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Michael Dean stares at 60


jimmy dean

Editor’s Note: This story contains adult content and strong language – or, at least, stronger language than you usually get here at BTT. Reader discretion is advised. 

The first thing that you need to know about Michael Dean is that Michael Dean refers to himself as Michael Dean when he tells a story he’s in.

And he tells a lot of stories.

Stories like ending up on the losing end of a game of Drag Queen BINGO in Las Vegas. Or trying to give his now ex-fiance away to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Or how he ended up with the saying on the back of his T-shirt:

Not Jimmy Dean. Not Paula Deen. Michael Dean.

Embracing the history of the game


Ty Cobb

There are no gloves. The hurler – err, pitcher – delivers the black leather ball underhanded. 

It’s base ball (yes, with a space), and it’s different. It seems backward in this match (game) on Oct. 15 in Greenville, South Carolina, but it’s just the way each club nine – team – likes it.

Each year the Shoeless Joes from the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library take on the Georgia Peaches from the Ty Cobb Museum in a vintage baseball game. The teams alternate hosting the game – in Greenville or Cobb’s hometown of Royston, Georgia – using rules from the 1880s. This year the Shoeless Joes are playing host.

Peter Gibbons made the trip from Hartwell, Georgia to play for the Peaches. He’s played in the game a couple of times, and he loves it.

Georgia Football and Some Front row DGDs


Georgia football

You can’t miss them.

At every home game (and a few away), the Spike Squad supports Georgia football from Section 109, donning their famous spiked shoulder pads and painted all over.

Since its formation in 2010, the group has established itself as a staple to Saturdays in Athens, growing in number and popularity through the years.

But the Spike Squad’s impact goes further than bringing noise and excitement to Sanford Stadium. Its members have stories from across campus and beyond, and plenty of hard work behind the scenes to bring Georgia football fans their energy.

A putt away: Life on the lip of the cup


This is a guest submission from Mike Bernos, a writer, essayist and public relations professional. Though it is inspired by true events, it is a work of fiction.


“Moonlight floods the sky from horizon to horizon; How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” —  Rumi  

I remembered thinking about a lot of things, “working on mysteries without any clues” as the song goes. But that would change, including the arc of my life, one Friday morning in late July. I arrived at the club just after 6 a.m., which even at that hour the humidity drew sweat like a sauna. I waited only 30 minutes before being assigned a foursome and in particular the bag of the Irishman, Cullen. A wiry man in his late forties with slightly hunched-over shoulders, he kept no close friends, and members regarded him as an enigma since joining the club three years earlier. No one knew where he came from; rumor had it that he had been run out of his hometown in Ireland for embezzling a small fortune.

It had been 21 years since I sat on this bench perched on a levee at Audubon Park overlooking the nearly mile-wide Mississippi River. I lived on Magazine Street during that long-ago summer of 1970, not far from the park and its golf course where I worked as a caddy. During those days, the river’s fog seemed to settle around my head as I drifted, nearly lost, after the loss of my mother one month short of my 12th birthday. Following her death my father went absent, too, hanging out more often than usual in the backroom gambling dens and 24-hour bars of New Orleans. 


From TPC Sawgrass to Palm Valley: The work is what matters


In the past, Philip Jenkins always had a crew. Now, he’s a one-man team.

He’d worked his way through golf courses across the Eastern U.S., climbing his way to assistant superintendent of TPC Sawgrass, home to THE PLAYERS Championship

Yet, just four years after taking the job, he decided to change it up. Jenkins is now the golf course superintendent at Palm Valley Golf Club & Practice Range in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The par-3 executive course and practice facility is just 10 miles south of TPC Sawgrass, but it’s an entirely different world. 

Lost Tracks of Georgia: Athens Speedway


It’s been 30 years since race cars have roared around Athens Speedway. Looking around the place, you can tell. 

A mature patch of woods now covers the old race track property off Jimmy Daniel Road in Athens. If you didn’t know there was a ⅜-mile dirt track and long stretch of concrete grandstands sitting in the shadows of the pines off the two-lane road, you wouldn’t even think to look. 

Parkview Panthers: A legacy of dominance

Photo courtesy of Score ATL

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Parkview High School’s first state championship.

Buster Faulkner started under center for that title-winning team. 

Of course, at the end of the season.

Faulkner, who earned time at quarterback as a sophomore early in the season, was given the starting job after coaches decided to move junior quarterback Jeremy Muyres to wide receiver.

They made the right move.

The 1997 team captured the title, but Faulkner says those Panther teams from a few years earlier were the breakthrough for a Gwinnett County dynasty that would stretch out across the next decade.

A different shade of blue: The Trail Creek spill

Photo courtesy of Johnathan McGinty

There are a lot of blues in this world, even in the literal sense.

There’s the soft blue of a clear morning sky or the rich blues of the deep ocean. The navy blues that make up the marks of so many sports teams, as well as the paler blues prevalent in spring flowers.

On July 29, 2010, a different shade of blue flowed through Trail Creek in Athens. 

It was bright. It was harsh.

This blue contrasted against the greenery of summer, lush leaves filling out the plentiful trees that lined the waters. Gone was the murky, muddy mixture that punctuates creeks and rivers throughout the South. In its place was a near-neon blue snaking its way through a network of tributaries and leaving streaks of artificial color in its wake.

A Celtics Refusal: The Legend who said no to Boston

Photo of Jack and Bill Butcher courtesy of the Butcher Family

By David Hudson with Joe VanHoose

In the past 64 years, three outstanding southern Indiana High School Basketball stars have been drafted by the NBA’s Boston Celtics.  

Most recently, Romeo Langford, who starred at New Albany High School and played a one-and-done season at Indiana University, was drafted in 2019. The Celtics signed Romeo to a four-year contract worth $16.5 million. 

Of course, most everyone knows about Larry Bird, the legend, who signed with the Celtics for $3.25 million after his Indiana State Sycamores finished runner-up to Michigan State and Magic Johnson in the 1979 NCAA Final Four. Bird played his high school ball at Springs Valley High School in French Lick. 

And then there’s Jack Butcher.

More than a worthy nominee

Photo courtesy of Matt Boedy

This is a guest essay from Matt Boedy, a professor of English at the University of North Georgia who teaches in its First Year Composition program, as well as upper-level courses in writing and publication. He is the author of Murder Creek, chronicling the story of the last man to die in Georgia’s electric chairand Speaking of Evil, an examination of the question of why God would allow for the existence of evil through a rhetorical prism.

Earlier this year, BTT published a piece on the people who thought it worthwhile to start a Georgia Hall of Fame dedicated to football. 

You may not know this, but the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon has inducted a few officials in its history. There are 11 officials currently in the Hall. 

I nominated another last year, my father. 

For as long as I can remember – and I am 43 years old – my father has been a sports official. Baseball, basketball, and eventually he took up football. He has officiated at every level of sports from middle school to college. He toured this state for decades blowing whistles, taking balls off the mask, and yes, making a few mistakes.