The (post-game) celebration

I’ve got one last observation about what I watched from my seat Saturday to share with you.  It’s very easy to wax cynical about the business side of college football – often, for good reasons – and so it’s also easy to overlook what makes these kids play with the passion they do.

I got a reminder of that after the win.

Those kids have been jumped on by plenty of folks for shortcomings, both real and imagined, and had to be emotionally drained after as intense a game as Georgia has played in a long time.  But you never would have known that from the sheer joy on display as virtually the entire team came over to celebrate with the fans.

Two or three things stuck with me as I watched them.  One was Cornelius Washington, who, you may remember, had a blow up after Crowell’s dismissal that didn’t sit so well with the fan base, sporting a smile you could see a mile away and getting plenty of love back.  Then there was John Theus, sporting the obligatory offensive-lineman-with-a-cut-over-his-nose look and a big ol’ grin.  But the best of all was Aaron Murray and Jarvis Jones talking by themselves on the ten-yard line.  You didn’t need to read lips to know what that conversation was about.

And then there’s the head coach.  Richt’s taken plenty of heat of late.  There were lots of doubters going into the Cocktail Party.  It would have been easy to walk off the field straight into the locker room and celebrate in private.  There are some coaches I can think of who would have been happy gloating.  But say what you will about Mark Richt, that’s not one of his shortcomings.  Instead, he worked his way down to our end of the field before the players did and celebrated – not for himself, but with us.

And then he thanked us.

53 Comments

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53 responses to “The (post-game) celebration

  1. stuckinred

    Nicely stated, thanks.

  2. HahiraDawg

    I can appreciate the sheer joy in their celebration. It is a healthy reminder of the age of these kids and the pressure they are under. But it concerns me that we, more than most, it seems celebrate the great tackle made on a 2nd down. I am also concerned about the ability to get the emotions of our up and down team focused on Ole Miss and the thereafter, without tripping up. If they can do that they will have matured much more than even what they’ve done from USCe to now. I would even believe then that we could pull out a W in the dome. But, again, my skepticism is that their youth displayed in their post-game jubilation, will also rear itself in a poor showing against either Ole Miss or one of the other remainders on the schedule. It is Ole Miss though that we can least afford a lack of focus.

    • HahiraDawg

      CMR though is a class act ain’t he. Proud he’s a Dawg.

    • Dawgwalker07

      We have the first win streak against Florida in 23 years and you’re worried they’re too excited? The game had just ended. Give them a chance to have that moment.

      • HahiraDawg

        I like Jarvis’ post-game.

      • HahiraDawg

        and I’m not saying I’d deny them their moment or that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy that they enjoyed it with us. I’m making an observation about how many on this team seem emotionally weak and ill prepared to sustain success. I am not making a final judgment. I’m hoping that they progress, rise to the occassions presented, show maturity and win out in the last four. However, the observation making leads me to a concern about whether they can do that.

        • HahiraDawg

          case in point, Malcolm Mitchell’s response yesterday that his 15 yard penalty after taunting Purifoy was “worth it” because he was “pretty upset at the time”. That doesn’t show maturity, especially there two days after the game.

          • Bevo

            I agree. It was torture watching him yap all game long, then get flagged for it, then turn his back on Richt while he was getting reprimanded.

            I love watching #26 play – he’s an awesome talent and I’m glad he’s a Dawg. But his maturity is iffy sometimes.

            I didn’t find his after-the-fact comments too encouraging either.

          • Dawgfan Will

            Hopefully he’ll never find himself in a situation where it isn’t worth it, say by causing his team to lose a game over a unnecessary penalty.

  3. Southern Dawg

    Really wish I was there to see it. That’s an awesome moment, and it shows how much we take for granted CMR and how he handles himself and his team. I hope there are many more moments like this to cone.

    • gastr1

      +1. These gestures are not required. They speak to all the best things that Richt has brought to the program.

  4. Thanks for sharing Senator. Did CMR have tears of Joy in his eyes?

  5. Spike

    CMR came down to the north end and gave us all a big thumbs up and the greatest smile on his face. I was really happy for him.

  6. RP

    I was there as well. What you describe is the simple reason the college game is so much better that the NFL. As much as a love them too, it never feels that way after a Falcons win

  7. Bulldog Joe

    Senator, when you watch the replay you will also see the celebration of our coaches in the box, the banging on the windows, and how quickly they were able to get down on the field and join in.

    • Dawgfan Will

      I laughed out loud with pure joy when I saw that. You know there were some tightly clenched anuses in that box for most of the game.

  8. Russ

    JINX Alert! Where’s SJIII?

    Go to georgiadogs.com and look at the description for this week’s Inside Georgia Football (the one with the Florida game highlights). It says “This weeks ‘Inside Georgia Football’ looks back at Georgia’s win over Ole Miss.”

    We’ve got to fix this stat! I sent a message to the webgeeks, but it’s still that way. Talk about counting a chicken before it’s hatched!

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Yeah, I am working on that….I just hope Bobo’s kneecap aches the whole week…Ole Miss may be the best offense we see.

  9. Debby Balcer

    Coach Richt always goes to the student section at home games and talks to the students and thanks them. He is a great coach.

  10. BulldogBen

    Good post Senator, but, days like this, I prefer to revel in the pure misery of the Gator fans right now. You know they just KNEW they were going to win that game and go on and win another National Title. Now, they’re left dealing with questions and stuff like the coach shoving Corey Moore. That’s stuff usually reserved for us after another heart wrenching loss in Jax.

  11. I have a Mark Richt story. I am an unabashed admirer and supporter of CMR. Back in 2009 or 2010, during a pretty dark period during his regime, the thought occurred to me to write him a letter, offering a word of encouragement during a frustrating season; basically trying to assure him that he had a quiet majority of people with whom he had vast goodwill to burn. I sent it addressed to him personally, to the AD’s address in Athens.

    A week went by, and I got a letter in the mail, in UGA colors, which I assumed to be a solicitation for some kind of donation. But then when I opened it, it was a handwritten letter on UGA letterhead. CMR had responded to my letter. It wasn’t a novel necessarily – but it was no form either; it was a full page of thoughtful and responsive text, personally signed by the man himself. It blew me away. And made me a fan for life.

    • Russ

      Great story, but not surprising to me (well, maybe a little due to his time constraints). I hope he’s our coach for as long as he wants to be.

    • Macallanlover

      Had the exact same experience, different circumstances, he is very special. I have always been proud to have him on the sideline and representing the program. It is a strange group that is so relentless in their attacks. No one will ever win enough, or by enough, for some but when you look at his accomplishments in this era of SEC football, and with a zero tolerance policy at UGA for drugs and alcohol his record is damned impressive. This could be our 5th appearance in the SECCG in his twelve years, and we will have finished no lower than 1st in the East in six of those years. That includes the first year of his all new staff. And we did it without cheating. We could probably do even better if we stood united as a program.

    • Dawgfan Will

      That is awesome.

  12. Bevo

    This is one reason why it’s easy to pull for Richt.

    Even when, during the last year or two, I’ve had questions about whether or not the SEC has passed Richt by or whether he’s the right coach for Georgia at this point, I’ve never stopped wanting him to be successful as our head coach.

    I hope he can build on this, turn the tide, and get Georgia back into the national spotlight and the top tier of the SEC.

    • Cojones

      And I hope that many of our fans can be as resolute to be supportive through the thick and thin of the coming years. Some of the fans and the AD have looked worse than Richt this year. Hope all of them learn how to come together in a common quest that has potholes. Hope the AD becomes independant of the admin when it comes to football and hope he can use more than a few pastey words in support. It all helps in recruiting, folks.

      Support your local Dawgs.

    • byrddawg

      Uh, we’ve been in the top 10 most of the year, have a good opportunity to win the SEC East and play in another BCS bowl…doesn’t that mean we’re already “in the national spotlight”? And disregarding Alabama, which is in a tier of its own, aren’t we are back in the top tier of the SEC?

      • Bevo

        Uh, you completely lost my message.

        I’m talking sustained relevance, not snapshots. A football season is a body of work with final results after a bowl game, not a glimpse of where you start a season or where you stand in week 8.

        If you think we’re a top tier SEC program right now because of our ranking at this moment, then I want some of whatever you’re smoking.

        Talk to me about being a top tier SEC program when we’ve, uh, won an SEC championship. As it stands, that hasn’t happened since 2005.

        So, no, we’re not in the top tier of the SEC and I’m surprised you even had to ask.

  13. Robert

    Some good stuff here. I want nothing but success for CMR. He is a good man, a good coach, and a DGD. May his reign in Athens continue and prosper well into the future.

  14. Brian Dawg

    My thoughts on Mitchell are: YES, he did spend a lot of time talking trash. But we were not on the field, and we do not know how much trash talk he was receiving. Those of you who have complained about this being a mental thing in the past, and that Florida was “in our heads” need to remember this-we came out with passion, fire, and enthusiasm and we never backed down. THAT is what it takes to beat these guys down and we did it. Somtimes we get the flag for PWG-You cannot have it both ways. Football is an emotional, high energy game and sometimes those emotions spill over after a play. YES Mitchell did talk too much. But he also scored an amazing TD. Part of his impetus, I am sure, was his high energy and emotion…to beat the dreaded Gators and SHUT THEM UP.
    This is football, not chess.
    GO DAWGS!

  15. Cojones

    After Mark Richt thanked everyone, did he remind you that you have no idea what it’s like “in the arena”? :) Hope so because that gets your dander up more than Mitchell. And when your dander is up, you head for that creative blogging country that nails the despots and finaglers who cheat us in college football every year.

    Hopefully we can put the “anti-Mark Richt” years behind us and revel like a vast and far-flung litter of puppies, just happy in the day and looking forward to the next game played in our pen. This old fart is doing splendidly having collected the first of several small bets, but more enjoying the expression on their faces. One FU grad that I bet with each year(FU PhD) had sent me an e-mail before the game announcing that 40 mph winds were predicted at the game. I e-mailed back that , yes, a spinoff mini-storm named “Jarvis” was predicted by gametime. After the game he e-mailed “Bite Me”.

    When we met yesterday, he thought that he had been tricked, similar to the way he felt last year after the game. What a novel way to enjoy a Dawg victory; tricked into losing his money. That makes the sting mix just right with the piss and vinegar. You might even say that his feelings border on a grudge. God!, it’s a great year in UGA football. Glad to see the Nation healing and coming together. My friend and I will get together later, smoke one and heal enough to only see the scar tissue. Then we will bet on next year.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Nice story. I once met a Florida grad who ran a framing company. We were both working for a developer in Hilton Head at the time. He said if I ever put together a big enough project call him. In ’97 I called him to frame some apartments in Athens. 295 units. He had just finished a hotel for Disney and rolled into Athens full throttle. Our dogs were rolling too but stumbled against the Vols and were a big underdog to the Gators. He couldn’t resist baiting me and challenging me to a bet. He wanted me to wear a gator hat and t for a week and buy him lunch for that week. Since we were such a big point underdog, if he lost he and all his team had to wear Georgia hats and t shirts for a week and he had to cook hamburgers and hotdogs for one lunch for everyone. He had about 45 employees on site and there were another 30 from other companies. That is a lot of hamburgers and hotdogs. I thought that would be the end of it…. but he laughed and we shock hands. That is how confident he was. Bobo, Ward, and Edwards had an incredible day and Georgia pulls off the upset. True to his word he bought Georgia t shirts and hats for his entire crew. He brought in 3 of the those mobile grills and after we knocked off at 1pm that following Friday he ( and others) cooked until no one wanted to eat anymore. Now this guy has a condo in Miami, a house in Fort Lauderdale and a farm in Costa Rica. To see him flipping burgers on a Friday dressed in red and black was quite a treat. I really admired him.

  16. I was in Knoxville in ’01. CMR came around to wear we were sitting and gave us all thumbs up, applauded us and thanked us (for staying I guess). That day I became a CMR fan for life. I had neither seen or heard of a coach doing that before then (damn sure Donnan wouldn’t have done it).

  17. Uglydawg

    This thread is magnificent!

  18. Fluke bucket

    I may bookmark this one to refer back to during the Ole Miss game.