What you are about to read might be true. Or it might not. We refuse to let facts mess up a good yarn about Georgia football …

No, the New Jersey Dawg referenced in the headline ain’t Knowshon Moreno. If you are a Dawgs or football fan who ain’t heard of Knowshon, you were hibernating from 2007 to 2014 or so.

Lewis Grizzard said of a violent storm before the funeral for Cleve Philips, the Great Uncle of his boyhood idol and Great American Waymon C. Wannamaker Jr.:

“Up come a dark cloud. If you do not know what that means, you might be a New Jersey American.” 

The University of Georgia has recruited at least two New Jersey Americans to play football. One is Knowshon Moreno. The other one isn’t.

The at least second New Jersey American who played offensive guard for Georgia had two visits to his New Jersey home from Vince Dooley and Erk Russell. Vince and Erk were twice served Surf and Turf steak and lobster dinners, followed by rounds of adult beverages in a New Jersey basement.

This New Jersey American was also recruited by Bear Bryant at Alabama, Doug Dickey at Florida, Tom Osborne at Nebraska, Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame, Joe Paterno at Penn State and Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Among others.

If Knowshon claims this, he is lying, but we know that Damn Good Dawg Knowshon does not lie. 

Mostly Knowshon does not lie, at least to our knowledge.

John Akacki was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and raised in Carteret, New Jersey. 

If you think the Surf and Turf dinners mean that Akacki grew up with a silver spoon, you are mistaken. 

His Dad drove a truck in the Air Force and then as a Teamster for the Swift Ice Cream Company. 

His Mom was a waitress at New Jersey and New York diners, including the one after which the Seinfeld diner Tom’s was modeled.

Akacki’s Dad and Mom might or might not have been involved in stolen goods trafficking and diner numbers running on behalf of La Cosa Nostra a/k/a the Mafia. Hard to believe in New Jersey, but it might be true. 

They might not have paid for the steak and lobster dinners fed to Vince and Erk or the adult beverages served in that basement. 

Akacki’s Dad drove a new Cadillac every year and carried a money clip in each pocket. One clip held 100s and 50s, the other clip held petty cash. 

On weekends he played high stakes late-night or overnight poker with the boys at a most innocent sounding hangout where there could not have possibly been any trouble, “The Crusher.”

The Crusher might or might not have been where Jimmy Hoffa was last seen before little diced up Hoffa parts were said to have been buried beneath a Meadowlands end zone as fertilizer due to grass killing toxicity of virtually all soil everywhere in New Jersey.

Akacki grew up playing sports and making Swift Ice Cream delivery runs with his Dad beginning at 3 a.m. If he ever visited The Crusher, he ain’t talking. 

Akacki played defensive tackle for the Carteret High School Ramblers from 1971 to 1975. In 1975, Akacki was one of only two New Jersey football players to be named to the High School All American team.


Akacki’s official visit to Georgia was during a cold and rainy November 1974 game in Athens, where Georgia Tech prevailed in a 34-14 rout. 

Still, the lure of the South appealed to this Jersey Boy. After much or not so much deliberation, Akacki signed with Georgia. 

Despite being recruited as a defensive tackle, upon arrival at the University of Georgia in 1975 Akacki was asked a/k/a told to play offensive guard due to attrition on that side of the ball.

Akacki’s initial response was a desire to transfer to Notre Dame, where an offer to play defense still stood. His Dad said if he wanted to do that, don’t come home. Perhaps his Dad suggested that the boy might be a quitter who wished to sleep with the fishes.

Akacki stayed put as a Bulldog and did not sleep with fishes. He developed into a stout blocker and sprung holes for Willie McClendon, Jimmy Womack, Amp Arnold and others. 

Akacki’s offensive line partners included Ray Donaldson, Matt Braswell, Mack Guest and Nat Hudson. He earned letters in 1978 and 1979.

At least three times the late, great Larry Munson called Akacki’s name over the airwaves after pancake blocks and punt coverage tackles that helped the Bulldogs in big games against Wake Forest and ugly orange Clemson.

Akacki’s punt coverage tackles caused two fumbles, both recovered by Georgia, one recovered by Akacki himself. That got him a Top Dawg Award, again against ugly orange Clemson.

Beginning in 1980, some guy named Herschel Walker played tailback at Georgia. Akacki missed blocking for that guy by one year.

After football at UGA, Akacki became an undercover narcotics agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Perhaps Akacki wanted to clear the possibly not that legitimate Akacki family name.

Think maybe like Michael Corleone trying to make good in the Godfather by way of the Marines. 

Yet undercover work did not suit Akacki, so he entered the life insurance and retirement investment business, where he could lie to honest, innocent citizens with a far lower chance of getting a knife in his back or bullet in his front.

Speaking of lying, Akacki’s great friend since playing days is UGA’s defensive rover back Bill Krug, a better-known name than any Akacki.

Those who know Krug say he is incapable of telling the truth, and the same is said of modern-day Akacki. Thus, believe what you will about anything and everything in this column.


Points of clarification:

The proper pronunciation of Krug rhymes with “plug,” though “Kroog” would be far more elegant.

The proper pronunciation of Akacki rhymes with “khaki,” as in fratty boy slacks. Akacki’s friends prefer the far less elegant “Ah-Cock-Ee.” 

This could lead to phallic South Carolina jokes we do not have time or space for.

However you pronounce Akacki ain’t all that elegant.

Despite taking many too many shots to the head, Akacki and Krug can talk strategy from the 1970s to 2021 that put jock-sniffing College GameDay analysts to shame.

This non jock sniffing fratty boy writer might propose a column along those lines with a sappy tagline such as: “Pete’s Preposterous & Pretentious Predictions.”

This writer might take Krug Akacki or Akacki Krug predictions and claim them as his own. 

If said predictions do not pan out, this writer will blame Akacki and Krug in a New York minute. 

Or, as Lewis Grizzard might say, a New Jersey American minute. 

It would help if Akacki talked Southern. After all, God talks Southern like we do. For Southern talk, you gotta go to Krug. 

Lewis would also say, “We welcome New Jersey Americans who play for Georgia and want to stay in Georgia as long as they do not tell us the way they used to do things in New Jersey.” 

But the writer of this column had no choice but to tell how Akacki used to do things in New Jersey. Without telling that there would be no column. 

At least Akacki does not say the way they did things in New Jersey is how WE should do things in Georgia. Like maybe sleep with the fishes.

Otherwise, Delta would be ready when Akacki is.

Unless they are lying, which they probably are, Akacki and Krug claim to be friends with this writer they have yet to meet in person. This writer was never anything more than a slow, small and stupid high school center and nose tackle. 

Maybe it is the stupid quality that leads Akacki and Krug to believe they have something in common with this writer.

In closing, Lewis Grizzard said one more thing:

“Do not let facts get in the way of a good story.”