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

ha

September 13th, 2011
4:07 pm

Gloom dispair and agony on me
Deep dark depression excessive misery
If it wern’t for bad luck we would have no luck at all

remember that? it was on Hee Haw the shaw that UGA bases it’s graduation test on.

ha

September 13th, 2011
4:08 pm

The world is ending.
Lawdy CMR the yankees is coming.

Sober Historian

September 13th, 2011
4:09 pm

UGA has won exactly 2 SEC championships since Herschel Walker left; during that same period, Florida has won 8, Tennessee and LSU 5 each and Alabama 4. Since the initiation of an SEC championship game almost 20 years ago, Georgia has played in exactly 3, winning 2. Georgia has zero national championships since 1980; since 1978 the other listed SEC teams have won 12 natl. championships. So, Bulldog fans ought not to have tremendously lofty ambitions, should drop all pretense of ultra-regional significance and should be glad they can always relive the 1980 Ga-Fla game.

ha

September 13th, 2011
4:09 pm

What will I do with my khakis and this stupid shirt with the G on it?
Lawdy lawdy lawdy.

Ralph

September 13th, 2011
4:11 pm

YES UGA fans need to be called out. The one’s that constantly complain about one of the winningest coaches in the NCAA, one of the winningnest percentage wise coaches ever at UGA, the ones that boo at games, leave early in games. This is the sorriest year for fans in the history of UGA. It is sickening. It is also sickening that it seems that Bradley and Schultz have something against Coach Richt. They have gone beyond the pale in undermining this coach. Thankfully Coach Richt is calm, cool and collected and is preparing this team for greatness. Rich will not be fired unless he has a losing season. Anything above 500 gurantees he is back. Next year is the test. Everyone expects UGA to be a top 5 team next year–NOT this year. Put it in your pipe and smoke it. Richt has over 65% approval rating. Only the young restless crowd who has no sense of history wants Richt out. Ain’t gonna happen.

JB

September 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

And for the most part, they’ve all waxed the yellow maggots.

HBTD!!!

Kiss The Ring

September 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

Sobor historian….you forgot that Auburn has 6 SEC titles, 3 undefeated seasons and a national title. Also, your 1980 title was a joke…you played nobody. Hope that helps!

Gay Dawg

September 13th, 2011
4:16 pm

Dad gummit….I am tired of losing to USC. I want a coach that knows how to beat those coccks!

JB

September 13th, 2011
4:16 pm

“Played nobody”? Now THAT is funny!

Kiss The Ring

September 13th, 2011
4:18 pm

JB – have you seen the 1980 opponent won loss record? Soboring indeed. 4-7 average record for that year.Yuk

Gay Dawg

September 13th, 2011
4:19 pm

Its time for Richt to take over the offense. lift the hood up and get both arms in there and root around….find the problem and get out the waste!

Readin', writin', 'rithmetic

September 13th, 2011
4:20 pm

How are Richt’s dream team recruits doing in their remedial studies classes? I heard some of them are having problems learning their ABCs.

Sober Historian

September 13th, 2011
4:24 pm

Kiss the Ring-You’re right, I did neglect to mention Auburn; Auburn’s post-1980 success is even more reason for UGA diehards to be more realistic about their recent heritage, which since the initiation of the SEC championship has most often been as an SEC-East also-ran.

Wait till next year!

September 13th, 2011
4:27 pm

Next year is the test.

Right, it’s always next year for Richt. I love it. Dawgtards are so weak-minded that they’ll buy this “next year” baloney.

jWall

September 13th, 2011
4:32 pm

I’ve been to every home game the last 30 years and UGA has the worst fans in america. They sit on their hands the whole game and then all they do is cry like a bunch of babies when we lose. THEY TRUELY NEVER SUPPORT THEIR TEAM!

Is Saint Mark still there?

September 13th, 2011
4:34 pm

“It was on Hee Haw, the show that UGA bases its graduation test on.”

UGA changed it last year. Now they use The Simpsons. It’s a lot easier for UGAers to comprehend.

smoore54

September 13th, 2011
4:36 pm

Ivan is flapping his jaws since his podcast after the Boise State game pretty much spelled out what he thought of Georgia’s coaching and that it extended beyond just the horrifying game against the Broncos. Georgia fans have been loud and proud even after at least two seasons of “hotseat” articles from all the college football pundits, himself included. When I attended the Bulldog Club meeting at the Galleria in Cobb County, Mark Richt and our Dawgs got a standing ovation. Dawg fans far and wide seem to be able to put the SCAR loss in perspective and see the same improvements that Mark Richt saw from our team. If we eye Dan Mullen for a coaching position or speculate on it then maybe Ivan needs to take a bit of his own culpability for a fanbase’s nervousness about the state of the coach. Maybe the imaginary “hotseat” discussion that is gracing ESPN’s college football page even as I type impacting the confidence of the recruits will contribute to a vicious cycle that will conspire to bring down a coach.

Just don’t lay all the criticism on a fanbase that has been buying tickets, merchandise and rolling out the red & black every week through thick and thin even through the chatter the meganetwork spews everyday. Maybe we’re a little rattled by seeing our coach and our team oft maligned and losses mean more than they would if we didn’t have to wade through that during every College Gameday broadcast.

But we are there. We are proud and we support our team.

Gay Dawg

September 13th, 2011
4:36 pm

Saint Richt- too funny…i just spewed coke all over my face and stomach!

UGA Student

September 13th, 2011
4:36 pm

Yeah all the whining and complaining from the fair weather “fans” will end after they win out the rest of the season… Yeah, 10-2 and possibly SEC East champions. Go Dawgs!

Gay Dawg

September 13th, 2011
4:39 pm

UGA Student is right…we may have not smoked those coccks last weekend, but the hairy dawgs are gonna go deep in the polls this fall!

Wil

September 13th, 2011
4:51 pm

Like most I never thought as a Dawg fan I would be okay with a loss, but there were alot of good things to see last week. Players showing toughness, and the coaches not afraid to take some gambles.If we keep that up I feel good about the future. The mistakes that cost are things that are going to happen when you have such a young team. Hopefully they learn from it. Keep your heads up. two losses to SC and we could still be playing in atlanta at the end of the year.

Kiss The Ring

September 13th, 2011
4:53 pm

Playing in atlanta after startying 0-2 is nice, bit UGA plays nobody..They will just go to ATL and get their heads kicked in by LSU or ARK.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
4:54 pm

Finish the season 10-2

LOL

Got any more jokes to tell

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
4:56 pm

Larry

Now who’s attempting to flatter themselves? I’m not your son. You should be so lucky. You are okay wallowing in mediocrity. I get that. You’ll gobble down the shyte sandwich, give thanks and beg for another. I get that too. It is okay with me no matter how you wish to live your life or support your team. Good luck with that and in life. It is blatantly obvious you’re going to need it.

Dustin
You should stay on topic and follow the thread. You are an idiot now, get cooking on those fries

MAD HAiry Dawg

September 13th, 2011
4:56 pm

CMR is a great coach and a great face for UGA. He recruites great, develops young men, holds them to a standard that many have never been held to. A coaching change would be a detremental set back. We are close, real close! If you seriously look at the young men we have now representing our Football team, there is a lot to be proud of.

Gay Dawg

September 13th, 2011
4:58 pm

MAD HAIRY DAGW!!!

Firstly, great name….second…Richt cannot even pullout a win over USC. I mean how can we beat UF or LSU if we cannot smoke coccks.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
5:05 pm

Look

If we are so worried about mentoring young men then re-hire Richt as The UGA Mentor to the athletic department

Does anyone work for a company that has mentors, I doubt it

You dont perform at your job, your fired period. Thats something these kids need to learn

Ben

September 13th, 2011
5:06 pm

Our seats were in sec. 127 but it was so packed we went to upper student section. We stayed on our feet and loud the whole game. I noticed the seats across the way (sec. 123-150) started filing out early. These are the same people who complain when you stand up and cheer. Some fans need to give up their seats and stay in the recliner. Maisel was right to call out the so called “fans” I will keep going to student section where the volume is always CRANKED!!!

jay

September 13th, 2011
5:08 pm

this team is 14-14 in its last 28 games and the stands are still full. Maisel should stick to west coast
football which is all he really knows.

JDawg

September 13th, 2011
5:13 pm

Our Dawgs are playing like a pro baseball player in a slump. They are pressing at every level. We needed that South Carolina win to release the pressure. When it happens you will see a fluid, strong team go forward. And by the way, CMR out coached the old ball coach and our kids out played their guys. The pressing contributed to the turnovers. Regarding the boo birds>>>stay the home-we don’t need you. As soon as we turn it around you will be the first to say “I knew we could do it and CMR is our guy”>>>

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 13th, 2011
5:24 pm

JDawg

you wont be hearing that

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
5:25 pm

JDawg

Even the boo birds hope that you are right and they get an opportunity to jump on the Richt bandwagon. Unfortunately not many of them believe they will see the day

beanster

September 13th, 2011
5:33 pm

I admit I walked away from the TV after Aaron coughed it up (and I would have had trouble staying in my seat if I were at the game). I was so frustrated I went and did the freaking dishes so my remote would still be in one piece the next day. Like Dale said above , too many seasons in a row of heartbreakers with the only redemption coming against Tech tends to wear a Dawg fan down. But that doesn’t make us bad fans, Mr. Maisel.

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
5:38 pm

Fans are frustrated. I know because I am one of them. It doesn’t make us bad fans. It makes us fans with expectations and we occasionally, once in a while wish to see those expectations met. There is no shame in venting fan frustration regardless of what the muckraking gutter dwelling kool aid drinkers declare

Big Wally

September 13th, 2011
5:39 pm

Obviously Maisel doesn’t have the mental ability to look over the last 4 years and the product Richt has put on the field.

SentientDawg

September 13th, 2011
5:41 pm

Georgia fans are not much different than other fans. Some are obnoxious, some are more gracious. Some fans stay until the end of the game, winning or losing — and some leave when they feel like leaving. Fans can be embarrassing — I know Colorado was embarrassed by the behavior for some of its fans last year at the UGA vs Colorado game. I was there, and some members of the CU student body were obnoxious to Georgia fans. On the other hand some were a bit more pleasant toward us Georgia folks even though it was a bitter loss to take. UGA football did show better against South Carolina, and gives reason to hope for better results in the future. Were it not for some bad mistakes, UGA could have blown out USC. But UGA didn’t. A loss is a loss, and it adds to the sting of last year’s losing season since we haven’t won a game yet this year. All teams go through bad stretches. The question remains, how long will this bad stretch last? Will the UGA players, and the fan-base rise up, and make things happen? Or will we let them happen?

ARdawg

September 13th, 2011
5:41 pm

Big Wally

Funny how last year all the talking heads would say “oh, look at his body of work”. They’re not saying that this year.

" Mad Dawg" : CMR will win at UGA or he will be fired.

September 13th, 2011
5:42 pm

It happened to Richt’s mentor, FSU’s Bobby Bowden, it happened to Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer, it happened to Miami,Fla’s Larry Coker and the list will continue to go on. If Mark Richt can’t get Georgia back to winning fast before this season ends, his coaching career will end. Like it or not, he is no exception no matter how great a person he is and no matter how many moral victories he can claim for his delusional support fanbase. Unlike each of the aforementioned coaches above he has no national title to fall back on. Bowden & Fulmer cashed in their national titles for more time and were unceremoniously shown the door to forced retirement after a few mediocre seasons. They ended up victims of their previous successes and were ran out of their respective programs. At the “U” Larry Coker inherited a national title in 2001 and had accumulated an highly impressive 53-9 record by 2005 when he was told two 8-4 seasons or 16-8 was not acceptable at Miami. He was told UM’s expectation of him was to win an ACC tltle and make a BCS Bowl. And when his team fell far short of that goal by going 7-6, he graciously accepted his termination after finishing 60-15 (.800) and winning an incredible 80% of his games. Even his replacement, former Cane coach went 16-10 (.615) in his last 26 games and was fired after an unacceptable loss to USF last year. After going 14-14 at his alma mater, Miami,FL., Richt would have been fired within 2 hours after the Liberty Bowl loss.

Back to UGA and Richt, he has been more than given the benefit of the doubt after 3 going on 4 disappointing seasons. A close analysis of a highly winnable schedule after the first two performances shows at best UGA will fall anywhere from 8-4 to 6-6 by seasons end. Should he be allowed to come back if he goes 8-4 and loses to Florida again ? If Richt loses to UF again the question becomes academic. A 2-9 record against UF will put him in the company of former Ohio St.head coach John Cooper, who was strictly fired for a 2-10 record vs.primary rival Michigan despite an acceptable overall .715 winning record percentage against everybody else. At this point, moral victories or excuses for being close, will not save Richt if he doesn’t go at least 9-3 or 8-4 with a convincing, well coached victory over rebuilding and hard working Florida. But CMR’s hard work to save his job begins with the Hot Seat Bowl versus Ole Miss and Houston Nutt, who is fighting to save his own job after going 4-8 last year. Then UGA’s remaining tests are hungry Miss. St., the vengeful Vols, The party in Jacksonville, Defending Champ Auburn, and pesky Tech. If Richt runs the table he probably will get another year, if the team ends up more moral victories than real ones he should be fired. No doubt about it. The delusional lovefest ends.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

September 13th, 2011
5:55 pm

UGA fans should be deported to the ACC.

beanster

September 13th, 2011
5:56 pm

9-3 with a loss to UF would be an awful situation. I hope that it is convincing, whichever way things go.

I-DOG

September 13th, 2011
6:03 pm

Ralph:
Richt’s tenure at UGA can be summed up with the famous line “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

2002-07 were great times, 2009, 2010, and apparently 2011 are the worst of times. Only Goff’s first three years are as bad as Richt’s last three in the modern era. I wish it weren’t true and I wish we could run the table so that Richt doesn’t tie Richt for worst 3 year period in the last 40 years of Georgia football. He is sullying his own legacy

BulldogsRock

September 13th, 2011
6:03 pm

They definitely played a lot better and SC is a very good team. UGA has a lot of young talent and I believe will surprise many by season’s end. And, I agree BK, they may actually contend for SEC East. Let’s be honest. Boise State is no slouch. Don’t give up on CMR yet.

SEC Fan

September 13th, 2011
6:04 pm

America, unfortunately to a lot of people, is a free country, and, therefore, within the bounds of decency, one can say what one damn well pleases. This includes the state of the football program at UGA and the competence or lack thereof of Richt and his staff, esp. the offensive and defensive coordinators. In view of this, I would suggest that if someone doesn’t like what some other person blogs, then he/she best not read it. So far as Richt goes, he alone has brought all the criticism that he is now receiving down on himself and has no one to blame but himself.

The Diesel

September 13th, 2011
6:29 pm

Here is some advice for the FANS that constantly tell other Fans to sit down.Stay your WHINE and CHEESE ASSES at home.If you do not want to stand and yell for the Dawgs that’s fine.Just don’t infringe on other fans who are there to cheer on the Dawgs and have a great time.

GT GRAD

September 13th, 2011
6:40 pm

East Carolina & Florida Atlantic have both played two teams ranked in the Top 25; possibly an honest mistake, but more than likely more mis-information from Bill King trying to make UGA look good. Oh well, not a big deal.

The remainder of the UGA schedule looks pretty easy except for Florida and GT. The Tennessee game will be tougher than the Auburn game……….everyone who watched the first two Auburn games KNOWS that Auburn should be 0-2 rather than 2-0. The referees REALLY helped Auburn win BOTH games (and they were so very lucky with the on-side kick against Utah State in addition to the refs ignoring the obvious offensive holding calls late in the game). The refs had to put a significant amount of effort into helping Auburn win against Mississippi State………I do not support Utah State, Miss. St. or Auburn; I am simply and unbiased college football fan who got mad at the outcome (referees should NOT decide the outcome of the game as they did in both of Auburn’s first two games). Auburn should definitely be 0-2…….1-1 at the very best! The world is not fair and the “big-time” SEC teams are given WAY too many “breaks” or “positive calls”.

TD has no clue!

September 13th, 2011
6:41 pm

What does this idiot know? I guess we should cheer for a bunch of losers.

Sharkman

September 13th, 2011
7:25 pm

Maise is an idiot! Fans cheer for successful teams! Even us rabid DAWG fans are sick and tired of losing games we shouldn’t because of stupid mistakes!!! Hopefully Kirby Smart can take the program on a better direction next year….or….perhaps this year.

Jasper Sanks

September 13th, 2011
7:41 pm

Johnny G. – you can’t handle the truth.

…just my $9.99.

Lyno49

September 13th, 2011
7:42 pm

Hey I’m a UGA student, and anyone who doesn’t think the crowd was into it needs help. I sat in the student section under the tron, and we didn’t lose faith till the scoreboard read :00. When South Carolina kicked off the last time our section erupted with Boykin chants as he ran out on the field. We waved red towels and chanted and sang even when we went down 10. Bottom line there is hope in Athens, and maybe just maybe…it isn’t blind.

Dawg

September 13th, 2011
7:49 pm

Real Dawg fans saw the improvements made by these young kids. The rest of the whiners are fair weather fans. Everyone does not understand…. once a Dawg, always a Dawg….How sweet it is !!