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Kirby Smart, Georgia football need to reclaim Waffle House
Waffle House is one of the many things that makes the state of Georgia great. No matter how you take your hash browns or how much syrup you put on your waffle, Waffle House is always a wonderful place, at any hour. The late chef Anthony Bourdain described it best: “Where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.”
However, I do have to say it does hurt a little bit to see Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech’s new football coach, so strongly try and tie the Waffle House brand in with his football team. He’s made it a point to have a Waffle House coffee cup with him at a press conference. He’s even had Waffle House cater inside Bobby Dodd Stadium. It’s been an impressive bit of brand synergy from Collins.
And quite frankly, Smart and Georgia need to put an end to it. The Bulldogs need to take back Waffle House from Georgia Tech. Waffle House deserves better than a program that has just two 10-win seasons since the turn of century. For all the Waffle House touting since Collins took over, Georgia Tech landed just one 4-star prospect in its 2019 class. Since Collins was hired on Dec. 13, Georgia football landed two more 5-star prospects in Nakobe Dean and George Pickens.
Yes the restaurant was founded in Atlanta. And yes, its colors are much closer to Georgia Tech’s than Georgia’s. But Waffle House still has a large presence in Athens. And as much as it’s an Atlanta staple, Waffle House is also a Georgia institution. As of 2011, there are 381 Waffle Houses in the state of Georgia. That’s by far the most in any one state in the country.
Waffle House has admitted that they’re “thrilled” with the publicity Collins has given them with Georgia Tech. Imagine how its mood if Smart shared his hash brown order or if the Georgia offensive line shared a picture of them enjoying an All-Star Special.
Waffle House should play a bigger part in the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry. Instead of ripping up Sanford or Bobby Dodd Stadium, what if the winner of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” got to eat Waffle House on the field? Given that the game seems to always be a noon kickoff these days, the victory meal would serve as a late lunch. In a perfect world, the game kicks off at 10 p.m. and finishes around 1:30 a.m., which is the best time to have Waffle House.
We already know you can get a Waffle House food truck into Bobby Dodd Stadium, so it’s certainly feasible.
On Wednesday, Hardman spoke about his goals for the combine, which begins Feb. 26 in Indianapolis. And the standout wide receiver wasn’t shy about his capabilities.
“My goal is to run fast and whatever the time says, it says,” Hardman told the Star-Telegram’s Drew Davison. “I’ve got an idea in my head. I’m confident about it, but right now I just want to run fast. I’m very confident in my speed and my ability to run fast, so that’s definitely one of my goals is to be the fastest there. If I can accomplish that, that would be huge.
“I know John Ross ran a 4.22. That is in sight for sure. You don’t want to focus on that because it can mess you up. But your goal is definitely to be around that time for sure.”
Hardman has shown that he’s got plenty of functional speed, most famously when outraced the Alabama defense for an 80-yard touchdown in the 2018 National Championship game against Alabama.
In his final season at Georgia, Hardman finished with 34 catches for 532 yards and 7 touchdown catches. Hardman also returned 16 punts for 321 yards last season, good for an average of 20 yards per punt return.
Related: Mecole Hardman: ‘There’s no excuse for us losing the Sugar Bowl’