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Column: Might be time for Kirby Smart to lock down on Fromm

The views of the author are not necessarily the views of AllOnGeorgia.

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Of course, Georgia football fans cringed Wednesday when reports started surfacing about Jake Fromm’s broken hand.

And believe me, those reporters who filed those reports cringed, too.

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Trust me, most of them were likely excited about having the Fourth of July holiday away from the office and away from the laptop.

They wanted to be flipping burgers on the grill, tossing bean bags in a game of corn hole or floating in the pool with their favorite beverage in hand.

They didn’t want to be punching keys on a keyboard, making phone calls to get the facts and spending time on the clock covering a potential game-changing story on their day off.

This was like their worst nightmare.

But, as fate would have it, it happened. On the Fourth of July.

Boom, here came the first report. Then bang, here came another and then another.

All of a sudden, social media was on fire mid-afternoon on the Fourth.

The fireworks started well before the sky darkened across the state. Georgia’s quarterback was hurt. A black cloud bigger than any associated with a summer afternoon thunderstorm was now hanging over Bulldog Nation.

The 2018 season was doomed, and the Bulldogs hadn’t even reported for fall camp yet.

That’s the picture some of these so-called journalists and media organizations were painting. Hey, if they had to get out of the pool or come off the beach to file a story, they might as well make it a blockbuster, right?

Some of them were posting things like “Breaking News: Georgia’s quarterback injured in freak accident.” And, “Georgia’s season drowns as Fromm injured on boat.”

Yes, these were attention-getting headlines, and headlines are meant to garner attention.

But, these were wrong. They were overblown. Some of the initial stories were misleading, sensationalized if you will.

That’s the world we live in, though, mainly because of social media.

I’m not saying this wasn’t a story. Yeah, it was worth reporting. It was bonafide news. It was.

But some of the wannabe journalists and reporters ran with a story before they had enough facts and details to justify their big, bold headlines like those above.

This was much to do about nothing, really. And one of the most reputable organizations out there that makes a living covering Georgia Bulldogs football on a daily basis said as much with its initial report and backed that up with their second more-detailed report.

I assume you know, but Fromm suffered a small fracture in his left, non-throwing hand Tuesday while riding in a boat on Lake Burton.

He was sitting on the back of a boat while another friend wake-boarded. When the skier fell, he dropped the rope and the handle flew back into the boat and struck Fromm on the left hand.

Fromm will be in a splint for a few weeks, but he won’t miss any practice time and won’t miss any games because of this mishap.

In fact, he was expected to be participating in Georgia’s 7-on-7 drills on Thursday.

No doubt, this will be an on-going story. Head coach Kirby Smart will be asked about it at the upcoming SEC Media Days in Atlanta.

Fromm will have to talk about it when he’s made available to the media for the first time this coming season.

But, it looks like this injury will be a non-issue.

Thing is, the story could still grow legs. And how may be that be?

Well, Smart could take action. That’s how. These kinds of things are really hard to guard against. I mean, these college football players are kids. They’re going to have fun, especially in the summer, as they work out and maybe take classes, but have more personal time than they do at any other time. And that’s understandable. They should enjoy themselves while they can.

A guy like Fromm, who enjoys the outdoors, is going to fish and play on the water. That’s cool.

But, where Fromm is concerned, this is actually his second freak accident of the offseason. Back in May, a friend hooked his leg with a fishing lure which required a visit to the emergency room to have it removed.

Perhaps, it might be time for Smart to sit his sophomore signal-caller down and ask him to stay away from the water for the rest of the summer.

It’s not that Georgia’s coach needs to lock the quarterback into a padded room in the Butts-Mehre Building and only let him out for practice and film study.

But maybe he asks him to go to the movies or request that he stay indoors in the air conditioning and play video games instead of going to the lake in search of that big bass as they await preseason drills.

In the meantime, Justin Fields needs to keep learning that playbook and getting his timing down with Georgia’s receiving corps.

Jacob Eason got hurt in Game 1 last season, opening the door for Fromm to take over under center.

Right now, it looks like Fromm is a walking, talking accident waiting to happen.

So, you just don’t know. Fields might be only one more fishing lure away from being Georgia’s No. 1 guy.



Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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