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Post I guess we can talk about it now

Wednesday October 6, 2010

Boulder is a lovely place. It was a great trip…right up until about 5 minutes after kickoff.

A lot of credit has to go to the Colorado Dawgs. They went above and beyond looking after those of us coming in for the game. The huge tailgate party held in partnership with the Alumni Association was a tremendous success. If you can keep 3,000 tailgating Dawg fans well-fed, entertained, and not come close to running out of beverages (fermented or otherwise), you’ve done an exceptional job. Our hosts and everyone involved in the event were prepared, efficient, and professional. Even with a 1-3 team coming to town, the Colorado Dawgs still had an enthusiasm about and pride for their University and their current home that should be a model for any Georgia alumni group.

While we’re talking about fans, I was impressed with the spirit of fans of both teams. Colorado has suffered through several seasons worth of what Georgia is getting, but they (eventually) just about filled their stadium with a good crowd. Their cheers were loud and coordinated whether filled with profanity or not. It’s too bad that I can confirm vineyarddawg isn’t exaggerating the problems with individual Colorado fans. Anyway, the unusual proximity of the seats to the field made the smaller but vocal crowd very effective. What can you say about the Georgia fans? They made a surprisingly good showing for a team off to a 1-3 start (more on the “yeah, but” of that in a second) and made just about as big of an impact on Boulder as they made on Tempe two years ago.

The Georgia fans are already part of the story for the Tennessee game. After consecutive losses to ranked teams earlier in the year, fans could coax out a halfhearted pat on the back. It was still early, the defense was still new, and Murray was still a freshman. Is it fair to say that a lot has happened since the last home game?

The Senator is right to be concerned about how things could turn. Richt’s worry shouldn’t be with the ugly minority that have mocked him and his personality for years. The problem is that he’s losing the rest of the fans. That displeasure won’t manifest itself with ugly message board posts or confrontational call-in shows. Many will just stay home. The disappointment and apathy is already having an impact in Athens. If the crowd for the Tennessee game doesn’t tell the tale, wait for Homecoming. I don’t know how many people I ran into in Colorado who lamented that the trip was already paid for, so why not go?

It would be different if Richt were some jerk that we never liked anyway. Even Jim Donnan was abrasive enough for some to make evaluating his career a lot less of a personal and emotional task. Other than that minority Richt talks about, most of us really want him to succeed and remain at Georgia as long as he likes. So after the initial anger over some of these losses subsides, there’s just a sadness and regret that it’s not working out.

Tony Barnhart is spot on in the observation that it’s to the point that “the team needs to lift its fans.” Most still want Richt to succeed. He’s good for the school in so many ways. A man whose faith is such a part of his character finds himself in the center of a crisis of faith of a different sort. One game won’t end that crisis, but those holding on to some hope that Richt is the man to turn this around need something.

One Response to 'I guess we can talk about it now'

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  • I guess that is what really turns my stomach. Richt and some sports radio analysts think that only the “lunatic fringe” think that their are problems or that a drastic change is needed. Richt only need to look behind him in the stands and hear the Dawg Nation’s discontent on Saturday if we do not execute and play solid football. Enough is enough…sad but true.