ATHENS – That must have been quite a speech Boss Bailey made to the Georgia football team on Friday.
Here’s the background: Bailey, a former Georgia linebacker, first-team All-SEC as a senior in 2002, was honorary captain for Saturday’s game against Tennessee. Honorary captains typically are asked to speak to the team on the day before the game. Bailey did so in the team meeting room at the Butts-Mehre building on Friday afternoon.
Here’s what Mark Richt had to say Saturday about what Bailey had to say Friday:
“Boss, he pretty much called them out. But he did it in a way where it was very compassionate. It was very obvious that he loves Georgia, obvious that he loves those guys, but he felt like he needed to tell them that they weren’t playing ball the way ball should be played here at Georgia.
“He mentioned some things to the defense. He mentioned a couple of things to the offense. But the thing that stood out the most was his passion and his sincerity in his voice that he loves Georgia.
“You know, there’s a lot of times that we as coaches are trying to help these guys understand what it means to be a Bulldog. We try as many things as we can to emphasize that point. But Boss exemplified what it means to be a Bulldog in that moment in time. There have been a lot of good honorary-captain speeches and talks and all those kinds of things, but there was none better than that because here’s what they needed to hear and it was done in a way they knew he cared about them. We’re really thankful Boss came and did what he did for us.”
And here’s what A.J. Green had to say about what Bailey had to say:
“It touched me real deep. He had tears in his eyes. His voice was just cracking, the way he has so much passion about Georgia football. We came out here and did it for him.”
Click here for a roundup of the AJC’s full coverage of Georgia’s win over Tennessee.
And click here for a video of post-game reaction.