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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Links (12/10)

First off, an apology about the comment moderation on the blog. Sadly we had someone posting some particularly unpleasant links yesterday, so we had to make some adjustments.

As you'll recall, we had to do the same thing a few weeks ago, and my guess is that the same person is responsible this time.

Now, I'm no Columbo, but let's look at the clues here:

1.) The person has hacked into blogger accounts and posted under other people's names -- most recently Paul Westerdawg's.

2.) They have a distinct vendetta against Georgia fans.

3.) They have an immense amount of time on their hands to sit around, look up pornographic Web sites, then spend hours at a time posting links to them on UGA blogs while starting arguments with other commenters -- often responding immediately, as if they were just sitting at their computer waiting for a reply.

4.) They obviously lack any sort of social skills or ability to function within the dynamics of the real world.

So, this seems like a pretty easy case to crack. It sounds like some poor Georgia Tech fan had his video games taken away after he didn't finish his vegetables and now he's bored and taunting us.

How sad and pathetic.

Anyway, I'm hoping to remove the comment moderation soon, but for now, you're stuck with it.

In the meantime, some links...

-- Interesting blog post from Rex Robinson, who argues that the inmates are running the asylum at Georgia and a simple change in defensive coordinators might not be an instant solution.

Two points on Robinson's blog:

1.) I've said all season that any fans who are expecting a quick fix with new coaches without other changes are going to be disappointed. Winning is a culture that is created within a program. Listen to Nick Saban or Urban Meyer talk about how they've done that. It's not their yelling and screaming or ruling with an iron fist. It's their unwavering insistence that players buy in and adhere to their philosophy -- an insistence that is backed up with consequences. That's the culture that must exist in a winning locker room.

2.) Robinson brings up the issue of the strength and conditioning program, which a number of you have asked me about as well. Here's what I can tell you: I have seen UGA's end-of-summer strength numbers for the past few years and, indeed, they are very good -- and trending upward. But as a basis for comparison, they're not all that helpful. For one, strength on the football field is not easily quantified by a bench press or a squat number. If it was, Tanner Strickland would be an All-American. Second, I have no way of accessing the strength numbers for other schools, so while Georgia's may be "good," the only way to define "good" is by comparing it to other years at Georgia. But the Dawgs aren't playing themselves from two years ago. They're playing Florida and Auburn and Tennessee, and I don't know what the strength numbers look like at those schools. And finally, the end-of-summer strength numbers are only good for measuring what a player can do after the offseason. Perhaps it's the in-season conditioning that is the issue. We have no way of knowing.

So, the bottom line here is this: Yes, there certainly could be an issue with the strength and conditioning, but there is very little means by which we can quantifiably judge, which means we should probably be careful when critiquing an S&C program run by a coach who has spent more than a quarter-century as one of the best in the business. I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but I am saying it's hard to see any real evidence beyond the eyeball test, which isn't exactly the most accurate estimation.

-- I've heard probably a half-dozen names mentioned by reliable folks in regards to the UGA DC job, but it always seems to come back to Kirby Smart. And when you read Tony Barnhart's column that says Smart is ready to move on and compare it with how little we've officially heard on the subject from UGA, perhaps we're all just biding our time until after the national championship game. ... Or maybe they'll hire someone I've never heard of tomorrow.

-- Meanwhile, Mack Brown gets a $2 million a year raise through 2016, making him the highest paid coach in college sports. So is it then fair to ask whether Will Muschamp wants to remain "in waiting" behind Brown?

(And I know it's been said 1,000 times, but how awful is it for UGA fans to see two former Bulldogs coaching the defenses in the national championship game while Mark Richt is looking to fill a vacant DC job on his sideline?)

-- Chris Low runs down his Georgia season recap.

-- Bernie reminds you of a very important bit of TV programming tonight.

-- Former Bulldog Billy Payne received the Distinguished American Award by the National Football Foundation.

-- Irony alert: Bleacher Report has an open letter to Mark Richt warning him not to listen to "two bit reporters."

-- Georgia couldn't turn the tide against St. John's last night at Madison Square Garden.

-- And speaking of that Big East-SEC challenge, I'm hoping you'll all be pulling for my Orangemen tonight.

-- Remember all the fuss about the SEC's awful new media policy on video? Well, that hasn't exactly gone away.

-- I am shocked -- shocked! -- by this: FOX using trumped-up footage to give viewers the idea that there was more enthusiasm for an event than there really was. I can't believe something like that would ever happen. Absolutely no way. It would just be completely unlike anything Fox has ever done.

-- Interesting tidbit over at Team Speed Kills on the future of print media but here's my quibble: Why downplay the significance of being able to browse the Internet while sitting on the toilet? That seems like a step in the right direction. After all, I'd argue that's where a good bit of newspaper reading gets done.

-- Sad to see yet another character depart (*spoiler alert*), but last night's was yet another great episode of "Friday Night Lights."

-- No "Flash Forward" or "V" for a while and we're still a few months away from "Lost," but on the upside, "Chuck" is coming back soon, and its star talks about the upcoming season in this interview.

-- My girlfriend got me to watch "The Biggest Loser" with her this season, which was enjoyable for the unintentional comedy alone. (My favorite is the staged situations in which one of the trainers pitches some product that is sponsoring the show... like the long, emotional walk in which the trainer says, "With all your stress and heartache, I know it'll be tough for you to avoid those bad foods when you get home, but I recommend always keeping a pack of delicious Extra Sugar Free gum with you... it brightens your smile and helps you lose weight!") Anyway, if you watched the finale this week, you know that two contestants got engaged. But I was legitimately shocked to learn that wasn't the only hook up between contestants on the show.

-- I DVR'd last night's "Top Chef" finale, so don't ruin it for me... but here's an interview with the two brothers from the show in The Washington Post.

-- This list of sketchy Santas wins the award for making me laugh the most this morning. The one with the'70s porno mustache is my favorite.

-- And finally, I mentioned Mr. Burns' write-in votes for NYC mayor yesterday, and one of our readers was kind enough to alert me to the posters hung around the city promoting the Burns-for-mayor campaign.


Dan said...

I agree that the s&c is hard to quantify on the field. IMO the injuries seemed a lot less this year and there never was game this year when I thought "Wow, the other team is physically dominating UGA." (I have thought that in the past-i.e. Bama 08). Sounds more like someone looking for an excuse to me, but I'm no expert either.

jferg said...

Rex has re-entered into the public arena and is loving his new-found voice.

He should be careful, however, that he doesn't lose his voice by biting the hand that has fed and continues to feed him--- UGA loyalists.

That being said...his point is partially made about the attitude needing to change...and it seems as if CMR has turned the corner on that issue since the UK game. I think most like Evil Richt better...

The Watch Dawg said...

You know, I posted a similar remark over on Bill King's blog earlier, but I'll say it again because I think it bears repeating:

Rex Robinson has no more "insider" status than any of us here who do nothing but read these blogs and post comments. He was a kicker in the 80's. I've got nothing against him, but I've noticed a trend with him that he's definitely got something against Mark Richt, and he always jumps at the opportunity to criticize him. His unsubstantiated claims of the "inmates running the asylum" reeks of a vendetta. Personally, I'm not buying it, because I think making a connection between wearing black helmets and the players being in control of the program is ludicrous.

David Hale said...

WatchDawg -- I've gotten to know Rex a little bit over the past couple of years and I definitely don't think he has something against Richt. I think he's simply voicing his concern -- whether or not the evidence really does substantiate it.

I think perhaps "inmates running the asylum" might be a bit too strong of a wording, but I do think that there has maybe been too much of a reliance on past success as a cover for current struggles and too little emphasis on consequences for poor performance of late.

Again, I'm not necessarily criticizing, but if you look at how coaches like Saban and Meyer handle their players -- and I've had plenty of conversations with Bama players in the past couple of years -- the approach is much different.

In baseball, you hear a lot about a player's manager vs. a disciplinarian. Richt is probably much closer to the former, and Saban the latter. I'm not sure that one is right and one is wrong, but the past two years, those rosters might have needed a bit more of the latter.

My guess is that's what Rex was digging at...

Blue Gill said...

I know it is because I am an old man but it is the dancing that kills me. I can't stand that. There were a number of times this year when I got the distinct feeling that none of the players had any fear of any of the coaches at all.

I'm just not so sure that "inmates running the asylum" is too strong.

I had a guy tell me that he was going to send a letter to Richt after the season and try to reintroduce him to Georgia football by saying:

1) we wear red
2) we run the ball
3) we play defense
4) we don't dance!

It all sounded good to me but again I am a little behind the times I guess.

Anonymous said...

I like Rex. A great kicker. A good Georgia man. With that being said, take a look at our record from 1983 to 2002 and get back with me.

Richt is the man.

The Watch Dawg said...

I'll tell you what I think: I think people just have a hard time coping with a down year. Everybody has them. Florida has them. Alabama has them. Oklahoma has them (had it this year). Southern Cal has them (had it this year as well). Georgia is having their down year, and there is a large contingency of fans who want to find something inherently wrong with the way Mark Richt is doing things. Richt's winning percentage ranks right up there with the Pete Carrol's and the Bob Stoops and the Urban Meyer's... so maybe, just maybe, he's not doing such a terrible job, and this year is just more proof that you can't win 10 games every year, no matter who you are... rather than an indication that Richt is/has been losing control of the program.

I think it reflects poorly on us as a fan base that we have to contend with this negativity.

David Hale said...

It's a fair point, Watchdawg. In the SEC, expectations will outweigh results 95 percent of the time.

Since the summer I've written that the criticism of Richt has been inflated, and that only grew as the year went on. But at the same time, there were clearly (and probably still are) issues he needs to address. But I think he's already started doing that, and there will be more to come.

Uganewt said...

Agree with you DH. The thing that struck me most about Richt's comments after coaches were fired was the length of time he'd been contemplating the decision. It sounded like it went back to last year, and it wasn't just a reaction to the disappointment of 09. Something tells me that every aspect of the program is getting the same thorough examination, it's just that not everything will be as obvious as a coaching change to those of us outside the program.

Anonymous said...


Don't lie ... I know you are looking forward to the "This offseason has been our most intensizt evR!" quotes

-- Richt-Flair

uganewt said...

Speaking of the psyche of the program, I'm hoping the intensity and attitude we showed in the tech game stays with the players for a long time. It was the first time in several years that we seemed to play with a real chip on our shoulder. From the "I run this state" stuff to Ben Jones carrying a piece of yellow turf in his mouth, it was a JYD attitude that served this team well. And it seemed to start from the top, I don't ever remember an entire game where Richt looked so intense every time he was shown on the sideline. This offseason the same attitude needs to be had towards regaining our manhood against UT and UF.

Anonymous said...

David, sometime in the past you made a snide comment about Charlie Sheen questioning 9/11. I suggest you watch the new series 'Conspiracy Theory' with Jesse Ventura on Tru tv, Wed. at 10 eastern. At the minimum it will make you question things you thought you knew and show you alot you didn't know. The first 2 episodes have already aired but can be seen on the facebook fan page.

Blue Gill said...

If we are going to give viewing recommendations might I add that if you are not watching "Modern Family" you are missing a real kick ass sitcom.

That is all.

Will Q said...

The problem with comparing Richt to Saban and Meyer is that he is going on the 10th year of his stint. Saban has had one crappy year and two excellent years, but get back to me when he rounds out a decade at the same program. Meyer has had even more success, but he also had his Herschel at the time. Let's see how he adjusts to losing a once-in-a-lifetime player (two, actually if you count Harvin as well).

That said, I think it will be very important how Coach Richt approaches this year. I'm not buying the "inmates running the asylum" line, but I will buy that complacency has crept into the program, which is pretty understandable considering how long Richt (and, not coincidentally, Carroll and Stoops) has been with the program. He is showing a willingness to face it head on; now let's hope that he takes whatever other steps are necessary and gets the results we all hope for.

Anonymous said...

David Question:
What year was that??? You know when you sat on Santa's lap w your sax? (see your link...@ bottom)

rbubp said...

"In baseball, you hear a lot about a player's manager vs. a disciplinarian. Richt is probably much closer to the former, and Saban the latter. I'm not sure that one is right and one is wrong, but the past two years, those rosters might have needed a bit more of the latter.

My guess is that's what Rex was digging at..."

If you get a D Coordinator who gets when to sit players for not pass-blocking, so to speak, then it WILL be fixed immediately, eh, Rex?

Jeffster said...

I agree with your comments that it will take more than a staff overhaul to change what ails the Dawg program.

I think that the old Florida State mentality to overwhelm the opposition with talent needs to be freshened up big time. When they just fired a coach who by all accounts was a decent x's & o's guy and the talent is top drawer, then all fans are left with is to look and speculate about intangibles. Robinson's blog post addressed that issue nicely.

Yodi said...

Am I missing out on something here? UGA under Mark Richt has won at a VERY high level (almost the highest level possible). Why are people questioning the S&C program?? I don't get. One bad year and ppl like Rex Robinson act like CMR has no idea what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

David, not sure if someone has brought this to your attention yet or not, but just in case...Kyle Chandler from FNL attended UGA, just another reason to love the show. I knew him a little bit (was friends with one of his roommates) and he was a very nice guy.

David Hale said...

Jennifer -- Indeed, they actually list him in UGA's football media guide as "famous alums." Sawyer from "Lost" also went to UGA. I'm a huge fan of Kyle Chandler though. He's a fantastic actor.