Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Top Fives (Georgia sports edition)

We're a day late, but yesterday was a holiday folks so cut me some slack. Buoyed perhaps by the success of the Georgia baseball team, and drawing some inspiration from Georgia Sports Blog, I'm A Realist, Dawg Sports and Hey Jenny Slater, this edition is going to focus on UGA athletics. As an aside, I'm a Realist is putting together a most impressive team-by-team preview of the SEC for 2006. As another aside, Doug at Hey Jenny Slater is mighty handy with motivational posters.

Top Five Georgia Football Players
1. Herschel Walker
2. Charley Trippi
3. Terry Hoage
4. Frank Sinkwich
5. Champ Bailey

Top Five Georgia Football Memories
1. Georgia blasting Clemson 27-12 in 1991, upsetting the No. 4 ranked-Tigers in Athens (coincidentally, the same day the Atlanta Braves clinched the National League West).
2. David Greene-to-Verron Haynes to stun Tennessee in 2001 (by the way, the Vols fell for a play-action fake in the waning seconds of the game).
3. Mike Bobo-to-Corey Allen in 1997 to rip out Georgia Tech's heart, grind it into the ground and laugh at their crying, tortured children (did I mention the amount of disdain I hold for Georgia Tech?).
4. Robert Edwards going down the sideline toward the (temporary) end zone I was sitting in to seal the 37-17 win over Florida (I have this beautiful memory of a massive Georgia flag being furiously waved in front of me, partially hindering my view, and some dejected Florida fan a few seats down from me muttering 'I can't believe we lost to these guys.' I also remember my buddy Nick being so sure Florida would win, he told me he would kill himself if Georgia won ... so, as Edwards headed for the end zone, Nick turned around and began climbing to the top of the stadium. I stopped him to ask where he was going, and he pointed to the top row of seats and simply said 'guess I gotta jump').
5. David Greene-to-Michael Johnson to capture the SEC East Championship in 2002 (I don't think I ever saw my boy Hartman jump that high ... and he proceeded to literally throw me around his apartment with joy).

Top Five Georgia Non-Football Players
1. Saudi Roundtree, women's basketball
2. Jarvis Hayes, men's basketball
3. Dominique Wilkins, men's basketball
4. Forrest 'Spec' Towns, men's track and field
5. Matias Boeker, men's tennis

Top Five Georgia Non-Football Memories
1. Stan Payne dominating Stanford to lead the Diamond Dogs to the 1990 national title in baseball.
2. Alec Kessler going nuts to lead Georgia to an 86-85 victory over an LSU team which started Shaquille O'Neal, Stanley Roberts and Chris Jackson (as an aside, remember how Chris Jackson was the man in college basketball for two years?).
3. Jeff Keppinger becoming the greatest baseball player in the history of mankind in the NCAA Regional at Athens. He hit .652 with three doubles, a triple and four home runs, including three in the championship game against Coastal Carolina ... with the final one being a two-out, two-run blast in the ninth inning to win the game (I was covering the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship across the parking lot, and every reporter, statistician and coach in the press box was ignoring the tennis matches and peering over into Foley Field to watch the game).
4. Georgia's men's basketball team upsetting No. 3 Florida 82-81 in Stegeman Coliseum, in what would be Jim Harrick's final game (even though I knew the awful wrath of God was coming, there was this fleeting hope the Bulldogs would be permitted to play in the NCAA Tournament ... because I was convinced - and still am - they would have reached the Final Four).
5. Georgia's men's tennis team taking the 2001 national title (they weren't supposed to do it, and they did ... and there was a good party afterward).

Top Five Georgia Underrated Georgia Football Players
1. Richard Tardits - The only time we heard his name was when it was used in the sentence 'David Pollack needs X number of sacks to break Richard Tardits's record.'
2. Chuck Carswell - Folks forget about him, but he was an excellent player off the bench for three years and then picked off three passes and recorded 40 tackles in his senior season.
3. John Brantley - Dude was a beast of a linebacker and sported an excellent mustache back in the day.
4. Jimmy Womack - When you look back at Herschel Walker's incredible 1980 season, remember it was Jimmy Womack opening holes for him at fullback ... and also for Willie McLendon in 1978.
5. Ronnie Swoopes - The leader of 'Ronnie & The Runts' back in the 1970s ... in 1977, at 245 pounds, he was the biggest player on the defense ... Jimmi Griffith was a 190-pound linebacker ... meaning there is hope for my buddy Ed as he goes back to school next year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that I was at that Alec Kessler game; that was in Athens, right?

1:07 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Indeed it was ... Kessler scored 30 points and pulled down 16 rebounds ... fouling out both Shaquille O'Neal and Stanley Roberts.

2:23 PM  
Blogger paulwesterdawg said...

What Keppinger did in 2001 was positively ridiculous.

We were joking about him when we were watching Game 1 against Vandy in the SEC Tourney this year. With all our hits coming from that one kid (who's name I can't remember). You'll have to forgive the memory lapse. I was in a bar in NOLA knee deep in booze when the game was on.

I personally loathe Jeff Dantzler, but his call of Keppinger's HR to beat Coastal was off the hook. I think that call ruined him for baseball. It's like he's always trying to top it.


I'm like dude. It's just pre-game. No need to break out the GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT voice.

But I ramble.


6:17 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

Yep. The Keppinger stuff was unreal and awesome.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

For non-football UGA athletes, what about Mikael Pernfors? The dude got to the finals at the French Open. He also won back-to-back NCAA titles in 84-85.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Yeah, tennis was hard because if there's any sport that rivals Georgia football in tradition, it's the men's tennis program.

Both Pernfors and Allen Wilson were money. I went with Boeker because of the Triple Crown in the NCAA, as well as his two individual national titles. For three years, he was about as good as they get in collegiate tennis.

2:10 PM  
Blogger ctrosecrans said...

no teresa edwards?

and while jmac was covering tennis, i was covering one of the greatest events i've covered

jesus, i'm trying to think of my top 5 uga events covered

1. uga-ut -- greene to haynes. never heard 100,000 go from so loud to so quiet so quickly
2. keppinger
3. uga-uf men's hoops at florida in 2002 -- jarvis' coming out party. this was even better than his 30 he dropped at rupp
4. uga-auburn -- greene to johnson
5. uga-ut women's hoops -- double overtime game in knoxville. think it was saudia's year. great game

yeah, as you can see, i really like road games

7:13 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

C. Trent ... holy crap, you're right. I completely forgot about Theresa. As much as I love Saudi, I've got to bump her out of there.

A terrible oversight on my part.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

And Allen Miller.

Mea culpa again.

7:27 AM  
Blogger ctrosecrans said...

i hope to god dan magill didn't see your list

7:29 PM  

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