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February 11, 2006

Felton's Comments Expanded

Just so no one thinks his comments were just off the cuff/over blown remarks for the Macon paper...the AJC has the long, extended remix, dance version, Freebird live at Talledega Motor Speedway version up.

Felton extends his sad commentary comments.
"I know that we have to put an incredible effort into building this program into something special on all fronts; that's one of them," Felton said of fan support. "It's never been done here. We have to eliminate those reasons why it's never been done here."

That's not exactly true. Georgia averaged more than 8,000 per home game four times since 1990 and Harrick's teams sold out every SEC game for two consecutive seasons.
Which part has never been done? Final Fours? SEC Champion? NCAA Tourney Top 3 Seed? Sweet 16? What hasn't been done? Selling out every SEC home game?

You read this article, and it becomes clear that he's got the team thinking about it too. know...that's what they need to be focused on.



all school said...

Felton may be a great coach, and I certainly respect the effort he got out of his players the last couple of years, but whining about fan support isnt exactly the way to build the program.

For his information, when things got rolling in the early 80s under Hugh Durham, a lot of people showed up to watch UGA basketball. At first, it was to watch an amazing young guy named Wilkins, but as he got older and the team got better, it was to see WINNERS, or at least, teams that could win against anyone.

The Jan Kemp era kind of derailed that, but when Alec Kessler was a junior and senior, UGA won and the crowds were there. I was at the LSU game in Athens in 90, when Kessler and Neville Austin outplayed Shaq and Stanley Roberts (Stanley probably outweighed Alec and Neville combined). The house was full and the crowd was wild.

As others have pointed out, we've been burned before. It may pain Felton to learn this, but no one is coming to watch him pout and strut on the sidelines. First, build a team. Worry about what happens on the court. The rest will take care of itself.

It's not like Felton is Johnny Guthrie, trotting out 3 Parade All American freshman in front of 1500 fans. If Coach Felton has time to count the house during a game, maybe he's paying attention to the wrong thing.

I want to like the guy, I really do. I love that he's beating Hew?tt, the resident Wizard of North Ave. But so far, I find his egomaniacal style to be kind of a turnoff. Rspecially after losing to an awful Auburn team. Beat someone worth a damn, or at least quit losing to awful teams before you start pointing fingers at fans. Show a little class, Dennis, and quit whining about how unloved you feel. It isnt manly at all.

stick jackson said...

This is about politics, not basketball.

As someone who thinks DF is doing all anyone could under the circumstances and has the chance to be great (and who does politics for a living)I feel very comfortable in saying this was a mistake, maybe not a huge mistake, but a mistake. One comment to the Macon paper I was willing to defend. Revising and extending his remarks in the AJC is just dumb, especially given that UT could beat us by 20 today, and beat us by 10 even if we play as well as we're capable of playing.

There's just no upside to banging the fans and especially Damon Evans. I hope DE calls DF on the carpet and that their relationship becomes stronger as a result. I fear that might not be the case.

paulwesterdawg said...

sent to me via email by mike floyd

Frankly, I see some similarities between Felton and former football coach Jim Donnan. Both are fundamentally-sound yet socially-challenged coaches. And both feel obliged to remind Georgia fans of how bad it was before they arrived in order to put a better slant on their own modest accomplishments.

Felton was dealt a tough hand, although he knew it before taking the job. And I respect the fact that he's not afraid to take up for his team in terms of encouraging more fan support. But are we supposed to believe this team has done something special? I sure as Hell hope not. By the same token, Jim Donnan sometimes acted as though winning games a year was something Georgia fans should be elated about.

Just my opinion, but it seems to me that Felton is treading on the same thin ice that Jim Donnan ultimately fell through. If he's going to be this surly, then we need to see better results. We're a patient group, generally speaking, but nobody is going to support arrogrance born of 8-win football seasons or limited results on the hardwood. That's the bottom line.

stick jackson said...

Interesting analogy, Mike but ultimately I disagree.

I totally agree with you about Donnan. To be really successful, the UGa football coach needs to be a REALLY good politician. Dooley, who was (is) considered by many to be cold and arrogant, is about the worst you can be and do well. And Dooley was quite good, it's just that the demands of the position are so high.

It's different for the basketball coach. Just win, baby pretty much sums it up -- most fans don't need to pretend that the basketball coach would be their best friend if only he knew them. They don't care about him keeping a smile plastered on when they try to draw x's and o's on a soggy cocktail napkin at a Bulldog Club meeting. If Felton can continue to recruit and build toward putting a consistent winner on the floor, he'll be fine.

I also think he learns, and that he'll get better. Donnan was older and obviously set in his ways when he got to Athens.

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