“The win-no-matter-what mentality does not interest me as a Georgia graduate.”

Sporting News catches up with a couple of old Dawg secondary legends, Terry Hoage and Scott Woerner, to ask them about the departure of so many newer members of the Georgia secondary.

As the header indicates, Hoage is something of a romantic purist…

“First of all, Georgia football will go on,” said Terry Hoage, a freshman on the Bulldogs’ 1980 national championship team and All-American in 1982-83. “Everyone is replaceable. I would rather see Georgia win fewer games and graduate quality people that will add to society. It is time for collegiate sports to move away from the professional farm system it has become.”

… and there’s nothing wrong with that.  He’s earned that perspective.  Although I’m guessing there’s a significant part of the fan base that doesn’t agree with it.  But where he speaks in generalities somewhat, it’s Woerner’s observation, more specific about today’s program, that’s telling.

“I think Coach (Mark) Richt has finally realized you can’t run a champion football team without character and discipline and he is trying to get horses back in the stable, but is finding it difficult to achieve,” said Scott Woerner, an All-American cornerback on the 1980 title team. He picked off two passes in the Sugar Bowl win against Notre Dame, including one late in the game that sealed the win and the Bulldogs’ championship. “The players today are very different from 30 years ago, but every generation says that I know I’ve heard it before. I do know that the players today would not have stayed at Georgia during our time. They would have never worked that hard in those conditions and facilities.”

It’s that “finally” in the first sentence that really hits.

I wonder how well Hoage and Woerner would be received – or, more accurately, how well their message would be received – if they were asked to come back and speak with this year’s group.  It’s a different world, no doubt.

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47 Comments

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47 responses to ““The win-no-matter-what mentality does not interest me as a Georgia graduate.”

  1. PTC DAWG

    Both DGD’s with a quality message.

  2. Spence

    I think it’s a convenient message that most older generations always say they worked harder, but these kids today work their ass off. I’d say they work harder than the old guard. There’s no summer vacation, and there’s year round practices that didn’t happen back when. That doesn’t count the weigh lifting they do, which is significantly more than back when. They do have less two-a-days.

    Yes, there’s a couple of kids that slack during practice and don’t pull their respective weight, but I have ZERO doubt that’s always been true of every team.

    Also, I look forward to being old and telling kids I commented on blogs a lot harder than they ever did.

    • I have to disagree, Spence. While you have a point that today’s kids go pretty much year round, a lot of our current roster, especially 7 months ago, would either quit or mutiny if they had to go through the Camp that 1980 team did.
      That will never happen, of course, because it’s illegal now. And has been for quite some time.

      But Woerner is right. Heck, our kids were beside themselves this Spring just from Pruitt’s up-tempo practices (and from what little I saw they weren’t bad). They had never seen anything like it.

      I can say this, I never saw a Vince Dooley team tire in the 4th quarter. Quite the contrary. The 4th quarter was our strength, where we wanted to be, with the game still close. When that happened, we usually won, because we were trained to finish. Conditioning was a given. Nobody was in better shape that we were, and most weren’t as well-conditioned.

      And nobody was tougher, mentally or physically. There was a reason Bloody Tuesday’s were so called.

      So when was the last time one of our current teams gave out in the 4th quarter? Or played soft (which has been one of our trademarks for some time)? We don’t have to go back very far at all.

      Pruitt is trying to get these kids to work like they’re supposed to, if they want to be champions. And it is something quite different for them. It also is part of the culture change that Pruitt is charged with (that also affects the whole team) and that Richt totally supports.
      ~~~

      • LorenzoDawgriquez
        • 1000
      • Irishdawg

        I’ve got to agree with this. College football players in the late 70s and early 80s went through utterly brutal practices. I played high school ball in the early 90s, and we our head coach one year wouldn’t let us drink water during practice. In South Georgia. I can’t imagine what a SEC teams’ practice was like.

        This isn’t the fault of today’s players, nor does it imply they aren’t just as tough. It’s just that college programs have gotten smarter about how they train their athletes. Military training is the same way; recruits got the shit beat out of them 30 years ago, not so now. But that doesn’t mean the guys in Afghanistan today aren’t just as tough as those we are celebrating in Normandy today.

      • Dog in Fla

        A vision has come before me. I can see it all now. CMR departs to become Slive’s replacement and do mission work in the Honduras sector of Birmingham. Jeremy is elevated before the other Jeremy hires him. Bobo’s pay is tripled to keep him. All our players are above-average and polite. And we become such a hard-ass unit that experts like Mr. CFB and Paul call us the Alabama of the SEC East.

      • Spence

        Yeah, mat drills are a piece of cake.

        I’ll say this… any single UGA team from the past 10 years (or any of the big boy SEC teams) would beat the shit out of any national champion from 1990 and before. They were just smaller (#34 excluded) back then. Todays players are bigger, stronger, faster, and it’s because they work like hell all year round, a marked change from how the old guard did it.

        Also, if Jake Scott was around today and pulled the shit he pulled, most of the readers here would call him a “thug” and say he needs to be kicked off the team.

        My point is just that this is all revisionist history to support a narrative that the older generation favors. Like they Senator says, they’ve earned an audience, but I don’t believe it for a second.

        • My point is just that this is all revisionist history to support a narrative that the older generation favors … but I don’t believe it for a second.

          Don’t believe it then. Continue on with your flawed paradigm and faulty analogies.

          I will say one thing: there has been no revisionist history on here that I’ve seen. From anybody. The pictures that have been painted here are accurate, and a matter of record. And they don’t require your consent.
          ~~~

          • DawgFaithful

            You don’t have to be a dbag bro.

            • Sorry you think I was. I had already addressed the point of comparing different eras, which can’t really be done. That was the “flawed paradigm” I referred to.

              I was accused of writing “revisionist history”, which is akin to making stuff up the way I want it to be. That’s a serious charge. I think it only fair, and right, that I respond to that, seeing how it is false.

              I tried to do it in a forthright manner, and could have been much incisive than I was. At the time, I considered my response restrained. Still do.
              ~~~

    • TomReagan

      For whatever it’s worth, Woerner is a high school teacher who’s around these kids every day while they’re in high school, so he’s not just talking out his ass. And, he also acknowledges that similar things are said about every generation.

      • Bob

        I buy into what Hoage and Woerner are saying for the most part. And until a couple of years ago I might have bought into that 4th quarter tiring stuff. But that has not been the case lately. Were we tiring in the last quarter against Clemson? Were we tiring when we rammed the ball down South Carolina and Florida in 8 minute time consuming drives to run out the clock? Were we tiring when we shredded Auburn in the 4th quarter or when we came back from 20 down to whip Tech? Hell, even against Nebraska we dominated the 4th quarter. Was this stuff true before Richt changed his strength and conditioning guys? Yep. It wasn’t remotely true last year.

        • Conditioning was much better last year, without question. Significantly better than it was the previous 5 years, let’s say. But the point stands.

          FWIW, Pruitt is talking about being in much better shape than we were even last year. And a whole lot tougher, mentally and physically. Yes, it’s been that bad.
          ~~~

      • Derek

        He’s an Elementary school teacher actually.

  3. reipar

    Those old Cane teams had tons of characters! lol

  4. McTyre

    I agree that my alma mater should win with character. Other alums – like my my season tix partner – or UGA fans believe we should play by the same rules (or lack thereof) as our rivals who have won a BCS title. The premise that we can’t win without cheating or treating players like chattel is false. I think the jury is still out on whether Richt can win with character because recent years have seen him lose his coaching edge (at least on D and ST) while allowing problem children to compromise the locker room. Guys were rightfully cast off for off-the-field infractions, but not held accountable as FB players. Give the new coaching blood a chance to win with character before we sell our souls to the devil like Auburn, UF, LSU and Bama have.

    • The premise that we can’t win without cheating or treating players like chattel is false.

      Without a doubt. False on it’s face.

      I think the jury is still out on whether Richt can win with character

      It hasn’t happened yet (well I guess it happened in 2002 and 2004), but there’s no doubt that it can. I’ve said it a thousand times over the last 8 years … we can run our program with integrity – doing what’s best for the kids, no cheating, no oversigning (or very little unintentional oversigning), good drug/alcohol policy, all that stuff – and still win our share of everything. And them some. We just have to be very efficient with everything we do, in order to negate the disadvantages we incur by doing things the right way.

      … because recent years have seen him lose his coaching edge (at least on D and ST) while allowing problem children to compromise the locker room. Guys were rightfully cast off for off-the-field infractions, but not held accountable as FB players. Give the new coaching blood a chance to win with character before we sell our souls to the devil like Auburn, UF, LSU and Bama have.

      That is certainly true. Everything you said is true. And like you said, Pruitt & Co. certainly deserve a chance to right the ship.

      As we’ve discussed before, Richt has wanted that for some time. He hired Grantham, in part, to do that, but it didn’t get done. I doubt Richt could have done it himself, without his DC front and center, since he’s an offensive coach. And Grantham wasn’t wired that way.

      It’s discipline and character, alright, but it’s as much about work as anything else. Our players (as a whole) simply haven’t been willing to pay the price other teams have, for many years now. Have we worked as hard this year, are we working as hard right now, will we work as hard this August, as Alabama? As FSU?

      If we could know, I’m pretty sure the answer would be .. no, we are not. Certainly not any harder. Pruitt has hinted at that, very subtlety, several times. I think that’s a key thing Pruitt is trying to get our players to buy into, that while we are working harder than we ever have, our competition is working just as hard or harder.

      That work ethic is not everything, by any means, but it’s a key part of the ongoing culture change. Other things are important, too. Key things. And as far as I can tell, they’re getting done, and that’s both different and exciting.

      Sorry about the phrase .. but it’s an ongoing process.
      ~~~

    • David K

      Just out of curiosity, who out there is competing for National Championships and is also living up to the character standards you’re talking about? Maybe Stanford is the only one I can think of. I don’t think the jury is out on whether Richt can “win with character” it’s whether anyone out there can.

  5. Bright Idea

    Old Scott knew how to have fun in his day and sometimes paid for it but it sure wasn’t because he felt entitled. He was a DGD and classmate to all.

  6. TEXAS DAWG

    If anyone wants to see how brutal it used to be, just read and or watch “The Junction Boys”. This was Bear Bryant’s first year at Texas A&M and it is a miracle that he didn’t kill a bunch of them due to heat stroke or dehydration. Not that we should treat players like that today, but I think most of them would think practices today are a cake walk.

  7. ripjdj

    I think Woerner ‘s comments and observations are directly related to and correlate with a comment that CMR made a couple years ago on his Bulldog Club speaking tour when he commented on having read and been influenced by “Energy Vampires”. The theme is that book was one or two bad apples in an organization suck all the energy out of an organization. This Coach is trying very hard to rid himself and his team old some entitled energy vampires. Keep doing it the right way Coach.

  8. Russ

    Sounds like Scott had been reading too much AJC. Does he think Richt would have suspended him for stealing and butchering that hog? Whether or not you agree with Richt’s methods, I don’t see how anyone can accuse him of being light on discipline.

    • Whether or not you agree with Richt’s methods, I don’t see how anyone can accuse him of being light on discipline.

      He absolutely is not. If anything, it leans the other way. I think Richt is better than anybody at it. And to me, the best description of his punishment is “just”.
      ~~~

      • What fresh hell is this?

        Agreed, he is not light on discipline, but I believe he is often perceived that way because he is not a mean SOB, or feared like Saban and others. I don’t believe it’s in CMR’s style, but if he were a little more feared and respected we might not have to get to the suspensions/expulsions.

  9. David K

    Must be all of the easier practices and lazy attitudes of today that keep making these kids faster and stronger then. Because today’s game would be a fucking whirlwind to Woerner and Hoage. Actually it wouldn’t because neither of them would get near a live SEC game today. Today’s kids are working out harder and continue to get better and better. The game is at a completely different level than it was in 1980. Today’s athletes deserve a lot of credit for getting as good as they are.

    • Gaskilldawg

      This 60 year old agrees with you. The 2013 team would have whipped the 1971 11~1 team and the 1976 SEC championship team. Sure would have beaten the 1980 team.

      • IMHO, Gaskill, I don’t think that’s fair. You can’t really compare teams from an era from 34 years ago, any more than you can compare the 1980 team to the 1942 team.

        The 1979 team would have beaten the 1942 team, and the 2010 team would have beaten the 1980 team. Players can’t help the era they grow up in.

        What you can presume, fairly I believe, is the players from those earlier championship teams, had they grown up in the respective era, would have kicked the arses of those losing teams. BAD.

        I’ll say it as long as I can speak in this present age .. there’s so much more to this game than just physical athletic ability. And that’s what you are trying to compare, apples to apples. It just can’t be done that way.
        ~~~

    • 1980s winners

      I’m confident that neither Hoage nor Woerner would have pulled a bonehead defensive play like those “different level” guys did in the Auburn game.

  10. Derek

    First, I agree wholeheartedly with terry hoage. I didn’t think I was the only one who felt that way. I hope to one day be basking in the glory of a national championship. My greater hope is that we’ll be able to say we did it the right way. Winning as a by product of cheating or compromising values is not winning at all in my opinion.

    As for woener’s statement I made that point a couple of days ago. If we are a no tolerance, no fun program we will become less attractive to certain recruits. You can’t just decide go “junction boys” and expect people to sign up for it unless you can show them that the sacrifice will lead to championships. Heretofore we’ve been able to contrast with bama to a certain degree by having a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere. The bottom line is that unless we start winning and quick expect diminished return in recruiting. Can we still compete with a 10 to 15th ranked class instead if a 8th to 3rd? That will have to been seen. The best thing to do is win games and quick.

  11. DawgPhan

    Dear lord please dont ever let me be one of these old farts who sits around and talks about how lazy kids are these days.

    And please tell me more stories about how your football coach in high school was a real dick and put dozen of lives in danger. Those are really great stories.

    It’s pretty pathetic.

    • Dog in Fla

      Let me tell you something

      “Part I: I’ll Tell You About Football”

      “A lot of coaches want to know how you motivate a football team, how you make winners out of chronic losers. In one way or another everything I’ve done most of my life has been wrapped up in that question, but if I knew I wouldn’t tell coaches that. I would tell them about my first season at Texas A&M. I never had a season like it. We lost nine games, and everybody was on us, and it was a matter of picking up the paper today and reading something a little bit nastier than what had been in there the day before. Talk about gut checks. We’d taken the team down to Junction to find out right off who the players were and who the quitters were, and the quitters had outnumbered the players three to one. I remember Mickey Herskowitz had come down to Junction for his paper, The Houston Post. Said his boss heard there was dissension on the squad, and he came to find out about it. I said, “Now, son, are you going to quote me on this?” He said, “Yessir.” I said, “Well, you call your boss, and tell him I said if there isn’t any dissension now there’s damn sure going to be in a hurry, and I’m going to cause it.” And he wrote it that way.”

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1078879/index.htm

    • 69Dawg

      Just wait, you’ll get there we all do.

  12. Charlottedawg

    I completely disagree with the premise that you can’t win without character and discipline. Look at the ‘Canes of the 80s as well as the 2008 Gators. Being a great football player is not correlated with being a great person nor are the two mutually exclusive.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, at least publicly, but Georgia needs to do whatever it takes to win games and championships, at all costs, so long as they aren’t violating NCAA rules, devaluing my education, or facilitating/ engaging in illegal or unethical activities. If most fans were truly honest with themselves they too would admit winning is really the only thing they care about. You pack Sanford stadium because you want to us destroy the visiting team not so you can see 85 model citizens in red and black. You love Todd Gurley because he’s an awesome RB. the fact that he’s a good kid is a nice perk but hardly important, otherwise you’d have cheered just as hard for guys like Joe Tereshinski.

    • Derek

      Among non-alumni fans you might be right. For the alumni, I think you are wrong. I know for me that you are wrong. I think that if we had a Miami in the late 80’s and early 90’s type of environment that there would be a revolt no matter how many championships that we won. There are places that don’t care about anything but winning. They are in Alabama. Winning should be the product of doing things the right way. Unfortunately there are some guys who play football great and life terribly. Take LT for instance. He’s probably the best defensive player ever. He did nothing but chase whores and cole and qbs. Would you let that guy run amok all over athens with impunity because of his talent? I wouldn’t. I’d give him to auburn where they’d make sure he had all the dope he could ever use if he helped beat alabama.

    • Gaskilldawg

      I am not one of the “most fans.” I have two degrees from Georgia and I am pleased we have a coach who sees football as a part of the university ‘s mission. I can live just fine without us playing the last game of the season ever. We do win at a rate higher than any coach in school history and we graduate good kids.

      • +1 – I believe he also wins at a rate where we would be the winningest program in the country based on his winning percentage, and he does it the right way. We have segments of our fan base that are beginning to act like spoiled brats who didn’t get the same prize someone else did. Not to say I don’t want to win, but I also want to be proud of the way we did it.

  13. rampdawg

    Damn pussies! We had 3 a days when I was in high school.Dawg Phan you would’nt made it though morning practice.David K. You either.South Ga. In august.Water what water. Kids today sit on their ass in air conditioned rooms playing video games. Thats why everybodys youngins or so fat. Get their ass out of the house in summer and play ball, ride a bike. Go swimming do something to sweat. Buncha spoiled pussies. There, I feel better. The 3 a days is the truth though. NHS W.R. Ga. 73 hot as 400 hell.

  14. Bulldog Joe

    “I think Coach Richt has finally realized you can’t run a champion football team without character and discipline”

    Brutal. Better late than never, I say.

    • Brutal. Better late than never, I say.

      Yeah, agree. And it is brutal, you’re right.

      As I’ve been alluding lately, I suspect Richt has wanted to do it for the last 4 years, since he hired Grantham. The primary problem was with the defensive guys and it’s just hard for an offensive coach to get that done without the DC being front and center. Not saying it can’t be done, just that it’s tough and very awkward without the DC, and it’s tough, as an offensive coach, to dictate to the DC how to do his job.

      I think Richt wanted Grantham to do it. But Grantham wasn’t cut from that cloth. So now Pruitt is doing it. A lot of former players I know feel the same as Woerner, Hoage, and others. And most (Tarkenton excepted, because he went way out of bounds, IMHO) have refrained themselves. A few have been politically correct about it publicly, like Hoage.

      But most of them want Richt to do well and do it the right way. But they also want the toughness and the discipline along with it. Because they know that’s something you have to have to be consistent in this League and win anything.

      So yeah, it’s brutal. But at least it’s finally getting done.
      ~~~

  15. S

    Woerner and Hoage are two of my all-time favorite players and I am happy to hear from them!