Tue Nov 02 11:09am EDT
Just in case there was any doubt – and there certainly was on my end – no, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham wasn't signaling to the block team Saturday when he put his hands around his throat as Florida's punter-turned-emergency kicker Chas Henry lined up for the game-winning, 37-yard field goal in overtime:
Per head coach Mark Richt, it was what it looked like: Grantham was signaling for Henry to choke:
"I'll just say that emotions run high and people do things that they probably wish they wouldn’t do," Richt said [at his regular Tuesday press conference]. "I think that was what was being communicated. I don't think [Grantham]'s necessarily proud of it. We're just gonna learn from it and move on."
Quarterback Aaron Murray was also asked about it. He said he hadn’t heard about it until an hour before the press conference, but after being apprised didn’t believe it was anything to get worked up about.
"It's not like he charged the field at the kicker and tried to do something to him," Murray said. "I don't think it's too big of a deal. I think people are making too much of a deal about it. Emotions run high. … It was nothing dangerous or illegal or stupid or anything like that, so I don’t see the big deal about it."
I'm with Murray, among others. But in the spirit of learning, here are some of the lessons Richt, Grantham and Georgia may take away from the scrutiny:
Lesson No. 1: "Choking," like calling last-second timeouts just prior to the snap, doesn't work. Henry, like most kickers who are iced well within their normal field-goal range, easily booted the Gators to a 34-31 victory. Next time, try a voodoo doll.
Lesson No. 2: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz, the choking motion may also be referred to as "throwing a nutty."
Lesson No. 3: You are always on camera. It's almost 2011. We all have DVRs, and very little else to discuss.
Lesson No. 4: Seriously, we pore over every frame of every game like the Zapruder film for this stuff.
OK, enough for the morning. Now we may all go out and play. Single-file!
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.