It’d be nice to think that what Georgia fans saw on New Year’s Eve was a fluke, a flash in the pan or an aberration. But it’s not. Appearing not ready to play and not having emotion are becoming a not so welcome trend for the Bulldog Nation to witness. Oh, we saw it a few times in the past few years, but there was always that hope that things would turn around, especially with an increased energy and new blood within the program with changes to the defensive coaching staff.
Nothing, however, has changed in Athens. The same problems from the 2007 season, minus a spurt at the end of the season, still remain, having stayed within the program and caused a rot that is very noticeable.
The Georgia football program, the standard bearer in the nation’s toughest football conference in the first half of Mark Richt’s tenure, is broken. But in its current state, the head coach remains.
Just in case you’ve been avoiding the blogs, message boards and sportstalk radio in the past couple of months, this fan base is heavily splintered.
There are two schools of thought, if you will.
First there’s the the ‘Coach Richt should be gone, in fact, he should have been gone two years ago.’ It’s a group that has seen the Alabamas and Floridas of the world seize what Georgia fans want – a National Title and hates mediocrity and is incensed by the fact that a segment of the fan base accepts being average and not quite as good as others.
And then there’s the ‘Richt’s a great man and deserves a chance to fix things.” This group argues that that Richt came close to a National Title and that had a few breaks gone the Dawgs way, Richt may have won a title in 2002 or 2007. This line of thinking also is quick to defend the flaming arrows thrown by critics of Richt, being quick to point out how many games he has won and Richt’s outstanding character.
In short, the fan base isn’t just one united group of Bulldogs. It’s the “Disney Dawgs” and the, well whatever you call those who don’t like the Disney Dawgs.
So, what does it all boil down to? Well, it’s this. The Georgia fan base, thanks to the program slipping to a level of losing to a program some fans barely knew existed a few weeks ago, is greatly divided. And as it stands now, a national title may be the only thing to heal that rift.
Either that or someone else in charge of the program in Athens.
- Lugnut Dawg