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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Links (9-24)

Here are two comments that I got regarding my post yesterday with comments and quotes from Willie Martinez.

The first, from an anonymous commenter: "You ask Willie what time it is and he tells you how to build a watch."

The second, from Willie Martinez, himself (or at least a commenter surreptitiously suggesting he is Coach Willie): "Reading these comments makes me realize how horrible I've been to you great fans. From now on, you're the first to know what I'm thinking and what we're going to do to "get butter". So here goes..

"On the first play of the game, we're putting eight in the box to stuff the run. Next we're going to bring Boykin from the blindside. Then we're going to rush our DTs and Curran and drop CW and Houston into the passing lanes. And I'm putting a freshman in whenever an upperclassmen does something wrong. Change and punishment are paramount even if those guys don't get it done in practice.

"Should I keep going? I didn't realize that y'all wanted to know all of the details of my gameplan. I guess it could hurt if I make specific adjustments public but screw it - the only important thing is that you guys believe in me! Go Dawgs!"

These two comments pretty much sum up the feelings of everyone I've heard from regarding that post. Both have a point.

(By the way, regarding the fake Willie, I really wanted to make an Abe Frohman joke, but I'm low on coffee-fueled creativity today.)

I think some fans expect too much. Coaches aren't going to shell out their game plan and Mark Richt is not going to call out his assistants in the media. You're all better off to just stop waiting for it. It isn't going to happen, and there's probably a good argument to be made that it shouldn't happen.

But I do think the coaches might benefit from giving fans a little more credit. We all have a tendency (us in the media, the coaches, the players and the other fans) to get caught up in the most partisan of comments and reaction, and we tend to paint with a broad brush assuming most fans react the same way. It's not true.

The majority of fans are reasonable people who have a strong understanding of the game of football, and talking down to them, ignoring the obvious, patronizing them or tossing aside their concerns as uneducated serves no purpose. If you're going to talk to the media (and in turn, the fans) at all, why not give them some realistic assessments?

I would never suggest Willie or Richt or any of the coaches turn into message board posters themselves, but look at the way Mike Bobo handled the offensive controversy following Week 1. He took responsibility. He said the offense played too conservatively, didn't diversify its game plan, and didn't work hard enough to get the ball in A.J. Green's hands. Those aren't detailed replies, but it acknowledges he knew what the problems were.

What happened? Well, Bobo did exactly what he said, and fans generally respected him for it.

Willie and Richt meanwhile? It's been a lot of generalizations and "we've just got to execute."

Hey, that's true. They do need to execute. But I think a lot of the vitriol from fans could be eliminated if they had a little more confidence that their coaches were addressing the problems more deeply than that (which, by the way, I have no doubt they are).

Anyway, that's my PR advice for the week. Now, on to some links...

-- I have a story in today's Telegraph looking at how Brandon Boykin -- the youngest member of Georgia's secondary -- had dealt with his first bad game.

-- I had a story yesterday on punter Drew Butler, who is building on his family's legacy during his first year starting at Georgia.

-- Ron Higgins has some interesting suggestions on revising the SEC schedule, but he also notes that Butler is on pace for the best season by a punter in conference history.

(UPDATE: Sorry for the broken link on the Higgins story. Here's the real link. Also, Higgins has another notebook about Richt and the Georgia D if you're interested in checking that out.)

-- Glory Glory takes a step further in the analysis of the defense and hopes to figure out why there hasn't been much of a pass rush. This is a must-read.

-- has a really nice story on former Georgia defensive end Michael Lemon, who has turned his life around and is finding success on the field for NC State this season. As objective as I try to be, I'll happily admit that I've been pulling for Lemon. He's a great kid who has overcome more in his life already than any of us should ever have to.

-- David Paschall has some more info on the Bulldogs' defensive woes. Here's what I think is pretty damning: Rennie Curran chalks it up to a need to play better "assignment football." Isn't this all that we talked about for the final six weeks of last season? We need to start some sort of "assignment football" drinking game, where every time it appears in a player quote, we all have to do a shot.

-- If this doesn't embarrass you about what happened following the South Carolina game, I don't know what will.

-- While I got some insight on ASU from beat writer Jeff Metcalfe, Catfish & Cornbread share some thoughts on Georgia with Pitchfork Nation.

-- If trends continue, this should be an easy one for the Bulldogs.

-- Paul Westerdawg chimes in with his two cents on the Georgia-Florida game staying in Jacksonville, and I'm pretty much in agreement with everything he says.

-- Bleacher Report gives props to Orson Charles, who is becoming a force on Georgia's offense.

-- I think I'm going to like this new feature at Dawg Sports, and Macon Dawg can now officially add "excellent ability to multitask" to his resume.

-- Chris Low thinks the Dawgs win pretty easily against Arizona State this weekend.

-- wonders if the NCAA gives harsher penalties to the smaller schools for violations. (h/t Jim)

-- Auburn's Trooper Taylor is in some trouble after allegedly dropping the N-bomb during on the sideline during last week's game.

-- Todd McShay says Tennessee added further evidence that Tim Tebow is not going to make it as an NFL quarterback.

-- Ladies and gentlemen, Milton Bradley -- the Mitch Mustain of Major League Baseball.

-- Just when you think Sean Salisbury is out of your life forever...

-- According to Screech, there's little chance Zack Morris will be voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame now.

-- I'm looking forward to tonight's episode of "The Office," and I'm heartened that the cast doesn't see this season shaping up as a year about Jim & Pam's baby.

-- And finally, this should be a fine end to your day: A photo gallery of the winners of the World Beard and Mustache Championships.


Drew said...

Speaking of the Office, did you check out Modern Family last night? Holy hell was that funny. Fantastic new show in it's premiere.

Silver Dawg said...

Your analysis of the Martinez situation is on-target, Sir David.

The DogNation, by and large, is a group of very, very knowledgeable football fans, as it the case with most SEC schools and their fan. And we take pride in that knowledge.

And, there is the crux of the problem..

We don't see happening what obviously needs to be happening. Bobo's efforts and media offerings is a case in point of WHAT, WHEN AND HOW TO TURN A BAD SITUATION. Kudos to Bobo.

I do NOT see the same qualities of communication with the fan base from Martinez. So, I can only assume communication issues are at play to some degree with the team itself.

And, that, dear friends, is a problem. Could be THE PROBLEM.

Some problems are never solved. Some problems are just retired to the "marked down for quick sale" bin.

I consider this a fire sale that is in the making. There's plenty of smoke (to mix metaphors). Could be a raging inferno soon.

I will not call 911.

meat said...

Speaking of the Office, did you see Community after it next week with Joel McHale and Chevy Chase? It was pretty funny I'm looking forward to tonight. I didn't see Modern Family I'll try and watch it online.

Anonymous said...

David Hale is one of the lemmings. No he's a leading lemming. This way lemmings!

masivatack said...

Wille Martinez - The Burnt Toast King Of Athens

Willie (really!) said...

David - thanks for giving my remarks more attention. Please realize that I'm a football coach first and foremost. One of my issues is the inability to show any vulnerability publicly (it's a fairly common affliction - as seen with most sportswriters inability to ever admit they're wrong --- oops, did I say that out loud).

Comments like yours help me to realize that a periodic "mea culpa" will help others to perceive me differently. As a result, I promise I'll try harder to agree with those that lambaste me in the media and blog commentaries.

Here's my first attempt: You're all correct... I suck...we're making changes!