Saturday, February 21, 2009

UGA's Mount Rushmore

Usually, the only time you might think about "UGA" and "Rushmore" being used in the same context would be an imaginary conversation like the following:
Sideline Reporter: "Coach Dooley, in the first half you ran the ball 35 times and passed the ball twice. What do you plan to do in the second half?"

Coach Vince Dooley: "Rush more."
But ESPN's latest "dead sports season" gimmick has been creating a "Mount Rushmore" of sports for each and every state in the union. You can see the results of the motherland's granite visages here. Really, it's damned hard to argue with the 4 names they came up with. If I was asked to come up with the top 4 legendary figures in Georgia sports, I would have probably drawn the same conclusions.

Keeping the meme in the family, ESPN SEC blogger Chris Low did the same thing, but limiting the parameters to college football. The choices for UGA were:
  • Vince Dooley: He's the most successful coach in Georgia history and also juggled athletic director duties for much of his career.
  • Larry Munson: His famous calls over the radio airwaves are as much a part of Georgia lore as any coach or player.
  • Uga: He's been dubbed as the nation's most well-known mascot. Uga VII debuted during the 2008 season.
  • Herschel Walker: Many consider him the greatest player in SEC history. He attained near-mythical status as a freshman in 1980.
Again, hard to argue with that. You have the greatest coach (thus far) in our history and the greatest player in our history, if not the SEC or even college football. (and BTW, fuck Donald Trump. How many questions would there have been about 34's place in the pantheon of college football if he didn't bolt to New Jersey? Plus, I would have seen him live and in person as a tuition paying freshman). In addition, you have one of the legendary and most memorable college sports broadcasters of all time, and the almost universally recognized best mascot in all of sports. Quibble if you want, but that's a solid sculpture, no doubt.

The Fabulous Freebird and I were exchanging emails this week about this very topic, and couldn't find much fault with the selections. But what if we narrowed the scope to only include players? One take on that very topic is here.

Okay, we really only have 3 spots to debate, because Herschel is a given. What do we do with the other three? You would almost certainly have to include a player from the modern renaissance of the program under Mark Richt, and the obvious choices are the Davids, Greene and Pollack. But how can you make a Sophie's Choice between those two? Personally, I would go with the winningest QB in college football history, but that's really like a 50.1% to 49.9% edge in my book, and I could easily be swayed to go with the choice on D.

So now we have to select two from the remainder of the UGA tapestry. Sinkwich and Tarkenton are solid choices, no doubt. Others that Freebird and I kicked around include (in no particular order):

Champ Bailey
Jake Scott
Johnny Rauch
Zeke Bratkowski
Garrison Hearst
Charlie Trippi
Kevin Butler
Terry Hoage
Eric Zeier
Terrence Edwards
Bill Stanfill

What do y'all think? After 34, who should we immortalize on the mountainside?


  1. As we discussed, these type of lists are always so subjective. And you always have the issue of players you've actually seen play, vs. the greats of the past.

    My dad always swore that Fran Tarkenton was a better SEC Quarterback that Namath, Stabler, or any of the big guns at Alabama from the same era.... And that Bill Stanfill was the best lineman he had ever seen. We always pulled for the Vikings and Dolphins as our "playoff" teams (since the Falcons certainly weren't going to make it).

    I might go Stanfill over Pollack, because he made Spurrier's life miserable, and I got just a little tired of the Pollack arm waving -- despite how great a player he was.

    QBs I've seen, and RBs I've seen (after Herschel) -- I still have to go Zeier and Hearst. I knew Ray Goff was not the man for the job when the 1992 team went 10-2. Across the board, I will still say that may have been the most talented Georgia team ever.

    Another good poll would be "Favorite Dawgs" ever -- Totally subjective, but I would throw out:

    Ward (Hines merits consideration for the other Rushmore as well).

    These guys all just had something that made them my top 5 Dawgs of all time (Once again, excluding Hershel, who is on every Georgia fans list).

  2. For our Rushmore, I'm going with:


    I would love to put Champ or Hines on there, but all of these guys won championships, which I think has to be a prerequisite.

    As far as "Favorite Dawgs," mine are (considering that I was only 6 in 1980):


  3. Well, thanks for making us feel old, Scott.

    "Favorites?" I'm not sure I could confine it to 4, but (after Herschel) my favorites would be:

    Both Edwards brothers

    And though this past year was a big disappointment, record-wise, I still enjoyed the hell out of watching 7 throw and 24 run. MoMass had a hell of a heart, and I think AJ Green will work his way onto this list, too.