Over the last several months, I've awoken each morning and fired up my cellphone keen on finding the most predictable of indicators of the Spring and Summer months in Georgia: A Bulldog football player being arrested for the kind of ridiculous shenanigans which would go completely unnoticed in most SEC towns.
And every morning I wake up to find that the members of the Classic City Canines have, for the most part (and to the best of our knowledge), kept their noses clean.
This has been a confusing development to process. Like most of you, I'm used to the occasional "emerging from an alley" or "pedestrian under the influence." And to be honest, I don't really blame the kids for that stuff. I could have been (and in some cases was) popped for much worse in my college years.
But its been pretty predictable over the last decade or so and, frankly, I find its absence.... unsettling isn't the word, because its a welcome development... but, odd maybe???
I haven't even seen a player getting university housing discipline for playing their music too loud or being suspended for a game for the dreaded "violation of team rules."
To be honest, I'm perplexed.
The way I see it, one of the following four things has happened:
1) Mark Richt has lost his ability to lose control of the team - I find this one very difficult to believe because, as we all know, all of the other coaches are excellent disciplinarians who are so strict their players would never misbehave and Mark Richt is a scumbag that lets his thug players do whatever they want.
2) Players have figured out Mark Richt isn't screwing around and the troublemakers are finding another place to play - This is my preferred scenario but I doubt this is the case because, to be honest, I get real suspicious anytime anything good happens to the UGA football program... so this can't possibly be true.
3) Local law enforcement has realized there is legitimate crime in Athens beyond college kids drinking too much - Its been awhile since I was a college freshman, but I just have a hard time believing this one.
4) God is taunting us with all of this good fortune and I have just jinxed the entire team and ruined the 2015 season by mentioning it - Errbody gettin arrested this weekend! #CollegingWhileGeorgia.
So what do you think is the case? How the heck have the years of ticky-tack criminal offenses and rule-based suspensions just disappeared? Does consistent discipline eventually pay off or is Mark Richt simply enchanting us with some sort of player-behavior-based sorcery before destroying all of our hopes and dreams for the 2015 season?