Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, my boyfriend & I decided to make use of our love for technology, hobbies, and adventures. With no live sports, lost internships, and lost jobs, this has been a great way for me to keep working on my front-of-camera skills, while also improving my videography and editing skills (I edit with Adobe Premier Pro).
Bulldog Nation has waited for this moment. Our Bulldogs have teed it up between the hedges for three quarters now… it’s time to show our Dawgs that their family, a sea of red & black, has their back.
Stillness, the first in Sanford Stadium since the game began, holds the heart of every Bulldog — each anxiously anticipating the most electric scene in college football. The Redcoats break the silence, and with one note… all “fours,” up; every flashlight, lifted.
From the college students’ hoots and hollers to the tears rolling down a 50-year-past Bulldog graduate; from the cheerleaders’ flips down the endzone to the players’ energetic dance moves; from Coach Smart’s “fours” lighted high to the four-year-old Bulldog’s light in the sky. This is the University of Georgia.
This is why we are all Georgia Bulldogs.
As the stadium lights flash, every Bulldog’s excitement forces them to scream, dance, jump, hug — or all of the above. It is these moments that bond us Bulldogs. It is because of these moments there we say “Glory, Glory!”
In a flash, the lights are gone and the Bulldogs keep chopping down that tree. But don’t worry, we keep barking for our Dawgs because that’s just what we do.
It’s in these moments that each Bulldog’s heart finds its home. It’s these moments that get us to the next Saturday in Athens. It’s in these moments where we are reminded of the true meaning behind those two simple words, “Go Dawgs!”
Robert Miles impacts the Athens community as Life Skills Director for University of Georgia Student-Athletes
Randy McMichael was just a nineteen-year-old kid who was chasing a football dream at the collegiate level. However, his first year at the University of Georgia was anything but that. McMichael was ready to flunk out of school as he skipped another class to sit in his dorm room with a torn ACL and ‘no father figure.’ Then Mr. Miles knocked on the door.
“Get up,” the towering, retired defensive linemen said.
Robert Miles walked McMichael to a small local elementary school, Barrow Elementary, before running across the street to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, UGA’s football facility, to get McMichael’s No. 86 jersey.
“You are going to be a mentor to these kids,” Miles said as he handed over the “McMichael” embroidered uniform.
“And he didn’t get to put on his uniform but one time that whole year… and that was the only time… and he remembered that,” Miles says.
McMichael would soon be the model for an entire drawing class at Barrow Elementary, and before he knew it, he became a mentor and role model for those kids, too.
“Mr Miles was there for me to lift my spirits,” says McMichael. “He has always been there for me. I owe a lot of my success to him in the league.” McMichael went on to play for the National Football League for eleven seasons.
While Miles had a huge impact on McMichael, Mr. Miles continues to find a way to establish a relationship with every student-athlete on campus. Miles serves as the Life Skills director for the UGA Athletic Association and has been preparing student-athletes for life beyond their sport for thirty-four years now (the first eleven years as an academic counselor).
“I remember every student-athlete that’s come through the University of Georgia since I’ve been working here,” says Miles.
Miles was a starting defensive end on the 1980 National Championship team. In his time as a Bulldog, he earned a scholarship as a walk-on player from Alabama (deemed one of the best walk-ons in UGA history) and met his now late wife, Felicia Miles. Amidst fathering three sons to adulthood and experiencing life as a student-athlete, Miles knows too well the ups and downs an athlete goes through in one’s college career.
“If you ask former football players who they remember most from their time here, they would say the athletic trainers and Robert Miles,” says UGA Sr. Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton.
This past Tuesday, the Georgia Way equipped student-athletes to volunteer at the UGA Special Olympics Prom. As the decorated Clarke Central cafeteria was filled with dancing college athletes and ESP olympians, Mr. Miles could be found soaking it in from afar.
“If you just focus on the athlete’s school and sport, we’d be remiss,” says Miles. “It’s not all about guiding and directing, its experiencing at the same time … The kids want to know you care.”
While the kids enjoy their special night, Mr. Miles does not leave one hand unshaken. He dabs up one athlete after asking another about their exam, yet still does not forget to share a laugh with some of the special olympians’ parents.
“Robert Miles is one of those beloved people; he is all about giving to others,” says Felton.
The Georgia Way helps facilitate the event by purchasing long stem roses for the student-athletes to distribute to the prom attendees. As the athletes lined up to escort the olympians down the ‘red carpet,’ Miles encouraged his athletes with an infectious and proud smile. Not once did Miles neglect thanking an athlete for their time.
“Mr. Miles gives opportunities to mentor, volunteer and be more than your sport,” says former Bulldog football player and current UGA student Marshall Long. “Everyone loves him. He would be the first person I’d call if my car broke down.”
Long soon after volunteered, along with several other athletes, for the pie-in-the-face event to help raise money for the Special Olympics at UGA. While the Olympians and athletes all gathered for the fun, Mr Miles could be found watching at a distance with pride.
“He is a great man and I think you will find it hard to find anyone who says something negative about Mr. Miles,” says McMichael.
Rams Rush Defense Rises Over Patriots in 2019 Super Bowl
“We realized that we [had] to stop the run if we’re gonna win a championship.”
- Rams defensive end, Justin Lawler (#53)
The Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots prepare to meet in the 2019 Super Bowl come February 3. With the Rams’ plan to wreak havoc on the Patriots running scheme, expect an unprecedented pressure on the Patriots gameplan.
By just comparing the regular season odds of the Rams’ rush defense to the New England rushing offense, the odds are slim for the L.A. Rams to have any success. The Patriots No. 5 rushing offense showed out with 2,037 yards on the ground in the 2018 season. On the contrary, the Rams’ rush defense obviously struggled. No other team in the NFL allowed more yards per carry than the Rams in the regular season, allowing their opponents to average a massive 5.1 yards per carry. At one point in the regular season, Rams defensive end Ndamukong Suh (#93) even lamented his team’s defense as “terrible”. For this defense to expect a running back shut down on the Patriots, something had to change going into the 2019 season.
Fortunately for the Rams, its new defensive postseason height peaked at just the right time.
“I just think our mindset changed. After the end of the regular season we went back, the coaches went back, and we evaluated ourselves. And we saw that stopping the run was not a strength of ours… so we emphasized that in the bye week,” explained Rams defensive tackle, Sebastian Joseph-Day (#69).
Come postseason, The L.A.Rams’ defense is suffocating opposing running backs. Somehow the defense goes from struggling to stop the run to only allowing a combined average of 2.3 yards per carry in the postseason against the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. Star defensive tackle Aaron Donald (#99) and league leader in sacks attributed the results of the defense to his mantra of “hard work pays off,” admitting the defense has “come a long way.” However, Head Coach McVay acknowledged a specific defensive player that rose up to the “natural level of urgency” of the postseason. Though the Nebraska product humbly commented on the entire defensive unit’s improvement as a result from “understanding that we have to execute the game plan and tackle.”
Nevertheless, Suh’s improvement in the postseason far surpasses his regular season. While his well-played 2018 season shows 4.5 sacks, four passes defensed, and a few fumble recoveries, the same athlete returned for 2019 play as a force. Suh managed to make eight postseason tackles with four quarterback hits, and also recorded 1.5 sacks against the Saints just over a week ago. “I think he’s been at his best these last couple of games. But that by no means is an indication that he wasn’t playing really well in the regular season,” exclaims Coach McVay. “He has certainly raised his level of play and we expect the same this week.”
With Suh’s rising statistics and steady leadership, expect this new attitude of his to be prominent on both sides of the ball for the Rams. “[The Patriots] got a 3-headed horse… And we have to be able to stop them!” – Ndamukong Suh
#FixGirlsSports: A Vulnerable Story Sparks a Cry for Change in the Sports Industry
#FixGirlsSports is trending on twitter. Why? The New York Times released an op-ed video just last week on the youngest World Championship team American track and field athlete, Mary Caine. Her cry to change the systemic issue in sports has gone viral; The too commonly overlooked designed programs for male body and development breaks down the female body, and that needs to be addressed.
Caine was on track to be the fastest girl in America, already breaking records and signing with the best track team in the world, Nike Oregon Project, at 17. This was until Caine was caught in a win-at-all-cost system manned by star coach Alberto Salazar, where she was forced to meet athletic standards based on the male body type and development. Salazar urged Caine to get thinner and thinner, giving her birth pills and diuretics to lose weight; meanwhile, Caine broke five bones, stopped menstruating for three years, and had suicidal symptoms. Caine, now 23, speaks out on the ways she was verbally and emotionally abused by Salazar (fired by Nike in recent months due to doping charges) and why this toxic culture needs to change in women’s sports.
This is a common thing?
Though Salazar was fired, his program still remains. The Nike Oregon Project was the team to be on and Nike endorsed it. The system is too commonly replicated in sports programs in the country (i.e. at gymnastics, swim, and cheerleading). Recent ESPN and Sports Illustrated articles talk about the noise surrounding the Nike Oregon Project culture, validating Caine’s claims of abuse. Notably, Nike refuses to comment any further than a PR statement sent to Runner’s World, claiming it’s “launch of an immediate investigation” to deal with the “troubling allegations.”
What do I do?
The video led to an outpouring of stories and eyewitness accounts from other athletes, along with twitter uses fighting for a change followed with #FixGirlsSports. Right now, there has been no actions for change by organizations. The movement for change, though, continues.
Wednesday Athens Farmers Market Establishes Family Community Around Food
BY SOUTHERN BRITT
The vibrant mid-week Athens Farmers Market can make grocery shopping more than an errand. It’s also a community hangout.
Every Wednesday, a community gathers in a marketplace that allows for a healthy economic and educational dynamic to coincide with support for sustainable agriculture and local craftsmanship. Fresh food, music and beer connect farmers, community members and artisans in downtown Athens, Georgia at Creature Comforts Brewing Company.
“What better way to connect than agriculture, food, and music,” said Hearts of Harvest Farm vendor and farmerTanner Martinelli. “These are the few things that everyone can relate to. Especially at a place like this where you can just hang out and have community.”
This market hosts a special type of community. The colorful array of vegetables were accompanied with hugs, the bakery stand attracted both regulars and the first-time customers, and the flower bouquets’ and candles’ aroma wafted through the outdoor pavilion, perfectly encompassing its light-hearted atmosphere.
“It’s not a competition, all the farmers and vendors are here to help each other,” says Hickory Hill Farm’s Josh Johns, who has been a part of this particular market for five years.
The market’s sense of friendship starts with the staff. Market manager Sarah Thurman said she thinks of the market as her family. As an experienced farmer, she can “empathize with the vendors’ hardships and aims to help them in their hustle.” By coordinating the Wednesday Farmers Market, she can do just that.
The event credits much of its success to the help and generosity of Creature Comforts Brewing Company, as Creature Comforts helped the market evolve into what is is today and still plays a huge part in the market. The brewing company reaches a new clientele; Creature Comforts attracts people who have never been introduced to the farmers markets.
“[The Wednesday Athens Farmers Market] saved our business,” said Figment Kombucha’s Jason Dean.
Creature Comforts gives back the vendors. For every beer purchased during the market, the brewing company gives $2 worth of tokens to spend at the event. As further encouragement to the market, they even repaved its pavement grey to help make it less hot for the vendors.
The Athens Farmers Market is a non-profit organization that builds a community around fresh food and happy people. With an overarching goal of improving community health, the market goes out of its way to ensure a quality time, inviting dogs, families, farmers, and beer-fanatics every Wednesday from 4- 7 p.m.
Creature Comforts Brewing Company Hosts Weekly Athens Farmers Market
By: Southern Britt
Athens, Ga—A community gathers for food and fun at the Athens Farmers Market hosted by Creature Comforts Brewing Company every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.
The colorful mid-week market makes grocery shopping more than an errand; fresh food, music and beer can be found connecting farmers, community members and artisans in downtown Athens. In providing a marketplace for locally grown foods and handcrafted goods, the market allows for a healthy economic and educational dynamic in the Athens community, including education about and support of local sustainable agriculture.
“You can expect to see families, babies, dogs, people eating vegetables. It’s a pretty friendly atmosphere,” said market volunteer and regular Arianna Mantas.
Mantas exemplifies the Athens Farmers Market’s special type of community, as she used to attend as a customer, but now volunteers regularly and considers this market her family.
“It’s good company, it’s good people. It kind of became the family I wanted to be a part of,” said Mantas.
Athens Farmers Market accredits much of its success largely to the help and generosity of Creature Comforts Brewing Company, as Creature Comforts helped the market evolve into what is is today.
Creature Comforts plays a huge part in the market. For every beer purchased during the market, the brewing company gives $2 worth of tokens to spend at the event. As further encouragement to the market, they even repaved its pavement grey to help make it less hot for the vendors.
It was not until Creature Comforts encouraged the market and its community “to explore something people maybe haven’t been exposed to” that the market really began booming and became profitable (as Mantas said).
The Wednesday farmers market is over a decade old. Once the brewing company volunteered its help and space, the evolution of the AFM began. From Bishop Park, then to the Courthouse, and finally at Creature Comforts, the market has surpassed all odds and continued to be an asset to its farmers and customers.
The market will continue cultivating its family community through music, food, art, and beer every Wednesday until November 14, 2019.