Georgia walked into the second half of the season with a chance at retribution. They suffered big losses at Florida and Tennessee and were embarrassed defensively by barely-capable Stephen Garcia and Jonathan Crompton. After the victory over Auburn, it seemed Georgia might have turned a corner, committing few penalties, not turning the ball over and shutting down the top offense in the SEC in the second half. For once, the team showed heart and ability after going down in the first quarter. Signs of resilience, something rarely seen in the last two seasons. But in just 30 minutes of mistake ridden, penalty prone, turnover-tormented football, all of that came completely undone.
Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote that I was exhausted and out of anger towards this Georgia team? That was as silly as a toss sweep on the 1 yard line to a freshman running back in the 4th quarter when you really need a touchdown. Never have I been so angry after defeat. I did not speak for the final 8 minutes of the fourth quarter. When I got home, a chair stood between me and the bathroom. That chair was split in two with one swift kick. It was like a
Blair Walsh field goal it went so high. The next say it was decided I should go to the hospital, when MVP of the weekend Justin Hanks said, “That’s either broken or your foot swallowed a baseball.” Luckily, he was wrong, but I can’t put pressure on the foot for about a week and received a nice supportive shoe to help. So lets just say I’m still passionate about Georgia football.
(By the way, even the nurses and doctors felt my pain. Here are a few dialogues. They’re not exact because I didn’t have paper but I swear they are not made up:
“About what time did this injury occur?
“Right after the Georgia game.”
“Ah, No wonder.”
“So, I hear you did this after the Georgia game?”
“Well, that was stupid. This team hasn’t earned a win all season. Why did you get so riled up? I turned it off after the third quarter because I knew this team was going to lose.”
“Why’d you kick it on a chair? Wouldn’t the team have been a better choice? I wanted to punch the TV but it wasn’t the TV’s fault we keep turning the ball over.”
Thank you St. Mary’s)
The second half of the game was some of the worst display of talent I have ever seen. I have never seen a team with so many athletes throw a victory away. As my tennis coach used to say, Georgia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They committed 75 yards of penalties in the game with 4 turnovers — all of which came in the second half. It was the focus issue that has plagued Georgia all season. It’s one thing to lose, but to continuously give games away with sloppy, undisciplined play is unacceptable.
Previously, I have not written about my displeasure with the team going out after losses; I do the same. However, I realized one major detail: we are in Athens for two different reasons. The graduation rate for Georgia’s football team is a mere 46%. They’re getting tuition paid for (12,000+ for in state, 24,000+ out), room and board (3,000+), the meal plan (1,700+), free tutoring at the Rankin student athlete center, as well as scooters provided by the athletic department (which apparently don’t require a license check) and clothes. By the way, those costs are all per semester. Basically, any out of state student is making a minimum of $57,400 a year. If you want to include some tutoring, the average student would have to pay $20 per session at tutoring zone, a little Vespa would cost $300 and all the Nike gear would be well into the hundreds.
So really, most of them are here to play football and I am here to get a degree. My family pays for all the amenities the players are given and then I go and pay to watch them play. If I had a week like the Georgia football team in the classroom, you’d better believe my weekend would consist of more studying. What would a 4 turnover game be in the classroom? Is that like paying someone else to do my work for me? What would a 6-5 record be like with the hardest final in recent history coming up? It means I’d be in the library for the weekend and I don’t mean this one. I think I’d also have less than a coin flip’s chance of graduating with the focus Georgia has shown this season.
It’s tough to be so harsh on the team I support so actively. I want them to succeed because it reflects upon all of us fans. I’m not talking about the fans who leave early or the fans who caused our student section to have glaring bare patches this weekend. I’m talking about those of us who stay from the opening kickoff to the final Joe Cox interception. The ones who routinely lose their voice on Sunday mornings.
It has been a long season for all involved with the Georgia program. The fans have been frustrated all semester. Each one of the coaches has come under fire. The players have not lived up to the Georgia standard which is a hell of a lot to cope with for 21 year old kids in stadiums with 92,000+. Can we give up now? I certainly haven’t. I am so mad about last week and just want to take it out on our inferior enemy Tech. I want to prove all the doubters wrong and show that I do care and am focused and ready for our final test.
If only I could believe our team felt the same.