I was the first photographer on the field because I left the end zone just as the final play ended. I went towards the middle of the field because the Georgia players, who I cover, were coming onto the field to celebrate the win.
I did all of that not knowing I would wind up in the middle of a lot of big people – two of which ended up unpleased with one another.
I was behind Todd Grantham – I didn't hear much of anything he said… to be honest I wasn't on the field to listen to people. But I wound up behind Grantham in time to hear Franklin say something about a Georgia player…
"Number 36," Franklin said after pointing in the direction of Georgia's Shawn Williams. At first it seemed like Franklin was saying something to Grantham about the score… but it was soon pretty clear he was talking about Williams.
Grantham said something I didn't hear because he was facing Franklin.
"Expletive you," Franklin responded.
That's when it started.
A Vanderbilt police officer pushed between Franklin and Grantham. From there the two seemed about as ready to fight as anyone would be before backing away from one another. Grantham, being an assistant coach, didn't have state troopers or police assigned to him. An official with the chain gang was in the middle of the two for a moment... but got lost in the shuffle soon thereafter.
From there it was a bit of mayhem. More Vanderbilt coaches came – screaming at Grantham it seemed – and players, including Georgia outside linebacker Ray Drew and Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers were suddenly in the middle of a screaming match, they weren't having...
Suddenly helmets started going back on...
Three Vanderbilt assistant coaches appeared next – one was particularly aggravated.. and was motioning towards Grantham or in the direction of the Georgia players.
"Get off the field," one said.
I don't know how or were Mark Richt came from, but he popped in between his players and the Vanderbilt players and coaches and started ordering his players back… some pushed back… some didn't. Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner was at the front of the line mainly holding back the three Vanderbilt coaches - particularly the agitated one.
Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend was screaming at Georgia players to get into the locker room. Richt turned his attention to Grantham – yelling at him, but I can't remember what he said.
At some point the entire thing diffused. Vanderbilt fans booed the Bulldogs. Maybe the entire stadium was booing… that was difficult to tell. The crowd was about 50 percent Georgia fans.
I never got the sense that any of the Vanderbilt players did anything wrong after the game. At least I didn't hear anything any of them saying anything wrong. I didn't get the sense that any of the Georgia players did anything wrong, either for that matter - but that was just the one area I was in. Both sets of players could have acted inappropriately, but just not where I was.
At times the thing was a blur, but the thing that set it off was the expletive from Franklin to Grantham – there was no doubt about if you were standing right there.
What did Grantham say to Franklin? I don't know. Why did Grantham erupt after Franklin did that? I don't know.
I only know what I saw and heard.
The following are photos as taken during the post-game discussion. Not all are in focus or properly exposed. However, they are what happened while I was in the middle of the event.