I don’t know when, why, or how it happened, but, sometime after the peach dropped last New Year’s Eve to bring down the curtain on an abysmal 2010 in Bulldog Nation, we got some contramojofication breaking in our direction. Try, if you can---I dare you; I double ‘Dawg dare you---to come up with any other explanation for the following:
- A year after A.J. Green lost one-third of his junior season for selling a jersey for fair market value to a buyer he didn’t know was an agent, the NCAA ruled that Jarvis Jones didn’t break any rules by accepting plane tickets and assorted other benefits from an AAU coach operating a shady slush fund. In other news regarding the Association, our oldest rival is under investigation, our in-state rival is on four years’ probation because Paul Johnson has a bad attitude, and our second-biggest division rival voluntarily (see what I did there?) put itself on probation.
- A year after umpteen Georgia players were arrested on penny-ante traffic offenses, the quarterback of the team that beat the Bulldogs in the bowl game and an Auburn tailback both were pinched for driver’s license violations. Meanwhile, the ‘Dawgs have gone almost ten months without a player arrest.
- A year after Damon Evans was forced to resign in the midst of an embarrassing scandal involving many salacious details, Georgia’s season-opening opponent announced it would fire its athletic director five days after the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic due to the most nitpicky set of NCAA violations ever alleged.
If you’d asked me on January 1, 2010, to make a list of the worst things that conceivably could’ve happened to the Georgia program in the coming year, I couldn’t have imagined a plausible scenario that would’ve been as bad as the reality was. On the other hand, if you’d asked me on January 1, 2011, to make a list of the best things that conceivably could’ve happened to the Georgia program in the ensuing twelve months, I wouldn’t have dreamt of as many positive developments as we have seen in the first seven months and change.
I’m not being overly optimistic here; I freely concede that everything could go sour tomorrow, and there certainly has been some bad to leaven the good. Nevertheless, this fact remains: University of Georgia athletics have generated more good news between January 1, 2011, and August 10, 2011, than they generated between January 2, 2008, the day after the Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii, and December 31, 2010, the day of the Liberty Bowl loss to Central Florida. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, so the good luck we have enjoyed so far this year may be about to run out, but, then again, in light of the preceding three years’ worth of on-field production and off-field activity, the notion that what has come before is not certain to determine what will come next carries a certain comfort.
In short, things have been bad for a while, but, lately, they’ve been different. It isn’t an outlandish stretch to suppose that maybe, just maybe, what comes next might be good.