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November 18, 2008

Real Fan Pain vs. Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Image: MGoBlog

As you think about this season and listen to sports talk or read message boards, you may hear/read someone say that "Georgia is terrible." Or "It's hard being a Dawg fan this year." That sort of hyperbole isn't constructive, and it's not really true.

If you want to see what it's like to really follow a terrible team, check out MGoBlog. Brian Cook writes about sitting through a game in "subfreezing wind chill, rain, sleet and snow" (Weather from ESPN) only to watch Northwestern beat his team and leave Michigan a gut punching 3-9. He describes it as the type of game that not leaving early empirically establishes a fan as hardcore. Per Brian:
If you put up with it (and far, far fewer than the announced 107,000 did), you are hardcore. You have a black belt in fandom. You get the Fandom Endurance III merit badge. If anyone ever questions your Michigan allegiance, you can just say "I was at the 2008 Northwestern game" and they will have to step off.
For me that "I was there when we hit rock bottom" moment was the 1995 Florida game in Athens. I sat until the bitter end as Spurrier ran the WR reverse pass to break 50 points in Sanford Stadium. The problem with staying through a debacle like then owe it to yourself to never leave a game early again.

It's actually a burden. You now have to live up to that rep you earned during such a bitter loss. Past You will always be looking over your shoulder like Capt. Miller at the end of Private Ryan telling Future You...."Earn This."

(Image: Capt. Miller. Not Westerdawg)

That said...while sitting in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium this year, I honestly felt less like a soldier marching across the French countryside than I felt like Izzy from Grey's Anatomy wondering why Dr. Karev won't open to me. (Note: The Cocktail Party would be playing the role of Karev).

As Meyer hung 49 or so on us, I just thought..."I'm so stupid to keep coming back here. Jacksonville is not good for me. I need a healthier relationship with a kick ass mid-season, boozy neutral site bowl game." Yet, I ran home as fast as possible and wrote this piece about why we should never leave Jax.

Where was I? Oh yeah...wuss town referencing chick shows. Before that? Oh yeah...being a fan in tough times. Apparently, I digressed wildly.

So Back to UGA's Season
Travis Fain asks what numeric rating would you give this season on a schedule of 1 to terms of satisfaction. I can't imagine giving a 9-2 season anything below 7, but an 8 seems kind of high. Is 7.5 too low? Travis went with an 8. What would you give? If we go 11-2 with a win over Ohio State, I could see that score creeping up to 8.9 maybe.

Also, Senator Blutarsky talked about the feeling of satisfaction or lack thereof related to this season. So what score would you give this season in terms of satisfaction?

See Also:
-- Pick Your Metaphor - Maize n Brew
-- A comeback that wasn't - EDSBS



Dawg 05 said...

This season is kinda like having sex with the fat chick.

Anonymous said...

Given the expectations coming into this season--irregardless of the injuries--and the way we performed in our losses and these past few games: 6.5, add +1 if we beat Tech and win our bowl game.

UnitedDawg said...

I give this season a 6... because apparently that (60% aka 'D') is a passing grade somewhere in the country, but it sure as sh** wasn't where I grew up. Let the Arkansas', Ole Miss' or SCu's of the CFB world be thrilled if they somehow manage a 10 win season. At this point, if we don't make it to Atlanta, it's a failure... especially when you began the season on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a big #1 beside your helmet. JMO

And yeah, I'm still taking Greene AND Shockley over Stafford of the 3 main QB's in the Richt-era. And not just because they got to the Dome, but because they had a little thing I like to call "touch" from the QB position.

Stacy Searels is the only coach earning his paycheck.

wes said...

I would rate our seasonan 8. I mean come on guys what other team in thre nation with our injuries and discipline problems would be 9-2. I hate our two blowouts but the bama game we gave away and i wanna see the team that can stop florida now. If we win against tech and a bowl game 9 for the season. The reason for this is a game we should have won BAMA and the juggernaut florida has become. Our d better damn well figure out the spread next year or it will be another year of pain.


Anonymous said...

This season is a 5 in satisfaction. Three of the wins (ASU, LSU, AU) felt good at the time, but, looking back, don't amount to as much as we thought.

I too was there til the bitter end vs. UF in 1995.

Phat Wallet said...

Dawg 05 hit it right on the head...

The season is like walking up to the hot chick, but ending up leaving with her fat friend. You still get yours, it's just not how you originally hoped it would turn out.

Don't get me wrong, double digit wins are great, but when you're the preseason #1, there's no where to go but down. ...And down we went after two humiliating losses.

Anonymous said...

It is true, things could be a lot worse. But what disappoints me is the way we're winning and the way we've lost. We haven't really taken care of a team this year, while in our two loses we got our butts handed to us. However, to answer the question, if we win out I think it has to be an 8 or 8.5. Very high expectations keep it from being a 9. And just to round out the scale, an SEC championship makes a season a 10, and the BCS championship would make it an 11. (Our scale goes to 11)

baltimore dawg said...

i'm uncomfortable with anyone rating this season before the gt game is in the books--partly because i'm superstitious and partly because if that game doesn't go our way i can guaran-damn-tee we're all going to have a far different impression of the season (and a god-awful off-season to cope with).

p.s. gayest. post. ever. not that there's anything wrong with that. . . . (grey's anatomy??)

souletrain said...

For me the season is a 7. I keep wanting to say it's a 5, but we beat UT, Auburn, and if we we beat tech we have accomplished 75% of the things on my wishlist each fall. And as much as expectations have risen around the Richt era, 75% approval is about par for the course. Lets not forget that most people predicted a 11-2 finish given the youth and schedule. I know the losses got out of hand, but i still see a program that has it's best years on the horizon. Lets just beat Tech. BTW, the pic on the top of the Michigan player is amazing. If one photo could capture an entire season.. that is it. If I were Rich Rod I would frame that thing and put it in the locker room all off season.

Hunker Down said...

Must. Beat. Tech. The thought of that not happening is vomit inducing.

Bryan Carver Dawg97 said...

10 MNC
9 SECChamp
8 SECEeast
so at best a 7 with a bowl win and win over tech.
minus 1 point for a loss in either remaining game.

anon at 8:32am has it - not that we lost but HOW we lost. Not that we aren't winning but HOW we are winning. No rational dawg fan is complaining about 10-2 as most rational fans thought that going into the season with our schedule. But it is HOW we got to this point that is the unsatisfying part. Injuries and youth are not an excuse anymore when you continue to play undisciplined football 11 games into the season. Good teams build and show improvement as the season goes on, not when after 11 games look like a team playing in game 1 or 2 of the season.

Don't know what the answers are, but trust that they'll get worked out. Still love my Dawgs and I'll still be at every game I can make next year.

Dawgnoxious said...

I'd give this season a 6. You have to view it in light of expectations, which were tragically unmet, as well as in light of the fact we are just a few plays away from being 6-5 right now (after barely escaping SCar, UK & AU). We basically have one quality win (LSU) and one throttling of a vastly overmatched team (ASU). For all the other wins we phoned it in with limp dick efforts and final scores that were way too close given the disparity in talent.

When you look back at the media guide on this season, the overall record will be as misleading as the final score of the Alabama game.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to rate until after it's all done. The Tech game carries a lot of weight and winning the Citrus Bowl over Ohio State would really boost the satisfaction.

It's an impossible task at this point.

Anonymous said...

This hasn't been the most satisfying season of the Richt era but when you were in college in the Donnan years and the Outback Bowl was something to hope for, I really don't have that many complaints. Bye bye bandwagoners!

Mr. Egger said...

I'd say a 6, and here's why.
In the vein of the original commenter, it's like Roger Federer's girlfriend.
She's not bad looking, and I'm sure she's got a great personality and is lots of fun to hang out with. But look at her. Seriously, when you're Roger Federer, and could have something like Elin Nordegren, and this is what you settle for? There's just that empty feeling that you could've done better.

And as obligated, here's a link to an Elin Nordegren picture.

I luv Steve Tanneyhill said...

I too stayed the entire '95 UF game. Further evidence of my insanity/stupity, I bought a UGA/UF gameday t-shirt with some clever slogan AFTER the game, on the steps of Memorial.
With that said, this season can't be rated til after Yech.
Like many mature fans, I didn't expect 12-0 this year. I predicted 2 losses, and was hopin it would be ASU and LSU or Bama (minimum heartache losing to non-rivals). The loss of key players early and the lack of experience on O-Line always spelled trouble. And who really looks at SI as an expert on CFB? I'm partial to Athlon and they had UF winning the East, as did many writers at Media days. So I can't be that shocked that it turned out as predicted by those who know CFB best.
The disappointment comes from the way we got smoked and the way we underperformed in most of our wins.
10-2 is a great mark and one I can be proud of. But the cracks in this program can become fissures if you are not careful. When you have a great team, you have to seize the season cuz these kids come and go real fast. In Richt's 8 years, we've had great teams that underperformed slightly. This team seems to do it with a certain Bravado. Is this an aberration? I don't know.

But from the guy who bought a celebratory t-shirt after the worst loss in Sanford stadium, I'm a bit concerned.

I'd also add that for me, the '94 Vandy loss hurt more (and not from being hit by debris thrown from the upper deck, which was standard operating procedure in those days).

BTW, anonymous 12:48, irregardless is not a word.

Anonymous said...

Tech fan here...

How will you guys rate your season IF you were to lose to Tech?

The game is up in the air this year to me. But if Tech was to pull off the upset, how will you guys react. How will you guys view this season?

-GT HeavyWeight

kevin said...

The question is, how would you rate last year's 11-2 season. 5? 8? 9?
Same season, same record, no MNC, no SEC, no SECE, yet had you asked people at the end of the season, I guarantee you nothing lower than an 8. It does have a lot to do with expectations. And a lot to do with HOW we are winning and HOW we are losing. We aren't even competing against the "elite" of the SEC and it's rather embarrassing considering the tear we went on last year and the personal we had coming back. A championship team overcomes injuries, they win one or two close games (SC). But they also dominate the rest of the way and show up to rivalry games.. Oh, and Championship teams rarely need gimmicks to keep winning big games. I'm pretty tired of the dancing and the blackout footage, can't we just win because we play better.... and want it more?

kevin said...

Oh, and if Moreno and Staff both leave, this season is a 4. For 'most squandered opportunity in Richt's tenure'

Anonymous said...

So if anyone tries to question fandom...are we now to say,

I stayed through the WHOLE Blackout. Yeah, no. The on where we were down 31 at half.

Or I saw Tim Tebow dance around the stadium like a bafoon and the refs do nothing but high five him?

rbubp said...

Those of you who contend that we are a should be happy 9-2 or that those of us who are disappointed should grow up have bought into the Mark Richt "any win is a good win" mentality.

Any 9-2 is not a good 9-2. We are not a good 9-2.

Anonymous said...


Dawg19 said...

We went 4-7 in 1990. That was pretty bad, especially getting blown out at home to Tech. We had the one improbable win over Alabama, but that was pretty much it.

I, too, was at the 1995 uf game. We were down 21-0 just after the coin flip. The Braves won the World Series later that night, so that helped.

clemson '91 - i hit a clemhole with a cup said...

As the plane flies over Arizona...

"Coach, we want to Blackout Bama"

"WHAT?? Sit your ass down son. You have won NOTHING yet. You want to Blackout Ala-F'in-Bama? Are you kidding me? Our season hasn't even begun yet and you are talking about a Blackout? Go sit down and watch the Bama/Clemson replay! This ain't Hawaii boys, it's Ala-F'in Bama"

I rate this season a 4.5 (AZ golf, breaking into the cockaboose, LSU)

mitch said...

I would give it a 6.5. I mean who have we really beat????? Our best win is LSU, who isnt very good. Before the season started everyone was saying we wouldnt be in the NC game because of our schedule. Well, that turned out to be false, our schedule turned out to be a lot less brutal with arizona state, tennessee and auburn sucking big time. We have played 2 good teams all year and we got hammered in both games.

Anonymous said...

I would say we have played two great teams and got hammered. Ergo, we are not a great team. We convincingly beat a LSU team that is a legit top 20 team.

Are we a great team? No. Are we a top 15 team? Yes. Where are we ranked now? Top 15. Phil Steele, as much I as thought he was wrong, said that we are a top 10 team and may contend, but could not beat out Florida. He has Florida playing for it all. So I guess he is right again...

Anonymous said...

Why even ask this question now? The season is not over yet. A loss to Tech plus a loss in the bowl game makes this season a disaster. If we win them both and assess where UF and Bama finish the season might look better than it feels now.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mitch. The bulldogs Schedule isnt as tough as people made it out to be. I consider this seaosn to be a dissappointment considering a few things. When the team did lose, they loss in embarrassing fashion. Also considering the talent we have at skill positions, the players coming back this season, and our easier than expected schedule and how the games turned out....

1) South Carolina- Decent team. But talent isnt close to Bulldogs. Still dont have a QB.

2)Arizona State- Record is 4-6

3) Alabama- Legit team. 31-0 at halftime... at home... on National Television.... during a 'Black Out'

4)Tennessee- Record is 3-7. Just loss to Wyoming. Coach hs been on the hot seat. No David Cutcliffe!

5)Vanderbilt- A bit overrated. Loss to MSU, and DUKE at home.

6)LSU- Was getting spanked by TROY for 45 minutes. Starting QB kicked off the team. Defense isnt good, allowing 50+ points twice, once at home.

7)Florida- Legit team. Beat the crap out of the Bulldogs. 39 points to be exact

8)Kentucky- Record is 6-5

9) Auburn- Record is 5-6. May not be Bowl eligible this season. Coach is on the hotseat. One coach got fired in mid-season. Abandoned offense they worked on all off-season.

10) Georgia Tech- going through a rebuilding year with a new coach, new offense, new defense, one of the youngest teams in the nation, heavily injuried team. Record is 7-3.

If the Bulldogs lose to Tech, then this season will be a huge disaster considering everything!

Lucid Idiocy said...

I'm struck by my inability to succinctly describe this season. It defies simple explanation, because every win has a caveat.

But at least the losses were brutal.

skidawg1985 said...


Partly because of high expectations, but the two losses were really bad losses and then almost losing to UK and keeping Auburn close drops it down.

I will be honest, I fear Tech. An unusual attack. I hope Logan Gray can replicate it somewhat (I think he is the closest one we have).

As for the comment about losing Stafford and Moreno--I am less concerned about losing Moreno. A good line can make an average back very good and if the O line can stay healthy, it will be a strength.

Remember that Tennessee won the national championship with Tee Martin and not Peyton Manning.

JG said...

PWD, for the record, the Northwestern loss left UM at 3-8, not 3-9 as stated in the blog.

Bryan Carver Dawg97 said...

We may end up with the same results as last season but there were slightly different expectations going into each season.

The schedule is easier and therefore with the talent we have, we should have blown UT, Vandy, AU, ASU, KY away and at worst, giving UF and Bama credit to their teams, lost by no more than 10-14 to either one.

And agreed, the blackout should have been earned.

Kris said...

me and my brother both sat through the entire 4 quarters of the georgia florida game this year too

it was ridiculous seeing people leave their seats when we where down 21-3...
the first thing my brother said to me was "Why do these people dress up in red, tailgate, get drunk, claim that they are true to the dawgs, and then pay good money for tickets to leave early?"

PWD, you could also classify Tennessee as a terrible season lol

Anonymous said...

I was at the '95 UF game in Sanford. And THAT is why I don't want to do a home and home with UF. Forget the game results. I don't want those aholes back in our stadium. Those classless fans don't deserve to visit Sanford Stadium.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember who the nc last year? Anyone remember the fact we kicked nothing but fg's against the cocks...or that it took a perfect pass in overtime to beat bama in T-town..or how bout the beat down adminstered to the 50th state in the about the smackdown in Knoxville...History tells us one thing that what got ya there won't keep ya there!! I was in attendance when we stuck up Herbie and the bucks cavity in Orlando...sat in the swamp when uf treated us like a frosh. on prom night...I stayed until the end...with every gayturd fan was shaking there keys in my face...i stuck it out!! I remember as a teen selling drinks in the old Gator bowl watching the dog fans leave when Linsay Scott shocked the world...I remember watching Woody Hayes put the smack down on that Clemson L.B. Ok so my fanhood is not in question or my loyality to uga is of the utmost important to me!! Let me say that not one person could have seen any of this season unfolding the way it has...last year win go 11-2 finish #2 this year good chance we duplicate that and we might not finish in the top 10...There is no exact science to this...its basically when you lose that determines how ya finish...Count me in when it comes to CMR!!! The volume of player's that has his ear to our program is because of him...He changed the culture and landscape in Athens...the real irony in all of this is that our fan base in so fickle and doesn't really understand what it is truly happening in Clark county...Let me say for the record I recently sat in my home with a former starting lb for UGA under GOFF and DONNAN his verbage to me was simply " I wish i could have played for CMR "...this kid was a 2yr starter so if anybody sees whats going better than us avg. joe's it would be the ones that were buried in the sewer of the 90's...I love this blog and read it every day...Go Dawgs

dawginexile said...

I'm a Dawg fan living in exile - in Columbus, Ohio. IF we beat Ohio State in a bowl game, I'll rate this season a 7. If not, it'll get a 2 for all of the grief that it will bring to my life.

Anonymous said...

Pull out your UGA tampons. I love how some of you in your posts act like you are such bad ass Dawg fans because you sat around until the end of the '95 Florida game.

Your "stay till the end to show support" lines make me gag. If your team is getting their ass kicked late in the 4th quarter (or late 3rd in Knoxville) and you cannot watch another second...then leave. There is nothing wrong with that!

Anonymous said...

we heterosexuals don't get the grey's anatomy reference...

Anonymous said...

To hunkerdown,
Hunker. Down. On. This.

To Krissss,
Why do you get drunk? Because your a obnoxious dog fan.

Anonymous said...

Make sure to post on this website to keep Know / Staff one more year...

Paula Dean said...

Come eat some pudding, yall.

Evan said...

A 7.

I'm one of a couple hundred Dawg fans in the Windy City. I'm surrounded by fans from three schools: Notre Dame, Michigan, and Ohio State.

I can tell you the frustration we're feeling doesn't come close to what Notre Dame felt last year and Michigan is feeling this year. Ohio State fans still think they are Gods Gift to Football and are some of the most obnoxious fans in the world. If we beat GT after Thanksgiving, and OSU in a bowl game, this season could quickly rise to a 8.5 -- for me at least.

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH! whining , this team can be 11-2 , factor in schedule, young line.injuries etc.We had a very good yr.The #1 preason was a "make -up" for the BCS debacle last yr.We all wanted 13-0 , but be real.CMR,CWM,CMB plus a couple of players have caught hell and are 9-2 amazing.Anyone rating this team under 8 is in need of Prozac refills.CSS unit has played well considering, why not mention that ?

Rorschach said...

I posted this on the Bulldawg Blawg but it fits here too ...

Speaking of "Perspective" ... I'm a die-hard Dawg "existing" in Pullman, WA ... that's home to Washington State and 7 miles from the University of Idaho ... UofI is the winning-est program in the region and they will be 2 and 10 after this weekend ... WSU is 1 and 10 with once proud Washington coming in at a miserable 0-1,000 ... can you imagine the pain from this year for these good folks? ... this is happening in a one team conference where you may not be facing a potential champion every two or three weeks ... so let's just be thankful we don't have or hearts on a spike in Seattle or Pullman ... acknowledge that the Dawgs did a wonderful job with how the year ran, focus only on Tech and take 30 days to get well for Ohio State ... I'm damn happy and lucky to be a Bulldawg ...

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