Florida-Georgia is still a big deal to them, even if neither team matters this year. But a Georgia coach cursing and grabbing his throat at UF's kicker before the gamewinning FG seems to have struck a nerve.
Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was captured on camera giving the universal choking gesture, just after Mark Richt had called a timeout to Florida's Chas Henry. Here are two angles:
As per the Gainesville Sun's Pat Dooley, the exact words were ""You're gonna fucking choke. You're gonna choke." We also would have accepted "this is what I would do to myself if I were named 'Chas.'"
People do things they probably wish they didn't do, so I think that (the choke sign) was what was being communicated. I don't think he's necessarily proud of it."
That hasn't stopped the moralizing from message boards and from professionals who should know better.
"This is about right and wrong," writes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz. "A 44-year-old college coaching grabbing his throat multiple times and shouting, 'You're gonna [bleepin'] choke,' at the opponent's 21-year-old kicker? Folks, that's wrong. It's over the line. It's not even a close call."
Over the line? There's a line now?
This is big-time college football. This isn't Pop Warner Pee Wee bullshit, where the goal is for everyone to have fun and then share a tray of orange slices after the game. There's nothing wrong with trying to get an edge by getting in the opponents' heads. Isn't icing the kicker a form of psychological intimidation too? Aren't having your fans cheer, and chant, and wear the same color all ways of trying to get to the other team?
So Grantham told Henry he was going to choke. Awesome. That's a coach who wants to win. We really have no problems with anything like this unless Grantham strode onto the field and literally choked Henry.
Oh, by the by, Henry nailed the field goal with no problem. Clearly this bothered people watching the game a hell of a lot more than it did Henry.