“The Georgia fans won’t be this happy again for a long time.”

Ivan Maisel does a great job of capturing the moment of what Georgia’s 2017 season means to us and how the expectations for Smart and the program will soon change.

If Georgia wins the Rose Bowl, Georgia has won nothing. The Bulldogs have just stayed alive to win the national title.

Now, if Georgia beats Clemson or Alabama and wins the College Football Playoff National Championship, their fans will be ecstatic. I get that. The Bulldogs haven’t won a national championship since 1980.

Moreover, the title game is back in Atlanta, and if you don’t think that’s an advantage for the Dawgs, ask LSU what it meant to play for its 2003 and 2007 BCS titles in New Orleans.

But with that national championship, with that moment when Smart again holds a trophy aloft in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, comes a whole new set of emotions. With success comes the weight of expectations. Boosters don’t celebrate as wildly. Success becomes the floor instead of the ceiling.

“I’ve never really thought of it that way,” Smart said, laughing. “It’s kind of depressing the way you describe it. There’s nowhere to go but down.”

The funny thing is that Kirby Smart’s been there, done that.

We spoke in the minutes before the ESPN College Football Awards Show recently. Smart and the other head coaches in the College Football Playoff — Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma, Nick Saban of Alabama and Dabo Swinney of Clemson — walked into a conference room, where a buffet of spring rolls, chicken tenders, shrimp satay and hamburger sliders awaited them.

“We’re not at the monster stage yet,” Smart said of Georgia. “We’re still at the early stage, but you’re right.”

He looked across the room and waved toward Saban, for whom he worked at LSU, the Miami Dolphins and Alabama.

“I’ve been through it before, in Tuscaloosa,” Smart said. “It’s like, I feel sorry for him. What he’s done can never be repeated.”

Maybe that’s one more thing Saban deserves credit for.  Yes, he’s well paid for the effort, but it’s got to be tough mentally when you get to the top of the mountain… and stay there.

I’m sure we won’t mind if Kirby has to put up with that one day soon, though.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

21 responses to ““The Georgia fans won’t be this happy again for a long time.”

  1. Debby Balcer

    I just hope our fan base does not turn into Bama’s

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    • I’m afraid a certain amount of smugness comes with the territory.

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      • There’s a difference between confidence and smugness/arrogance. I hope we stay confident in the fact we can be a sustainable winner. I hope we never become the insufferable jackasses the Bama sidewalk alumni and the insecure section of their alumni have become. I used to consider Bama my 2nd favorite SEC program for a lot reasons primarily we both hated Auburn … that spot has now been taken by LSU.

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        • Eh, maybe. I already hear echoes of it in the tone a lot of people take in advocating the end of the series with Georgia Tech.

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          • I never want the series to end and only when the Drought is no more. Anyone who thinks we should give up as close to a sure thing in an in-state rivalry needs to have his head examined.

            I’m not saying it won’t happen … I just hope it doesn’t. Larry would spin in his grave if we ever became like Bama fans.

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          • PTC DAWG

            54 years old here, it’s a no win situation with GT and their fans….f’em.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      Take a peek back and review the behavior of our fans during the last few years of CMR.
      “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” …. was one mindset.

      “Competing at the highest level is not about winning. It’s about preparation, courage, understanding and nurturing your people, and heart. Winning is the result.” ….was another.

      Which will rule? We can only hope.
      But if we are gonna “eat an elephant…we have to do it one bite at a time.” 😉

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    • @Debby: Good luck with that. I have no confidence in that not happening. Then when things get a little tough, turning on the coach in a heart beat. Band wagon fans abound all over the place.

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  2. Rusty

    I’m expecting great things for the foreseeable future, but I’m truly just enjoying the ride right now.
    Perspective sweetens the good times.

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  3. Argondawg

    Had Christmas Eve dinner with a member of the family who is a Bama fan. He and I were talking about the fact that Saban would be 70 or 71 when this class he is recruiting will be upperclassmen. He shrugged and said “We are Bama. We will keep rolling.” Maybe, the next coach they bring in will be the new Saban. Can you catch lightning in a bottle back to back with coaches?

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    • JCDAWG83

      Ask him what happened between Stallings and Saban? I’ve never been a Bama hater but I’m pretty well fed up with the rank and file Bama fan’s arrogance. The Bama alumni I know are pretty decent and grounded. The Bama sidewalk alumni are insufferable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cali_dawg

        I’m embarrassed to admit it took me a while to figure out what sidewalk alumni was. Are they noticeably more annoying than regular alums? I can’t imagine the overconfidence current undergrads must feel, considering Saban is all they’ve ever known.

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  4. It’s funny, I’ve been going to Georgia games since Bulter beat Clemson on the 60 yarder. For a long time I thought the National Championship was more of a curse than a blessing for just this reason. It’s the journey not the destination. GO DAWGS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. steve

    Apparently Ivan has not experienced CFB’s blow up doll, Auburn. Historically, cheap, fake and a shameless substitute for the real thing, Auburn is characterized as a single-planet solar system filled with schmalz.
    The ceiling is only good for one thing, Ivan: to attach the War Eagle piñata to. So just beat Auburn Kirby and this alum will be content.

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  6. DoubleDawg1318

    Great article and I am definitely focusing on enjoying the ride. The reality has been so far beyond what my expectations were entering the season. I don’t know if there will be another year where the expectations are low enough to result in this much joy when they are exceeded. Hopefully we don’t become insufferably arrogant like Bama fans. Appreciate the wins but don’t consider them a birthright.

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    • “Appreciate the wins but don’t consider them a birthright.”

      That’s exactly where I hope our fan base stays. I believe one of the reasons the OBS left Gainesville for the NFL was that he was tired of the entitled Gator fan base that would bitch about beating teams by 38 when the spread was 40. I think that was the root of his “10 years at one place” comment.

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  7. “If Georgia wins the Rose Bowl, Georgia has won nothing.” This is pure bullshit.

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  8. St. Johns Dawg

    If you need a dose of humility, just go back over the past 25 years and look at the tough or horrible losses – They are pretty much all on YouTube … UF’s dominance in the 90s under Spurrier and the beatdown they gave us in Sanford … Tennessee winning a national championship in 98 with half the team coming from GA/ATL … Us getting over the hump as SEC champs in 2002 and 2005 only to have the bowl loss to Central Florida and a Belk Bowl win over Grantham ahead of us … UGA hasn’t been an elite program in those 25 years – Good, not great. A lot of teams around us geographically have been great … And it’s about time that script was flipped. A strong UGA should spell trouble for the FBS programs around us – Looking forward to seeing them realize their darkest fears come to light.

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  9. Pingback: Alabama doesn’t have time for this shit. | Get The Picture

  10. Keep winning and the fan base at UGA will be no different than Bamas or ND’s . Insufferable. It is human nature. And the sidewalk or bandwagon fans will be the majority of the insufferable. Already see it on sites.

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