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February 21, 2013

"The Debate that Never Happened"

The University of Georgia webisphere (it's a word, just search for it and find this post; if it is on the Internet, it is a word) is richly blessed. It isn't hyperbole to say that UGA has one of the most robust blogger and message board presences within the collegiate sporting world. There are plenty of reasons why, but chief among them is the emergence of Web 2.0 coinciding nicely with the Dawgs taking the step back into relevance in football.

Web 2.0 invited the common fan into the public debate that had been relegated to tailgate bitch sessions, the liars table at local breakfast joints, and email threads. While there is no Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments to herald the coming tide of the common fan having a public voice, 2004-06 served as a seminal time for the Georgia blogosphere, punctuated by Kyle moving from his email threads to his original blog.

Charlotte is a T. Kyle King fan.
It isn't fair to say Kyle is the George Washington of Georgia bloggers, as there were others who were before him on the Internet in this format. Perhaps it is, with apologies  fairer to argue he is the University of North Carolina of Georgia bloggers, not first, but the first to get rolling (minus the annoying habit of trying to revise history by completely missing what first means). What the various message boards had wrought with many voices at once, Kyle King served as the Patterson Hood for Bulldog Gens: always providing the right lyrics to bring our way of life into focus, and usually with a lot of words.

As a Georgia blogger, I take great pride in being part of the tradition that Brother King is leaving. In fact, he and I have much in common, beyond an ability to get worked up over Georgia basketball. I have been fortunate to have known him for over 20 years, and in fact, he and I attended law school together (ed note: I've got a JHL reference coming). However, our styles and sensibilities are completely different. While he is given to strong logical arguments and esoteric references, I prefer shotgun humor, to the extent it can be called humorous, and rambling non sequiturs. Furthermore, I frequently abuse word usage, punctuation, spelling and Oxford commas.

To be sure, he is James Abbott McNeill Whistler to my Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. His work is approachable, but complex, and very hard to emulate. My work is simple, evocative (sometimes), and can be easily emulated with a keyboard and a list of pop culture references. Fortunately, we have never found ourselves on the opposite sides of a point, lest he demolish me with things like logic and reason.

I would be remiss in not honoring his place in helping me become a blogger. I spent time in Maryland in my prior life. Nothing too arduous, just work and whatnot. Much like Spiro T. Agnew, my time there was filled with challenges, both personal and professional, and involved work with the Baltimore County Board of Zoning Appeals. Nearly immediately upon moving back to Athens, I reconnected with Kyle, and he got me on his email list of random musings about college football.

Seeing him churn out his missives, I realized that there has to be catharsis in getting those things in the open. An airing of concerns and sharing of sorrows (and joy). Hell, I is lawyer, so I can too. And I did. And it helped.

If you think he is verbose now, you should have seen his emails. Joe Theismann started using that prostate stuff he uses just to get through them in one sitting. Those emails were, however, jam packed with useful information, strong analysis and his hatred of Auburn, sometimes in hiaku:
Last season, Auburn
Went undefeated. Begin

Has Auburn ever
Won a conference title
Without probation?
Did you know Kyle King hates Auburn the way Thomas Matthews probably hated Admiral Lestock for holding back at Toulon?

One last thing about Kyle. I am proud to say he is a friend and fellow lawyer. He has a very balanced approach in his professional life. He has repeatedly called for clarity in Georgia's code and a common sense approach to the political, financial, and social problems Georgia faces. While I know his views on human servitude are very different, his approach to legislative reform and the future of Georgia's industrial and education system are evocative of Joseph Henry Lumpkin's from nearly 175 years before.

Mr. King, go forth into whatever there is for a retired blogger. I count myself fortunate to be able to know you personally, so I can continue to know your thoughts on things. Perhaps my greatest sadness in this whole affair is that others won't get to share in that joy.

In that way, perhaps the more apt analogy for this retirement is that of Matt Hooper swimming away from a dead shark than Curt Henderson leaving to go to college.Yes, the franchise lives on (and unlike in my analogy, lives on quite strongly), but we'll all miss the original work. And exploding sharks; we'll definitely miss those.

Tomorrow is a sad day for this blogger, to be sure. Good luck, sir. A great many of us thank you for your service to the Bulldog Nation.


PS. I wouldn't piss on Howard's Rock if it was on fire, unless I pissed gasoline.


NCT said...

Very nice self-referential Oxford comma abuse.

Anonymous said...

TD. Just to add to the ridicule. you used "their" when you should have used "there." Billybobdawg

Tyler Dawgden said...

One was intentional, one was not.

Erk's Forehead said...

"While there is no Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments to herald the coming tide of the common fan having a public voice"

....I am one UGA fan that despises all things Alabama. Be it Auburn or their big dirty twin sister, bama. I think a concerted effort should be organized to ban all references to bama words or imagery. I propose using the word "wave" in place of the word "t--e" in future posts. Much like we use Powerade and not dirty g----ade.

Just Sayin'

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