Stop whining and win.
In Thursday's Macon Telegraph, Dennis Felton said:
"I've been disappointed in our crowds this year," Felton said. "Sometimes I don't know if our fans understand how special it is what we've already accomplished this year. I don't sense it."He describes it as a "sad commentary" on the state of UGA hoops affairs that three busloads of Tennessee fans got tickets to to come see the game in Athens.
My first question is..."What on earth is he talking about?" We have accomplished nothing this year of note except that we've stopped being rock bottom in the SEC. Is that the new standard he's grading us against? We're better than last year? How about we shoot a bit higher.
We've lost to Old Dominion and Auburn (the worst team in the SEC over the past 20 years not coached by Dennis Felton last year). We've beaten exactly one team from another conference with a winning record. And we're playing sub-500 SEC ball currently. Yet this is a special season?
The shortest movie ever produced. An instructional video on Felton's offense.
Sorry to crap all over his progress. But give me a gigantic break. I find his comments astonishingly obnoxious, completely pointless and totally contradictory to his past statements on UGA hoops.
In an interview with the Athens Banner Herald on Dec. 4, 2004, Felton was interviewed for an article on the 100 Year History of Georgia Hoops. In that article, he described our tradition as:
"There has been consistency - it's been consistently mediocre."Using a similar grading curve, I would label his three year tenure to date as sub-mediocre. If our 100 years of UGA history is mediocrity, then his three year tenure ranks as well below our own historical standards as his record at Georgia is 38-42 overall and 13-28 in the SEC.
Furthermore, his comments are completely without merit as Saturday's game vs. UT will be a sellout. There were less than 300 tickets remaining yesterday, and there were less than 40 remaining as of around 4:00 pm today. Why bother to say that now?
So what if 500 or even 1,000 UT fans are in attendance? If you win the damn game, they'll sit quitely. Just like the Tech fans did.
Groo at UGASports.com had a great point:
...you can get in a hurry and get ahead of yourself. People were willing to be patient with this program and tolerate bad losses and the record last season because everyone knows the circumstances. If you want to start talking like a coach expecting big crowds and NCAA consideration, don't lose to Auburn, beat a ranked team, sustain some success, and get various parts of the team to show up every night.To that I reply with EXACTLY!
We're at a very awkward time right now. It's easy to leave behind the days of "hey, we got an SEC win isn't that great?!" and try to leap straight to the chest-thumping "show me the respect we command". If we don't beat UT and/or Kentucky at Rupp, we're right back to 4-7 in the league and talking about how we should be happy that we doubled our win total from last year.
It's very hard to take his whining seriously on this topic given that it isn't the first time. He whined about attendance shortly after losing to Winthrop at home by 20 points two years ago.
You want consistent sellouts? Try consistently winning.
As Groo alluded, it appears that Felton wants us be patient with him and not care that his team doesn't show up to play offense or defense some nights. To not care that his team scored less than 40 a game multiple times last season. To not care that we've lost to Winthrop, Old Dominion and Auburn teams that Ollie from Hoosiers would look down upon. Apparently, that is all part of the growing process.
But, he wants us to sellouts right now despite the GLACIER-like pace of program building? Building fan support gradually isn't part of his vision for the growing process.
What sense does that make? And furthermore, why even say the negative stuff that reinforces the perception of UGA hoops when....hello...we WILL have a sellout this weekend.
He wants big time support without complaining and tons of patience. That's ridiculous. That's not what fans of any program do.
If he expects crowds that follow big time programs, then he can start expecting the criticism that coaches at big time programs have to live with.
BTW -- I'm fully aware of how we got in this mess. I don't blame all of the losses on him. I was willing to sit fairly quietly and let him build. But if he won't sit quietly wthout bitching about the fans, then I'm not sitting quietly and not bitching about his coaching.