Goodbye, Coach

99_russell_erk

by Hunter Thompson
Posted Fri Sep 8 2006 10:26:39 PM on DawgRun

I walked through the door this evening absolutely exhausted, completely wore out after a week where my 7th grade football team lost their first game of the season and after I spent Tuesday night at the hospital with a running back with a bruised pancreas. I could barely find the strength to get in to work this morning, and, when I did, I got the news from my assistant coach that two of our best linemen were going to be lost for the season because of grades and discipline issues. Of greatest concern was the fact that we’d lost two more men, which put us at 20 players for our team and we wouldn’t be able to scrimmage each other for a Friday practice. We needed two more people to put up on the line, just so we could help our O-line adjust to shifts and stunts to help improve our dwindlingly talentedfront five for our next game. My only solution: we (my 36 year old assistant and me, an out of shape 32) would have to suit up and play line for our practice. Continue reading

Erk’s 1980 Letter to the Junkyard Dawgs

Prior to the 1980 season, Erk Russell wrote this letter to his defensive linemen. GATA!

Gentlemen: (linemen)

The football season of 80′ will be my seventeenth as a Georgia Bulldog. During this time there have been many thrilling Saturdays of competition, each with its individual memories, because each game has its own personality.

There are two Saturday traditions and experiences which have remained basically the same throughout the years for me and I would like to share them with you.

The first one concerns the RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. These are my people because they love the Dogs almost as much as I do. Oh, I know they do some crazy things- like turn over our opponnents’s buses sometimes and now and then they throw one another down the bank and into the street below. But they stamp out Kudzu and they pull for us to win and that aint bad. If you can get off the bus to cheers of THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD and walk down those steps to the dressing room and not be inspired to play football as best you possibly can, something important is missing beneath the Georgia jersey you wear. It is impossible not to be inspired. They choke me up!

The season of 1980 will be the last for THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. A great Georgia tradition will have passed with the new addition to our stadium. The view from the tracks will be no more.

Your team will be the last Georgia Team to be greeted and cheered by the RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. Wouldn’t it be fitting if their last team was also the best Georgia Team ever. Think about it!

Another Saturday tradition which has meant so much to me over the years can be stated very simply. “THERE AIN’T NOTHING LIKE BEING A BULLDOG ON SATURDAY NIGHT—–AFTER WINNING A FOOTBALL GAME.” I mean like whipping Tennessee’s ass to start with, then ten more and then another one.

This is the game plan. We have no alternate plan.

Sincerely,
Erk Russell