In life, man can have no finer nor more noble heritage than to be a Georgia Bulldog, and in death, he can have no finer epitaph than to have on his grave he was a Georgia Bulldog.
These words describe the current governor of Georgia, who is as an alumni of the University of Georgia. He proudly wears the red and black upon his sleeve; he gives to the University and attends many UGA functions while handling all of the responsibilities demanded as the governor. He truly is one damn good dawg, and his tombstone one day will surely read: “Here lies a great man, one of faith, family, and Georgia football.” Politics aside, I attempt to focus on these three facets of Governor Kemp’s life that soar above any debate, campaign, law, or political issue that may overshadow the governor’s office. Brian Kemp is a man of humility, positivity, and great heart, who hopes to lead Georgia as a state to national success and be the first Georgia governor to witness his state university and alma mater win a national championship since 1980.
I would like to take a moment to give thanks to Governor Kemp for his willingness to do this interview. The governor’s office, as we can all imagine, has enough issues, and worrying about an interview with a seventeen-year-old surely falls at the bottom of this infinite list. Not in Governor Kemp’s book. Within fifteen minutes of requesting to interview Governor Kemp, I received an email from him personally and his wife, Marty. The entire first family is an excellent family to represent our state, so all I can say is thank you to the Kemps and keep chopping!
Favorite Billy Henderson story
“At the great Clarke Central High School, it was summer football, and Coach Billy Henderson had us working hard under the Georgia heat at camp. The dinner before our last practice at camp, we were served shrimp creole. I am personally not a huge fan of the dish, so I elected to pass on the meal, but as the rest of the team scarfed down the meal, they did not know what would come the next day. Practice began, and a lot of my teammates were lagging behind, complaining of stomach aches. Next thing I knew, I was watching thirty guys around me throw up, so Coach Henderson had to cancel the remainder of the practice, and we departed from camp. He was a perfectionist, a workaholic, so he wanted that last practice, and he wanted us giving it a 100%, but all he got was some sick guys and an infuriating bus ride home. I, on the other hand, was living in the best of both worlds: I neither got sick, nor had to practice, so it was a great day for me.”
Favorite restaurant in Athens
“It was hard to beat a burger from Allen’s. The food in Athens is a staple of the community and serves as a huge part of what makes the city so great, but a burger at Allen’s was one of the most unbelievable meals I had growing up in Athens.”
The First Lady and a first date
“Well, she was two years younger than me and a cheerleader here at UGA, but I took her on a first date after we were both out of college. It was a Georgia game. What better place is there to take a girl than Sanford Stadium?”
Favorite Georgia game
“The Dawgs had just come off a Monday night game in which they defeated Clemson and a quick turnaround that required that we play BYU that Saturday. It showed the Dawgs’ tenacity that season. They came out and shut down the high-powered offense of BYU and their talented quarterback Steve Young. I think we picked him off six times that day [which is correct… nice memory Governor], and we defeated BYU 17-14 with a last-minute Kevin Butler field goal. It was an amazing environment the fans created after being in Sanford a mere five days earlier, and what was even better was how the Dawgs played.”
“Well, every Sunday my wife and I host my daughters and their friends at our farm in Madison County, Georgia. I grill steaks or burgers, and it is a time for all of us to kick back from the duties demanded the previous week and get ready to attack each day of the next week. Family is still important in my life, and it always will be, so having this time with my daughters, their friends, and good food is a time I cherish and a tradition I want to keep going.”
Hobbies that help decompress
“I love to hunt and fish. The peace that is a part of God’s creation sets this hobby a part from any others. All stress and any other factors that may lead to a convoluted mind leave when I am in the woods or on the pond. I also love being on the tractor. Our farm requires attention to keep it tidy, and riding around on the tractor or getting my hands dirty eases the stress.”
A few words to describe yourself
“A hard-working Georgian. Being a hard worker is one of the core values I uphold. These values were instilled in me by people like Coach Henderson and many others from Clarke Central, UGA, and Athens. I love getting my hands dirty as I stated, but I also love working for people. I want to work hard and better the lives of those around me.”
UGA in one word
“Awesome! The people, the place, the tradition, it all makes the University of Georgia what it is and that is the best university in all the land.”
Expectations for the 2019 Dawgs
“I expect a national championship as does the rest of the Bulldog Nation. We must focus on one game at a time, attacking each and every individual day. Just keep chopping!”