There is a lot of love going on out in the Dawgosphere for Todd Gurley this morning. And deservedly so.
I’ve had this thought for a while, and last night cemented it. I was going to do-and still will at some point-a post looking at all the major NFL talent that has passed through Athens and the inability to cash it in.
But that won’t be today. No, today will be an appreciation of what Todd Gurley has given UGA and the fans.
You know, we UGA fans are a tortured bunch. We want success. We want championships. When we get close, injuries and bad coaching decisions have derailed our hopes and dreams. If you are a professional sports fan, the Falcons and Braves aren’t doing anything to help us fill the void.
But ultimately, sports for most of us is just a nice distraction from the mundane minutia of our everyday lives. I get up, go to work, come home, watch toddler TV shows, and go to bed. Thinking about the Dawgs (or other teams), talking about the Dawgs, going to the games, telling great stories, writing a blog, etc. is just a nice distraction. As much as we enjoy the thrill of victory and agonized over defeats, all this is just window dressing in the game of life. It doesn’t matter. It is not high on the hierarchy of needs. What does matter is being a good human, enjoying your 2-year-old, and overall trying (most of the time failing) to be the best version of yourself.
That’s not to say you don’t care. I do care. Just from this past season, I’m still bitter about not giving the ball to Gurley on 1st and Goal in Columbia, about the performance in Jacksonville, and the decision to squib kick against Tech. I’m still filled with joy with the memories about the Clemson, Auburn, Missouri and Arkansas wins. Championships haven’t come as often as we’d like them to. It has sucked in recent seasons to be so close and see the pieces in place, and the team for whatever reason not capitalize on all the opportunities to give us fans the championships we are lusting for.
But what hasn’t sucked was seeing Todd Gurley play on Saturdays for three seasons. Previous tailbacks that came through here before Gurley felt entitled or got into real trouble. Todd Gurley played hard every week and was a pure joy to watch and enjoy. What didn’t suck was last night seeing him get choked up talking about his injury and suspension, a suspension which you could argue didn’t need to happen. He was a kid you couldn’t help but to root for, and all fans rallied around #3.
Watching the draft last year, you see Johnny Manziel flash that smug grin and do his money hand symbol. This year, you see Todd Gurley be humble and sincere. What a dichotomy from one year to the next.
There have been great players come through the program in just the past 15 years-David Pollack, Jarvis Jones, Matthew Stafford, A.J. Green, Knowshon Moreno, Thomas Davis, David Greene, Aaron Murray, etc. They were all special players and meant something. Seeing Todd Gurley play for Georgia was something just extra special.
Someone asked me before if UGA needed to win X, Y or Z for an upcoming season to be good season. Not every season can end with trophies and confetti. You just know it when you see it. Sometimes things aren’t clear-cut. You just know it when you see it. Nick Chubb may be every bit as good as Gurley. The aforementioned great players were special.
But Gurley was just something different, and you just knew it when you saw it.
I hope that St. Louis Rams and NFL fans everywhere can enjoy what we’ve enjoyed the last three seasons.
Thank you Gurley for the memories, special moments, and the fun distraction you’ve provided us.