Matthew Brown: 54 wishes I'll never tell

Apr. 12—Outrage!

Yes, I have outrage to express. Anyone know of a good news channel that specializes in that kind of uncontrolled, irrational anger.

What's my petty problem? How is it that, when it's my birthday, a solar eclipse gets all of the attention? That's why everyone rushes out to look at the sky? Look, I have a cake here with a 5 and a 4 — yes, in that order — burning at the top, but no, I have to play second fiddle to an interstellar phenomenon during the day and a national championship game at night.

Imagine how John Calipari felt when his news of leaving only the most prestigious college basketball job in the country was a mere afterthought, probably even in Lexington, KY.

The number is correct. Monday was the 50th anniversary of Hammerin' Hank Aaron knocking out his 715th career home run at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium on the same day a household in Coweta County was celebrating my fourth birthday. This child always had a hard time sharing things, even the spotlight.

As you may know, the number 54 is represented as LIV by the Romans. This means I've joined a different kind of LIV tour, one that doesn't have quite the guaranteed payouts of that other one. An interesting point to bring out on Masters week.

And if you think I used my candle blow-out wish on a speedy recovery for Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider ... get well soon, but let's be realistic on the timing. Couldn't tell you if it was anyway, right, with the whole 'it won't come true' mythology.

Speaking of mythology and what we are about to see happen in the overall world of college sports (no Pac-12, the ACC in court, an expanded playoff that may expand even more or give way to a 'super league'), it occurred to me while making that age transition how much stranger the Georgia Bulldog football schedule looks for the fall.

Has anyone pointed this out: Georgia is not scheduled to play Vanderbilt for the first time since 1967. Yes, the mess that was 2020 prompts me to include the word 'scheduled' into that statement. The Bulldogs and Commodores were on the 2020 schedule — one that had to be erased and rewritten no telling how many times — in Athens. They never did play much to a lot of people's irritation (not mine) centering around no senior festivities.

Side note: Personally, I think the only seniors any major college team should honor these days are those who played in that program for four years, the exception being JUCO transfers.

There was actually a two-year break, 1966-67, with no Georgia-Vandy game on the gridiron. The two teams played annually from 1952-1965. Did you know Vandy won eight of the first 10 games with UGA, those games being held from 1893 to 1923?

Georgia and South Carolina will not play each other for the first time since the Gamecocks joined the Southeastern Conference in 1992. There were only two seasons between that game on the previous meeting (1989), and that was the last of a string of 16 straight years of a UGA-USC contest. That one plus the string that ended last season were the only ones of double-digit years between the two natural rivals.

When this piece is distributed in print, it will be the day of Masters round 3 and UGA's annual G-Day contest where, as always, the anticipation for kickoff builds up, it happens, then you realize it's us vs. us and therefore no need to get over-excited.

Also this weekend is a college baseball series in Milledgeville between Georgia College & State University and Lander University. I can understand why Nolan Belcher, the Bobcat head coach, wasn't too excited about being in first place in the Peach Belt Conference after a sweep of Flagler at John Kurtz Field back on March 24.

Lander is in a tie for second place with North Georgia in the PBC. These games with Lander are the last ones in conference for the Bobcats at home. What follows over the next two weekends are road trips to fourth-place Columbus State and North Georgia. Hey, GCSU won two out of three non-cons from North Georgia at the end of February! Yes, at home as well. What will that mean in Dahlonega two months later?

We just saw two anticipated rematches in the NCAA women's basketball tournament. In both cases, the loser from 2023 (Iowa to LSU and South Carolina to the same Iowa club) earned its revenge, though I think winning a championship was a greater motivation.

But getting back to Bobcat baseball, it's not too early to remind everyone of the significance of a top-two finish in the final PBC standings. It means you host conference tournament games with three other teams the first weekend of May. With there being two double-elimination brackets, the highest conference seed to survive the two then hosts a best-of-3 starting May 9 for the league championship.

Everyone's played 18 conference games so far, and going into the weekend only two games separated No. 1 (the Bobcats) and No. 4 Columbus.

(If at all possible, give pet adoption a try through the Animal Rescue Foundation in Milledgeville. Donations of any kind are also in great need. Its 6th annual golf tournament, the biggest fundraiser of the year, is a four-person scramble May 3 at Little Fishing Creek. If you are interested in participating, go to ARF is a little red building at 711 S. Wilkinson St., and more information is available at