to show up Sunday. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn have been confirmed as guests on SEC Nation. It definitely should make for a happening scene in downtown Atlanta. In addition to the SEC’s considerable presence, Atlanta United FC – the city’s wildly popular professional soccer club – will be playing a match against Seattle nearby at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 2 p.m. “We think we’ll get some spillover from that,” Vincent said. “The College Football Hall of Fame is open and they’ll be showing the World Cup, so there should be a lot of activity downtown.” Media Days itself won’t get started until late Monday morning inside the Hall of Fame, but fans are invited to greet their favorite coaches and players in the lobby of the Marietta Street facility across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. But expect the atmosphere to be considerably less festive as teams and reporters begin to discuss in earnest the serious business of what to expect this coming season. Led off by a state of the conference message from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on Monday, each head coach and three selected players will take turns on the podium throughout the week. The event concludes on Thursday. Following is the lineup: MONDAY (All times Eastern) 11:30 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.: Commissioner Greg Sankey and Texas A&M 2 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.: Kentucky and LSU TUESDAY 8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.: Steve Shaw, SEC Coordinator of Football Officials 9 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Georgia and Ole Miss 1:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Arkansas and Florida WEDNESDAY 8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.: David Fletcher, Football Bowl Association 8:40 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.: Bill Hancock, Executive Director College Football Playoff 9 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Mississippi State and Tennessee 1:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Alabama and Missouri THURSDAY 8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.: Football Writers Association of America 8:40 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.: National Football Foundation 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Auburn, Vanderbilt and South Carolina At the end of the week, media members will vote on all-conference teams and predict an order of finish. Georgia and Alabama are the prohibitive favorites to win their respective divisions heading in. But the real fun to be had happens on Sunday. The SEC is hopeful that great turnout will spur on a new tradition. “We won’t know much about it until it happens,” Vincent said. “It depends on the weather, of course. But we think it should be a lot of fun.” The post SEC hoping for festive atmosphere for first Football Media Days in Atlanta appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The decision is in. Demetris Robertson is coming back home to play for his home state Georgia Bulldogs.  The transfer commitment video drop from Chimin’ In Media settles a short-term matter. Robertson will come back home to play for his home state Georgia Bulldogs. Will he play right away in 2018? That could happen. Will he have to sit out another year due to his transfer to hit the field in 2019? That could also happen. That will hinge on an NCAA ruling. But for right now, let’s traffic in a much more clear-cut debate. Robertson’s decision should have no bearing on the ultimate decisions for the pair of 5-star receivers the Bulldogs currently have committed for 2019. That would be 5-stars Jadon Haselwood and Dominick Blaylock. Both of those prospects are long-time homegrown in-state commitments to the Bulldogs. That’s looking at it from purely a football perspective first and foremost. Haselwood currently ranks as the nation’s No. 1 WR for the 2019 cycle. He also rates as the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect for the 247Sports composite. While we are talking about two extremely talented receiver prospects here, I do hold the scouting opinion that Haselwood has more upside as a prospect than Robinson. If you absolutely had to pick one, then you would pick Haselwood. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior is more of a complete receiver in the A.J. Green mold. He is also a player that thrives on competition. He didn’t let any of the talented prospects that UGA was chasing in the 2018 or 2019 classes affect the decision he made way back in March of 2018. There are also three clear points to convey here: Haselwood is an outside receiver or an “X” receiver. Robertson will work in the slot. If he is the player he has shown to be so far, then Robertson will likely only spend one or two seasons at Georgia. That means Haselwood and Robertson will at the most only play together in the 2019 season. Haselwood, on the other hand, will have at least three seasons of eligibility at UGA. What do the UGA fans think? It seems that more than 1,000 of the responded recently to a Twitter poll about which player they would rather see play for the Bulldogs. who would you rather have at UGA? — sᴀᴠᴀɴɴᴀʜ ᴋ ᴊᴏɴᴇs ☆ (@sav_katherine) July 9, 2018 Blaylock might be the player that might be competing with Robertson for snaps and specific play calls in the UGA offense in the 2019 season. That said, he should still be seen as one of the most committed prospects in the 2019 class. Dominick Blaylock ranks as the nation’s No. 4 receiver prospect in the class of 2019. (Nate Gettleman/Cox Media Group file photo) The Walton High standout plans to take just one official visit. That’s the one to UGA. He also hasn’t made a single recruiting trip to visit another school since he made his commitment in July of 2017. If anything, that adds to the lure of UGA for Blaylock. It will be another headache of a matchup for SEC defensive backs to contend with. “Dom doesn’t worry about anyone else,” Blaylock’s father John Woods told DawgNation. “The more the better. He’s just going to do his thing.” Robertson becomes the 17th player on the UGA roster or commitment list that has received a 5-star rating from at least one of the major recruiting services.   The post How does the Demetris Robertson decision affect UGA recruiting? appeared first on DawgNation.