Do UGA fans deserve to be called out?

Was fan support lacking Saturday Between the Hedges? (Associated Press)

Was fan support lacking Saturday Between the Hedges? (Associated Press)

ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel was at Saturday’s game in Athens and was impressed by what he saw on the field from the Georgia Bulldogs.

In fact, he was so impressed with Georgia, the only team that has played two ranked opponents so far, that he concluded that down the stretch if Mark Richt’s team “plays the way it played Saturday, it will contend for the Southeastern Conference East Division championship.”

But Maisel wasn’t impressed by the fan support in the stands at Sanford Stadium.

When Richt said after the game that he saw “an awful lot of really great ingredients on this football team,” Maisel noted that “when Georgia fans hear that, the only ingredient they reach for is a grain of salt. They shouldn’t. They should listen.”

Richt said he saw the toughness and resiliency of his team in the losing effort against South Carolina, but Maisel said, “Too bad his team’s fans didn’t. Judging by how long it took them to get SEC loud, they came to the game tentative. They didn’t come in expecting Georgia to play well. If Bulldogs fans are honest with themselves, they won’t point a finger until they’re standing in front of a mirror.”

He went on: “If the Georgia fans hit the pause button on their complaints about what their team hasn’t done, they might see a team that improved markedly from the one that lost to No. 5 Boise State, 35-21, last week. If the red-and-black faithful stop batting their eyes at Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen long enough, they might notice a Bulldogs team that fulfilled the essence of the breed.”

That’s a pretty devastating knock on a fan base that prides itself on its loyalty. But I’m not sure it’s fully justified.

After all, the Dogs looked pretty bad in the Georgia Dome against the Broncos and yet a poll last week found 65 percent of UGA fans still supported Richt despite all the doom and gloom and hot seat talk.

OK, I think probably because of the uninspired way the Dogs lost the previous week to Boise State (exacerbating a general malaise hanging over the program the past couple of seasons), the crowd at the South Carolina game did perhaps start out a bit tentative Saturday. The pregame wasn’t as loud as you would have expected at the season’s SEC home opener against Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.

And the first half didn’t do much to get them excited, with the Dogs looking fine between the 20s but squandering opportunities to put the game away by having to settle for too many field goal attempts when they got in the red zone.

But once the offense started to get on track in the second half, the UGA fans were pretty loud and supportive. I’ll admit, I did wonder about those fans who packed up and started to leave when Carolina went up by 10, despite there being 3:12 left on the clock and Georgia having all three of its timeouts. You have to wonder whether those folks just come for the social experience and are more concerned with beating the traffic crush than backing the Dogs to the end.

But most of the crowd stayed put and stayed loud as Georgia narrowed the gap to 3 points, with the flood to the gates only really getting under way after the Dogs failed to recover the onside kick and the chance at one more comeback was lost.

I don’t think fan support is the problem at UGA. OK, maybe a lot of folks arrived at the stadium expecting the worst, but the place was still packed and the fans were into the game.

And while a loss is still a loss and “moral victories” generally mean nothing, most of the Georgia fans I’ve encountered actually came away from the South Carolina game feeling encouraged by what they saw — a promising team that fought hard, didn’t give up, and which lost mainly because of mistakes, not lack of effort or talent.

How about you? Do you think Maisel’s knock on the Georgia fans was unwarranted? Do you feel better about the Dogs’ chances this season than you did a week ago?

It’ll be interesting to see what the game day atmosphere is like this week with an underwhelming opponent coming to town. As of Monday, there were less than 500 tickets (which Coastal Carolina had returned) still available for the game. Will UGA’s streak of sold-out games continue? And how many folks holding tickets to the game will actually show up?

Hopefully, most of the seats will be filled. So what if this isn’t exactly a compelling match-up? It’s Saturday in Athens and a chance to see the Dogs playing Between the Hedges!

Join me there and let’s show Maisel and the rest of the college football crowd that Bulldogs fans are indeed loud and proud, no matter what.

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529 comments Add your comment

THE (G) ON THE MUTTS HELMET STANDS 4 GAY

September 14th, 2011
10:57 am

MARK RICHT SUPPORTERS IT HAS BEEN 11 YEARS AND NOT ONE NATIONAL TITLE!

True Fan

September 14th, 2011
11:19 am

I have been completely disgusted by most of what I read on the blogs. I know many of you are mad/frustrated at/with Richt and Bobo (as am I) and we all have a right to express our opinions. However, when you can’t find a single thing positive to say, that’s just being a bad fan. Those boys out there need the fans, no matter how much you want to hate on the coach. If you are a DAWG, then you are a DAWG-act like it and support your team. If you think you can do a better job than Richt, go be a coach and work your way there. I’m sure we have all had “slumps” in our own day to day jobs. We need support and positivity to lift us out of it.
We all loved CMR and thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread a few years back. He did put us back on the map. UGA football was a joke for a long time before he came around. Think about your life…think about when you are down…does everyone coming at you guns blazing with negativity help you get better, or does positivity help you recover??
I was so completely disappointed by the folks leaving the stands when we went down by 10 and still had 3 timeouts. Those of you who did that should be ASHAMED and they shouldn’t have let you come back to your seat once we scored. If you are a true Dawgs fan, then you are a Dawgs fan until the final buzzer. Last I checked, that was one hell of a South Carolina team out there and my Dawgs played one hell of a game. One that at least deserved to see their “fans” behind them until the final buzzer sounded.
Step it up GA fans and support your team…thick and thin…hell or high water.
GO DAWGS!!!

Dogs Smell

September 14th, 2011
11:23 am

harold-
Chavis turned uga down and went to LSU.

Dogs Smell

September 14th, 2011
11:25 am

Sick of heraring about uga tradition. I can name 4 other SEC schools with greater tradition.
1. Alabama
2.UT
3.LSU
4 Florida
AS of late you can add Auburn

'94 UGA Grad

September 14th, 2011
12:05 pm

So I guess we should be happy with a 0-2 record this year and a 6-7 record last year. Yeah….Go Team Go!

Fred Sanford

September 14th, 2011
12:10 pm

the list would be shorter if listing SEC schools with less tradition than UGA…

Dogs Smell

September 14th, 2011
12:26 pm

Fred Sanford
Do the math its about the same

LakeDawg

September 14th, 2011
12:28 pm

Yeah, I felt better about UGA after the SC game. I changed my season prediction from 5-7 to 7-5.

Nothing New

September 14th, 2011
1:18 pm

How many games in Jax have ended with the Georgia side showing far more teal from empty seats than red and black? When the team isn’t winning, Georgia fans start heading for the exits.

Win P

September 14th, 2011
1:35 pm

Bill, if Maisal had watched UGA play the last three years, then he would understand why most fans are skeptical and cautious. After so much promise in Richt’s earlier successes, we have watched the program decline for three season.

Still@theBAR

September 14th, 2011
1:57 pm

After Stafford Left it has been BAD at UGA. Richt has been just rearranging the deck chairs on the UGA TITANIC.

UGA? R U Kidding

September 14th, 2011
1:57 pm

Dawg fans have a long history of turning wrath on their own players and then walking out early….remember the abuse they hurled during the infamous Alabama / blackout game…all the way up to Christian Robinson getting the rude texts. High school recruits….take note.

icedawg

September 14th, 2011
2:07 pm

The fans are apprehensive because of the overall trajectory of the program, not one game. The defense has been lacking for the past 4-5 years. If collegiate football has come down to simply an offensive shootout (which apparently it has) then our offense can stand great improvement if we are going to compete. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see a successful winning program.

shankit

September 14th, 2011
2:36 pm

Just sayin’, had Richt stepped down last year,
Scenario
Crowell would probably be playing with Alabama
Malcom Mitchell would probably be playing with Alabama
Jay Rome would probably be playing with Clemson
J. D. Drew would probably be playing with Auburn
Murray and Orson would probably be playing with Florida
The trickle down of the Dream Team now occurring
with players already committing for 2011 thru 2012
would not be happening.
I see improvement, and feel Richt should be given
tenure at least one more year, unless the team gives up,
which doesn’t seem to be happening.

Atlantan

September 14th, 2011
2:37 pm

Just about everyone I know who has gone to Athens to pull for the visiting team (their team) will agree that Uga fans are THE WORST in college football. Like going to an Eagles to pull for their opponent, but everyone has a southern accent and barks and frankly just aren’t very classy. Like a weird vibe takes over normally good people when they walk into that stadium wearing red and black. It is just a different mentality and not pleasant to be around. I guess going from preseason champs to post-season chumps for 30 years in a row will do that to you….

Shannon Arthur

September 14th, 2011
3:20 pm

Win and they will show up. Lose, and they will leave. This is the nothing new.

Highlands

September 14th, 2011
3:59 pm

Shouldn’t we be batting our eyelashes at Kirby Smart?

arpiem

September 14th, 2011
4:34 pm

This isn’t about one or two games, it’s about a trend, and the trend indicates a problem with coaching. Yes, many mistakes were made on the field, but watch replays of the past ten or so games and it’s easy to see that Richt was outcoached in most cases. I know that CMR is not the defensive coordinator, but it’s inexcusable for a team to have its guard down when the other team is in a punting or field goal situation. This hasn’t happened just once, but many times, and the team always appears to feel hoodwinked. Do they not prepare for these situations?

Pago Pago Dawg

September 14th, 2011
4:36 pm

Listening to sports shows thru out the South, guess what 3 teams are never mentioned….Vandy, UK and…..UGA! Sad…

$3,000,000 a year

September 14th, 2011
4:42 pm

and we can’t complain about 1-9 against ranked teams over last 10 games, no SEC east title in recent years, let alone an SEC title.

$3,000,000 a year

September 14th, 2011
4:44 pm

how about changing pay to base plus performance bonus?

Wade Mooney

September 14th, 2011
5:04 pm

You sir are an idiot……. fans to blame for the loss…….how about BOZO’s play calling? especially in the redzone early. No one bleeds red and black more than I but I am not blind either and to think fans should continue to take the losses without complaining is ludicrous.

Taco

September 14th, 2011
5:17 pm

UGA fans are the worst in America! They are the worst because they have no reason to think they are so great every year when they have been consistently mediocre for a lifetime. They have never done anything except for those few years of Herschel Walker. I also like the mug shot of Curran, looks like your typical UGA thug.

Beat 'em up and knock 'em up - the UGA way

September 14th, 2011
5:19 pm

AJC headline: Former Georgia Bulldog Curran arrested

Beating up his girlfriend, who by the way, is not the same one he knocked up while he was at UGA and later abandoned and never made child support payments to.

Just a freaking deadbeat thug, typical of the thugs Mark Richt keeps recruiting.

George

September 14th, 2011
5:20 pm

“But Maisel wasn’t impressed by the fan support in the stands at Sanford Stadium.” That’s a bunch of crap… I was there… The place was electric and fans were behind the team even when we kept giving them the lead on a silver platter… Other SEC teams have left UGa in the dust… we want a winner just like everybody else… If you don’t, go find another sport.. Given our reported recruiting success over the past few years the only plausible answer is coaching.. Nobody wants Mark Richt to be successful more than me… but, at some point you have to punt somebody.

Ringo

September 14th, 2011
5:26 pm

I agre with the writer 100 percent. I have never seen another team fan base come into Athens and take over like SC did. Georgia fans were making comments like they were scared. So yes lets take our blame in this to.

Snoop Dawg

September 14th, 2011
5:53 pm

Look, the fans and alumni have been living with Preacha Man Marjoe Richt now going on eleven years. He’s bee outed to most but the most blind homers. Everyone slowly figured him out. Any simpleton can graph the statistics over the past five years, connect the dots, and conclude that we have incompetent coaching. Same with the superficial recruiting research, lack of discipline on the team, and a general lack of spirt and team.
The fans need to demand better for the young men that are recruited to play football at UGA. They are highly touted; yet few of them reach their true potential. Several have quit over the past couple of years. All while Marjoe Richt continues to count his millions–ching, ching, ching.
I will do everything that Snoop can do to make sure that our fan base demands real coaches, excellence, and championships.
Preachers don’t get paid three million a year. Richt’s had a lot of unearned income over the past few years from the coffers of UGA and the student body.
If he were the honorable man that the blind homers say he is, he would have already resigned. Instead, he will hang around until the president is forced to fire him so that he can get even a few more million in a buyout.
If this is the good Christian man image, then you need to read the Bible a little closer.

Vol Max

September 14th, 2011
5:58 pm

Tennessee fans—best in the SEC! Worst fans: georgia and florida

Mark this down–Tennessee beats florida and georgia this season! Bray–can’t be stopped–best QB in the SEC!!!!!! Vols win the SEC East!!!!!

Snoop Dawg

September 14th, 2011
6:09 pm

Vol Max, the bulldog nation can’t really argue with you when we’ve got clowns driving the bus in Athens.

Ray Goof's Hat

September 14th, 2011
6:10 pm

There ya go, Dawgs. Leave it to a drunken Vol to put things in perspective. At least y’all weren’t freakin’ stupid enough to hire Lane Kiffin as your HBC!

Nub

September 14th, 2011
6:10 pm

Funny … DawgNation is angels compared to other fan bases…. Remember what was going on in Baton Rouge with Coach Denardo …. As well as at bamer … I recall physical threats …. Brick throwing etc…. So all you whinning and ringing your hands at DawgNation regarding our behavior …. Go look in the mirror….. And the others can go vote for more hope and change…. Every 3 years the Dawgs should be East Champs not doormats !!!!

Snoop Dawg

September 14th, 2011
6:11 pm

Richt is the problem, not any specific assistant that he recruited and hired. Wise up people. Don’t bite. The assistants are playing it like Richt tells them.

Luke

September 14th, 2011
6:17 pm

DR. LUKE THOUGHTS

Well I learned alot more about my favorite teams and some that I hate. UGA played better BUT still lost. Some dawg fans and Richt think they can win out. He was happy with the way his team played. I never see Nick Saban or Les Miles happy when they play well but lose. Recent history says they will lose at least 4 more games and settle for another Liberty Bowl and a “dream team” that was actually just a dream…Alabama played lights out aganist Penn St. Hats off to Joe Pa but the crimson tide were too much to handle.Well coached, strong defense, no mistake and no turnover football has Nick Saban eyeing another SEC championship…The “Luck of the Irish” has officially run out. Im not sure which seat is hotter, Richts or Kellys both have alot of talent and are 0-2 to start the season. The Irish lost in a nail bitter in the Big House. Coach Hoke for the wolverines looked like he knew what he was doing all along. Kirk Herbsterit advised from the booth to kick the field goal to go into overtime but thats why he is in the booth calling games. Coach Hoke decided to take a shot in the endzone with 8 seconds left and well the rest is history…Lastly, I had a great weekend spending time with my buddy Coach Lee down at the swamp. Even though UAB did not play well on this particular night it was a enjoyable. I witnessed more mullets and jorts (blue jean shorts) than I care to ever see again. For this reason I will NOT be returning to the swamp and I understand now why Ga plays UF in Jacksonville.

Predictions:

Thursday Night Football 8:00 ET PM

LSU travels to Miss St- Dan Mullen needs this win and needs it bad. After coming off a heartbreaking loss to Auburn he would love nothing more than to get his team back on track in the SEC West. I have to say Im pulling for Miss St but the Mad Hatter Les Miles always finds a way to win..LSU 38 Miss St 35

12:00 PM ET No. 21 Auburn at Clemson- SEC is always picked over lower tier ACC teams. War Eagle.

1:00 PM ET Coastal Carolina at UGA-Coastal Carolinas Coach had some funny commentary after last weeks game about cats and dogs. If you have not seen it check this video out!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EChnZTJicw..You will not regret it..
Please win this one ga…Be more like dogs…Go Dawgs

3:30 PM ET Michigan St at ND- For some reason since I was living near South Bend my hate for ND has grown exponentially so that means I have to follow how many games they lose every season. Remember last year Michigan St beat ND with a fake field goal. Im taking the Spartans..ND should consider moving down to Division II next year.

3:30 PM ET Tennessee at UF- This one is a tough call. Both teams have coaches that have UGA connections. Coach Muschamp played at UGA, coached at Valdosta State University (my alma mater), moved to Auburn to be the defense coordinator then went to Texas to be the DC. Coach Dooley graduated law school from UGA and well you may of heard of his dad, Vince Dooley (Wikipedia him if not)… I think both teams are going to play well but Florida is too much in the 4th. Close game but Fl wins.

4:00 PM ET Tulane at UAB–the Green Wave lost to Tulsa last week 31-3. Ouch…They must play better if they can beat the mighty Blazers at Legion Field. UAB wins..Go Blazers!

07:30 PM ET No 17 Ohio St at Miami Fl–Not sure what to say about this one. Both programs are struggling and both programs are a bunch of cheaters. I feel sorry for Ohio St having to make that long trip to Miami this weekend. Ohio St players will likely make a tatoo parlor stop, lease some cars, and maybe hit up a few strip clubs on Friday night before the game…They will both find a way to cheat this weekend …Hurricane cancels the game and they both lose

08:00 PM ET No 1 OU at No 4 Florida State–This is going to be a great game! Josh and I have decided to make the trek to Tallahassee and Bobby Bowden Field to witness this game first hand. OU looks as good as ever with Coach Stoops trying to lead his players to another National Title game. It’s been 53 weeks since Oklahoma whipped the Seminoles 47-17 on Sept.
11, 2010 in what was just Coach Fisher’s second game as a head coach…But “not so fast my friend”, the Noles will be ready. They have the speed that kills and a great coach..Noles win in a close one after Chief Osceola claims his land back from the Sooners…GO NOLES!!!!!..(if that didnt make since refer below)

Sooners is the name given to settlers in the midwest of the United States who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before President Grover Cleveland officially proclaimed them open to settlement on March 2, 1889 with the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889.

Dr. Luke Signing Off..

ugab

September 14th, 2011
6:18 pm

Fans are tired of seeing MR’s teams muck up every game. Mistakes kill the dawgs. Saban would not tolerate these mistakes. No coach would tolerate these mistakes. What ever happpened to players playing with big cast on their hand or feet. H. Walker played with a dislocated shoulder one game. Warriors find ways to play and win. MR is not producing Warriors. He has tightened up a little bit this season.

ugab

September 14th, 2011
6:24 pm

PS We do not want Coastal Carolina’s Coach to replace MR after this season. Omg. That coach is a trip!!! This game needs to be a blow out. Offense and Defense need to have a big game!!! MR needs to dial it up another notch. I loved the head phone toss. THAT IS WHAT THE DAWGS NEED!!!

ugab

September 14th, 2011
6:28 pm

MR is getting credit for his early winning seasons. These wins are with alot of other coaches players. Any other coach would have atleast played in a NC.

Chris

September 14th, 2011
7:09 pm

I love the dawgs with all my heart. I went to the boise and south carolina game. Eventhough the boise game went terrible no fan should leave. It sends a bad message to the players and it shows ur just a front runner and not a true fan. But even worse than leaving the boise game was the South carolina game. WE WERE DOWN 10 with 2 minutes and 30 seconds left AND 3 TIMEOUTS and half of the stadium was walking out. Come on dawg fans??? How do u think that maakes the players feel come on

LakeDawg

September 14th, 2011
7:47 pm

Really don’t care how the players or coaches felt. This is big-time football. (cliche alert!) If you can’t stand the heat, then get outta the kitchen. Its time for UGA to crap or get off of the pot.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

September 14th, 2011
7:56 pm

THE (G) ON THE MUTTS HELMET STANDS 4 GAY:
HOW MANY OTHER DIVISION 1 TEAMS COULD YOU MAKE THAT STATEMENT ABOUT….OUR LAST ONE WAS 1980, WHY WOULD YOU EXPECT RICHT TO BRING ONE HOME IN 11 YEARS…THE YEAR WE BEAT HAWAII I THINK WE WERE THE BEST TEAM IN THE NATION….BUT WE DIDN’T GET THE BOWL PAIRING TO PLAY FOR #1….CRY ME A RIVER….I LOVE THE DAWGS AND WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THEM WHETHER THEY WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OR NOT…DUDE AT FLORIDA WON 2 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, HAD ONE SUBPAR YEAR, AND WHERE IS HE NOW….FEELING LIKE HE IS HAVING A HEART ATTACK BECAUSE SOME STUPID FANS WERE EXPECTING HIM TO DELIVER #3….HOW STUPID…..

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

September 14th, 2011
7:57 pm

ugab:
DUDERANCH, HE WON 90 GAMES IN 9 YEARS….I GUESS ALL WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S PLAYERS….DON’T COME ON HERE AND BE SO STUPID….

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

September 14th, 2011
7:59 pm

ugab:
WHAT’S THE DEAL ABOUT PLAYING WITH A BIG CAST ON??? HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU SUITED UP, DUDE??

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

September 14th, 2011
8:02 pm

Luke:
UH, I THINK MR. SABAN’S GROUP MADE A COUPLE MISTAKES LAST YEAR VS. AUBURN TO LET THEM OUT OF THAT 24 POINT HOLE….YES, MR. SABAN’S GROUP SCREWS IT UP SOMETIMES, TOO….HE’S NOT WALKING ON THE WATER…..

MARK RICHT

September 14th, 2011
8:06 pm

Snoop Dawg:
IF YOU HAD A RECORD LIKE MINE, YOU WOULD BE ROLLING IN THE DOUGH ALSO…YES, THEY NEED TO PAY A BUNCH OF MONEY TO PUT UP WITH IDIOTS LIKE YOU WHO ONLY WANT TO CRITICIZE AND KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT FOOTBALL…..

still a dawg fan

September 14th, 2011
8:15 pm

Did anyone notice that Rennie Curran got arrested in Atlanta on Monday. My first thought was what is he doing in Atlanta until I read that Tenn had released him.Curran must a been a real bust since he was a 3rd round pick & most teams don’t release a 3rd round pick that quick unless they are not very good. Not much of a demand for 5-7 225lb Linebackers in the NFL. He should have listened to most of the dawg fans last year & stayed in school & gotten his degree,instead he thought he was NFL material & now he is unemployed & has no college degree to fall back on.I hope this is a lesson for other underclassmen.Remember underclassmen unless you are going to be an early 1st round pick stay in school,improve your draft status & get your degree so you will have something to fall back on after football

NMdawg

September 14th, 2011
8:25 pm

Players play, and fans fan….no outcome on the game at all. Give me a break! If I need the “crowd” to get me excited as aplayer, I have chosen the wrong sport. What a crock….

BirdDog

September 14th, 2011
8:58 pm

Way too much whining.

The Diesel

September 14th, 2011
9:04 pm

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

Realistic Doggie

September 14th, 2011
9:34 pm

As long as Arron Murray is the starting QB, Georgia will not win the big games. He is a great kid, but he is simply not an SEC/D1 winning QB…period. He has single handedly lost game after game for UGA (including SC), yet he is somehow still considered the golden boy! Think back to jacksonville last year…its OT and you are the coach in the huddle…”son, if its there, make a play, if not, just take the sack, but whatever you do, DON’T THROW THE PIC”…well, you all know the rest of the story. This is just one example of many. Hats off to the coaches this past weekend (including Bozo) and especially the defence, but good gosh, how can the rest of the team be expected to support Murray when he has NEVER won a big game, EVER!! I swear, it seemed like it would have been impossible to lose the SC game, but somehow he found a way. Go Dawgs!! and Go Murray, please, far far away!!!

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 14th, 2011
9:35 pm

We will outscore most of the teams on the schedule…probably lose a high scoring game or 2.At the end of the season…Richt and Bobo will be back and Grantham will resign or get fired.

ray

September 14th, 2011
9:48 pm

The Dawgs suck because the fan base wears a skirt.

No way Bama fans, Buckeyes, Gators, Auburn, etc put up with .500 over the last 28 games, 1-10 against the last 11 ranked teams.

All UGA fans care about is recruiting rankings. It’s a proven school full of posers.

Dawg fans are girls and they deserve the powder-puff team they got.