June 23rd, 2011 12:01 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Georgia
Tags: Georgia, Honduras, Lake Burton, Vince Dooley
Mark Richt is on the hot seat at Georgia. Define that however you like, but if Richt has a bad season this year, his goose could well be cooked in Athens. That fact stated, Will Newton of ChuckOliver.net thinks Richt’s tenure with Georgia could eventually come to a close because the coach wants out… not because UGA fans and officials may come to want him out:
“First off, I want to say that Richt is definitely a first class individual, one of the better men you will find in college football. He is a very spiritual man that does his best to give back to communities far and wide. For instance, he and his wife are currently in Honduras doing charity work for impoverished people in the area. He’s made it know that he would like to spend more time doing mission work and that is a tremendous act of kindness on his part. But that makes me wonder. I haven’t heard any news of Nick Saban or Will Muschamp taking any trips out of the country to do mission work. With the schedule Saban keeps, he may not even allow himself leisure time to venture over to his lovely home on Lake Burton for a short weekend. Much less take time to do mission work. Just a quick beer over at The Houndstooth in T-Town after work may be the only time off that he gives himself. But that’s what it takes to win these days. And that’s not such a good thing.
Just this very notion to me would be very displeasing to a guy like Mark Richt, who cherishes the time he spends in his off field endeavors doing good things for others.
Now I’m not meaning to sound harsh or short-sighted, but in what is now the cutthroat world of college football, the head coach’s gig is a twenty-four-seven, three-hundred-and-sixty-five-day-a-year job. IF you want to win. There is no time to be a good human being anymore, only a good coach. It’s sad but true. Richt has his priorities where any man should have them but unfortunately, other guys that he has to compete with don’t share his beliefs on time management. They eliminate their time to spend being a good person and use it to watch film on LSU. Their wives and children forget what they look like but that gives them more time to scheme against Marcus Lattimore. Coaches have to sacrifice so much in order to win and that may be starting to bother Richt, who is very family-oriented and very faithfully driven. It may bother him enough to start eyeing the door.”
I don’t know Will Newton and I may agree with him on 99% of all other topics, but on this one, I think he’s so far off base Walter Johnson could pick him off. And Walter Johnson’s been dead since 1946.
First, if fans now expect their coaches to work without vacations, then we’ve become even more unreasonable than I’d already come to believe. The idea that a man can’t take a couple of weeks away from the office is ridiculous, unfair and quite frankly it’s also insulting to the coach and his family.
Second, coaches across the country do take time off. Saban does go to Lake Burton. Coaches travel to visit US soldiers overseas. They take part in charity golf tournaments and motorcycle rides. They tape silly videos for ESPN. And, yes, some of them do take part in mission work. God bless ‘em.
Third, ideas like this are nothing more than a by-product of wall-to-wall media. And, yes, this website is part of the problem. The more you want to know, the more folks like us try to bring you information. Thirty-five years ago, Georgia fans would have opened up their local sports page, read one story — if that — about Dawg football and then gone on about their day. No ESPN. No talk radio. No websites. No messageboards. No one could whine about Vince Dooley leaving his office early because no one was there to photograph him with their cellphone.
The coaching profession may be cutthroat but it’s not a prison sentence. If Richt decides to hang up his whistle because he grows tired of fans and media saying he shouldn’t take a day off, then good for him. In fact, if I were him, I’d tell a few of us in the media and in his fanbase just exactly what we could do with that whistle.
But Richt’s a much better man than me.
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