Can Mark Richt Change History: How Mark Richt Compares To Napoleon Bonaparte

France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France.

-Mark Twain

First, a very crude historical overview.  In the quest to colonize the new world, France lagged behind other European powers.   Spain had pretty much all of South America, Mexico, and the Southwestern United States.  In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, flying a Spanish Flag, brah.   The British became the world’s leading power.  During the mid-1700s, Great Brittan even moved over towards India.  Ever hear the saying, “the sun never sets on the British Empire?”   

All France had was Canada (cold, worthless land) and some fur trading with the Indians.  They got to North America first, but lost most of their North American interests to the British in the Seven Years War/French-Indian War.  But really, the British had tobacco.  France had fur.  Leave it to the French to chose the sissy fur while the British chose the addicting cash crop.  Watch Last of the Mohicans, Pocahontas, and Pirates of the Caribbean for further explanation.

Point is, France sucked and was far behind as a super power, when their neighbors were dominating the globe.  Much like the University of Georgia was in the 1990s.  Even through the Jim Donnan era, Georgia could never get quite past Florida and Tennessee in the SEC hierarchy.

France’s fortunes changed.  Generations of wars and disdain toward the Crown led to the French Revolution.  Other European superpowers were war ravaged and this created a power vacuum.  Britain was now weaker from decades of war and the loss of the 13 colonies, its real strength.  Blood was poured in the streets.   Heads rolled but when the dust settled, one man who was a brilliant military strategist took the sleeping giant known as France and helped bring the country to prominence.  That man was Napoleon Bonaparte.   

Georgia’s fortunes were about to change.  The other powers in the SEC, unbeknownst to us all, were about to be on the decline.  Tennessee had just peaked under Phil Fulmer and the Florida Gators were unknowingly running the Ol’ Ball Coach off, their real strength.   This created a power vacuum.  Moving past the forgettable Goff era, Jim Donnan brought some moderate success and left Georgia fans wanting more.  But after years of coming from behind to lose, never fulfilling lofty preseason expectations, and losing to Tech, Jim Donnan was beheaded in a revolution between Mike Adams and Vince Dooley.   When the dust settled, one man who was a brilliant offensive strategist and longtime successful assistant took over the sleeping giant known as the Georgia Bulldogs and helped the program back to prominence.  That man was Mark Richt. 

Napoleon became Emperor of France and his reign began with near instant success.   The French Empire overtook present day Italy and Germany.  France even overtook Spain-the former mighty super power and their Armada.    The French Empire and its satellite states cover most of Europe, stretching from Spain to Russia.  But there were still the British… 

Mark Richt came to Georgia and had near instant success.  When David Greene hit P-44 Haynes you knew there was something special.  That special season came year later when Georgia won its first SEC Championship in 20 years and finished #3 in the country.  During Richt’s career, he had more success than any other coach had at Georgia during that same time span, and   2 SEC Championships, 6 top 10 finishes and 4 top 6 finishes.  Richt holds strong company with Bear Bryant, Vince Dooley, Phil Fulmer and Steve Spurrier as the only SEC coaches to win 10+ games in 4 consecutive seasons.  But there was still the Florida Gators.

There were cracks beginning to show in Napoleon’s empire.  Other European countries were getting stronger and starting to encroach on his power.  This came at the same time that Napoleon started to get comfortable and too ambitious.  His success turned to arrogance and stubbornness. Despite advice saying not to, Napoleon decided an ill-fated invasion of powerful Russia.  Russia provided to be too much of a challenge to overtake due to its geography and climate.  Napoleon lost 380,000 men and the loss was devastating for morale and the future reign of the emperor was now in jeopardy.

Cracks began to show in Richt’s reign.  Other SEC schools were rebounding and getting better.  South Carolina upgraded to old UGA nemesis Steve Spurrier, Florida upgraded to Urban Meyer, Alabama upgraded to Nick Saban, Ole Miss upgraded to Houston Nutt, Arkansas to Bobby Petrino and even Mississippi State upgraded and got Dan Mullen.  All of this came at a time when Richt was getting perhaps too comfortable due to the continued success and the ambition and expectations for the program were sky high in 2008.  His success probably led to a slight bit of arrogance and stubbornness to doing same old-same old, as shown with keeping around Willie Martinez and Dave Van Hallanger a season or two too long, and employing a flawed approach to special teams for far too long.  The beginning of all of this was the ill-fated “Blackout” game against the powerful Alabama in 2008.   

Once Napoleon returned from the Russian campaign, he was overthrown and sent to exile to the tiny island of Elba.  Napoleon escaped and reclaimed his throne.  He was in command again for about 100 days.   However, a strong coalition of forces gave him his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.  Finally, Napoleon’s reign came to an end and was banished once and for all.

Mark Richt has had some troubled years.  His perch as beloved head coach has been over thrown, and now there is doubt cast across the Bulldog Nation.  The Bulldogs have been exiled to remote Bowl games, including the Liberty and Independence Bowls.  After a particularly embarrassing loss in the Liberty Bowl, Coach Richt has showed some semblance of resurgence with a stellar recruiting class.

Now here is chance for history to be changed.  Approximately 100 days in to Napoleon’s resurgence, he lost to the British led coalition to drive the final nail in his reign’s coffin.  Approximately 100 days after the season opener versus Boise State, we’ll see if the Bulldogs were able to circle the wagons or if this season, Richt’s Waterloo, will be the nail in his reign’s coffin.


2 Responses to “Can Mark Richt Change History: How Mark Richt Compares To Napoleon Bonaparte”

  1. 1 BuyPropertyUcheeDawg! August 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    This is certainly your finest hour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: