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No Hustle, just Heritage. 706-622-3783 965 Veterans Memorial Hwy NE Rome, GA 30161

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L-R: Dr. David Wilson, Harbin Clinic Vascular Surgeon Dr. Mike Rogers, Harbin Clinic Vascular Surgeon

L-R: Dr. David Wilson, Harbin Clinic Vascular Surgeon L-R: Dr. David Wilson, Harbin Clinic Vascular Surgeon Dr. Trent Prault, Harbin Clinic Vascular Surgeon Rogers, Dr. John HarbinClinic VascularSurgeon Surgeon Dr.Mike MikeMolnar, Rogers,Harbin ClinicVascular Vascular Surgeon

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501 Redmond Road • 30165 Rome, GA 30165 501 GA 501 Redmond Redmond Road Road •• Rome, Rome, GA 30165 Redmond Regional Redmond RegionalMedical MedicalCenter Center 501 Redmond Road • Rome, GA Redmond Center 501 RedmondMedical Road • Rome, GA30165 30165 RedmondRegional Regional Medical Center

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vini vidi*vici / v3 magazine As ranked by Georgia7Trend


Time to dust off those stadium cushions, pull those car flags off the garage shelf, and make sure the pop-up tent still has legs, because the season has come for tailgating. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, college football is nearly upon us, and man caves everywhere are undergoing preseason renovations for the glorious few-month span during which Saturday is king in the deep South. If you’re like me, you’ve been searching for every scrap of news on the sport since the final whistle blew to end last year’s BCS National Championship game. And, thankfully, this third annual, special-edition issue of V3 allows us to immerse ourselves in all the preseason hype while formulating our own projections upon hours of personal study. All 14 SEC teams are scrutinized heavily over the course of the offseason, and after sizing up our 2013 research (see pg. 22, “SEC Preview 2013”), it’s looking like this could shape up to be one heck of a season. In 2012, conference play ended with one of the best SEC Championship bouts in the conference’s 21-year history, when Alabama defeated Georgia 32-28 at the Dome. Being reminded of this no doubt makes the Dawgs faithful cringe, but they should be proud of the effort put forth by their team. The clock simply ran out on QB Aaron Murray to cut short that final drive, and there is a very good chance, we believe, that they’ll meet the Crimson Tide in Atlanta once again this December. It would be easy to fill an entire issue with the X’s and O’s, but this special edition of V3 also caters to MANAGING PARTNER+ HEAD OF ADVERTISING

ian griffin

publishers' note

the casual fan. My good buddy over at AM 1410 and 95.7 FM The Ridge, Matt Davis, for instance, delivers a fantastic Q&A with first-year head coach Tony Kunczewski (see pg. 40, “Highway to Valhalla”), the man tasked with building an all-new football program at Berry College. The Vikings inaugural 2013 season kicks off this August, and Davis digs deep inside Kunczewski’s strategic thinking to find out what it takes, exactly, to build a program at the NCAA Division III level. Also included this issue, a feature on the CREATIVE PARTNER+HEAD indispensable team at Harbin Clinic Orthopaedics DESIGNER+EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & Sports Medicine (see pg. 18, “Brains for Brawn”), who serve as trainers for several highschool football teams in Northwest Georgia. With NCAA officials training a new focus on changing the violent culture of the game, particularly in the realm of concussion treatment, this piece highlights how such rulebook alterations have impacted Harbin Orthopaedics’ jobs as sideline caregivers, as well as their work in the rehabilitation unit. Later in the issue, we turn an eye to the merchandising/retail end of the game with a feature on owner/designer Rudy Childs and Traditions of Rome, where shoppers who have yet to visit in person are granted a behind-the-scenes tour of Childs’ veritable SEC museum. Now, while we still have to wait just a little bit longer before the 2013 season kickoff (which we can only presume will ushser in yet another historic season of Southern-fried pigskin), mine and V3 cofounder Neal Howard’s humble, mutual hope is that the following pages help you pass the time ’til that magical day arrives.

neal howard

M AG A Z I N E EDITOR-IN-CHIEF + PRODUCTION MANAGER + ART&DESIGN Neal Howard WRITERS J. Bryant Steele, Luke Chaffin, Holly Lynch, Lillian Shaw, Ray Marvin, Kent Howard, Ian Griffin, Neal Howard PHOTOGRAPHY Derek Bell, MFA 706.936.0407 CHIEF OF ADVERTISING + OFFICE MANAGER/SALES DIRECTOR Ian Griffin AD SALES + CLIENT RELATIONS Shadae Yancey-Warren, Chris Forino AD DESIGN + CREATIVE ENGINEERING Ellie Borromeo, Laura Briggs, Alex Purdie PUBLISHER V3 Publications, LLC CONTACT One West Fourth Avenue Rome, Ga. 30161 Office phone_706.235.0748 Email_v3publicatons@


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At Heritage Park on the Coosa River in Downtown Rome

CRBI presents YO U R U P P E R C O O S A



Follow us on Facebook for recent updates “Coosa River Basin Initiative”

Saturday Aug. 24, 2013 6:00-11:00 pm

Tickets and details at vini vidi vici / v3 magazine




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      GREENE’S     ,   




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For reserved seating, RSVP to: or Call (404)-981-3911 14

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I almost feel sorry for Paula Deen. Almost. During the worst economic slump in seven decades, she expanded her food empire and was the du-jour poster child for entrepreneurship, for the elusive American Dream. Sure, she was the scourge of nutritionists, and often reinforced Southern stereotypes in less-than-positive ways. But she was funny and charismatic, as well as business-savvy— or so we thought. Nowadays, as the nation continues to gain purchase on its recovery from the Great Recession, Deen’s empire is crumbling quicker than a butter-and-sugar confection from yesterday’s oven. She’s been fired by the Food Network; her products have been dropped by Sears, Walgreen and J.C. Penney; Ballantine Books has canceled publication of her latest cookbook; and QVC, the homeshopping network, is taking a hands-off approach. She is being “investigated” by Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, which may not lead to anything but a couple more negative headlines, but which bodes no goodwill for Deen. The whole downfall began with a lawsuit filed by a former employee who claims she was subject to a hostile work environment that included racial slurs. Really though, folks, you’d think people would learn. Deen is in her mid-60s, which means she was old enough to think for herself when America’s attention turned to the Civil Rights Movement. A lot of people were unmoved by the oratory of equality in those times, sure, and chose to stick to the views of their socially undereducated upbringings, but most learned to at least behave and speak differently, in spite of their unwillingness to become more enlightened. Deen didn’t. And once a mistake has the


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attention of the 21st-century media, the first rule of business is to ’fess up and “apologize”. Deen did do that, but a lot of cynics thought she lacked sincerity and that her tears were really over the financial blow she knew was coming, rather than remorse for her slurs. The second step is to outline what steps you’re taking to prevent such mistakes in the future, and Deen hasn’t done that. The third step is to seek to make amends. She hasn’t really done that, either. I have long thought that sports, music and food are the three cultural pastimes most critical to the breaking down of racial divides in America. Ironically, Deen made a fortune from the latter. Maybe she became so narcissistic that she couldn’t read the ingredients on the recipe for disaster.

Steele's Biz Bits


In other news, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned sections of the Voting Rights Act. Some have been pushing this “scaling back” for years, citing that social conditions have changed since 1965, the year of the landmark legislation. In the broadest sense, they’re right, but they’re wrong if they think voter discrimination doesn’t exist today. Politicians have been trying to rig elections since there were elections to rig. Essentially, the key part of the court’s ruling tossed out the formula that required some states to submit any changes, such as redistricting, to the federal government for approval. But, also key is that the high court invited Congress to create new legislation that reflects today’s realities. Congress is already tackling the challenge, but opponents say that Section 2 of the Voting Rights

Act, which allows for court challenges to discriminatory laws, remains intact and is sufficient enough protection. But Section 2 is more passive than the passages thrown out by the Supreme Court, which is why Congress should act with one significant difference: New protections should apply to all 50 states, not just the Southern states targeted in the 1965 legislation. It will be a protracted process, but here’s a cynical prediction: During the lull, some states might pull previously rejected redistricting plans out of the mothballs and put them in place unchallenged. Not that redistricting will create sparks in the next Georgia General Assembly session, but here’s something that will: the legalization of fireworks. And by fireworks, I mean the high-end, Fourth of July kind. Sen. Jeff Mullis, a Republican from Chickamauga, is pushing such a bill. It doesn’t hurt that Mullis is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which puts him among that handful of lawmakers who control the flow of legislation under the Gold Dome. Right now, Georgians simply drive across state lines or purchase from an underground market. Either way, the state is losing tax revenue, and these days that alone is reason enough to push for legalization. But Mullis has heightened the appeal of his Senate Bill 229 with vendor regulations and safety guidelines. Also, to tamp down opposition from firefighters and the medical community, tax revenue from fireworks sales would go to the state’s trauma system and firefighting efforts, at least as the bill is currently drafted. Voters will have the final say, but it’s a safe bet Georgians would approve such a measure. The revenue generation alone, though seasonal, clinches the deal.

Cents & Sensibility .

withJ Bryant Steele

As for me, I’ll limit my fireworks awe to the shows put on by professionals. When I was a youngster, my brother and I were playing with sparklers—you know, one of the “safe” fireworks currently legal in Georgia—and I wound up in the emergency room with third-degree burns. The real safety issue wasn’t the sparklers, but the fact there wasn’t flame-retardant clothing for children back then. Still, I’d rather let someone else take all the risk while I watch. It was a good summer for a while there, as far as gasoline prices are concerned , but the ongoing (further) destabilization of the Middle East is putting a damper on that. Upward pressure on the price of crude oil will be reflected at American gas pumps for the foreseeable future.

Deen's Recipe For Disaster The toppling of celebrity-chef Paula Deen's fat-packed foodie empire serves as a reminder to those who still, some 50 years after the birth of the American Civil Rights Movement, insist on embarrassing the enlightened Southerner: social justice is a dish best-served cold Meanwhile, the cradle of American carmaking, the city of Detroit, is bankrupt. What makes it more than just raised-eyebrow interesting, however, is that citizens (mainly pensioners) who have the most to lose have now taken pre-emptive legal action. Bankruptcy, by design, protects a corporate body from litigation, but this could be a case that ends up not being so open and shut. Wireless-phone providers are starting to offer customers the option to forgo service contracts and receive more frequent upgrades. The tradeoff is that you would pay more, about triple, for new smartphones without a service contract. The companies

have long used service contracts and upgrade fees to subsidize the true cost of a smartphone, but consumer advocates urge reading the fine print and doing some comparative arithmetic. Relative to the phone biz, a survey by Harris Interactive found that more than half of smartphone owners use their devices while driving. That’s not a revelation to even a casual observer of others behind the wheel, but the study also found that a third of smartphone owners also use the device inside movie theaters. About the same number use their device during a dinner date. Nineteen percent do in church, and 12

percent admit they use it in the shower. That last number might be higher if water didn’t turn smartphones into paperweights. The real prize, though, should go to those 9 percent who use their smartphones during sex. The survey didn’t ask how, exactly, but I guess it won’t be long before there’s an app for that. VVV

J. Bryant Steele

is an award-winning journalist and feature writer currently based in Rome. His work also appears in the Lavender Mountain Anthology due out this fall. vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


brains for


howard textianphoto griffin &neal sderek bell

chris piller, m.d.

A sport as unforgiving as football requires expert physician care from the sidelines to the locker room, and, unfortunately for many, sometimes beyond. But luckily for the gridiron warriors competing at high schools and colleges across Rome and Northwest Georgia, the team at

harbin clinic orthopaedics

& sports medicine


It’s a crisp, fall evening in Northwest Georgia. Parents, children, friends and alumni throw on their respective school colors and flock to stadiums all over the region, geared up to watch the Friday-night lights shine on their favorite high-school football teams. Each squad has poured their blood, sweat and tears into preparing for the game, and once the final second on the clock has expired, they will have left everything they had to give on the field of play. Regardless of training and preparation, however, it is inevitable that some of these gridiron warriors will hit the turf after a play and not return to their feet. It’s hard to expect anything less from a sport as violent as football, but fans love the game, and the players love to play it. Injuries are a part of high-impact athletics, plain and simple. Fans and players alike understand the risks involved the moment they step onto the field. Competition is fierce in all sports, and when an athlete is pushing his or her body to its limits, the probability of pulling a muscle, breaking a bone, or sustaining any number of subsequent injuries only grows. But with fans focusing most of their attention on the amateur sports figures they’ve come to lend their support, the forgotten soldiers of the game are often the doctors and therapists who dedicate their careers to diagnosing injuries, operating (if needed), putting together prevention

is amped and ready to spring into action, all in a shared effort to preserve our student-athletes' bodies and minds >>>>>>

brandon bushnell, m.d. and rehabilitation programs, and looking after the general safety of the players on the field. This is the mission of the team of doctors from Harbin Clinic, each of whom have worked with area high school and college teams for over 40 years, implementing the latest innovations in technique and technology to help local student-athletes perform at the highest level. chad wagner, m.d. Dr. Chris Piller, for one, is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes and training techniques available. “All in sports medicine at Harbin. For the last of us at Harbin who have the privilege 10 years, he has worked in coordination to work with these student-athletes truly with the athletic departments of Rome appreciate the opportunity,” says Piller. High School and Berry College. And “Most of us have worked with professional alongside Harbin physicians Dr. Brandon athletes and high-level scholarship players Bushnell and Dr. Chad Wagner, Piller has at (NCAA) Division I universities, and been implementing the training program while that is very rewarding in it’s own for Berry’s brand-new football program to way, there is something very special about ensure they are using the safest equipment vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


the relationships we form with players, coaches and administrators at the local level.” When Berry hired Tony Kunczewski to serve as head coach of the fledgling Vikings football squad, Kunczewski hit the ground running in an effort to build the program as quickly as possible. Most coaches have plenty on their plate as far as off-season preparation, so imagine Kunczewski’s conundrum while staring down a lengthy to-do list that included—but wasn’t limited to—recruiting players, finding acceptable venues in which to play its home games while the school’s first on-campus stadium is constructed, picking out uniforms for their inaugural season, and, of course, acclimating his players to his personal playbook and coaching philosophy. It’s nothing short of a mountain of work for an incoming head coach and his tireless staff, but it’s a mountain that Kunczewski has faced head on. He credits Harbin’s doctors with making his job a lot easier. “For me, the hardest part of the job when I first arrived on campus was putting all the pieces of the puzzle together,” Kunczewski explains. “Our staff hit it off with the doctors at Harbin right away, and I can’t tell you how nice it was to give them a call and get their thoughts on a wide range of medical and safety issues. “We are a brand-new program, and there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered … Which helmets are the safest on the market? Who makes the best knee braces? What kind of hydration system should we use? It was a lot to process, but we couldn’t have picked a better organization to work with to achieve our training and safety goals.” The game has evolved over the years, and sports medicine has evolved in tandem. Players are bigger and stronger. The equipment they use helps them to run faster and hit harder. And with these significant advancements, the injuries witnessed on the field of play have become more frequent and severe. Due to this considerable, physical evolution, even the NFL has begun instituting new standards for player safety, many of which have stirred heated debate among fans and

the media. The league’s focus is clearly aimed at changing the violent culture of the game, and shot-callers are willing to go so far as to penalize, eject, fine, and/or suspend pro players for hits now deemed illegal. These include helmet-to-helmet hits, by which a defender leads with the crown of his helmet; “targeting” (denoted by a defender launching his body at a defenseless player); and any kind of contact by which the defender uses his hands above the shoulders of another player. “The rule changes have been met with a lot of skepticism from spectators who feel it takes away from the game,” Piller explains. “Everyone likes to see a big hit when they are watching a game on TV or in the stadium, and as doctors we understand that it’s part of the game. But these rules will change the game for the better, as they require players to perform and coaches to teach proper tackling techniques. And the local coaches, who were always concerned for player safety, are all embracing new rules and ideas about concussion safety.” We have all born witness to the excitement of a big-time hit, only to feel the air sucked

out of the stadium as, afterward, the blow’s recipient lay motionless on the field. And although there will be always be the risk of these injuries in football, no matter how officials choose to reshape the rulebooks, seeking to eliminate now-illegal tackling methods from the game nevertheless decreases the chances of paralysis by a sizeable margin, as well as concussions and other impact-related injuries. “While there have been some advancements on the orthopedic front of sports medicine in the last 10 years, the advancements in neurology have been the most important. Concussions are a huge issue in contact sports like football,” Piller says. In the summer of 2010, Harbin orthopedists Wagner and Bushnell, along with neurologist Dr. David A. Hale, implemented what is now known as the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) Test. This concussion-management program, first developed by Mark Lovell, PhD, Joseph Maroon, MD, and Micky Collins,

Continued on pg. 51

"The rule changes have been met with a lot of skepticism from

spectators who feel it takes away from the game ... But these rules will change the game for the better..."


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The Bulldogs defense has some big names to replace in 2013, no doubt. But, believe it or not, this year’s linebacking corps could be even stronger than last year’s bunch. Seeing this to fruition will take decisive leadership from junior inside LB AMARLO HERRERA , who led the Dawgs last season with 70 total tackles, and whose high-I.Q. potential on the field will need to develop even more rapidly if coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 attack is to gel early.

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2012 RUSHING: 222 ATTs. FOR 1385 YDs. / 6.2 YDs. PER CARRY / 98.9 PER GAME / 17 TDs




It’s an all-new season for the nation’s most powerful collegefootball conference, and fans of the SEC from east Texas to the eastern seaboard are foaming at the mouth for cleat to meet leather later on this month, as play begins Aug. 29. In the following pages you’ll find unique, unbiased analysis of all 14 squads from V3 managing partner, Ian Griffin, and editor-in-chief/creative partner Neal Howard, as well as team schedules, a breakdown of in-conference coaching changes, and a fly-by look at several up-and-coming players who we believe will make a name for themselves this fall. As the BCS era (thankfully) nears its end, can the Southeastern Conference continue its amazing streak of seven straight National Championships, or will its reign of dominance finally come to a halt? There are several in-conference contenders for the crown, and none more seemingly obvious than two-time defending national champion, Alabama. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide is, rightfully, the favorite among analysts to repeat, but their challengers aren’t to be taken lightly. Texas A&M defeated the Tide in Tuscaloosa last Dec. 1, then Georgia scared the daylights out of them in the SEC Championship. Both of those squads should be as good—if not better—than they were last year. South Carolina is a legitimate contender, as well, with arguably the best player in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Florida and LSU can never be counted out, either, although both teams will need to improve dramatically on offense if they want to throw themselves into the title mix. Whichever way it shakes out, the road to a repeat won’t be an easy one for the Tide. And, as always, there will be plenty of storylines to follow as the season unfolds. VVV


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F L O R I D A G AT O R S 2012 RECORD: 11-2 (7-1 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 9-3 (5-3)

8/31 Toledo 9/7 @Miami (Fla.) 9/21 Tennessee 9/28 @Kentucky 10/5 Arkansas 10/12 @LSU 10/19 @Missouri 11/2 Georgia* 11/9 Vanderbilt 11/16 @South Carolina 11/23 Georgia Southern 11/30 Florida State *Jacksonville, Fla. Although the Gators’ 2012 season ended with an embarrassing 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, Rome’s own Will Muschamp exceeded expectations after posting an 11-2 record in his third year as head coach. The strengths of last year’s team were twofold: a great defense and a sound running game. That foundation should carry over into 2013, with the gators showcasing their

best stable of backs since the Spurrier era. The defense will be replacing six starters, but the players likely to fill those open slots all played valuable minutes against quality SEC opponents last fall, and the unit is anchored by what could very well be the best secondary in the conference. The real question mark hovering over this team is junior QB JEFF DRISKEL and, namely, whether or not he can get in better sync with his receiving corps. Overall, Driskel managed games well in 2012 and made a lot of big plays. Yet, he struggled to make his reads quickly and took a lot of unnecessary sacks. If the Gators want to be in contention for a trip to Atlanta this December, they absolutely must develop a viable passing game, which means Driskel has to improve and a receiver (or two) has to emerge as a playmaker.

2012, like Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo, those are pretty big shoes to fill. This will place even greater pressure on the new blood to perform. The talent is there, no question, but Mark Richt has hauled in top recruiting classes throughout his tenure with varying success in big games. Can the new-look Dawgs D come together quickly enough to survive a topheavy schedule that opens at Clemson, then heads back to Athens to face the Old Ball Coach and South Carolina? If they see their way through games one and two without a loss, it may be time to put the champagne on ice in Athens—heavy emphasis on that if, though.


8/31 Western Kentucky* 9/7 Miami (Ohio) 9/14 Louisville 9/28 Florida 10/5 @South Carolina 10/12 Alabama 10/24 @Miss. State 11/2 Alabama State 11/9 Missouri 11/16 @Vanderbilt 11/23 @Georgia 11/30 Tennessee

2012 RECORD: 12-2 (7-1 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 11-1 (8-0) 8/31 @Clemson 9/7 South Carolina 9/21 North Texas 9/28 LSU 10/5 @Tennessee 10/12 Missouri 10/19 @Vanderbilt 11/2 Florida* 11/9 Appalachian State 11/16 @Auburn 11/23 @Kentucky 11/30 @Georgia Tech

KENTUCKY WILDCATS 2012 RECORD: 2-10 (0-8 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 4-8 (1-7)

*Nashville, Tenn. And so, the MARK STOOPS era begins in Lexington, Ky. The one thing that we know for certain is that the new

face of the Wildcats has already made a bit of a splash on the recruiting scene. Stoops is also very likely to instill a mental toughness that should shine through in his team’s collective effort, but that effort, as warm and fuzzy as it sounds, won’t yield many W’s in 2013. On a more positive note, the Cats offense has been taken over by Hal Mumme acolyte Neal Brown, so the good-old “air raid” attack will be installed with an emphasis on spreading the filed and letting the ball fly. Nevertheless, though a fresh start is always exciting for the UK faithful, this is a rebuilding project in every sense of the term. Anything over four wins this season will come as a surprise.

MISSOURI TIGERS 2012 RECORD: 5-7 (2-6 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 5-7 (1-7) 8/31 Murray State 9/7 Toledo 9/21 @Indiana 9/28 Arkansas State 10/5 @Vanderbilt 10/12 @Georgia 10/19 Florida 10/26 South Carolina 11/2 Tennessee 11/9 @Kentucky 11/23 @Ole Miss 11/30 Texas A&M The SEC’s newest striped cat was shown a much harsher welcome last season than its former Big-12 brethren, Texas A&M, and Mizzou finished 2012 with a 2-6 record

*Jacksonville, Fla. Bulldog Nation has been licking its wounds since their boys’ heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game last Dec. 1, but no need to worry. This year they’ll be licking their chops in anticipation of deploying the most explosive offense in the conference. QB AARON MURRAY returns for his senior campaign, protected by a well-experienced offensive line and backed by an extremely talented group of wide receivers, as well as a two-headed monster at tailback in sophomores Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. The offense will score a lot, period. The big question mark for the Dawgs in 2013 will reside with its defense, as it looks to replace many of its starters. But when you think of NFL-ready guys from

DT DOMINIQUE EASLEY GATORS 2012 SACK LEADER (4) vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


in conference play, thereby missing out on a bowl game, as well as posting a weak inaugural-year record. Senior QB JAMES FRANKLIN was plagued by injuries last season, to boot, and will have to hold off redshirt freshman QB MATY MAUK to keep the starting job. That is the expectation, of course, but if the Tigers struggle in the early going, look for them to pass the torch pretty quickly. Giving up 5.5 yards per snap in 2012, the Mizzou defense was one of the worst in the conference, and the loss of All-SEC lineman Sheldon Richardson won’t help an already mediocre group. A bowl game may be out of reach in the Tigers’ second SEC season, too, as they appear poised to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Division.

SOUTH CAROLINA G A M E C O C K S 2012 RECORD: 11-2 (6-2 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 10-2 [7-1) 8/29 North Carolina 9/7 @Georgia 9/14 Vanderbilt 9/28 @UCF 10/5 Kentucky 10/12 @Arkansas 10/19 @Tennessee 10/26 @Missouri 11/2 Miss. State 11/16 Florida 11/23 Coastal Carolina 11/30 Clemson Every opposing quarterback who faced the Gamecocks last season remembers—and fears—Jadeveon Clowney. An early Heisman candidate at defensive end, Clowney anchors a stout 2013 South Carolina defense that, oddly enough, has carried the program these last few seasons. The only questionable position on the defensive side of the ball is at linebacker, where coaches will be tasked with replacing all three starters. Look for sophomore LB Kaiwan Lewis to step up and lead that group. On offense, QB Conner Shaw will have one more chance to get his team back to Atlanta. Don’t be surprised to see Spurrier up to his old tricks, shuffling quarterbacks in and out, particularly since backup Dylan Thompson played well when spelling Shaw. Also, if RB MIKE DAVIS can manage to even half 26

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fill the giant shoes left by fallen star Marcus Lattimore, who in 2012 suffered the most grotesque on-the-field injury since Lawrence Taylor exploded Joe Theismann’s tibia in 1985, the offense should be much improved. That could very well mean a trip to the Dome if the Cocks emerge victorious in their early-season clash with Georgia.

T E N N E S S E E V O L U N T E E R S 2012 RECORD: 5-7 (1-7 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 4-8 (2-6) 8/31 Austin Peay 9/7 Western Kentucky 9/14 @Oregon 9/21 @Florida 9/28 South Alabama 10/5 Georgia 10/19 South Carolina 10/26 @Alabama 11/2 @Missouri 11/9 Auburn 11/23 Vanderbilt 11/30 @Kentucky UT’s BUTCH JONES and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops are in similar positions as first-year SEC coaches, but Jones’ fan base is far a less patient one. The cupboard is pretty bare in Knoxville, unfortunately, where just about every notable skill player on offense has cleared out. As for the Vols D, they’ll return most of their 2012 starters, but those starters were part of a unit that ranked at the bottom of the conference last season. A bit of good news: Coach Jones, like his buddy Stoops, is recruiting well and his offensive line may be the best in the SEC. This possibility, along with an experienced backfield, could give projected starting junior QB Justin Worley a better chance to grow comfortable at his new post. Chances are that won’t be enough, but a bowl game isn’t altogether improbable.


2012 RECORD: 9-4 (5-3 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 8-4 (4-4) 8/29 9/7 9/14 9/21

Ole Miss Austin Peay @South Carolina @Massachusetts

9/28 UAB 10/5 Missouri 10/19 Georgia 10/26 @Texas A&M 11/9 @Florida 11/16 Kentucky 11/23 @Tennessee 11/30 Wake Forest If hell didn’t freeze over in Nashville after the hometown Commodores won 9 games, including the Music City Bowl, last season, the residents at least had to break out their winter coats. Led by QB Jordan Rodgers (brother of Green Bay Packers star, Aaron) the Commodores closed 2012 with seven straight victories, and in 2013 they bring back a stout, top-five SECranked squad in total defense. On the opposite side of the field, the ’Dores will have to replace Rodgers at quarterback and two-time, 1,000-yard rusher Zac Stacey, but retain a fantastic downfield tandem in WRs JORDAN MATTHEWS and CHRIS BOYD, as well as a very experienced offensive line. That will certainly lend itself to the development of the current favorite to take over at quarterback, SEC newcomer Austyn Carta-Samuels, who was a two-year starter at Wyoming before transferring. Final word: Expect this team to win the games you’d expect them to, and maybe one or two they shouldn’t. As long as head coach James Franklin is at the helm, bowling shoes might become a long-running fashion trend in Music City, USA. VVV

SEC WEST, pg. 30 >>>>>>>>




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Texas A&M made a bigger splash than anyone could have expected in their first year of SEC membership, and it was redshirt freshman QB JOHNNY MANZIEL who provided the perfect cannonball. After amassing 5,116 total yards and 47 total touchdowns, the widely celebrated “Johnny Football” capped his Cinderella breakout season by winning the coveted Heisman Trophy. Since that magical day, however, the inexplicably classless kid now better known as “Johnny Twitter” showed his rear end to the world with social-media meltdown after social-media meltdown.. From cursing the Aggies’ hometown of College Station, Tex. to being thrown out of a University of Texas frat party for his embarrassing belligerence, Manziel seems destined to implode beneath the weight of sudden fame. This may, in fact, prove to be the most compelling storyline of the upcoming season, as Aggie fans bite their nails in hopes that Manziel has a much-needed epiphany before their dreams of a not-too-distant SEC title implode with the seemingly troubled sophomore star.

SEC WEST, pg. 30 >>>> vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


A L A B A M A CRIMSON TIDE 2012 RECORD: 13-1 (7-1 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 12-0 (8-0) 8/31 Virginia Tech* 9/14 @Texas A&M 9/21 Colorado State 9/28 Ole Miss 10/5 Georgia State 10/12 @Kentucky 10/19 Arkansas 10/26 Tennessee 11/9 LSU 11/16 Mississippi State 11/23 Chattanooga 11/30 @Auburn *Atlanta, Ga. The only proper term to describe what Nick Saban has established in Tuscaloosa is a true dynasty, and while the 2013 incarnation of the SEC’s most consistent defense will feature several new names after losing several standouts to the NFL, Saban has proven time and time again that he doesn’t rebuild, he simply reloads. Not to mention, when senior C.J. Mosley chose to turn down an instant fortune to return at the “Will” linebacker spot, it left little doubt that Bama’s D would be top tier yet again. As for the offense, the Tide has lost a lot on the line (namely multi-functional team leader, Barrett Jones, and colossus tackle D.J. Fluker) and this could prove to be the only chink in Saban’s armor. Two-time BCS champion and increasingly heady QB, senior A.J. McCarron, returns with 2012 breakout star RB T.J. YELDON and favorite target WR AMARI COOPER downfield, so the skill positions are pretty well stacked. A more explosive, even more dangerous offense, particularly if the O-line can gel in the early going, will be the likely result. This cohesion will need to form by the end of camp, though, because the Tide open the season with Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome, get a second-week bye, then travel to College Station, Tex. to take on Johnny Manziel and the Aggies. Similar to the 2013 plight of the Georgia Bulldogs, if Saban, McCarron and company can capture W’s in those first two games, Tide fans might as well start booking their hotel rooms in Atlanta for a rematch of last year’s title game. 30

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A R K A N S A S RAZORBACKS 2012 RECORD: 4-8 (2-6 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 5-7 (1-7) 9/31 UL Lafayette 9/7 Samford* 9/14 Southern Miss 9/21 @Rutgers 9/28 Texas A&M 10/5 @Florida 10/12 South Carolina 10/19 @Alabama 11/2 Auburn 11/9 @Ole Miss 11/23 Mississippi State* 11/30 @LSU *Little Rock, Ark. BRET BIELEMA has his work cut out for him in Fayetteville, where his goal is to

transform a pass-heavy offensive attack into a solid blocking, smash-mouth football team like those he engineered at Wisconsin. With QB Tyler Wilson now out of the picture, the Ra-

zorbacks turn over the reigns to sophomore QB BRANDON ALLEN, who is altogether unproven. He’ll need RB JOHNATHAN WILLIAMS to have a breakout season at tailback to give him a chance of surviving the SEC defenses he’ll meet while acquiring critical, on-the-field experience. The Oline, however, is somewhat inexperienced in its own right, so don’t expect the Razorbacks to win any shootouts. The defense should be salty, and that starts with a solid front four that should be able to generate a pass rush without bringing the blitz. A bowl game could be a stretch in Bielema’s first season, but his demand for a disciplined team should have the Hogs moving in the right direction.

AUBURN TIGERS 2012 RECORD: 3-9 (0-8 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 5-7 (1-7) 8/31 Washington State 9/7 Arkansas State 9/14 Mississippi State 9/21 @LSU 10/5 Ole Miss 10/12 Western Carolina 10/19 @Texas A&M 10/26 Florida Atlantic 11/2 @Arkansas 11/9 @Tennessee 11/16 Georgia 11/30 Alabama The Auburn Tigers are looking to rebound from one of their worst seasons in school history, and former offensive coordinator GUS MALZAHN is now shouldered with the burden of playing Whack-aMole in the wake of Gene Chizik. In other words, the Tigers have issues. Granted, they have several glimmers of talent on offense, yet it’s difficult to forget how mightily they struggled in the air last season. Junior QB KIEHL FRAZIER was Malzahn’s most prized recruit in his first stint at Auburn, so it’s possible that their reunion will spark Frazier to reach his full potential. It might not be enough to generate as many wins this fall as Tigers fans would hope, but a spike in offense is almost a given with Malzahn driving the bus. On defense, Auburn returns all four starters from what was arguably the conference’s worst secondary in 2012, and the loss of defensive end Corey Lemonier to the NFL certainly isn’t going to help matters. Still, if Auburn takes care of its four non-conference games, a bowl appearance is attainable. But by no means is it going to be an easy road.

L S U T I G E R S 2012 RECORD: 10-3 (6-2 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 8-4 (4-4) 8/31 TCU* 9/7 UAB 9/14 Kent State 9/21 Auburn 9/28 @Georgia 10/5 @Mississippi State 10/12 Florida

10/19 @Ole Miss 10/26 Furman 11/9 @Alabama 11/23 Texas A&M 11/30 Arkansas *Arlington, TX If love-him-or-hate-him head coach, Les Miles, has ever overseen a “rebuilding” year at LSU, 2013 could be the year things take a serious dip in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have ridiculous talent, as usual, and Zach Mettenberger should show improvement after a lackluster junior campaign, but the defense is unproven for the first time in several seasons. New offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will be in charge of engineering a role reversal in Baton Rouge, as the offense will have to carry this team if they have a shot of winning the SEC West. They’ll have help from four returning starters on the O-line, and the backfield is stacked with three experienced backs in RB JEREMY HILL (pending legal issues), RB ALFRED BLUE and RB KENNY HILLIARD. If receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry can become more consistent for Mettenberger, it wouldn’t hurt his progress. Final take: It doesn’t look like LSU will have the firepower to carry them through a tough schedule as their defense rebuilds. Anything less than a trip to Atlanta is viewed as a disappointment for the Tigers faithful, but they might just have to settle for “geaux-ing” to a regular-old bowl this time around.


2012 RECORD: 7-6 (3-5 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 7-5 (4-4) 8/29 @Vanderbilt 9/7 SE Missouri State 9/14 @Texas 9/28 @Alabama 10/5 @Auburn 10/12 Texas A&M 10/19 LSU 10/26 Idaho 11/9 Arkansas 11/16 Troy 11/23 Missouri

11/28 @Mississippi State If you were to give out standardized grades for first-year SEC head coaches, Hugh Freeze deserves nothing less than an Aplus for his 2012 performance. The Rebels’ hopeful savior iced the cake by guiding his team to a Compass Bowl victory over Pittsburgh last December, but more importantly, broke a three-game losing streak in the Egg Bowl, decisively beating rival Mississippi State 41-24. The offense returns eight starters, including junior QB Bo Wallace under center and top target WR DONTE MONCRIEF backing his campaign. Class of 2013 top defensive recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, will also have ample opportunity to live up to his hype at defensive end—and right off the bat—where he could contribute mightily to what should be an improved unit overall. The Rebels should be a lock to see consecutive bowl games, and could even make some noise in the West if they can stay healthy (as depth is still an issue in Oxford) and Wallace can reduce his INTs.

MISSISSIPPI S TAT E B U L L D O G S 2012 RECORD: 8-5 (4-4 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 6-6 (3-5) 8/31 Oklahoma State* 9/7 Alcorn State 9/14 @Auburn 9/21 Troy 10/5 LSU 10/12 Bowling Green 10/24 Kentucky 11/2 @South Carolina 11/9 @Texas A&M 11/16 Alabama 11/23 Arkansas 11/24 @Ole Miss# *Houston, Tex. #Little Rock, Ark. Bad news, Bulldogs: The honeymoon phase is over for DAN MULLEN in Starkville. And while it feels almost criminal to say a coach with three consecutive eight-win seasons could possibly find himself on the hot seat, don’t be surprised if it turns to prophecy (particularly if vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


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Mullen fails to make a bigger statement this season). Sure, he has brought the Bulldogs more success than they’ve enjoyed since Jackie Sherrill pounded the sidelines, but he has yet to suppress any of the SEC elites. Now pepper in the fact that Hugh Freeze has the gears turning in Oxford, and you have a recipe for hotseat soup. N e v e r t h e l e s s , QB TYLER WILSON is back for his senior season campaign, and he has enough help in the backfield to break in an entirely new group of receivers with greater ease. The offensive line needs to improve, no doubt, and with four returning starters, it should be poised to do just that. Defensively, the Bulldogs will feature a blitz-happy scheme under coordinator Geoff Collins. Replacing three starters in the secondary could prove tricky, but the D should be pretty solid on the whole. The Bulldogs will go bowling at season’s end, barring absolute disaster, but Mullen needs to beat Ole Miss and upset one of the big three in the West if he wants to keep those hind quarters cool next offseason.

T EX A S A& M AG G I ES 2012 RECORD: 11-2 (6-2 SEC) 2013 PROJECTION: 11-1 (7-1) 8/31 Rice 9/7 Sam Houston State 9/14 Alabama 9/21 SMU 9/28 @Arkansas 10/12 @Ole Miss 10/19 Auburn 10/26 Vanderbilt 11/2 UTEP 11/9 Mississippi State 11/23 @LSU 11/30 @Missouri It was hard not to hop on the Johnny Manziel (a.k.a. “Johnny Football”) bandwagon last year, as the eventual Heisman Trophy winner sliced and diced his way through the stoutest of SEC defenses. Manziel has had a tumultuous offseason, however, and one that suggests he might be susceptible to melting down beneath the microscope of “Manziel Mania”. But if the young superstar can handle the hype, he has an opportunity to be even better in his sophomore bid. Even with the loss of standout offen-


#10 Tray Matthews S, Georgia #9 Reuben Foster LB, Alabama #8 Montravius Adams DT, Auburn #7 Jeremy Tunsil OL, Ole Miss #6 Ricky Seals-Jones WR, Texas A&M #5 Laquon Treadwell WR, Ole Miss #4 Derrick Henry RB, Alabama #3 Kelvin Taylor RB, Florida #2 Vernon Hargraves III CB, Florida

#1 Robert Nkemdiche DE, Ole Miss




he SEC welcomes four new coaches this season in Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Mark Stoops (Kentucky) and Butch Jones (Tennessee). Each faces a unique set of challenges, but here we rate the hire and the temperature of each coach’s tookus as he begins his post as firstyear head coach in the ever-so-fickle SEC.

CONTINUED, pg. 34 >>>>

sive tackle, Luke Joeckel, the Aggies O-line should be even better with four future NFL draftees holding down the fort. Accompany that foundation with an experienced core of running backs, alongside a dangerous group of receivers led by Manziel’s favorite target, Mike Evans, and you’re bound to synthesize something explosive. The only thing that can stop the Aggies is an extremely talented― yet extremely inexperienced―defense, but we feel they can certainly score enough to stay competitive with anyone in the country. Mark your calendars for A&M’s Sept. 14 showdown with Alabama. If Johnny Football beats the Tide for the second year in a row, you might as well etch the Manziel’s name on another Heisman. VVV





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AL ABAMA vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


Bret Bielema, Arkansas

It was a surprising move—not to mention a great steal—for Arkansas to lure Bielema away from Wisconsin, where he had guided the Badgers to three straight Rose Bowls and a 68-24 record over seven seasons. Look for Bielema to inject and enforce some much-needed discipline into the Razorbacks program, and though it may take him a year or two to recompose the Hogs as a conferencetitle contender, this hire should prove to be a good one in the long run.


BELOW FREEZING Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Yikes. It didn’t take long for the Auburn Tigers to fall from BCS National Champions to the bottom of the canyon in the SEC West. Two years removed from the peak of a major career arc and the afterglow of a national title, Auburn placed former head coach Gene Chizik’s head on the chopping block and dropped the guillotine without blinking. Granted, Chizik did leave a flaming bag of regular-season poo on the program’s doorstep in 2012, closing out the season at 3-9 (0-8). And with so much bad press surrounding his staff during the whole downfall, we find



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it somewhat odd that they chose to hire a former Chizik disciple in Malzahn. Not to say that it isn’t possible Malzahn’s offensive wizardry could hoist the Tigers up from the sea floor quicker than most, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a great head coach.


H E A T A D V I S O R Y/ H I G H U V WA R N I N G Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Other than its lack of in-state recruiting standouts and a blatantly obvious predilection toward basketball, it’s hard to understand why Kentucky hasn’t been more competitive on the SEC gridiron. They border states with enough talent to recruit very well, and this appears to be a top focus for the hard-nosed Mark Stoops as he begins his head-coaching tenure in Lexington. The guy knows defense, no question, and should bring extra toughness to a team that needs to begin playing beyond its talent level if the program plans to entice future stars. If Stoops can blaze new trails in UK recruiting, he can be successful and finally right this ship to make it competitive. Fortunately for him, he has a fan base with low expectations in his corner, and that should help give him time to build a legit program.


COLD AS ICE Butch Jones, Tennessee

As many of us remember vividly, the Vols were not to be trifled with from the early ’90s until about 2005. Yet, their painfully precipitous plummet began at the end of the Phil Fulmer era and really hit rock bottom after Lane Kiffin’s surprise betrayal. Enter Derek Dooley (and his inability to win a single meaningful conference game in 2012), and now, in 2013, enter Butch Jones, who had success at both Central Michigan and Cincinnati when faced with the near-insurmountable task of building those programs from the ground up—which is exactly what the UT program needs to resuscitate itself. Unfortunately, the talent quotient in Knoxville is at its worst in quite some, so Jones will need three years minimum before Vols fans and, more importantly, the school’s boosters, can expect a return to glory.





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The story behind this piece began 12 years ago in a suburbanAtlanta neighborhood. I still remember it like yesterday. Wearing a clip-on bowtie, white button-up shirt and khaki-dress slacks in the middle of July, I sat in an non air conditioned, mountain-water delivery van contemplating my professional life. For months, I had been working for this company 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days per week, with no overtime pay. Even more discouraging, particularly for a 6’5, 220 lb guy, they didn’t even have the decency to give us a lunch break. My salary was $35,000 per year, 40 hours per week, and it was supposed to be a salaried job with the potential for commission. Each night, I would pull up to my cookiecutter house in Gwinnett County and my beautiful wife would ask the question, “Hey baby, how was work today?” If you go outside to your front yard or back deck tonight, close your eyes, and listen closely with your soul, you can hear the question being asked by men and women all over this great nation, as their significant others meet them with a smile upon entering the front door. It is a question that, by nature, many couples tend to begin their evening conversations with each weeknight. It is intended to convey to that special someone that you care, that you’ve been thinking about him or her, and that you want to know he or she is with everything at this moment. Unfortunately, a recent survey performed by The Conference Board reported that only about 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. In addition, some experts are now concerned that this decline in overall job satisfaction and engagement from years past could reflect a negative trend that could have a major impact on America’s world-market competitiveness and productivity. Believe it or not, the United States has been, and still is, the most productive country in the world according to the UN. Japan, France and a host of countries now threaten our coveted title. The various reasons for Americans not being satisfied with their jobs include—but are not limited to—the following:

1. Low pay 2. Dislike their coworkers 3. Tired of being asked to do more with less 4. Too little recognition/praise 5. Feel their work has no purpose As our country’s working population attempts to get back on its feet, we must identify the common denominator in terms of work dissatisfaction. Scholars, scientists, and even columnists can ask questions 38

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via survey, poll hundreds of people via the Internet, conduct educational studies through which data is compiled to reflect a certain trend or benchmark—but let’s not kid ourselves. I believe the common denominator is a disease called lack of passion (LOP). In the words of my wonderful wife, “It is what it is.” Another well-known American scholar, Uncle Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty, might say, “That’s a fact, Jack.” The causes of American-worker dissatisfaction listed above are just symptoms of LOP, a philosophical deficiency of selfactualization and greater purpose that saps us of the self-motivation we need to exceed what is expected of us. In other words, higher

pay may relieve the low-pay symptom, but it won’t treat the disease. For most, in fact, higher pay won’t even inspire true, deeply rooted passion for the long haul. It will, however, stimulate and externally motivate some to perform at a higher level for short periods during their working lives. Maybe we can understand it better this way: You are sick and tired of being out of shape. Enough is enough, and you can’t stand being this way any longer. You’ve made a resolution to get back in shape—for real this time. Growing your family and career hasn’t allowed you much time in the gym or on the track, but you’ve made a commitment to

yourself to lose weight and get back to the ‘old you’—for real this time. For some, the ‘old you’ is too far gone. In this case, you begin hitting the gym three days a week, as well as the track, running three to four miles per day. For several weeks you feel like a champ. You’re losing weight, feeling better than you have in years. One day, though, you wake up with some pain in your knee. The next morning, the pain is worse. The next morning, even worse— and so on. You begin taking Advil and icing it like a good patient. You throw your leg up

Touching the Line with Kent Howard

our professional lives. We always seem to be searching for symptomatic relief instead of a solution to the greater problem. Making more money will not cure the problem of dissatisfaction, but will cure the symptom of feeling like a loser for a short time. What is the ultimate cure for America’s LOP epidemic? As I sat in my suburbanAtlanta driveway some 12 years ago contemplating my future professional life, I made a decision. From that point on, I would 100-percent commit myself to three personal philosophies in the workplace. One, never let any amount of money or my job title be my identity, nor let it determine my level of happiness. Two, it is up to me to decide my own level of passion. (If I am working a job that I don’t have passion for or that doesn’t meet my personal goals, then I am creating a self-inflicted wound. I can’t complain or become negative about something that

is clearly my own fault.) Three, never let anyone or anything siphon my passion or veer me off course. Own my passion, take responsibility for it. Nurture and protect it. People with true passion don’t care about making it rich, but often end up doing very well financially. Why? Because passionate people inspire passion in everyone they touch with their “light”, so to speak. They encourage and inspire negative personalities to think positively, and create a halo of good energy around themselves that inspires their peers to become positive and productive themselves. With passion at work, awards and recognition carry little weight. Your goal becomes being better than yesterday and improving your relationships with coworkers and clients. People will see you differently. Your enthusiasm for quality work will be contagious and people will want what you have. Ultimately, that enthusiasm will impact your entire work culture. VVV

American Worker KentHoward


A Crime of Passion on the arm of the couch, above your heart, for a little elevation to assist in the healing process. It hurts badly, but you cannot give up on your goals to become fit again. If you do, everyone will think it was just another case of lip service and lack of follow through. Your routine in the gym and at the track continues for weeks. The pain never recedes entirely; the knee will not cooperate. Finally, you go to the doctor. He or she delivers you some bad news: You will need to undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair your meniscus and remove scar tissue amassed from months of improper use and form. If you had come to Dr. X immediately when the pain started, he or she tells you, you could’ve prevented the surgery altogether. You are devastated. After all, you only just started to see the ‘old you’ reappear, and now a strict list of do’s and don’ts, followed by weeks of rehab, just killed your newly found self-worth. You see, where we often go wrong is in our choosing to treat the symptoms of our pain with things like Advil, ice and elevation (metaphorically), when all the while we missed the bigger picture, neglecting to treat the root of the problem with proper lifting and running form, in combination with specific exercises designed to strengthen those weakened knees for the long term. Likewise, oftentimes we miss the point in

is an 11year NWGA educator and basketball coach. His monthly column is written with the hope of inspiring adults across NWGA to take a more active, strategic role in shaping our children for success. To book Kent for speaking engagements, call 706.767.3226 or email

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MD: First things first, coach, we’ll have a bit of a get-to-know-you session: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. TK: I appreciate it, Matt. I’ve been here for almost 15 months. I started in late April 2012, so sometimes it feels like 15 days; other times, it feels like 15 years, because there’s a lot to do in a little amount of time. But it’s been outstanding for myself and my family, and the Berry community has been just great to us. In case you couldn’t tell by my accent or my last name, I’m not from around these parts. But the last seven years, prior to coming to Rome, I was the defensive coordinator at LaGrange College. We started the program there…and came down to Georgia in July 2005, so it’s been almost eight years since we’ve been in Georgia. Two out of my three kids were born here, so that’s gotta count for something [toward] being Southern … I grew up about a half-hour outside of Pittsburgh and it’s my home, but I’d much rather be able to stay in the South, for sure. Prior to LaGrange, I was at Bowden College up in Maine for a year as the secondary coach. Football wise, we had a decent year when I was there, but I really wanted to get down South, if I could, and pursue other opportunities. That led me to LaGrange. Prior to both, I was at Allegheny College in western Pennsylvania and was fortunate enough to make an appearance in the playoffs at LaGrange in ’08, which was our third year of existence. That’s pretty lofty standards to set here starting this program, but we were fortunate after being 0-20 our first two years to go 9-1, win a conference championship, and go on to the national playoffs. On a side note to that: In the 2008 season, our only regular-season loss was, in fact, to Shorter 28-23—just a little side note, as far as the town of Rome is involved. But I was at Allegheny for three years and played football at Grove City College, which is also in western Pennsylvania. My whole career—playing career and professional career—has bent spent at the Division III level of football. It’s always a challenge going into a [new program as a coach], but at the same time, there are a totally different set of challenges when it’s a brand-new program and you’re starting from scratch. What sort of challenges have you faced building this program? From a challenge standpoint, the first thing is to set the culture here. Really, I equate it to when we recruit. We talk about, We’re not here to become you, you’re here to become us—and it’s kind of the same thing with bringing football to Berry. Berry has an outstanding culture, an outstanding 40

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tradition, an outstanding institution, and I think it’s our job as a new program coming in to fit with Berry College and make sure we bring guys in, both players and coaches, who fit that culture. So the challenge was figuring out what Berry’s all about and making sure we are a good fit with the campus community. First things first, we needed to hire some very good coaches. Certainly not just on the field, but off the field as well; guys who really fit the culture we’re trying to establish here—and that is one that cares about what [our players] do both on and off the field. I want coaches here who share that same belief, and we made two outstanding hires in Rich Duncan and Nate Masters, who

came on last July. Between the three of us, with a lot of help from many different people all over this campus and all over this community, we’re very proud of the young men we were able to bring in for this first class. The next challenge was getting out on the road and getting the name out there, and getting high-quality student-athletes who are going to be great in the classroom, great out in the field, great on campus and in the Rome community. Recruiting for NCAA Division III must be a lot different because the schools in that division don’t offer their athletes athletic scholarships, so I would imagine that

When first-year Berry College Football

Head Coach,Tony


agreed to lead the academically centered, 111-year-old Rome institution into an all-new sports era, the youthful-looking Pennsylvania transport (by way of LaGrange College) could hardly wait to start cracking his whip on the road to a future, NCAA Division III title

Q&A by Matt Davis Photos by Derek Bell

presents a whole line of challenges—as opposed to being a Division II school or an NAIA school, where they are able to offer that to their players. What does that process look like, specifically, recruiting for Division III? That’s a great question. First and foremost, we don’t even take a look at anybody’s game film until we know what they’re GPA and test scores are, so that eliminates a lot right there. It’s funny, I was at the football coaches’ convention this last convention in Nashville back in January, and David Shaw, who’s the head coach at Stanford, was one of the speakers. Stanford has, of course, had tremendous success over the last 10 years or so at the national level in Division I, and he mentioned this story that I kind of relate to us here at Berry. He spoke with a lot of different coaches and heard this a lot of times: How do you have so much success at Stanford? It’s so tough to recruit there with the academic standards. And his response was, It’s not tough to recruit at Stanford. We use our academics as a strength for us, as a selling point for recruiting, not a hindrance—and that’s kinda the same thing we do at Berry. Especially at a place like Berry—Division III in general, but here, specifically—you get the best of both worlds. You get an outstanding education and you get the ability to continue to play football. Most places outside of Division I—or the BCS, I guess they call it nowadays—most schools offer partial scholarships. They’re not gonna offer you a full scholarship, so whether we call it academic or another institution calls it athletic, at the end of the day, money is money. Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for and, ultimately, where is this going to get you four years down the road when you choose an institution to go to college? We feel like we can get both of those points: having a great experience both on and off the field. We use that as a selling



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point, and it really helps because there are more and more small-college programs starting up around this area and in the Southeast. And yes, that increases the competition, but I also believe it increases the awareness and, ultimately, helps us.

BELOW: Architect's proposed vision of the first-ever football stadium at Berry College, named (perhaps serendipitously) "Valhalla", after the place in Norse myth/ legend where warrior heroes slain in battle were taken to dwell in eternal honor

Berry was founded over 100 years ago and has never had a football program. From your perspective, why did Berry choose this particular time to build a program and implement football? Ultimately, you’d have to ask our administration and board that question, but I think I can shed a little bit of light on this: This has kind of been in the works for a while, and one of the many things I appreciate about Berry is they aren’t just going to go off on a whim and make decisions. It’s going to be a carefully thought-out plan, and football has been mentioned here, I believe, even before Dr. Briggs (Berry College president) took over a few years back ... I know the main reason they started up football is to enhance the campus vibrancy. Football is more of an “event” [that] enhances the overall environment on campus. It brings the alums in, and hopefully, it brings a sense of pride and a rallying cry. It starts off in the fall and propels the year both academically and athletically. I also know that we’re almost 70 percent female on this campus, which was a huge recruiting tool for us this first year, when you’re talking to 18-year-olds. (Laughs) That’s something you mentioned to the guys when you were recruiting them? Absolutely. Every single one of them. Those numbers are going to be a little bit different next year because, I think, our incoming class is 46 percent male. So those numbers will change slightly, and that helps the overall health of a campus to get a little more towards 50/50 (femaleto-male student ratio). Obviously, starting up football is going to help with that. Also, I think the third big reason we’re starting up football…is that it’s a core sport within our conference, and getting into the Southern Athletic Association, along with the 70-percent number we use, is a huge recruiting tool for us. We’re in an outstanding academic and athletic league, when you mention schools like Birmingham Southern, Milsaps, Hendricks, Rhodes College, the University of the South in Suwanee, Centre College. Then, for football in 2015, being able to add Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago―that’s an outstanding league, both on and off the field. Football is big in 42

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making a commitment as an institution of that conference. One of the big things that popped into my mind when I heard there was going to be a team at Berry was, Where are they going to recruit the players, geographically? But one of the things I’ve noticed in reading the articles you guys post on berryvikings. com is that a lot of players on this team are coming from right here in Floyd County. The strategy is that we want to be a team for the Rome community first. Not just the Berry community, but the Rome community, as well. It’s important to recruit locally, and we wanted to establish a presence locally, and that was part of our

strategy for sure. As a head coach, I wanted to recruit the local area and…I think we had some success doing that. The area coaches here have been outstanding in supporting us, and I mean every single of them. We feel good about the fact that we can say—and I mention it often—that we’ve got four guys from Pepperell, two guys from Darlington, four guys from Armuchee, a guy from Model, a guy from Calhoun, a couple of guys from Woodland in Cartersville, a guy from Gordon Lee (Chickamauga, Ga.), a guy from Northwest Whitfield (Dalton). You’ve gotta take care of your backyard first, then expand out from there. Georgia is going to be our main recruiting area, and

that has [borne] itself out in our numbers coming in and where they’re at. Our second-highest yielding state was Florida, and there’s a lot of good studentathletes in Florida; Tennessee has been very good for us; Alabama, I think, can be even better, as we have a full staff on board; the Carolinas have been good. I get this question sometimes, about expanding to other parts of the country, but football is so good here in the Southeast that really we have all that we can handle. I know that the plan is to eventually have a stadium here on campus, and earlier you mentioned the campus-life boost football gives to a school. What’s the progress

on Berry’s plan to build an on-campus stadium? Right now, we’re just excited to bring our product out into the community. Yes, we’d love to have a stadium on campus, but we have a nice consolation prize in the fact that we have places like Barron and Darlington to play. The folks at the Rome-Floyd County Parks and Recreation Authority have been great in accommodating us and allowing us to use their facilities for our first and last home games. Darlington has also bent over backwards for us to use their facilities, helping to figure out the logistics and all that. But ultimately, like you said, Matt, we’re going to have a stadium on campus. Because if you want to enhance the campus

vibrancy, there’s nothing like having a stadium on campus, where you can bring all the people [to Berry]. And let’s face it, our number-one recruiting tool is just getting them here. This place sells itself … There’s a little bit more work to do on the fundraising side of things, but we feel very confident that it’ll happen in the near future. One of the things I heard several people make comments about when Berry decided to have a team is, How on Earth with their situation, in terms of scholarships and whatnot, are they going to recruit enough players to have a team? I don’t know

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Trends& Traditions with Holly Lynch

Grace Under Fire i In these very public times, small things become common knowledge in an instant. Your breakfast probably isn’t news, but when you post about it, you could be trending in a heartbeat if you’re internet-savvy enough. Everyone has some part of their lives that they hope never becomes public. But what if it does? And how would you would handle the public pressure if it did? As I write this column, the world media (and my own Twitter feed) is laser-focused on one, otherwise-insignificant door that leads to an otherwise-insignificant maternity ward “across the pond”. We’ve been bombarded with coverage of an intense, race-infused trial in Sanford, Fla., and a major celebrity-chef meltdown. These media figures’ lives, the futures of which have hinged on a singular decision,


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A true friend is there to lend a supportive shoulder in the most uncomfortable of situations. The only

question is, what on Earth should you say? are forever changed. What if your bad decision—or good one, for that matter—were to suddenly put you and your life on public display? What if that little dark spot you so desperately try to keep hidden were suddenly emblazoned on the front page of the local paper? Even when you dial this scenario back to the local level, you start to sweat a little. It happens every single day: someone here in our own little pocket of Northwest Georgia suddenly finds his or herself having to deal with a public embarrassment. But if you are close to such a situation, how are you, personally, serving to help or hurt it?

Recently, I ran into an acquaintance who has been going through a rough patch. Let’s just say that the his spouse made a bad decision and found herself incarcerated. My acquaintance, who has handled the couple’s life and business dealings with tremendous grace, was engaged in a conversation with myself and another colleague. As an ‘etiquette expert’, I was supremely nervous in trying to decide how I might handle the conversation when if the subject of family were to come up. And so, I simply said, “How is Nancy? Does she get to see the kids?” The relief I saw in that poor man’s eyes

was tremendous. Remember, he and I are acquaintances, not close friends. Hence, I’m not intimately involved in his daily life. But I live in a small town, so I knew— and he obviously knew I knew—about his wife’s situation. Later on, he sent me a text that read, “Thanks for asking about Nancy,” and in that moment, this very column was born. So, how do we treat those around us when the world implodes on them? Are we making the situation worse or better? In preparation for this column, I spent some more time with that man, and with a few other friends who’ve been in similarly public, awkward situations. One was a man whose father committed suicide—the accident making front-page news where he lived. Another was a woman who miscarried after a very public pregnancy announcement. I even spoke with a woman who underwent ill-advised medical treatments that are now difficult to hide from the world. All of them said the same thing: “Just talk to me.” The worst thing you can do when someone you know is going through something awful is to avoid talking about it. In a small town, people know your business. You cannot act as if nothing has changed. For your friend, everything has changed. There’s a pre-Princess Kate Middleton, and one that changed incredibly the day she accepted a social invitation from a boy named William Wales. Kate’s well aware of what she was like pre-princess, too. George Zimmerman was once just a guy down the street. If you knew Kate or George way back when, how did you speak to them? Would you still speak to them that way now that

they’re in dreadfully public situations most everyday folks would like to keep in the realm of personal privacy? Here is some practical advice for talking to our friends and colleagues who are going through something painful and public:

1. Ask how they are doing, and expect an answer. 2. Let your friends and olleagues know that you support them. 3. Take your cue from them. Don’t pry. Your friend may need someone to treat them just as before. Or they may need a safe place to talk or cry (who isn’t their spouse or best friend). Yes, you may be uncomfortable. But I can assure you that you are more comfortable than your friend. 4. Please, don’t gossip. Just don’t. Unfortunately, all of us can say that we know someone who has been arrested, who has cancer, or who has lost someone special. Make an effort to reach out to those who you know are in dire need of a friendly face in their corner—through deed, through prayer, in thought and in action. I can imagine there’s great comfort for Kate, Paula or George anytime they can be themselves in the company of people who knew them ‘before’. I guarantee they like to talk about things like books and movies and the newest restaurants in town. We often don’t know what to say,

exactly. I know I sometimes struggle at funerals when talking to the grieving. The usual I’m so sorry for you loss works well enough, but sometimes those are not the words I’m looking for. Perhaps it’s best to step outside my own world for a time and imagine myself in the other person’s shoes. How would I feel? What would I want my friends to say? I would want them to talk to me about my lost love one. Use his name. Speak from the heart. Be real, even though it’s uncomfortable. Life isn’t always peaches and roses and rainbows. Bad things happen. Be a friend and be willing to be uncomfortable with your friend for a time. A last kernel of advice would be to make your support known sooner, not later. You are not intruding to offer condolences or support to friends and colleagues. Show up. And when you do, be specific. When my friend’s father committed suicide, he told me that he wished more of his father’s male friends had made their support known to his mother soon after the funeral. So, if you have a friend who finds herself dealing with a spouse who is no longer present, offer to watch the children or carpool. Emily Post’s Etiquette is also a great reference for advice on what to say when someone has miscarried, died, or lost their job. While we want you to talk to your friends in their time of need, we also want you to say something appropriate. And we know you can. VVV

Holly Lynch is owner/

head planner for The Season Special Events Planning @ 250 Broad Street in Rome

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College football is a nationwide phenomenon, but in the Southeastern United States, it’s a full-on way of life. Only in the region we call home do people introduce themselves by including their collegiate affiliations, and with that divulgence, a first impression can be drastically changed. Hi, I’m John Doe. I like horseback riding, long walks on the beach, spending time with my family aaaaand, oh yeah, Roll Tide. We take our football seriously, and promote it proudly with flags, magnets, bobble heads

and just about anything else that can be tied, stuck or screwed to a car. Our wardrobes and homes are color-coded to our loyalties. Such serious fanhood requires a serious NCAA Football retailer to meet its needs, and anyone who has driven past 101 East Second Avenue in Rome anytime during the last 20 years isn’t likely to have missed the wildly colorful display of team paraphernalia regaling the sidewalk outside Traditions of Rome. What owner Rudy Childs upstarted in 1993, primarily as a showroom for his interior-design services, has now evolved

For 20 years now, designer/owner Rudy Childs andTraditions of Rome has been helping hardcore fans get in the zone for fall game days in the Deep South

into a virtual museum of collegiate keepsakes and functional memorabilia. And while Childs still somehow manages to juggle a super-busy design schedule, particularly at Christmastime, the vast inventory he moves via Traditions also allows him to create the man-caves or team-themed living spaces male clients dream about all their lives. “We started off with a four-foot shelf over in the corner,” Childs remembers, “with figurines for Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Tech. Those didn’t last too long, so we ordered more and kept building from there.” Around this time, Traditions store manager Todd Abney arrived on the scene to oversee Childs collegiate stock, and, to a large degree, the explosion of collegefootball paraphernalia now available at 101 East Second can be credited to his efforts. Even offering merchandise from smaller

Master Your


Text by Ian Griffin

Photos by Derek Bell

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"We have really filled a niche here in Rome, and there really isn't another store that offers this much variety anywhere in our region." college-sports programs like College of Charleston (known primarily for its basketball prowess) and Georgia State, Traditions now has something for virtually every major NCAA team in the Southeast, as well as several nationally popular heavy hitters such as Notre Dame and Ohio State. Childs’ collection of Tervis Tumblers alone is enough to make your head spin, and if you can’t find anything you like on the day you visit his store in person—though they have nearly everything, it seems—Rudy and Todd have the quick-order means to find it fast. “Our customer base is strong locally, but you wouldn’t believe how many people come here from Tennessee, Alabama and from all over Georgia,” Abney says. “We have really filled a niche here in Rome, and there really isn’t another store that offers this much variety anywhere in our region.” Variety is an understatement when describing Traditions, however. Take one highly popular component of college

football game day, for example: tailgating. Whether firing up the grill or serving takeout from a favorite restaurant, just call on Rudy and Todd for a little assistance, and you can deck out your tailgate party with every fan/grill-masterfriendly item imaginable. Grill covers, utensils, paper products, logo-shaped ice trays, muffin pans, pop-up tents, flags, and much more. Traditions also offers statuettes and figurines, car accessories, jewelry, and if fall Saturdays tend to bring out your frisky side, they even have logo-emblazoned women’s underwear. Asked about the oddest order request he has ever obliged, it doesn’t take Child’s long to reply. “I’ve ordered a pair or two of women’s thong panties with a

Georgia ‘G’ on them,” he laughs. “There isn’t much room to fit the logo on them, and you can’t get them for every school, but you might be surprised at what they’ll stick a logo on these days.” Even if you aren’t the biggest football fan, if you live anywhere south of the MasonDixon, you can’t help but know someone who is. And with that in mind, there’s no better gift for the true fanatic than something to do with his or her favorite team (Falcons and Braves items are also well stocked). It really is impossible to describe the selection at Traditions. The only way to believe it, really, is to see for yourself. VVV vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


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From pg. 20,“Brains...” PhD, was created to assess each respective player concussion, manage each player’s recovery, and allow athletes to resume activity only once they have been cleared of all concussion-related symptoms. According to Dr. Chad Wagner, if a player sustains a concussion and it isn’t properly treated, the long-term risks can be frightening. “There are a large number of risks we look for when evaluating a concussed athlete,” Wagner says. “There are immediate risks and long-term risks involved, and the ImPACT program, along with state laws that have recently been passed, have gone a long way in preventing long-term risks from occurring. “One of the long-term risks we deal with that is almost exclusive to younger athletes is something known as Second Impact Syndrome. This happens when a player has already sustained a concussion and is returned to play before it heals, then sustains another concussion. When this happens, it can cause massive swelling of the brain and leads to death in about 50 percent of cases, or permanent brain damage in around 70 to 80 percent of cases. If awareness of symptoms and treatment are raised, this particular risk would be something we rarely have to deal with.”

Concussion awareness has been amplified by a series of NFL-retiree suicides in recent years, the most highly publicized of which centered on 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Junior Seau. Seau was posthumously determined by the National Institutes of Health to suffer from a condition known as CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, by which brain tissue begins to degenerate due to repeated, massive blows to the head. These cases are extreme and unfortunate, but they shed light on an important issue to which student-athletes and their parents should be paying closer and closer attention. If they do, says Dr. Wagner, they may very well help prevent the potential long-term risks of playing America’s most popular sport. “It is estimated that there are close 3 to 4 million sports-related concussions per year in school-age children,” he adds. “When I first came to Harbin Clinic, Dr. Hale and Dr. Bushnell had already been working towards the ImPACT Program and I immediately got involved. While diagnosis and recovery management is a huge part of the program, prevention is what we ultimately want to achieve. If we can reduce the number of concussions through awareness, we will have achieved a great deal.” Attention to detail is paramount when dealing with on-the-field injury, and the sideline presence of Harbin’s elite team

is one that local players, their parents and coaches have certainly come to appreciate. “It’s no secret that athletic development is outpacing the rules of the game,” says Coach Kunczewski. “That’s why the rule changes are a good thing for football, and coaches always need to defer to their team physicians so that the players best interests are addressed. When our staff asks a kid to come play at Berry, we are making a promise to their parents that we will treat them like our own kids. I know we will uphold that promise as coaches, and I know our partners at Harbin Clinic are more than qualified to uphold that promise when it comes to the medical attention our players receive.” As for Dr. Bushnell, the subject has come to hit even closer to home. “I have been very fortunate to get to know Tony on a personal and professional level since he took the position at Berry,” he says. “Our oldest sons are in school together and both of our families attend Seven Hills Fellowship Church. “As a coach I know a little bit about what he can do (the two coached their sons’ little league team to an 8-1 record last season), but as a man, mentor, and leader of men, I can’t think of anyone I would rather have my son play for. He puts everything he has into his job and I believe that will result in a lot of wins for the Berry football program.” VVV

From pg. 52, “Highway...” what the current figures are, but I heard you guys have as many as 100 kids who are going to be out there in a uniform. Right now, we are at 114. We have 101 new guys coming in, with 13 guys who were here this past year working out, lifting, running, really being the point people for us, and hosting all of the recruits who’ve come to campus. We’re happy with where our numbers are. Our goal was to have about 80. Because of how Division III works—the financial-aid packages and things like that—you kind of have to hedge your bets a little bit and make sure you don’t have too little. But I’d rather have too many than too little, and I don’t really think there’s a magic number at any level. Ideally, I believe we want to stay between 90 and 110. We’re a little bit higher than that right now, but again, I’d rather have too much than too little. Especially from our unique perspective—starting up the program from scratch—there are a lot of 18, 19-year-olds playing against a bunch of 22, 23-year-olds, so I think it’s important to have a lot of those bodies because we may need them all. I realize there are a lot of unknowns, but what are your expectations of this team going


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to be? What do you hope to accomplish in your first year as head coach at Berry and having this new program here? I can tell you that, number one—and whether it’s this year or 10 years from now—that I want some things to jump off the field at people when they’re sitting

up in the stands, listening on the radio, or when they’re watching us on the internet. I want them to say, Man, those guys play hard. Those guys are physical. I want to play the game of football the right way and, hopefully, that’s what you’ll see from game one on. Now, ideally, we want to see some marked improvement as the season goes on. because the NCAA mandates that we are only allowed 25 practices before our first game. So it’s about getting 114 guys ready, four of whom have actually played college football before. We have 110 guys who’ve never laced it up in college, and we have certainly have our work cut out for us. But we feel like we have everything in place, from the support of our institution to our coaching staff, and we know we have the student-athletes in place to have success. (Rhetorically) What is success? I don’t think we’re ever going to define that in wins and losses. I think it’s our job to recruit the best student-athletes possible and get them to play hard and work hard, then the rest kind of takes care of itself. I like to take a page out of John Wooden’s book. He never talked about winning. It was always the “process” he was focused on. Winning takes care of itself, if you take care of the process. VVV

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Jamwich - Serving distinctive sandwiches, salads, soups, and quiche. Sandwiches built with the finest ingredients: Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, Zelma’s Blue Ribbon Jams and Jellies, fresh sourdough bread, premium Boars Head thick cut bacon and farm-to-table produce.

595 Riverside Parkway Rome, GA 30161

PH: 706-233-9960 Hours: Sun -Thu: 11:00am-9:00pm

Fri - Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm

Fuddruckers catering can help you feed just about any size group, anytime, anywhere. Our menu will 6007 Al Highway 117 Mentone, AL 35984

PH: 256-634-0066

Hours- Sun: 11-2pm (peak season ‘til 6 pm) Mon,Tue,Wed: 11-2pm Thurs, Fri, Sat: 11-8pm (AL Central Time)

Enjoy fall beauty, drive up a

please the most discerning tastes

mountain highway to dine & unwind

and meet the high standards you

with fabulous food in a fun, shabby,

require. We know how to make

chic cafe. Also, take-out & catering

your event spectacular with the

for holiday parties! Tomato Pie and


Sweet Potato Biscuits are a must!

Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia. vini vidi vici / v3 magazine


V3 aug2013(web)  

V3 August 2013

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