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July 10, 2012

Team Chemistry Issues?

After writing most of this post over the weekend following all the non-sense on Facebook, I decided to sit on it to see if I still felt the same way in light of Cornelius Washington's apology. I do.

Here we are with another kerfuffle between players and fans. The R&B has the gory details (link removed, but easily searchable).

First, the fan's response is over the top, blatantly rude, and dead on point. I don't think there is a single Georgia fan out there that didn't think some or most of the same things. Does that make him the more right person here? No, of course not. I don't think Washington ever meant that Crowell shouldn't face consequences. He did express frustration that folks were (rightly or wrongly) using some pretty harsh language to describe Crowell instead of hurting for Crowell and what he did to his life.

Washington was right, too. There are plenty of Georgia fans that don't see these kids as anything more than numbers on jerseys. There is no other explanation for the booing. There is no other explanation for the words you read on various online fora. There just isn't. Where Washington missed the boat is that saying the team doesn't need the fans for survival. He is dead wrong there.

I'd say there are plenty of fans, myself included, that view these players as integral parts of the community I proudly belong to. They represent that community the same way I do. Actually, they do so in a much more visible manner than I do. It is my personal belief that Cornelius Washington was blowing off steam over the heat he picked up last year for his drive through Commerce. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt (in the same way I did for Crowell and countless others) because of the way he handled himself post arrest. He served his suspension, still showed up and worked his tail off despite losing playing time, and didn't belly ache about it.

I'm willing to forgive youth being youth, especially when it is words. As for the fans that only view these players a jerseys on a football field, well, I don't have much to add to that other than saying that I believe there are far more fans that think the way I do than there are that think the other way.

Now, do we have team chemistry issues? I don't think so. If...IF...the rumors about Crowell being a distraction are true, despite how much he might have been liked, his being shown the door helped. If they aren't true and the team is 'banding' together around this episode, then great. Anything to get them pulling the oars in the same direction. There are probably a few more issues that will arise due to the trip to the club on June 28th, but one issue we won't have is coaches having to constantly answer questions about Crowell's toughness/dedication/readiness or players having to defend those things.

From what I am hearing the team chemistry is better now than at anytime in the past five or six seasons. Take it with a grain of salt, since I am getting that third hand. 

And good for Cornelius Washington apologizing. You can be cynical or sarcastic all you want. Owning up is something we don't see enough of out of grown ass men. Next time you knock a 22 year old for being a 22 year old, you have to also give props when he acts like a man. The fan that responded made that point, as well, something I was glad to see.



Trey (@CPADawg) said...

I agree. Well put.

LCUGA said...

Agreed. Very, very good post, TD.
We hear this, read that, etc., but we got rid of some "bad apples" last year and team chemistry seemed to be better. I wish Crowell the best, but he made a dumb move and by all indications maybe wasn't cut out for the work & pressure involved in being a star running back for UGA.

Anonymous said...

PWD and Tyler thanks for being one the few sane blogs left.So many think you have to be a jackwagon to have your blog read.

AthensHomerDawg said...

Kids mature at different times. That frontal lobe on males doesn't really finish up developing until they are 25? So I have been told. I have a 20 and 22 yr old in college. They tailgate now with their peers and do what you do when you are in college. When I asked the youngest why he wasn't hooking up with his buddies at tailgates. His response. " Well, some of the crew like to toke up before games. They are getting louder and rowdier and are starting to urinate in public. We are still friends. I just don't need the hassle of getting caught up in it. I can't afford the risks they take. " Well ... there ya go.

Anonymous said...

"There is no other explanation for the booing."

Uh...the booing might, just might, be directed at the coaches.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you are right. But I'm not there yet. When CW spouted off (and others including a freshman with his own brand of drama) it struck a sensitive spot with me that hasn't been happy with how UGA fans are being treated period.

Coach Richt's "in the arena" comment came to mind. Not to mention the nasty things our own president publicly aired after he himself exacerbated those issues. Then there's all the new fees and costs associated with participating in game day at UGA.

Its amazing that UGA remains one of the two or three most profitable AD's and almost always top 5 in the CLC rankings. Because we're not the most appreciated fanbase out there ....even amongst our own players.

Bourbon Dawgwalker said...

I don't believe the booing Crowell heard when he limped off the field against LSU with a twisted ankle had anything to do with the coaches. That was just our low class fans.

Anonymous said...

That's nice Bourbon Dawgwalker. And I agree with you. But Tyler's comments about booing were in a paragraph with his general commentary on fans. It was not specific to the twisted ankle incident.

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