Saturday evening while stuck in traffic on 316 heading back for Atlanta, I had the pleasure of passing time by listening to the 5th Quarter Show from @pplebee's in Athens. I spent the entire show listening to caller after caller question our coaches, our players, and our schemes in approaching this game and the 2 before it.
Then, like a Jack and Coke at 2:15 a.m., I'd had enough. I decided to dial *106 from my Cingul@r phone to tell the fans basically to shut the hell up.
I was welcomed into the show where I said something along the lines of:"Hey fellas. Thanks for the opportunity and thank you for running a great show. If you don't mind, I really don't have a question, but more of a soapbox moment to tell the fans to not boo our kids during the games. I understand you're frustrated. The last 3 weeks have taken a good 3 years off of my life as well, but please understand that when you boo a player, it not only hurts him and the current team, it hurts the future of the program. Every single game we play in Sanford, there is a recruit sitting somewhere taking it all in, and it's going to be mighty tough to persuade the next Herschel that this is the place to be when our fans are so quickly to turn their backs on the guys that are busting it out there. We are just as much of salesmen as we are fans to the talent we want to bring in here. Just don't do it any more. It's ridiculous. That's really all I have to say and I appreciate the time. Thanks again for all you do and Go Dawgs."
More or less they said "thanks Kit and we agree," though it lasted longer. What they said in response is irrelevant to this post.
However, I'm fed up with our fans in general. This past game was the boiling point for me when the boos were finally loud enough. Then they had the audacity to cheer when he left the field.
Where the hell were you people in '99, '00, and '01? Where were you in the years before then? I have a guess and it probably begins with you asking "Did the Dawgs win yesterday?" at church, or while fishing or hunting. You weren't following the Dawgs then and you're damn sure not doing it now. Of course, you'll sport your red and black when it's convenient for you, but when the chips are "down" (we're still 6-2; it could be worse) and it's not so glamorous for you to be a Dawg fan, you bolt and run.
I'll be honest. The team nor myself wants or needs you there on any given Saturday at any venue. Granted, they get a LOT of "social acceptance" around the university community by wearing the uniform, but they still must wake up every day, practice, go to class, practice, go home to do homework, and sleep, ONLY to repeat that 4 other times during the week and then bust their ass on Saturday for YOU. If you can't appreciate that at least, watch it on TV from home.
CMR was asked on Saturday what the thought about the fans booing Mo Mass in his press conference. Here's what he had to say (shout out to Ching
):"I don’t really want to get into that, really. I understand the fans being frustrated and sometimes there’s a kneejerk reaction on something like that. You hate it when any player gets booed. These are kids, they’re college students and they’re not high-paid athletes by any stretch of the imagination and you hate it when that happens. But I’m sure the fans would all say they still love Mohamed Massaquoi, but at that moment in time, they let it out. We still believe in Mohamed. He’s a very good football player. He’s a very young football player, still, just a second-year guy. We’re not gonna give up on Mohamed, we can’t."
If you don't get it, I'll give you folks out there a translation:Hey, all you fans that boo our kids. Shut the f**k up.Yeah, it's kind of like that.
How would you feel if your son caught a beautiful fade in the endzone in the 2nd quarter only to be booed in the 3rd when he dropped a for sure one? I'm sure you'd be damn well pissed off. Now multiply that by 10,000. That's about how many I would imagine vocalized their displeasure Saturday.
Mo Mass is not the savior of this team...yet. He showed moments of brilliance last year, but his confidence is shaken and for DAMN GOOD REASON. Imagine if 92,000 people were breathing down YOUR neck every time a pass was thrown at you. Now imagine you're NOT doing it for money. That's the life of a college football player.
I sat in the endzone away from the student section for the first time ever. I will still argue that the best fans are still in college. They will cheer as much as they can until the very last seconds. However, our elitist alumni who spend so much time trashing the campus still find a way to have an opinion on why we're not the greatest team in the history of the universe.
So the Dawgs are walking off the field after a hard-fought victory and I'm standing there cheering and clapping and forcing myself to do every second of it, and you know what I saw? I saw a bunch of tired and confused faces all wondering why it just isn't getting done like they know they can do it. Trust me; these kids are busting their asses out there, but it just hasn't clicked yet.
So, since you know our kids are trying, I have a solution.
Here's a list of the people that should spend more time shutting the hell up:
1. People that boo our team.
2. People that sarcastically cheer when a struggling player is taken off the field.
3. People that are calling for Willie Martinez's head (I don't like his scheme either, but damn).
4. People that are calling for CMR's head.
5. People that are turning their backs on the Dawgs right now.
6. People that don't think we can beat UF, Auburn, or GT (I think we take at least 1 if not 2 of those games).
7. Lou Holtz (I just think he sucks)
8. Mark May (No thinking here...he does suck)
If I neglected to mention you, it's not because I'm forgetful, it's because I forcibly removed you from my thought process because my head was going to explode. Just know that if you think you might fit in ANY of the above categories, please shut the hell up.
I'm sick and tired of having to defend the Dawgs. Is anyone aware of the talent we have coming in next year? On defense we'll still be young, but we'll be a ton faster and bigger. We've got some kids that are ready to make an impact right now, but we want them to understand the system first. On Offense we have a RB in Knowshon Moreno that is an absolute monster. We'll have all the receivers back, we'll be upgraded at TE, and Stafford wiill have a year under his belt. The only thing we'll be thin at is O-line (there's a shocker), but damn, have a little patience.
Coming back to the present, it's no secret that we won't win the East. Is there any fan out there that 100% believed we would? Hell, even I had reservations about it and I had the Dawgs as SEC Champs. I still said we would go 10-2 and we still could. It's "possible," not "probable," but it could still be done.
Make no mistake, it's not all sunshine and puppies over here in Dawg-gone Blog-land, but that doesn't mean I'm going to boo the team that I care so much about. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because I'm not acting like a spoiled alumni who sits on his hands all 4 quarters but still finds time to have an opinion on everything. It could also be because I'm not a total f**king moron. Either one of those are fairly reasonable excuses.
So, please "fans," spend more time doing something constructive like cheering on the Defense on 3rd down, staying quiet for the Offense throughout the entire game, and appreciating the effort they give regardless of the outcome. Spend more time getting excited about the future. Spend more time getting back to the reality that it's still just a game. Spend more time doing all those above or spend more time not coming at all.
I'm sure the bandwagon would be a lot more comfortable with you asshats falling off of it.
The players, coaches, and the real fans.
Until next time kids.