- Amanda C. Coyne The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
When Patrick Connell’s brother told him they were going to cheer on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, the Savannah attorney realized he had a conflict in court.
Connell was due in Judge Michael Karpf’s courtroom to argue a bench trial on Jan. 2, the day he was scheduled to fly back from Pasadena. He couldn’t possibly make it in time, so the devoted Dawg had to file an emergency motion to postpone the trial.
When a colleague posted Connell’s motion on her now-private Twitter account on Thursday, it went minorly viral, grabbing the attention of Georgia fans and sports media.
“I guess I was channelling Lewis Grizzard,” Connell said, referencing the late humorist and Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist.
Connell justified his request in the motion by citing the historic nature of the College Football Playoff game, which will be Georgia’s second Rose Bowl appearance and first since World War II, and breaking down the on-field achievements of players including Nick Chubb, Roquan Smith and Jake Fromm.
Connell also noted a personal connection to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart: Smart’s mother was Connell’s English teacher at Bainbridge High School, where Smart attended. Smart’s father was the football coach and Connell’s father was the principal.
“It is truly great to be a Georgia Bulldawg, and to have a loving and generous older brother who has given me the opportunity to watch the Dawgs take on the Sooners in the most famous stadium in the land on New Year’s Day, at what will hopefully be the last stop before we play for, and win, a national championship,” Connell wrote in the motion.
When Connell got fellow Dawg fan Karpf’s response on Dec. 27, he “couldn’t help but laugh out loud.”
“Through his exhaustive presentation of the facts and circumstances that have brought the University of Georgia to this auspicious point in the season, as well as the history of his personal connections to Coach Kirby Smart, [Connell] has made it clear to this court that a victory for the Bulldogs hinges on nothing less than the very attendance of [Connell] himself at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day,” Karpf wrote.
Karpf granted Connell’s request, with one catch: If the Bulldogs lose, Connell must appear at a hearing on the morning of Jan. 3 and “show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt for failing to secure a Bulldog victory through his presence in Pasadena.”
Connell hopes he doesn’t have to attend that hearing. If the Dawgs can run the ball and control the clock, Connell predicts they’ll be headed to the national championship with a 35-17 victory over Oklahoma under their belt.
The trial was rescheduled to Jan. 25.