Malaised and confused

It sounds like at least some of you have read Seth Emerson’s piece about the state of the athletic department and the fan base’s reaction to that.  Methinks it’s an appropriate subject for a reader poll, so here goes.

I would really like to read your comments on this, so fire away.

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36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

36 responses to “Malaised and confused

  1. 92 grad

    I have two points that set up my perspective. 1) in the big picture I’m not sure that it’s all about winning so winning conference championships in all of the sports isn’t a deal breaker for me. I’m a proud graduate and like to see kids do well and enjoy competing and having scholarships that enable them to go to school and do the things that bring them success. 2) I think it sucks when management/admin shits the bed and I really feel that the middle and upper management types are embarrassing. So I have mixed feelings, I respect the kids and I don’t respect the leadership.

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  2. I voted for the 4th option. I have 0% control over what happens on South Campus, but I love my university and my blood runs run and black. I survived the Ray Goff experience; therefore, I can survive anything the athletic department does. Still, the AD is an unmitigated disaster and should have been relieved of his duties after the mishandling of Gurley-gate.

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  3. JG Shellnutt

    I am an alum and season ticket holder. I am 40 years old. I will keep season tickets for the rest of my life. I want us to win championships in every sport every year. But if we don’t, I’ll still be there, supporting the teams and the school. I know I’m in a very nonvocal minority.

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    • RandallPinkFloyd

      I’m a 32 year old alum along with my 30 year old alum wife. We love the Dawgs, love Athens just as much, want to see all of our sports succeed and will likely support them no matter what. However, levels of interest/passion will ebb and flow. If we didn’t live an hour away in Atlanta, we would have likely already stopped renewing.

      This past year we only went to 1 home game (UT). Weddings, birthdays, and general lack of interest have contributed to this. We’re planning to remain season ticket holders, but it’s getting difficult to justify given the product on the field, the ineptitude of our A.D., and the lack of stadium improvements/experience for the fans in the 300 section. He just doesn’t seem to ‘get it’ and that’s what is so frustrating about it. It’d be a much better experience and easier sell to my wife if she didn’t have to spend a whole quarter of the game waiting in line for a bathroom and then waiting in line to get a coke so that we can have an adult beverage.

      Greg better pray Kirby turns it around this year with an SEC East Championship and that he can ride that momentum in selling a potential ‘playoff year’ in 2018. If he doesn’t, I’m assuming 2018 renewal retention will be worse than what I’m expecting for 2017.

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  4. lakedawg

    Dropped two of my eight season tickets this year therby reducing contribution by 800 dollars. Also am planning a trip this fall on a ball game weekend (Samford) which have ever done in past. Last couple years very frustrating. Firing McGoof would somewhat help my frame of mind.

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  5. TimberRidgeDawg

    I understand Football is Job #1 at UGA and I expect that to be the highest priority but that doesn’t really differentiate us from the rest of the SEC, save for UK. From a potential perspective we should be consistently at or near the top of the conference in any sport in which we compete because of the natural advantages within the borders of our state, But the advent of the BCS and ensuing influx of cash from conference television deals and playoffs has created a class of nouveau riche athletic departments with money that they could have never dreamt of 20 years ago and it has inflated the economic cost of competition curve and forces everyone to work harder to stay at the top because everyone has money and facilities to recruit and can afford to keep their best coaches on staff.

    We seem to have been slow to awake to this new reality and the status quo thinking that is the Georgia Way has become ineffective. That our problems are across the board across almost all sports is proof that this is an institutional problem and not something that can be fixed by simply replacing a head coach. If the goal of the school is to really compete for championships in all sports and those are not just empty words, then make it a mission statement, give the staffs what they need to compete and then hold them accountable when they don’t.

    I can understand the idea that we need to be fiscally responsible. I don’t think the ESPN payout model that is fueling the facilities arms race is sustainable as customers continue to unbundle their cable services as record rates. We do not want to find ourselves in a hole we can’t dig out of when the merry-go-round stops but neither should we have to kick and scream to get the attention of the AD and Administration that we expect a quality competitive product on the field in all sports and our support deserves the consideration of the best fan experience possible. Just because we’re loyal doesn’t mean you take us for granted.

    I’m extremely frustrated with how our teams are performing but I’m less irritated with their coaching staffs than with administration that is running the show. That needs to be fixed and there needs to be a new era of accountability with a focus on performance, otherwise we are just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Russ

    I’m still a die-hard fan, but I’ve dialed back the obsession a good bit. I can only get kicked in the nuts so many times.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      I’m willing to take a kick in the nuts if I know the guy next to me is ready to step up and do the same. However, if the UGAA is only halfway-in, then I’m not willing to take one to the balls just so they can smile and look good.

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  7. Bright Idea

    I haven’t missed a football game at home or on the road since Arkansas 04. We hold gymnastics and baseball season tickets also. I go to 5-6 basketball games a year. The mediocrity and my age has me at the tipping point. I’ll soon have to make a decision with my head instead of my heart. I can’t keep waiting until next year. I know I can’t do anything about B-M, but I can do something about me.

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  8. DawgPhan

    Dropped my football tickets. Didnt attend a basketball game or a Gym Dogs meet for the first time in a long time.

    Got an email from Jon Burkett. Told him that I would not be renewing my tickets. Got the “Sorry you feel that way” non-apology that really is saying sorry you are too dumb to see how great we are.

    The people that work at B-M dont even think anything is wrong. And that’s the problem. And will continue to be the problem.

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    • Same – I told him I was re-directing my contribution into the Tull School of Accounting where I earned two degrees because of the education I received and the opportunities it has afforded me in life.I prefer not to contribute to an increasingly mediocre product / experience as an overall athletic department that continually treats me as a walking wallet and not a valued customer / alum.

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  9. St. Johns Dawg

    I’ll support the Dawgs no matter what, though I definitely think the athletic department has bred mediocrity into the system over time. Perhaps new leadership would help. I’m most interested to see how the wind blows if the football team manages to get up the hill with more trips to Atlanta and maybe sneak a championship in there … IF that happens, will people continue to complain about Mark Fox’s or Scott Stricklin’s programs?

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  10. rchris

    Notice UGA’s period of glory coincides with the AD tenure of Vincent Dooley, and the immediate aftermath when the coaches he hired were still running their programs. The man was very competent in more than just football.

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    • Bright Idea

      Adams coming to UGA made Dooley look even better than he was once Adams canned him. Now it’s like Adams’ ghost is still there. McGarity still thinks that he is apparently. Issues in B-M are more than frugality IMO. Dooley was a competitor, the last one we’ve had in charge.

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  11. I've Stopped Caring

    I’m 51 years old. UGA grad and I live in Athens. Lifelong Dawg. One of my siblings was Captain of the football team. I try to attribute it to age, but my interest in the Athletic program has never been lower. I find myself jealous of every one of our rivals and neighboring schools for something they’ve very recently achieved that seems totally out of reach for us. If you’d told me at 35 I’d feel like this at 51, I’d have laughed out loud. I know just enough about the inner workings of the BM to know change is highly, highly unlikely. I honestly wonder if I will live long enough to ever see us do anything of note again. I have numerous friends that are former Lettermen, some with semi-iconic status who feel exactly the same.

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  12. sniffer

    No matter how much we bitch, things will change little. AD may spend more, but will never spend “Texas” style.

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  13. dawgfan

    Renewed season tickets but will not be suckered in to spring game this year or the annual beat down in Jacksonville. I’ll just watch on TV. This is my daughter’s senior year at UGA so this would probably be my last year of season tickets if it wasn’t for Notre Dame in 2019. I’ll go to 5 or 6 basketball games as long as they are decent. All sports, but men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball, in particular are important. Football is the crown jewel though at UGA.

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  14. mg4life0331

    My weekend is ruined when they lose. I love those damn kids playing with the pigskin.

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  15. BamaDawg

    We would obviously be whining more championships in ALL sports if there were better bathrooms in Sanford Stadium.

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  16. I want them all to win every time. However, I’m only emotionally invested in football. I’ll get into basketball or even baseball to a degree when they’re winning but as far as following recruiting and getting concerned about losses, not really. I don’t really care about the equestrian team or the golf team or the tennis team in any real sense beyond a general desire that Georgia win at everything. I do understand that those programs have done well. Track is apparently doing well too.

    My overall attitude is that there’s not a damn thing I can do to effect any of the programs and I don’t know that I’d have any better ideas than the ones who are running things. I may disagree with what decisions that are made, but they aren’t asking, and they wouldn’t listen to, me.

    My bargain is I pull for the football team 12 to 15 (I hope🤞) times a year and I hope they win. If they don’t, by Monday I’m good. Enjoy the wins and let the losses slide and hope to one day see us win the big one on a Monday evening somewhere one day. In return, I expect and deserve nothing. If we become Bama, I’ll be there. If we become Kansas, I’ll be there. I’m a dawg for life, period.

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  17. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Tough choices.
    I could have punched anything but number one on any given day. Today I went with number two, but I also suspect that I am lying to myself a little by claiming it doesn’t affect my financial and emotional support. I feel number number 4 some days, but punching that is just giving up hope. You gotta have hope. Yeah, I know, that might be a lie, too.

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  18. Bulldog Joe

    Thank you, Senator (and Seth) for bringing this item to the forefront.

    Bringing up the rear in athletic budget and athletic performance is bad PR for the university, no matter how much of the athletic revenue bounces back to the university.

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  19. AusDawg85

    The balance between “The Georgia Way” and achievement has been lost. We’ll never have a win at all cost attitude too many in our neighborhood deploy, so we’re always going to be in the fight with one hand tied behind our back. But quality and winning are not mutually exclusive. For too long, certainly since Adams came on board, we have only given lip service to quality and not been concerned with winning at an institutional level…it was left to each of the HC’s of their respective sports. Landers won and recruited well thanks to his reputation, but little was built behind him. Same for the Gym Dawgs. Fox is a DGD, but inherited a mess and is not the cut-throat talent needed to win in today’s BB. Our golf coach is stellar, but there’s been a bit of a drop off. No follow through on the momentum baseball had. The list goes on and no with need to further rehash football.

    Should Georgia be a top 20 institution academically and in sports? Undoubtedly. Are we? Lately…no. Should we be top 10? We believe so, but have never lived in that neighborhood. I think this is the big disconnect with the fanbase, alumni, and those in charge. We are comparing ourselves to top 10 institutions and truly loath the reflection in the mirror. Its hard to accept the “only” top 20 role, but we need to get back to that level…CONSISTENTLY and in ALL AREAS…before we aspire to more.

    This sort of describes our middle age in the modern era of professional college sports. In a fit of self doubt, we went and bought a Ferrari to try to look cool and feel good about ourselves. Hell, we might get the hot date to the CFP in football with Kirby, but our problems are so much deeper, we need real counseling and an overhaul. Until Morehead, the regents, the admin and UGAA all get on the same page with a master vision and plan, I fear we are just wandering around the wilderness. It’s frustrating and not worthy of any additional investment on my part.

    And that sucks…

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    • Fox is a DGD, but inherited a mess…

      Actually, Felton left him a core group of four talented players. Fox dug a hole for himself immediately with his attitude about AAU and recruiting.

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      • Q

        I have mixed feelings. I wanna win, but to play the AAU game is to sell your soul. I admire Fox for telling them to stuff themselves, just like the old Maryland coach did. It ended up costing him his job but he kept his respect.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Outside of Bama, the programs around us who are winning big are not the historic top level powers. Clemson has always been behind us in football, S Car has always been behind us in everything, Florida had never won an SEC championship in football until Spurrier arrived, Auburn has always been about equal to us in football and generally behind us in all other sports. It’s true we have not been an historic top tier athletic program but the change in the state population and the increase in funds should definitely allow us to become one. The programs around us have simply out worked us and their work is paying dividends while we sit back and talk about how great we were in 1980 and accept mediocrity on the fields and court. At this point, Georgia has absolutely no major sport to point to with any pride at all. Outside of the country club sports we are mediocre at best (football) and terrible (baseball) at worst.

      The “I’m a fan for life no matter what” attitude is why we are what we are. BM knows there are enough of those people out there that they and the coaches have zero motivation to really press for improvement. I guess as long as a substantial percentage of the fan base has the attitude of “we are what we are and I’ll accept that and keep supporting the teams no matter what” BM will reward the fan base with more of the same.

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  20. Sick and Tired of Being Cick and Tired

    This hire of Kirby may work out and I hope it does. That said, the B-M folks choked on the hire. We needed a new HC that had experience as a HC and was a quality HC. Kirby Smart was a career assistant. This is his first HC gig. He’s gets to make all his OTJT mistakes on our tab. And he already has made several. He’s not Saban, he worked for Saban. Just like SOD. Just like Boom. I haven’t seen any thing to prove to me that he isn’t just another SOD or Boom.

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  21. Got Cowdog

    I don’t and don’t intend to contribute to the athletic association directly other than a couple of games a year when I choose. I will abstain from the vote and leave it to those who have a more vested interest than mine.

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  22. DoubleDawg1318

    I am a graduate student so I don’t have to make the financial commitment so many do. I still clicked option 3 mostly because of basketball. It would take a lot for me to give up on football, but I was really excited about the mbb season this year. I had every game written in my calendar because I planned on attending a few games and watching/listening to the rest. Instead we started losing to Clemson and Oakland, and the team kept crapping the bed, so I didn’t attend a single game. After the inexcusable A&M loss, I didn’t even bother to look up the scores.

    At this point, I’m refusing to invest emotional/financial resources into basketball until we are good again. I could be a die hard mbb fan but I refuse to do so until it’s worth the commitment.

    I used to be a big Braves fan until they blew up the team, lost a bunch of games and moved to Cobb County. Since then, I’ve pretty much quit following or caring about them. It would take a similar scale of disaster for me to quit on Georgia football.

    I know the strength of my love for football is being taken advantage of by the AA and that makes me mad. We both know the AA can get away with a certain level of abuse and I won’t be able to walk away. However, this is sowing the seeds of destruction. If the team ever collapses, I’ll walk away knowing I can stick it to the AA for taking advantage of me.

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  23. I gave up our football season tickets in 2012. I still found tickets to the football games I wanted to go to, and did so through this past year’s Tennessee and Auburn games. I’m looking at the schedule and not finding many (any?) I want to go to. Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky don’t stir the cockles or the sub-cockles, and App State and Samford are less fan-friendly G-day games.

    The baseball team is a train wreck in an awful stadium (third or fourth best college baseball program in the state as the flagship university?). We have plans to attend a softball game or two… a good product in a good environment, imagine that. Otherwise, what else is there to take pride in as an alum? The golf, tennis, and swim teams remain elite, but who really takes pride in those programs’ successes beyond those with close ties?

    I want things to be better, but I don’t see myself as an agent of change and any effort on that front is wasted (beyond checking in here to see the state of affairs and maybe complaining on twitter just for fun). I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have extra time, energy, or money to waste.

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  24. Napoleon BonerFart

    I had season tickets for 22 years, but gave them up this year. I have no desire to watch cupcakes and the atmosphere is increasingly like a TV show. If that’s the goal, I can probably have a better experience at home.

    So, I’ll watch App State at home. I’ll buy tickets on Stubhub for home games that I really care about. But there’s only a couple of those in a year.

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    • There are literally no home games that I have any interest in buying tickets to. I dropped the season tickets and the only reason I even considered keeping them was because of Notre Dame in 2019, but whatever – it’ll still be cheaper if those are the only tickets I buy that year than donating and buying tickets over the next two years.

      We’re spending our money to go to Notre Dame this year, but barring a playoff appearance – I doubt I’ll see any other Georgia games in person.

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  25. Comin' Down The Track

    Butts-Mehre’s gonna Butts-Mehre

    Stockholm syndrome ain’t so bad.

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  26. Castleberry

    Looks like my request to upgrade seats is coming through! Thanks to everyone who backed off your donations this year.

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