Last October, when the Georgia Bulldogs lost to the Tennessee Volunteers, I was strongly critical of the Red and Black for their poor performance against a team of questionable quality. This drew quite a bit of criticism from Big Orange fans who apparently missed my point, which I thought would have been made quite clear by the apportionment of my word count to particular subjects, but time passed, I gave the Vols their due (albeit only their due and no more), and the storm blew over . . . or so I thought.
Earlier today, I received the following e-mail from a member of the Vol faithful, whose name I have omitted but who confirms the correctness of the axiom "a fish rots from the head down" by being buttholier-than-thou:
Dear, Mr. King, I went back and read your article on the complete and utter ass whipping we gave your team in October. In case you don't remember, it was 45-19 and the renaissance of Jonathan Crompton began that day. If you will, let's revisit some gems from that article...
"the Vols are a terrible football team. Simply stated, they suck."
"They aren’t going to beat anyone all year who’s any good."
"They aren't going to look competent offensively against anyone that's the least bit decent."
And, my personal favorite, "They aren't going to a bowl game."
Wow, as the season has drawn to a close, you couldn't have been more wrong.
Lane Kiffin proved you so wrong. He proved he could coach, and made you look foolish.
Not only did we destroy Georgia, we beat South Carolina, Kentucky, and almost beat Alabama.
Your theory of Kiffin not being able to coach his own talent was proven wrong when he coached up much worse talent than he was given to start with.
To add insult to injury, he has made Georgia his playground by taking commitments from several key Georgia natives including Jawuan James who Richt and Co. wanted badly.
We started 3 walk-ons, two on the the OL, and had a 1,200 yard rusher, with two walk-ons. Run that through your head. Your team's OL is too soft to even have one 1,000 yard rusher. Also, your team is one of the most penalized in the conference, if not the most. Meanwhile, Tennessee is one of the least penalized in the conference. But, hey, at least Mark Richt is a good guy.
Also, Kiffin turned the worst SEC quarterback in the last fifteen years into a guy who might get drafted. Yes, Crompton might get drafted. Not only that, we will miss him more than we will Eric Berry next year. Run that through your head for a second.
So, now that Georgia is the 3rd best team in the SEC, and possibly 4th (Would take USCe over Georgia everyday), what do you have to say 'bout Lane Kiffin?
Is he still a clown who won't win with the talent he's recruiting?
Don't even bring up the NCAA allegations because you are stupid if you think we'll actually get penalized.
So, the Lane Train keeps on rollin', and Georgia, well....I don't know what you would call Georgia's program. Slow motion, maybe? Stuck in mud? I don't know, I know Bud Foster played Mark Richt like a fiddle to get more money, and Kirby Smart turned down the job.
You'll have graduate assistants possibly calling plays in your bowl game, but hey, Mark Richt is a good man. Who cares about a football coach, right?
P.S. I wonder if Marlon Brown regrets his decision?
Frankly, I was a bit at a loss to know how to respond to that bilious screed, partly because I am a big believer in the idea of being magnanimous in victory and defiant in defeat, and partly because there is some serious cognitive dissonance going on there.
I mean, maybe we didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher because we had, y’know, three running backs splitting time in the backfield? Just a thought. As for the gentleman’s willingness to take the South Carolina Gamecocks "over Georgia everyday," that choice would have served him well only on fourteen of the 62 days on which the Classic City Canines and the Palmetto State Poultry actually have met on the gridiron, including just one of the most recent eight. I’m not sure that even the most rabid South Carolina partisan would claim the ‘Dawgs were fourth in the Eastern Division behind the ‘Cocks, inasmuch as the two teams finished with identical overall records, Georgia had a better conference record, the Red and Black won the head-to-head meeting, and (arguably) the Big Chickens’ best win was over the Clemson Tigers, a team that lost twice to the Bulldogs’ most accomplished victim, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Methinks my not-so-humble correspondent is getting a tad too much of his corn from a jar.
In the end, I sent back the following reply, from which my correspondent’s name once again has been omitted:
Congratulations on the rich full life that leaves you feeling compelled to revisit two-month old blog posts in order to mine the nuggets which are conducive to your point but which were ancillary to mine. As ought to have been clear, the point of my posting was to criticize Georgia, not Tennessee, and the subsequent firings of three coaches indicate the correctness of my position.
However, I congratulate you on the rousing success of going 7-5 overall and 4-4 in SEC play. I am glad to know that some fans are pleased with their teams, as I am dejected over going 7-5 overall and 4-4 in SEC play. I guess that is the sort of perspective one gains from having won an SEC championship---two, as a matter of fact---in the 21st century.
I applaud your dedication to your belief that Lane Kiffin is a good coach and Mark Richt is a bad one despite the fact that Lane Kiffin's best season produced results identical to Mark Richt's worst one. Personally, I have always been constrained by reality, and I therefore am willing to change my views when given evidence upon the basis of which to do so. For instance, I routinely have recognized Tennessee fans as the classiest among the Bulldogs' annual rivals. Now that I have heard from you, I will know better than to repeat that mistaken sentiment.
We'll look forward to seeing you in Athens next October 9. Happy holidays!
T. Kyle King
I don’t know about you, but I was a bit more in the Christmas spirit after that exchange, for it reminded me that there is something worse than being 7-5 and knowing that means you’re not good; you could be 7-5, mistakenly believe that means you’re good, and be a jerk about it. The first step in the direction of getting better is admitting there’s a problem. The second step is not being a jackass while in the process of taking the subsequent requisite steps toward improvement.
Obviously, I was mistaken when stating that Tennessee was not going to a bowl game; the Volunteers are headed for the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and they deserved to receive a bid to the Outback Bowl. I do not know that I was particularly wrong about Jonathan Crompton, who ranked ninth in the league in pass efficiency rating in a year in which the SEC quarterback class was not strong, and I am far from fearful about the future prospects for an aerial attack coordinated by anyone named Kippy.
I stand by the position that a team didn’t beat anyone good when that team’s victims were Western Kentucky (0-12 in the Sun Belt), Ohio (9-4 in the MAC), Georgia (7-5), South Carolina (7-5), Memphis (2-10 in Conference USA), Vanderbilt (2-10), and Kentucky (7-5), because I think beating someone good involves defeating at least one BCS conference opponent with a winning percentage over .583, but your mileage may vary. If the guy who wrote to me is made upbeat by a record that has me declaring the doom of all that is right and good, who am I to tell him he shouldn’t be willing to settle for the mediocrity for which I will not stand? To each his own, I suppose.