Monday, February 7, 2011

If you're 20 and you know it, shut your mouth...

I've been reading some truly enlightened chatter by internet jackholes that really gets my grits cookin'. These geniuses say things like "Mark Richt can't win," "Georgia never does anything with its talent," "Mark Richt can't coach 'em up," etc. Then, when I look at the pictures attached to blogs, I see twenty year old kids who probably started loving Georgia two years ago when they enrolled in the school. I don't blame them...I didn't grow up a Georgia fan. I fell in love with UGA on a visit during my Senior year in high school. So, I get it...I understand that these kids don't know much beyond their own experience at the school.....BUT


Twice Richt has brought SEC titles to UGA. Three times, he's won the SEC East. All of that has been done with recruiting classes that may have been good, but none have ever been comparable to what Richt has brought in this year.

True, it's been six years since his last SEC title, and I don't make excuses for that. I believe, just as many of you do, that it's been too long. However, unlike the grand majority of people who are caught up in the ridiculousness that is the "Fire Richt" campaign, I understand that there are going to be years when you just plain miss. Stafford, for all his talent, and for all the coaching given him (and don't fool yourself for one second and believe he didn't get coached up like crazy), never got it done. He suffered by having an underperforming defense on the other side of the ball. Why does that affect him? Simple. Gunslingers are going to make mistakes. They are going to trust their arms too much, and they are going to throw interceptions. When they do, they need a strong defense that can bail them out of the mistake and not give up points. We didn't have that.

For a few years, Willie Martinez allowed our defense to crumble around us. Some sort of haze fell over the coaching staff as a collective (that's the only way I can dismiss it), and they lost their way. In the meantime, the coaching in the rest of the SEC improved, and wins became harder to come by. It took a season too long, but Richt made the tough choice and started firing defensive coaches. Then he brought in some high-quality guys. How do we know they're high-quality? Well, one of them just got poached to the NFL....been a while since THAT happened at UGA, huh?

So now, Richt sits on the most talented team he's had in Athens since "the good ol' days" when he was winning titles. He has a fiery defensive coordinator in his second year (as most of the starters will be as well). There is a level of excitement around the program that hasn't existed since the 2008 preseason when the Dawgs were ranked #1. There is a sense of urgency in the weight-room like none any of these kids has experienced before. There is a fire burning in Mark Richt that hasn't been seen since he was a wet-behind-the-ears head coach on the way to his first SEC title. I see very very good things on the near horizon, much to the dismay of many blog-commenters out there.

I gotta pull for the guy. I'm not pullin' for him simply because I know him and think he's a great man. I'm not pullin' for him because I believe he's great for the program that he revived, and I see that evidence in this recruiting class. I'm not pullin' for him because he's a Christian who believes in building the man as well as the football player.

I'm pullin' for him so that when he DOES take this team back to title town, the "other half" of Dawgfandom out there will finally have to SHUT THE HELL UP.

Go Dawgs.

1 comment:

Buddy Carroll said...

Well said, Ben Dukes. It is refreshing to read the remarks of someone that knows the game of football, understands the intricacies of coaching and also understands CMR. So many write so much even though they know so little. Their only answer is fire everybody. They truly don't have a clue about UGA's football program. Please keep up the good work.