Let's admit it, kids. On Saturday, I was PISSED. More pissed than I was when UGA lost to South Carolina at home in 2001. I remember how I treated that loss and it ended with me punching things, throwing boxes (I was still unpacking my apartment at the time) and just generally throwing a hissy fit. Why that game specifically? Because in 2001, I was excited about Mark Richt, our program and where we could go. We had talent -- South Carolina did not. We had begun a new era -- South Carolina was still South Carolina.
Since then, we've experienced some of the highest moments in UGA's storied history. We've won two SEC Championships, competed for a third and were only a handful of plays away from playing for the national title in those three years, plus the epic screw-job of 2007.
I wasn't that fan on Saturday though. I've been accused way too many times of being a "Disney Dawg." One that always errs on the side of caution. One that thinks it's better to be a Georgia fan than any other college football fan on any given Saturday. One that looks upon past success and keeps faith. I wasn't that fan on Saturday and I'm just now on Monday coming back to being that fan again. That being said, I'm still not quite there yet. It's with an incredibly ominous tone that I express how much I hate this feeling.
Saturday's game was the worst game I've ever personally seen a UGA team play. I know there have been worse, but I also know it wasn't beat out by much. We were out coached, out hustled, out hearted (yes, I said "heart"...har har), out cared, and out classed by a UT team that is essentially already playing for next year. You heard Lane Kiffin. You heard him classify our game as a "great recruiting victory." He doesn't care about what that team does this year. He's already given up this season in hopes of building a better one next year. That's not only disheartening for us, but flat out embarrassing.
I know our guys care about winning. I know the coaches, players, trainers and fans all care about leaving the field with a victory. However, I'm not sure if they're afraid of what will happen if they leave the field with a loss.
It's important to recognize that changes need to be made. It's important to also realize that they're not going to be made right now and even if some responsibilities shift hands, WE'RE NOT GOING TO HEAR ABOUT IT. It's like what PWD said in regards to Bobo first taking hold of the playcalling duties
. CMR was only going to pass those off in a position of power. That time was 2006...the only other time a team in the CMR era has been considered as "disappointing."
and The Good Senator
have amazingly well thought-out posts on the subject. Blutarsky has a couple more than PWD does, but both have great articles that should be read and should be read as quickly as possible.
It's important to realize that wholesale changes need to come, but not at the behest of the season. We're six games in, with six to go. An SECC is out of the question for the most part, and there's no reason to think we'll do any better than an Outback Bowl appearance. These are facts. We as fans, need to understand and come to terms with that.
However, there's no need to think that it's now time to throw Logan or Murray out there to the wolves. Regardless of what you want to say, Joe Cox gives us the best chance to win at QB. What's stunting him is our incredible lack of a running game...something we've NEVER experienced in Athens under Mark Richt. Maybe that's why we're so shaken up as a fan base.
The reason I titled this post as "A Call to Our Version of Normalcy" is because I just want us to feel better about UGA football. I'm OK with losing games as long as I know that we're doing the best we can with what we have. I don't feel that way right now. I'm not sure the best players are playing on our team. I'm not sure that coaches feel any sort of heat from within about their decisions. I'm also not sure that fans realize that if you fire Willie Martinez, Rodney Garner is going to be the first person offered that spot. If you can't handle that, then you need to take a deeper look at how Mark Richt's ran this ship.
I want our coaches to blame themselves and be openly PISSED about losing. I want our coaches to stop blaming our players for losing. I want our coaches to realize that if a player is not "executing" on the field, those same players are being taught what to do from Sunday -- Friday, when the COACHES are guiding them along. Personal accountability is what's wrong with this team.
I got a piece of what I wanted to hear from CMR when he basically said that everything needs to get better. I heard fire in his voice. I heard discontent. I heard disgust. I heard anger. I heard an F'N FOOTBALL COACH.
All I ask is that Blair Walsh stop being thrown under the bus for things that aren't his fault. All I ask is that we grab our O-linemen by the facemask and challenge their manhood. All I ask is that if we're going to f*** up, that we F*** UP BIG. I can deal with effort mistakes. I can't deal with lack of effort, and that, my Dawg-friends, comes from the top.
I want Mark Richt to remain in Athens as long as it has a football team. I know that he will do what he's consistently done to make us better. I know that it'll be tough for him as well. I also know that our fan base couldn't be more discontent with where we're currently at, and where they THINK we're going. I also know that our problems are ones that can be fixed, with the proper change in attitude.
In my call to normalcy within our football team, I want less "Execute The Play" and more "Finish The Drill."
I hope they do, too.
Until next time kids.