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

Ga Grad '90

September 13th, 2011
7:52 pm

Oh wait, here’s one for ya: Georgia’s the BEST…the best WINLESS team in the country. I’d like to cheer for a winning team. I’m sick of this pansy sugar-coated BS. I have not seen Georgia football this bad in the past 25 years. We just SUCK, SUCK SUCK and more SUCK. Okay, I said it. But we SUCK. Face it, you bozo arse morons that keep waying keep CMR and his horrible staff. He is downright TERRIBLE. I want wins. I want to cheer on a winning team…not a bunch of losers. Who the heck wants to cheer on losers (besides Carolina fans). Steve Spurrier would have brought Georgia a National Championship by now considering what he’s done at Carolina. We SUCK, WE WUCK WE SUCK WE SUCK. And I hate it.

just a fan

September 13th, 2011
7:56 pm

tells us how you really feel Ga Grad ‘90

Ga Grad '90

September 13th, 2011
7:59 pm

And another thing…we have the talent to win SEC and National Championships and we’ve had the talent for years. When CMR couldn’t so it with Stafford and Moreno that was the real sign. Those of you who want to keep CMR are saying that the kids are the problem. I’m saying the athletes are great. The problem is CMR. Those of us who see this are the REAL Dawg fans. Why are we fair-weather fans for wanting to get a coach that gives our our athletes and program the best chance of winning. You guys who keep saying this mess are actually bashing our players.

DAWG with two bags over head

September 13th, 2011
8:03 pm

SEC Fan,

Thanks for bringing some sense to this blog. If you pay for a ticket, you can say or do whatever you want, including leaving early, within certain boundaries. If Richt doesn’t like being on the hot seat, then I think he knows WHAT to do. The question is, does he know HOW to do it any more? I really think he just doesn’t have the drive, fire, will, balls, etc. to do it in today’s SEC. His record over the past 4 season bears this out.

just a fan

September 13th, 2011
8:05 pm

@ Ga Grad ‘90

If the Dawgs went either 9-1 or 10-0 to end the regular season would it be acceptable to keep CMR

Ga Grad '90

September 13th, 2011
8:09 pm

@ just a fan:

If pigs fly before the end of the regular season, will you ride one to a Georiga game?

just a fan

September 13th, 2011
8:11 pm

Yes I will but I don’t see it happening

Ga Grad '90

September 13th, 2011
8:16 pm

No way in h3ll it’s gonna happen, but the scary part is your affirmation. There are many fans that would want to keep CMR is he finished the season 9-1 or 10-0 with our weak schedule. The guy just doesn’t have what it takes to win Championships, heck he can’t even win good games anymore. Ask yourself this hinestly, could Georgia win a National Championship if Nick Saban came to Georgia?

just a fan

September 13th, 2011
8:25 pm

Without a doubt they could win a National Championship with Saban

PowerDawg

September 13th, 2011
8:27 pm

I think he was right on the mark. I have gotten up and left early ONCE. It was the Tech game in Athens. it was 38 degrees and raining. My wife and I, along with another couple using our tickets were all soaked to the bone, frozen, and the concessions were out of coffee and cocoa. We lisyened to last 4-5 minutes on our headsets while walking back to our car. That’s was the only time.

If you were suffering similar doses of discomfort, you had an excuse. Otherwise, you bailed on the team.

Wanting to “beat the traffic” is a poor excuse. Especially if you spend the kind of money that I do every year.

Those that will admit it just don’t care about this team anymore like they should. They have given up and tossed in the towel on this season, and they should be ashamed. Next year they think they will have a new coaching staff and have already punched Richt’s ticket.

What you should do is scream at the top of your lungs, whistle, clap and show support for this team…THIS team. The 105 kids on our team deserve nothing less than your best.

I know from experience, a certain demographic sitting in our stadium, the older folks, come for the socializing mostly. Their level of rah-rah is about equal to some that my pastor affectionately calls “pew warmers”. There dedicated to the cause, but only enough to not call attention to themselves.

That doesn’t mean that others should act likewise.

You pay your money, and you can do what you want, but it isn’t right for anyone to boo, holler out things like DAN MULLINS, and other things I can’t write about. Those players hear every word and read many blogs and articles. It’s wrong, plain and simple.

One final thing…what are you going to do when you finally get your new coachs and things like what occurred the last two weeks still happen?

Whose name are you going to holler out next?

Jim Grobe

September 13th, 2011
8:30 pm

The offer’s still open…let’s do a three game series, 2 at Wake and one at your place.

OH HECK YES THEY DID

September 13th, 2011
8:31 pm

Yes 105 KIDS and the idiots that support them

mike

September 13th, 2011
8:41 pm

I agree completely, Ga fans are very fickle and are an embarrassment to a great institution. I am a season ticket holder and was at the game. We were not as loud as we should have been.

Paul Midler

September 13th, 2011
8:44 pm

I’m still in CMR’s corner.

bugsquacher

September 13th, 2011
8:49 pm

Why Georgia should be thinking about a coaching change…..
1-Georgia is a combined 0-5 against Top 25 teams in 2010 and 2011 and has lost 10 of its last 12 against ranked teams.
2- richt is now 14-14 in his last 28 games
3- Lets look at the remaining schedule. Games they will probably lose: 1- Miss St. 2- Tenn 3-Florida 4-Auburn. Games we should win (if we don’t have an off week): 1- Costal Carolina, 2-Miss, 3- Kentucky, 4- New Mexico, 5-Tech, 6-Vandy. LOOKS LIKE A 50/50 CHANCE OF ANOTHER LOSING SEASON.

just a fan

September 13th, 2011
8:51 pm

@PowerDawg

One final thing…what are you going to do when you finally get your new coachs and things like what occurred the last two weeks still happen?

So are you saying we should except mediocrity. I don’t and I think there are a lot of others who want much better than we have gotten these last 3 years. Also should Florduh just said lets give the Zooker one more year no they got rid of him and it worked out well for them. Ohio St fired John Cooper who was 110-43 as a head coach because he wasn’t beating the teams he was supposed to, so they made a change and it worked for awhile.

roldawg70

September 13th, 2011
8:53 pm

its deserved
people seem to have lost patience
think the world should be like some
shouting heads talk show

En Fuego

September 13th, 2011
9:10 pm

Man, Carolina fans are way better!

beach dawg

September 13th, 2011
9:28 pm

This is a young team and an improving team. Real Dawg fans will get behind this team and coaching staff and support the team for the rest of the season. 10 and 2 or 9 and 3 is very possible. Keep bringing in young talent and improvement will follow. I for one was glad to see a group of young men playing the Georgia brand of football and being proud to have the G on their helmets. If you want to blast this team then you are not a true fan but a front runner.

Josh

September 13th, 2011
10:03 pm

The problem is we were a middle of the road team under Goff and donnan. Richt comes in here and starts winning and winning championships. So a lot of people jump on the bandwagon and they don’t know anything but winning. So when we began to struggle a little (even though we have still been in the heat of things) they want to throw everyone under the bus. Georgia has a bunch of fair weather fans. These people have no faith in the team. Unlike many of us others. I remember when I was two ssaying I was going to go to UGA. 24 years later I have a degree. Red and black runs deep in my veins, and it will take more than a few losses to stop cheering for my dawgs. And after meeting coach Richt it will take more than a few losses for me to loose faith in him. UGA won’t find a better man than him Dwell maybe tony dungy but that would still be close). Since I haven’t been expecting the worse I have noticed something in this years team that seemed to be missing in the last couple and that is enthusiasm and chemistry. Add that to the talent and we have the makings of a great team. The only problem is the fans.trust me I understand how hard it is to play with bad fans. I played for a team in high school that was projected by many to place second in the region behind a scriven co team led by Michael cooper( remember him). Well after no one believing in us we stopped believing in ourselves and stopped playing up to our potential. The fans need to get behind the dawgs. Show them we still believe in them and we got their back. Do this and I bet great things will happen. Maybe even a 10 and 2 season and a trip to the SEC championship. And if we keep improving from week to week like we did the last, I don’t believe anyone in the country could play with us

doggie

September 13th, 2011
10:12 pm

Never wanted to admit it but…YES, we have some really bad fans..other schools fans make us look pathetic..

Dawg '88

September 13th, 2011
10:19 pm

Funny….Georgia fans want to complain and rip CMR saying its justified.
Then, the fans themselves get ripped and its not? Ironic.

Fans can dish it out but can’t take it back. See how much it might be unwarranted? Do unto others Bulldog unfaithful.

NCDawg90

September 13th, 2011
10:53 pm

First, I’m sick of the media saying all Dawg fans want Richt gone. As it stands now, a majority, including me, don’t.

With that out of the way, it seems to me future scenarios for the program are narrowed down to two: the first, Richt will turn it around, the second, he won’t and he’ll get fired, and some savior will come to make every thing right.

There are two other, and to me, more likely scenarios. The first is Richt will be like Paterno has been the past decade- wins just enough, has an occasional BCS bowl year, but has busts in between, and the whole Bulldog nation is thrust into the equivalent of a debt ceiling war every time CMR pulls a 6-7. Fulmer did much the same at UT.

The second is that we can Richt, but the savior is a decade or more away. This happens all the time with programs. Here are just a few lost decades for elite programs.

LSU- 1990’s
Alabama- from Stallings retirement in late 90s until Saban arrives in 2007
Oklahoma- from Switzer to Stoops, about 15 years
Texas- Early 80’s until Mack Brown hits stride in early 00s’
USC- 20 years, from early 80’s until Pete Carroll
Ohio State – 20 years From Woody until Tressell
Notre Dame- from Lou Holtz….until ???
Nebraska – from 2001 until ??? Pelini isn’t there, yet

and… UGA, from Dooley peaking in the early 80’s until Richt came and restored honor to a has been program.

Just something to chew on for all those that think either canning Richt or keeping him offers a clean easy solution.

Mad Dog

September 13th, 2011
11:12 pm

At the end of the game, a bunch of fans cheered the team as they went to the locker room. I don’t know if many teams’ fans that would stay to do that after a loss.

joseph

September 13th, 2011
11:41 pm

I think that some times fans do expect way to much out of a team. Those of us who expect uga to win the rest of there games this year, is expecting too much. Forget the coaching if you can, the defense is weak, ol is weak, running backs are thin, and i am no longer sure am is going to make it at qb. The coaching is something the ad will take care of one way or another. I don’t expect uga to win all of there games, but i do expect them to be ready to play each week and be WILL COACHED.

Thomas Brown

September 13th, 2011
11:44 pm

Q: In your opinion, what should be the status of University of Georgia Head Football Coach Mark Richt?

Should remain the UGA football coach: 65 percent Should be replaced as UGA football coach: 20 percent No opinion: 15 percent

The Poll is BOGUS.

I support that Mark Richt should remain the coach today. That is NOT the question. Had you given them the URL Link to the Poll, they would have seen this Bill.

I submit the question is : Do you feel that Mark Richt is getting the job done ?

The answer to that is NO.

I would say he is ONE MORE LOSS AWAY from LOSING HIS JOB, especially given the 10 cupcakes remaining including the bowl game against yet again another lousy opponent.

The reason why you did not give the URL Link to the Poll itself Bill is because it is conducted by the only other newspaper group in the entire state of Georgia, other than AJ-C.

funny...

September 14th, 2011
12:21 am

The fans have every right to be upset with this performance.

Richt is the one that built up these expectations and now he’s not living up to them.

funny...

September 14th, 2011
12:25 am

You say 9-1 and he keeps his job.

It’s unrealistic to expect 10-0 but what if that one loss comes to Florida?

What if he loses in Knoxville, again.

MSU is no slouch, they beat this team last year.

What if he loses to Tech, you know Paul Johnson’s squad is looking better and want nothing more than to beat Georgia again.

People are talking about this great efffort and gameplan. That effort and gameplan resulted in a loss.

Just like last year to Florida, that was the best I’ve seen Georgia play in some time and they still lost.

Richt will have these great games 2008 LSU, against a top 10 Tech team. But there are the head scratchers like UCF, Vandy, Kentucky, Colorado, MSU.

funny...

September 14th, 2011
12:26 am

He can’t possibly survive losing to Florida again.

RollDawg

September 14th, 2011
12:27 am

While I appreciate Mr. Maisel’s comments and agree to an extent. Has he been a Bulldawg fan his whole life and saw a stretch in the 2000’s that lead to multiple SEC East titles etc. Also, aren’t our beloved Bulldawgs supposed to PLAY HARD week in and week out. I think that is all lost in fans/media saying without saying that oh, well, we bounced back after somewhat of an ugly loss to Boise St and played hard against SC. Thanks CMR(which I support to a degree) for saying our players fought hard. Well, are they not supposed to normally???
Side note, whether CMR stays or not, the whole kicking FG thing needs to improve to less FG’s and more TD’s which has been a problemn for quite some time, nothing new……

Bigdawg

September 14th, 2011
6:45 am

I am in shock anyone would still be standing behind CMR. It was time for a change four years ago. The time is now to start looking ffor his replacement. Then make an offer at the end off the year. UGA is a great program. The players and coaches do not have a winning attitude. They were in control against SC with 3 mi left. These new dogs turn the ball over. The Dawgs of past years would have went down the field and scored. It is all about attitude and that starts at the top.

dawgfan

September 14th, 2011
6:57 am

Typical ESPN arrogance for this guy to preach down to us about how we should feel about this coaching staff. $100 bucks says this blowhard “expert” hasn’t seen Georgia play more than 2 or 3 times in the past 3 seasons. We watch them every week Ivan. Why don’t you leave this up to the professionals son?

What a joke.

joe taxpayer

September 14th, 2011
7:26 am

We are a wine and cheese crowd at Sanford Stadiumn, it really isn’t a big home field advantage.

Big Dawg

September 14th, 2011
8:03 am

Maisel’s article is a joke. The numbers don’t lie my friends. Richt is on a downward trend and anyone that wants to see it only has to look right in front of them. CMR is 2-8 against Florida, 6-9 in his last 15 games, and has only won once against ranked teams in the past ten. If this is progress that’s acceptable, then you and Mr. Maisel need to go tailgate together at a Colgate-Dartmouth game where they give you A’s for effort and don’t care about winning. This isn’t about one game against SC, this is much more. For the past three years we’ve had the talent to be ‘almost there’. Mark Richt and staff have been the only thing holding us back.

dawgma

September 14th, 2011
8:39 am

What a dumb**s this Maisel is. 1st – never heard of him. Second – tentative fans? Pound sand – the fans are not the reason the dawgs lose – it’s purely coaching baby. We have great fans, facilities, players, and honorable coaches – just not winning coaches.

I was in Memphis with my family last year and let me tell you – this team is better but still can’t win the big one. The bulldog nation has lost it’s patience for middle of the road SEC teams.

Richt lost me again with that Boise State uniforrm costume. This is UGA – 100+ years of football. We don’t need gimmicks to sell our programs – JUST W’s.

2-10 Against Ranked Teams

September 14th, 2011
8:47 am

Uhhhhh…..Bill?

I think my name says it all…….

“Does UGA fans need to be called out?”…….not “no”, but “HELL NO!!!”

RCB

September 14th, 2011
8:49 am

It is this paper’s “experts’ who are whipping up the fan base so look no further than your own front door for the answer to your question. And for what it is worth, I agree with ESPN to the extent that UGA has the potential and is moving in the right direction. Having said this, relief from injuries and continued progess in effort and faith will be required.

FLA DAWG

September 14th, 2011
9:06 am

Maisel has the luxury of hitting the pause button.
Dawg Nation does not…………..we’ve endured an 8 win season followed by a 6 win season followed by a season opening record of 0 – 2.

I never boo The Dawg players but I have plenty of booing for the coaching staff.

faded

September 14th, 2011
9:07 am

The 1980 Championship flag flying over Sanford Stadium is getting very faded.

dawg4life

September 14th, 2011
9:07 am

Everyone keeps pointing at Richt being a fine man, which is true. The fact of the matter is, there has been a decline in the program over the last 4 seasons. Anyone with that kind of production, would have already lost his job. For example, if Richt is the CEO of a company selling widgets, in his first 5 years he sells 10 million widgets. Then over the next 4 seasons his sells are nearly cut in half, he would be done. Honestly, I think Richt would deserve to stay if he would just identify the problems and release those responsible. But since he is loyal to a fault, the blame falls on him. Mike Bobo would not be a coordinator at any other Div-I program. He should have been let go before, or at least with, Martinez. I was encouraged by the South Carolina game, and can look up and down this roster and see it is riddled with freshmen and sophomores; but how long are we going to have “to wait until next year”? I understand that only one team can win the SEC and BCS, but at least be competitive and beat the teams you are supposed to beat. I am loyal to UGA, not Mark Richt. If he can’t point out his short comings, then by god, I can.

Bobdawg

September 14th, 2011
9:17 am

Maisel is on target. The fans are frustrated(me included) and ready for signs of us getting back to the level we should be but, moaning and groaning about Coach Richt is not a good thing. At this point of the season we should just support the Dawgs quit saying such negative things. Most fans love the Dawgs but they just don’t know what to say or think so they say “fire everybody”. That is not rational or good for our program. I am encouraged so let play.
Go Dawgs!

FloridaDawg

September 14th, 2011
9:26 am

Maybe the ESPN guy needs to learn more about the UGA program.
This is not JUST about the past two games….it’s about the last several years, the Ga-Fl series,
recruiting player with below average character and loosing….while UGA is located in the hub of the SEC….you know, just down the street from Atlanta.
Not to mention….what has Saban done, Miles at LSU, Meyer….how about Spurrier?? I mean what does South Carolina have the we don’t? Are they some power house that can recruit from all parts of the US???
There is no SEC team that is in a better position than we are to win and win big…Oh did I forget Auburn? Now Miss State gets there chance to shine……
That ESPN guy should be fired due to stupid.

David

September 14th, 2011
9:47 am

Come on Bill, Ga fans have always reaped what they sow. But aside from that, Ivan is just playing you guys. They have every right to be angry at the showing of the Dawgs. They are spending money they probably don’t have. They have no right to expect a win? You are playing the stupid media game, stop it.
So who died and made Ivan an authority on good fans? Shame on you Bill.

Scott Beasley

September 14th, 2011
9:49 am

Why do all of the Richt supports respond with the question “Who are you going to get to replace him?” There are many coaches out there, I seem to remember a lot of Bulldog fans laughing when Auburn hired Chizik? Anyone laughing now? The point is if the slide continues, which I see happening, we will be losing recruits even if Richt is here! I am sick of hearing Richt is a good Christian man! I don’t care if the coach is Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Atheist! Win games and have the team prepared to play and things will take care of themselves! The facts show Richt is not getting it done and it is past time for him to go!

Who Cares

September 14th, 2011
9:57 am

What I want to know is how can GA be thin at the O line and thin at LB??????? Top recruiting classes and thin everywhere.

Still@theBAR

September 14th, 2011
10:26 am

Will the FANs be there this weekend? Was a WASTE of Money and Time for the Coastal Carolina game. UGA should KILL but if nobody is there to SEE it does it really matter?

dawgjammin

September 14th, 2011
10:38 am

I wonder if Maisel noticed the East End Zone fans clapping and cheering the team as they went in the tunnel after the game. How many other fan bases would do that for a .500 ball club and one that has lost 8 out of 9 to ranked opponents? One that consistently gives away the game with mistakes like the ones made on Friday… I’d say the support is there, who cares if it took a while for the stadium to get loud. Give us something to cheer about!

Vinay Sharma

September 14th, 2011
10:42 am

I think, Georgia fans need to cool off a little. We have got a great talent on this team. Coaches are doing a good job and things will soon turn around for better. Fan’s constant bickering is unnecessarily distracting players and coaches. I think, coach Richt is the right person for UGA, , Fans who think they are so great with Monday morning Quarterbacking should realize this. There is a reason why you were not considered for UGA’s head coching job.

Fred Sanford

September 14th, 2011
10:47 am

@ who cares…that is the point the lovers of the current administration fail to understand. How does this happen? Anyways, the Sanford experience is not in the same league as LSU, Bama, Arkansas. Really, Sanford is Auburn in a different time zone. Without the recent sucess.

THE (G) ON THE MUTTS HELMET STANDS 4 GAY

September 14th, 2011
10:49 am

11 YEARS MARK RICHT BEEN AT UGA AND NO TITLES TO SHOW FOR IT!
MEAN WHILE FLORIDA,AUBURN,LSU AND ALABAMA HAS WON SINCE RICHT TOOK OVER AT UGA!
YOU RICHT SUPPORTERS DESERVE JUST WHAT YOUR GETTING,(NOTHING)!