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

correct

September 13th, 2011
12:30 pm

where will all you d bags be when we finsh 9-3. still sitting on your hands complaning?

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
12:31 pm

The biggest factor in the game was that Georgia was outcoached. Face it…Spurrier is a football genius. Spurrier takes less talent from a less developed program and in just a few short years OWNS Georgia and Richt. No surprise considering he OWNED them for YEARS at Florida. Face it dog fans, you missed your chance and now you PAY THE PRICE, probably for several more years. And that’s if you canned Richt today. Every day you wait, it only GETS WORSE. In the meantime, get used to seeing that C0CK in your face and on top o’ the SEC EAST!

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
12:32 pm

9-3 has become the new standard of “success” at GA. GA is the new Ole Miss.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

September 13th, 2011
12:32 pm

WHAT HEAD COACH IN HIS RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT TO COME IN AND WORK FOR A FANBASE LIKE MANY OF THE WHINERS WHO COME ON THIS SITE…OLE BILL IS A WHINER…WE PAY OUR MONEY, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH….YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND A DIME, JUST SIT HOME AND DONT RUIN IT FOR THOSE OF US WHO WANT TO ENJOY BULLDOG FOOTBALL…..

dbc

September 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

Maisel is an idiot. It costs big bucks and an awful lot of effort just to witness a game at Sanford Stadium. The fans do their part, but when Richt and Co. show up game after game uninspired and unprepared, the fans have a right to be vocal about it. And if this was Bama or LSU in this position, their fans would do the same thing. This rah rah stuff about being a loyal fan no matter what is pure baloney. It’s a free country and we have the right to voice our displeasure. It’s not like these coaches are doing this for free. All of them are paid way more than the average person to produce results. I certainly wouldn’t expect to keep my job if I consistently underperformed for three years running. Every year we get CMR talking in circles about what he’s going to change. This year it was to “study cutting edge football.” Does getting snookered by Spurrier on a fake punt that everyone knew was coming fall under that category? I guess not. I do think the players gave it a great effort and put it on the line for Richt. But ask yourself, did anything really change??? UGA is still not a fundamentally sound football team. Can you imagine a Chris Petersen team essentially handing the other team an easy 28 points? The D still sucks in crunch time, there are still too many costly turnovers, the O line can’t block on a consistent basis, and we lack depth at key positions due to lack of planning. The bottom line is we lose yet another game to a ranked opponent and rival team. A 14-15 record over your last 31 games isn’t an anomaly it’s a trend. And it’s a trend that will continue as long as we have these same coaches at the helm.

Birmingham Jacket

September 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

Dan Mullen won’t fix UGA’s problems. He was a flash in the pan who rode Meyer’s coat.

That being said. Please fire Mark Richt. Johnson is 1-0 against Mullen already, and will beat him like drum.

UGA fans are delusional. You’ve never been an elite progam. Are not an elite program. And never will.

correct

September 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

hey! at least we are not tech fans!

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

September 13th, 2011
12:34 pm

SpurrierOwns:
OLE STEVE DIDN’T OUTCOACH ANYBODY THE OTHER DAY….DID YOU SEE HIS QUARTERBACK….BOY DID HE LOOKED COACHED UP….STEVE SAID IT HIMSELF, GEORGIA OUTPLAYED US BUT SOMEHOW WE WON THE GAME….DON’T GET TOO CARRIED AWAY….

I-DOG

September 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

Logan:

How will recruiting be if we lose Richt? About the same.

Anybody who can’t get 12 of the top 20 players in the state of Georgia to stay home couldn’t sell a bucket of water to a guy whose shoes were on fire.

Who wouldn’t want to come play in front of 92,000 fans? in the best conference on tv every week, play for a program that gives you about a 25% chance to make the NFL (if you don’t get hurt and you don’t get kicked off or quit the team), has top notch facilities, are surounded by beautiful women in a warm weather climate.

There are other coaches willing to take $4,000,000 per year to recruit and coach for Georgia.

Bama Mike

September 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

Georigia fans are no different than any other top tier SEC teams fanbase. We are all very passionate and past successes we all have achieved have created a higher level of competitive standards for all of us. When those standards are not met we voice our displeasure whether it is one game or a season. Too many quality atheletes have raised that standard through the pride they displayed in their competitive charactor when thay put on the red helmets, red jerseys and silver pritches.

solja

September 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

All of SEC fans agree with Maisel and this blogger. It’s the fans’ fault and we all continue to hope that THuga keeps Richt and staff for YEARS to come!!!! Great coach and great results for the rest of us when we play the THUG U.

hornblowermg

September 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

i have two degrees from uga. we were promised change from the type of uninspired football that we have witnessed for the last five or six years. every time a coach of a particular phase of the game is fired, then the team continues on in the same vein as before. leads people to believe that only the names have changed, and not the philosophy of the main man who dictates the action(CMR). what truly makes us sick is to see plays like the one during that fake punt where the SC linebacker was taking the ball to the goal line and the GA defensive back chickened out and dove under his feet to allow him to continue on without hurting the boy in red. that really and truly sucks. that really and truly is the attitude of the georgia team as perceived by we maligned fans who deserve better.

j$dawg

September 13th, 2011
12:36 pm

I’m not condoning the booing and I like coach Richt, but damn…It is getting frustrating as hell giving away game after game with the same stupid mistakes.

The opposing team’s defensive end racks up more yards/touchdowns than your starting tailback?

If the players and coaches aren’t mad as hell too, then there is a problem…And it isn’t the fans.

Go Dawgs!

Johnny G

September 13th, 2011
12:37 pm

Who would you fools of a so-called fan pick to be the new coach??? Every years there’s a new shining star of a coach who finally gets a big name program and POOF he gets canned three years later for nothing. Look at Brian Kelly, look at Rich Rod, look at Dan Hawkins…some of you guys calling for Richt’s head already are sipping more than Kool Aid….

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
12:37 pm

Georgia’s last Natl Championship was 1980. GA Tech’s last Natl. Championship was a lot more recent – 1990. So Tech OWNS the Dogs, too!

Oh, Spurrier’s last Natl. Championship was 1996…so he OWNS ‘EM BOTH!

roughrider

September 13th, 2011
12:39 pm

Four turnovers and the opposing teams averaging 40 points a game does not indicate a good coach to me. It’s sad that UGA has been reduced to cheering a ” moral victory”.Sounds more like Tech than UGA.

MttPF

September 13th, 2011
12:39 pm

I’m not convinced there was any improvement over the Boise ST. game, where UGA played a top team and was hammered in front of a “home” crowd. Now you play USC(e) at home, a team at best considered the 3rd best team in the SEC, and you lose a “must-win” game to a team whose head coach admitted did not play well? Maisel is WRONG — your problem isn’t fan support or talent level, rather it is the inability to coach up that talent.

Dawg Tired

September 13th, 2011
12:42 pm

So 9-3 is supposed to be good when the talent level indicates 10-2 or 11-1?

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
12:43 pm

Steve making comments like saying the opponent outplayed us but we won anyway is how he motivates his team to get even more wins and an example of just how much better a coach he is.

As opposed to March Richt, obsessed with uniforms. March Richt should go to his true calling: F@gshion Design

Dawg 39

September 13th, 2011
12:43 pm

Maisel Is Right On. So Is Dustin. I really do not care if we change coaches; but, I have serious doubts that we can get another one that can do better or even as well. The Dawgs were not “OutCoached” or “OutPlayed” by Spurrier & USCe. Meanwhile for me: “IT IS GREAT TO BE A GEORGIA BULLDOG (DAWG)..

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
12:44 pm

UGA fans are the worst; I TELL YOU!!!!!!

They have to fork out $2000 each year to watch a $5 million a year coaching staff go;

2-8 vs FL
3-10 vs top 10 teams
13-13 in a down SEC east since 2006
14-14 in the last 28 games
30+ arrests since 2006
Losing 2 times to KY and once to Vandy in 5 yrs
Losing to two terrible Tenn teams
Looking like a high school team against Boise then when the heat is turned up look like a decent coached team the next week
Having 4 top NFL players on the same offense and get blown out by FL, lose to Tech and get blown away by 31-0 in the first half against AL

UGA fans are getting there money’s worth and should shut there mouths and learn to donate more money

Murray 2nd Best Still!

September 13th, 2011
12:45 pm

Wow ! So now its we fans fault ? What are we supposed to do when a coach leads us to 6-7 and a Bowl loss to the 5th best Florida team ? Then starts 0-2 ? We supposed to pat him on the back and say “Nice job old chap !” ???????????? Maybe some of you Dawg fans are stupid and don’t care about wins and losses ? Obviously many of you are…

Hammerdawg

September 13th, 2011
12:47 pm

So now its blame the fans for poor coaching and play calling! How about give us coaches who do not get out coached every game. Give us an OC who runs plays to his QB’s strength! Call plays that have a rythem and flow to the play calling instead of the BI-Polar play calling we get from Bobo. Fans are fed up with seeing the Mighty Georgia football program decend into a 2nd tier team! Stuff it Maisel!!!!

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
12:48 pm

Maybe all those uniforms are disguises conjured up by Richt, Bobo and the rest of his fashion design staff to keep the numer of players arrested every year somehow under 30. Gotta love all that focus by Richt on more glitter and tight shiny pants…. Richt’s Dogs may lose, but at least they look pretty when they do!

Football Ken

September 13th, 2011
12:49 pm

Why is everybody so enamored with Dan Mullen…would be worst mistake in UGA history. To keep the athletes we’re getting now, the new coach should run a pro-system and or something simular….thinkin an ex-NFL or current NFL offensive coordinator or QB coach….unless we bring Kirby home and see what happens….

rational

September 13th, 2011
12:49 pm

If you want people to start backing Richt when he is doing a poor job then you probably aren’t going to get what you want. Fans know when something is wrong and when they are being ripped off.

Richt 3.5mill

September 13th, 2011
12:50 pm

You Dawgs fans just need to shut your lips and pay reverence to the Missionary Mark Richt ! Richt makes $3.5 million a year. He doesn’t care about the fans. As long as he has McGarity snookered and in his corner he just goes thru the motions. I mean if going 6-7 then 0-2 doesn’t get you fired then pretty much nothing will…

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
12:51 pm

“Even when my team is not as good, and we play poorly, we still absolutely own the Dogs. My gameplan for winning when my teams play Georgia can be summarized in two words: March Richt. That gameplan works 90% of the time.”—– Steve Spurrier

Greg

September 13th, 2011
12:52 pm

Yes, it is fully warranted. Have been a dawg fan a long time. So tired of the lousy Georgia fans. Most of them would not know schemes or how to coach if it walked up and slapped them in the face. Georgia is obviously better and that is because of the coaches. If I hear one more fire Richt or Bobo, I will scream. You people have NO clue. What are you going to say when Georgia is 9-3 or even 10-2 at the end of the year.

greg

September 13th, 2011
12:52 pm

I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1981 and have attended most/all home games and quite a few road games. The volume and intensity at Sanford Stadium in recent years is seldom up to the levels I’ve experienced at places like South Carolina, LSU, UT, and Auburn. Don’t know what the problem is but I know it’s not me or my grown kids. We always yell till our guts hurt.

Richt 3.5mill

September 13th, 2011
12:52 pm

Dawgs are looking at 7-5. You heard it here first.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
12:53 pm

UGA fans are Energy Vampires

section 129

September 13th, 2011
12:53 pm

I wonder what Ivan thought when we kicked our 2nd field goal in the first qtr. I said the game was over then, and people sitting around me wanted to hang me. I have been watching from Section 129 for over 40 years, and when the coaching staff doesn’t believe in you, and doesn’t put you in a position to win, you will not win. Going up 10-0 would have been big. 3-0 is just like 6-0. One play by USC and they are ahead. Oh wait! There it is. Jeffreys in the corner over 5′9″ Smith.

Unfortunately, we have become the “new usc or the new vandy” We are looking for ways to lose instead of ways to win. I trace this back to the LSU game in 09, when we got the horrible call and lost. We have not found a way to win since that day. Sorry to be negative. But look it up!

Bobo's Ex-Girlfriend

September 13th, 2011
12:54 pm

Bobo needs to go !

Fire Mark Richt

September 13th, 2011
12:54 pm

“Hard to be a fan of undisciplined thugs.”

Amen to that Ralph. Other than losing annually to Florida, that’s my biggest problem with Richt. He’s changed the culture of UGA football for the worse, to the point that its not even recognizable to anyone who has followed Georgia football for a long period of time. If you’re going to replicate the Miami Hurricans of the 1990s, then you darn well better win like they did.

Joe

September 13th, 2011
12:55 pm

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! IVAN is 100 percent correct. I am a life long UGA supporter and I am sick and tired of fans who boo….who leave early and sportswriters that write trash. FINALLY someone with a spine to tell it like it is……much more of a spine than some of UGA fans….TRUTH HURTS! This fan base makes me want to throw up……

kennesaw gator

September 13th, 2011
12:55 pm

Dawg fans, time to face the facts: both you and your pathetic team are IRRELEVANT. The rest of the SEC looks on you the same way we do Kentucky (can’t compare you to Vandy, since at least the Vandy players can read).
Now quit whining and go back to your job at the car wash.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
12:56 pm

Greg

What are you going to say when UGA loses to another new FL coach and an AUB team that lost most of its team, and the way Tech is passing now probably them as well. And oh what about Tenn or Miss St

Joe

September 13th, 2011
12:56 pm

Hey SECTION 129…….feel freee not to renew next year- give someone that wants to support this team your seat- hopefully you never come back…..LOSER!

Buckeye

September 13th, 2011
12:57 pm

Yo Bubba’s

Truth hurts

Others

Receiving

Votes

McGaritee

September 13th, 2011
12:57 pm

“Mark is a good man. Its not about wins and losses. Its about a coach being like the man you want your daughter to marry. Its about humanitarian efforts. Its not about football although that what he gets paid for…”

Joe

September 13th, 2011
12:57 pm

AMEN GREG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
12:58 pm

section 129

You need to trace this back to the Alabama game when you had 4 NFL starters on offense and the halftime score was 31-0

Thats the reality of this staff they are never prepared and will always be outcoached by elite coaches

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
12:59 pm

Who cares what Maisel thinks? Anybody can be right 50% of the time and he fails that miserably

Joe

September 13th, 2011
12:59 pm

Flat Tire- walk dude! maybe someone will run over you

Ted

September 13th, 2011
1:01 pm

Maybe we can get Section 129 and Flat Tire moron to coach us….they are the experts.

Buckeye

September 13th, 2011
1:02 pm

“most delusional fan base in college football”

Mandel

Jimbo Donnan

September 13th, 2011
1:02 pm

Flat Tire is spot on ! I’ve read your replies and yours are the best. The “4 NFL starters being drilled 31-0 by Bama” was genuis. Nobody thinks to ask Richt now about that game though do they ?

RNB

September 13th, 2011
1:03 pm

Alabama is the premier program in the SEC right now. Trust me if Richt was there he would haven bee fired last year. Listen to Paul Fiebaum one day. Most callers cant believe we are still putting up with this crap.

Skipper

September 13th, 2011
1:04 pm

Nobody hatin’ on the kids or coaches; just dissatisfied with mediocrity being accepted. We had a great record for awhile, and everybody knows there are down years. However, we have gone down-hill PROGRESSIVELY the past few years, while other programs have moved up. So Spurrier won a game where they “got outplayed.” Why ain’t we won a few WE shouldn’ have lately? You really think we gonna beat Miss. State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee, and Florida?? Not to mention we’re supposed to take Ky. and Vandy. We may get better this year……but the grading on some of our recruits, especially linemen, needs to be re-examined. I’ll stick with ‘em through thick and thin, but as of now, for WHATEVER REASON, we’re a middle of the pack program AT BEST. Nobody expects a national championship every year, but the DO expect the ability to not make SO many mistakes and to play inspired football every week. It shouldn’t have takin’ an ass-whoopin’ by B.State to fire us up………(and we STILL managed to lose.)