Why I whine.

As someone who’s run a fan blog about Georgia football for over a decade, I rarely feel the need to explain myself any more, as there’s plenty of material posted here to do that kind of lifting.  But in light of recent comments I’ve seen here questioning my support for Kirby Smart, it seems like one of those moments is upon me.  So let me take a couple of minutes to clear the air.

I said immediately after Smart’s hire — actually, I think I may have even posted the sentiment before the hire — that Kirby is Georgia’s head coach and that in and of itself makes him worthy of my support.  End of story.  Nothing in that regard has changed; to suggest that I’m rooting for him to flop out of a sense of cynicism, or bitterness arising from Mark Richt’s dismissal is ludicrous.  I’ve been a Georgia fan for decades.  I want Georgia to win games and titles, pure and simple.  Not only that, but my fandom clock is running late.  I don’t have time to sit through a mediocre four-year run and then wait to see if the next guy is the one to pull the program’s proverbial nuts out of the fire.

So, please, stop with that bullshit.

That being said, there’s a big difference between supporting the football program and the head coach and being critical of shortcomings in both.  I simply don’t see how the 2016 season is worthy of being exempt from criticism on just about every level.  That doesn’t mean there haven’t been positive developments, many of which I have noted on more than one occasion, or that there isn’t reason to have expectations for better times coming soon.  But I’m not going to sugarcoat.  It wouldn’t feel right to me and I doubt you’d appreciate my lack of honesty.

I will say that for those of you who claim to detect a rise in my level of cynicism about Georgia football, you may have a point, even if it’s misdirected.  What’s fed into that isn’t Smart’s first year performance, which in the cold light of hindsight, could have been expected.  It’s the organization to which Smart is a part.

2016 did nothing to change my opinion about how the athletic department is run.  If anything, it reinforced my worst impressions.  Talk about cynicism — the way B-M milked our enthusiasm over the new coach’s honeymoon period with the state legislature and our pocketbooks with increased ticket pricing in the face of mediocre home scheduling could teach me a few lessons.

Then there’s the process that led to Smart’s hire.  Feel free to dismiss it in your enthusiasm, whether that’s due to Smart himself, the importation of the Process, Richt’s dismissal, or some combination of the three, but I’m not of the same mind.  There’s a reason that matters, too.  Greg McGarity’s track record as an evaluator of coaches, when it comes to hiring and firing, is consistent in that he has yet to find a single head coach who’s delivered excellence.

Doubt me on that?  Check out the current Learfield Directors’ Cup fall standings, where Georgia stands a proud 71st.  That’s actually a slight uptick from the previous fall. Yes, Georgia’s standing will improve after the spring, largely because results from the quality programs with coaches who weren’t hired by McGarity, like swimming and tennis, will kick in.  But that hardly changes the underlying concern I have.

Maybe you can separate that, but I can’t. For one thing, it’s hard for me to accept that Smart escapes that history, other than as the result of sheer, blind luck.  Maybe that will turn out to be the case, but that’s one helluva way to run a railroad.  Speaking of which, that’s the other side of my attitude coin.  Even if Kirby Smart proves to be every bit the quality hire we hope he is, to succeed, he’ll have to beat fourteen SEC schools to do it — Georgia’s conference competitors and Georgia’s athletic department.  That’s a lot to ask of the guy.

So you’ll have to forgive me if I seem a little more negative at times than you’d prefer.  You’re not Kirby Smart, but don’t take it personally on his account.

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122 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

122 responses to “Why I whine.

  1. ugadawgguy

    As usual, Senator, you have somehow articulated my feelings almost exactly, and you’ve done it far more eloquently than I could have.

    I’ll add, though, that McGarity really isn’t the decision-maker, at least when it comes to Georgia football. Our real athletic directors, in that regard, are a couple of liquor heirs. If McGarity DID have any vision whatsoever, the booze heirs would veto it.

    And since the boosters who matter like having a spineless figurehead in place to sign off on their ill-informed notions of the path to athletic greatness, we can be sure that said figurehead is firmly entrenched in his position for the foreseeable future.

    Like

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Not challenging, but what are some examples of the decisions you’re thinking of? Even if you rate your knowledge 2nd or 3rd hand, I enjoy knowing and love some gossip.

      Like

      • ugadawgguy

        This comment may get blasted, as it is literally all second- and third-hand information (i.e., gossip). But if you want examples, start with these:

        -McGarity wanted to fire Richt for Dan Mullen…as early as 2013. Mullen remained his choice after the boosters fired Richt, but he was overruled.

        -McGarity was willing to offer Bobo a substantial raise and to help run Pruitt off, but his puppeteers wanted it the other way around.

        -McGarity was willing to offer the whole coaching staff pay raises before Richt did so out of his own pocket, but one liquor baron threatened to pull a substantial portion of his financial contribution to the program if that happened. Supposedly, this (and other instances of the booster in question undermining Richt) was the result of the booster getting into a verbal altercation with/getting embarrassed by Richt’s brother-in-law, the team chaplain, in public and Richt subsequently refusing to fire his brother-in-law for doing so.

        Again, all gossip. But all gossip I’ve heard from multiple sources over the years.

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        • 81Dog

          A hot tempered rich guy who is used to running over people and cash whips the people he cant literally punch into submission? An AD who trembles and fearfully obeys all edicts from said hot tempered rich guy because he likes his current sinecure, a fact known to the HTRG and played with merciless efficiency by said HTRG?

          Hmmm. Doesn’t sound like anyone I ever heard of being associated with UGA. Claude Rains would be proud of me. /sarc

          Liked by 1 person

        • Why are you being so vague? “Liquor Baron”… maybe I’m too young to just know this info (graduated 06) but I’ve never heard this before. Who are you talking about please? You’re using an internet handle. If you’re gonna gossip, gossip.

          Not trying to blast you or say this is untrue, but just name the fella. Stuff like this is not only intriguing, but I’d like to know who is really pulling the strings even though my unhappy $$’s go unnoticed.

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          • BCDawg97

            Ahh, to be young again 😉 Don Leeburn of Suzanne Youclan fame…

            Like

            • Oh that guy. Didn’t know where his family $$ came from. Maybe I’m naive here, but with how much more $$ each school has received in TV money over the last decade, you’d think we would finally be able to tell someone like that to Fu@# off. I mean it’s not like this guy is dropping T. Boone Picketts money right? The IPF would have been paid for 10 years ago. From all accounts this guy seems petty and (if true) genuinely disrupts the organization. Even Auburn give Lowder the boot, didn’t they?

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              • BCDawg97

                Leeburn is a Crown Royal distributor. Though there is another liquor baron out of North Carolina too but can’t remember his name.

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                • 79Dawg

                  Am sure “Behind the Hedges” is still available on Amazon – is a short and interesting (and depressing) read. Although it is pre-McGarity, all the dysfunction mentioned is still ongoing…

                  Like

  2. BCDawg97

    While we are all Georgia fans and of course optimistic that we are the next Clemson or Alabama, what do we actually have to be positive about since 2012? Given that we’ve fiddley fucked around in the East, lost to mediocre Florida teams, and routinely not shown up in big games? It’s great if you can remain a glass half-full person, but having grown up through the Goff years and being spoiled by the early Richt years, at this point, I’m more of a I’ll believe it when I see it kind of fan. So I don’t think it’s surprising to see the Senator’s tone of late. YMMV of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    It’s easy to believe the notion that the athletic department has a large effect on wins and losses, but hard to appreciate. I say this having sent kids to a high school where the AD is almost literally inert matter.

    You’ve probably done this before, but do you have the inclination to write a post describing some of the things the AD does or does not do to hinder the teams? I’m sure some of them are obvious but some actual nuts and bolts details might enlighten folks who see things only from afar.

    Like

    • My heart really isn’t in rehashing management, or the lack thereof, but let me just reiterate that there’s no excuse for a head coach at an SEC program having to fund assistants’ bonuses out of his own pocket because the AD is too cheap to do so.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Senator, very well said and exactly my point of view. As an alum, a season ticket holder for about 25 years, and a Bulldog fan for almost 50 years, I will support the man who is the head coach at UGA until his performance on or off the field doesn’t warrant that support. I will not support what appears to be organizational dysfunction and a desire to less transparent in the athletic hierarchy that guides our programs today. I will criticize the performance of said head coach and his staff when it is warranted. Honestly, there was a lot of opportunities in both wins and losses to be critical of the team’s performance.

    Here’s to hoping 2017 is a lot better than 2016.

    Like

    • @ee: Just change to an alum of UW and pretty much fits my thoughts. Saved me from typing down the thread. Also, the way of life today in politics and sports-do not criticize or you are the enemy.

      Like

  5. Jared S.

    I appreciate you outlining your reasoning and feelings about everything (again). And I totally get that your desire is to cut down on all the BS that people post about what they mistakenly suppose are your views….

    But most of the idiots who never bother to read and understand what you write are not going to read or understand this either. They’ll just continue to snipe buzzwords and phrases from whatever you right and build their straw men to knock down and act high-and-mighty and incredulous in the most obnoxious way while they’re doing it.

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  6. Athens Dog

    1000

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  7. UGA85

    Why be cynical? Why not be optimistic and encouraged? And why not leave the AD out of this and consider our football team? To me, UGA has fallen short for so long because we haven’t had decent offensive line play. This, IMO, is THE reason why Florida’s defense controls the game seemingly every year in JAX and keeps us from Atlanta. Look at what Kirby has done in this regard. He has invested tremendously in coaching and recruiting to address this glaring deficiency. The O line, I think, has become his top priority. Can you imagine UGA’s skill players with some actual blocking? I can, along with a sound defense, etc. If Dabo can do it, Kirby can do it. I’m looking forward to a championship.

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    • DawgPhan

      Maybe Smart could change from Attack the day to

      ¯_(ツ)/¯ I mean, Dabo did it. ¯_(ツ)

      Like

    • Why be cynical? Why not be optimistic and encouraged?

      Gosh, it’s almost as if you didn’t read my post.

      Like

      • UGA85

        I did. But I don’t see the need for such hand-wringing. We have a brand new coach, with a true freshman QB, and we went 8-5. We are recruiting at an all-time high, so there is new energy with recruits. Young players and coaches got their feet wet, and studs are coming in to join them. Bama got dethroned. The East is wide open. This is opportunity and hope, not a death knell!

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        • To quote somebody, “That doesn’t mean there haven’t been positive developments, many of which I have noted on more than one occasion, or that there isn’t reason to have expectations for better times coming soon.”

          Liked by 3 people

          • Otto

            I don’t so much as being cynical as the fans are now asking for more than they would have been content with Under Richt. As we exchanged while Richt was in Athens fans must demand more from the program.

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          • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

            Can you link me to that author? He seems to have a reasonable perspective and interesting insight.

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          • Derek Dooley 2.0

            I would argue that the only positive development, other than recruiting, is the fact that we didn’t finish the season at a very possible 1-11.

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    • PTC DAWG

      I’m riding with 85.

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      • dawgtired

        I don’t get the sensitivity with this head coach. He’s just the next one in line for some of us. Maybe you have a close relationship that we don’t have. I’ve lived through Dooly, Goff, Donnan and Richt and we fans praised, commented, criticized and complained at one time or another through all of them. Any one in a high profile position from politics to sports to religion, are going to receive critiquing by the masses. I may not live through Smart’s full reign but I expect or hope to see enough to have an opinion on his decisions and most likely will make comment. I will brag when Kirby does well and bitch when he doesn’t…its just the way of the fan.

        Liked by 2 people

        • PTC DAWG

          Sounds like we are about the same age…I agree, Kirby is the Coach..I just don’t see how many judgments can be made one year in. If he doesn’t produce in the next 2-3-4 years…he’s out.

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    • 86BONE

      Clemson AD bought into what Dabo needed to produce a championship football team. GM acts as if UGAAA $$$$ is his $$ and he runs everything on the cheap. Until the power brokers Young & Leebern are put out to pasture, and UGA gets an AD with brass balls, we can expect mediocrity IMO.
      The largest state east of the Mississippi should not have a university that plays second fiddle to a neighboring university with a 16,000 undergrad enrollment! Winning comes from the top in everything in life. Great leaders find a way to succeed. We do NOT have a great leader in GM…PERIOD.

      Like

  8. Argondawg

    I can’t disagree with anything you said yet it infuriates me that you refuse to allow me to live in my fantasy that we are just around the corner from greatness……perpetually.

    Like

  9. Aladawg

    Here , here! You said it all. I’m 60 and the “throwaway season” made me throw up! Senator I suspect your thoughts are like many of us in the senior (over 50) crowd!!

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  10. Well said. I can totally see where you’re coming from with all of that.

    That said, does anyone know McG’s hires other than Kirby? Fox was an Evans hire.

    I know he’s rolled through Gymnastics and baseball coaches, but does anyone know what else?

    Again, not trolling or looking for a fight, I just legitimately don’t know.

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  11. Otis Day

    I would not call it whining. Just being critical and that is not unwarranted. Even though I do not think that Smart is the man to get the job done, I like you still support him and hope to be proven wrong, but unwilling to wait 4 or 5 years to get that job done.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Bulldog Joe

    Keep fighting the good fight, Senator.

    Athletic success matters.

    Like

  13. paul

    Well put Senator. Anyone who has read your blog somewhat regularly or even sporadically already understands your point of view. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. We enjoy coming here to interact with you and each other. This blog is a lot of work and it takes up a lot of your time. And we know you do it because you’re as fan, not in spite of it. The blogosphere is a better place because you’re here. Thanks. Having said that, as a alum who graduated in 1980 I’m right there with you clockwise. Time to put up or shut up. There ain’t that many next years coming to me.

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  14. MLB2

    Many of the people I’ve run across who complain the loudest didn’t go to the school nor do they donate. Don’t get frustrated by people with no skin in the game. A lot of people only pay attention to the football program and nothing more. Your blog is the best and McGatory sucks. End of story.

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    • Sparrow

      I’m glad to see your agreement on the general premise of the post, but I’m wary of making this about “skin in the game”. If someone is a loyal fan it’s pretty unsavory to think that we can look at his degree or his checkbook ledger to determine how much of a fan he is.

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      • MLB2

        Opinions vary. Some bear more weight than others. If all of us who donate decided to spend our money elsewhere, would the bandwagon fans step up to fill the void? With all the TV money that’s involved, all fans may become equally irrelevant.

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        • Sparrow

          So is a person who can’t afford to donate less of a fan? If I donate more than you, am I more of one?

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          • MLB2

            No to both but your input would carry more weight. Just my opinion. Doesn’t mean I’m right. As an alum, I like the thought of molding character and seeing football players graduate and become productive citizens. I expect to see good competitive football but I wouldn’t throw away one player’s future for a trophy. YMMV. From my interactions with the kind of people you’re defending, a NC hat and t-shirt is their primary concern.

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  15. dawgfan

    After 12 years of no SEC title, 36 years of no national title, and the generally lame performance of our athletic program as a whole, what is there to whine about? It is what it is and the truth hurts sometimes. Accountability is necessary. Whine on!!!!

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  16. Macallanlover

    Actually you surprise me Senator by responding with a specific post to the few complainers among us about this subject. I thought you replied to the one guy yesterday who seemed to expect us to bow to, and accept, whatever comes our way. He/she certainly seems to be the exception in this perception. A true Bell Curve exists on this subject, from what I have seen. There are extremists on either end of the KS evaluation at this point but both ends seem to be a small minority (especially the antis) with the overwhelming majority under a sizable bell supporting and hoping for a great result. Nothing to see here, let’s move along.

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  17. JCDAWG83

    I agree with the Senator completely on this issue but I also think a lot of the blame goes to the ticket buying fans. McGarity and the BM crowd are all about the money, the results on the field or court run a distant second to the results on the income statement. As long as the fans continue to pour the money into the BM coffers, McGarity and his crew will continue to do things the way they have always done them. Unsold tickets and empty seats are the only things that will create any change at BM.

    I too hope Kirby is the answer to our decades long football mediocrity and, like the Senator and some others here, I am starting to run out of time to give many more coaches four or five seasons to get it right. Kirby won the same number of games Richt won his first season (some of the losses were worse in my opinion) so let’s see what year two looks like. If things are not appreciably better, Kirby may not be the guy and we should start looking for the next guy. No matter what happens with Kirby, I’m certain McGarity and the current BM crowd are not the right people to take Georgia athletics to the next level.

    Like

    • JC, I basically agree with you. The one place I don’t agree is about empty seats and empty coffers. We need the money and the fan support to win.

      Like

      • JCDAWG83

        It’s a chicken and egg thing to me and it’s not like the money hasn’t been there for a long time. The UGAAA has consistently been one of the most profitable programs in the country. McGarity and the BM crowd have used that money to line their own pockets while making Georgia athletics middle of the road at best. Without the country club sports, the University of Georgia does absolutely nothing on a national or conference level. The BM crowd and the AD are either incompetent, lazy or corrupt, or a combination of those three things. Until the paying “customers” vote with their wallets, McGarity and Co. have no motivation whatsoever to change the way anything is done.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can understand your perspective, and it’s the quandary in which I have found myself every February for the last few years. I keep coming back to the reality that the day I drop my season tickets is likely the day I end up spending my fall Saturdays at the golf course or doing something else with my family. With one daughter at UGA and, hopefully, 2 others on the way, I just can’t let go at this point.

          I just think 75,000 consistently in a 93,000 seat stadium would be a bad look for the program and would do more damage than benefit.

          Like

          • JCDAWG83

            I understand your dilemma. See my reply to Bigshot below. My daughter graduated from UGA in 2014 and we saw each other at a few games but she was more into doing things with her friends and I understood that. Do what makes you feel right. If the day comes when you don’t think the money is worth it, you’ll know what to do.

            Empty seats IS a bad look but I think it’s going to take some tough love for things to change at BM. Money is the only thing they understand. All the emails, calls, letters, newspaper articles, etc. won’t get any notice unless the revenue slows down. If donations dropped for two years in a row, McGarity would be gone so fast you would think aliens had taken him.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Bigshot

      You can say don’t buy tickets, but what about those of us who have years and money invested in the program, are we suppose to just give up those years and slip back?

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      • JCDAWG83

        Continuing to buy tickets or not is entirely up to you. If you think you are getting value out of your donations and ticket purchase, by all means continue to do so. However; keep in mind that by continuing to make the donations and buy the tickets, you are casting a de facto vote of confidence in the way football and athletics are currently run at Georgia.

        The people who set up the Hartman Fund extortion scheme were very smart. They knew the cumulative points system would be a strong hook to keep the customer coming back. The scheme also allows them to raise donation levels and ticket prices with very little fear of many people giving up their tickets or stopping their donation.

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        • dubyadee

          I will note here that the UGAA’s “extortion scheme” has been and continues to be less egregious than those of our rivals. Not an endorsement, just worth noting.

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      • Sanford222view

        Here, here!

        I would guess, though I could be wrong, that someone saying don’t buy tickets either doesn’t have season tickets or has had them very long thus doesn’t have much invested in them. I am not about to give up seats and donor points. I want to be in the seats I have sat in since I was a child when UGA wins its next National Title in football. I want to be there when Georgia wins huge games between the Hedges again to earn the shot at the SEC title and a spot in the playoff.

        Plus, how easy would it be to recruit the players needed to win at the highest level if Sanford stadium becomes known for being half empty on game day? Saying “show BM and ADGM we mean business by not giving them our money” is a lot easier said than done. No coach/program can win without fan support. Especially in the SEC.

        Like

    • You and I disagree on a great many things, but I absolutely am not renewing my season tickets this year. I refuse to continue dumping money into an athletic department that doesn’t respect me enough first off as a customer and alum, as well as somebody keenly aware of the liquid position of the Georgia athletic department, to spend a little money on basic things like bathrooms / concessions / home scheduling to make my experience more enjoyable.

      In a world with numerous other options for my entertainment $’s, McGarity and co. have done their damndest to ensure I don’t want to spend it in Athens.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can completely understand your point of view, AD.

        Like

      • JCDAWG83

        Audit, I go to every game I want to in Athens and haven’t bought tickets from the university in 30 years. Giving up your tickets doesn’t mean you can’t go to games and enjoy a day in Athens. I think you will find the game day experience much more enjoyable when you don’t feel like you are paying for the bad stadium experience and bad home schedule. The cupcake games are basically free to go to and the noon kickoffs make for a nice day after the game in Athens. The big games are just as exciting and you can almost always get a ticket for $100 or less.

        Your new found freedom may take a little while to adjust to but you will like it in the long run.

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        • bigshot

          I suppose you could do that, but in my case I need four seats and if you just buy them on the street getting 4 together can be a hard find. I also like the idea of knowing I have a parking place to go to at every game without searching and having to park miles away from the stadium. I guess I’m stuck, Ha.

          Like

          • bigshot

            Our home schedule could be enhanced if the UF game was moved to home and home.

            Here’s the Alabama home schedule;

            .Fresno State Bulldogs
            Colorado State Rams
            Ole Miss Rebels
            Arkansas Razorbacks
            Tennessee Volunteers
            LSU Tigers
            Mercer Bears

            It’s not our fault we play in a weaker division

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            • PTC DAWG

              Looks like 3 patsies to me…

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              • No snark meant at all PTC: but that is the way of the Div 1 world now-three patsies.
                I was beyond naive when I thought adding the 11th and 12th game would bring in quality opponents.
                For one, I gave up season tickets, after decades, due to the patsies, $$$, and just getting older. Oh yeah and that DVR.

                Like

  18. Bright Idea

    I too feel like I’m on the clock, graduated in 80, and I see every point the Senator makes. My fear is that our AD is just a symptom of the underlying disease of a department that is not all in on winning but keeping money and comfort as their personal goals. Adams no doubt created and nurtured that culture and we can’t shake it. I’m tired of going to football, basketball and baseball knowing it’s a 50-50 deal on winning. I do think Smart is a competitor and wants to change that if he can overcome everything around him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normaltown Mike

      I’ll take 50/50 in basketball. But in football and baseball….it’s just hard to swallow in light of all the advantages we have.

      Like

      • Sanford222view

        Why would you accept it for basketball? Georgia should be highly competitive in all sports with the talent base in this state.

        Like

  19. Atticus

    Very simple: Eason progresses, defense is lights out, we get a kicker that can put the ball into the end zone and we go 10-2 and sign another huge class. Then Kirby goes into Moreheads office (with huge alumni support) and lets him know its time for a new AD. Really, its that simple. Richt should’ve done the same thing with the IPF. Use the leverage….. but he waited too long and was too lazy recruiting and managing the roster. So he’s gone.

    Having said that Senator here’s one thing though….. Richt didn’t win an SEC title for 10 years and lost some really bad games (blown out and lost to unranked teams) and hired coaches that weren’t elite coaches or recruiters and picked 3 straight QBs that weren’t SEC elite caliber……and that really has nothing to do with the AD or where we finish in the Directors Cup. It’s all about leverage and Richt didn’t get it, it’s time Kirby did, but he has to produce first.

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    • Atticus

      And having said that McGarity needs to go, Sanford Stadium is a joke the way it is lost in the 90’s and the horrible concession/bathroom situations. But Kirby is recruiting lights out so you can’t use it as an excuse, he figured out how to overcome any deficiencies we have in the facilities.

      Like

  20. Sides

    You should focus on more positive things like Georgia basketball and the Trump inauguration. Mark Fox has done a great job and UGA has a really good team (not SC good but who is?). It is boring to talk constantly about football in January. The only thing going on is recruiting and I believe you have said in the past you don’t like following it too hard.

    Like

  21. sUGArdaddy

    I’m no fan of McGarity, and his hirings haven’t exactly been home runs. But…

    -He’s been better than Damon in almost every sense.
    -A new coach should trumpet excitement. Should they not have tried to leverage that enthusiasm? We did the same with Richt, and he ended up w/ the exact same record as Donnan’s last year. Any change couldn’t have been about the immediate future (i.e. 2016). That didn’t mean it was a throw-away season. It means that the move was long-term.
    -I still don’t get the angst of the hiring process. Unless we’d have pulled in Dantonio, there was no coach w/ experience that excited me. I thought Kirby was the right guy. Maybe they did, too. I mean, Clemson hired Dabo because he was cheap. I’ve said for years that the worst thing that could happen to UGA football is to end up with Mike at Tennessee and Kirby at LSU winning SEC and national titles. The time was right to bring a son home and see if he could do it for ol’ alma mater. And, for my money, it seems hard for guys without any SEC experience to come in an win in the SEC. Saban did it, but that was 17 years ago. The league and ferocity of recruiting have changed dramatically. That’s why Herman and Fuente scared me.
    -The ticket price increases were years in the making and in long-range planning. It had nothing to do w/ leveraging excitement over Kirby.

    As mentioned, I’m not McGarity fan, but I do think some of those critiques are unfair. He has not hired well, but the process for hiring Kirby was seamless and not a mess in the way we’ve seen at so many of our rivals and across the nation. I’d be happy if he’d decline all interviews and let Kirby be the voice of the UGAA.

    Like

  22. PTC DAWG

    I do not think for one second that our AD is holding back Kirby in any way….obviously others do. We shall see…

    FWIW, I don’t think he held back Richt either…

    Like

    • Sanford222view

      Didn’t hold Richt back? Okie dokey!

      I guess Richt paying assistant bonuses out of his own pocket and the IPF saga didn’t happen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely do think he held Richt back. I think Bobo was grossly underpaid based on his offenses’ output. I really don’t think McGarity ever wanted Richt. So not paying his protégé what he was worth sort of forced Bobo out. Then Richt is handcuffed, coaching for his job…with a new OC…and a hothead DC (that probably wanted Richt’s job from the start).

      Liked by 1 person

      • dawgman3000

        So McGarity was the mastermind behind the roster mismanagement and bad coordinator hires. WOW! I Never would’ve guessed it.

        Like

        • I don’t think any reasonable person believes the previous guy didn’t make mistakes especially his last 2 years and the years leading up to that with the roster. I also don’t think many reasonable people would say the AD was the most supportive to the previous guy with money and resources as well.

          Hopefully, all of that changes with Kirby because the AD has to know he put his neck in the noose and will have to live with the consequences. In other words, he has a vested interest in making sure Kirby is successful.

          Like

          • dawgman3000

            I agree ee, that the AD wasn’t too supportive of Richt, but I’m also not gonna sit here say that the AD is the only reason Richt didn’t achieve greater things as the head man. Richt’s roster mismanagement is a prime example of why, IMHO, that even if he had more resources, I question whether he would have used it in a way that maximizes the product on the field.

            Like

        • Derek Dooley 2.0

          Might want to hold back on the “bad coordinator” hire comment. Until after Chaney proves that he’s better than his entire coaching career suggests.

          Liked by 1 person

  23. rchris

    I agree about McGarrity. With regard to the chances of his hire of Smart working out due to blind luck, I see cause for optimism and cause for pessimism. 2016’s record was disappointing given the talent we had on hand and the way we threw away wins we should’ve had (TN, Vandy, GT), but I’m tremendously impressed with the recruiting class Kirby is putting together. Yes I know you can’t absolutely rely on recruiting service rankings and I know you have to develop the talent you bring in, but getting athletes of this caliber is an important first step. I’m hoping Kirby will grow as a coach and our time will finally come.

    Like

  24. Scorpio Jones, III

    Oh boy, now Bluto is a Bluto apologist. Note to Bluto…fuck em.

    Like

  25. Normaltown Mike

    So what are you trying to say?

    Like

  26. HVL Dawg

    Wine? Sure. I usually forgo alcohol in January but it’s harder than ever this year.

    I’d suggest a cabernet sauvingnon from Alexander Valley. What? You have a couple bottles of Jordon on hand? I’ll pick up some steaks and be right over. You can take me for a ride in your red volkswagen.

    Like

  27. Dawgflan

    I was upset about the “search process” BS for a while, but as others have said, it just made it that much more transparent that McGarity was merely a puppet. And so I’m over it, and given his track record of hires, maybe it is just as well he had no real input on this one.

    I fault McGarity much more for the penny pinching that has made our stadium, the game day experience, and program competitiveness an overall laughing stock compared to the top tier programs.

    On Smart, my view is he has all the potential in the world. He appears to be obsessed in a way that Richt was not, which may make for a less pleasant human being but perhaps a higher functioning football coach in today’s environment. That said, can he grow, learn, and build a trusted staff while also managing expectations?

    I’m not yet in the 50+ crowd mentioned above, but given the talent on the roster, schedule, and SEC East, there is no reason why a “work in progress” Coach Smart shouldn’t be enough to get us to MB Stadium in December.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fault McGarity much more for the penny pinching that has made our stadium, the game day experience, and program competitiveness an overall laughing stock compared to the top tier programs.

      Hear hear. My eyes were really opened this year when I travelled to the Kentucky game and saw a stadium experience where there was a legitimate investment in enhancing the fan experience. They spent serious money to upgrade the facilities and it showed. I didn’t have to wait in line for 45 minutes just to get into the main gate. I was able to go to the bathroom and be back in my seat in less than five minutes. I wasn’t walking shoulder to shoulder with 30K ppl in a concourse designed to only accommodate 10K. All of this in a sold-out night time environment that was pretty awesome. I suppose in McGarity’s defense, the wi-fi wasn’t as spectacular. Luckily – I didn’t need it to follow the game from the bathroom or concessions lines as I was able to watch the damn thing in my seat.

      Georgia has the resources to spend money on these things, but chooses not to and just dumps it into a reserve fund. It’s this chasing pennies while stepping over dollars bullshit that keeps Georgia from being a competitive program, but nobody in power wants to rock the boat. As I stated earlier, I’m voicing my displeasure and I say this as somebody whose family has had season tickets since before Herschel by giving them up this year. I’d rather spend my contribution / ticket $’s on a 4-K TV and stock my fridge with beer than deal with another season of noon kickoffs and little to no improvement in the actual fan experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. lightbud

    Good post.

    1- I agree the athletic dept over-hyped the hire, they should have downplayed expectations from day one.

    My take:
    It’s ultimately up to the fan to set their own expectations, and the closer to the truth they are, the less frustrated
    the fan will be.

    2- I wholeheartedly agree the AD actually seems incompetent when it comes to hiring.

    my take:
    This is very concerning, zero success at hiring to date. Really zero success in football or basketball in Championships.
    So, he’s going to have to get lucky with the Kirby hire, or else at worst, the AD will be fired if Kirby continues to trot out 7-5 seasons.
    Either way, in the long term, UGA wins, Kirby either succeeds in spite of his AD, or else the AD is fired if Kirby fails.

    3- I agree the hire process seemed knee jerk as more of a fear of losing Kirby to South Carolina.

    My take:
    I can’t see why Tom Herman wasn’t at least interviewed since his agent expressed interest. Herman was a better hire at the moment.
    With coaches like Patterson at TCU, it’s amazing he wasn’t interviewed. Va Tech set the bar when it comes to how to get your guy,
    fire early, lock him up, pair him with a great asst (like Jeremy Pruitt???) to offset his weakness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HVL Dawg

      Tom Herman would have been a better hire than Kirby- 13 months ago?

      I doubt it. Running fast at Houston while UT was in the woods isn’t the same as competing against SEC coaches every week and for every recruit.

      Like

      • lightbud

        The reason I say Herman was a better hire, was offense beats Saban (Herman did it with a 3rd string Qb at Ohio St). Watson
        and Clemson beat Saban too, as has Auburn and Texas A & M, basically, a great offense can beat Saban.

        If hiring a good DC was all it took, explain why McElwain ain’t won any Championships at UF? His defense is outstanding,
        his offenses are terrible.

        So far, really looks kind of like Kirby Smart best case turns out like Jim McElwain, although that’s even in doubt as McElwain had a much better
        first season. 7-5? Seriously? Come on man.

        Like

        • playmakers in space

          Jim McElwain was an OC and is a terrible recruiter. His defenses have been good because Will Muschamp was a great defensive recruiter and McElwain appears to have maintained a competent defensive staff. We’ll see how it shakes out once the Muschamp recruits are gone.

          Like

      • Macallanlover

        Honestly, who knows at this point? We can all speculate and offer opinions, but that’s it. Herman had some advantages over Kirby experience wise, and Kirby had the advantage in recruiting the southeast. Better to revisit this in about five years and see where the two programs, and/or coaches are.

        Like

  29. Greg

    Honest and well put together. I too share your feelings and it did not take this season to do it. The most positive thing for me since the transition has been the recruiting…but to sustain it, there will need to be wins/improvement. Nice little synopsis…..maybe with what we have coming in this year…we will be lucky rather than good… : > )

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Mostly, I agree and feel your pain. but not on this point:
    “Then there’s the process that led to Smart’s hire. Feel free to dismiss it in your enthusiasm, whether that’s due to Smart himself, the importation of the Process, Richt’s dismissal, or some combination of the three, but I’m not of the same mind. There’s a reason that matters, too. Greg McGarity’s track record as an evaluator of coaches, when it comes to hiring and firing, is consistent in that he has yet to find a single head coach who’s delivered excellence.”
    My sense is that in this particular instance Greg McGarity is merely the rubber stamp that others have used to make it look like he made the hire. That’s not to say I approve the process but only to point out that I don’t think we are talking about a Greg McGarity evaluation of him as a coach to explain the hire. And there’s the fact that particularly with head football coaches, ADs across the country regularly screw up their hires no matter how hard they try to get it right. That’s because there are a lot of good coaches but not many great ones. It’s like breeding race horses; you look for lineage and all the factors that go into a great horse, but in the end, at any elite race track there might be 15-20 horses in the gate, but only 2 or 3 have a real chance to win.
    So, I think the only thing to do is accept it for the time being and see if he is another Dabo, but if not, that will sort itself out, and we will back where we are unless we get a better AD. I am with you that Greg seems clueless. It’s almost like he’s Foley’s Agent McGarity

    Like

    • dubyadee

      “Greg McGarity is merely the rubber stamp that others have used to make it look like he made the hire.”

      I’d suggest that is a nearly universal condition for ADs at major athletic programs.

      Like

  31. Doggoned

    I must ask the stupid question: Who are these liquor heirs who run the AD?

    Like

    • Doggoned

      Never mind. It wasn’t hard to find. Leebern sounds like a piece of work. The Board of Regents? He makes our president-elect look like Thomas Jefferson.

      Like

  32. dubyadee

    First a few caveats:
    1. This blog is a treasure and you, Senator, are doing the Lord’s work.
    2. You can and should write-off anyone who accuses you of rooting for failure.
    3. I (and I imagine most others) agree wholeheartedly with everything you posted above.

    But, to the extent that any of my comments elicited this post, let me clarify: I like to have fun. Maybe I’m weird, but outside of an occasional post-loss malaise, I still have fun going to games, watching games on TV and talking about college football whether Georgia wins or loses. More fun when Georgia wins, but I don’t have any control over the outcome and stopped taking it too personally years ago.

    But I am not a Pollyanna either. I recognize that the primary function of a modern athletic department is to extract as much money from the fan base and TV networks as possible. I realize that we, the fans, are primarily viewed as bank accounts. I am saddened by the realization that the powers that be are in the process of killing the golden goose.

    While I try to be optimistic, I am deeply skeptical of the ability of the current administration and coaching staff to meet expectations (championships in the near term). I greatly fear that, unless we find a way to win early and often, we have taken the first steps into a death spiral of coaching changes and buyouts that will put pressure on the AA to further monetize our loyalty.

    But I am capable of managing my systemic concerns in a way that (for now at least) allows me to enjoy going to games, watching games on TV and talking about college football whether Georgia wins or loses.

    So, all that said, the blog doesn’t seem to be a fun place lately, and you don’t seem like you are having much fun writing it. The existentialist tidings about the future of the sport are not as often balanced with laugh-out-loud takes on breaking news. Some of the posts about the AA or coaches seem petty or nit-picking–the kind of stuff usually reserved for our rivals. The positive stuff is often relegated to adverbial clauses in a negative sentence. Maybe it is just my perception, but thinks seem darker. To the extent that is true, it is a perfectly reasonable response to the issues you describe in your post. And it’s still better than anything else out there. It’s just not as much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fun? Nobody said anything about having fun! 😉

      Like

    • Charles

      Hear hear. +1000. Good word.

      Like

    • lightbud

      It was probably unreasonable for a fan to expect more than 8 wins in Kirby’s first season.

      But, the part that boggles your brain, is how Kirby lost 3 of those.

      Tenn, on a Hail Mary with no time left on the clock. Ouch!

      GT when he had a 98% chance of winning. Gut punch!

      Vanderbilt when he just needed to convert on 4th and short to stay alive. Mouth and eyes wide open!

      I think the fan saw how close Kirby was to 11-2 a top 10 finish and just shook their head in disbelief
      that Kirby lost those 3 games.

      Likely, many fans are short of still in shock at those 3 losses.

      And the losses to 5-7 Ole Miss and a terrible offense at UF, Kirby’s team wasn’t even competitive.

      Of the 8 wins, only 1 was against a team that ended up ranked, and that one win was an 8 win team.

      Like

  33. John Denver is full of shit...

    No bother to me, keep sending your thoughts to print, I like them more than any other…as well as your sites commenters

    Like

  34. 69Dawg

    Senator, I’m turning 70 this year and if it’s going to happen it better happen fast. I think B-M is like every other bureaucratic organization. They don’t care about the customer because there is no reason for them to care. They have big donors and they have the suites that bring in tons of money. Screw the pheasants. The one and only time in my 45 years of going to UGA games I got to the suites was courtesy of Ford. Allen Vigil, a member of the board of regents, even though he is a “Bull Gator” is as you know the Ford dealer on the southside. His General Manager, a former Alabama captain, got me into the Ford suite to see UGA play New Mexico State. They didn’t want the Ford tickets. Well in the greatest show of hypocrisy by a university I was treated to a free full bar. While the little people below were subject to ejection and incarceration, I was drinking a bourbon. I knew then that the good old days were gone. They don’t care because they don’t have to care. The bathrooms and concessions on the concourses have remained unchanged for 40 years. The TV sets at the concessions are out of order more than they are on. They DGAS and sadly now I don’t either.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Be danged careful, that screwing a pheasant can get you in some serious hot water!

      You bet it has changed, but that isn’t unique to UGA. The courting of “whale” donors/alum goes on at every major university but that doesn’t mean you cannot make the entire experience better regardless of the price of tickets. You can have nice things at UGA, and many comments above show how simple some of the needs are, we just haven’t had a dynamic leader at the AD position. We make the “safe” hires, just look at Dooley, Evans, and McFrugal. In the entire country, were the three most capable, inspiring candidates all right there on the few hundred acres that is the UGA campus? It has been about 30 years of selecting just the people who have sat in BM before, not a soul who had not been employed by the athletic department. How myopic.

      Like

  35. 92dawg

    Any Georgia alum and/or fan who does NOT want McGarity out as AD has not been paying attention. He is either incompetent or he is a puppet to the incompetent. Either way, why would we want him to remain in his position?

    That aside for a moment, I am hopeful that Kirby will be able to get the football program to a championship level soon. He certainly appears to be what he was advertised to be when it comes to recruiting (individually and building the program as a better recruiting machine). If he can do that every year, then you would think the championship program we all desperately want will mostly come down to being competent or better at a few other things. Most of those factors appear to be within his control for the most part – player development and building team chemistry, retaining/hiring quality assistant coaches and strength staff, and competent or better in-season and game day coaching and management.

    With the latter factor, the 2016 season gives us reason to be concerned but I think it is reasonable to give Kirby the benefit of the doubt that he will quickly learn and improve off of his on the job training (it was his first rodeo as the head man after all). He does not strike me as lazy, dumb or unmotivated so I have real hope he gets there quickly. Building the right team chemistry is a tougher one – mainly because I don’t personally know how the great ones do it while so many others fail. I’m hopeful but can’t say I have anything concrete to point to in that regard, yet. I guess I just have blind hope at this point when it comes to the team chemistry building. And note I’m saying blind hope, not blind faith – there is a difference. Success with player development and success with staff would largely go hand in hand, I would think. I suspect Kirby will hold up his end of the bargain if UGA administration fully cooperates and supports him. And this is where a lot of us get uneasy and skeptical, even when our Red and Black blood pumping hearts want to believe the right kind of change is happening.

    That takes us back to McGarity. If he were a major asset with regard to our athletics programs in general, but we just weren’t sure he was the right man to facilitate UGA football reaching the mountaintop, then I get that we should at least be wary of booting him with the mere hope that such a move will bring positive results on the gridiron. But other than his personal friends around Athens (and apparently he has many?), I personally feel that he has been a source of frustration and embarrassment much, much more than he should be. Not only have his decisions to date been dubious at best (and I’m excluding the Richt firing and Kirby hiring from that statement since we don’t yet know the results of that frankly), but his dealings with the press, the public and the vast majority of his constituency (and here I do include the Richt firing and Kirby hiring) has been tone deaf or just plain old ugly. He gives the constant impression that he does not get it and does not care to get it, whether it was the handling of the Gurley investigation/suspension, Richt on the hot seat and Richt fired, the Indoor Practice Facility, the embarrassing and maddening poor facilities for fans at Sanford (among other University venues), the method used (or not used) and the transparent and needless dishonesty in the search firm/hiring process garbage that preceded Kirby’s hiring, the Richt assistant coaches bonus mess, botched firings/hirings, etc., etc., etc. What positives does he bring to the table for UGA that we don’t think we could find in someone else? Who really believes McGarity is the best that we can do? And if the answer is that he is just a puppet or a figurehead and other folks are making the poor decisions, does that excuse him? Shouldn’t we want someone in the AD position who is willing and capable of standing up for what is in the best interests of our athletics programs and supporters (besides a select few whose dollars are, frankly, replaceable if they really hold the program hostage based on whether or not they get to hold sway) and taking his or her chances that doing that will be enough to keep his job? I’m not saying that replacing McGarity cures all ills. I am saying that I can’t conceive that it would not be a step in the right direction. And I hope that we can look back one day and say that hiring Kirby is the one thing he clearly got right.

    Like

    • lightbud

      I think the reasoning when hiring Kirby must have been defense wins championships.

      To a certain level, it’s true, as Clemson, Bama, Wash & Ohio St all finished top 10 scoring defenses.

      BUT….

      All 4 ALSO finished with at least a scoring average of 38 pts per game on OFFENSE.

      There’s rub. Kirby didn’t break the top 100 in offensive scoring.

      Bama has struggled against mobile Qb’s and great offenses and beaten everyone else.

      I don’t see how a Kirby coached team will ever average 38 a game, or enough to beat Saban.

      And if you can’t beat Saban, you can kiss the Championships goodbye.

      Not gonna lie, if Kirby doesn’t transition to a mobile Qb with Fromm, the future looks dim as immobile
      and inaccurate Eason is not the answer. But I’ll hold out hope Kirby goes with Fromm.

      Like

  36. PTC DAWG

    Let me add Senator, that I too appreciate the blog, never would I think you want UGA to fail….

    That said, nice to see you admit to a little whining….that’s the first step to getting better…admitting our shortcomings. 🙂

    Like

  37. Comin' Down The Track

    I have to say, if y’all don’t pump the brakes, and stop using freakin’ Dabo freakin’ Swinney as a measuring stick, I will be forced to take my comment-reading eyes elsewhere! Harumph!

    Like

    • JCDAWG83

      ^^^this^^^ Dabo had a once a generation player in Watson this season, he is not the evil genius who created a championship machine at Clemson. The next few years over at rock petter land should be interesting.

      Like

    • Macallanlover

      I believe the WWL has trained all sports fans who watched them regularly to make all judgments based on what you have seen, or heard, the past seven days. No context ot perspective needed. Next week, you wake up and form a totally different set of conclusions without any thought of what you said previously. This is best demonstrated by Herbie, who may have dementia he reverses himself so much.

      Like

  38. AusDawg85

    Let’s take a road trip to hear some of the remaining blues legends. Mind if I dance with your date?

    Like

  39. 1smartdude

    Keep doing what you do Senator. There’s a huge difference between honesty and blind loyalty.

    Like

  40. ZachD

    Senator, I don’t comment much but I love your honest approach and take on UGA athletics. Though I haven’t been a fan as long as you(no, I was not alive the last time UGA won it all), I agree with your reservations. It is sometimes hard to decipher what is really worth getting our hopes up for. I thought 9 wins would have been a great season for 2016. I think the future is bright, but there still needs to be results to back it up. I do look forward to what Kirby is building. Here’s an entertaining read I found. https://www.reddit.com/r/CFB/comments/5odqj0/a_surefire_argument_for_the_georgia_bulldogs/

    Like

  41. Bill King

    Senator, we’re very much on the same page when it comes to this. Nicely said!

    Like