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April 18, 2006

Bobby Gaston: Good Riddance

SEC Supervisor of Officials Bobby Gaston announced his retirement Tuesday. Let me be among the first to say, "Hell to the yeah!" Was it the Mayor of Munchkin Land or the Mayor of the College Foootball Blogosphere who said, "This is a day of independence for all Bulldogs and their descendants. Yes, let the joyous news be spread, the crooked old troll at last is dead retired"? Regardless, good riddance to tired old rubbish.

Let there be no mistake, this is a great day for the Bulldog Nation. If there were a book on how to hate Georgia, Bobby Gaston could have written it and self-published it. He has been an antagonist of fairness in general and Georgia football in particular for the better part of fifty years, and I couldn't be happier to see him go.

Bobby Gaston, who lettered in football and basketball in 1944 at Georgia Tech, has the "honor" of having his name on crummy historic Pepper Rodgers Bobby Dodd Stadium. Gaston deserves admiration for his service during World War II and I'm sure his wife probably likes him, but he has arbitrarily and capriciously interpreted league rules in a way most calculated to hurt the teams his doesn't like without regard for objectivity. Under Gaston, SEC officials were a nationwide laughing stock for their ineptitude.

[Photo: Gaston, right, and Al Ford discuss the 1999 Georgia-Georgia Tech game]

There is no better example of Bobby Gaston's legendary anti-Georgia bias than his interpretation of the league's defensive substitution rules aimed to slow down Mark Richt's no-huddle offense. By rule, a team is allowed to snap the ball after it is marked ready for play, which is three to five seconds after it is placed on the line of scrimmage. However, if the offense brings in a different personnel group after that time, it has to allow the defense time to react. The problem is, there is no set amount of time for the defense to make its substitutions, leaving it up to the officiating crew to judge how much time is enough, the official said.

In other words, Gaston told his officials to flag Georgia for a five yard substitution infraction when it runs the no-huddle, with subsequent fifteen yard flags for unsportsmanlike conduct. The SEC was an island unto itself under Gaston, since no other set of conference officials shared his interpretation of the "no no-huddle rule".

The abomination that was the 1999 Georgia-Georgia Tech game is another example of Bobby Gaston's failure as Supervisor of Officials. Make no mistake, Al Ford blew the call and stole the game. Ford was so bad he couldn't even screw up properly, but Bobby Gaston couldn't even be bothered to review the game footage or speak to officials at UGA the next day. It took a phone call from Vince Dooley to Roy Kramer to get anything done about the officials, whom Kramer later took the unusual step of suspending. To Bobby Gaston, there's no such thing as a bad call that screws UGA. At least Vanderbilt got an apology when Gaston's SEC goons officials cost the 'Dores a victory.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Bobby. Need some exit music?
I think I can hear the Chapel Bell ringing right now.


Anonymous said...

Takais Brown news is now up. Go to the Front Page and hit refresh on your browser.

Work is crazy, and I'm behind on everything.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Dawgnoxious, Esq. It truly is a GREAT day for all of UGA athletics, for we can no longer be threatened by the antics of that Techmite Gaston. Now, here's hoping that Gaston isn't the one who hand-picks his replacement...

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