Saturday, July 3, 2010

Everybody's Doing It!: A Torch for Men

I guess I could get a whole lot of comments if I chose to stridently voice my opinions on UGA's athletic director. I have lots of opinions, too.

But I guess that's why I like having a Blog. I can challenge my own ideas and find new lines of thought, new avenues of expression.

I noticed with interest that Evans reportedly used a line with the arresting officer. In essence, he said, "But, everybody's doing it!"

Familiar retort. That was his defense and the response (or the associated, "But everyone's done it!") of many who argue that Evans should be kept in position.

The overused excuse didn't work with the police and it may not work with President Adams. If Evans is dismissed and he chooses to contest the decision, perhaps that will be the core element of his attorney's closing argument to the jury.

But here's my point-- we all know what Evans has done. It's on all the Blogs. Everyone who follows sports in the SEC is aware. His very unflattering picture has been on countless web sites. Even photo-shopped for comedic effect.

But how about us?

"Everybody's doing it" is often used as a defense. I think it's much more valuable as a torch of introspection.

How are we doing? Are there areas of compromise in our lives? Are we as husbands lying to our wives so we can sneak out and scurry through the shadows? Where were we this past Wednesday night? Where will we be tonight? Do we have habits that might lead to destructive results?

Are we doing it, whatever it is? If so, what are we doing about it? Are we doing all we can to do all we can? Do we have speed bumps on our private roads of passion? Keep Out signs on dangerous web sites, office doors, and night clubs?

As we shine the light on our own souls, we should also hold it up a bit so that we can see around us some. Do we have relationships with other men that hold us accountable? If we feel like stepping out on our spouses, who would we tell? Do we have friends who can handle that kind of cell phone call? Guys who know me best and still love me? Someone who will put an arm around me and tell I'm an idiot, while seriously warning me so that my picture doesn't end up in the AJC? If my will is strong, is there one buddy who will run to my side and sit with me until the anger at my spouse, or the feeling of disappointment, or the flames of desire die down?

I wonder if Damon Evans has friends that will validate him as a person, whether or not he keeps his job or his marriage? Someone who cares not one iota whether Evans is the athletic director of a major college or the janitor who cleans up the stadium?

To whom would you go after the news broke? When the tears of regret come, is there a shoulder to cry on? Not some woman, but a man who will clasp you in a bearhug and not let go? Hopefully, there is a face that just flashed in your mind, bringing a smile and a sense of thankfulness to your heart.

Everybody's doing it may signal hope. It's not a shield that keeps us living in separation and irresponsibility. I like to think of it as that torch of introspection, and when joined together with other men who carry the same flame, it becomes a bonfire. The knowledge of our mutual weaknesses should cause us to emerge out of the darkness.

This is dangerous living. The shadows seem so comforting. Not everyone can manage our stuff. But it is the shadows that are the real danger. The bonfire is the warmth, the protection, the opportunity for life that we all long for. It's the glint from that fire, I believe, that makes us men love sports.

We need to really talk, guys. Relate as men. Dare to be vulnerable. Let's be warned so that we don't lose what is truly valuable. And be warmed by a community of men that care for each other.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Evans Arrested

On the bright side, the arrest probably saved his life. Unfortunately, it has been and will continue to be a huge embarassment to the University.

Some things done during off-work hours do affect your job. I don't have all the facts, and I suppose the legal process will take its course.

I have no joy in seeing people lose their jobs, but I can't see how he possibly stays in position at Georgia.

Gaines to Play in Summer League

Sundiata Gaines is back in the southeast this week. After graduating from Georgia, Gaines went to Italy to play in the European Leagues. Thereafter, he went home to New York to play in a pro am there.

The next step was Idaho, where Yada played for the Idaho Stampede. He was called up to the Utah Jazz and did well in limited minutes until the end of the NBA season.

He will play this week in the NBA summer league down in Orlando. The Utah Jazz summer league team will play 5 games in 5 days, beginning on the 5th of July.

Should give the brass with the Jazz (pun intended) the time to give a good look at Sundiata in preparation for next season.

Tech is in Trouble

No NCAA issues. Nothing like that. I just don't see where the points will come from on their roster.

Add the numbers up. If the Rivals information is correct, you get a returning squad that scores around 35 points per game. Based on highest scorers from last year, Paul Hewitt's 2010 starting line-up will feature Mfon Udofia at point, Iman Shumpert at the shooting guard, and Brian Oliver on the wing. I guess this group could all of the sudden catch fire from the outside, but it's not likely. None of those guys shot over 39 percent from the floor last year, and that was with teams sagging off to cover Tech's bigs.

Most years it's just not an issue. The NBA draft passes and Tech still looks pretty good on paper. Not so for 2010. Favors and Lawal are gone. Zach Peacock graduated and so did Brad Sheehan. They can't figure to just pound the ball into the post.

Hewitt normally compensates through recruiting. If he loses a player or two through one and done's, he has been able to reasonably restock his roster with other high-level recruits. However, this year Tech brought in just one basketball recruit, a guard, and zero signees from the Rivals top 75 basketball players.

So who will make up Tech's front line? Most likely Daniel Miller (a former Felton signee who went to Tech after Mark Fox was hired) and Kammeon Holsey (a red-shirt who is coming off of a torn acl). No offense to these guys, but neither one strikes any fear into my heart.

Hewitt can conceivably go to a small line-up, but if he goes over .500 this year with what he has to work with, he will have done his finest coaching work in years.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quite the Irony

Or so it seems to me.

The New Jersey Nets have recently announced that former UGA coach Dennis Felton will be on the team's coaching staff for the summer league. Part of Coach Felton's duties will be to prepare the Nets' top draftee Derrick Favors for the rigors of the NBA.

So, Felton will get to coach Favors after all.

Felton's failure to attract Favors to Athens was the deciding factor that led to the coaching change in Athens (Who knows? Perhaps if Tech under-performs this year, Hewitt's failure to keep Favors in Atlanta could lead to a change in Atlanta).


Monday, June 28, 2010

Georgia gets respect from Florida Writer

Brockway things the Dawgs have some real possibilities next year.

I'll say this: the SEC East will be a battleground in 2010-11. Good teams all the way around. Patric Young will really help Florida. Kentucky will bring their all-star freshman class to every game. Bruce Pearl has Tobias Harris and others. Vandy lost some, but they will be a very good team as well.

Good basketball up ahead.

SEC East