What’s wrong with a little star treatment?

Mark Richt’s offseason mantra this year, that the star of the team is the team, has gotten a lot of  discussion in recent months. We’ve heard how last year the Dogs bought into their preseason ranking too much and some players tended to expect stars Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to pull off a miracle when things got tough.

To put that mind-set aside, Richt has stressed time and again that the 2009 team has no stars, despite the fact that it’s not true. A.J. Green is already a big-time star. Rennie Curran is the SEC’s best returning tackler. And some of the players returning from injuries, including Jeff Owens and Trinton Sturdivant, have star potential.

In any other season, the Athens Banner-Herald pointed out, some of these players’ faces would have adorned the UGA football media guide the same way other SEC schools promote their stars. Instead, Georgia went with mascot Uga VII and a mass of unidentified players on its media guide cover — the first time since 1992 that individual players haven’t been featured.

Perhaps as a result of this no-star approach, Green and Curran have been overshadowed by other schools’ players on some of the preseason All-SEC lists.

I understand what Richt is trying to accomplish with this no-star approach. But there’s something to be said, too, for striking a little fear in your opponents’ hearts. And letting some of your best players develop a bit of a swagger.

Plus, I’m not sure anyone, on the team or off, really believes all Dogs are created equal or that you can win in the SEC without stars.

Does this the-team-is-the-star business strike you as just a bit disingenuous? More spin than reality? A mind trick to distract the Dogs from the fact they’re missing the bulk of their scoring production from last season? A way to sidestep the blame for a poor job of preparing the team mentally last year?

Or is keeping the focus on the team as a whole how it should be in any season? Sort of a blue-collar, Junkyard Dogs mentality?

What do you think?

79 comments Add your comment

biggerthanbigdawg

August 31st, 2009
7:25 am

TEAM….me It was true back in the day and it is still true now. When the team wins, the individual gets noticed for their statistics. How many 1,000 yd backs has Tech had that played on 3-8, 2-9 teams? More than they can count (without taking their shoes off) I would suppose.

smashmouth

August 31st, 2009
7:53 am

I like it… but, we’ll just have to find out on Saturday afternoon if it meant anything.

gbal

August 31st, 2009
7:54 am

Next subject please.

Peadawg

August 31st, 2009
7:59 am

Less than 1 week baby!!! Thanks for your blogS Mr. King. They have kept me sane through the spring and summer. I’ve gotten tired of golf, basketball, and baseball. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBAAAAAAAAAAALL!!!!!!!!

mick

August 31st, 2009
8:23 am

http://www.ajc.com/sports/jackets-dogs-excel-in-the-classroom-127164.html.

Art? Psychology? Blahahhhahhah! McDonalds is waiting for you boys.

gbal

August 31st, 2009
8:27 am

BK –

You rant all summer about what a great TEAM attitude this group has Vs last year (which I agree with) and now you want to suggest that we should point out individual stars and give them publicity! You sound like B.Obama.

These kids know they will get their press once the season starts when they perform on the field…No need for you to try to stir something with assinine suggestions.

NCDawg

August 31st, 2009
8:29 am

Preseason awards mean nothing. Can’t wait till Saturday!

dawgfanatic24-7

August 31st, 2009
8:32 am

If the team focus is what helps them win the big games then I’m all for it.

Tim Tebow

August 31st, 2009
8:43 am

They wish they were me.
My awesomeness is awesome.

L-Dawg

August 31st, 2009
9:11 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

CHEERING > BOOING!!! PASSION RUNS DEEPER THAN HATE!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!!

5 SHORT DAYS MY FRIENDS!!!!!

Diamond Dave

August 31st, 2009
9:19 am

Just block and tackle.

Cuz

August 31st, 2009
9:22 am

Just kick it into the endzone.

rduck

August 31st, 2009
9:30 am

I seem to remember the New England Patriots using the team 1ST montra to near perfection. Stars will shine on the field. Hype shines off it!

AltamahaDawg

August 31st, 2009
9:31 am

It should also serve as a reminder to the fans. I recall the outright demand to name Matthew Stafford as the solid #1 starter when he was but a highschool senior who came over for spring practice. Don’t make him earn anything, don’t make him learn anything, just watch a highlight video and insult anyone else who wasn’t convinced he was the best thing to ever walk through the door. It’s a team sport as it turns out.

JB

August 31st, 2009
9:43 am

Remember when comparing Cox to Stafford, Stafford was aloud to Check off at the line and chunk the ball at will. Cox will not have that much authority. It’ll be a much tighter controlled offense from Bobo and Richt.

reality check

August 31st, 2009
9:43 am

I believe Mark Richt knows what he is doing. Even if he does sometimes abandon the running game to our detriment. That last comment is just so Alt will know this is the real RC

Denver Dog

August 31st, 2009
9:43 am

Time for football folks, no more of this finger pointing, what ifs, coulda, shoulda, woulda. The questions now are not about who might, why not, but rather what did we do? So now what did we do to get ready for this season? It looks like alot right now, better team discipline, new recruits, new players, new attitude. Lets’ see how these get answered, and let the stars rise in the sky during and after the season, and not before the season.

GO DAWGS

Bamafan

August 31st, 2009
9:51 am

Good luck dawgs on a great season and please beat GT this season so M and the other odd balls tech fans will SHUT UP!!

Cuz

August 31st, 2009
9:54 am

reality, I always know which one is you. If it is any consolation, I do not think the other RC intentionaly stole your handle as has been done to me recently.

Team play, what a concept. Let’s just roll out the red and black attack in Stillwater.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt1io_Z2WOQ

Stillwater’s official City song.

PMC

August 31st, 2009
10:00 am

Just another method of teaching Unity. Trying to get everyone to play toegther as a cohesive unit. Basics. This team hasn’t had many off season issues. This team so far hasn’t had the two best linemen on the team go out with season ending injuries. This team…. is already a better football team than the one that left the field in January. Even without two skill position players.

georgiagirl

August 31st, 2009
10:09 am

ITS IS ABOUT THE TEAM. THEY WILL SHOW THEIR STAR PLAYERS. THE TEAM WANTED IT THIS WAY. STOP TRYING TO GET SOMETHING STARTED.

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

toccoadawg

August 31st, 2009
10:12 am

Team first. One star isnt any good without the other 10 on the field. Dawgs have plenty of “stars” but without TEAM none of them are any good. CUZ nice link this morning.

toccoadawg

August 31st, 2009
10:16 am

What would we give to see CWM give the D head butts like the great Coach Erk Russel.

BigDawg

August 31st, 2009
10:20 am

Hey it could’a been worse. We could have taken the facetious approach and put Richt with Martinez on the cover! Instead we chose the middle ground of not choosing our stars or our duds.

superDawg

August 31st, 2009
10:41 am

It takes 11 to make a dozen wins that is.

Cuz

August 31st, 2009
10:42 am

toccoadawg, you may have something there. CWM doing headbutts on the sideline will appease two groups of fans. The one group that wants to see more intensity from Coach Willie. And the second group who will be delighted to see him carted off the field with a concussion. Put me in the former.

superDawg

August 31st, 2009
10:42 am

Nick

August 31st, 2009
10:43 am

The 1980 team started that way.

big dawg 89

August 31st, 2009
10:43 am

both…
we took the star approach last year and you saw the results..
so now lets see what happens this year..

Kendawg

August 31st, 2009
10:44 am

If the individuals perform well, as I expect A J Green to do, they will get plenty of recognition. We need to concentrate on winning the game first, then stardom will take care of itself.

D-Nice

August 31st, 2009
10:49 am

Altamaha is all over it. I dont care that he became the #1 pick because he never earned that on the field. I guess once he struggles we will blame the Detroit franchise instead of the fact that MS just is not that good of a QB. Yeah he has a so called great arm but so did Jeff George and we all know how that turned out. Stafford had a 1st round running back and 3 other backs who all are in the league but yet instead we blame the line. The line and receivers could not have been that bad since MM got drafted, AJ will be a 1st rounder, lineman got drafted, etc… See the trend. UGA has not had a lack of talent anywhere on the team but Stafford could not deliver because he was not all you said he was. Take a look at the body of work (all those picks and late throws).

J J Gunns

August 31st, 2009
10:53 am

I agree with rduck… Talent on the field will shine. If our “stars” truely deserve that title, they will prove it on the field. Nothing is awarded before the end of the season.

Go Dogs!

Dooley

August 31st, 2009
10:54 am

Enter your comments here

Just win

August 31st, 2009
10:56 am

JUST WIN!!!!!!! JUST WIN!!!!!

GoldenDawg

August 31st, 2009
11:01 am

By Richt stressing the “team as the star” theme so much, I wonder if there weren’t much deeper problems on last year’s team than the obvious scoreboard shortcomings spotlighted.

Given last year’s issues, Richt’s approach is fine for 2009, but I’ve wondered what it holds for the future. How will the staff better prepare the team next time we are highly ranked with high-profile players?

Pete

August 31st, 2009
11:12 am

I find it EXTREMELY amusing that Ok. State fans truly believe they’re going to smoke us. The reality is going to hit them very hard in just over 5 days. This is going to be a fun week!

That70sGAdawg

August 31st, 2009
11:17 am

I like it! Junkyard Dawgs are back Baby…

simon saints

August 31st, 2009
11:24 am

tickle pile and paul johnson’s house

Mr. Mang

August 31st, 2009
11:24 am

Wow. No St. Simons post. This article was probably posted while he was spanking the monkey to some anime in his mom’s basement.

richtfan

August 31st, 2009
11:30 am

walk softly and carry a big stick on the field. that’s all that matters.

ovadatop34

August 31st, 2009
11:31 am

I’ll buy it if Richt is selling. Something to think about: Senior QB, veteran line on both sides, deep at the skill positions and a linebacking crew that is second to no other team in the country. All of these have me scratching at the door to open the season. Watch the YAC this year…should be a huge improvement. Sic’Em!!

Saint Simons

August 31st, 2009
11:36 am

I like men. I like Mr. Mang. I like Mr. Mang’s wang.

Oledawg

August 31st, 2009
11:40 am

We HOPE the Junkyard Dawgs are back. Seems like a number of fans had a Stafford doubt while waiting on that great game that he was capable of producing. The interceptions outweighed that possibility. Review only the FU games to see Stafford won one and personally lost two of them. Last year’s loss was squarely on his neck. Hell, he was even gunshy during two plays and showed no confidence in the line. Injuries certainly affected the team adversely, but Staff had his own injury… His psyche.

Paddy

August 31st, 2009
11:48 am

It is a classic approach to take with 19,20 & 21 year old football players. I believe as a team they really like how CMR is managing them. Remember, there will be some players whom we never expected to make an impact this season do just that. It makes the term “team” finally mean something more than a hyped-up phrase. Everybody is on board. This big train is about to leave the station.

BIG DAWG

August 31st, 2009
12:02 pm

Blindhawg

August 31st, 2009
12:11 pm

BIG TEAM/little me Works in all team sports.Do your job as a team mate and know your team mate will do his job and everything works out fine.

murfdawg

August 31st, 2009
12:16 pm

Altamahadawg,
Stafford was the best thing to walk in the door! In 2007 Stafford and Richt could have written their legacy for UGA football with a couple of breaks. The USC game, Richt turned the play calling over to Bobo and he did a terrible job and cost us the game(remember Moreno running the ball to the 8 and then he called 3 straight pass plays and kicked a fg.) Then Stafford got hot, we beat the mighty gators and Richt waited for a little luck. If Succop had made the fg against TN, we go to the SECCG. Then two weeks later if Hahnfelt from Vandy makes the fg instead of hitting the upright, we go to the SECCG. We were the hottest team in the country and I have no doubt we would have beaten LSU, who lost their last two games. Stafford did his part.

By the way, what qb could have won more games last year behind the patchwork ol and matador defense? Stafford was the best we have seen and there are $41 million reasons to think so.

Beatdown coming

August 31st, 2009
12:17 pm

Dawg fans relying on hope and luck. Never a good strategy. You don’t replace two NFL first rounders. Esp the number 1 qb taken without a major step down. Look at BC with Ryan. Dawgs are delusional and WAAAY overrated…score

OSU 37
Dawgs 17

Another loss to Ar kansas. 5 losses for the season. It’ll be nice to have a year where the rednecks are muted.

takedowndawg

August 31st, 2009
12:17 pm

I like these four young men’s demeanor. They just take care of business like all great, true athletes do. No pirouette in the endzone please or exessive celebration penalities. It’s the all about the team and nothing else. I believe these four will deliver big again this year.

m

August 31st, 2009
12:19 pm

Last year with all of your so called superstars Tech beat you.

This year with your no names Tech is going to beat you.

I wonder what silly thing y’all will try next year??

45-42…glad it STILL hurts so bad…and it is only the beginning.