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

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
1:09 pm

Good article Bill!
I can take Richt or leave him and reserving my judgment until the end of the year but, I have to say the 0-2 start isn’t looking favorably right now. Like it or not Richt is the coach for this season and fans are completely within their rights to boo, complain and call for his head. Loyalty to a losing coach? Who does that? Did Maisel mention were are 0-2 for the first time in 15 years? How many more bad stats do the fans have to hear before they “have a right” to complain?

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
1:09 pm

“One of the most significant keys to winning football games, is to keep your players out of jail. Mark Richt has no comprehension of this. Hard to win when your starters are being bent over at the county jail.” —- Steve Spurrier

Ted

September 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

UGA fans are a complete Joke……you make your team and university look like crap. Hate is to nice of a word to describe this fan base on these blogs

WDE

September 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

@SpurrierOwns no I don’t want either of those gas bags for coach..and I can tell you are worried about having to keep Garcia healthy and sober …ADMIT IT !! @Dawg Tired explain how and who says SC was clearly less talented ?? I saw a very evenly matched up couple of teams..yes we still should have won but that bunch has some talent.

David

September 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

To many people want INSTANT GRATIFICATION and it has spread like VD through a cathouse. They expect UGA to be playing for championships because some moron says a high school kid that just signed is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Expectations get overblown, some jerk woring at ESPN says something and every foolish middle age adolescent becomes the most knowledgeable coaching expert there is. Keep it up, UGA will end up with somebody reminiscent of ole’ Ray Goof.

cpinthedawghouse

September 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

I agree with “harold”.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

Joe

No Joe

You take a walk over to Kentucky, Vandy and Ole Miss where moral victories get you contract extensions

Oh and take your Kool-aid stand with you, you’ll make more money at those programs selling your famous kool-aid

BankerDawg

September 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

I think we played MUCH better against USCe than we did the previous week against BSU. No doubt.

I am encouraged by what is still in front of us for the season, given we do not play Bama, LSU, or Arkansas. No one else on the schedule scares me in the least. We’ll see how the Gators end up, but I expect that will be a toss up no matter what.

Everything certainly isn’t coming up roses, but we still have a ton to play for, and I will be there to cheer them on each and every game.

GOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! SIC ‘EM!

UGADawg83

September 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

Too many “sidewalk” alumni. If you don’t go to games or make contributions shut up.

george stein

September 13th, 2011
1:12 pm

if the game was played in AMERICA, then these citizens are free to do as they wish when it comes to rooting interest and attendance.

thank you

Larry

September 13th, 2011
1:12 pm

AR Dawg…..”fans are within their rights to boo”….my son plays on this team…..you or no one else has any right to boo him or any of the other players or coaches on this team. What gives you the right to boo my son?????????? You are a sorry excuse for a human being!

War Dang Dawg

September 13th, 2011
1:12 pm

The only thing that “Spurrier Owns” is a bad case of hemorroids and fading 1990s glory.

J

September 13th, 2011
1:15 pm

just call them out for being Dawgs fans in general …

sammiamm

September 13th, 2011
1:15 pm

I’m all-in, the the way. I cheer for the players. They can hear.

Like many, I’m disappointed with the evident lack of discipline both on, and off, the field in recent years. And the stats point to a SEC passing us by. But he SC game re-ignited my belief and excitement in the direction of the program. There’s a team in there fighting to get out:)

I don’t like whining fans any more than I like whining players. In the end, both are disruptive and destructive.

Put simply, there are better ways to show disappointment and discontent than whining on bogs and message boards.

Makes me wonder where these “fans” vented before their high-speed internet….

raydawg

September 13th, 2011
1:15 pm

Ivan Maisel hasnt been getting his a** beat for three years if he had he may think a little different

Spaceman Spiff

September 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

The article was fully warranted. I am just as much a Dawg fan as anyone on here, and although no one has been more dissappointed than I have about the past few seasons there is no way that such poor behavior can be justified. I find it hilarious that some say “I am a fan, I deserve to act this way.” The first thing we have to remember is that this is a game. In the scheme of things, do sports have such control over your life that your happiness/well-being depends on it? If that is the case, then maybe these so-called fans should seek counseling. It reminds me of a five year-old who can’t have a cookie. I am stationed far from my beloved Dawgs, and it is sad to hear others say “you aren’t one of THOSE ‘Dog fans, are you?” Kind of depressing to know that the behavior and actions of so-called loyal fans is looked on as nothing more than childis rants. I am proud of and support my Dawgs, but not the fans…

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

Larry

Hopefully your son has a bigger pair than you do. Apparently that wouldn’t take much. Any fan of any program has a right to boo and complain when they feel the need. Grow the h3ll up and get over it.

cs

September 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

greg–What are you going to say when Georgia is 9-3 or even 10-2 at the end of the year.

I will say that isnt good enough.

sammiamm

September 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

War Dang Dog–you made my day:)

Sam

September 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

There were long periods where it was pretty quiet. I watch a lot of college games and the fans at other stadiums seem to be loud even when the team is down. Is the crowd becoming a “wine and cheese” crowd?

GoDawgs

September 13th, 2011
1:17 pm

He’s 100% correct the fans were very quiet and the mood was very somber during pre-game tailgating that led to the quiet 3 quarters. The stadium didn’t get SEC loud until we took the 35-31 lead. We are loyal to coaches from 30 years in the past it seems. I wouldn’t say our fan base is loyal at all now we are very quick to point the finger from Goff, Donnan, and Richt at the first sign of trouble. Most of it is deserved but there was vast improvement from week 1 to 2 but a lot of other teams in the SEC turned heads last week to also improve. UT and AU both looked well and our schedule is no longer as easy as people thought after the 1st 2 games.

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
1:17 pm

“Look at the players Richt has had to work with and what they have gone on to achieve in the NFL. NFL starters, superstars and SUPER BOWL MVP’S. If those boys had played for me, we would have walked our way to the #1 or #2 in the country. Honestly, I just don’t get it. Sometimes I wake up and night and just TRY to imagine HOW that Richt clown managed to go 6-6, 7-5, 8-4, 9-3 with top tier elite NFL players. I know a thing or two about football…and I STILL can’t figure that one out!” —— Steve Spurrier

cs

September 13th, 2011
1:17 pm

Marie

September 13th, 2011
11:55 am
Good idea, CS. And just how would you stop a kid from jumping to the NFL???
How stupid.

Speaking of stupid, have you ever heard of a contract?

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
1:20 pm

“Bad as my boys played, I’m still looking at SC 45, GA 42 there at the end. You want some relief from hemmorhoids? Lemme tell you…45-42 on a day when our boys TRIED to give the game away has some SERIOUS cooling action, relief and SATISFACTION.” —— Steve Spurrier

JP

September 13th, 2011
1:20 pm

Georgia fans have always had an entitlement mentality. They show up late, leave early, and whine incessantly, and that’s nothing new to the Mark Richt years, they’ve always been like that. The funny thing is, they’ve got no particular reason to feel entitled to anything; of the SEC’s top 6 teams (AL, AU, UGA, UF and UT), they’ve got the least distinguished history, and outside of the three-year Herschel aberration, really haven’t done a damn thing to deserve top-tier consideration.

J

September 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

Bill King, take a new picture, you look like a fruitcake

Larry

September 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

AR Dawg….and you are the very reason why people have second thoughts of coming here. You think its the coach?? Let me clue you in dumba…., its when players and parents hear morons like you in the stands booing this team. Unhappy???????? Feel free to go support another team….support? look it up because you have no clue to what it means.

JP

September 13th, 2011
1:22 pm

Whoops, forgot the Corn Dogs of LSU. But they’ve also got more to show for their program over the years than Georgia does.

Dumbo

September 13th, 2011
1:25 pm

SpurrierOwns you sure sound like Mid Town bedwetter….you sure ain’t one of them North Ave circle jerkers!

Shine

September 13th, 2011
1:26 pm

Most of these “loyal” UGA fans would show up at a family hanging if they were allowed get drunk. I think that’s all they care about, going to a football game so they have an excuse to get plastered….damn wins and loses.

sparrow1

September 13th, 2011
1:26 pm

TO HELL WITH THE STOOPID GAME!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
1:27 pm

POOR COACHING STAFF WHO MAKE $5million a yr and have to hear fans BOOOOO

HELLO

Go get a real job making middle class money where a boss demands from you every day or your FIRED in less than 3 MONTHS for not performing; and not years of underperforming

Thats the real world

You people act like this bunch is going to be on welfare tommorrow if they are fired.

They have made more money Bobo, and Grantham than 99% will make in 32 YEARS working at $70,000 a year

Booo hoo wah wah

UGA Insider

September 13th, 2011
1:27 pm

Maisel does not point out that much of the aggravation from the fanbase in from the 2008-2010 years. Especially the 0-4 start then the UCF debacle last December. Which by the way was the ugliest loss in UGA history if you ask me. 4th and inches and you kick a field goal in The Liberty Bowl?????? Anyways, the nightmare continued against Boise and we were publicly embarrassed again. However I must say that we played well last week and made huge strides. I too am anxious about how many show up this week. The Ole Miss start at 11:20AM is embarrassing as well.

Go Dawgs…

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
1:27 pm

Larry
And YOU know this how? YOU haven’t heard me booing anybody and if I did, I’ve paid enough in education and tickets to justify it if they were 2-0. YOU keep drinking that kool-aid and continue to let the other kool-aid drinkers and the Ivan Maisels of the world tell you how to think.

I KNOW it’s the coach and the coaching. If you don’t like the fan base you are very welcome to find you another team to go “support”

Carl

September 13th, 2011
1:29 pm

UGA Insider….no, I think the ugliest loss in UGA history was 21-10 to Miami OF OHIO>>>>Thanks Coach Dooley!

Mitchell

September 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

Heh.

I still remember the Jawja “faithful” cussing their team off the field after Auburn went up 31-0 at the half in ‘99. Really, thanks, guys: Jason Campbell was on his official visit, and that performance convinced him to go to AU. Way to show your spirit and come through for us!

Athens= God's Country

September 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

We do have some of the worst fans in the country. Seeing them leave with 2:30 left and all 3 timeouts was PATHETIC. I would boo those sorry fairweather fans. How come I can’t get a ticket for face value, but these fair-weathered losers can?

When I was at the Sugar Bowl against WVU at the GA dome, I was asked to leave my seat by a security guard. Why? Because I was standing, cheering for my team. You see, the jerk behind me couldn’t see. He refused to stand and cheer. WVU scored 3 touchdowns in that endzone. He absolutely refused to cheer or stand. PATHETIC. When I explained what happened to the security guard, he couldn’t believe it. He said how miserable it must be to be that guy. He then took me to club level seats. Be quiet on offense. Yell at the top of your lungs on Defense. Stay for the entire game. Support your team. If you don’t do this already, sell me your damm tickets. You can sit down and be quiet in your lazy boy at home! Good grief.

I’m convinced these are the goofs calling for our programs most successful coach’s head.

Larry

September 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

AR Dawg……you see, that’s where you just dont get it…..I know my son and his teamates…I know the coaches….they are busting it to entertain you and your so called ticket money. My son is here to get an education first and foremost….football is secondary. so called fans like you that got your education here are an afterthought in the big picture of things. Walk a mile in their shoes…….then sprew your crap

SpurrierOwns

September 13th, 2011
1:34 pm

“Who screams Yay and who screams Boo and how much your uniforms have on ‘em or how shiny your opponents’ panties are ain’t got squat to do with what happens on that football field. 90,000 Dog fans screaming and hating my team…some saying Yay and some saying Boo…, and we still owned all 90,000 of ‘em” —- Steve Spurrier

War Dang Dawg

September 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

Larry, you need to study up on your conference history. Georgia ranks behind only Alabama and Tennessee in number of conference titles, and only trails Tennessee by one.

To be honest, we’re all second fiddle to Alabama. And it’s not even close.

War Dang Dawg

September 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

Correction, I meant JP, not Larry. Sorry Larry.

Dumbo

September 13th, 2011
1:36 pm

SpurrierOwns…you is a North Ave circle jerker ain’t ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
1:41 pm

Larry

What makes you think I haven’t walked in their shoes? You are making assumption on things you know nothing about. Your son is getting an education on both my contributions and my fan money. You should be thanking ME. In the bigger picture football is secondary but, to the coaches it is their bigger picture. As fans we have every right to expect the best not just from the university alone but, from the coaches as well. Go ahead numb nutz, wallow in and enjoy your life of mediocrity but don’t expect the rest of us to find it acceptable

DawginLex

September 13th, 2011
1:43 pm

Most embarrassing loss in UGA history was in the Tangerine Bowl to Miami of Ohio

Instant Dawgma

September 13th, 2011
1:44 pm

I don’t give a crap what somebody else, that supports another school and/or hates GA for whatever childish reason, has to say about UGA. They are mostly instigators on a blog sight that has no life.
Instead of simply supporting their own team, they derive their happiness by sadistically criticizing other teams and fans.
Now with that being said, it is allright for a fan, alumnus, or anybody tied with a program to constructively criticize it’s own program. Even though, that can reach unreasonable levels.
Like the old saying “I can criticicize my family and they can criticize me, but you mind your own business when it comes to my family”.
And for the most part, We as UGA people support UGA and Coach Richt in all efforts.
So shove it up your backside haters.

Columbus

September 13th, 2011
1:45 pm

Please note that most of the people who post on these message boards are young, on the internet all the time, and the ones most unhappy and also the most ignorant because of them not being around long enough to realize a lot of things because they have not seen a lot of things.

The majority of UGA fans support Richt. It is the YOUNGEST fans who dont and even 55% of them still support Richt! These young people are internet savvy and online all the time and have time to come on here and rant. They are leading the media around however they are the VOCAL minority and leading the media around like fools.

There was a poll taken on a different paper than AJC, the Augusta Chronicle, that has been posted or referred to on several sites, of course the UGA haters at AJC have made NO mention of the this because the FAN poll indicates FANS SUPPORT RICHT.

Man if you get outside of the AJC and Bleacher Report, you will see that there is a WHOLE different world out there.

These YOUNGEST FANS who won a couple SEC Championships and then when they arent then winning the national championship but instead rebuilding, THEY ARE FREAKING OUT!

These ignorant fans did NOT HAVE TO WAIT 20 YEARS FOR RICHT TO FINALLY BRING US AN SEC TITLE. 2 OF THEM! SHOULD HAVE BEEN 3. These younguns are running a greeat coach out of town if they can and all of you media people are blindly and unprofessionally are taking it hook, line and sinker!

These wet-behind-ears ignorant and YOUNGEST fans are on the internet 24-7, are internet savvy, have time to rant and rave and make foolish and silly comments all based on the little they know over the last few years. Some MAY even remember when Vince Dooley was coach! At least maybe Goff.

You can check out the article about the poll on the Augusta Chronicle. It was done a week ago plus and picked up by several media outlets. I am sure after the 2nd game, Richts suppoert has increased or remained the same. Also you CANNOT do a poll on the internet that is remotely reliable due to the high percentage of users being from a certain dempgraphic….the YOUNGEST that just need to strike a pose and look young and good but keep their mouth and keyboards shut because they dont know S#!%!

Not a peep on AJC though about this poll. Of course not, all they need to know they get from the comments from the KIDS on here! Facts? Who needs facts when we got readers who are 5 years old that tell us all we need to know!

AJC, being led around by toddlers who are internet savvy, online all the time and are WAGGING THE DAWG……

The SILENT MAJORITY SUPPORT RICHT AND WE HAVE MONEY AND POWER THESE TOTS DONT HAVE….THE HAVE THE INTERNET AND LAZY SO-CALLED JOURNALISTS AND THE AJC.

THANK GOD FOR CHIP TOWERS!

SUPPORT MARK RICHT@FACEBOOK

Jon

September 13th, 2011
1:45 pm

I am a UGA graduate and a Dawg fan. However, Georgia fans have become an embarassment to the program. Reaquaint yourselves, Georgia fans, with reality and support your team. We’ve played 2 good teams and came up short. Stop your bellyaching and support the Dawgs! Go Dawgs….despite your fans.

NewnanDawg

September 13th, 2011
1:46 pm

If you accept mediocrity, you get mediocrity.

powerhouse?

September 13th, 2011
1:47 pm

Surely did not look like fans of a “powerhouse” team with several scurrying to make a hasty egress.
But Coastal will be the elixir you fans need.

layinlow

September 13th, 2011
1:51 pm

After 11 years into Richt’s tenure and we just got thru losing consecutive years to South Carolina, this loss coming at home, and were supposed to be positive because we showed promise? We just came off of a 6-7 season and we have started 2011 0-2 and the fans are to blame for complaining? In our last 26 games we are 12-14 against FBS opponents but we should give richt a break? Whats next? Are we going to ratchet down expectations down to the point that losing to Kentucky is acceptable?What gives? I apologize that I have higher expectations for a flagship University who just happens to be in a state that is a high school football factory.I guess we are headed back to the Goff era and should be thrilled about it.