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UGA fan's Christmas book list

12/13/2011

I just finished my Christmas shopping today, but I would expect that some of you might still have a gift or two left to purchase.

If you have a Georgia fan on your list, I thought I might recommend some Bulldogs-related reading material that I’ve accumulated in the last year or so as a public service. I give them all a thumbs up as interesting and informative reads.

1. “Always a Bulldog: Players, Coaches and Fans Share Their Passion for Georgia Football,” by Tony Barnhart. $16.95. Triumph Books.

Calling itself “the ultimate compendium of everything that is special about the University of Georgia, Athens, and Bulldogs football,” this book provides first-person accounts from the people who would know best why UGA is what it is. Barnhart got contributions from dozens of Georgia luminaries to speak and contribute sections to this book. It’s a great idea for a book and truly fascinating stuff for anyone with an interest in UGA history.

2. “Damn Good Dogs: The Real Story of Uga, the University of Georgia’s Bulldog Mascots,” by Sonny Seiler and Kent Hannon. $34.95. University of Georgia Press.

This is a 2011 revision of a previously released book that details the history of the Uga line of English Bulldog mascots, with new and/or updated chapters on the last three Ugas -- plus my main man Russ, who is nearing the end of his tenure as interim Uga.

3. “Belue to Scott! The Greatest Moment in Georgia Football History,” by Robbie Burns. $19.95. H&H Publishing Company.

Burns, who was public relations director for the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame when I first encountered him several years back, goes into great detail looking back at the Nov. 8, 1980 game between Georgia and Florida. All loyal Bulldogs remember that day as the game where UGA quarterback Buck Belue hit Lindsay Scott with a 92-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds, lifting Georgia to a 26-21 win against the hated Gators and preserving Georgia’s undefeated record en route to a 1980 national title. Burns gets input from all the relevant people that day to explain why that remains the most significant single play in program history.

4. “From Herschel to a Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson,” by Larry Munson with Tony Barnhart. $24.95. Triumph Books.

Georgia lost a legend when former radio announcer Munson died last month. This book isn’t as new as the other books I’ve listed -- it was released in 2009 -- but Munson lived an incredibly interesting life and the book is a quick read. Included is an audio CD of his top 10 calls, complete with Barnhart’s explanation that provides some context for each call.

5. Re-released Lewis Grizzard bestsellers. NewSouth Books/Green E-Books.

Although I have family members who lived in Athens and who attended UGA, my most significant exposure to Georgia and the Bulldogs as a youngster came from reading Lewis Grizzard's books and columns in the Mobile Press-Register. Looking back over some of that material now, I probably had no business reading some of it at such a young age. Nonetheless, everyone in my family loved the preeminent Bulldogs loyalist’s copy and now some of it is finally back on the market.

NewSouth Books is re-releasing “Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself” and “They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat” in paperback and e-versions (more are on the way), while Green E-Books is releasing e-versions of “If Love Were Oil, I’d Be About a Quart Low,” “Don’t Bend Over in the Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes,” “I Took a Lickin’ and Kept on Tickin’ and Now I Believe in Miracles” and “When My Love Returns From the Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old To Care?”

The re-released titles are available at amazon.com and bn.com.

The thought of Lewis Grizzard material being available for download onto a little portable computer -- or God forbid a telephone -- allowing you to read his copy wherever you like, is amusing to me. I’m sure that would make a heck of a column if the great man were still around today.