Can you guess which Bulldog said this?
“We’re definitely 180 degrees away from where we were last year, and the team camaraderie is on a whole different level. Since I’ve been here, I have never seen the togetherness of the team the way it is right now.”
That’s actually South Carolina wide receiver Moe Brown, who’s explaining why 2009 will be the year that his team doesn’t crash and burn in the second half of the season. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t take Woodward and Bernstein to dig up similar quotes from his teammates from prior seasons. The point being that until his Gamecocks prove it on the field, that sentiment and five bucks will get Mr. Brown a steaming hot latte at his neighborhood Starbucks and little more.
Which is why, as practice opens in Athens today, we should take similar conceits coming out of there with a little grain of salt. Don’t get me wrong – it’s certainly admirable that the team taking the field today has managed to avoid a single brush with the law. But aside from affecting Ed Tolley’s pocketbook and Mark Richt’s piece of mind, that offseason discipline and team bonding doesn’t translate into anything more than a good starting point, at least not yet. You have to hope that these kids have the good sense and growing maturity to realize that they’ve merely taken the first step in a tough journey to regain their mojo.