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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Must Break You

I'm not a person to slam someone else's work, in the sense of saying that they're a bad writer. In my opinion, even bad writing is still writing and putting something out there for others to critique, so just doing the exercise deserves a certain amount of respect.

That being said, nothing infuriates me more than a baseless article that forms a controversial opinion, which spends more time tossing out red herrings (it's a term. click the link if you don't know what it'll make all this easier to understand), than backing up their opinion.

Take example this article from Chuck Oliver's site. Now, I could go on and on about how, in my opinion, Tony Barnhart runs journalistic circles around Chuck Oliver, but that's another post for another day. Let me just put it like this, I'd rather spend an entire day talking to Wes Durham about the Georgia Tech schedule than to spend an hour listening to Chuck Oliver promote himself as "King College Football."

Anyway, Chuck Oliver didn't write the article to which I'm referring. A fellow named Will Newton did. Now, I don't know anything about Newton, other than he's of the mindset that Georgia Tech will be good this year (although everything points to them struggling to be bowl eligible). Then again, I'm a UGA apologist, so I'm biased. He does mention that he was in Athens for six years, but from the way he writes, he sounds like he's totally against Georgia succeeding in anything.

The main problem I have with articles like this though, is the incessant "making news where there isn't" syndrome that seems to be growing among those who want Richt out. There's no doubt Richt is on the hot seat, but instead of giving him the final chance to right the ship that HE DESERVES, it seems many want to keep kicking the man while he's down. For example, in another one of Newton's articles, he suggests that Richt is too nice of a guy to get the job done. Something that I think it's ridiculously stupid and The Good Senator echoes my statement.

The real key to making me think you're full of hot air though, is (after mentioning names like Akeem Hebron, Darius Dewberry and Kade Weston) to have sentences like the following:
"I’m sure somewhere Paul Johnson is wishing he could have had a crack at developing some of those players. "
Because THAT'S what Paul Johnson does. I'm sure somewhere inside of Paul Johnson's own mind, he thinks he could've developed them better, but there's no evidence to suggest that, AT ALL. Chan Gailey did a better job of developing players than Paul Johnson has. Let that one bake your noodle a bit. Also, let's point out that those names were all players on the defensive side of the ball, with two of them having been coached by John Jancek, and we all know how that turned out.

Plus, the added shot he took at Isaiah Crowell is a nice kick in the bag. Let's make sure not to cite any sources, or even allude to how you heard that one. Even if I do play devil's advocate and say it's true, I like hearing it. Yes, I like hearing stuff like that. It means he's getting broken by the upperclassmen. I had a friend explain to me one time how Phillip Fulmer was wildly successful at building recruits up and then breaking them once they got on campus. If Crowell's getting broken, I'm fine with that. Just don't get injured.

Look, Caleb King had his moments where he was an excellent player (think of in 2009 against LSU when he played with a broken jaw), and times where he made me throw things (Colorado 2010). The end all be all, though, is that he could not get it done in the classroom. It was said when he was found ineligible for the Liberty Bowl that he would have a VERY hard time getting back on track for the fall. But he was given EVERY opportunity to succeed. The blame falls squarely on him.

UGA has had plenty of misses, but they've had plenty of hits as well. Let's look at Thomas Davis, Tony Taylor, Kris Durham, Musa Smith, Ben Jones, Greg Blue, Sean Jones, Rennie Curran, Kenarious Gates and many others. Notice that I didn't just name heyday players as well. There are plenty of guys throughout Richt's time at the helm that have thrived while wearing the Red and Black. What it all boils down to is improved strength and conditioning, and those steps have been taken to rectify the problem. To give Newton credit, he pointed that out but that was another red herring in the bigger scheme of somehow placing the King situation on Richt. It's all very reminiscent of the Adam Krohn Gainesville Times article that linked the Columbus-Carver recruits' stealing of UGA players' property to Richt recruiting guys with questionable character. I'd link to it, but the newspaper site is down and I can't get it to pull up. Sorry.

One thing that I think is interesting to note is that there's no mention of Paul Oliver in this article. To me, there's a much better connection to King's story than Oliver's. Both were expected to contribute heavily in their final seasons as players, but after not getting it done in the classroom, both went on to enter into the supplemental draft. King's in much worse shape than Oliver was as a draft pick, but the stories are very closely related.

The point is that I'm tired of the far-reaching ways to expose failures in the UGA program. There is ONE failure right now and that is the inability to win close games. You fix that one, and you're going to Atlanta. It doesn't get easier than that. Yes, there are plenty of issues right now in the UGA program, but can we just take a second to stop making news and allow it to happen? We're less than two months away from kickoff.

So save your hit-job articles for the end of the season when you'll either be vindicated or vilified. Until then, you look just like every other person who is trying to get a rise out of a fan base that really just wants a time machine and BC Powder.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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