A ‘disgrace’ misses Bulldog miracle finish 

This article originally appeared Nov. 10, 1980, in the Atlanta Constitution.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –- Dorsey Hill, the world’s biggest Bulldog fan, left here Sunday afternoon, bound for Auburn, Ala., where Georgia’s undefeated football team next appears. 

“I don’t think you can get from Jacksonville to Auburn,” I had said to him. 

“You change buses in Waycross and Columbus,” Dorsey answered. 

“You aren’t going home first?”

“Home?” He screamed back. “I haven’t worked since Texas A&M, and I haven’t slept since Clemson. You expect me to go back home when we play Auburn in only six more days?”

I lost my head, I suppose. 

A lot of people lost their heads here Saturday afternoon. Georgia played Florida. Georgia won the game, 26-21. It’s a lot more complicated than that, however. 

Georgia came into the game ranked second in the nation. To continue to compete for its first Big Banana ever, the national championship, Georgia had to continue its winning streak. 

Florida (”a bunch of swamp lizards and beach bums,” according to Dorsey Hill), wanted to step on the Georgia dream. 

Five-Eyed Owls

Dorsey arrived here Thursday afternoon with thousands of others who made the early departure south from various points in Georgia. Many of those individuals were drunk as five-eyed owls by the time they reached the Florida line.

As local wit, Rex Edmondson, says, the Georgia-Florida game is the “annual celebration of the repeal of prohibition.”

Dorsey waited until Friday to get into his serious pre-game drinking, however. 

“I stopped at the New Perry hotel Thursday for lunch and filled up on collards,” he said. “It’s hard to drink on a belly full of collards.”


Now that I have had time to digest all that did eventually happen in college football Saturday, I think I can say without fear of charges of blasphemy that the whole thing was a religious experience. 

“Deacon Dan” Magill, the “Baptist Bulldog,” read a prayer Saturday morning to the Georgia faithful in which he beseeched the Almighty to help the Bulldogs “smite the Florida philistines.” 

Then, there was the game itself, Georgia behind 21-20, 93 yards away, time running out. 

Now Fortified

“We need a miracle!” Screamed Dorsey Hill, now fortified with more than collards. 

Georgia got its miracle. Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, who ought to get his scholarship back. 

If that wasn’t enough, there was the astounding news from Atlanta. Georgia Tech had tied No. 1 Notre Dame. Surely, Georgia will be ranked first in America when the ratings are released. 

“A tie was a gift from heaven,” said Dorsey. “Notre Dame gets knocked out of number one, but Tech doesn’t get a win. God is a Bulldog.” 


I must make on confession here. I did it, and I must suffer the consequences. 

I gave up at Jacksonville Saturday afternoon. Florida had the ball. Florida had the lead. There were only three minutes to play. I left the stadium. I was in the street when the miracle came. 

“You are a gutless disgrace,” Dorsey Hill said to me later. 

He detailed my punishment. 

“We’re going to a tattoo parlor in this very town tonight,” he began. “And you’re going to have ‘26’ tattooed on one of your cheeks in red. And you’re going to have ‘21’ tattooed in black on the other cheek. I don’t want you to forget what you did.”

I won’t, but which cheeks is between me and the tattooist. 

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in UGA / DawgNation

Georgia’s Roquan Smith declares for NFL Draft
Georgia’s Roquan Smith declares for NFL Draft

After the season he had, it’s not a surprise. Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith will forgo his senior season and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. “The decision to leave is not easy but I know it is the right one,” Smith said in a statement. “Georgia will always be my school and my home and I sincerely wish all the best to...
5 points/counterpoints for Georgia being 2018 championship favorites
5 points/counterpoints for Georgia being 2018 championship favorites

1. Favorable schedule: If you thought Georgia’s 2017 schedule was easy, take a look at 2018. The Bulldogs open against Austin Peay on Sept. 1, beginning what many will consider a soft home slate: Middle Tennessee, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Auburn, UMass, Georgia Tech. They travel to South Carolina, Missouri, LSU, Kentucky and Jacksonville for the...
Georgia’s Jake Fromm is early favorite to win 2018 Heisman Trophy
Georgia’s Jake Fromm is early favorite to win 2018 Heisman Trophy

Vegas oddsmakers like what they saw from Georgia’s freshman quarterback Jake Fromm. The Bulldogs’ signal caller opens with the best odds to win the 2018 Heisman Trophy. Fromm finished his first year with 2,615 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Also among the leading contenders is Fromm teammate D’Andre Swift. The freshman rushed for...
Roquan Smith, Isaiah Wynn among Georgia players with growing draft stock
Roquan Smith, Isaiah Wynn among Georgia players with growing draft stock

The Bulldogs let a national championship slip away, but a few impressive performances should put more money in individual pockets. Linebacker Roquan Smith, who’s yet to declare for the NFL draft, has been the center of attention in scouting circles for his modern-day linebacker abilities. He’s being projected as high as the top 10 to the...
Twitter reacts: Georgia blows big lead, Alabama wins national championship
Twitter reacts: Georgia blows big lead, Alabama wins national championship

Monday night was one to remember. Well, maybe not if you’re a Georgia fan. After going up 20-7 in the third quarter, Georgia gave up 13 unanswered points so Alabama could force overtime. Crimson Tide freshman quarterback – and now hero – Tua Tagovailoa won the game with a 41-yard touchdown pass, making Alabama the national champion...
More Stories