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UGA’s Richt Doesn’t Show It If The Media Gets Under His Skin

This weekend, Mark Richt will take his #5 Georgia Bulldogs into Columbia (East) to face Steve Spurrier’s #6 South Carolina Gamecocks.  Like Spurrier — or any other coach — Richt has suffered his share of ridicule and second-guessing.  He’s even had to deal with columnists and radio hosts who Dawg fans are certain want to have the man’s job and destroy UGA’s football program.

The difference between Richt and Spurrier?  Richt doesn’t refuse to answer questions from all media members if he’s upset with just one of them and he rarely even let’s anyone know when he’s upset at all.  As we suggested last week with regards to the ongoing Spurrier-Ron Morris feud in the Palmetto State, it’d probably be best for Spurrier to have a behind-closed-doors talk with his nemesis rather than take things out on every reporter trying to cover his team.

Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — ironically he’s one of the columnists who many Georgia fans believe wants Richt’s head on a plate — compares Richt’s personality with Spurrier’s in his latest column.  It’s an interesting piece and my colleague Mike Mitchell posted it in today’s headlines as well.

But I wanted to give a bit more emphasis here on the homepage to Richt’s own words:

 

“I don’t think I’m totally Teflon, but there’s not much anybody can say that can get me bent out of shape…

I know that most most criticism is pointed toward the coach, not necessarily the person.  If I’ve ever felt something became more of a personal attack, there have been times when I’ve talked to people privately.  Or if a guy beats up on a player more than I think he should, I’ll get sensitive about that once in a while.  But in the grand scheme of things, it’s still momentary light affliction, like Apostle Paul talks about.  It doesn’t last.

I know when my wife had cervical cancer, if that doesn’t put life in perspective, what does?  There are just thing bigger than whether I’m the head coach at Georgia, or whether anybody thinks I’m smart or not smart, or a good coach or a bad coach.  I know I’ve got a job to do, and I want to know that the process I go through in that job is one I can live with when I go to sleep at night…

When somebody critiques me, I try to filter the information, regardless of whether I think the person is mean-spirited or sweet-spirited, because the guy might be right.  I may not give him credit from a pride standpoint, but sometimes there’s validity to it.”

 

Schultz suggests Spurrier could learn a lot from Richt.  I think he could, too.

In fact, reading Richt’s words I just realized that I’m a heckuva lot more like Spurrier in my work life than I am Richt.  When insults or accusations of being a fan of this team, a fan of that team, or just plain stupid roll in via comment boxes and emails, I get ticked.  This is a free site after all.  If you want to present a different point of view in a calm, cool way… have at it.  But when the barbs and shots begin to fly, well, I tend to return fire in-kind.  I need to work on that (though it sure feels better just to give as I get).

South Carolina’s coach has lived his life one way for nearly 70 years and he’s had a lot of success.  I don’t expect him to be moved by anything another coach says… if he even hears about it.  Heck, he’ll probably just take another shot at Richt and Georgia over their number of suspended players.  That’s Spurrier’s way.

But I’m at least going to try to remember Richt’s comments and handle my own business a bit more coolly.

(At least until the next guy calls me a Bama/Auburn/Ole Miss/Mississippi State/Tennessee/Kentucky/Georgia etc, etc, etc fan.)

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Muschamp Guarantees A Gator Win Over Georgia

Florida coach Will Muschamp was in Atlanta last night speaking to a Gator booster club.  When asked by a female Florida fan if he could “guarantee Florida will win” over Georgia this year, the Peach State native and former Bulldog player said, “I certainly can.”

According to Jeff Schultz of The AJC who was in attendance, Muschamp then told the crowd that that quote would no doubt appear in press courtesy of Mr. Schultz.

Many Dawg fans will no doubt view Muschamp as a traitor — as Schultz points out — but in reality, Muschamp wasn’t offered the job at his alma mater… he was offered one of the prime gigs in all of sports and that job just happens to put him in the same division with his alma mater.

“I’m loyal to who signs my checks,” the coach has said.  “All of that other stuff, I don’t get into.  In our profession you’re loyal to the people you work for.  I’ll do the best job I can for the Gator nation.”

Nothing wrong with that.  After all, you might remember that legendary Dawg coach Vince Dooley was himself an Auburn man before arriving in Athens.

You’re only a traitor when you leave my team for some other team.  If you turn your back on some other bunch in order to join in with my guys?  Well, that’s A-OK.

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More Cam Newton Headlines

1.  Attorney Donald Jackson — long an NCAA fighter — says the Cam Newton ruling shows that the NCAA “determined that a solicitation alone is not a violation that rises to the level that affects an athlete’s eligibility.”

2.  Months of madness ended with a whimper.

3.  This writer believes the timing of the Newton announcement was all a push to turn the focus to the SEC’s title game.  (Again, think of Mike Slive’s influence.)

4.  Newton is now ready to finish his season…

5.  But the investigation is ongoing.

6.  And apparently things could change at any moment.

(Before someone screams about anti-Auburn bias, those last two links are to The Opelika-Auburn News.)

7.  The NCAA made short work of a sticky situation.
 
8.  This writer expects someone to abuse “the-Dad-knew-but-the-kid-didn’t-loophole.”

9.  Mississippi State’s Scott Stricklin sent Kenny Rogers a letter letting him know just how disassociated he was from his alma mater.  (Rogers’ lawyer points out this client never asked for money, he simply passed along a message from Cecil Newton.)

10.  The NCAA’s ruling included the very important words: “at this time.”

11.  This writer says the NCAA is 100% right and everyone else is completely off-base.  (Tiger fans… send bouquets to Jeff Schultz, c/o The Atlanta Journal Constitution.)

12.  Could the NCAA’s ruling on Newton be right… for the wrong reasons?

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SEC: ESPN projects Kentucky in the Liberty Bowl

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

SEC links for Monday:

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More Choke Talk, Less Chalk Talk

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham spoke last night about the choke sign he showed to Florida’s Chas Henry before Florida’s game-winning field goal on Saturday.

“As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment.  I wish the situation hadn’t happened.  It was a tough, hard-fought game.  They won it, and I’m ready to move forward and finish out the year strong.”

When asked if he felt like he needed to apologize to Florida’s kicker, Grantham said, “I’ve kind of basically said what I’m going to say.”

Should he have apologized?  Yes.  And there is a difference between saying “I wish it hadn’t happened” and “I’m sorry I did it.”  But I still don’t believe this to be the greatest sin ever committed on a college football field.  Which apparently puts me in the minority.

Jeff Schultz of The AJC says Grantham’s actions were flat-out wrong:


“It’s over the line.  It’s not even a close call.”


Yes, it was wrong.  But what should the punishment be?  Hanging?  Stoning?  Personally, I’ve always been partial to the Iron Maiden.

Tony Barnhart, also of The AJC, has an opinion about punishments:


“… if I’m in charge at Georgia, three things would happen today:

**- Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be informed that he’ll be watching Saturday’s game with Idaho State from somewhere other than Sanford Stadium.

**- His wallet will also be considerably lighter because I’m taking a sizable chunk of his $750,000 salary.

**- He would know, in no uncertain terms, that if he ever repeated the behavior in question again and it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, he would be fired on the spot.”


There’s more…


“But before Mr. Grantham moves on he is going to apologize to Chas Henry and apologize to the University of Florida.  Then he’s going to apologize to the University of Georgia for embarrassing the institution on a national stage.

“Then he will accept a one-game suspension and a fine and keep his mouth shut.”


Wow.  No one respects the opinion of Barnhart more than me, but a “sizable” fine and a suspension for a gesture?  To be honest, I did a double-take when I read the headline of his latest piece. 

Sure, Grantham has brought some embarrassment to Georgia over his choke sign, but that’s partially due to our own tendency to overreact to anything and everything.

FOR MORE ON THIS ISSUE…
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UGA’s Grantham Appears To Give UF’s Henry The Choke Sign Before Game-Winning Field Goal

With punter-turned-kicker Chas Henry waiting through an “ice the kicker” timeout on Saturday, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham appeared to give Florida’s player the international sign for “choke.”

Florida fans are forwarding video captures of the overtime gestures to various media outlets.  (Including this one).  Jeff Schultz of The AJC has been trying to track down Grantham or Mark Richt for a comment on the coach’s gesture.  (You can click the headline of this story to see the photo at full size.)

Is this an end of the world thing?  No.  But it’s not exactly a positive either.  Suffice to say, it’s rare for a 44-year-old man to give the choke sign to a 21-year-old kid.

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Richt Channels Shakespeare in Pregame Speech

Georgia
Content provided by Dawg Sports.

In the spirit of Henry V.

 

JEFF SCHULTZ

 

Oh that we now had here

But one of those hundreds of other men,

Who signed with another school than UGA.

 

MARK RICHT

What’s he that wishes so?

That hack Jeff Schultz? No, my fellow Dawgs,

If we are chosen to lose, its happened enough

To do our alma mater loss; but if to win

The fewer men, the greater share of honor.

Uga’s Will! I pray thee, wish not one loss more.

By Dawg, I am not covetous of crystal footballs,

Nor care I who does gloat upon my choice.

It bothers me not if fans my colors wear;

Such fair-weather things matter not in my desires.

But if it be a sin to covet those wins,

I am the most offending soul alive.

No, my team, wish no other man here from Georgia.

Uga’s Peace! I would not risk so great an honor

As a single loss more would take from me

For the title hope we have.  Oh I cannot take one more.

Rather, let it be known, throughout this locker room

That he who does not wish to play,

Let him go, and watch in Athens with a beer.

I’ll buy his first round, to get him out of here;

We will not play in that man’s company

As he is scared to fight alongside us.

Today is the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party!

He who goes onto that field, and returns in triumph

Will proudly stand when this day remembered

And rise upon mention of the Cocktail Party.

He that shall play upon this field, and return

To the foothills of the Nor’east Georgia Mounts

Will yearly on the day before this day

Proclaim this very Cocktail Party.

And then he will take his unsold jersey

And say, I wore this in that very game.

Some men forget, as we all forget

But you all will remember every detail of every play.

And as the Cocktails are poured, in preparation

Of the next Party, our names will be invoked again:

Richt the Coach, Murray and Green,

Houston and Boykin, Sturdivant and Munzenmaier.

Bulldawgs will tell their kids this story

Of this Cocktail Party, when the streak reversed.

And we in it shall be remembered.

We few, we happy few, we band of Bulldawgs;

For he today, that plays with his heart

Shall forever be a member of this team.

This day will memorialize you men.

And those who chose another school

Shall curse themselves for not being here,

And listen with regret the tales of what

Will happen at this W-L-O-C-P!


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