Thursday, July 21, 2011
Georgia head coach Mark Richt will take the podium Thursday at SEC Media Days and meet the throngs of media that represent the greatest and most passionate fans in the game. We fans empower those members of the media in attendance to pick, prod and pry for any and every piece of information that we have not somehow already found and devoured during the football information famine that is the time between the end of spring practice and the start of fall camp. Richt will be joined by Aaron Murray, Ben Jones and Brandon Boykin for the event. This seems to be a crucible appropriate to harden Richt, the group of DAWGS at his side and other Georgia men that should be taking notes, for what lies ahead for when it comes to the 2011 season for the men that roam between the hedges…fear is not an option.
The time draws very near for Georgia to begin to reclaim the shine that everyone associated with the program had come to expect during Richt’s tenure in Athens. The shine that only comes from the warm light of the adoring spotlight shone on a program that expects to finish every season with double-digit wins, dominates the in-state wanna-be school and competes for league and national championships. It is not until you fall out of that light that one truly realizes just how cold it is out there in the darkness. That darkness is where the DAWGS find themselves after three seasons of declining win totals culminating in last year’s dismal 6-7 finish.
The amount of work and dedication required to battle your way back into the light (and the collective national college football consciousness) can be intimidating. There is no one person that must work harder than the rest, but rather it requires an overall uplifting of focus and effort for everyone involved with the program to achieve this favored spot once more. And it’s too late to start now. If Richt and his DAWGS have not already made the adjustments to their practices and attitude that are required, then this season will much more like the last few than anything the DAWG Nation witnessed from 2001-2005.
Each and every player, coach and yes…fan…that bleeds red and black must not be afraid to do what is necessary to snatch our beloved program by the collar and change the course of the near future of Georgia football. This will not be done by any singular gesture, but in each and every small one. How you prepare as a player, how you game plan as a coach and how you support your team as a fan will have an impact on the ultimate evolution of the process in Athens. Coach Richt cannot be afraid to take that chance to break a game open or put his boot on the neck of an opponent. Murray, who for my money is the best quarterback in the league, cannot be afraid to make that throw through a key hole when the game is on the line. Jones cannot be afraid to demand perfection from his line mates in this league that requires nothing less. Boykin cannot be afraid to break on that pass with a 50/50 chance to change the course of a drive or a game or a season.
These men are not alone. It will take everyone. Isaiah Crowell cannot be afraid to carry the ball 30 or 40 times because he’s a freshman. Tavarres King cannot be afraid to be a no. 1 receiver. Coaches Grantham and Bobo cannot be afraid the put their players in position to make that key play that could change a season, even when it could cost the game. The DAWG Nation cannot be afraid that we have been left behind by the HATED Gators or the Chickens in Columbia.
Georgia cannot be afraid of any challenge. There is no reason to be. We are GEORGIA! We are the DAWG Nation! We are the breed of All-Americas, Heisman trophies and championships. We are the breed of Herschel, Munson, Greene and Pollack. We must rise to meet every challenge, for our history demands it of us.
The hour is at hand. We must not doubt. We must not be afraid.
Fear is not an option.