I guess I need to start with the obvious, we don't have a good football team right now. Coach Richt acknowledged that in his post game comments. I desperately want this game to be the perfect storm of all the weaknesses coming out at one time. I am desperately afraid that isn't the case. It has gotten ugly on the boards, though. Ugly and stupid. Someone actually suggested we make a run at Carroll. Pete Carroll. Unreal. (In full disclosure, someone sent me that, I can't stand getting on the boards and rarely, if ever, look at them, for that very reason.)
I do want to address a couple of key comments I have seen:
- Coach Richt not holding himself and his coaches accountable - crap. Pure Crap. I don't get (nor will I ever get) why he calls out his kicker in the press. However, I don't believe he will accomplish anything he wants, much less what the 'fans' want, by calling out a coach. You can blather in your annon comments all you want about his blind loyalty, his faith, his lack of desire/passion/emotion, but you cannot, for one minute, doubt his devotion to this team, desire to succeed, and his belief that the University of Georgia is THE best place both to coach football and have his career be associated with. He does hold himself accountable and his coaches accountable. Just because he chooses not to do so in the press doesn't equal no accountability.
- The Defense. I've seen high school defenses adjust to play action and misdirection better than Georgia has this season. Yesterday was the Oklahoma State game's logical conclusion, if we hadn't played better pass coverage in Stillwater. I just think, no...I know, the same coach that has made such great adjustments in the past is still capable of coaching up these players. You can call for Willie Martinez's head all you want, but he is still a capable tactician and motivator. Some how, some way, he can do it again.
- The Offense. Mike Bobo's game strategies have been sound. He has well scripted the start of games. I am not sure where things are going wrong, but his play calling has been suspect. I was excited when he took over play calling in 2007. There was reason for that.
- Oline. The running backs aren't the only ones to blame for the poor rushing performance. Hey, I love Stacey Searles, his approach and his passion (well, from what I have heard his passion is). If he deserved great praise last season for his work with the offensive line, then he has some heat coming now. Vast underachievement, in my opinion. Pass and running plays alike. However, the same talent that overachieved last year is there. The same coach that got that performance is still there. They are capable of being there again.
- Kickoff Coverage. Accountability for the issues would be nice. The issues are not the kicker.
I say all of that to make this point about Coach Richt's quote about being in the arena. I do get what he is saying. There is pride. Pride in doing you job well. I know good and well Coach Richt cares and has pride. I know good and well Mike Bobo, Jon Fabris, Stacey Searles, Willie Martinez, Rodney Garner, Tony Ball, John Lilly, John Jancek and Bryan McClendon care and have pride. I know the 85 men that wear the Red and Black care and have pride. They care way more than any fan, blogger or donor can.
Finally, I leave with a quote from Coach Richt, one that I found particularly poignant, especially considering the state of frenzy from blog comments (and some bloggers), comments to newspaper articles, newspaper 'columnists' and the various fora: "I’m pointing the finger at all of us as a whole."
We all need to examine ourselves, from the coaches to the everyday fan. And examine we will. If your most damning criticism of this post or me is that I am a homer, then you are right. That all came into focus yesterday morning when my son was singing "Glory, Glory" asking if Georgia was winning while I was watching the replay. He didn't care (or even have the concept of knowing to care). All he knew was that Georgia was playing and that made him happy. I don't like losing. I don't like seeing Georgia play bad football. However, I will always prefer being a 3-3 Georgia Bulldog over being fan of any other team. That is just who I am. That is my home.
These days are NOT over.
*Lyric from Jenny Lewis' song 'Barking at the Moon'