Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
|Dallas Morning News|
“No one could put it better than Atlanta Journal Sports editor, Furman Bisher. ‘The Sun had just come out, after a foggy morning, and the sellout crowd of 75,400, including a large delegation from Georgia, was just settling into its seats, when Lawrence made his presence known to Texans.’
“Kent broke through the line, cut to his left and raced down the side line 74 yards to the end zone. Bobby Etter drilled the extra point and it was 7-0 Georgia with only one minute and five seconds off the clock. This was a high point because, as Furman Bisher put it, “…this was to be the tenor of the game.”
“About half the team raced down the side line with Kent to the end zone. If there had been a penalty for ‘excessive celebration’, we would have drawn a flag. That play set the Dawgs on fire and propelled us toward that decisive victory we were looking for.
|Athens Banner Herald|
|Athens Banner Herald|
“In 1964 the new coaching staff, headed by Vince Dooley, moved George to defensive tackle. His All-America honors testify to the wisdom of that decision, but George used to remind us jokingly that the staff that recruited him promised him he could play Quarterback.
“The last few minutes in his college career were winding down, when coach Dooley sent George in the game on offense, to play quarterback. With wild supporting cheers from the sidelines and the stadium, George threw three very long and very incomplete passes and then ran sixteen yards for a first down to end the game. It was indeed an impressive beginning at quarterback but George had to settle for the Most Valuable Lineman award as Kent Lawrence was the hands down favorite for backfield honors. The bottom line is we got our decisive victory and George finally got to play quarterback in a varsity game; it was a very good day for Georgia Football.
“I could not settle on one verse to express what I feel so you’ll have listen to two: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” Don’t be confused by the language. Paul is not saying that all circumstances are God’s will, and we should give thanks for those circumstances, but rather it is God’s will that we always give thanks to God, regardless of the circumstances we face. In the midst of the most troubling circumstances, I can always find many things to be thankful for.
“James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” I have faced many difficult circumstances and enjoyed many blessings. I have learned to give thanks in all of them, even the hard times. As I look back through the years, I am convinced that “grace and mercy have followed me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23). Otherwise, how can I explain how a 5’ 11” 165-pound runt, without good speed, can end up as a starting defensive end on an SEC championship team? Not that my life was mapped out by God, I had choices to make, other people had choices to make; there were things I needed to do.
"As I look back on all the so-called coincidences that had to occur for things to work out as they did, I am impressed that God does all things well. So, I give thanks to the Father of the heavenly lights for giving me courage and strength to press on through the hard things and using them to perfect my character. Then I give Him thanks for the people who helped me along the way and for using the good things to give me joy, hope and peace.
“Last, and certainly not least, I give thanks for One Young Dawg, being my wife, whose idea it was to do this blog and who “encouraged” me to write every week and then cleaned up my rambling and added her personal touch so you would have something pleasant to read. All you guys out there know it; we all married way over our heads. Thank you, God and Beverly.
In reading all the press coverage for the 1966 Cotton Bowl, a quote from Vince Dooley stand out. Jim Minter, the executive sports editor with the Atlanta Journal questioned Dooley about the season ahead. Dooley said, “You think about people like Lynn Hughes, George Patton, Jack Davis, Frank Richter, Jerry Varnado, Ken Pillsbury, Jimmy Cooley, John Kasay, Steve Neuhaus, Dickie Phillips, Bobby Etter and all the others and you realize how much they’ve meant . . . You never know if you can replace people like them.” As he reflected on the team’s execution in the Cotton Bowl, he said, “I rate them a great team.”
|Athens Banner Herald|
|Athens Banner Herald|
Certainly, Vince Dooley has been proven right. The 1966 team has definitely taken its place in the history of University of Georgia football. Since 1892, there have only been 14 Conference Titles.
It has been my joy to be One Old Dawg’s sidekick as he remembered these wonderful first three years of University of Georgia football with Vince Dooley at the helm.
It was our original intention at One Old Dawg to focus on his memories of the 1964, 1965, and 1966 years as the fiftieth anniversaries rolled around, but One Old Dawg has opinions, lots of opinions, so going forward who knows what we might do?
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
“That’s life, that’s football. There’s nothing to do but suck it up and keep moving. Let these failures be the motivation to improve, to become stronger and more determined. As I was writing this blog the words of the Apostle Paul from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 came to mind: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Paul was talking about the persecution they experienced for preaching about Jesus, which is certainly not in any way comparable to having a less than desirable football season. However, the principle emphasized is applicable to everything in life. We must not let today’s hardships or failures hinder our pursuit of success. In fact, with the right perspective, today’s failures and difficulties will help prepare us for tomorrow’s success. The good thing about football is there’s always next year.
“We ended up in the Cotton Bowl playing the Southwest Conference Champion Southern Methodist University with an 8-2 record and ranked in tenth place.
"It wasn’t what we had hoped for, but they were the champions of a highly respected conference, and we were going to one of the top four bowl games in the country. Life was good. We packed our bags and saddled up for another bowl trip to the great state of Texas. We had a great time in El Paso at the Sun Bowl two years before and this trip promised even more; not to mention we would be playing on national television. That is not a big deal today but it was in 1966. In my three years on the varsity, this would be only the third televised game. The first was the 1964 Sun Bowl and the second the 1965 Alabama game between the hedges. So, we were pumped, ready to do our best to raise Georgia’s football stature on a national stage. More on the SMU game next time. Let’s go Bowling! Gooo dawgs! Sic ‘em.”
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
“As always we wind up the regular season this week against Georgia Tech, which in my circle is affectionately referred to as The North Avenue Trade School. This year, we have them between the hedges. Both teams are 7-4; averaging a little over 380 yards per game on offense, so we are evenly matched. The same as when the Bumble Bees buzzed into town fifty years ago, but the stakes were a bit higher then. We were 8-1 the Jackets 9-0 and we were both ranked in the top ten in the nation. We had already clinched a share of the SEC championship but both teams were looking to increase our national stature.
|Under the headline "Bulldogs Smash Jackets," the Athens Banner Herald ran this photo of several Georgia players including One Old Dawg, 88, celebrating after the Georgia Tech game.|
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
|Pictures from Atlanta Journal Constitution|
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
|Photo Athens Banner Herald|
|Jerry Varnado, Steve Neuhaus, George Patton, and Larry Kohn at the year's 1966 SEC Championship Celebration|
We found this photo in Mama Varnado's archives. One Old Dawg may be moving a bit slower now, but it was not always so. Here he is airborne in an attempt to stop a punt.
Way to go, One Old Dawg. Please join us again next week for more mostly true bulldog lore.
Please join us again next week for more mostly true bulldog lore.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
|The Atlanta Constitution|
|Jerry Varnado shakes hands with Florida player|
photo Lou Engle
Vince Dooley in Dooley's Playbook says, "The best tackles I ever had at Georgia were Bill Stanfill and George Patton." Writing about the Florida game, Jesse Outlar in the Atlanta Constitution reinforced that statement, "The Georgia line kept Spurrier under tremendous pressure all the way. All -American tackle George Patton, Bill Stanfill, playing despite a painful neck injury, end Jerry Varnado, guard Dickie Phillips, linebacker Steve Neuhaus and their playmates ganged Spurrier in the second half."
Additionally, newspaper accounts noted the significant contributions of Bob Etter (Atlanta Falcons, Memphis Southmen) for extra points and a field goal, Lynn Hughes' interception (All SEC, All American, New York Giants, Coaching positions Georgia and Vanderbilt) , as well as the efforts of Brad Johnson, Larry Kohn (All SEC) and Frank Richter (Denver Bronchos).
|Jerry Varnado 88, about to sack Steve Spurrier, 11|
So after reflecting on the Florida game in 1966, One Old Dawg continues to believe there’s still something good in the future for this year’s Bulldogs. “I know the Gators are riding high right now, but I believe, they can be had. As an assistant coach, Kirby Smart is 8-3 against the Gators, two of those losses were with the Dogs. I think one reason we hired him is he knows how to beat these guys.
"I believe this is the game where the Dawgs put it all together: Eason’s laser arm on target, receiver’s with sure hands, linemen opening holes for our stable of running backs, and a solid effort from special teams, not to mention a stingy defense that refuses to give up yards or points to a pack of overgrown lizards. If we can do that, those Gators will be slinking back to the swamp looking for a mud hole to hide in. Come on Dawgs, it’s been three years since we enjoyed fried gator tail. Gooo Dawgs, Sick ‘em.”
So with that, we're heating up the fryer and looking forward to the outcome of this weekend's game.
Join us again next week when One Old Dawg will be here once more sharing more of his mostly true Bulldog lore.