Kids these days

Tim Worley’s cri de coeur about Georgia’s disappointing Sugar Bowl performance is getting a lot of attention, based on the emails and comments I’ve received.

No doubt it’s powerful, both because Worley’s been in the arena (in a positive sense)…

I played in our bowl game when I knew I was declaring for the NFL Draft as a junior.

In fact, when I played in the 1989 Gator Bowl against Michigan State – my last game as a Georgia Bulldog – guess who else played in that same game, and declared for the draft days later? First round and the second overall pick, offensive lineman Tony Mandarich and first-round, twenty-second overall pick, Andre Rison (who, by the way, was the Spartans’ MVP with nine receptions for 252 yards.)

Don’t @ me about their NFL careers. That’s not the point. The point is, the bowl game I played in had three first-round picks in it. And we didn’t just play in the game. We. Went. At. It.

… and because he’s undeniably passionate about the point he’s making.

Why? Because we were supposed to play. Because our universities expected us to play. Because our scholarships required us to play. Because we gave our word to our families and to ourselves that, every time we were on the field, we were going to leave everything on it. And equally as importantly as all of those reasons, because our teammates depended on us to play, and we were not going to abandon our brothers.

Because every game we played in our school jerseys mattered.

How can you not respect that passion?

Well, all it takes is being from another generation.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker left to become Colorado’s head coach the week after the SEC Championship. All-American cornerback Deandre Baker decided the bowl wasn’t important enough to risk injury before he gets his NFL shot. Quarterback Justin Fields and tight end Luke Ford, both of them 5-star signees in the last class, thought it important to enter the NCAA’s infamous transfer portal before the bowl game. Key players were either sidelined by or played with injuries. Meanwhile, a half-dozen juniors continue to contemplate early-entry in the draft.

Not everybody buys the distracted theory.

“Not at all,” said junior safety J.R. Reed, another Bulldog contemplating the NFL jump. “… When you have guys leaving for the draft, some staying, it’s going to happen every year on this team. Going forward, the Georgia fans are going to have to get used to that. It’s not going to be a distraction to the players at all. Each year it’s going to be the same thing.”

Worley admits he’s old school — not that there’s anything wrong with that — so there is an aspect to his complaint that I don’t think even he expects to translate cleanly now.  And there is a certain element of “back in my day” when you read this:

Compete. Every game. No exceptions. Ever.

Win games you’re supposed to win. That means all of them. Enough with the trying hard crap. You’re there to win. Do it.

Get off social media before ballgames. Shut your mouth. Shut your mouth. Shut. Your. Mouth. Say what you have to say with sixty minutes of dominate play.

Stop whining about where you’re not, and commit to where you are. You didn’t make it to the Playoff. You made it to the Sugar Bowl. Your job was to play like your life depended on it…in the Sugar Bowl.

January 2, 2019 hurt recruiting. It hurt the futures of those who will declare for the draft. It may not seem like it right away, but the long-term effects could be irreparable. The performance last night sent the wrong message. It encourages the pervasive sentiment that college ball is just a stepping stone to the NFL. This dishonors the integrity of amateur football, diminishes the privilege it is to play next-level ball, disrespects the scholarship/investment the school as made in the player’s education and athletic ability (for those on scholarship), and throws up the middle finger at the responsibility that comes with the privilege of playing NCAA – and, I will with much bias say, especially SEC – football.

Take a page from Nick Chubb’s and Sony Michel’s book: big TEAM; little me. This is a photo of an actual shirt we wore when I was at UGA. I strongly suggest the University of Georgia have some made for the 2019 season….just as that wise dude said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Except back in his day and even before his day there were unfortunate moments when Georgia didn’t show up mentally ready to play.  Anyone old enough to remember the egg laid in the 1969 Sugar Bowl?

Steve Greer was a 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior defensive guard who had arrived at Georgia in 1965 and was finally getting to play in 1968 after a knee injury and being redshirted. He would go on to make all-American in 1969 primarily on scrappiness and not by being a prototypical size.

He remembers that day in the Sugar Bowl as a long one for the Georgia faithful. “It wasn’t a good day,” he recalled with a laugh over the phone from his Athens home. “Arkansas had a great receiver and a quarterback and whipped us pretty good that day. They had a great game and we made some mistakes.”

He also remembered that the weather had been nice in New Orleans leading up to the game, but that the temperatures turned frigid on Jan. 1.

Mr. Greer, who later went on to coach at Auburn and Georgia and retired as director of football operations at Georgia after the 2008 season, said another part of the problem was that Georgia thought it might be going to the Orange Bowl. At that time before SEC bowl alignments, Georgia was looking to go to a game against the highest-ranked opponent possible for maximum positive national exposure.

However, he added that they did manage to have a good time in New Orleans.

1968 standout receiver Charley Whittemore jokingly said rumors have long persisted that Georgia’s disappointing Sugar Bowl outcome was affected by the fact they had too good a time after arriving earlier than Arkansas did. But he does not buy those comments.

“A lot of people say we went down and spent all our time on Bourbon Street,” he said with a laugh. “I know some guys went on Bourbon Street, and there might have been a day or two when they were having a good time before getting into their weekly routine. But I felt like our team was ready to play.

“Those people I played with were competitive. They were wanting to play hard.”

All that’s missing to make that a complete echo of what happened this week is a social media reference.  And that was from a time when the Sugar Bowl was part of college football’s postseason very top tier.  In short, Worley’s right in more than one way that there’s nothing new under the sun.

These kids, just like the ones who came before them, are human beings.  Their coaches are paid a lot of money to get the best out of them, but the old saw about leading a horse to water ought to resonate a bit.  What you have to hope for is that each player’s potential for personal growth is nurtured.  That’s why the part of Worley’s piece that I think is best comes in this paragraph:

Keep in mind, I’m assuming someone is going to step up. I’m assuming someone is going to take the word of a former player who is not speaking from a sanctimonious high horse, but instead from the 20/20 hindsight wisdom of a person who took his foot off the character development pedal the second someone in authority at UGA told me I was going to be a millionaire.

It’s not the Deandre Bakers whom I worry about.  He proved his mettle when he came back as a senior and made his regular season count.  It’s the kids that show up, but don’t really show up, if you get my meaning.

Georgia didn’t lose the game on Twitter because it decided to mouth-off — although, that’s what makes it seem foolish in hindsight. Rather, those tweets showed what Georgia thought of this game.

There was nothing to play for in the Bulldogs’ eyes. It was apparent in the locker room when many of the players were laughing and smiling as they would after practice. There was no excuse given for players being absent, but the game’s output represented how Georgia viewed the Sugar Bowl…

Texas saw a deflated, unmotivated Georgia and took advantage of it.

“At the end of the day we have to come to play,” wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman said. “We didn’t come to play. Texas came to play.”

That was obvious to anyone who watched the game.  Any coach or player who attempts to brush that off afterwards should make us as concerned as Tim Worley.

I do expect along with him that there will be folks stepping up.  Nobody likes being embarrassed on the big stage and fortunately this team has enough talent that if it gets its mind right it can do something about that.

There’s a lesson that everyone in that locker room needs to heed.  You can’t take anything for granted, no matter how talented you may be.  Nobody’s entitled to a damned thing.  Just ask Tim Worley.

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141 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

141 responses to “Kids these days

  1. Jared S.

    I really believed UGA would wipe the floor with Texas. I figured they’d probably start slow and even fall behind. But I figured they’d crush Texas in the second half. Just manhandle them.

    I guess the problem is Georgia had the same thought.

    Like

    • No Country For Old Dawgs

      Yeah Jared totally agree. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what was going on. To the Senator’s point regarding the 1969 Sugar Bowl though, maybe some of the blame should be on coaching. Dooley got blown out in several big bowl games in his 25 years, especially the Sugar Bowl. It can be argued that Dooley wasn’t up to the task of winning many heavy weight bowl fights against other power programs. His record don’t lie.

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      • CannonDawg

        January 1, 1981: #1 Georgia vs #7 Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Dawgs win 17-10. First consensus national championship since 1942. There have been none since. I say again, none since. Dooley wasn’t up to the task? Well, it can be argued that he most certainly was on that important day. His record don’t lie.

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        • No Country For Old Dawgs

          December 1980: Vince Dooley interviews with Auburn in Birmingham, AL to become their Head Coach & AD. That’s what a focused, loyal Georgia man does, amirite? He sported a 1-4 record in the Sugar Bowl. An all-time great SEC coach, which he’s considered, didn’t even break even in his Sugar Bowl appearances. And we wonder why our fall from a top the SEC Mountain was so precipitous after that 1984 Cotton Bowl.

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          • CannonDawg

            So his 1-4 record in the Sugar Bowl spoils his overall career work? Gimme a friggin’ break. Four SECs and one Natty in 25 years in the same era that Bear Bryant was at Alabama, and you find his record and reputation substandard because he was 1-4 in the Sugar Bowl? Have another beer. And just for the record, he didn’t take the Auburn job.

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      • Dawg1

        Over the years, many teams have claimed MNCs even after losing their bowl game. This too shall pass.

        https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2018/1/8/16849228/national-championships-list-count-ranking-most

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    • anon

      I haven’t really figured out this frame of thinking…..from the beginning when I saw Texas as opponent I was excited but also realistic. To think UT (the flagship university of TX) couldn’t field a competitive football is unrealistic. It’s not like UGA has been dominant (aka Alabama) the last 10 years. A state of 30 million people that had a movie and TV series based on football crazy population couldn’t field a team to compete with UGA on any given night??? Give me a break. Not sure where this entitlement mentality has arisen.

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  2. Awesome.

    You know, what this comment section is really missing is some good ole Boomer v. Millennial bickering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 79Dawg

      Gen X would like to have a word, sir!

      While many of us were taught and aspire to do our best, every day, at what we do (I believe a commenter in the other thread mentioned this), the simple fact of the matter is that we are human beings and each of us has an off day, gets distracted, etc…

      Most of us here have 250-day a year jobs – we don’t do our best every moment of all 250 of those days, and anyone who says otherwise is lying. These guys have 12 days a year to “show up” for, not 250. Some of you will say, “ah, its much easier and less demanding them”; but on the flip-side, 1 bad day out of 12 is a lot more damaging than 1 out of 250.

      And again, think about how hard it may be to motivate your children, coworkers, family members, etc. to do even simple things sometimes – it ain’t always easy!

      I never thought it was Richt’s fault when the team “failed to show up”, and I don’t think its Kirby’s either. We all have our bad days, and unfortunately Swift and the OL and Cheney and Fromm and the injuries/absences on D all conspired to fall on the same day.

      **it happens!!!

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      • While I agree with you it wasn’t completely Coach Smart’s fault. He has some of the responsibility. Starting with when the first post went up on social media by a player complaining about the playoff selection and he didn’t immediately put a Kibosh on all such action and let them know if they have something to say they can speak clearly on Jan the 1st.

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  3. piper

    if he really cared to make a difference, he would’ve dropped a personal note to kirby or asked him to speak to the team. i think he cares about publicity. it worked.

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  4. Worley is a DGD. That Gator Bowl was truly meaningless, but it’s still one of the best games I have seen in person.

    This seemed more like the 2006 Sugar Bowl where our guys thought they were just going to roll the ball out there vs. West Virginia.

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    • Russ

      Agreed. Worley and the Dawgs played hard that night. DGD.

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    • 79Dawg

      It wasn’t meaningless, it was Vince’s last game!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get that … but that game is so far down the pecking order now.

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        • atlasshrugged55

          Today it is down the pecking order but at the end of the 1988 season the Gator Bowl was on the level just below the 4 New Year’s day bowls. There were maybe a total of 10 bowl games, so only the top 20 teams made a bowl. Unlike today’s participation bowl approach.

          Every bowl used to be a special treat &, as players, it was another opportunity to play the game you loved. Maybe you had fun the first two or three nights in the bowl city, but then things calmed down & everyone took care to be ready & feel good for the game.

          Liked by 1 person

    • MagnusDawgus

      Wycliffe Lovelace owned Mandarich in that game.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ClydeBoogie

      Omg!! Omg!! eethomas oh my lord! I had forgot about that!! Now it all came back. aaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!! make it stop. Now that was a flogging.

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    • dawgman3000

      I think the difference with what transpired Tuesday night and the 06 sugar bowl is that in 06, the team just simply overlooked WVU although they were excited about being in the sugar bowl. The team looked like they just didn’t want to play that game at all Tuesday night. I agree with Worley, this team appears to be entitled in that unless they’re playing for something meaningful, they’re just going through the motions.

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      • I can accept that although I heard back then a lot of the players weren’t happy about playing in a bowl game in Atlanta and spent most of their free time in Buckhead.

        The other difference is that team scratched and clawed itself back I got the game and then got caught with their pants down with the fake punt at the end.

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  5. Gene Simmons

    Tom Herman’s post-game comment summed it all up for me:
    “We came here to win the ball game.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DawgPhan

    I mean UGA almost won the game? All this angst and writing angry letters to the local paper about a 1 score loss to Texas?

    It wasnt great, but this seems like a little much.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      UGA didn’t almost win the game. The 1 score final margin was window dressing of the highest order. We were in a 3 possession hole the entire night. We actually competed better against LSU.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Salty Dawg

    To me, this rests on Kirby’s shoulders. They were not prepared mentally or physically and reacted like a deer in headlights when Texas showed them that they were more than ready. The lesson from the LSU game did not last long enough. Distractions aside, their egos, complacency, or whatever did them in. I’m still embarrassed and don’t know if I can trust them this season not to do the same thing. Which team will show up for the games? Kirby better make sure it’s the one who played like they did in the SECCG. Fighting like they wanted it, win or lose. Not just going to phone it in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      I’m guessing there will be a lot more competition for playing time next season. I sure hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nacho

      This ^

      For all the bravado that comes from Kirby about how difficult their practices are and that each game is a “business trip”, he got “Kirb stomped”. Can we add that to the Lexicon please?

      First 3 seasons:

      Richt 32-8
      Kirb Stomped: 32-10

      I’m sick of his talk. Time to put up or shut the fuck up.

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  8. Seattle Dawg

    That gator bowl was my first uga game. And Dooley’s last.

    In the team’s defense, two heartbreaking losses in a row to Alabama sucked the life out of my football world. I watched the sugar bowl with a kind of numbness or indifference not typical for me.

    It reminds me that the World Cup has that weird match for third place after you lose your shot at the final.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CB

      Excellent analogy

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    • Tony Barnfart

      Yes, that is a very fair analogy.

      Like

    • Bulldog Joe

      Before the AFL merger, the NFL played a third place consolation game in Miami.

      It was well-attended, the players got paid, and received a Florida vacation. And (usually) the LA Rams got to end their season with a warm-weather win instead of a cold weather loss. It was televised.

      As kids, our pee-wee league also played a very competitive third place game right before the championship. For most of us, it would be our last time together as a team. There was pride in winning it.

      Now get off my lawn.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playoff_Bowl

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bulldog Joe

        But like the Bulldogs, not everyone was on board with it. Coach Vince Lombardi called it “the ‘Shit Bowl’, a losers’ bowl for losers.”

        Some things never change.

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    • Morris Day

      [i]two heartbreaking losses in a row to Alabama sucked the life out of my football world[/i]

      ^^ This! I felt the same way sitting there watching the game. My son was losing his mind, I was like, “I’m not surprised this is happening”.

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  9. Macallanlover

    Kudos to Tim Worley for speaking up. It won’t change a damned thing with this current group of athletes, but staying silent when you see something that is wrong is a lousy approach. “See something, say something” should have been a course of action long before September 11, and applies to much more than terroristic cowards.

    The Sugar Bowl went wrong in so many ways for UGA, but this is one that was within the control of the players. It isn’t just UGA that has these issues, although Tuesday night did put them under the microscope for many Dawg fans, as well as CFB fans. There are a lot of dark clouds on the horizon of CFB and not many leaders who have an answer for how to change the slide.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Russ

    That was a good article. Nice to hear from Worley, and glad he’s doing well. Hope at least some of his message sticks with the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. SpellDawg

    Forgive me if this has already been said, but Saban’s 2009 Sugar Bowl loss to the Utes is too eerily similar to not dwell upon. Bama loses to Florida in the SEC championship game (losing the lead in the 4th quarter), missing out on the title shot, and drags itself into the Sugar Bowl to lose to a team everyone expected them to blow-out. The hope that Kirby takes the next step on Saban’s path will hold me through the off-season….

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  12. Bill Glennon

    Why isn’t there an insurance policy that the university could buy that would pay the difference between the signing bonus and initial contract for the highest reasonably projected draft ranking and a post-injury draft position?

    The chance of a CB suffering a career-ending injury in one game is extremely small. Moreover, Todd Gurley tore his ACL in November before the draft and was still a top ten pick. Willis McGahee also went in the first round after his knee was destroyed. The point is, I can’t imagine the premiums would be very high for a one-game policy.

    Isn’t there a market solution to this problem and an opportunity for Lloyds of London?

    Like

    • Tony Barnfart

      I don’t disagree, I wonder if part of the problem is finding a way to button up the language on what constitutes certain “occurrences” triggering a policy payout……..sooo many variables that are impossible to quantify/prove for either side in a dispute over whether the policy should pay. What happens on a hamstring or ligament strain that pushes somebody into a later round and everybody’s arguing whether he could/shoulda/woulda performed at the combine and whether that would have made a difference. Competing expert doctors…..seems messy. Which is why I think you’ve seen the market simply settle on these X max lump sum payouts that hardly make the injured player whole for what he has lost.

      /maybe I’m missing something. I’m not an insurance expert and I certainly know there are exotic policies out there—this definitely falls into the exotic category, IMO.

      Like

    • The problem is exactly that the premium wouldn’t be very high. There is no way Lloyd’s could collect enough premium from the 15-20 players, we are talking about, even over 2-3 years, to pay even one claim for a guy falling from a top 10 pick to mid round or even undrafted.

      It’s what we in the risk world call too shallow of a risk pool.

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      • Bill Glennon

        If there is a market at all for college football players to insure against injury for a whole season, then why wouldn’t this bowl/playoff category be a submarket of that market?

        There are dozens of kids who would want the insurance, and there is a lot of bowl revenue around to pay premiums.

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        • I don’t there there is a market for all college football players to purchase insurance. There is no insurable interest there for players who aren’t going to go the league (and even then, it’s really only for the first round guys).

          The market could underwrite and price it, but then a going to come down to: is it really worth x amount of money to have this guy play one additional game?

          Given that most ADs are whores, my guess is the answer to that will be no.

          Like

  13. CB

    Social media is pretty new, as those servers are under the sun so…

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  14. Otto

    Smart needs to invite Worley in to be one of his motivational speakers.

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  15. Derek

    As I’ve suggested before, if you don’t want it to be about the NFL stop talking about it in recruiting. Stop admitting kids that don’t give a damn about the education and are just thinking about the NFL the day they step on campus. Stop signing “one and dones” in college basketball.

    The truth of the matter is that the coaches decided to sell NFL to players so that they could win recruiting battles and thus games. Their being hoisted on their own petard gives me zero pause.

    There are costs and benefits to this approach. I think Kirby’s response to it all shows you he thinks he’s on the winning side of this calculation. I wouldn’t argue with him.

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  16. Mick Jagger

    Worley spoke at our high school a couple of years ago and he was excellent – BTW, our school has produced a number of college and pro players (including 2 who broke our hearts).

    Every word of his letter was true – regardless of age or generation.

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  17. Derek

    Okay he’s lost me here:

    “I’ve spoken to the UGA football team many, many times – under two different coaches – including Coach Smart. By the way, that’s how he should be addressed. I do not know why it is now acceptable for media to refer to coaches by their first names, but it is not okay.”

    Isn’t that Kirby’s idea???

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    • Yea it is. I think Mr. Worley is implying Coach Smart should be a little more of a hard ass/carry a bigger stick .

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      • Derek

        I would ask Tim:

        How’d you do in the Sugar Bowl? Or the Rose Bowl? Or the National Championship game?

        Dude played in 1 New Years Day bowl…in Jacksonville.

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        • Well I think part of his point was he brought it even though it was only the Gator Bowl. C’mon Derek , Tim was a bad man.

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          • Derek

            I’m not saying he wasn’t. But back in his day, we kinda sucked and it was about to get worse because of the conditions he participated in, like remedial English.

            I’m a little offended that he’s questioning the direction of the program considering he was there when the unraveling occurred.

            He’s in a glass fucking house is all my point is.

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            • 4th and Kirby

              “I’m a little offended that he’s questioning the direction of the program considering he was there when the unraveling occurred”

              Do you read what you write before posting? I’m offended that you’re questioning a former player that has earned the right to question. Jeez. What a baby.

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              • Derek

                Ok. I want to read Quincy Carter’s essay on playing QB in the big game wondering why Fromm can’t win the big one.

                He’s fucking earned it after all.

                FUG OFF STUPID!!!!

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              • Derek

                How about a Jim Donnan penned essay about how you’ll never win a natty if you’ll let Baker sit?

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              • Derek

                Or A Terrence Edwatds essay on how Holloman can maintain concentration and come down with the catch?

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              • Derek

                Maybe Jasper Sanks can write one to Swift about taking care of the football?

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              • Derek

                A little clarity:

                I have no issue with Tim Worley saying Baker should have played or even that Kirby should have left him home. That’s a fair comment that, while I disagree with it, is a reasonable one to make and he has an argument as he did set an example.

                My great annoyance is the message that there is a problem of leadership in the football program, that part of the issue is the coach’s chosen nom de guerre: Kirby, and that the Sugar Bowl performance is a canary in a coal mine for the program on the descent.

                That is WAY the fuck out of bounds and not a fair comment I don’t care how many yards and TD’s he had at UGA. If he had that message he should have picked up the fucking phone like a man. You don’t go airing that sort of shit in public. Primarily because its stupid. Secondarily because what big fucking bowl games did you play in at UGA?

                Sorry dude but the Gator Bowl for this team would have been a tragedy. For the 1988 Bulldogs it was an achievement.

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                • 4th & Kirby

                  I think you may need to up your meds.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Derek

                    Is there a medication that would convince me that I’m not surrounded by complete and utter morons?

                    I’d take it.

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                    • The Truth

                      No, when someone proves over and over again to be a narcissist to the degree you are, I don’t think there is a medication that can do a damn thing about it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Derek

                      You need a dictionary and quick. Pretty sure that sticking up for Kirby and the direction of the program and letting him decide how he’d liked to be addressed isn’t narcissism.

                      Saying that you know that being called Kirby is bad and this one game shows we’re heading in the wrong direction is at least approaching the area of it though.

                      Much like common fucking sense is for many, English is hard.

                      Like

            • whb209

              Mr. Derek,
              Why does GT, Duke and most all Universities offer remedial English and Math? Did UGA ask to many question about passing remedial classes
              (stated as mildly as possible)? Maybe… Was any of this Worley’s fault?
              You Sir are reaching to get clicks

              Like

              • Derek

                Seriously? I want “clicks?” Sure. Whatever.

                I don’t know how old you are or whether your cognizant of it, but there was this Jan Kemp scandal thingy. Tim Worley was one of students in the remedial programs at that time and was a casualty of the fallout, having to leave school and attend JUCO to regain his eligibility. The allegation being that students like Tim were being passed along without actually doing the work.

                So all I was saying is that its a bit rich to have participated, albeit at a low level of culpability, in an academic scandal that ultimately led the program to a long bout of irrelevancy and then 30 years later claim a lack of leadership given what we’ve accomplished relative to the last years of the Dooley regime.

                In addition, in spite of what i am sure were his own efforts to lead, the team didn’t win a damn thing while he was here.

                Failed leadership maybe?

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  18. dawgfan

    In the words of ARS, “Where were you in ’69? Smokin dope and drinkin wine”. Sounds like that sums it up for the 1969 Sugar Bowl team.

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  19. Bright Idea

    Regardless of what generation you belong to or believe in, Worley is 100% correct. As beautifully as Kirby managed November he totally flunked December and the players followed him in both. “Always be crootin'” bit him in the butt as he spent December worrying about next year more than this one game. Perhaps it was deliberate since it was “just” one game.

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    • No choice with early signing day. You got to pick your poison unless you can clone a Kirby.

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    • December didn’t bite him last year. We managed to stay focused on the task at hand and take care of recruiting.

      The difference was we had two big off-field things happen in December that were clear distractions to the team … the Fields decision and the Baker decision.

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  20. Good to see someone with some credibility said all this. Totally embarrassing situation on numerous levels.

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  21. Texas Dawg

    A few lines from Huchaby’s editorial pretty well sum it up. This is where college football as we know it is headed without some changes. Just because some of us are old, and times have changed, does not make us wrong.

    Now this is the key to the whole thing. Actual quote. “If it were the play-offs that would be one thing, but this is just another bowl game.”

    If the bowl games don’t matter, stop playing them.

    “College football is going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The coaches’ salaries and the arms race in facilities are paid for by fans who pay a lot of hard-earned money to follow their passion, but mark my words. Like an abused spouse in a long-term bad relationship, college football fans will put up with a lot. But eventually, they will figure out that if the players don’t care, they shouldn’t either. And when they quit caring, they will quit spending.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      Agree, that article was a good read. My thoughts:
      1. Part of the problem on whether to spend or not spend that hard earned money (on tickets, etc) is that many millennials may not have a particularly hard choice if they have multiple kids in private school (the only cost besides coaching salaries that increases every single year without fail). Going all-in on 4 tickets for a family in an area of the stadium that beats the free television view along with all the game day ancillaries(x7games) is basically like a country club membership—a luxury that is one of the first things to be dropped if times are tight.
      2. You could tell by the depressed secondary ticket market that some part of this experience was going to be flaccid. It was like everybody standing around at the obligatory office holiday party nobody wanted to be at. But then again, once you stop doing holiday office parties and putting in the effort to make it successful and fun (individually and collectively), you’re probably one step closer to killing your goose.

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    • The mouse controls all. Cut the bowl games down to about 12 maybe 15. Then they have a lot more meaning.

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      • Texas Dawg

        Not if it is not a playoff game. The players have decided that ONLY the playoff games matter. (once again for Huckaby’s article quoting a PLAYER) “If it were the play-offs that would be one thing, but this is just another bowl game.”
        As for too many bowls, I have been on that bandwagon for years. Bowls have become participation trophies. When you get rewarded for a 6-6 season, something is really wrong.

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  22. It will be interesting to see if any other former greats that have credibility come out with their thoughts. The only other one I saw was Pollock about Baker.
    Would love to see what Hines, Champ, or some others think about this debacle.

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  23. Texas Dawg

    I saw a comment earlier in the AJC from Eric Stokes (prior to Baker backing out) about how much it meant for him to be playing in the game when he could have left. While nothing was said after his withdrawal from the game, if it meant something for him to play, conversely it had to mean something for him NOT to play.

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  24. Not defending CKS, did he not raise the question/ask if there were any leaders (players) on the 2018 edition of UGA football during spring/fall camps….one moment of notice during the sugar bowl when # 11 was passing by and #4 tapped the bench where he was seated and started a good little sit down conversation, potential leaders, don’t know now, hopefully yes! GO DAWGS!

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    • Texas Dawg

      I made the comment yesterday that the players we lost off of last years roster were missed as much if not more for their leadership than their talent (which was considerable)

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  25. HiAltDawg

    I’m Old School, too. There’s Winning and there’s MISERY.

    As much as I don’t like the leaving early stuff, I get it. I just think the young men not playing should be assisted in going to their next destination instead of being with the team anymore. Sorry, not sorry for sounding cold like that. The Dawgs proved they can tank a game Tuesday but they also proved the can go “toe-to-toe” with Alabama and we lost inside the margin of the breaks of the game (including “Officiating””Calls”) against them (twice!) and that really is the cold, frozen bitch of a Hell about it (and has been in other seasons, too). There’s a saying from my past,”We can’t afford the luxury of a quitter.” Right now in any situation, I think many Old School fans (like myself and definitely Mr. Worley), want that mindset in our beloved team (and being on the outside I don’t want to accuse anyone in a pejorative sense, rather a unifying one for the perspective of the guys left to hit the field).

    Again, the margin for what this team wants to achieve and what we fans want to celebrate is that devastatingly elusive 1% away and I’d rather see us down a few bodies than waste energy on the few young men that made a decision (and in some cases a tough one or one we don’t have all the insight on) to not be there. We’re at that tipping point where the young men that show up early, carry more than their “fair share” and possess the fire in their belly where they want to win in the most intense and furious moments will make the difference. It probably sounds quaint (and I thought twice about hitting send) to be comfortably in my office typing that out (when I only workout and Weekend Warrior a few races here and there) but our University of Georgia has produced many fine young people that can do it. I look forward to our football TEAM showing that effort in the future where all the FANS get to enjoy the results – – not just us Old School relics.

    Go Dawgs! GATA

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  26. NoAxeToGrind

    Different generation, different values. The past is gone forever, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I think what Mr. Worley is right on the money. Truth is not generational.

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  28. Correction
    I think what Mr. Worley wrote is right on the money. Truth is not generational.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      Even the part about Kirby should insist on being called Coach Smart and that there is a leadership problem at UGA and we’re about to go off a cliff?

      You buying that shit sandwich?

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      • As a matter of respect he should be called by Coach Smart. Did the Sugar bowl look to you like we had good leadership? I think we have good potential leaders. But good leaders don’t fail to show up and demand their very best from themselves and those they are leading. This is true not only for the game itself but even more so for practices and workouts prior to the game.He did not say we ARE going off the cliff but that “UGA is at a crossroads”. In other words make a course correction or the cliff will be approaching soon. I agree with that. As you have noted above we have recruited much better under coach Smart. Should that not translate unto a better overall record? I believe Coach Smart will make the course correction but, I also believe like Mr. Worley, that without it there will be rough waters ahead.

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        • Derek

          Whether it’s due to ignorance or arrogance I can’t say but Kirby chose to be called Kirby. It’s his call, don’t ya think?

          I’m not going to let any single performance give me ammunition to suggest anything as broad as the concept of “program leadership.”

          Alabama kicked the shit out of every opponent they faced except 1.

          Did something dramatic happen to “leadership” after 12/1? Seriously?

          I know stupid is a really infinite concept among people but fuck me y’all are at the outer reaches of human potential when is comes to it.

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          • It being his call doesn’t make it a wise decision.

            The fact that Alabama destroyed every one but UGA should tell you that UGA laying an egg against Texas was a leadership problem. IE lack of focus or “want to” in Coach Smart’s words.

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            • Derek

              But the other performances weren’t a sign of a damn thing when it comes to leadership of the program? That’s where you are?

              Saban sucks then because he’s 0-2 in the Sugar Bowl. Can’t lead. What a shit bag coach! Both losses by double digits!! WTF will that guy ever do? He’s no winner!

              STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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              • Yes. How about almost losing to Nicholls State in 2016. Then how about at Auburn in 2017 or maybe at LSU AND the Sugar Bowl this year. You don’t see a trend? In each case they not only didn’t play their best (after all no one is going to play every week at the 95th% or better level) but played WELL BELOW their capabilities. Now it’s true AL has lost some games in the last 3 years but they they didn’t embarrass themselves the way we did in these games mentioned above. There is a difference in playing at 88 to 90 percent and playing at 65 to 75%. That difference is the lack of focus or the “want to” in Coach Smart’s words. That difference is the potential cliff Mr. Worley was referring to.

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                • Derek

                  If you want to worry about a trend it’s that we’ve gotten our ass handed to us in every SEC west stadium we’ve played so far under Kirby: OM in 2016, Auburn in 2017 and LSU in 2018.

                  I don’t think that’s either a leadership thing or a “call me Kirby thing.” The first two were not being ready to get punched in the mouth and respond. This year I think Kirby blew it on the fake fg. I think being manhandled is a thing of the past. I really do. We may not show up mentally ready or focused on occasion, but the days of being out rostered are over.

                  That west stadium trend worries me a lot more than the sugar bowl or fucking Nichols state. Who gives a fuck about Nichols state?

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                  • “not being ready to get punched in the mouth and respond” The difference in being able to respond sometimes and not others are what I believe are leadership issues. I believe the reason we lost all of those SEC West away games and the Sugar Bowl are because we went into them thinking we could get by on talent alone. That comes from leaders not calling people out when those people aren’t giving their very best at EVERY opportunity to do so. The result is a way below average performance. That is what Mr. Worley and coach Smart said in different ways. The difference between winning those games and being embarrassed is not nearly as great as most people think it is.

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                    • Derek

                      I guess you’ve never been punched in the mouth.

                      It ain’t about the guy next to you. Its about the guy you look at in the mirror every day, period.

                      Elijah’s dad wasn’t “led” to getting both ears chewed off and then saying “bring me some mo” to Mike Tyson, dude. You and I couldn’t be led there either. Its either in there, or it ain’t. You’re either ready for that, or you ain’t.

                      We weren’t ready for it at Ole Miss in 16 or at Auburn in 17, but as I said, i think those days are over despite our obvious precipitous decline in “leadership.” /sarc

                      If responding to the big bully is a sign of leadership, we’ve passed with flying colors twice in 11 months.

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        • Derek

          Whether it’s due to ignorance or arrogance I can’t say but Kirby chose to be called Kirby. It’s his call, don’t ya think?

          I’m not going to let any single performance give me ammunition to suggest anything as broad as the concept of “program leadership.”

          Alabama kicked the shit out of every opponent they faced except 1.

          Did something dramatic happen to “leadership” after 12/1? Seriously?

          I know stupid is a really infinite concept among people but fuck me y’all are at the outer reaches of human potential when is comes to it.

          Like

          • I actually have been hit in the mouth way more than once. This is not boxing it is a team sport. One guy not doing their job can wreck the play. Do that enough and you get what happened at Auburn or LSU or the Sugar bowl. Our guy’s fought hard. But you can’t pull out of yourself on game day what you didn’t put in when you had the opportunities to prepare.

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        • I call someone what they wish to be called. If Kirby wants to be called Kirby, Coach Kirby, Coach Smart, Mary Beth’s husband, or whatever, that doesn’t have a thing to do with whether his players or staff respect him.

          I have a ton of respect for many of the people I work with and for. Referring to them as Mr. X or Ms. Y doesn’t mean I don’t respect them.

          The fact that he’s comfortable enough in his own skin to be called by his first name by his players in public is refreshing to me and how he is treating them as professionals.

          Nothing about how well the team played in its 11 wins or how poorly the team played in its 2 losses has a darn thing to do how the players refer to him. I throw the Alabama game out of this conversation because the team left everything on the field for 60 minutes … win or lose, that’s all I as a fan can ask.

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          • Derek

            This is a fine point, but to me the more salient point is that it ain’t our fucking business to question his choice of titles.

            He chose it. To publically say: “I played for Georgia and he’s wrong to be called Kirby” is arrogant and unhelpful.

            As I said above, if he wants to make that phone call, make it. If he wants to shake the mans hand look him in the eye and say: “I’d prefer if you went by Coach Smart and here’s why”, good for him.

            To post that crap in public? Keep that shit in house. Be a dawg, man!! For all the reasons he said he played and played hard for Georgia, one or more of them should have told him to shut the fuck up!

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            • I guess my point is that I don’t believe the program’s downfall is going to be the result of the head coach’s decision on how he wants his players to refer to him.

              I know Kirby has been walking a very fine line regarding how he handled the Fields transfer decision and the Baker change of heart on playing in the bowl game especially in light of recruiting. I believe Kirby looks at everything he does through the prism of “how is this going to look with potential recruits.”

              I get your perspective that he should have kept all of that in house.

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  29. Whiskeydawg

    The Dawgs did not show up to play; that is on Kirby and his coaches. This loss was humiliating and one I hope this team remembers far into the next year and beyond. I think CKS has done a great job but he’s young at coaching with a young team. Everyone talks about Nick Saban’s “formula”. I’ve said it before and will say it again; if winning came down to a formula, a chef or chemist could win a NC. What makes great coaches are how they handle the “intangibles” – how to motivate and get players to perform at a high level on a consistent basis. Kirby still has a ways to go. Will he get there?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 1smartdude

    Thank you Mr Worley.

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  31. 69Dawg

    1969 Sugar Bowl, I was there. It was my senior year and we had a great time until the game started. Whittamore being the straight arrow he is probably didn’t “visit” Bourbon Street but Mike Caven the QB sure did early and often. UGA was enjoying the fruits of the teams first revolt against Dooley for choosing the Sugar Bowl over the Orange. He and the AD just said they were going without even asking the team. The team was so pissed Dooley relaxed the curfew so they could have some fun in order to calm them down. At the game Mike Caven a seasoned QB fumbled the snap from center at least 3 times. That when the jokes started about Mike being so hungover his hands hurt. Arkansas beat us bad.

    Remember the current players were probably were in elementary school the last time the Sugar Bowl was the Grand Prize for the SEC. If the players are 1. coming off a big loss as we did to Alabama 2. Get passed over for the CFP and think that their opponent (Texas) and the bowl is not all that much, you have what we had New Years night. The coaches can rant and rave all they want but it’s not going to help. Once Texas started the snowball down hill we could not stop it in time to reverse it. Oh by the way when Jake gets tight his accuracy goes out the window.

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  32. PTC DAWG

    Worley calling out Baker for not playing rings hollow to me. Worley chose to not play an entire season in search of the mighty dollar.

    YMMV.

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    • The Truth

      Worley fully admits he left before his senior year as well, BUT he played in the bowl game.

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    • And it should be pointed out again that Baker came back for his senior year instead of going pro early.

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      • junkyardawg41

        That is the undersold point that should be made. If we weren’t in the playoffs last year, I doubt Sony and Nick play in the bowl game either.

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    • UnderDog68

      Worley didn’t just play 3 years and bolt. He had a bad knee injury as a sophomore in 1986, had to redshirt, and missed nearly 2 seasons rehabbing the knee before getting completely back as a RS Junior. Worley was healthy for only 2 full seasons. He knew how quickly your career can end. He decided to go after his Jr. year….which would have been his true Sr. year anyway, had he not redshirted due to injury.

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  33. dawg

    Theres plenty of blame to go around.

    I blame Kirby for allowing Baker to be on the sideline.

    I blame the entitled players for not caring enough to give 100%.

    I blame the CFP for creating a system where politics factors into the selection, demoralizing the teams that just barely miss out.

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    • What is your definition of entitled? There was a month of arguing about the game being “meaningless”. Are the fans who think that “entitled” too?

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  34. Derek

    Who wants to be the asshole that tweets mean shit back at D Bake? Maybe you can egg his car or home. You know, leadership.

    Here’s your chance:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RIP_Shod23/status/1080879631648079872

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  35. I spent a few hours at the World War Two Museum. My dad and I came here when they dedicated the Pacific Wing years ago. It’s changed a great deal since then but I couldn’t help but think about what is important and what isn’t. I love the Dawgs and I’m glad we came for the game and I’m glad we were able to stick around. FIDO

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  36. Gurkha Dawg

    I’ll throw in my 2 cents. I read a long time ago that in college the players work for the coach, in the pros the coaches work for the players. I think now in elite college football the coaches work for the 4 and 5 star recruits and star players. CKS letting recruits call him Kirby, two separate players dropping the ball before getting to the end zone in 2 separate games, putting up with the distractions from Fields and Baker. I think Smart allows this stuff because he doesn’t want these elite players to talk bad about him on social media and become a recruiting problem in the future. Obviously you can’t compete at the highest levels without these players so what Kirby does is necessary. College football is in a different place from when Worley played.

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  37. MGW

    Nobody wants these kids to have a “professional” attitude and to treat college as a mere stepping stone/minor league for the NFL. That’s the new reality and it isn’t as much fun at all. But what should we expect when that’s the way they’re treated by literally every single person who they encounter in their playing career? Coaches recruit them with promises of a pro career, and promises of developing them for that career. The coaches and administrators, without an ounce of shame, repeatedly make 100% self interested decisions regarding not only their own careers, but the players’ careers. The coach’s ambition isn’t for “the team” to win games, its for “his team” to win games so his career can survive and/or advance. The administrator’s ambition isn’t for “the team” to win games, it’s for himself to get a raise. It’s for, again, “his team” to succeed because that will earn him a raise, an extension, or a better job somewhere else.

    But the kids should care only about wins and losses for “the team”? Every single person involved is treating modern college football for what it is – a lucrative professional minor league; lots of money to be made for lots of people.

    We seem to want the players to be the only ones involved who pretend this is something else.

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