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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I was just sitting here at Butts-Mehre chatting with another one of the writers and said the following:

"You know, I don't care whether Georgia wins or loses, but even I'm just overwhelmed by all the negativity at this point. It's just smothering."

Then I click over through my email less than a minute later and get this comment (not surprisingly, posted anonymously):

"David - you are such a 'glass half-empty' guy. Negativity drips from every word you write lately. Why don't you spend some time looking at positives? This blog has been reduced to a vent session, with you providing the fodder, and countless pissed Dawgs calling for the firing of the greatest coach we've ever had."

Two things:

1.) Please CLICK HERE. That was posted four days ago. Or CLICK HERE. That was posted over the summer.

2.) Your team just got blown out by a previously winless team in the SEC coached by the youngest (and at times, most obnoxious) coach in the SEC.

What am I supposed to write about?

My job is to be objective and analytical. At no point during this season or last have I called for a coach to be fired. In fact, I have routinely defended a number of them, including as recently as two weeks ago when I posted about the strong adjustments the stats seem to indicate Willie Martinez makes during the games. I have defended Joe Cox to the point of being called "too close to the program to be objective."

I know I'm probably speaking to the minority of people who read this blog, because the vast majority are pretty even-keeled people with a semblance of perspective, but I think there's also a fair number of folks who could take a valuable lesson from Mark Richt.

When the fervor for knee-jerk reactions and over-the-top statements is at its zenith, that's the best time for you to take a step back and regain some composure.

All is not well in Athens right now. All is not lost either. But blindly assuming players need to be benched or coaches need to be fired is silly. Blindly assuming we should ignore the problems is silly, too.

Last month, this blog had more page views by a long shot than it ever had before. That's a sign of the passion of Georgia fans (and, I hope, that I'm doing something right with the content). But as more and more passionate fans visit, and more and more of them comment, there's bound to be some negative things said, some things written that I don't agree with or that you don't agree with. The beauty of the Internet is that it is the ultimate form of free speech.

But please believe me when I tell you -- we all want the same thing here. You want information and analysis of your team, and I want to provide it for you. I have no agenda. I'm not trying to get a coach fired or keep a player in the starting lineup when he doesn't belong. I'm simply passing along the best information I can to you. At the same time, I'll pass along any other information I see that is relevant that another journalist has found.

My job is to keep you informed. If you don't like the information, you're welcome to read something else.

Your job is to remain as passionate about your team as ever. If you want to comment and share your thoughts, I welcome that, and I assure you, I read every one of them.

But please remember, we're not enemies here. We're all on the same side. I want you to be informed and passionate fans. You want to be passionate about your team. The coaches and players are all working hard, despite what the final results may show, to ensure your passion is repaid.

Everything else is simply fodder for debate, but not an excuse to be ignorant.

ADDENDUM: I didn't mean to fish for compliments with this post, although I certainly do appreciate the kind words. I simply meant it as a reminder that, for the sake of all of our mental health, maybe put down the pitchforks a bit and let's try to be a little more rational in our analysis and a little more focused in our passion. One of the things I've truly enjoyed about this blog is that the vast majority of comments have fit under the umbrella of common sense. That gets harder to do in times like this, but I'd like to think we can all make it happen.


rbubp said...

You do a great job, David. I am excited to be the first to post that. I have never found your work to strike just the right pitch, certainly not "too close to the program" or "too negative."

Keep up the excellent work. Please.

rbubp said...

Oh, also, remember that the AJC and similar publications do not have a satisfactory level of analysis and coverage any longer, and a lot of people, including the nutjobs, are finding their way here because of the quality and lack of it elsewhere. You're bound to get more of that AJC comment board thing in the mix because of the rush to get the news elsewhere.

Not that it's right. And good luck managing it.

Rayman said...

You are one of my favorite site and I visit regularly. You are doing excellent work, don't let a few on the fringe get to you. I know when I come here I am going to get a fair analysis and that is what I want. Not too negative and not too mushy.

Rayman said...

Spot on rbubp.

Anonymous said...

David... its natural to have a glass half empty at this point in the season... Crompton drank the other half... we knew he was coming, we just couldn't stop him from taking it.

BTW.. love the blog and your perspective

Anonymous said...

You have a great blog. I come here daily precisly because you look at the reality of how things are. Reality is what it is,45-19 is reality. + and - are concepts for philosophy class. These problems have been in the making since WVU and all we hear year after year is how they are being addressed. We are tackling again in practice now which was a problem last year yet we arm tackle worse than a middle school team in the games. we can talk about the + when 45-19 is no longer a regular reality.

Anonymous said...

I know you were not fishing for compliments, but I am going to give you one anyway--you do an excellent job with this blog. By far the best source for UGA football news. I don't feel like signing up for a Google account so forgive me for being anonymous. --La Jolla Dawg.

JJ said...

Dave - you are a barrel full of sunshine compared to some of the conversations I've had with fans over the past few days. This blog isn't anywhere near the level of negativity that a large portion of this fanbase are experiencing right now with this program. Not even close.

Excellent work as always.

flabgdad said...

David I concur with what everybody is saying.Being a dawg in Florida its your blogs i depend on for honesty.

Anonymous said...

I personally think richt should go but he is a nice fellow and i hope he just decides to retire because time has passed him by

This blog is so much better than the atlanta papers so give yourself an A+

It is not about losing it is about the lack of effort that a team should not have. It may be the coaching will I think or a combination of the players and the coaching but frankly these fellows get treated like princes so expecting them to keep the games close is not much to expect.

It is just not concievable the team is as bad as they play or coached to play. I dont care if they lose 10 games a season as long as they try hard and use their brains and talents. Any bulldog fan is entitled to see this glass as more than half empty and there is no guarantee in life especially for a coach getting 3 million dollars a year when there are people who buy these tickets struggling to pay their bills. Sports teams give us a little respite from the trials of life and we should expect better than mark richt football and no one is guaranteed a winning program just one that makes us proud our team tried its best. This team has failed that test and that is why you give them such bad grades just like in school.

Again look at teams like houston or utah or iowa that do not get the caliber of players georgia does but entertain us.

Keep us the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you have been shooting straight all season. Dont let idiots with rose colored glasses make you feel like a negative nancy. You speaking the truth is interpreted wrong by some of these morons.

Have you singled out players? yes. Is that ok, imo? YES.

Anonymous said...

Don't go changin'.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely the all time most objective writer we have. Thanks!

Josh said...

Dave, for the love of Dawg please don't change a thing. Your voice is too valuable to lose, especially now.

AppleDawg said...

You have got to stop with these. I say that NOT to knock you but it is annoying seeing you apologize for some idiots

State your opinion, back it up, and move on.

No need to do these over and over again

TP said...

David, I honestly wish CMR would follow your lead and just say what he really feels......but he can't.

YOU can, and do, and for that reason, I visit this blog 3-4 times a day.

I don't want or need to blow sunshine up your doo-ma-ridge-er, but you are EXACTLY what us fans need.....perspective. Thank you.

Blue Gill said...

I come to this blog to read you.

The comments are just meaningless back and forth bullshit. They are fun and they are funny but good god man surely nobody takes them seriously.

When a commenter starts off by saying, "there is only one way to solve this problem" then you automatically know that the commmenter is all blow and little understanding.

I read comments to laugh. I read you to learn. Even though you can be pretty damn funny at times.

DawgCPA said...

Well said Blue Gill!!! (By the way, are you a fish?) See, I can be just as funny as Hale!
David, I wholeheartedly agree with all the good things everyone has already said.
And we all know you really were just looking for compliments...