I don’t know if you heard about a great gesture Kirby announced a few days ago.
Kirby Smart just sort of slipped in at SEC Media Days this week what’s a fairly big deal to members of Georgia’s 1980 national championship team. That is, UGA is hosting a viewing party for them when the 2017 Bulldogs take on Notre Dame on Sept. 9.
“They’ll get to sit and watch that game if they’re not actually going to Notre Dame,” Smart said during his opening remarks Tuesday morning. “That will be an exciting venue for those guys to come back together and watch that game.”
There’s sort of a curious backstory, though. For one thing, there were other wheels in motion on a reunion.
Actually, Smart kind of jumped the gun on Frank Ros, who in addition to being a starting inside linebacker on that undefeated, untied team of yore, also was a team captain and, as such, has since become de facto reunion organizer for the 1980 Bulldogs. He was the point man for the 10th, 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th reunions of the championship team, and he’s the point man for this event as well.
The reality, Ros said, is everything hasn’t quite been finalized just yet. On Thursday, he was still processing the data he’d gotten back from the survey he sent out to his 1980 teammates, and he said he has yet to have a formal discussion with UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity about it.
As the article notes, Ros is a sharp guy, and, as someone who’s worked at Coca-Cola for a long while, familiar with how to get things moving in a corporate environment. So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t totally buy this proclamation of innocence:
But you don’t get to be vice president of Hispanic strategies for Coca-Cola International without being organized and self-motivated, as Ros is. And now that Smart threw it out there to several hundred media members attending SEC Media Days, it looks like it’s a go.
“I didn’t even realize Kirby had done that,” Ros, now retired, said with a laugh from his home in Kennesaw, an Atlanta suburb, on Thursday. “But I’ve gotten a good response so it looks like we’ll be able to finalize everything now.” [Emphasis added.]
Pardon my skepticism, but I detect a whiff of clever maneuvering here. It smells to me like Greg McGarity just got squeezed with a nifty power play engineered in part by his head football coach. Whether that would be because the two were concerned McGarity might object (why, I don’t know), or simply wanted to sidestep bureaucratic nitpicking by the man who entangled himself with condoms in a contract negotiation, they’ve managed to arrange that the optics are now such that it would be near impossible to sidetrack what ought to be a neat get-together.
Makes you wonder what else Smart is capable of manipulating. Unless it was a complete coincidence, of course.