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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I was just sitting here at Butts-Mehre chatting with another one of the writers and said the following:

"You know, I don't care whether Georgia wins or loses, but even I'm just overwhelmed by all the negativity at this point. It's just smothering."

Then I click over through my email less than a minute later and get this comment (not surprisingly, posted anonymously):

"David - you are such a 'glass half-empty' guy. Negativity drips from every word you write lately. Why don't you spend some time looking at positives? This blog has been reduced to a vent session, with you providing the fodder, and countless pissed Dawgs calling for the firing of the greatest coach we've ever had."

Two things:

1.) Please CLICK HERE. That was posted four days ago. Or CLICK HERE. That was posted over the summer.

2.) Your team just got blown out by a previously winless team in the SEC coached by the youngest (and at times, most obnoxious) coach in the SEC.

What am I supposed to write about?

My job is to be objective and analytical. At no point during this season or last have I called for a coach to be fired. In fact, I have routinely defended a number of them, including as recently as two weeks ago when I posted about the strong adjustments the stats seem to indicate Willie Martinez makes during the games. I have defended Joe Cox to the point of being called "too close to the program to be objective."

I know I'm probably speaking to the minority of people who read this blog, because the vast majority are pretty even-keeled people with a semblance of perspective, but I think there's also a fair number of folks who could take a valuable lesson from Mark Richt.

When the fervor for knee-jerk reactions and over-the-top statements is at its zenith, that's the best time for you to take a step back and regain some composure.

All is not well in Athens right now. All is not lost either. But blindly assuming players need to be benched or coaches need to be fired is silly. Blindly assuming we should ignore the problems is silly, too.

Last month, this blog had more page views by a long shot than it ever had before. That's a sign of the passion of Georgia fans (and, I hope, that I'm doing something right with the content). But as more and more passionate fans visit, and more and more of them comment, there's bound to be some negative things said, some things written that I don't agree with or that you don't agree with. The beauty of the Internet is that it is the ultimate form of free speech.

But please believe me when I tell you -- we all want the same thing here. You want information and analysis of your team, and I want to provide it for you. I have no agenda. I'm not trying to get a coach fired or keep a player in the starting lineup when he doesn't belong. I'm simply passing along the best information I can to you. At the same time, I'll pass along any other information I see that is relevant that another journalist has found.

My job is to keep you informed. If you don't like the information, you're welcome to read something else.

Your job is to remain as passionate about your team as ever. If you want to comment and share your thoughts, I welcome that, and I assure you, I read every one of them.

But please remember, we're not enemies here. We're all on the same side. I want you to be informed and passionate fans. You want to be passionate about your team. The coaches and players are all working hard, despite what the final results may show, to ensure your passion is repaid.

Everything else is simply fodder for debate, but not an excuse to be ignorant.

ADDENDUM: I didn't mean to fish for compliments with this post, although I certainly do appreciate the kind words. I simply meant it as a reminder that, for the sake of all of our mental health, maybe put down the pitchforks a bit and let's try to be a little more rational in our analysis and a little more focused in our passion. One of the things I've truly enjoyed about this blog is that the vast majority of comments have fit under the umbrella of common sense. That gets harder to do in times like this, but I'd like to think we can all make it happen.

27 comments:

wes said...

David, some people have just got to pick on someone. You are a GREAT writter and my only daily read. I look forward to your views and insight. F the people who just want to be lil girls and whine. You may not be a dawg but you are a DGW.

Anonymous said...

David, Ignore the turkey. He probably gets his news from the mainstream media and does not know what real analysis and investigation is. Which of course means if you want a job at CBS you have to dumb down and go along to get along.

CAJDAWG said...

I agree with your comments.

I will have to say, I have about had it with the "lollipops-bubbles-clowns-the-glass-is-always-half-filled" crowd. At the end of the UGA call-in show on Saturday, the host said "Thank you for all your calls, those of your that expressed frustation with the game and those of you that called in and love the Bulldogs."

I am mad as hell and want to see coordinator changes at year end, because I love the Bulldogs.

Steve B said...

David,

I couldn't agree with you more. Before coming across your blog by sheer luck (The link on Ching's old site) I had never visited a blog of any kind. What has now become the daily ritual of waiting for updates, one that I'm sure my HR department is increasingly becoming aware of, is made so enjoyable purely because of your objective reporting, in-depth stats and overall perspective on the team that we all love.

I know you've covered this topic before but it might be helpful to remind some of the non-Georgia graduates (who BTW yell the loudest) of the alternatives we face. How quickly people forget the late 1980s / entire 1990s.

To quote Rick Pitino (of course only the non-restaurant ones) Brian Van Gorder isn't walking through those doors. Will Muschamp isn't walking through those doors.

What are our alternatives? Fire Willie at the expense of Gardner? Replace Willie with Gardner? While I agree Willie may not be the guy this team needs now, there's a reason Coach Gardner hasn't landed a DC job elsewhere.

Every action has a reaction and its best to remind people of that before they get too far ahead of themselves.

Don't let the crazies get you down. Keep doing what you're doing.

NCDawg said...

First, this is a rebuilding year. We all knew it was a rebuilding year. And no matter how much we hoped that Georgia would be Cinderella 2009, we still knew it was a rebuilding year. Anyone who says otherwise is either a fool or a liar. I claim to be a little of both.
Second, David you have the best Bulldog blog, period. I don't even go to other blogs without using the links on your site.
Third, Freud said to change behavior requires a significant emotional experience. Well, welcome to our significant emotional experience SEC style. You don't fire staff midseason and throw your program into turmoil, especially if you want to bring in a star. But Richt's comments in his radio interview are as direct a taking to the wood shed of his coordinators as any professional coach will publically give. Change will come, either this year with the current staff, or next year with an updated staff.

Anonymous said...

David,

Towing the company line is one of the main reasons why traditional media outlets are in a dying industry and interactive media outlets are expanding.

You get it.

- Tom

Ally said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ally said...

David, you gotta quit worrying about what delusional fans think-for your own sanity. Anyone with half a brain would not ever associate the words "negative" with your articles a/b the Dawgs.

Its obvious you're objective, but at the same time we've never had a beat writer that consistently hopes for the best in our football program, hell with all UGA sports for that matter.

If anything you're a straight-shooter that always approaches our team with a great deal of class, professionalism, and diplomacy.

Ignore the morons and know the VAST majority (and i'm talkin 99.9%) of fans are extremely grateful for all your hard work.

chuckrobertsii said...

David,

I have been reading your blog since the start of fall camp. I came across a link somewhere else (can't remember), and since then I check your blog 3-4 times a day for updates. This blog is practically my only read to follow the 'Dawgs.

I have to say your blog is FAR from negative. You give us information, and the numbers to back it up. You give us your opinion, which I feel is as neutral as it can get. If anything I feel your being supportive of the coaches and players. Fact is, you get a lot closer to the program than most people who read this blog, so we come to this site to read what information/opinions you have. Like you said, if you don't like what you read go somewhere else. The AJC, and the Dawgvent is full of negativity. I appreciate your fairness in your writing.

We have the right guy at the top. Now more than ever we need to back CMR and the team. He has earned the right. I trust he'll make the changes needed at seasons end. I was at the game Saturday, and sure we didn't look like a very good football team. Was it fun to watch? NO! If it's not fun for us (fans) it's surely not fun for the team/coaches. It's not CMR style to tell everybody that he's benching player A for player B, or Coach A for Coach B. What would that accomplish? We're GEORGIA! We'll be fine with CMR leading the way. A great leader has to trust the people under him, and be the first one to take up for his people when times are tough. That's exactly what he's doing. And, when the time comes, make the changes needed.

P.S.-David, I followed your link and signed up for the Nuci Space run. Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it may be a bad idea to change OC AND DC in mid year but as head coach CMR should become more involved especially on game day. And please don't take the easy way and hire from present staff. CMR is not an open emotional guy. But he does scold the refs from time to time. Share this same time to time passion with your coaches and players. Celebrate the good, address the bad right then, we need corrections made during the game not a week later.
Also put our best players on the field and leave them. Give them a rest only when they are wided and need it. We can't develop a flow, chemistry or get into a zone because we are in and out so much and hardly ever play on the field with the same guys long enough to know to expect from each other.

Anonymous said...

David - If it gets real bad you can just stop blogging about the Dawgs and focus 100% on pop culture. I would keep reading just as much.

Army Dawg said...

David,

keep doing what you are doing...as a coach I know and respect often says you can't feel too good about yourself when things are going well and you can't get too down on yourself when things are going bad...or is it things aren't as good as they seem when you win and they are not as bad as they seem when you lose...

Anyway, even the most ardent Richt supporter and fan of the Dawgs like me knows things just ain't right at UGA right now. However, unlike the fire somebody now crowd I have supreme confidence that Richt will make the changes necessary to get things back on track. History indicates that he will do this but he won't do it without giving everyone affected an opportunity to turn things around. It is kind of like a player that gets in trouble. Richt ususally don't run off kids the first time they get in trouble but keep getting in trouble and you will probably find yourself at GMC or some other junior college trying to get your act together. I think he is giving his coaches that same opportunity and if they don't turn it around they may be coaching at junior colleges next year too.

Keep up the good work, you are my first source for all things Georgia football and your objective analysis is the reason why I come here every day.

Will Q said...

Whoever posted that comment has NOT been reading your blog for long, or if he or she has, hasn't really been paying attention to what you've been writing.

WiseDawg said...

David...I believe you call it the way you see it, and your analysis is right on neither swaying too positive or too negative. A little dose of each.

I have not jumped on the fire Bobo bandwagon. If you read all of the negative comments about the offense (O-line that can't block, running backs that can't run, a quarterback that can't throw). If all of these negative comments are true, then dawg fans tell me the page in Bobo's playbook that calls for O-line not to block, a RB back not to run, and QB not to throw? I'm sure Bobo has looked for that page and can't find it.

I'm not on the fire Martinez bandwagon either. In my opinion, the defense has been killed by poor special teams play, a horrific turnover margin by the offense, inexcusable team penalties, poor tackling, and extremely poor decisions and execution by the safeties (Miller, Evans, and Jones). When the safeties get burned as bad as they have been burned (dating back to the GA Tech game last season), it's just hard for me to blame Martinez for the safeties poor execution and decision making. Tackling is fundamental and D1 players are expected to tackle.

The season is not lost. CMR will right the ship. It may not be the way you or me would right the ship, but it will be righted nonetheless. This CMR's 9th season at UGA, and he is due a mulligan in my scorebook. Go Dawgs!

gemstones4us said...

Ooooh David, it really bothered you didn't it?

You have the best blog on Georgia football. Everyone knows that. It's informative, realistic, luci and well thought out...but you already knew this.

It's just great to "hear" YOU rant about something.

gemstones4us said...

>>>>lucid<<<<

Anonymous said...

David you do great work!Your blog is the best amongst the few good ones out there.I wanted to know your thoughts on the lack of 5 star recruits under Richt.I think Richt has done an outstanding job at UGA inspite of only having 9 5 star recruits according to Rivals..FLA had 22,LSU 19 Tenn 17 I think it shows how good of a coach he is to have won more games than everybody except LSU.I know the 5 star player is not always good as advertised but there are few rated as such and a lot more hits than misses.I just wonder why we seem to sign so few in comparison to schools like Fla,LSU,Ala and Tenn.What's your take?

Anonymous said...

David,

You are the best beat writer since..... oh, what was his name......I can't remember....what was it......I don't remember the last guy that was the best.

Oh, you are the ONLY beat writer with an active blog.

So the pathetic news starved fans will serenade you with their praise until you are gone and the next scribe starts posting. The they'll fawn over the next guy to provide content.

You've been getting a lot of hits lately? Its because you post a lot of content. Good job at getting alot of content on the blog. Don't mistake it for acceptance of your constant crapping on the coach. (I know you have a favorable story from the summer)

Time will tell.

Btw, love your blog. You orange mother.

Paul said...

David,
All of your comments and answers to questions have been informative and very truthful. some bloggers just dont want to hear it. Thanks for all you do. The only thing I will say about the state of the program is that we have incredible resources, facilities, top-rated players and we have had stability for years and we are being overshadowed by coaches and programs that have had many obstacles to overcome along with coaching changes ( Alabama, LSU, Tenn, not to mention the team we all love in the sunshine state) I can live with 10-2 or 9-3 but we should never be a 7-5 team with everything we have been blessed with.

Chris said...

First, I like everyone else that has posted, love your work. I don't know what I would do without all the inside information (for free no less). I do feel anonymous's discontent with the overwhelming negative attitude had by all. I do feel like certain coaching positions should be replaced that have consistently had issues over the last three years, but I respect CMR greatly and want to believe that he will take the necessary steps come offseason. Until then, understand that he needs to keep steering the ship.

With respect to bringing in new blood and ideas, that hasn't helped on the offensive line. We have one of the best offensive line coaches and we have been dismall. Go figure.

I think some things and some people you can't coach. Remember when we had a few years recently of the dropsies. I thought we had a severe coaching problem to have the talent and still have the problem. Fast forward, and the last two years have been overwhelmingly amazing in that area (you will always have some bad games). And no, not just AJ. Everybody has been great.

The only thing I have seen that has no hope is the pass coverage.

bnwdog said...

David, Great as usual. You put my thoughts on paper so well. Additionally, you are the antithesis of Mr. Paul Fienbaumn who I am forced to listen to on my afternoon rides home from work down here in Columbus where the sports radio focuses on Bama and AU fans berating each other while Paul dismisses anything not Crimson as putrid stank, at the same time claiming not to be a BAMA HOMER! Sorry, unrelated I know, but needed to vent and thought you might appreciate something off subject. Glad you are providing us with the information we so desperately desire and not someone like the F-Baum!

The Watch Dawg said...

I know you're not fishing for comments David, but you're going to get them anyway. You are simply the best UGA beat writer out there. I follow your blog religiously and your twitter as well. There just isn't a more thorough and objective writer covering the Dawgs.

Some folks just don't get it though. I'm widely regarded by my friends as one of the biggest homers around. When we were playing ASU a few weeks back, I remember posting something to my facebook like "why can we not hold onto the freaking football?" Some chick then said I was a bad fan and that I criticized everything we do.

You just can't win with some people. Don't let it bother you.

The Real Texas Dawg said...

Richt is not the GREATEST coach we've ever had....Dooley, Butts and Russell are the best ever!

For the last time....it's Rodney Garner....that's G_A_R_N_E_R! Not Gardner...not Gardener...and not Gardenhier!

G...A...R...N...E....R.

I'm a pissed UGA fan! There is no positive....there is no bright spot and all hope is lost for 2009!

David...you are awesome and do a great job! Love your objectivity.

That70sGAdawg said...

Well written!

A "79 Grady School of Journalism, UGA Grad...

Anonymous said...

David,

Keep up the good work. Way to much talent on this team to let the coaches slide.

Doug said...

David,

I guess you need to write more stories about our punting. That's the only thing positive we've got right now.

Michael A said...

Sometimes it's okay to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy. It all depends on what's in the glass.

Great blog, David, as always.