Man, for somebody who analyzes college football for a living, David Pollack sure sounds a lot like us kibitzers when he assesses Georgia’s upcoming season.
Category Archives: Georgia Football
While I appreciate he’s matured since his college days and acknowledge that this is a nice story, I can’t help but notice that even when somebody tries to shine a kind light on the only non-Dawg worthy of consideration as a member of the UGA Football Hall of Fame, reality keeps intruding.
Ball never will escape his pass on fourth down later that season against Georgia, a pass thrown intentionally out of bounds as Ball escaped heavy pressure by running out of the pocket. He’ll never live down his interceptions in key moments, such as on Tech’s final play on offense in each of Ball’s final two games against Georgia, both decided by a touchdown or less. In the game that Tech fans want to win most every season, Ball never captured the moment in the chances he received.
He had two wins against Clemson, two wins against Miami — including a massive upset when the Hurricanes were ranked No. 3 in the country — and two wins in two tries over Auburn. But fair or not, he’s still mainly remembered for those games against the Bulldogs.
Oh, it’s fair, dog. In fact, you may not be giving him sufficient credit for that part of his legacy.
By the way, there’s such a thing as a season when Tech fans don’t want to beat Georgia? It’s a real shame for Reggie Ball that he never played in one of those.
I’d mock this entire piece as primo preseason happy talk, except it’s a big reason I’m counting on a resurgence from Georgia football in 2017.
Shorter Tom Luginbill: Mark Richt’s failure to sign Carl Lawson or Raekwon McMillan proves that Kirby Smart is overrated.
When it comes to health issues, I don’t wish ill on any student-athlete, but in light of Georgia’s schedule, I thought I’d mention a couple of key hits.
- Notre Dame appears to be facing some depth issues on its defensive line. As the start of fall camp approaches, five of its eight defensive tackles have never played in a game.
- Meanwhile, Florida lost a starting safety who recorded 73 tackles last season with a blown Achilles tendon. Add to that a junior defensive back who announced his transfer from Florida yesterday, and it sounds like there are some experience issues brewing for the Gator defensive backfield.
No, those don’t translate into automatic wins for Georgia, but for once it’s news like this coming from other camps, instead of Athens.
Honestly, it’s not like I take any pleasure out of harping on Georgia’s athletic director’s mission in life. It’s just that it seems as if every time he opens his mouth, I can’t help but dive for my keyboard.
Hence, this post.
This is now a fundraising event, pure and simple. And it’s not something about which Georgia is wishy-washy or apologetic.
“I understand the argument (that regular fans are being left out), but we also understand to make things work at the university we have to generate philanthropic gifts,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said beforehand outside on of the Intercontinental’s ballrooms. “We’ve got a huge drive going on for the West End project (at Sanford Stadium) and Kirby will talk about that tonight. That’s definitely part of what we’re trying to accomplish. We need them to help and we need their friends to help.”
McGarity understands the argument, “regular fans”, but that doesn’t mean he has to give a shit about anything other than the money chase. He’s not shy about that, either.
Indeed, this change has been steady in coming. The “Bulldog Club meetings” that were once the popular brainchild of the late Dan Magill had morphed in recent years into what they called “UGA Days,” which were more fund-raising based in nature and always prominently featured the school president. But those gatherings remained opened to media and anyone who cared to attend. And they were usually worth the visit. They always closed with a colorful Q&A between the football coach and the fans, and that’s where you’d usually hear the best stuff.
That was followed by a long receiving line in which the coaches signed autographs and posed for pictures, sometimes for more than an hour.
“We got a lot of goodwill out of that, but we needed to think about a better use of their time,” McGarity said Wednesday. “We’ve tried something new every year. We’re trying to utilize our resources in the most efficient manner.”
“A better use of their time”. Too bad, Joe and Jane Bulldog. You and your goodwill no longer show up on the athletic department’s radar. Just don’t forget to pony up next year’s Hartman Fund contribution, will ‘ya? McGarity’s still counting on you for that much. I only wish he’d keep his mouth shut while he cashes our checks. It’s the least he can do.
There’s “McGarity’s Minutes”, so it seems like it’s only fair to give this portion of Seth Emerson’s mailbag a catchy name:
THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR UNDER FIRE
It seems there are some people who do not understand the difference between a “hit piece” and publishing a letter from an influential Bulldog letterman, booster, and alumni in order to underscore the dissatisfaction the majority of people in the vast DawgNation are feeling about the facts of Greg McGarity’s lack of forward-thinking vision and underwhelming leadership as AD; where almost every single sport is performing worse now than when he took over as AD, and how he is doing nothing to stem the tide of mediocrity within the Athletic Association (not firing Fox or Stricklin for starters) or creating a master plan to improve facilities, which are now so poor that UGA lost the ability to host the NCAA Tennis Championships, which Dan Magill worked so hard to make a semi-annual event in Athens. It’s as if Greg McGarity’s short-sighted penny-pinching is costing UGA in more ways then one, which is one of the many issues I believe Carroll Minick was trying to highlight in his letter-not-hit-piece.
Could you kindly explain the difference so those people would no longer be able to hide behind their ignorance?
– Matthew Cafaro
Actually, the response to the Minick letter, at least judging by social media and the comments on the story, seemed to be around 90 percent in support. (Though not everyone agreed with everything in the letter. I didn’t either.) And, as I’ve told UGA officials who have complained to me about the thrust of my stories this year, there hasn’t been much, if any, blowback from the fan base. We feel, as Chip put it the other day, that we’re reflecting the dissatisfaction of the fan base. But we’re also informing them, such as the $33 million that was in the UGA foundation but the school didn’t advertise.
The people I speak to on a regular basis, donors and alumni alike, want Georgia to be great. They feel that enough isn’t being done now to be great. They want the best for a school they love, and they wanted light shed on these issues. I have no doubt that Greg McGarity loves Georgia dearly. So do his critics. They evidently just disagree on the best way to get to the mountaintop.
McGarity’s statement in May to the athletic board – “let us not be distracted by those who seek to divide us” – struck many as not seeing the point of the criticism, and the stories that give voice to these critics: They’re not seeking to divide, they’re seeking to make Georgia better.
The job of the media, meanwhile, is to inform the public and hold the powerful’s feet to the fire. I hope that’s what we’ve been doing.
“Emerson’s Eternity”? “Seth’s Seconds”? I dunno. Can’t say I see anything unreasonable in what he wrote, but, then, again, I don’t have an office in Butts-Mehre. Fortunately.
What I do find interesting is how McGarity has allowed his athletic department to become such a big issue this offseason. It’s not a typical situation; the closest analogy I can come up with was the unrest that Dave Brandon stirred up at Michigan, and I’m not really sure how good a match that is for what’s going on in Athens. Brandon was an outsider who turned out to be a fish out of water in managing a university’s athletic department. McGarity, on the other hand, is basically an athletic department lifer. (Plus, Brandon got shown the door. We all know where McGarity is.)
In any event, having an athletic director with a management style that tends to suck goodly amounts of oxygen out of the room is probably not the best look for a school’s athletic department. No matter what the press thinks.