football Edit

The Dashboard: Granddaddy's goat and Dan Mullen

Dan Mullen needs to be careful not to get Kirby Smart's goat.
Dan Mullen needs to be careful not to get Kirby Smart's goat. (USA Today)

As a 10-year-old, I used to walk down the path to my granddad’s house to see his goats. What else would a little boy do, right?

Well, there was this one—a big ole Billy, the boss of the yard—who always was the focus of my attention.

He was nice as far as goats go, just going about his goat business, grazing in the field, maybe taking an occasional nap.

Anyway—and you might find this hard to believe—I was a mean little kid (no pun intended). It wasn’t unusual to see me throw pecans at the goat, trying my best to rile him up. No luck. Mr. Billy Goat just looked at me, chewing on some grass.

One day, however, I was back throwing pecans, teasing the goat, when my grandma came out of the house yelling, “You stay away from that goat! He doesn’t like that! He’s going to get you one of these days."

Sure, granny.

I should have listened. Not 15 minutes later, my attentions were diverted elsewhere when all of a sudden Mr. Goat butted me into a fence post, putting a dent in the back of my Levis.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t mess with the goat anymore.

Karma was indeed a -------.

In a roundabout way, this true story sort of reminds me of the situation surrounding Florida coach Dan Mullen. I should have stopped throwing pecans at the goat, and Mullen should stop with the trolling of Georgia while he's ahead.

It’s one thing to fire up your fan base with bold statements, and maybe throw out a zinger every once in a while, but as Mullen has found out, Karma has a way of biting you right on the left buttock.

First, it was backup quarterback Jaylon Jones, whom, it was discovered, had put his name in the transfer portal around the same time he was being accused of sexual battery by two women, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Losing running back Demarkus Bowman to Clemson was another gut-punch to Mullen. But the capper came Thursday, when Florida’s top 2019 signee, Chris Steele, announced he was transferring, putting his name in the transfer portal.

According to published reports, Steele, who was roommates with Jones, wanted to be assigned a different roommate after seeing firsthand some of the alleged shenanigans taking place.

Steele was told to wait until the summer before making the move. Say what?

While all of the backlash that’s ensued likely won’t make a difference in Florida’s won-loss record this fall, it’s just another example of the kind of thing that can happen when you let your mouth take control.

What Mullen probably thought were funny comments about a rival now make him look foolish.

Meanwhile, Georgia gets in a subtle dig with five-star Mehkail Sherman’s verbal commitment Thursday night, which some believe was a choreographed move on the part of Kirby Smart in light of Florida’s recent run of bad news.

I’ve never been big on conspiracy theories, but it would be funny if true. Getting a five-star to commit on the same day your arch-rival loses one of its own would be the ultimate gotcha move.

Even if it wasn’t planned, one has to assume Smart didn’t mind the timing.

Like my granddaddy’s goat, Mullen’s trolling hasn’t garnered an initial response from Smart or the Bulldogs. Just be assured someone at Georgia is taking notes, and like yours truly, the Gators should be concerned about getting it in the end.