Monday Morning Quarterback: How ‘Bout them Dawgs?

The saying, “a hit dog will holler,” has never been truer now that my Georgia Bulldogs have infamously done the opposite of Drake’s, “started from the bottom.” We started at the top, and now, with no ranking in any polls, we’re beneath the bottom. Undeniably, for those that love the Red & Black, these are the dog days of football season.

I, like the rest of Bulldog Nation, pegged us to make it to Pasadena and fight jowl and paw for what we believed would be rightfully ours — a BCS national championship win, a crystal ball and bragging rights after a 34 (sorry, Herschel)-year-long drought.

Georgia football 1

After opening our season with a loss to top-ranked Clemson, we were still hopeful. Our emotional victory over LSU had everyone – and I do mean every Dawg, including Coach Richt – in tears. Then there was Missouri after which we remained cautiously optimistic. And then (cue horror movie music) Vanderbilt. I mean, really? Vandy? Vanderbilt’s football program, traditionally, is so pathetic that everyone, even SEC East teams, are happy when they win.

Before I ask, “where do we go from here?,” let’s rightfully acknowledge how we got here. Most notably, injuries to difference-makers like Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, “Gurshall,” and Michael Bennett, a young, inexperienced defense, and egregious mistakes on special teams got us in this situation. That’s enough bad luck to turn your possible championship year into a rebuilding year in the snap of a ball.

But what about before this year?

Georgia Bulldog Injuries

“Gurshall” (Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, top left). Malcolm Mitchell, Scott-Wesley (bottom left) & Michael Bennett.

What about Stafford’s and Moreno’s last year when we started at the top and were favored to win it all but instead lost 3 games (including a loss to Georgia Tech)? What about last season when we were “one play away” from facing Notre Dame in the BCS title game? What about how, seemingly every season, when top ranked teams lose, we’re always a part of that losing bunch and rarely escape Upset Saturday unscathed? I’m just saying…

I bleed Red & Black all day, every single day. I spent the best 4 1/2 years of my life in Athens trekking up the hill at Brumby, gaining my Freshmen Fifteen at Snelling, praying for at least a C in Statistics then getting a B (yep, I’m still proud), dancing and choreographing for the Dance Dawgs, and twirling Between the Hedges as a drunk, obnoxious insanely proud majorette in the Redcoat Band. Not only did I fall more in love with football while at Georgia, but I learned a little more about Xs and Os than the layman on the street.

Fast times at UGA

2003-2004 University of Georgia majorettes at Clemson

As a fan and alumni, I now ask, “Where do we go from here?” What gets us back on track? More creative play-calling and less predictability? Stronger recruiting classes so that when we lose an experienced group to the draft, we’ve got talent to step in and step up? Though our season so far has been injury-plagued, what can we use as excuses for not exceeding or sometimes even meeting expectations for the several years leading up to this one? “It’s just the way the BCS pans out sometimes.” That’s one I’ve heard a lot.

I find it fascinating when fans say that those who’ve never coached or played football should keep their opinions to themselves. Really, now? Then I guess those who’ve never run for political office should forgo their right to vote in elections, those who’ve never recorded an album should not vote for their favorite American Idol contestant, and those who’ve never taken a Le Cordon Bleu course dare not complain when they don’t like how their food tastes at a restaurant.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, a coach, or a former player to recognize that someone needs to shake stuff up in Athens. And a shake-up doesn’t particularly mean a firing, but it does mean a change of some kind. The fans want it, our system needs it, and the right change, I’m confident, will get us over the hump and back to Glory Days.

In the hearts of Bulldog faithful, we believe that we’re not too far removed from those days, but in the polls and in reality, we’ve still got quite a ways to go.

One Comment

  1. Well said, Erica!!! Great article :) “Once a Dawgs, always a Dawg… How sweet it is!”

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