ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
67°
Cloudy
H 74° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    67°
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 74° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    72°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 74° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    69°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 75° L 61°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Morning show on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Home team on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The crossover on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Athens, GA Entertainment

Upcoming Events See All

See More

Georgia Sports News

  • Herschel Walker called it. Well, he nearly called it. The most famous member of Georgia’s last national championship team was asked during last season whether the 2017 version of the Bulldogs could win it all. “There’s no doubt,” said Walker, who recalled more than a month later watching Georgia win at Notre Dame, largely on defense and saying to himself, “That looks like the old Junkyard Dawgs.” As we all know, Georgia came within a play of indeed winning it all — just as Walker’s final team at Georgia did in 1982. There were a lot of flashbacks for players on that Georgia team. It was the same type of team, built on defense and a strong running game, but the program was in a far different stage 35 years earlier. Vince Dooley was in his 19th season in Athens in 1982. Kirby Smart was in just his second in 2017. After that great three-year run — plus Georgia also had a very good season in 1983 — there was a drop-off. Some of it was due to an unforeseen scandal. Some of it was due to the departure of Walker. This time around, however, Georgia’s near-title is being greeted by unbridled optimism about the future, even after the loss of some great seniors. The reason? Smart and his staff have emerged as a recruiting monster. Knox Culpepper, a reserve linebacker in 1982, went to a Georgia practice after Smart was hired. Culpepper could tell right away the difference in energy in practice. “He wants to be physically tough. That’s where Coach Dooley came from,” Culpepper said. “I can tell you games were a breeze [because] back in the ’80s you practiced so hard.” Tim Crowe, a starting defensive lineman from 1980-82, said he has “no doubt” Georgia’s 2017 team was right up there with the 1980 team. “I just don’t see how you can have another season like that, line up to play Alabama for a national championship, and win a Rose Bowl. That’s just unbelievable,” Crowe said. As good as Smart is with recruiting, Crowe said, it’s still hard to get back every year. But that Georgia team felt like it did. It won three straight SEC championships — the first one was capped by a national title but the Bulldogs were beaten by Dan Marino and Pittsburgh and then Todd Blackledge and Penn State the following two seasons. “It’s such a challenge to get back in that top 4 to play for that,” Crowe said. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world to play in 1980, I feel, and then here it is 37 years later and all people talk about is the national championship. I don’t hear anything about ’81 and ’82. All I hear is that national championship.” Herschel Walker and the 1982 Georgia team finished 11-1. (UGA athletics/Courtesy) There was life, however, after that great run. The 1983 team – without Herschel Walker, and without Crowe and four other seniors who had started on defense – went 10-1-1 and won the Cotton Bowl, where it upset Texas. “We were basically told all week we shouldn’t be there,” Culpepper said. “That was probably one of the most satisfying wins I’ve ever had.” Then the drop-off began. The Jan Kemp scandal hit in the mid-1980s. There was coaching turnover, including Dooley stepping down after the 1988 season. Between 1984 and 2002, the Bulldogs only had two double-digit win seasons, after doing it four straight seasons from 1980-83. “So it kind of came to an abrupt end, in some sense,” said John Lastinger, a quarterback for the Bulldogs in the early ’80s. “But listen, my hat’s off to this group (in 2017), because I will say this: I just think it’s so much tougher today to do what they did, to win conferences. Everybody’s so good.” Lastinger also firmly believes it wasn’t a fluke. He said he has believed that from the beginning of the Smart era. When Georgia played North Carolina to open the 2016 season, Lastinger was in the stands at the Georgia Dome. His wife and daughter, a UGA graduate, were with him. “She and I are sitting there in the Georgia Dome. And it’s right before kickoff, and she looks at me and goes, ‘Dad, I’ve never seen you so calm before a football game,'” Lastinger said. “I just kinda shrugged, and I said, ‘Honey, I don’t know what’s going to happen today, or the rest of the season. But I feel really good about where we’re going to be. We’ve got the right guy.” “Really?” Lastinger said his daughter replied. “Yeah, I just feel like let’s be patient and see how this plays out. But I just had a real calmness that we were going to be OK,” Lastinger said. The post Members of Georgia’s 1982 team don’t see slip coming for current Dawgs after title game loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • John Lastinger chuckled ruefully when asked. Yes, as he watched the way it ended ― that eerily similar play, one of many eerie similarities with a game 35 years ago ― Lastinger’s mind went back in time. “You go from such a high in excitement to such a low,” Lastinger said. “And it’s like bam, bam, you know?” After the finish to the 2018 National Championship Game, Georgia knows, just as Lastinger and his Bulldogs teammates knew after the 1983 Sugar Bowl, the de facto national championship. There’s a replay of the game on YouTube, for those who dare to watch, and another replay of just  that play: Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge, early in the fourth quarter, hurls a pass down the left sideline, where it’s caught for a 47-yard touchdown by Gregg Garrity. It looks just like … well you know. “Both games, that’s what comes to mind,” said Knox Culpepper, a linebacker on that 1982 Georgia team. “You’re a play away from a difference in a national championship. That’s what it comes down to in those games. Other than bowing your head and going out.” That 1982 team often gets overlooked because Georgia won the national title two years before. But Lastinger, Culpepper and others on that team – Herschel Walker, Kevin Butler, Terry Hoage, etc. – can sympathize with members of the 2017 team, which was so close to winning it all before Alabama snatched it away in overtime. There are more than a few ties between the two games: A similar score. Georgia lost 27-23 to Penn State in 1983, and 26-23 to Alabama on Jan. 8. The yardage and pass route on the opponents’ winning touchdown: The only difference is the timing. Blackledge’s 47-yard pass to Garrity came early in the fourth quarter, putting Georgia behind 27-17. Alabama backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa connected with DeVonta Smith for a 41-yard touchdown in overtime. Keith Jackson, who called the 1983 game for ABC, passed away four days after the National Championship Game last month. The 1983 Sugar Bowl began with a kickoff from Kevin Butler, who was on the field in the 2018 title game in his role as a student assistant coach. Another person on the sideline both games was Mike Cavan, then a top Vince Dooley assistant, now a special assistant to Kirby Smart. Knox Culpepper and the 1982 Georgia football team finished 11-1. “I remember the hype and build-up to that game [in ’83],” Lastinger said. “Then the game happens, and the next thing you know you’re putting on your sweats and going into workouts for the next year,” Lastinger said. “Golly, what happened? You went from such a high to back to reality, and it hits you right smack in the face.” It may have taken some sting off the Georgia fans, and some players, that year because the Bulldogs won the game for the national championship in 1981. Walker had a championship ring, as did many starters on that 1982 team, which was laden with upperclassmen. But Culpepper wasn’t on the team in 1980. He was a high school senior. That was his chance. Lastinger was hurt before the 1980 season. “I was a part of the team but I wasn’t really a factor in anything that happened on the field in ’80. So ’82 for me you felt like that was your opportunity,” Lastinger said. “We felt like we belonged among college football’s elite at that particular time. There was a sense of, ‘Now I’ve got to carry the torch, it’s my year.’” And even for Tim Crowe, a starter in 1980 and 1982, it’s tough. Crowe, a defensive lineman, started five games as a sophomore in 1980, then was a full-time starter the next two years, including the 1983 de factor national championship. “I talk about that a lot. You know, 1980 was just an unbelievable year. And then to throw together two more seasons and get that close and don’t get that close, it’s tough,” Crowe said. “You remember it forever. It’s hard to get close like that. To get the opportunity to play for that.” But that 1982 Georgia team shouldn’t be overlooked by history. It won the program a third straight SEC title. It went unbeaten in the regular season. Larry Munson’s immortal “sugar falling from the sky” comment came this season, when the Bulldogs beat Auburn on The Plains. It was still a great year, much like the most recent Georgia season, even if the final play didn’t work out as people had dreamed. “Not many people say, ‘Oh lemme see your ’82 ring,’ ” Crowe said. “But it was a special season, and I think the older you get the more you realize how special it was.” The post Georgia’s 1982 team knows exactly what 2017 team is feeling appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It could be a big year for the Bulldogs in the NFL Draft. Ten former Georgia players will perform before scouts during the NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 28 to March 5 in Indianapolis. Running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Roquan Smith are among the players invited to participate. Only Alabama (14) and Ohio State (11) had more players invited.  The full list of UGA players invited to the NFL Combine: RB Nick Chubb RB Sony Michel OL Isaiah Wynn WR Javon Wims DT John Atkins DT Trenton Thompson  OLB Davin Bellamy OLB Lorenzo Carter OLB Roquan Smith S Dominick Sanders Georgia State and West Georgia will also be represented at the combine. Panthers defensive back Chandon Sullivan and Wolves offensive tackle Desmond Harrison will be in attendance. Georgia players will have another chance to showcase their talents before NFL personnel March 21 in Athens. The 2018 NFL Draft will be held from April 26-28 at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas. Georgia had eight players drafted -- the most in one season -- in 2002 and 2013. This article was written by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • The Atlanta Hawks are tied for the worst record in the NBA. Predictably, the team’s local TV ratings have dropped dramatically. The decline is the largest by any NBA team in its home market this season. > More:  How many Atlantans are watching Hawks games? All 82 Hawks games this season are being televised on Fox Sports Southeast. The Hawks’ next game is Friday at Indiana.  > Also:  Seating changes coming to SunTrust Park