Are Georgia fans resigned to this season being a disaster or could anger over the Dogs’ subpar performances surface in Athens this weekend in the form of booing?
Hard to tell at this point. My son was among the UGA fans in close proximity to Mark Richt and the Dogs as they left the field in Colorado Saturday night and he confirmed other accounts that there wasn’t any noticeable booing. Some fans applauded, though not real enthusiastically. At least one guy hollered something, but most of the Georgia supporters were feeling sort of numb and just stood there.
Emotions have been quite a bit more raw in the blogosphere, where the calls for Richt to be gone are rising.
(A side note: A few readers tried to twist what I wrote Sunday about this team continually finding a way to lose into a call for the head coach to be fired. Let’s be clear: I didn’t write that and I don’t think there’s much chance of Richt being fired this season. I think a guy who’s won 90 games in nine years has earned the right to try to turn things around next season, and I’d be shocked if Greg McGarity took a different stance.)
Meanwhile, looking ahead to this weekend, I don’t imagine there’ll be a big drop-off in attendance, even with the 1-4 record. This is still an SEC game and Tennessee, after all. And, incredible as it might seem, the oddsmakers have installed the Dogs as a sizable favorite.
But if the Vols score on their first drive, as Georgia’s opponents have been doing so far this season, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few boos. And if Georgia heads to the locker room trailing at the half, it could get ugly.
I hope not. I hate it when home crowds boo their own team. We had this discussion last season and I know many fans justify it by saying they’re booing the coaches, not the players. But that’s not the way it sounds to the kids in uniform.
Some fans have questioned this season whether the players are as emotionally vested in this program as the fans are. There admittedly have been times (mainly in Starkville) when the team has played with a lack of urgency.
But the Dogs headed off the field in Boulder with their heads down low and their shoulders sagging. They were hurting every bit as much as the fans, if not more.
Yes, Georgia is a bit shy of top-rank talent at certain positions, especially on defense. That’s a challenge that I’m not sure this coaching staff is up to overcoming.
On the other hand, I’ll grant that I think some parts of the team, particularly the offensive line, haven’t been playing up to their potential. I don’t know why that is, but I just can’t believe it’s because they don’t care.
It’s fair to criticize and complain. With a losing record, the players and coaches certainly expect that. But if things still don’t go the Dogs’ way against Tennessee, I really hope UGA fans don’t express their disappointment by booing.
If you feel the urge, just stop and think: What if that was your son down there trotting off the field?
Is it ever acceptable for college football fans to boo their own team? Feel free to vote in the poll or have your say in the comments.
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