Clarence Thomas Stops by Georgia
Mark Richt

Posted Sep 25, 2008

ATHENS – It’s hard to make Saturday’s game at Sanford Stadium much bigger. Georgia already announced it will wear black uniforms as part of a “blackout” by fans for the game. ESPN’s popular “GameDay” show will broadcast from Athens on Saturday morning, and the game will be nationally televised on the network in prime time.

And, of course, it’s the first time since 1976 the two historic SEC programs have met while both ranked in the top 10.

Before head coach Mark Richt met with media Thursday, however, another bit of excitement was thrown into the mix. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stopped by Georgia’s athletics offices to meet with Richt and talk about the game.

“That fires me up,” Richt said. “He’s a very delightful man, and just in the small time you’re with him, you can tell he’s a very humble man considering who he is. I really enjoyed the couple moments with him.”

Richt said Thomas, who was born in Chatham County, is a Bulldogs fan and would be staying for Saturday’s game.

As it turned out, however, Thomas admitted that Georgia wasn’t his favorite team – but made Richt promise to keep his real No. 1 a secret.

“He has a No. 1 team ahead of Georgia, but he told me not to tell anyone,” Richt said. “It’s somebody way far away from here in a different conference, so it’s OK.”

While the visit from Thomas was an exciting event for Richt, his priorities were still on the game. In fact, Richt has been so busy preparing for Saturday’s game, he needed a reminder about the big meeting.

Richt is famous among media for keeping notes on his hand – he calls it his Palm Pilot – to remind him of important meetings and responsibilities. On Thursday, above a palm full of blue and black ink, written in marker were the words “Clarence Thomas.”

“I’m hoping to introduce him to the team real quick,” Richt said with a laugh. “I don’t want to cheese up at the last second and say the wrong name, so I’ve got to hand it.”

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